The purpose of this reflection was to find out whether engaging in regular online gaming activities affected the social interaction of boys in the primary years. In my own family my older brother was too active in sports to play such games, while my younger brother became addicted and obsessive in his upper primary and secondary years of schooling, with bad effects on his social interactions, although this passed as he entered the workforce. During my practicum I found that year 4 boys played computer games on average two to three days per week, with the girls averaging less than one day per week, the most popular game for both being Minecraft. A majority played games appropriate to their age level and believed that they could go without their games for a whole week. A minority played ones inappropriate for their age, including MA15+ games with strong violence and Grand Theft Auto with a rating of R18+. Meanwhile, my literature search found that gaming can be beneficial to children by developing their abilities in team play, turn taking, and a sense of equality. Aggressive or stressed children are more inclined to display antisocial behaviours, but these may not be solely due to the games themselves. What seems important is having support within the home, with recent studies showing that the more involved parents are in their children’s play time, the less likely the child will participate in violent games and behave in an aggressive manner.
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