January 23, 2007

Cold Turkey Against Video Game Addiction

Going Cold Turkey Against Video Game Addiction

The Charlotte Observer Health section has an interesting article on serving cold turkey to starve video game addiction.

I began to argue in the early 1980s that video games were addictive, and if the research to date is not completely clear on the subject, the anecdotal evidence is compelling, to say the least. More and more parents refuse to allow their children access to these nefarious devices, but most stories that come my way involve children who are already addicted.

"What do we do now?" their parents ask, to which I advise the most effective, albeit painful, of all anti-addiction programs: cold turkey.

[…] After initially complaining that her son was on the computer "pretty much every waking moment unless he was at school or work," and after I told her that she needed to take control where he had lost control, she and her husband lost their nerve and cut him back to four hours a day on school days and eight hours a day on weekends. No, seriously. She later admitted "I obviously am a total wimp" and "I feel really stupid about not having much backbone."

The cold turkey program proved to be a success in curing video game addiction after a single day. “We stuck to our guns,” says the mother of a 17 year old gamer. “The next day, he worked part of the day and was as pleasant and relaxed as can be for the rest of the evening.”


Comments

You people think that video game playing is equal to drug and alcohol abuse. You have NO clue what your talking about, as a gamer myself, I know whats going on. 1. Its called 'LeetSpeak' if you will, not 'textspeak' or what ever you guys posted. You are a bunch of over protective mothers..... Gaming is fun as long as it does not conflict with your life, but when your a 24 year old like the French gamer who beat the new WoW game in 28 hours. Who are you to say that, that is wrong. Most gamers are actually highly intelligent. Did you know that over 50% of the World of Warcraft Community is over 27 years of age. The only kids that bring video game violence to the 'streets' if you will are excuse my expression. "Emos" that hate their lives have absolutely NO friends and hate school. Not only Emos do this its people that just cannot stand their life and try to turn to video games. Most gamers are not stupid and don't suffer in school. A friend of mine has been playing games with myself and others online since grade 4, he is in grade 7 and look at his marks: http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/2905/untitled5zf.png

People are not stupid for playing video games, they can actually gain knowledge.

You say video games promote Racism, hatred, sexism. For one I know a lot of different people online from different cultures, no one makes fun of them except for the odd 10 - 12 year old that likes to swear because their parents are not home. Instead of boycotting the video game industry, you should allow the game developers to do their job and you parents should enable the BUILT IN parental control to over 60% of the latest games. By the way the new Windows Vista has an option to lock certain games from being played on that system due to the rating. The problem is that mothers are letting their children play games that are rated teen or up.

The sexism you say, I know a lot of female gamers. They love to game just as much as any guy and vice versa. Games are fun for all ages. Maybe if you tried it you would know.
Male gamers actually respect female gamers for trying, they think its really cool.

There isn't a lot of hatred on 'the net'....

People may love to play games but its not interfering with their life very much.

All of your studies... They prove NOTHING.... Ever talk to ACTUAL gamers on the internet over a big study interviewing hundreds of gamers. If you do you will see most of my information is correct. Gaming is for fun for kids, adults and teens. It doesn't matter about the contents of the game, just read the box and if you don't like it get off the video game company's backs.

You say guilds and clans are bad! I have met HUNDREDS of really cool people over the internet even some in my city that I am now friends with. My friends in RL (Real Life) like playing games too. They are a GREAT sense of community, and they help people.

Heres some 'leetspeak' for you.

BTW I am an uber ownerer at the age of 15, I maintain about a 70% average at school which where I live is decent. I love playing games, Such as Counter-Strike Source and World of Warcraft. I can control myself by not playing games even though I can usually play for 6-8 hours a day. If I need to work on school stuff I will. But since my pro-ness is too much to handle... I bid all of you good day.

GG KTHXBAI

- Feather A.K.A He Who Headshots

You see this... this is a pure example of parents blaming video games instead of their poor parenting. If you would like to make an argument give me un-biased scientific documented evidence.

Also do you think comic-books as the same of video games... Well the same thing that is happening to video-games is happened to comics.

Feather I agree with your thoughts all the way.

Fake is right there is no game addiction unless you have no friends or life. Most people who are addicted to video games are people who are over 20. If you think that video gaming causes people to become violent or crazy then you should actually talk to more gamers. Then you would actually learn about it and talk to more gamers not just make these theories

Feather is right there is no game addiction unless you have no friends or life. Most people who are addicted to video games are people who are over 20 who are to lazy to go get a job. If you think that video gaming causes people to become violent or crazy then you should actually talk to more gamers. Then you would actually learn about it and talk to more gamers not just make these theories.

Feather i completely understand what you are trying to say. I'm glad i can see someone able to show some people that its not the games that usually bring violence and such but the parenting from bad parents.

Hi everyone! I agree with everyone else on this page. although the "cold turkey" idea is OK to some extent, just remember that kids are a lot smarter that you give credit for.
quick bio on myself:
name: Veeran
Profession: student/landscaper
amount of time spent gaming: on average, 2-4 hours
educational status: average
I am also fluent in english, french, 1337 (leet), ASCII, and binary. (the last three are computer languages, the result of free time in the summer)

here a quick tutorial on 'textspeek' for you:
brb-be right back
gtg (or g2g)-got to go
lol-laugh out loud
omg-oh my god/goodness
wth-what the heck
rofl-rolling on floor laughing

and to close, here is a bit of (hardcore) leet for you:
60 134|2|\| 50/\/\3 1337
(go learn some leet)
thank you for your time.

Honestly, if you ask to an internet site how to handle your kid, you don't know how to be a parent. Now, I play WoW and yes im a game addict. I work for Gamestop, my life isn't any different then what it was.

