I have been doing some research on pro-social video games, and there is definitely some research out there! However, I haven’t seen any titles of these particular games, so I am going to go on a hunt for them. If I can find some specific titles of these games I will share them so that all of our kids can benefit from them!
There was a new study that just came out that has made a correlation between attention problems in children and playing video games. What the study proved was that prolonged video game usage in children had a lasting effect on their attention in other areas of life. It also showed that those children with attention problems tend to play video games longer than those without. So, in other words they go hand in hand! I think the interesting thing is that they said that even though video games can help your child process things visually and mentally, it can also have a negative affect on their attention span!
I recently bought my daughter the leappad for Christmas solely because it was described as having a writing program where she could draw and write stories and take pictures and videos to enhance the stories. This sounds like a great product right? Well it cost us $100.00 up front. This included one story program and a video application. We did NOT anticipate that the games would cost $25.00 a piece, and all additional downloads would cost anywhere between $10.00 and $25.00. They only offer two story applications, at an additional cost, plus the price of batteries to keep the thing going, plus there are only two story applications, so needless to say we feel completely taken by the toy companies ONCE AGAIN! To summarize this, we have put in over $250.00 with all accessories and batteries and upkeep. To put this in perspective for that kind of money she could have been enrolled in a soccer program in the fall, our local little league program in the spring, an art class in the summer, a basketball league in the winter and still had money left over! I think we spend more time researching the latest device instead of the local activities and sports that are available to our children. These local opportunities will not only enhance their social skills, it helps them physically, as well as learning new skills.
I have been reading all of the stories about Facebook lately. Whether it is a father shooting up his daughter’s computer because of the content of her postings, or parents attacking people who have DEfriended their children, IT IS INSANITY! I don’t understand how something as innocent as a social site can be turned into such a destructive force! I am not a big user of the site, however, it seems innocent enough to me. I have reported in the past about the pressures associated with the site and young users, but this has gone beyond mental mind games, this is actual physical abuse. It is sad that it seems our current society can turn anything ugly!
I think it is just disgusting how the superbowl has become one big day of drinking, sex and innappropriatenes. My husband has been dying for the day when his daughter would be interested in watching the game of the year with him. We sat down with food, a roaring fire and lots of beverages and told her how the big advertising companies were going to have their best ads during the game. We even went to YouTube and showed her some of the old ones that we thought were funny. However, we were watching the ads together, and it was TERRIBLE. Between the M&M commercial talking about it being “this kind of party” and took off his color coating (obviously clothing) was confusing to her. She asked what that kind of party was. We then had to fastforward through the always terribly vulgar GoDaddy commercials, and the flower commercial that seemed like it was selling prostitution. I thought the David Beckam ad was going to be about his ability or talent, but of course not, and we had to fastforward through that commercial as well. So by the end of it, my daughter liked the dog commercials, and that was about it. By the time we got to the half time show, we thought here we go, Madonna, our childhood star promised a clean show. We all got prepped for it, and come to find out they have taken the usually provacative Madonna and made her likable and somewhat clean, and then brought out Nikki Minaj and MIA, two vulgar female rappers to come in and do something to ruin the show. They are bumping and grinding and lifting their crotch flaps, and then flipping the bird. It disgusts me that the NFL has thrown so much money to make women feel apart of the experience, and yet they have geared almost all commercials and all shows in the Superbowl to the men, and ruin the experience for all.
And I would like to add that the commercials that have created all the buzz last night had NOTHING to do with sex, nudity or even crass humor. The number one commercial was the dog losing weight, the second was the commercial with a great message with Clint Eastwood, and the last one starred old cartoon characters. So when are the advertising companies going to take notice of what is really selling out there?
My daughter is a swimmer and we were at a meet this weekend with hundreds of children from the ages of 5-17. My daughter, like most swimmers, had time in between her events, so she asked what she should do. I started to think about it, and decided to observe the other children. Instead of talking, hanging out, and/or interacting, most of these kids were playing their handheld electronic devices.
I know that I had blogged over the summer how I was disappointed that during summer events there wasn’t an opportunity for me to meet other parents at pick up and drop off, because they were all on cell phones, texting, etc.
The same is happening with children. Instead of getting to know one another, talking, interacting, socializing, they are on electronic devices. They were watching movies, texting, listening to IPods, playing video games, etc. I am wondering what we are doing to our children. I have fond memories of hanging out at sporting events making up games, talking, finding out about other kids, and who I was in the social interactions around me. I finally told my daughter to come up in the stands and sit with me in between events since she was the only one without a device. I was noticing that the younger ones had handheld video game devices, where the older ones would listen to music on their IPods, and text at the same time, while sitting in a circle as if they were really spending time with one another. It was very strange.
You could tell that these kids were friends, but they weren’t able to truly interact without the crutch of a cell phone or headphones. I am just wondering what is in store for this young generation that they can’t go up to a group of peers and start a conversation without the averted eye contact while texting, or without one headphone in their ear listening to music? I just wonder if we are crippling them socially?
I have been thinking of what my New Year’s Resolution might be in this new year. I was thinking about healthy eating, becoming more active, among other generic resolutions that we all promise to ourselves in January and then forget about in February. So I have been thinking about what I could really promise to do this new year, and try to put my best foot forward.
