Video game addiction has affected many people. How many times have we seen a parody on television of a child throwing a fit because they are forced to stop playing their video games, or turn them off, etc? The sad thing is that this type of behavior is more common than not! I think that the most clear example of video addiction should be that the ONLY successful video addiction rehab center in the country is located in Seattle, outside the Microsoft headquarters! We are seeing more and more marriages and relationships breaking up because ADULTS are showing signs of video game addiction. Playing video games used to be isolated to adolescents, however, those adolescents are now grown adults, and we are seeing that they are not giving up playing the video games. The most famous example of this was a few years back when the famous tennis player, Andy Murray, was dumped by his girlfriend because of his over-excessive video game usage!
While there may still be debate among gaming and internet enthusiasts on the impacts of a new study from Australia says that nearly 1 and 10 gamers are addicted.
This has caused addiction recovery programs to pop up around the country, like the reSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program outlined in a Time Magazine article in 2009. ReStart’s mission is “specifically oriented towards launching tech dependent youth and adults back into the real world.” Like other addiction programs, reStart’s offers a breadth of services including a 12 step recovery program, and services to support the parents through the process.
It’s hard to believe that something like games, that often times start as something harmless and fun can become an all consuming part of someone’s life and identity. The existence of programs like this, should along serve as a wake up for parents who are see their kids consuming focus on video games, computers and other media as “just a phase.”
If you think your child is at risk of addiction, please let us know, we are here to help.
The reason this article struck me as disgusting is because I feel as though there is a large portion of the American people that really have changed their moral and ethical code to support their video game usage. The author of this article was willing to put his child in compromising positions because he was unwilling to take responsibility for his irresponsibility in regards to his video game habit! There were so many things that were disturbing about this article ….the first being that his NINE YEAR OLD CHILD mentions not once but twice to his dad that he wants to kill and murder children is enough to call a psychologist in itself, but there is surprisingly more!!! He actually let his child play one of his games that he had never opened for an hour without supervision and as predicted his NINE YEAR OLD CHILD comes in to ask his dad what a used condom is because it is actually an item FOUND in the game! What a shocker! The rest of the article is so disturbing that I cannot fathom my child watching, witnessing, let alone taking part in this game that he describes. (dying men begging for life, dead babies, dogs called Wolf F***er, and MUCH MUCH more! I cannot understand a parent that parents in this fashion. How then as a society do we wonder how our children become so violent, so aggressive, and why things like bullying are at an all-time high. Is it them, is it the media, or is it us, the parents and other silent bystanders?!
There are all different kinds of media filter products out there to help parents monitor their children’s media usage. There are DVD filters that can convert your everyday DVD to be viewed without violence, profanity, sexual content, etc. You can set your tolerance level and they will make sure and filter out the types of negative items that you don’t want your family viewing. This product will also allow you to see the DVD as is, too! There are channel blockers, and internet blockers. There are programmable remotes for your children so that they can only watch the stations that you program onto the remote, so they don’t happen to change the channel to an inappropriate show. There are also television filters (TVGuardian) so that you can watch your favorite shows without the “unwanted stuff”. I found an amazing website called www.familysafemedia.com. I found this to be an informative website that had so many different products and options for those who want all different levels of filtering.
Leapster and other hand-held devices that are geared towards children ages 4-7 have become a wonderful aid in helping mothers at doctor’s offices, long drives, airplane rides, etc. However is there a downfall to these types of devices? Should we, as parents, be questioning not only our children’s usage, but also the manipulation of our children by the video game industry? As much as I like having my child play a game for a few minutes while we are waiting in one of those dreaded doctor’s offices, I tend to also wonder if a child is ever too young to be using these electronic devices? I also wonder if you start them on these games at 4, where do you go from there!? Once they are hooked at four, then you are on the path of video games. Out comes the DS, the WII, the PlayStation 3, etc. It starts with alphabet games, but it ends up in such a different place. They can’t play Elmo’s counting game forever. They aren’t going to be satisfied with Grover’s alphabet surprise when they are 7 or 8. You will always be having to up the ante…isn’t that what the gaming industry is counting on?!