I once asked a child that is agilely tilting his tablet, maybe playing “Dumb Ways to Die”, if he wants to play ‘tumbang preso’ – one of Filipino traditional games.
“What is tumbang preso?”, he finally asked, not even looking at me.
I am not surprised or perplexed from what he said. He didn’t know what tumbang preso is. Man, that was a sick game – lots of running, shouting, laughing, and sweating and yet he is glued onto his seat, playing games on his tablet. Children today prefer playing their tablet instead of going outside and play a real game.
I would not deny the fact that I enjoy playing video games when I was a kid such as Gameboy and Nintendo. I really enjoyed it but my parents chided me for being an enthusiast of playing video games. Way back then, I really don’t understand why I can’t play these video games full-time without their nagging sermon. Maybe I was really a kid back then, not seeing the big picture. That’s when I am became a ‘full-time-active-playing-outside-at-the-middle-of-the-afternoon’ kid.
Every afternoon especially during school breaks and summer, my sisters, neighbors and I used to play various intense games that involves fast running skills, epic agility, insane hiding abilities, and a lot of teamwork. Of course, some trash talking expertise wouldn’t be missed to discourage other players.
Why do I advocate playing outside yet playing video games have some advantages too, according to some research?
In point of fact, those are true. Playing video games do have advantages – it improves eye-hand coordination, improves decision-making skills and can be educative notably in virtual reality of real-life situation.
Are those advantages cannot be the same when you play outside? Playing outside have the same benefit as playing video game but it is worthier.
It enhances not only your eyes-hand coordination but also eye-(name a body part) coordination. Communication and leadership skills develop when you are playing because you are finding ways how to outsmart your enemy. Also, it is a way to shake up your body for some exercise – maybe running, sliding, hopping, skipping, jumping… After the game, you may gain friends from it, not a ‘sometimes-online-sometimes-offline friend’, but a real friend.
We don’t want the kids from this generation to be socially awkward when they step into the real world. Unlike video games, life cannot be reset and started all over again when you stuck into a dilemma nor have some cheat codes to unlock some special places or events or whatever. The point is playing outside have more ways to offer.
The kid may fall and cry and that is all right.
The second time he/she falls; teach them to dust off, stand, and move on. They will become smarter and wiser. This lesson cannot be gain from video games.
Maybe they can’t see the possibility stretching infinitely right now but they will be thankful someday.