I read a Dutch article about a nine-year-old girl in Great Britain who was addicted to his video game she played. There is a chance you read about this too since there are a lot of articles written about this news. This news inspired me to write about it.
This nine-year-old girl had become addicted to the video game Fortnite. It takes me back to the days that I got my first computer. This was an entirely different computer and can’t be compared to the computers we nowadays use.
When the rest of the world decided to use either the MSX for playing games or the Commodore 64, my dad got us a Commodore 16. Yes, you may laugh about this. But, we all know that the “16” had a better BASIC-version!
I was about eight years old when I got my first computer. Well, it wasn’t really “my computer”, since I had to share this one with my two sisters. The oldest one didn’t care much about computers. The other one did. We had to discuss who was going to use it and when.
This Commodore and its tape streamer allow you to program your own software. Well, it should… but I still remember those times when I saw the message “Syntax error.” Meaning: I made a mistake, somewhere along the lines of code. Still, this would be the basis for my programming skills.
In BASIC you could make your own software. I remember that there was a radio program that you could record at the end of the show when the aired peeps that would be readable by your tape streamer and computer. All you needed was a microphone and a cassette recorder.
My first “own” computer was a huge Toshiba computer. I wrote several programs on this machine, but they weren’t really serious. I played some games on this computer, but not too often. The first “serious” games, I played during the nineties. I was impressed with how these games allowed different people to play together. How could this all happen? The OSI model formed the basis for this type of communication.
I did notice then that some people had a hard time quitting the games. Just one more level… In the end, they were five levels from where they were when they told everyone they would quit the game. Some games can do this, even today. This nine-year-old British girl is no exception, but she is rather young.
As a father of a nine-year-old son, who mastered Minecraft, and plays different games, I know what it’s like to see children who want to play these games. It all comes down to what you do and what you don’t allow. I know, this British girl made her parents believe that she was in bed.
How can you check if everything is ok and it doesn’t lead to an addiction? It’s all about showing interest in what your children do. From time to time, I check what they are doing. Most of all, I also tell them when I think it’s enough. The devices that can be used to play are located in our living room.
It can lead to discussions about why my children need to quit. As a parent, you should put your foot down. If that doesn’t seem to work, there is always one important option. Call this your power tool: switching off the Wi-Fi. If you want to take it a step further: the power supply or the power fuse. Yes, I have done this. To show who’s boss.
This doesn’t help this nine-year-old girl who was so unfortunate. You can start blaming parents for everything that they must have done wrong. Does this help? Will this help? Not really. They, just like this girl, are the victims of this addiction too. I sincerely hope that she is able to overcome all of this.