How to take advantage of Virtual Reality with your kids

Computer firmly entrenched in modern life, and became a familiar attribute of everyday life. This most popular device in all its diversity is everywhere around us and our children: at work, at school, on the street, at home.

Its well known that a computer and its environment have a profound effect on the human person, but the aspects of this influence aren't deeply studied yet. It"s also well known that games and computer addiction literally grabbed the younger generations instantly, but the phenomenon is not fully recognized by society in a sufficient degree.

The total and victorious invasion of computer technologies in average, and now also in the junior school is accompanied by almost complete absence of objective information in any media about the impact of computer devices and virtual environments on a child's psyche.

Virtual reality, as a concept, has long entered in the vernacular language. Her actual manifestation in our lives is expressed by all teenagers. They use to concentrate fully on a computer monitor and a complex software environment. That"s the main way for them to address any product or business goals. For most young people the concept of virtual reality is associated with the "cinematic" images of a science fiction movie or literary works, without any major problems. So, a full answer to the question would take hundreds of pages and is very likely to be exhaustive in a way. So I just try to identify it in general.
Firstly, let say that the virtual reality is not only a "sister" of the other realities: the reality of fantasy, the reality theater stage action, the reality of the game. It is very characteristic to a human nature to try to move away from the physical basis, the underlying reality, and to strive to create some of his own special realities. While reading a book or watching a movie, a man is detached from reality and he leaves the original basis (one deep and one on the surface) for to enter into a special world.
So, there is nothing really new, that would fundamentally alter the patterns of the human psyche, which the virtual reality brings. Yes, of course, it is a specific state in which he is connected with computer interface software environment, affected by its characteristics, but he was, he is and he always will be inherently human. Therefore, the current problems of virtual reality are old as all other human problems.
Secondly, the discussion of these issues leaves limits of the reality that cannot be attributed to a pure virtual reality, because they actually are partially virtual. This so-called "mixed reality" is a huge reservoir of everyday life elements, that associated with general human interaction with computer devices. The driver who enjoys GPS-navigator, the user who placed photos of real objects on the Google map and the teenager who is walking down the street and at the same time gaining SMS-messages are precisely subjects of such reality.
It may seem that these arguments relate to the field of scholastic pseudo-scientific arguments. But the world's leading corporations (e.g., well-known Nokia) for many years spend enormous budgets on research and development of special services designed specifically for such mixed realities.

Problems with children

Even through seemingly computerized America a lot of pedagogical gurus discuss the restrictions on the use of computers in educational programs. And not only for medical reasons. Please remember that not every child is able to learn with the help of a computer.

In coming years the use of computer training will be massive not only in high school, but also in elementary school. Computer technology has become too global because of its impact on kids, so they can do only limited training. The consequences of this innovation for younger students are absolutely not obvious, and probably they will involve a lot of negative effects.

If there aren't any restrictions issued by parents in adolescence period, that probably will lead to a particular type of computer addiction for sure.

Never forget that computer games fascinate not only children, but also adults, mainly because of their isolated sterile reality. For kids, the game can be a way to "symbolic exploration of reality" and, at the same time, a way of avoiding the same reality for adults.

On the other hand, for a lot of parents modern computer games are basically a "trap" for those children who want to hide from life's difficulties. And even more - the computer game developers actually lay graphically in their platforms a bait of addiction against which is difficult to resist.
After all, gaming products have become a global factor of socialization. Sometimes the effects are more negative than positive. Therefore, there are lists of games which are not recommended for children and adolescents; there are laws requiring child care facilities and libraries to protect children and adolescents from harmful content.
But how can a person prepare for a meeting the problems of virtual environments? Is it possible to create virtual environments with socially positive goals? How to take advantage of VR with your kids?

How to enjoy the benefits of a VR environment for our children

That is the question every modern parent asked himself many times a day, but certainly not able to find the conclusive answer. Today, almost every family has a PC. But if parents needed it as a source of information, for the child the computer is nothing more than fun. The first thing that will interest even a toddler was computer games.
Among the parents there are two opposing views. The first one is based on the fact that computer games trigger aggression in children. Immersed in specific and often very cruel atmosphere, they forget about reality. Such children communicate less with their friends and classmates and do not take any time for themselves to develop contacts with other people.
The second point of view is just the opposite. According to those parents all children's games require skills which help quickly to solve any problem and consequently they develop in children the ability to improve coordination, attention, logical thinking and the smart planning of their actions.
As always, the truth lies somewhere in between and depends very much on the specific environment in which lives and develops the child, depending also on the nature of its preferred computer games.
Experts help parents by dividing computer games into three basic types: entertainment, training and developing. Computer training and developing games provide diverse cognitive and educational information in an interesting form. Any negative feedback for computer games concern mainly recreational species that should be less used. But this can be applied to any kind of children's entertainment. Even long walking down the street and games in the park can be dangerous sometimes.
The key is the main role of parents in exercising control, over the timing and nature of the games. It can depend on many things related to kid's proper growth and personality shaping.
When choosing a game for a child its very important to match the age. It should also be taken into account the genre in accordance with the temperament and inclinations of the child. It is advisable to buy games that incite research and creative desire in the kid"s minds.
New technologies and the latest generation of games in virtual reality will alleviate greatly the care of parents. Platforms like Oculus Rift and especially VIVE for the first time allow the child to leave the chair in front of the computer and dip into a qualitatively new virtual reality using the intrinsic natural movements of the human body.
These new options show that they are able for a first time to stir the child physically making the games much more interesting and closer to the true reality. Thus, the child imperceptibly can absorb many new variety of human activities and even the most basic elements of certain professions and also to provoke an interest in a particular sport. This stage is an important step not only for technology development but also for their social perception of the much less hostile environment.
Through the latest technology, for the first time, parents have the opportunity to try and model with ease certain habits and skills in their children.
To do this, of course, they should guide and participate with their children in the selection process of each game. Naturally, when making so important decisions they must give priority to the mind developing concentration games, than the pure entertainment ones.
Published: 2016, September 26 / 08:00