I am going to try and have my family spend less time media consumed and more time together. I think that families are so busy, whether you are involved in sports, clubs, various activities, church, work, school, homework, family obligations, etc. BUT what if when you are home with your family, you don’t turn the television on first thing, and keep it on all night? What would happen then? I have tried it with my family for the last few weeks, and have found that if the television isn’t on, we find things to do togther. We have played more games, read books together, do puzzles, etc. What I have found with my children is that they go and FIND things to do.
When we have free time, my oldest child will ask if we can watch television first, and then play the Wii second, and when both answers are no, she protests, but then plays with the toys she was given for Christmas, will find my son and they will make up games to play together, as well as other creative activities. She even came to me the other day and said that she had made up a routine to show me with music, choreography, and costumes. Instead of sitting mindlessly on the couch my kids are now playing hide and seek, creating art projects and spending time engaging with one another.
I don’t want to try and tell everyone that we don’t watch ANY television because that isn’t accurate, however, during the week my oldest child does not watch any television because she is just too busy, and on the weekend she would rather be outside playing in the snow, riding bikes, or playing games. My son stays at home with me and he is allowed one show in the morning. My daughter has one show that she watches on Sunday and we enjoy doing that together.
I have heard that little rhyme that says the families that play together stay together….and have always chuckled at the phrase, but the meaning seems true. The more you can “play” or be together the stronger your bond together will be!
If you have never heard of the game Angry Birds than you should look around, because it is everywhere. In every catalogue I have received, to every promotional advertisement…this game is literally everywhere you look. They are selling t-shirts, mugs, and baseball hats with this Angry Birds logo on it! Parents are saying that not only are they addicted to this game, but their children are addicted to playing the game as well. Many parents started out giving their children their I-Phone while they were in line at the post office, or in the waiting room of a doctor, and then it turned into this obsession and many of them are having to restrict their child’s usage.
I have talked about research that I have found in regards to violent video games and how they are disgusting and immoral and horrific in nature, but ALL video games are highly addictive, and this goes for any game out there. It seems that this Angry Birds game is so highly addictive that it ends up becoming overwhelming for the player. I just wonder what makes one video game more addictive than the other. I know that in casual conversation men and women alike will refer to their child as being “addicted” to video games and will say that it is a certain game that has them hooked. I have also talked to women who say that all their husband does is play video games, and that he is more obsessed with certain games. I just wonder if it is dependent on the person, or if a game like Angry Birds will hook any type of person, no matter what circumstances! Just be aware before you allow your child to play this game, because it might cause you and your child more harm than good!
Research has shown that there is a large population of children growing up today that are not only addicted to playing video games, but are CLINICALLY addicted to playing video games. If you are wondering if your child might be addicted, or showing signs of addiction. Please read the following signs;
1. Does your child express the urge to go back to gaming and try to control the time played?
2. Does your child feel as though a return to gaming will make them feel better?
1. Does your child express anger and verbal abuse, sometimes extreme?
2. Do they ever suffer from extreme crying?
3. Does your child have a lack of motivation and direction?
4. Does he/she have a difficulty facing obligations, and procrastinating?
5. Does your child suffer from boredom/inability to find an activity of interest?
1. Does your child have a disruption in sleep patterns?
2. Is your child having fantasies or dreams about the game?
3. Is he/she spending excessive amounts of time sleeping?
1. Is your child showing signs of nausea, physical illness, colds and/or allergies?
2. Does your child suffer from restlessness, unfilfilling, or taunting dreams?
1. Does he/she suffer from anxiety, feelings of emptiness, depression, relief, or thinking about the game for extended periods of time?
2. Does your child have uncontrollable feelings or rampant mood swings?
3. Does your child suffer from extreme fear?
4. Is your child prone to irritability, restlessness, sadness or loneliness?
Your child does not need to show ALL of these symptoms, however, if your child shows more than a few of them, you should take this situation seriously!
I was reading an article today about video game addiction and I stumbled across some information that took my breath away. I thought I would share it here.
In 2005 a Korean male died of cardiac arrest after a 50 hour marathon of playing Starcraft.
In 2006 there was a male from Philadelphia that killed his daughter that was 17 months old because she broke his XBox console.
In 2007 a male from Ohio shot and killed his parents when they took away his Halo 3 game.
In 2009 a Korean couple spent all of their time creating a virtual world on Prius and taking care of their new “virtual baby” that they ended up letting their real baby starve to death!
In 2010 an American woman shook her baby to death when his crying kept interrupting her FarmVille game.
And as I have already reported there was an American male that died this year from a video game marathon.
You know what I found interesting about this article? The addicts are not all kids, they are not all male, and the games are not all the same. This means a few things to me as a mother and a wife. First of all, you can be addicted to any video game, whether it is FarmVille or Halo 3…..all video games can be addictive. Secondly, I realized that the addictive behavior can have MANY different outcomes, from letting your own child starve to death, to killing someone over it, to killing yourself over it. And finally you can become addicted at any age. These things are really making me realize more than ever that I need to make some serious decisions early on about my child’s media usage and I also need to know as much as I possibly can before I ever let them play another video game, PERIOD!