Abu Dhabi Police call on parents to protect children from violent electronic games

Officials have warned the devices could cause adolescents to adopt aggressive behaviours, develop addictions, and even commit crimes



Supplied photo
Supplied photo
by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 21 Sep 2022, 4:12 PM

Last updated: Wed 21 Sep 2022, 10:14 PM

Parents in the UAE capital have been urged to protect children and adolescents from using violent electronic video games, warning that they could incite aggression.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Abu Dhabi Police said the electronic games can cause teenagers to adopt aggressive behaviours and commit crimes, and that the use of the games could potentially even develop into an addiction.

“The electronic games have serious effects including addiction, isolation and [the] separation from reality on the child’s brain,” the police said in a statement.

“Children often try to imitate what they see, and violence may become a way to pass their time, which can cause them to verbally and physically bully other children.”

Officials said parents and guardians should monitor and surveil their children's activity on their smart devices in order to ensure that the content they are accessing is safe and age-appropriate.

Scientific studies and expert recommendations indicate the danger of children sitting for hours on dangerous electronic games, engaging in activities such as playing a violent hero who kills and destroys his enemies. The studies show that the child, when faced with the presented 'reality' of the game, cannot distinguish between true reality and fiction.

This does not necessarily mean the child will engage in violence immediately after the end of the game, but experts suggest they may store subconscious images of violence which could influence their behaviour when trying to resolve a problem with another child, potentially resulting in violent clashes.

Police thus urged parents to monitor their children and intervene in their choice of games and e-applications.

“Children and adolescents should be protected when using smart and electronic devices and e-games, especially during this long summer holiday,” said police officials.

Officials have also advised parents to get to know their children’s friends on electronic games, suggesting they set a suitable time for their children to play the games, and consider activating parental controls.

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