New Delhi: In today`s `touch` technology simple games aided by a sophisticated mechanics has altered significantly the manner in which children play, turning video games into one of the most popular segment among kids.
"The future (of gaming) is touch games or even games that do not need any physical interaction such as the Microsoft Kinetic which uses motion capture cameras to bring affordable advanced technology to the masses," says Anshu Mor of Microsoft India.
Mor was participating in a panel discussion during the recently concluded World Children Expo here.
However, this emerging technology has also become a trigger for children as young as 3-year-olds, who become addicted to screens on phones and tablets, devices that have made gaming more accessible to children who no longer need a computer to play video games.
"Nowadays every child has got the access to every device. Every kid knows now how to play the game Angry Birds, which has been praised for its successful combination of addictive game play, comical style, and low price," says Carlton D`Silva, Chief Creative Officer, Hungama Digital.
He points out that the game`s popularity had led to several versions being created especially for personal computers and gaming consoles, a market for merchandise featuring its characters and even long-term plans for a feature film or television series.
"The craze of becoming a `screenager` is more visible among children now and this whole concept of gaming has taken a new dimension of even parents promoting this virtual physical activity," adds D`Silva.
However, this growing trend of gaming also poses a serious debate of "screen addiction" among youngsters because of the long hours they spend playing these games.
Some experts feel that touch screens like those found on smartphones and tablets have enabled a new generation of versatile user interfaces while others feel that children rather than spending time on productive activities such as reading, sports etc are literally forced to sit in front of a screen to play these addictive games.
"I think it`s all about balance. Our age is very technological and this will only increase in the future, so while children need books, writing and all the other skills, they need to embrace technology and use it to their advantage," says Priya Khanna, a mother of a 6 year old.
Another parent of a 2 year old, Riya Sharma, says both her husband and her daughter are addicted to I pad and they start playing from morning.
"I force them every morning to go for a morning walk but my daughter has a tantrum because she wants to play on I pad! I hate it but I don`t know how to stop it," she adds.
As ubiquitous as touch screens have become over the past decade or so, the future of touch technology is right around the bend.