Violence, Sexism, Hatred, Racism isn't found in games. ITS FOUND AT SCHOOL. Believe me, i just graduated from high school, and i haven't heard anything racist or hating on games, you obviously need to grow up, become better parents. As for the cold tukey thing, i see it like this; if their in school and their grades are good enough, and they seem to have a grip on what their learning, why bother them about it when they know it? I'm in college and i understand how hard real life can be. I have a grip on reality. But that doesn't stop me from playing video games. If you don't want the kid to play why did u buy it in the first place? that was your first mistake. YOU NEED TO CHECK YOURSELVES BEFORE YOU BLAME ANY GAME. Kthnx

-Robert

That article makes me sad... very sad. Especially because of what was said in the very last line of the main part: "Take the computer away, I said, and do not ever give it back, even if he begins making straight A's."

What does a computer have to do with gaming as a whole? Why not cut off the head of the 'snake' and take away the PC games and internet connection instead? The computer itself has plenty of usefulness... such as the ability to word process, or design graphics through programs like Photoshop.

The presented article never stated that the kid was playing video games, only that he spent "pretty much every waking moment [on the computer] unless he was at school or work,"

For all we (the readers) know, the kid could have been spending all his time painting in Photoshop and writing stories in Word. It's exactly what I do with my computer -- and I'm not much older than that guy.

The point I'm trying to make here, and no doubt need to clarify, is that the computer is not the problem. Just as the video game companies ARE NOT the problem. If you don't know what the real problem is by now, then perhaps it's too late... because it seems to be avoiding your radar quite well. Good parents would have known, in the beginning, to limit use of games -- so it does not become (key word) a problem.

I know the argument "how could we have known" will come up. And I say, give me a break. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that kids can get easily addicted to ANYTHING (TV, games, books, sports). I never argued when my mom came up and said "that's enough; save the game and let's do something else" when I was playing SNES in my younger days. It only takes a little reinforcement at a young age to make them think of video games as nothing more than a small form of fun, something to do when time can be spared.

Moving on, I also found the article a little funny. The guy is 17 years old... his parents take his computer away, and he suddenly starts 'doing things right'. My guess is that he's just acting, waiting until he turns 18 and his parents have no say (at which time he'll probably save up some money doing small jobs to buy a computer). After that, taking his computer away would be robbery... and we might see this family appear on Judge Judy. Congratulations, America's Reality TV addiction might be further fueled.

But, seriously. The opinions portrayed on this site have become [more] laughable, at best. I come here to read the comments, as hardly any are entirely in your group's favor. So many intelligent gamers, young and old, have come to offer their counterarguments. It's hard not to see them as correct, even from a non-biased perspective.

OK, first of all the "Cold Turkey" thing makes no sense at all. Since when is playing 4 hours a day on weekdays "cutting back"? Today is Sunday and I am looking at the WoW timer I have on my computer right now. It is a stopwatch that I use to see how long I've been playing in a day and right now it is stopped at 3 hours, 57 minutes and 6 seconds. On a WEEKEND.

A clear example of: OMG! My son's a gamer!! Let's take the computer away to cover up our tracks as bad parents! =P

I see nothing wrong with being a gamer and playing video games. Basically, what it comes down to is doing things in moderation and not letting the games control and affect your life.

I wonder how much experience this author has relating to other types of addiction. "Taking control" of an addicted person's use/behavior fails almost always. This author seems to be promoting codependent behaviors. Almost every expert will say that friends and relatives cannot be expected to regulate an addicted persons behavior...even if they are a parent. I think if you want to find a successful method of truly fighting addiction, you ought to do some more learning about already existing treatments for other addictions. This language of "controlling" a video gamer's behavior is precisely what addiction experts advise AGAINST.

I am very offended with all of the negative comments to this study. I, a very responsible parent agrees with Professor Clyde Wilson's views on video games. I have to say that video games are the sickest thing than you "gamers" have to defend this transparent medium. Do you call video games "a form of art"? This "form of art" is a bad example for America. This is also a good time to have Hillary Clinton as our first lady president to abolish video games. I don't believe that none of you "gamers" have any evidence of how video games can be good for you. Shame for all of you.

stop blaming kids for them playing the violent video games its the parents fault for buying it for them and letting them play with it. Dont blame it on the kids, the parents are the real problem.

I agree with feather. People say video games kill people because people copy tricks from the games, and other such things that happen, but most people who do these things are considered idiots as most people including gammers would agree, but remember many acts of violence can come from other sources, not games, games is more of an outlet, and if you look into american history in general there was more crime and violence during the prohibition era then the is now. I agree gamming in moderaition is ok. I am also what people would consider addicted to video games. Thats my choice to play video games for long hours at a time. I am not addicted to them i chose to play that long, I am a average student and person and i can funtion in todays world, i know the difference between reality and fantasy, whats right and whats wrong. even though i play for hours at a time i do know when to stop and take a break and these breaks can last weeks at times.

I also disagree with morrison. Why do you consider video games to be "the sickest thing than you "gamers" have to defend this transparent medium"? To answer your question several people consider video games to be a form of art. It takes years of work to perfect. Think of it as an interactive book. The game story is the plot, your charecter also known as the hero is the main charecter and you control this charecter and you go through the story as this person and it takes you on a adventure of sorts. The visuals are the area back ground etc. The visuals are a art in themselves and are ment to enhance the story. They make a concept art and then they try to make it 3D on computers and make it interactive. so in several ways video games are art, a newer kind of art but still its art. And you say this kind of art is a bad example for America. well arnt the actions we take also bad for america? Such as Vietnam the cold war,and the more recent the war on Iraq? With the Hillary Clinton part, she has to get into office first, just because she is running doesnt mean she will win. Technically you cant abolish video games because of the first amendment with freedom of speech, and the press. Video games can have good effects on people reserch for them and you will find them.

In regards to Morrison, there are several studies which prove that games improve hand eye coordination, team skills, and reflexes. Also if having fun is classed as a good thing, then that's what games are made for, and as long as they make us have fun, then they are doing something right.

I'm sorry, but though I respect Clyde N. Wilson as a distinguished History Professor and an expert on the life of John C. Calhoun, I doubt if he would be the most trusted source in gaming.

I mean come on, if you call electronics "nefarious devices", then I strongly doubt you have a clear understanding of video games. Partly because you have been completely critical of them since the 1980s.

