The annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers will hear how teachers believe that computer games are the main factor for increased aggression among young pupils. Teachers will speak out to inform the ATL members that kids who are only four years old in some cases, are mimicking “graphic scenes” from games which are meant for much older children, or adults.
One problem is that children arrive at school too tired to concentrate after playing computer or video games at unsuitable times at night, according to Nick Gibb, schools minister. Alison Sherratt, a teacher from Bradford spoke of children in her reception class re-enacting scenes from a computer game, which depicts bodies with blood spurting from them. Sherratt also pointed out that aggression among kids appeared to have increased recently.
According to Ms Sherratt, out of her classroom of 27 children, most have access to or own a computer, PlayStation, Nintendo or Wii and play the computer games unsupervised. She added:
“Obesity, social exclusion, loneliness, physical fitness, sedentary solitary lives-these are all descriptions of children who are already hooked to games.”
As the UK rates of childhood obesity are increasing, a number of experts believe that outdoor play and exercise is preferable to playing computer and video games indoors. An alternative view of children who play computer games came from Ian Livingstone of Square Enix games manufacturer. He stated that the opinions given were stereotypical, and that video games can’t all be compared to a small number that display violence. However, Nick Gibb, schools minister did counter that children who arrive at school too tired to concentrate as a result of playing video games did present problems for teaching staff. He said:
“The societal problems that these schools have to face are much greater today… but the best way to tackle this is to make sure children are leaving well educated.”