Australian Council on Children and the Media

Computer Games

Computer games today have extremely high quality graphics making them very true to life and really fun to play. When you play a computer game, you interact with the game in a different way to when you just watch something on the TV or the computer. The game player becomes immersed in the game rather than just being a viewer.

What are the issues?

  • There are many devices that you can play games on including your mobile phone, iPods and iPads, which make them very portable. This means often you are in charge of choosing which games are good for you to play.
  • A lot of games are really fun and you can gain good co-ordination skills which make your responses really fast. Playing games for too long though is bad for your eyes and your back and shoulders.
  • A lot of computer games can be quite violent and for some kids this can be a way of getting rid of a lot of anger. Some kids however, can get quite aggressive playing these violent games.
  • There is also a concern that because the graphics are so real, playing games that are violent makes you get used to seeing lots of violence and not be upset by it in real life.
  • Playing computer games means you’re spending time on the computer and not getting the time for other activities.

Did you know?

  • Australians spent 1.5 billion dollars on computer and video games in 2011.
  • The US army uses the game Doom to train its marines.

Tips

  • Choose games that are suitable for your age – look for the G classification.
  • Limit how much time you spend playing games – they can be quite addictive!
  • Games that develop problem solving skills can be really useful in other areas of your life.
  • Games that reward you for violent acts are teaching you that violence is ok. Is this a good lesson?

Links to some great games

A list of age appropriate games

Children's British Board of Film Classification

Kid's Helpline Fun Stuff

Cybersmart