Hillary Clinton is against videogames for appeal only, not because she really cares. Congress will bever allow a ban on videogames. Sorry Morisson, you obviously do not understand how the United States government works.

Hey, i have a great idea. Teach your kids some discipline instead of sitting there like an idiot! Maybe if you would actually set restrtictions with penalties, they wouldn't be a vegetable! I would go as far as to say you are lazier than they are, as you can't get up off your rump and teach those kids some discipline! Here are some examples:

1. take your son's/daughter's computor or game system and hide it somewhere

2. Give them extra homework

3. Tell everyone at school of their addiction (although that may be a little too harsh)

Now, here's a list of things you SHOULDN'T do:

1. Complain and do nothing about the matter

2. Ignore the comments that people post giving hundreds of reasons why you are a bad parent*

3. Act like anyone else is to blame except yourself

I used to be an avid online gamer too**, so i know how it goes. My parents took action and actually banned me from the computor for playing too often. They are what we like to call "Good Parents". Good day.

*Yes, you are bad parents. You deserve not the title of parent, for the intensity of your lameness as far as parenting is off the charts.

**I will not disclose the game that I played, as you will probably bring it upon yourselves to blame them for every crisis in the world.


Oh,and by the way. I sincerely feel bad for your children for their lack of a childhood.

well, guys, I think that that's true, but who is on here? All gamers. I think that is their whole point. Parents do have the responsibility to go and make video game makers make suitable games. Making them not violent won't stop anything. Next is violent tv, action movies, the internet. I just think that more parents should get involved and help this cause.

P.S. I think we spotted feather as a gamer when he referred to real life as RL. He who headshots? come on. He probably wrote that on a break from WoW

Well I would just like to say hi to all the moms and gamers who have alot of very good comments back and forth. But....

I myself am a gamer, im 23 and a professional tattoo artist. My schooling is below average cause i dropped out(not because of video games). I dont do drugs, I dont drink alchohol but i am a smoker.

My life is as normal as anyone elses. I was raised great and with alot of rules when it came to video games. I got to play only for a few hours a day after school and thats it.

Now to the point. The parents on this thread are over reacting. You dont realize the amount of things video games and MMORPGs can teach your kids. I myself used to only be able to type about 50 words a minute, and now over the years of spending time on the computer and talking with friends I can tye almost 100 /min. Being on the computer doesnt mean that your children are doing something bad. It just means they are exploring the internet (Which has millions of FACTS), and are learning. If your children wanted to grow up and be in a proffession that requires computers all your doing by taking that away is limiting thier ability to learn about them from them. Almost every single job in this world that isnt manual labour needs computers. Which means your limiting your childrens options for thier future. Great parenting! And on the Video game basis, I currently have over 150 days played in World of Warcraft. But...I also have a beautiful wife and child on the way and i make over 80K a year at my job. My family is taken care of and I spend plenty of time with my wife. She is also a gamer. And we and our friends have alot of fun going for coffee and having something in common to chat about. Also,video games have been PROVEN to increase your people skills. Ive made so many new friends playing games online that I dont even know how many i have anymore.

To all the parents, I understand that for younger kids playing has to be moderated. But excluding it from thier life is just going to make them angry at YOU.

Oh, and to Suprise, just so you cant bash me in the same way you bashed feather....Im writing this at my JOB while i have a spare moment. And just so you know HATEING gamers is a form of prejudice. So dont be so quick to judge.

I believe that this, Clyde N. Wilson, is a fake! This "prejudice" article writen and "so called" proven is a load of bull and should not be taken seriously. Aswell as the rediculous act that Hilary Clinton wants to perform and inforce, has to be just as stupid as the tryed ban on Abortion.

Well I am the poster called Feather, My original name was F&*$ MAVAV but I guess the moderator wouldn't allow it, lol. But, I guess thank you for your comments I guess to anyone that supported mine. Well I would first like to say, Who ever supposibly 'Bashed' me, I myself have a wide vocabulary when it comes to insults too, trying to tell me off with "nice" words will not do anything... Anyways... Just because we are on the internet does not make us "low-lives" or anything. It means we are a variety of people that enjoy the World Wide Web. But before you strike back with the "Do Homework" and "Irresponsible" accusations I suggest you look at yourself. You are a group of people on the World Wide Web, posting on a website against gamers, you are dedicated, and you strive to prove your point. You come here quite often, I ask you one thing..... Who is the addicted, violent and obsessive one?

One more point. I state my name as "He Who Headshots" because I happen to have good reflexes... I think haha.... I play FPS games a lot and seem to get "Head Shots". I go by the name of Fake.. Its Unique, like my power to tell you off for being over protective parents....

Further more, Mrs. Clinton is just a want to be president.

L8r.... "noobs"

"Loves to game and

My apologies, but though I respect Clyde N. Wilson as an excelent History teacher and a great expert on the life of John C. Calhoun, I doubt this randomn neo-confederate professor is a credible expert when it comes to video games.

Your idea of a 'healthy' child is sickening. Not everyone has to be a extremely 'athletic and socially active individual'. A lot the most influential individuals in the past were originally seen as outcasts because of different and radical ideas that later become everyday fact and knowledge. You don't have to be an all-star high school football player to become a successful person. In fact, those who are more reserved and do more excellent in their education and aren't so necessarily atheletic go on to have more successful careers and and overall outcome of life.

To be honest, anyone who has a significant amount of intelligence is scientifically known to experience some forms of depression, simply because of the realization of how little they actually know and how unintelligent many others seem to be. So, essentially, this depression stems from the fact that few others are on the 'same level' as them. Further meaning that - oh, just perhaps - their fellow gamers are of the same caliber and more readily available to able to connect with, even if they are over long distances and possibly in different countries.

If you're so afraid about your child, give them discipline and control what they can see and have. If you don't want them to have violent video games, don't buy them or let them buy them, and don't let them go to the various websites you all seem so afraid of. Considering this and the fact that you apparently can't control your OWN kids, who gives you any right to try and tell other parents how to control THEIR kids?

