My name is Kyle, a technology entrepreneur and founder of Black Nova Designs. I have been around technology since my childhood where I sought freedom in learning how to create and use tech. My knowledge has only expanded along with my mentality towards life also. I want to share some tips about how technology, specifically online gaming, can help decrease anxiety and improve mental health.
Many parents often look down on technology and gaming as it isn’t educational or constructive for day-to-day life but I am here to prove why these reasons are incorrect. Being an avid gamer since a young age I have seen the good/bad and the ugly of online gaming. However, I am happy to share how much better it has gotten since then. 20 years ago, online gaming was only just being founded and there were no restrictions for children or young people from danger but now the industry is flooded with protective software, setting restrictions and advice for children, parents and guardians.
So, why should you let your child play online games?
Let’s start with some interesting facts, Covid has increased anxiety in children over the past 18 months dramatically. I saw first-hand how my stepdaughter was affected by the sudden changes in the world. She would spend days throughout lock down unable to get up, feeling trapped and totally overwhelmed by emotions she couldn’t comprehend. No one had prepared for how to handle a global pandemic, especially for young people, but what my stepdaughter found helpful was gaming.
Young minds (https://www.youngminds.org.uk/) statistics found that the pandemic increased anxiety in young children by over 80%, and with my experience of online gaming and my stepdaughter’s improvement from gaming, I realised that others could benefit greatly from using this outlet.
Throughout the last 18 months online gaming, facetime, xbox, computers, steam, Zoom and discord have all played a positive part in keeping children together online. Recent studies have showed that over 50% of parents agreed ‘online gaming helped their children survive the difficult times’, it helps them not feel alone and be able to talk and interact with friends in a world much better than ours currently. As much as the world is real and needs understanding, for most children it is just too much to grasp at such a young age. A child’s life should be filled with hope, joy and prosperity, not the scary threats of the adult world and this is what we as parents aim to protect our children from.
But why would parents reject online gaming if it can help young people remain protected from the heavy, uncertain news of the world?
It honestly baffles me that online gaming can be viewed negatively. It is true that they can be a distraction from schoolwork, can be unhealthy because of screentime and is a new area of life to adjust too as parents. However, we cannot continue to restrict children of their future. As an adult many of us are in offices working at a computer all day or we struggle to understand why children don’t want to go outside and enjoy the outdoors when actually their lives are constantly surrounded by technology. It is totally natural for a child to want to take part in what their friends are doing and with technology growing so fast, protections for eyesight and mental and physical health are all in place to ensure the future of life isn’t restricted. Technology is the future and as difficult it may be to accept; our children are also the future so need to understand the world they are growing into.
Imagine if that tech could help improve more children’s mental health by providing them with an empowering new skill – not just gaming online but being able to use software such as ‘Youtube’ to learn how to create a machine or build a pc from scratch?
An idea came to me recently surrounding this point. I have a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience within the tech industry that I could help please both parents and young people by combining their aims. Imagine, a child wants to learn how to create a PC but their parent wants them to learn without being online, what would be the solution? In person tutorial days based around teaching young people how to build their own PC!
I would thoroughly enjoy helping the younger generation learn the empowering skills of building a PC and then gaming with friends online with their own machine they’ve built. I do this daily along with my colleagues who are also avid gamers. Each of our PC’s are designed to bring us the best possible gaming experience and built my ourselves.
So, from March we started to run a FREE monthly event where every month up to 10 young people aged 8-15 can come into the Black Nova office and build their own PC.
Learning the basics of building a PC is simple when taken through the steps and by the class being limited to 10 people per session, everyone will be able to focus and have help when needed.
( https://greenmachinecomputers.com/ ) who have kindly donated some of the equipment for the first 3 sessions.
The first 3 Build a PC sessions and have been incredibly successful and all booked with 24 hours of the dates being launched.
The dates for the new sessions for September 2022 onwards will be launched on our social media channels soon, so please follow us and keep your eyes peeled as these events are free and get booked up very quickly.