By Cesar Tolentino, Market Research Analyst and Consultant
Video games will ruin your children’s future.
We’ve heard this line from our own parents when we were growing up and we continue to hear it from new and younger parents today. We have probably had a classmate in college who spent 7 years in college due to his or her “addiction” to video games. This is highly unacceptable because Filipino culture places a premium on education. With more students cutting classes to play online games (a form of impulse control disorder1), it is not surprising that parents view the gaming industry as an adversary.
This is a challenge for us in the industry. How do we get past these negative preconceptions of video and computer games?
First off, let’s emphasize this as an opportunity for Filipino artists to showcase their creativity. Let’s encourage our graphic artists to join contests or we can host contests. Digital art is art. We should promote it and ensure its acceptance into the mainstream consciousness.
Publish our successes. It is particularly heart warming to hear of the stories about how one of the first locally-developed video games, Anito, has inspired many to pursue a career in video game development. The success stories of home-grown game development companies such as Anino Games, Funguy Studio, PODD, Zeenoh and others have often been cited by local professionals as the driving force for their decision to choose a career in this industry, or even their decision to start up their own venture. Clearly, the video game benefits future generations – both in pursuing careers, and in becoming entrepreneurs.
As for the cases of overuse and abuse among gamers for online games in the country2, 3, we should advocate responsible gaming. Special regulatory measures for school-age gamers playing during school hours could be established in internet cafes, for one. Parents should be encouraged to monitor their children’s playing hours. It’s all a matter of mind conditioning. Often those who became so addicted to games and suffered low grades or failures in school also have family problems. Responsible gamers know their priorities. There are actually many valedictorians and dean’s listers who play video and computer games too.
The local game development industry, along with the various retailers that offer online gaming as a recreational activity (under the leadership of iCafe Pilipinas, a local federation of internet cafe associations) have already been actively advocating the cause of responsible gaming4, 5. Such advocacies promote the responsible use of video games and consumption of video game services such as those in gaming cafes.
Lastly, let’s highlight how the gaming industry provides career and entrepreneurial opportunities. GDAP member companies in the country are offering quality and highly-creative jobs for young Filipino professionals that not only provide them financial rewards but also a sense of creative fulfillment.
|1||“Study finds computer addiction is linked to impulse control disorders,” The Australian. 24 October 2006.|
|2||“Online Game Addiction Causing Real Concerns,” Gameshogun. 12 June 2006.|
|3||“Impacts of DOTA on Students,” a thesis by Redmelton S. Lacanilao. On Scribd.|
|4||“I-Café Pilipinas initiates online child safety program,” Manila Bulletin Online. 27 February 2010.|
|5||“GDAP supports i-Cafe Pilipinas initiative,” Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP, www.gdap.org.ph). 20 August 2010|