Ugh.

Although I don't believe that video games cause addiction, there ARE people who do become addicted to them (it's not the games fault). For those types... some control IS needed.

Video game addiction? Tell me, how many hours did you spend in front of YOUR computer typing this article? I have very little time, due to the fact that I'm at school doing a study on video game violence. Yes! That's right, us gamers just so happened to be educated! Imagine that... All I ask is that you keep your offspring under control, and don't blame the manufactuors and gamers as a whole, blame yourself.

Damn quit whining and take responsability for not being able to properly educated your children.
It's YOU who buy the games, not even caring what
is its content and THEN whine about them.
Good heaven, grow up and behave like proper mothers!

Folks, I hate to say it, but video game addiction is real. Sure, we can say "parents, stop buying games for your kids." Which, I agree, parents can have a huge say in their kids' video game use. What about adults? My husband is 23 and is a video game addict. He can not stop. He is a "successful" gamer you might say and has played competitively. But now his game play is disrupting his sleep, schoolwork, job, and our marriage. Since so much on here says that it is the parent's fault for supplying the kids with it, is it my fault that my husband is addicted? He is a grown man and makes his own choices - choices that are ruining our marriage. I'm sure I will hear cries of "video games are good for hand-eye coordination" and "video games are help you make friends" and "there are lots of benefits to gaming." But believe me, I've heard them all from my husband. He used to be athletic and really outgoing. Since becoming addictive, he is pretty much a recluse that spends hours every day gaming. So don't blame this on parents. I want to tell you video game addiction is real. No one supplies my husband with the games or the computer - he gets it himself. Please, please be careful with these things. Look around - if someone in your life is being hurt by your game play -PLEASE seriously consider at least slowing down. The games will always be there - your spouse, bf/gf, friends, or family might not always be.

:)
It's good to see some defenders of the faith (by that of course, I mean fellow gamers such as "He who headshots").

I am a gamer, I am very intelligent, creative, and excellent writer, and play guitar. I have been watching violent movies and playing violent games as long as I can remember, and still maintiain a strong moral fibre, without the dictation of a book or scriptuer. *Shock*, I have developed morality without religion, and am a gamer.

Yes, violent games make teenagers more aggressive, of course they do...and guess what? So does football, hockey, soccer, wrestling, and a whole host of healthy and wholsome sports...ya know, the ones where you really get hurt and people who swear at you can't be blocked.

Howsabout this, read our comments, listen to us, and understand us. We are not villains, we are not amoral violent freaks, and we are not addicts. Some people who play games are violent, and some people who play games are prone to addiction...but these are how those people are, it's not games that make them that way.

Please, grab a brain.

For any further discussion on the matter, feel free to email me at badjoke15@gmail.com and convince me otherwise.

NOTE: You will fail, I eat fundie Noobs like you for breakfast.

How retarded can u people get? If you think video games make you violent or crazy then you should really talk to gamers. I myself play WoW (World Of Warcraft). It doesnt mean that I dont do anything else with my life. At my highschool i am on the football team and currently ending my wrestling season. I pull strait A's and B's on my report card and I still play at least 3 to 4 hours on weekends even more. The people who usually conduct all this research on Video Gamers have usually never even played a video game. They think just beacuse the game is violent it must be the problem so you have to take that away beacuse it must be the only way to stop my child's beahvior. You always look for somthing to blame when somthing goes wrong. If you child fails a class it must be beacuse he was playing video games to much not because the class is to advance. You should really look into the problem before you even start looking for somthing to blame. And also to Embee there is no such thing as addiction its just the fact that you have nothing else to do. Join a sport or hobby and put video games on the side, but in no way shape or form are video games an addiction. And to Morrison games are not a "form of art" who ever told you that is clearly not a gamer. Games are a way to just free your mind into a new environment even if it involves mass murder. If you can't distinguish the difference between reaility and a video game you are either an insane person or you are to young of a child to be playing the game where as you should blame the parent for even allowing their child to get the game. In the end there is no game addiction its just theories made by a bunch of old men trying to guess whats happening to the world today.

Grim A.k.A KaMiKaZe

I do beleive that video game addiction is real but getting rid of video games is not the answer. If you have trouble resisting the tempation of playing every moment then you have no self control. I have been adicted before and all it takes is some self discipline. Develop a schedule, say "I will only play for 1 hour" or "I will go to sleep at 8." If a fifteen year old can stop playing video games till midnight on a school night after several years of addicition (Yes I used to stay up that late) than I think an adult should be able to do it easily.

By the way my I am a A B student and next year I am going to AP History (Advanced Placement).

hi I would like to say something, the article is a loud of bull!!!!!!!!!!!!
this 17 yearold is in 12th grade and he was about 3-4 days without his computer and at one they siad he comes home and works hard on his homework hmmm lets take this in...

HOW IN THE F$%K DOES HE WORK HARD WHEN HE CAN'T TYPE ANYTHING OR DO ANY THING COMPUTER RELATED!!!!!

this is a ansewr to the post by embee at febuary 18,2007 5:25 PM see the gamers on this site (including me) are not complaining about adults, adults have thier own will power to play video games if you ask me it seems that your husband has a obsessive mind or that you guys are not meant for eachother and this is natures way of ending it also if you really wanted to come back then you should take his pc and his games hide it where he will never find them then strip down his money so he can't buy a new computer and games

why are you wasting your time complaining about video games when there are much larger thing threatening children like drugs and alchohol. Im an avid gamer and i HATE to hear people criticize video games based on just assuptions and conjectures with very little scientific evidence. There is just as much evidence ,if not more, that shows that video games have a miniscule effect on kids of any age. Im a normal kid that likes to read hangout with friends and, yes play video games. I maintain a 3.8 average in school and work for my fathers construction company. A vast majority of people live completly normal lives and still play video games on their free time. I have many friends who i can only talk to on the internet and video gmaes are a fun way for us to play together. you have no right to decide video games are evil and nefarious devices to ensnare kids until you have actually played a game. I doubt any of you have ever played a video game and i would like you to not put down games until you have experienced one for yourself.

