In a recent New York Times article “A Parent’s Struggle With a Child’s iPad Addiction”, a confused father wrote about his 6-year-old’s potential iPad addiction. The father uses the word “addiction” because when the iPad is taken away his son gets “bizarrely upset… out-of-character upset…that’s what makes me think he’s addicted”. While many would question the wisdom in letting a child use an iPad, the father contends that his son is not using this new technology to play violent video games, but rather educational apps, and while playing “he’s happy. He’s quiet. He’s engaged”.
According to the father, his son is encouraged “to play creative apps-and most of the time, he does”. The apps mention in the article include Puppet Pals, which is a free creative video app that allows children to make short films using animated cartoons, and EasyBeats, a music app that allows users to create their own complex rhythms one layer at a time.
How could these types of stimulating games be bad? Is taking the iPad away from his son really the right thing to do? Is a gadget or game automatically bad for children just because it is electronic? These are the questions posed by this article and it will be up to future research in this field to answer them for us.