Children are turning violent in the playground after becoming hooked on inappropriate computer games.

Parents of pupils at Meeching Valley Primary School in Newhaven are being advised to stop their children playing on games designed for older gamers.

Teachers have sent letters home warning of youngsters misbehaving at break times.

A notice in the school’s newsletter said: “It has been brought to our attention that a number of children are being exposed to video games that are not age appropriate.

“As a result, this is being transferred to their play and resulting in some violent play and inappropriate language among the children.”

Although the school would not single out games for criticism, it is understood those such as warfare game Call of Duty are being played by under-age children.

Headteacher Davina Wakelin said: “We are a responsible school and are mindful of looking out for the welfare of the children.

“By raising awareness of the issue we are doing that.”

Computer-free play

She highlighted the school’s model railway club that was proving popular and was attempting to draw children away from computer games.

Sussex-based child psychologist Dr Aric Sigman said he was not surprised to see computer game violence acted out in the playground.

He said: “People should not be surprised that children, and adults, are affected by what they see. It is the reason why advertisers choose to place adverts in the media and why there is censorship.”

Many children bow to peer pressure to buy and play games restricted for sale to ages 15 or 18, he said.

And these children lose out on learning through “rough and tumble” about conflict, instead experiencing it through the games.

He added: “They do not realise that when you hit someone they do not die like in the game but will hit you back.”

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