What I don't understand is why EVERY bad thing happening in the world is being pinned onto video games. Youth crime has DECLINED dramatically ever since these danger games you speak of came out. If you accuse me of falsifying data, take it up with the Department of Justice, they came up with that data.

All fair and all... your all crazzy on both sides of this argument. But what about those of us that DO need help?

How do I stop gaming... if the cold turkey thing doesnt work? I just get depressed if I don't play... the withdrawel is pretty unbearable. I like being sain so I keep playing.

I have a few comments on this site:

First, for all the parents who feel like they don't know their kids, because their kids play video games. You are right, you don't them, because you never tried to know them. I challenge any parent who has a "video game addicted" child to sit down and played with their kid. Parents claim children aren't having normal social lives, but at the same time they aren't playing with their kids. Remember, they don't and won't want to play by your rules, nor should they have to all the time. Try, instead of judging first, playing some Halo or WOW or whatever with them. Then you might know why they are playing these games and what is appropriate.

Secondly, I believe, gaming and other computer activities, in moderation and after studies and other necessary activities are completed, are beneficial for children. Just like everything else, parents have to set limits, but perhaps, instead of just limiting your children's exposure to computers, you set aside time for them to explore more useful applications for computers.

I mean if your kid were really into cars you would show him/her how to take an engine apart or if your kid were into sports you would help them train. So why couldn't you help them learn HTML, C++ or Photoshop? Maybe (and this is just a thought) learning how to really use a computer might help with your job as well.

Finally, I can't believe how we coddle our kids. If a session of Diablo is all your kid needs to be messed up, imagine what children in Africa, Cambodia, Burma, Chile, or Cuba are like. Children are more resilient than we give them credit, sometimes all they need is a limit or sometimes just a parent to spend time with them.

Morrison, I read what you said in an earlier comment. Let me ask you this, is Seasame Street evil or educational? Is a Disney cartoon movie a fun thing to see?
Donkey Kong and Mario games are along the same mindset.AND they are interactive.You don't sit like a zombie, you have to use your brain, unlike just watching TV or film. They also have Monopoly as a video game, just because it is in video game form does that make it evil?And just like the board games there are games like Mario Party where 4 people can play and take turns, the board is just animated, thats the only difference. So what gives? You think all video games are evil? I think you need to rent a rated "R' movie THEN compare THAT to something like Grand theft auto. I do not agree with immoral games nor do I defend them, but you are ignoring the fact there is both educational and innocent games out there. Software for young children exists where you read, do math and have fun while doing it.You read A WHOLE lot in any RPG, and you MUST have problem solving skills for any adventure game (and math skills). Have you played any of these games, or are you just saying what you "Think" they are about by some bad press? PBS even has games based on their childrens shows for education.
As far as exciting and thrilling movies, like Spiderman or Pirates of the Carribean, violence is part of the movie, its not real, just like a game that was based on those movies. Its about a rating in which parents and gaurdians alike should monitor.I would like to hear your comments once you have played these games. Thank you :)

Moderation and balance is key. The cold turkey advice may have serious unintended consequences such as: school refusal, violence, depression and damaged parent/child relationship. As a clinical specialist in this area I strongly recommend tools such as parental controls (or the "PC Moderator" hardware device for tech savvy teens) to limit daily use. Use the computer as a reward for completing all responsibilities and social activies. Help your child find alternative rewarding activies and a positive success identity. Teach moderation and balance. Don't simply vilify games - that won't help.

While games can be addicting, responsible parents can take charge and mediate the negative effects. Life need not be black and white and this too is an important life lesson.

I am a 17 year old guy from Australia.

I used to play a hell of a lot of video games, not so much now, and I do admit that video games have desensitized me to violence, but never in my life have I had the inclination to mimic a violent act that I had previously engaged in in a virtual setting. Others may be more impressionable, but the majority of gamers are "normal" members of society. There are wackos in every demographic, but that's life.

I just find it incredible that MAVAV can put such a spin on videogames. I mean, E3 - Evil Entertainment Expo? It's a marketting convention! They make it sound like a satanic gathering of murderers and theives... I wonder how long it will be before they uncover first-hand reports of video gamers murdering puppies...

Video game addiction is real, but it's a self-discipline problem, an internal issue, not the games' fault.

It's just a matter of moderation, as with anything in life.

Oh, and I love the description of online clans and guilds; "an underground video game phenomenon which closely resembles gangs"... I wonder if they would say the same things about their kids' little league teams, they're virtually parallel.

I just wish that there was less extremism in the debate, and less panic-mongering, that's all.

Dragunov Out

I have played many video games and yet never have my grades dropped or anything if you think that this is true then your wrong and cant handle yourself when you play games.

I hope you mean gangs as in group of kids who just hang out... not gangs as in the Crips and Bloods (I'm pretty sure I spelled the first one wrong but that goes to show you how much a gamer in a clan/guild knows about gangs). Promote racism and sexism... I sorta have to agree with you on some of that... I see a lot of female characters with killer bodies... I've yet to see some true racism in a game... Game playing being similar to alcohol and drug abuse... I've yet to be diagnosed with liver failure or have yet to hallucinate... I never got drunk and violent off a game yet... in fact... after I started playing violent games I got less violent... I used to get into fights all the time... now when I spar in my martial arts classes I get chastised for throwing pansy punches... and no I am NOT weak.

Video games have taught me to use grammar (and I enjoyed it!). My typing skills have gone from 10 wpm to 126 wpm. I feel more serious and professional when I talk, and I have now founded and currently own a local video game company.

hey video games are just to have fun and parents make it look like if kids are going to take all they learned on games and take it to the streets. my parents says that if i try to take what i do on halo or grand theft auto to the streets they will kill me before i step out the door. just because you kill a zombie here and an old ladie on gta its not like you will in real life. parents grow up and let your kids have some fun and sit back and relax

you people are the proof that fanatical over protective parents can be rallied to do just about anything when any idiot with an outlet to the media wants to blame his/her bad parenting skills on whatever scape goat they can find instead of admiting that they have failed and didn't look at any of the warning signs. I'll have you know that I was in the top third of my class, gaining awards for outstanding achievements in math, science, social studies and foreign language, the academic honors with distinction, and the presedents award for academic excellence. I graduated high school with a 2.86 gpa. I never once have had any trouble with law enforcement, including traffic tickets. ((of which I'm sure little to none of you have)).

