How online gaming affects kids

We’re proud of the fact that our electric ride-on cars get kids outside and active, and away from sitting in front of a screen for hours on end.

Concerns about children’s consumption of screen-based media are nothing new, but there are more ways than ever for kids to slip into a sedentary lifestyle.

Back just a generation ago, most households would have had a family TV and possibly not much else.

Nowadays, kids are more likely to have their own TV in their bedroom, a computer, laptop or tablet, a smartphone, and perhaps also a portable DVD player for the car.

It’s changing the way kids play, and the amount of time children spend on online gaming, videogame consoles and smartphone gaming apps.

How long do we spend on computer games in the UK?

According to the Limelight Networks State of Online Gaming report published last year, people worldwide spend an average of just under six hours a week on computer games.

In the UK this figure increases to 7.15 hours, more than any of the other countries surveyed, which were France, Germany, Japan, South Korea and the US.

The survey only asked over-18s, but there was a direct link between younger age groups and more time spent gaming in this way.

So, it’s only likely that the current generation of children will spend even more time than that playing digital games.

How does this affect kids?

There are direct privacy and social risks to children who spend all their free time on computer games.

It’s a mixed picture – for example, researchers at the University of Oxford Department of Computer Science found that children are good at using fake names to protect their identity, but not so aware of how their online activity can be tracked and targeted for in-game promotions.

A study published this year by the University of Glasgow also found that autistic children were able to form relatively good friendships while playing Minecraft online; however, those with mental health challenges were less able to do so.

Getting out

While present-day children are part of a digital generation for whom screens will form an integral part of their life journey, we think it’s still important to play, be active and get some fresh air.

That’s why we’re proud to see children enjoying our electric ride-on cars, which give a valuable first taste of another of life’s important skills: driving.

If your child has shown an interest in driving simulators or car racing games, or you just want them to put down their smartphone or tablet and go outside instead, an electric ride-on car could be the solution you need.