Kids Glued to Online Gaming Fare Poorly in Studies

Kids Glued to Online Gaming Fare Poorly in StudiesKids Glued to Online Gaming Fare Poorly in Studies

The Iran Behavioral Sciences Research Center (BSRC) conducted a study on 4,650 teenagers in the 8-14 age groups from Tehran, Isfahan, Abhar, Rudbar, Rasht, and Kashan between 2013 and 2014 and found that 30% are addicted to computer games.

Many education experts associate poor academic results to the popularity of social networks and online gaming among adolescents. Nearly 80% of the 1.3 million students scored an average of 12 out of 20 in the final exams in the previous school year (ended June 2014).

Officials at the Education Ministry are launching a local social gaming network. But students have long been addicted to the mobile game ‘Clash of Clans’ via the World Wide Web and spend many hours a day playing the game.

A prominent high school headmistress told Mehr News Agency that school textbooks have been upgraded and improved, and therefore “low quality of education” is not the reason, as some experts maintain, for the drop in average GPA (grade point average) of students.

The BSRC study also suggests that the financial status of a family is directly linked to the time children spend on video or online games. Teenagers with both working parents tend to play games four times more than teenagers with one parent at work.

Gaming addiction can be as problematic and grave as drug addiction and gambling, affecting players as young as 8 years old. Studies suggest that long hours playing video games can adversely affect children’s performance in school and general attentiveness, while desensitizing them to violence. Players also develop aggressive thoughts and tendencies.

 Childhood Obesity

Children who spend more than two hours a day in front of the television or video games instead of participating in physical activity, may suffer from childhood obesity. Additionally, it can lead to health problems such as backaches, headaches, eyestrain and carpal tunnel syndrome – pain and numbness in the wrists, hands, shoulders and elbows for no apparent reason.

Nahid Rezayi, a veteran primary school teacher, believes that students’ aspiration for higher education has lessened as teenagers’ attention is diverted by advancements in the entertainment industry and parents are negligent towards children due to their daily preoccupations.

“The education system cannot shoulder the entire burden of cultivating vital qualities in the youth, and families need to take equal responsibility,” she stressed.

Isa Morad, the director general of the Counseling Division of the Education Ministry, said “precautionary techniques and workshops have been programmed and will be presented to the parents-teachers associations.” Training courses for students to abstain from violent habits are also planned for the next school year (begins September 2015).