I've played the type of games that you claim cause violent behavior and whatever nonsense your spitting from your ignorant mouths. and I'll be glad to prove you wrong whenever.

your right the satanic addictions of "Diablo" is so much better than kids going to corners of streets whoring themselves off or buying crack but you keep making the world a better place

Why start an arguement over something you people do not understand you think know but you don't. You think that every kid that plays violent videos games will become more aggressive and that any kid the plays a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) game will become addicted. You could not be more further from the truth. Obviously you people can't blame your selves so you have to blame someone or something else in the 70's it was music than after that is was music with syntanic verses in it now its video games. When are you going to stop. I bet you my life savings that if video games where taken away from the world it would make no effect what so ever. For video games are only a small piece of a massive puzzel that will never be solved by mothers who know nothing about video games. How about you concentrate on the schools and try to stop bullying in its tracks that does more damage to kids than video games. Or you could try protesting the Global warming issues gods knows that more important that this crap.

P.S. I am a gamer and I do play World of Warcraft (WoW) owe and whats that you say "go get a job and a life" but I do I am a Network Administrator at a local school.

I have played video games for about 5 years now and I’d like to say something about this article. I not only have played that achievement in Gears of War, but I completed it. The obvious fault in your acquisitions is that video games are not the enemy that you have to "curb stomp", It is simple an entertainment value. It is a hobby, like chess, tennis, and reading, watching movies and playing hoops with some pals. Sure it is not exercise, but it is a hobby. The reason people are addicted to video games is not usually because of high score needs, it is a need for something lacking in the world. For example, in Oblivion, (doubt you even know what that is about) you can ride your horse through mountains and by streams and visit grand places. Sure it's just a story. But can most people afford to buy a horse? No. Can they find a rural place that has no kind of Industrialization? No. What is in video games? Violence, Sexual themes, drugs, and language. Gee whiz... What's in our world? The same exact things are all around your kids’ everyday of their lives. If you really believe that it is so appalling of a hobby, please don't reject your kids their rights. I'm sure you tell them video games come from the devil itself, but really it is simply entertainment. Remember rock n' roll when it came out? How about TV? Even in the 1600's the people were against plays. Why? That you've already shown again, alas I get to say the famous quote, "History repeats itself."

Teens might do a better job of noticing the difference between reality and fantasy if people teach them the difference. Mainly the parents.

It is not the gaming industry's responsibility to raise your children. That is your job. Access to these games depends on you.

This seems familiar. I'm reminded of PETA and old fashioned families that were against rock and roll back when it was first becoming popular. People will continue to make stupid connections to irrelevent things as long as it's controversial in nature, and as long as it means they don't have to look at their parenting skills. After all, it's so much easier to blame someone else.

Worried about obesity? Teach your kids the importance of a healthy diet. Feed them meals with fresh vegetables instead of popping a frozen pizza in the oven. Worried about violence? Teach them the importance of respect.

Your kids aren't going to turn out the way you want them to if you're leaving the job to something else. If you're too busy to pay attention to your kids and instead have them raised by the television set, don't start blaming the cable providers for corrupting your kids.

It's not their responsibility.

People wonder why our generation is so fucked up. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that people aren't taking responsibility anymore.

Of course, they don't have to, do they? If they sue some other company because they can't keep themselves from eating a cheeseburger, they'll win. And people will support it.

After all, nothing is ever your fault.

It's people like you that make people like me glad we'll never be parents. We'll never be associated with the likes of you.

This site is disgusting. How about you take responsibility for your children before attempting to take responsiblity for ours? In fact, stay out of gamers' lives as a whole. Concerned mothers? As if. You're just a bunch of bitter hags who have nothing better to do than attempt to control our 'video game intake'. I've played games for my entire life, my parents play video games. We're not disfunctional. We're not raping and pillaging every night. We're normal people with normal lives and normal jobs. Do you consider us less than human for playing Chocobo Tales, too?

Video games have violence yes, but violence is a part of life. You can't hide your children from reality forever. If you achieve your inital goal, what's going to be next, ladies? Banning violent movies? How about cable TV? Free speach? What about the country of Japan? It's argueably the largest distributor of video games.

Do you really think I'm going to go out killing people after a round of Legend of Zelda? If so, you need to start paying your reality checks.

The internet does not approve. >:C

I agree this organization is a bunch of bull. These mothers have no lives and shouldn't be mothers cause they are bad at that. rather than trying to boycott videogames mothers, maybe you should go takes classes on how to be better mothers. Now thats a thought. Leave the gaming community alone. Besides the videogame market is a muti-billion dollar industry. it helps run the economy. Oh yeah may be you should check out CPL and learn exactly what your kid could be making playing videogames. I make on average $10,000 a year playing for CPL. Last thig maybe you mother should worry about childporn or underage drinking. Something that matters in this world.
GG
Ac1d-- professional gamer

You can't only take the addiction from the parents perspective. you have to take into consideration that it is not entirely the child's fault that he/she is playing a violent game. If a parent does not like the fact of the child playing a violent game, they should not buy the game for the child. That is why on recent games they have the rating of the game on the bottom left or right hand corner of the box. If they flip to the backside of the game there is a summary of why the game is rated in such a way. If a parent truly cared on what their child is playing and they are afraid of the addiction they would know to take two seconds of their time to look for a rating and why it's rated that. So truly the parent doesn't care they are just trying to make a fuss about something that is their own doing not the manufacturer of the game or the player of the game. It is the parents fault.

