When I was younger when I would come home from school all I would want to do is relax. However, I was not allowed to relax until my school work was done for the night. Therefore, as a treat I would be allowed to go on the computer until dinner time. My favorite sites consisted of Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel. However, the true treats would be if an advertisement popped up on the side bar for either Kellogg’s or Froot Loops because there would always be games associated with these products. The games were always just challenging enough to have me coming back but simplistic enough not to overwhelm me. Only later in my life would I find out that this technique would be called advergaming. Advergaming poses a threat because it provides a reason for children gain an in-depth level with their food besides than with just the taste buds.
Children love having their minds engaged with games and also love food. Children with advergaming can get the best of both worlds because they can be exposed to their favorite food while also being exposed to a sugary coated story. Online advergaming sites, to be effective, must encourage not just prolonged visits but also repeat visits. Therefore, that’s why advergaming sites must keep updating story lines to keep children addicted. However, advergaming addictions do not help children’s obesity rates. Many children are gaining such an in depth level with the game they will crave the food then crave to play the game creating a nasty addictive cycle.
One of the theories advergaming uses is a bandwagon technique. By allowing people to log in and create avatars,virtual player, they are not only allowing people to save their score but also show others how many other people are playing. This will make many children feel it is okay to be playing on these websites because many other children are also playing these games. Also, with all these kids playing games also is allowing them less time to exercise. During the period 1980-2008, the prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% to 19.6% During that wide gap of time there was many technological advances happening. Meaning that kids would be spending more time inside and therefore less time outside getting fresh air. New interactive digital media have become an integral part of children’s lives. This is why advergaming is an issue in smaller children because advergmaing is targeted to children before age 12 and that is one of the most impressionable age groups. Once Froot Loops , Lucky Charms or etc can get their foot into the door of homes then they are instills in the children’s mind as an item they must have.
For example Kellogg’s has branded Tony the Tiger for younger children. The commercials will always show Tony the Tiger playing all types of sports with the kids and everyone eating a big bowl of the cereal. Then at the end of every commercial it says go online and check out games and for moms to check out online coupons. However, in reality even though the kids are playing sports they are sitting down taking more time eating the sugary bowl of cereal. The cereal in general will make all of them incapable to perform at their best because the cereal is nothing but sugar. According to Consumer Reports , There is at least as much sugar in a serving of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks and 10 other rated cereals as there is in a glazed doughnut from Dunkin’ Donuts. Then when they go online they will be consumed by the games therefore, creating more obese children.
Therefore in conclusion the only way to stop this nasty cycle is not to stop children completely from using these games. The games are wholesome stimulating fun for the children. The only true way to stop this problem is to make out kids aware of these issues. Therefore, the children are not becoming mindless zombies to the advergaming market. The only way to help a problem is to make someone aware of it.
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