Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Online games - More goods or harms?

A report on TheStar (10 Oct 2006) highlighted the opinion from cybercafe operators on this topic.

According to them, online games are actually doing youths more good than harm, in that the games even keep them away from getting involved in drugs or crime activities.

Some excerpts from the Star:

“If parents think playing online games is bad, they should honestly ask themselves what they did as youths to entertain themselves when there were no computer games,” said Jeffery Wong, 31, a cybercafe owner.

“I bet they were involved in activities that were not that much more productive either, and probably a lot more dangerous,” he said, recalling his adventurous days of swimming in ex-mining pools when he was a teenager.

“It also provides job opportunities. I know many people who didn’t get to complete school, but because of online games, they’re able to survive and earn a decent living doing something they like,” Wong said.

“And what’s so bad about making money from playing games? It’s not like it’s illegal,” said Leon Jalleh, 27, a cybercafe operator.

“If kids are learning how to earn money by pursuing their interest, their parents should be proud of them instead!”

“It’s better than having them waste money loitering in shopping malls, or worse, get involved in drugs or criminal gangs,” he added.

Jalleh said cybercafes were also comparatively healthier than other entertainment avenues, such as nightclubs.

“You won’t find drugs or alcohol in cybercafes, and most don’t even allow smoking nowadays,” he said.

Jalleh told The Star that it was possible to earn several thousand ringgit a month by trading virtual items or helping other gamers improve their avatars.

“It is a good way to bond with friends and meet new people who share the same interest, plus it’s the cheapest form of entertainment around – definitely much cheaper than clubbing,” said Chris Chong, 26, who meets his friends for game sessions on weekends.

What is your opinion on this issue? Is online games bring more goods or harm?

Some responses:
pk said...

It's really difficult to judge. Online game can be so addited to youth and most scenes are violence too since they always create bad character(s) to be KILLED by the "good" one(player usually fall into the good category).

In most cases, once you get started to play, you'll hardly going pull yourself out again and might struggle to get free from games as well, it's all depend on one's willingness when should stop. All those excitement will make youth forget almost about everything and the other thing is teenagers will face problem in differentiating between reality life and fantasy world.(I think this will be the main concern of all parents).

I personally notice that some who play online games have a special characteristic and fantastic dream, yet they never work hard for themselves in real life. short, games bring happiness to those have conscious mind and give harm to those without discipline.

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