Having stumbled onto this site and read the articles i am in a state of sheer shock as to why you overprotective mothers seem to rate video game addiction as dangerous as drug addiction. What you mothers are essentially saying is that 'Oh quick lets not let our son/daughter play video games lets give him some crack cocaine instead'. Also it infuriates me as to how you can say video games damage education. I find this insulting as i am a gamer and so are the majority of my friends and guess what, non of us are failing miserably in any our subject and if you claim perhaps that gaming gives us health problems such as obesity i would highly disagree as not one of us is overweight in anyway and you also claim that games cause violence i find this ridiculous as we are almost never involved in violent confrontation's with anyone.
You people make me sick because all your doing is using gaming as a scapegoat for your poor parenting skills.

Having stumbled onto this site and read the articles i am in a state of sheer shock as to why you overprotective mothers seem to rate video game addiction as dangerous as drug addiction. What you mothers are essentially saying is that 'Oh quick lets not let our son/daughter play video games lets give him some crack cocaine instead'. Also it infuriates me as to how you can say video games damage education. I find this insulting as i am a gamer and so are the majority of my friends and guess what, non of us are failing miserably in any our subject and if you claim perhaps that gaming gives us health problems such as obesity i would highly disagree as not one of us is overweight in anyway and you also claim that games cause violence i find this ridiculous as we are almost never involved in violent confrontation's with anyone.

You people make me sick because all your doing is using gaming as a scapegoat for your poor parenting skills.

I am the mother of a 20-year-old addicted gamer. I agree that the games per se are not necessarily the problem, except for the fact that they are specifically designed to require multiple consecutive hours of play to achieve goals in the game, and the longer you play, the more hours are required. 90% of gamers have no problem stopping when they need to and functioning in RL, just like 90% of people who drink alcohol can have one or two or three and then stop. It's the other 10% that run into problems. My son was a bright, happy, social teen with tons of friends and a 3.5 GPA. He comes from a happy, well-adjusted two-parent family with no issues of drugs, alcohol, or mental illness. He played various games on his computer and never had a problem, until the World of Warcraft came out. He started playing about 8 months before he went to college. You folks who say the parents are to blame apparently have not raised children yourselves. He played mostly at night after we were asleep. He barely made it through his last semester of senior year, but still had good grades with a lot of encouragement from us. He continued to hold down a part-time job and hang out with friends, so I didn't think there was a problem. I did not know that they were just playing WoW at other peoples' houses when he was out with friends. Even the best parent in the world cannot follow a child around everywhere they go at age 18 and stay awake 24/7 watching them. He started acting strange before he went to college and I did what any good mom would do. I got a drug test to make sure he wasn't taking drugs. Little did I know that his drug of choice was sitting in the corner of his room and does not show up on a standard DAP. The test was negative and he told me it was just summer boredom. We sent him off to college 2 hours away and he proceeded to fail every single course except Computers 102. He finally admitted that he was playing WoW obsessively but that he had deleted it and would do better second semester. I had no idea how addictive a game could be so I believed him. He failed everything second semester in spite of close contact with us and tons of emotional support. When he came home from college my bright, social, witty, intelligent son was an empty shell with a vacant stare and a complete inability to focus or concentrate on anything. That's when we locked up the computer. He is now in Community College and working part-time again. His addiction cost us $13,000 in wasted college tuition. It is near impossible to stop a determined gamer. They hack passwords and parental controls, create new secret accounts, hack into neighbors' wireless networks, and some have even physically attacked their parents to get access back into their game. The only reason we were able to stop our son "cold turkey" was that I think he knew he had a problem and wanted to stop, but couldn't do it on his own without our help.

Those of you who can play games and continue to function IRL are truly fortunate. Not everyone can. I don't want to shut down the gaming industry, but I think now that the addictive nature of these games, particularly the MMORPG's, is known, the gaming industry needs to be responsible and consider some kind of warnings, just like the cigarette, alcohol, and gambling industries have. I hope that none of you gamers ever get addicted like my son did. It is truly a horrible situation. Please be careful when you accuse people you don't know of bad parenting. Someday you will be parents too, and the things you and your children will have to cope with haven't even begun to be imagined yet. Good luck to you all.

Video games are not bad. The problem is that there are video games made for people of different, appropriate ages and PARENTS above all need to be vigilant of what the kid's are playing. You can't blame the industry for creating GRAND THEFT AUTO and DIABLO, there's a market for those games, the problem is that parents are so lazy these days that they don't want to watch over their kids and so these kids are playing games that they are too young for. There shouldn't be a ban on violent video games, I don't believe, for one second, that video games make people violent. I have been playing my entire life, many violent games too from Duke Nukem 3D to Half-Life to Dead Rising and Gears of War and GTA and I have never confused real-life with a gaming-world.

Les Miller,

As a gamer, I can firmly say that there are educational, intelligent games that make you think and serve to pass time. There are also many mind-numbing games. However, I'm sure you watch TV and the same thing can be said of it, there is plenty of wanton violence on TV and in the movies and yet you don't have a problem with the TV.

A good argument and i can see why no posts have been issued since your important point was made. my own rage at this artical had totally deminished by the time i had reached the bottom of your message. I still feel the need to make a few points though... i am a 19 year old male who im sure may people would concider to be addicted to games which in my oppinion is probably true... i spend a good 4-5 hours a day on some game which goes up and down depending on the hand in date for my next assignment.

their are a few artacle on this site that made my blood boil a little as im sure it did in the case of some other gamers that replied here. the ignorance and downrite stupidity of the writer of this origial article burns my teeth as it in my oppinion implies that actually playing videogames is harmfull. what really gets me is the "clans and guilds, an underground video game phenomenon which closely resembles gangs" statement which is nothing more than an attention grabbing scare tactic. by no means does this even RESEMBLE the truth. a clan of guild is a small online community that share in common interests and aid each other in performing tasks or obtaining information within the game’s world. actualy joining a guild or clan and playing with them can be a good social excersise.

