>Transition of Playgrounds to Videogames – Samia Adnan

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 A healthy mind resides in a healthy body but it seems that today’s children, youth and parents are ignoring this fact. No doubt the advancement in the field of science and technology has helped us in many ways – but its excessive use has deprived many of sound physical health.
People prefer the use of machines and modern gadgets over physical activities and sports. Less physical activity, especially sports and games that children used to play decades ago, gives less assurance of healthy mind and body.
Video Games Taking over Physical Activities: Pakistani children and youth have become chubby and lazy, as compared to what they used be before the advent of video games and Internet. Children have been captivated by these video games like Taken, Civilization, Call of Duty, Need For Speed, Sims, Prince of Persia, Black and also social networking games such as FarmVille, CityVille, Business World, etc that they hardly think to go out for a walk or play physical games and healthy sports. There was a time children used to play games like khoo khoo, chor sipahi, pakan pakrai, hide and seek, sack race, badminton, tennis, hockey etc but now a days we see them playing various games on mobile phones, world wide web  and video games on PC and gadgets like GameBoy, Atari, Nintendo and PlayStation etc. Playing grounds have become deserted and net cafes have become populated with the youth playing games online. Youth is addited to these online and video games and they are glued to them. A study says that a child should spend at least two hours for any physical activity, especially playing – which will result in their physical and mental strength. There are several reasons for video games to replace playgrounds.
Parents feel Relaxed: One of which is that  now a days parents feel relaxed when their children are busy in playing games as they know where their child is and what they are doing, but there are ignorant of the adverse impact of these games on their child’s health.
Parents are Too Busy: When I ask a lady the reason for letting her little son studying in class 1 playing games on computer – she said that it keeps him busy and he do not bother her when she is doing her work and also she do not have to run after him or to worry about him, as if he plays out doors she has to keep an eye on him and make sure that he do not get injured or get wounded while playing. She told me that its difficult for her to take her kids to parks or playing grounds – as its not safe to take kids out side due to security problems and also because she do not have time as she has to do her household chores and her husband comes late at night.
Pre-occupied Weekends: Weekends too keep parents occupied – that only 2% of families go out with their kids to parks and play grounds. Children too have assignments and tests to prepare during the weekends.
Lack of Space: Many schools are in the residential areas – therefore they do not have enough space for play grounds and so are children’s house – as now a days most of the people do not afford big houses to have playing ground..
Poor Condition of the Playing grounds: The terrible condition of playing grounds and parks also play a part in distracting youth and parents from out door games. Many of the play grounds have become a place for drug-sellers and criminals. Many grounds replaced by garbage areas – the trash of the entire neighbourhood is disposed into the playing grounds and the authorities pay no deed to it. Broken swings too have become common in the public parks.

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