Archive for

The Use Of Computers And Computer-Related Violence

If the advent of computers has brought the human race an immense improvement in their lives, it is also believed that it has caused issues with regards to safety and privacy. Computer-related violence and threats such as suicides among the youth, kidnapping, sex crimes and among others have escalated at an unprecedented rate.

Since a large percentage of adults of today did not grow up with the technology which the young population are enjoying right now and were not immersed into its use for fun and entertainment, keeping and maintaining their safety is a colossal task. Besides, the mental aptitude of kids this generation allows them to navigate the computers with great dexterity that adults seem to lack. Thus, it is difficult at times without the spying eye of adults nearby, to monitor the websites that children visit.

However, there are basic tactics or approach so that children’s activities on the internet are monitored. Reminding them regularly on its responsible use by spontaneously getting them into a conversation without letting them feel being spied, about the games and other activities that keep them glued on the computer screen is a simple task that will transpire into a responsible use of computers, mobile phones and the internet. To be able to deal realistically with the threats that technology harbor, it is essential that adults need not be caught up in the hype surrounding the mess that the internet brings by being focused and within the realms of reality.

First and foremost, adult strangers with malicious intents do not share or visit a common websites where the children are frequently into. Strangers too, are not equipped with technologic ability to locate children’s online addresses. Thus, it is impossible that such criminals will be able to track down children through their online address to real life address unless vital information is given voluntarily. Furthermore, an online discussion with a total stranger is like talking to a total stranger that we meet every day in the grocery supermarket such as salespersons, shoppers and even police officers doing their routine checks. It is only a matter of letting children know that there are certain boundaries to maintain with regards to how we interact according to social norms which later in life they will independently understand and learn how to negotiate it themselves. Thus it is important to let them know appropriate limits and not go beyond it.

Second, handheld gaming devices and mobile phones, although they can be equipped with internet-ready features, can be restricted only to the basic calls and texts features where call barring or call restrictions apply. Moreover, a parent can have his children’s phone line restrict incoming and outgoing calls and limit it only to pre-programmed contact numbers. Social networking on the other hand is one corner where they can express themselves among their groups and where parents too can get involved to be able to monitor the activities that their children have been doing outside and inside the school and on the personal side of their life.

We are besieged with internet-related crimes because of the unscrupulous use of the services that technologies provide. However, technologies are not bad at all because they only become bad with the way we utilized such product of man’s ingenuities. Indeed, the key to its safe use is through the responsible establishment of limits and guidance by mature and responsible adults.

Video Games and Exercise For Children

Many parents worry about the amount of time that their children spend playing video games, and in particular, that their children are not getting enough exercise. Well, it could well be that their worries and concerns are over, with the increasing popularity of video games and peripherals which actively encourage physical exercise.

Recently there has been an increase in demand from children and young teenagers for dance mats. These are interactive mats which have built in sensors, the idea being that the players have to move, dance, jog, jump and twist to music, accomplishing as many moves as quickly as possible, and following set dances. This puts them in direct competition with their friends, and of course, they spend a great deal of time jumping, twisting and being energetic. Some people would argue that getting exercise in this way is better for their health than going out on the streets, cycling along busy roads or going off to parks, where they meet with all sorts of risks and dangers.

In addition to dance mats, Nintendo has very recently launched a new sports peripheral, that acts as a baseboard – not dissimilar to a small surfboard. By balancing on this, a number of activities can be carried out – from basic stepping, to surfing and snowboarding, and even yoga. The massive number of incredibly sensitive sensors built into the board mean that the computer can detect the balance, pressure and movement of a player, and either replicate that using a three dimensional avatar on the screen, or provide feedback or an assessment on the level of skill, level of fitness or level of ability at a particular activity.

Again, children have a natural competitiveness in them, and this can be against themselves as much as against their friends. Often these days schools are not keen to engage children in competitive sports, and many schools have actively opted out of teaching competitive activities in the curriculum. However, children do have a natural need to try to be better, either than their past performance or against someone else – and whether that is a friend or a computer generated avatar doesn’t always matter. Getting physical exercise in this way means that not only are your children getting a good dose of healthy exertion, but very often they are being taught how to improve their skills, and carry out warming exercises and techniques to help them.

Clearly computers are unlikely to replace the fresh air and benefits of going outdoors and running around on a sports field, or cycling through the countryside, but we also have to be realistic and accept that, whilst these activities might well have been possible and safe a generation or two ago, children are at far greater risk today, and so one way in which they can be helped is to use these games which provide them with fun and entertainment, as well as exercise.

As with all things – the key is striking a reasonable balance between types of exercise, and types of games.

Free Online Games and Adults

The Internet is filled with plenty of free resources for information and passions. It’s also loaded with websites that are loaded with free online games. All you need to access the games is a computer that has Internet access and some basic computer skills. Keep in mind that a faster Internet connection is recommended to take advantage of activities.

CartoonNetwork.com – This network is loaded with games that are inspired by many of the television shows. There is no age limit, so all you have to do is sign-up for a free account and choose the activity you want to play. Special badges are available for users that beat games with a higher degree of skill.

YTV.com – This website also has activities that are based off popular television shows on the network. Sign-up for free access to all the games and challenge yourself to beating them all. The website is sorted into three categories of choice: “By Show”, “By Category” and “All Games”. Navigation is easy and straightforward.

Tvokids.com – Providing access to a plethora of educational games, TVO kids provides fun educational games for children of all ages. There are 160+ activities to explore, which should keep you entertained after school or as you work in your cubicle.

Freeonlinegames.com – Loaded with free games for persons of al ages, this site has a game for everyone. To access the games, you need to create a new account and enter the information in whenever you visit the site. There are a couple thousand games to explore.