Who doesn’t like video games?
The columnist Nazneen Gulamhussein Mukhtar (Arusha, Tanzania) is the headmistress of Yaadgare Murtazawi Madressa, She is a mother to five children and loves writing and reading. She always wanted to inspire children – her favourite audience. Writing has been her passion for as long as she can remember and believes that effective learning takes place through storytelling.
Ahmad loved his game boy. It had the best set of games, and he had scored the highest marks. In fact, he had broken the record and scored 10,000 points. He could not wait to tell Aliasgher.
When he reached school, which was later than usual, as the assembly had started, he whispered to Aliasgher, “Hey! Do you know I have broken the record? I made 10,000 points…” Aliasgher gave a grin and said, “That’s nothing! I have made 15000!” Ahmad felt he must work more at his game.
Ahmad’s best friend Salim came up and started talking about their latest science project. This time Ahmad turned a deaf ear. He pretended to be interested, but all the same, he could not help but think about how he would break Aliasgher’s record!
Science was his favourite subject, and he was mostly top of the class, but these days he just didn’t feel like doing any work. Whenever it was break time or lunchtime, he sat and played his game boy. He knew he was not doing a sensible thing, but he just couldn’t help himself. Salim did not like this new change in Ahmad. “Hey Ahmad, what about a game of football? The weather is sunny and it will be really enjoyable, come on, let’s have some fun!”
Ahmad said he would rather continue his game, and anyways it was too hot for playing. That was really surprising, as Ahmad loved outdoor sports. He was one of the best players in their school team. Salim did not like this at all. He had noticed that it had been quite a while that Ahmad was not interested in any other thing than playing his game boy.
He wondered what he could do to make him realize that this would interfere with his studies and also his friendship as a whole. The fact was that Salim did not like playing these video games, as they could make someone obsessed.
Salim decided he must tell Ahmad something to make him understand. So when they were having Lunch, he said, “Hey! What’s up…you are eating so quickly! You were the one who used to advise me to chew my food properly, remember? Hadis of the Holy Prophet (saw) that says chew one mouthful of your food at least 40 times?”
“It’s just that I want to play another game .You know Aliasgher has scored more points than I have. I must do something about that”
“Listen, Ahmad, I think it’s time I told you something about this game. Don’t you think you are becoming too serious about it? I mean these days you are not interested in anything apart from playing that silly game. I just don’t know what fun you get!” That was probably not the right thing to say, as it made Ahmad very angry. He said, “This is not a silly game..and I am having a lot of fun, why don’t you just leave me alone?”
The 2 friends were not talking to each other, but Salim missed Ahmad a lot. He was worried about his friend. As days passed by, he seemed to be more withdrawn from his studies. The science exam came and went and all Ahmad thought about was how he could score higher and higher in his game. When the results came out Ahmad saw that he had got 70%. That was indeed low marks for him who always got an A.
Salim thought he would soon realize this and stop playing, but it was no use. Whenever he saw his friend, he saw him busy playing. Well some people don’t learn, thought Salim. Nevertheless, he was very sad, he missed Ahmad’s company. Ahmad was becoming very different. Salim’s birthday passed and he didn’t even wish him, later he said he had forgotten it. Every Sunday they used to go and play football, but these days Ahmad said he did not want to play anymore because he was busy. Salim knew he was only playing
his game boy.
At home, even his mother and father noticed a great difference in Ahmad. He didn’t have time for his little brother and he was always playing a video game or game boy. At last, his father decided to do something about it. He told him he could no longer play it except on weekends. This made Ahmad very angry. That morning as he was walking to school he saw a book of Salim’s lying on the ground. He picked it up and saw it was his composition book. He opened it and saw that Salim had written a composition about his “best friend”.
He felt curious so he started reading. He had written, that these days although he had a best friend he felt very lonely. This was because his best friend was much too busy for him. He was always playing his game boy and the high scores meant a lot to him. Salim explained how lonely he had felt on his Birthday and also on weekends and then when he was at school. He felt he had no friends at all, and he missed his best friend! Suddenly it dawned upon Ahmad, that he had been very selfish. He walked quickly to school and saw Salim.
“Hey Salim, this is your book, I found it lying on the grass”.
“Yes” said Salim, “It’s mine thanks. Ok we’ll meet later…”
“No Salim, don’t go, let’s talk a bit, as we have 20 minutes before class”.
Salim was amazed, he said, “But I thought you would want to play your game boy, and want to make a higher score?”
“No way!” said Ahmad, “who cares about the silly scoring? I would like to talk to you for a while…come on let’s sit somewhere.”
Well that was the end of the obsession with games. Ahmad had realized that the most important thing was having a good friend and there were many other things and games he could play. He had become blind for a while, but now he had realized. Playing video games is not a bad thing. But everything has a limit, don’t you agree?
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