NEWS

Television

The lyrics of the song «Mike Teavee» from the 1971 film «Charlie and the Chocolate Factory» say it all: «The most important thing, that we’ve ever learned,/ As far as children are concerned/ Is never, never let them near the television set/ Or better still, just don’t install/ the idiotic thing at all./ Never, never let them./ It rots the senses in the head,/ It keeps imagination dead./ It clogs and clutters up the mind./ It makes a child so dull and blind,/ So dull, so dull.» The film’s character Mike Teavee spends all his time in front of the television, playing video games. He has never played outside like other children and sometimes his own father is unable to understand what he is saying. Television is just one of many screens with which children soon become familiar. In Greece, they watch an average of 2 hours 45 minutes of television a day, according to a recent AGB survey of children aged 4 to 14. Another screen is connected to the computer. While computers are necessary for a rounded education, overuse can be harmful, especially in the context of video games. A study by the neurological clinic of the Aghia Sofia Children’s Hospital has shown that more than 100 children a year in Greece experience light-induced epilepsy caused by rapid changes in light, color and shapes on television screens. In 2006, more than 85 cases of children with light sensitivity were recorded, with 24 cases arising from video games.