No question, everyone has had to redesign their lives thanks to COVID-19, and Bobby Chacko and his household are no exception. Where going out meeting with friends and socializing was taken for granted, now every run to the store alone has Bobby Chacko and his family grabbing for mask protection before stepping out of the car. That said, there have been a few positive outcomes thanks to the pandemic, one of those being how improved his 13-year-old son has become on gaming as a result of being socially distant or quarantined.
The New Phone Time for Today’s Teens
The fact is, video games have always been a bit of an escape for anyone who understands their value. And when gaming allowed people to interact with each other, it took the entertainment factor to another level. Bobby Chacko’s son like many teens has been gaming far more as a result of COVID, still being able to communicate, mingle and interact with his friends online, just in another environment than school or the local mall.
It is a world away from what normal life used to be like. However, Bobby is seeing his son develop social skills, faster and more adept communication capability, and a familiarity with the Internet and software tools that moves blindingly fast compared to what he is capable of himself. Where Zoom meetings and Team conferences have been the norm in the day during school hours, break times and evenings are when Bobby Chacko sees his son come alive online.
Digital Skills for a Digital Generation
Moderation, of course, is essential. Too much of anything can be a problem and can create dependencies that become harmful, both mentally and physically. But within regular boundaries of acceptable time, Bobby Chacko’s son has moved from a basic neophyte to a fish in water, seamlessly traversing from one game to the next as the teen expands his digital arena. The transformation isn’t singular. Teens across the country have engaged digital at levels never seen before. Both the online gaming industry and social site businesses have realized exponential growth since March 2020 that hasn’t backed down either. And this shatters the stereotype of the gamer being some introverted math nerd who can’t interact well with real people and hides in a basement for hours on end. Instead, today’s gamer is every kid just trying to replace what was lost socially with a stay at home most of the day and night now.
Networking on the Natural
In Bobby Chacko’s opinion, most of the games that seem to have the biggest draw and skill improvement for his son tend to the multi-player choices with ongoing environments or universes of play. Where before Bobby Chacko and his generation used to be told to get off the phone every night, he’s finding himself telling his teen to get off the Internet and gaming when it gets too late. If nothing else, regular breaks are good for his teen.