On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
Many of us are living far from our children. Let us not be ignorant of the fact that our Lord’s archenemy, Satan, is working hard and double-time to take away our children far from the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. One of the most effective tool that the devil uses today is the craze of mobile games. If we truly love our children we must seek God’s help and do our part to protect them from this Satanic bait!- Bro Jose
Mobile Games: Good or Bad? (1 of 2)
The explosion of media technology through the internet today is unimaginable. Internet access through hand-held tablets and smartphones has opened to people of all ages and walks of life to various internet information and especially games. It is not uncommon in MRT’s, buses, malls, pathways, hawker centers and even in churches to see children, youths, adults and even elderlies playing games through their smartphones. This is surely impactful to the society most likely to children who are still in their formative years.
The secular international community is fully aware of this impact. Many of them perceive positive influences. They claim that mobile games have information, academic contents and problem-solving awareness which are claimed to accelerate children’s learning. These are suggested to be particularly useful for children who have learning problems. Similarly it is thought that “the breadth of information available on the Internet is clearly able to broaden children’s knowledge and understanding of the world.”1
However, there are dangerous impacts of mobile games to children. It is reported that in America, there are basically four types of online dangers for children and adolescents namely, 1) sexual solicitation and pornography; 2) identity formation and protection; 3) cyber-bullying; and 4) internet addiction.2
The most significant impact of mobile games to the Christian children is disrespect and disobedience to parents. The Apostle Paul warns that “in the last days perilous times shall come” and the children are “disobedient to parents” (2 Tim 3:1–2). This is visible inside the professing church of Christ in the end-times.
Mobile Games and the Potential Problems
Among the resident households in Singapore the access to internet increases from 88% in 2014 to 91% in 2016.3 Even in a third world country like the Philippines an increase of the number of household having access to internet from 39.7% to 43.5% is seen from 2014 to 2016.4 This upgrading of internet access to households carries also the possibility of an increase access of children to Wi-Fi.
Mobile games are designed for mobile devices, such as smartphones, pocket PC’s and other portable media players. It ranges from the old Snake games on old Nokia phones to sophisticated augmented reality games today.
The potential problem for kids playing mobile games and the most obvious is they would be spending too much time on it. Mobile games are “addictive as kids play more, they quickly gain a real sense of expertise over the games and the rules that govern it, which kids really enjoy. When playing on a public multiplayer server, there is a risk of being exposed to inappropriate language from other users. Although there are administrators of these servers who are in charge of monitoring this type of frowned-upon behavior, some inappropriate language can sneak through. The same caution should be applied here as is in any internet browsing.”5
A father’s testimony of a son who was into this mobile games says that at the start, it appeared harmless. “As my son continued into the game, I suspected he became addicted to it. He keeps on finding time to sneak into his room to play the game. He began neglecting to do his assigned household chores because he kept on finding opportunities to play. It was noticed that there were nights where he could not sleep and was scared. He could not sleep alone. It was also observed that he spent less and less time in reading his Bible. He had to be reminded always for his memory verses which was not the way before he was into this game. As he continued to find time to play, he became more and more disobedient and scowling every time he was asked to stop. He displayed a rebellious attitude on us whenever he was prevented to play. Until recently, his mother found out that he was not anymore doing his home school paces religiously. It appeared he wanted to end his lessons earlier so he has time to play. He evidently lied and manufactured reasons to justify his sinful deeds. Of course he received enough cane and is now totally banned to play mobile games. I thank the Lord that as early as that time he was found influenced by the evils of mobile games. Nevertheless, for many weeks he escaped from diligently doing his work. This was certainly a waste of time and resources. I must admit I should be blamed too. I praise the Lord for revealing the danger to us this early. It may have chained my son into the dungeon of mobile phone addiction and rebellion against parents.”
Even secular and government surveys have reported that more recent researches have linked violent outcomes to this mobile games. The violent consequences are not limited to hurting their own siblings and other children. Children who see risk-taking behaviour in the media are likely to copy these behaviours, and this can lead to personal injury. It is observed that the effects of exposure to violent content in childhood have recently been linked to increased aggressive behaviour even 15 years later. This study followed up 329 adults whose media behaviour was documented when they were children, and demonstrated increased risk of domestic violence and criminal behaviour for the children in the top 20 percent for amount of violent material consumed. This effect was found for females as well as males.6
Addiction of mobile phones has increased in recent years among children. Common symptoms are psychological dependence on being online, interference with other responsibilities, disruption of offline social relationships, and withdrawal when Wi-Fi is limited. This addiction resembles other types of behavioral addictions, such as gambling online, viewing pornography, or compulsively playing a massive multiplayer online game. While the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has not classified addiction to mobile games as an official clinical disorder, other countries (notably China and South Korea) have officially recognized it as a disorder. Addiction to online games are associated with other psychological disorders, such as depression, poor academic performance, declines in physical health, including decreased amount of sleep and increased rate of seizures, increased risk of suicide and offline social isolation.
Mobile phone addiction not only causes the child to manifest the above mentioned problems but will surely cause them to lose interest in the things of God. Their minds are occupied by the games they play. It results to the neglect of their prayer and Bible reading time and other meaningful activities for their spiritual growth. They lose zeal for worship and become less inclined to attend Christian fellowship meetings and opts to stay home in order find opportunities to play those addictive games. Christian parents must be most troubled by this impact on their children. They must understand that these behaviors are characteristic of an unbeliever. Let it not happen to our children! (to be continued…)
1Children and the media: Advocating for the future. Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), 2004.
2Jodi L. Whitaker and Brad J. Bushman, Online Dangers: Keeping Children and Adolescents Safe, 66 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 1053 (2009), 1053.
3http://www.imda.gov.sg/Infocomm-Landscape/Facts-and-Figures/Infocomm-Usage-Households-and-Individuals#2 (accessed June 19, 2018).
4http://www.statista.com/statistics/765483/internet-penetration-rate -philippines/#0 (accessed July 19, 2018).
5http://www.youthdigital.com/parentcraft.html (accessed March 22, 2014).
6Susan Pitman, The impact of media technologies on child development and wellbeing (https://www.ozchild.org.au, 2008), 6.
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