as for "text speak" accuratly corrected to leet it is no different to using short hand and is simply a way of comunicating quickly and efficiently. there is nothing sinister about it. i myself as i bet i've made it clear by now, i am dyslexic (and discalcular actually) and find that leet is a refreshing confirmation that the message is more important than the words. using multiple ways of communicating is NOT by any means a sign of a lack of intelegence. i myself speak a little french, spanish, german, japanese, leet and even a little english lol. my point is that leet is not only an appropriat method of communication but is as respectable as any standard language.

for the past few years my school work has probably been effected by my gaming but i have been able to restrict myself to enaough of an extent to maintain my above average grades (im not sure of the american equivilent but i got 11 A-Cs in my GCSEs) and i made it through college able to achieve a B-Tech national diploma (MMM) in 'computing: software development and engineering'.

i am now studying for a degree in 'The Application and Theory of Multimedia Games Programing' (which requires me to... uhhh... 'inspect' games regularly.) i have only gotten as far as i have because i have excellent problem solving skills (guess how).

i personally believe that video games can be as big or small a part of a persons life as they like. it is infinatly unimportant and irelivent as long as the person is happy, healthy and not a mass murderer which by the way a game cant turn someone into. a game doesnt blur the difference between fiction and reality so is only dangerous if a player cant tell the difference as it is in which case there already as dangerous as it gets.

if a person truely needs help and looses their life to a game then mabe a cold turkey thing is necisarry... but if i ever think i need help getting games OUT of my life... shoot me! (jk)

P.S. theres nothing wrong with being an overprotective mother... i dont hate mine for it but she'd better know damn well know not to take my games away! (joke - she supports my computer geekyness... or has given up on me... meh)

Through the majority of high school, I was a gamer. I was a hardcore gamer. I played something like 40-50hours a week. Sometimes I even skipped school to play video games. Then, I got a girlfriend. After discovering the joys that come with a relationship, I stopped gaming, completely. All I cared about was getting action (laid).

Now, 2 years later, I game. Why do I game? Because I got HIV, (through protected sex) and im not spreading it with the world. Moral of the story is, you parents should be MUCH more concerned about things OTHER than video game addiction.

I wouldnt be suprised if "mothers against nerdy children" was the next fade.

-Tyler

I give my child all my affection, yet I still see violence and discrimination EVERYWHERE! I buy my son sweets, video games and computers of various sorts. Now, as a troubled mother who has witnessed all this, I can and will blame the easiest and most obvious target, video games. Television and Pokemon are also the devils, but now video games promote racism, sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll. If only the world would stop all their devil video games and be peaceful Christians like myself, we could all live in peace.

---

Sarcasm aside, I don't get the point of this website. It should be "Mothers Teaching Other Mothers How To Parent". It's too easy to find scapegoats, it's sooo 80s.

Hey kids, I plan to become a game designer after college. What's that? Oh no, I'm going to be responsible for aiding the construction of games that represent evil itself?

Jeez, it's right to blame video games for certain cases such as a nutcase who gets inspired by the game, but generally in most cases, being inspired by video games to commit violence/crimes is just as possible as being inspired by anything else. If we didn't have video games, we have movies. If we didn't have movies, we have comics and simulation games. If we didn't have comics and simulation games, we have... we have... we have no decent culture.

re: armygamer 10120
hello? kids get summer jobs and buy games with their own money, and they secretly play games at their friends' houses. as their children grow older, there is less and less that parents can do to control what their children do with their time and money. would you guys quit blaming your discusting obsessions with worlds that exist only on a freakin' screen on parents who's only concerns are for YOUR wellbeing and happiness?! pull your heads out of your butts, guys! come on!
ps WHAT DO YOU MEAN, IT'S NOT THE KID'S FAULT??? May i remind you who must ASK the parents for the game in the first place?

yes, but the difference between alcohol and cigarettes compared to gaming is death. you could say that the few suicides and the school shootings were caused by gaming.. but the core issue was a social problem devoloped at a young age or chronic bullying... and of course, parenting. to woman's comment above me, her son could have just as easily been addicted to gambling, smoking, or drinking, which or way more dangerous activities. in that case, its really not the parents fault, or the game's fault. It was her son's fault. at the age of 18 he should have been aware of his addiction. now, at the age of 14, i could imagine a kid being unaware of his problem... but an 18-year old making that choice to continue with that game is just plain foolish. i do admit that video games CAN be addictive. however, there are many things in our society that are addictive. the lady's son above obviously had a chemical imbalance in his mind.. and a 3.5 doesn't intelligence, but discipline. which that kid lost.

Umm im more of a skater and hardly play my games. so im not an addict. and i am anti violence and love peace. but i like games that have a good plot. i play like 20 mins to 1hour a day. and i have fairly good grades.
Im 14 and i have a regular BMI.
Yet you exaggerate small things and call them an addiction.
You people just dont know who we are. Yet you enforce and blame video games.
If you dont like them then keep them out of your house and mind your own business.

I would like to respond to Anna's post on April 18, 2007. As the mother of an addicted gamer myself, you have touched my heart. When I read your post, it was like you read my mind. I agree that there should be a warning placed on these games. Who would think that a game could destroy a child's life unless they have lived through it themselves. I am currently living through it. Yes, it is a nightmare. Of course people who do not undersdtand what life becomes for these addicted gamers cannot possibly understand. They blame bad parenting. I believe that no one has the right to judge anyone else unless they have walked 1,000 miles in their shoes. I am walking in your path. You have given me hope that someday my son's life will return to normal. We are currently seeking professional help. If you have any advice for me I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your post.

My advice: Discipline him and take away the video games.

The child will survive. Limit his/her time on the game. Enforce this. Don't fall for the "one more minute" or "I'm almost done with this level" routine.

If you're not doing anything, then IT IS the fault of bad parenting.

....this site has to be some kind of ridiculous joke. No way would any self-respecting person blame ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA for societal ills. If you have a problem with your kids habits and behavior, quit pointing at the gaming industry! THE BLAME BELONGS WITH YOU, THE PARENTS. Take some responsibility for your offspring and stop trying to push the blame onto an industry that's created thousands of jobs. You people make me sick. Get lives.


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