Saturday, November 15, 2008

Video Game Addiction - Part 1

Although this topic mostly applies to boys, girls can also be affected by the addictions, habits and lessons that are developed from the use of Gameboy, GameCube, Xbox, Playstation, Wii, and other video games that are competing for your child’s attention.

If your middle school child has one or more of the aforementioned game systems, or other similar systems, based on many years of watching students fall into the trap and allure of these systems, my advice to you is to explain to your child that you’re trying to be the best parent that you can be, you want your child to grow up to be a healthy and well-adjusted adult, and that you’re willing to do anything at all to help them succeed in life, and then …….. GET RID OF THEM RIGHT AWAY! The game systems, that is, not your kids!

While the concept of such video games might appear to be innocuous, these games can have an addictive and debilitating effect on your child, particularly as they advance through “killing” various characters to get to the desired location on the game, encounter scantily clad men and women throughout the games, and increase their addictive intensity levels as they get closer to the desired victory over the enemy!

Yes, these elements are actually present in many of the games! While there are a few friendly and harmless games to play, (sports games, for example) I would venture to guess that your child owns one or more games that contain violent and/or inappropriately sexual elements to which you do not want him/her exposed. In reality, for many middle school children, time spent on video games is out of balance, and has displaced work, school, friends, and even family.

And, if you say that you’re a parent who would never allow such garbage in to your home, that’s terrific! However, I then have two questions for you: 1) Have you actually sat with your child for the necessary hours (yes, HOURS!) when he/she plays the games to make that determination, and 2) Does your child have access to these games at a friend’s house?

It has been my experience that the playing of even the friendliest games can lead to the beginning of an addiction that can only be satisfied by playing more and more of the dangerous games.

And, don’t forget, there are financial costs involved with the cost of the actual unit (between $100.00 and $300.00), the individual games (approximately $30.00 - $60.00 each), and the accompanying magazines (approximately $10.00 each) that help to unlock the mysteries of each game. A parent can go broke just by feeding their child’s dangerous addiction!

I will write more in the coming days on video game addiction. For now, please be sure to monitor the video games that your child plays and to log the number of hours that are spent with these games!

Paul W. Reeves

No comments: