[Tribune] Video games in local shops: a profitable return on money trading or a losing return for a child? | | News from Gabon |

Local stores become playgrounds for video games. Indeed, the neighborhood store, in addition to basic necessities, now offers a place for video games for children. The easy accessibility of these slot machines makes you wonder. It is important to establish rules for access to these slot machines, the excessive use of which can be dangerous for young children. Noellen Sallah, PhD in Psychology from the Higher School of Social Sciences (Paris), CAMES research fellow and member of the Institute for Humanities Studies (IRSH), objects and sounds the alarm.

More and more experts agree that video games are the reason for the decline in the educational level. © Gabonrevue

More than a decade ago, on April 21, 2011 to be precise, we submitted an article to Union News Daily titled: “When we introduce our kids to video games.” This contribution was, for the general public, a synthesis of the scientific results of the study of action spaces offered to children in the Nzeng Ayong agglomeration in Libreville. The results of a study describing the gaming environment listed seventy (70) local stores that also served as video game venues. We analyzed the time spent by children on these devices, approximately 4 hours a day. In discussing the addictive nature of these games, we deplore possible deviations from their impact (Sallah, 2011).

A few months later, these playgrounds suddenly disappeared from local stores. According to Mohamed, a grocer in the Nzeng Ayong area, these local stores did not have permission to open video game locations.

However, for some time now we have noticed the return of these gaming devices to local stores, in particular in Nzeng Ayong.

Can a local commercial space now get permission to offer video games to kids? How to understand that what “harms” the development of the individual, without a twinge of conscience, is placed within its reach, especially when it comes to a child? During our investigations, we overheard a conversation between a mother and her preschooler. The mother, realizing that taking the child out of the game did not seem to give her pleasure, explained to him that he could return the next morning, and promised to give him the necessary amount (100 CFA francs) herself, provided that he willingly agreed. come back because it was too late. The reaction of the child showed that he was definitely developing an “addiction” to the practice of this game. Indeed, as we pointed out at the time, “video games are addictive because they are psychologically addictive in the same way that drugs or alcohol are. (Sallah: 2011: 546). Even if video games are perceived as a game for a pleasant pastime, several studies have shown that video games are far from “social”. In fact, it isolates and locks a person in an imaginary world.

Since 2018, WHO has recognized video game addiction as an independent disease. In some developed countries, such as Japan, play detox clinics are becoming increasingly popular. There are even narcologists for video games and other digital addictions. If a few specialists agree to show the consequences on the behavior of the individual, should we democratize the installation of these machines in local stores, at the neighborhood shopkeeper? If parents have to regulate the practice of this type of play in their homes, who will be responsible for this role in local businesses whose purpose is to make money?

Remember that the practice of such activities will interfere with the practice of activities necessary for the harmonious development of the child and school activities in this case. Although Greenfield and Zeiltin (1994) spoke of these games as tools for cognitive socialization, more and more experts are of the opinion that they are the cause of the decline in the school level. Several other studies have shown that too much play can develop an aggressive personality in children (Delaunay, 2012). Most scientific studies show that video games increase the risk of violent behavior among users. We already made this warning: “These programs are activated with coins, where does the money come from that allows children to control video games outside the home? Definitely parents! If necessary, children may develop reprehensible habits of playing video games.

Parents should provide their child with conditions conducive to his development. It is true that the 21st century is the century of interconnection, but the responsibility for protecting the child from potential excesses lies with the parents, while the public service is primarily concerned with saving its finances through the taxes that cars will produce. .

Noellen SALLAH

CAMES Research Specialist

Institute for Research in the Humanities (IRSH)



Delone Aurélie, “Video games and aggressiveness: what are the relationships in the 3rd cycle of children”, Education, June 2012

Patricia Greenfield and Edith Zeitlin, Video Games as Tools for Cognitive Socialization, Rezo, Volume 12, Number 67, p. 33 – 56 1994.

Sallah Noellen. “When We Introduce Our Children to Video Games,” Alliance Daily Information, N°. April 21, 2011 P9.

Sallah Noellen. “Action spaces and the context of video game practice by young children in the Nzeng Ayong metropolitan area of ​​Libreville”, Revue Ivoirienne des Sciences du Langage et de la Communication, . December, No. 5, Volume 2, 530-549, 2011, Paris, Paari.


Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.