posted on Sep, 7 2018 @ 08:38 PM
Saw a 60 mins Australia report on video game addiction and it seems like it is a growing issue in many countries. The kids play non-stop and even
stop going to school, don't go outside for weeks and all kinds of odd behavior.
I know that over the years society has been villanizing all kinds of things that kids used to do for "fun" while growing up, things that often gave
them a sense of excitement, a thrill and often a sense of learning a skill and or being part of a team or club.
It seems that over the years a lot of fun has been taken out of a lot of the things that kids used to do with the new focus on "saftey" and almost
wrapping kids in bubble wrap before they go out and play.
When I was a kid I'm not sure I knew any kids that didn't have a bb or pellet gun and we would go to the woods and target shoot for hours on end to
the point where parents had to come find us b/c it was dark. Of the 10+ kids I would do this with from 3rd - 4th grade on, I can only think of one
time when there was a problem with doing this, when a window got shot out from about 100 yards away (I think the truck window was in bad shape already
or it wouldn't have broken) but we reported it and took care of it - as we should have. The worst we did was shoot at ground hogs at times (usually
didn't hit them as they ran) and put holes in old soup cans or water bottles.
When we weren't doing something like that we might be playing laser tag or something like capture the flag (with laser guns/vests) running through
the neighborhood, through 10-15 people yards (we never trampled gardens or anything or intruded too close to houses, just ran between houses in an
open/wooded neighborhood). These things would go on for 4-8 hours even till 10-11pm while our parents were nearby, usually in a group on a porch at
someones house. These were some of the most fun times I ever had as a kid and we would have kids from 2nd grade up to 10th graders playing together.
Most of my friends had a lot more video games than I did, I had them but I was outside 10x more than playing video games (unless I got a new game for
b-day or Christmas then I would play for about a week to 10 days or so until I beat it or got bored). We would usually not choose to play the video
games even though my friends had the best & newest systems unless it was rainy or night time
Other things we did was have kick ball games or we tried to play basketball (none of us were good). If it was snowy we would head to the local
sledding hill and stay there from the time there was enough snow until our parents came looking for us for dinner or to go home. We spent all day
building jump and treking up a steep hill for the short thrill of flying down the hill. There were also some epic snow ball battles where only one
time someone got hurt (ice in the snowball - not intentional) but not severely.
In the summer we would ride our bikes to the pool or even just go for a 10-20 mile bike ride - all being 12-14 years old w/o parents. we'd also go
canoeing at the river or creeks (and always swam there), go hiking for an entire day (seemed like torture at times) but parents pushed us on. Then
there were camping weekends with no video games except maybe the drive with a gameboy.
I can't see the current generation being much different in that we had access to video games, my friend probably had 4-6 game systems and a computer
and hundreds of games, always with the newest and latest controllers. He may have played more than I did but we had very different
families/neighborhoods, I had more responsibilities at home.
All of us also had some kind of weekly jobs in our houses (to earn allowance - or legit jobs like mowing lawns for neighbors, clearing driveways,
gardening, etc) and we were expected to do them w/o being told. If we didn't no games (video). All of this doesn't even touch on things like real
sports (on teams), learning a musical instrument, or having a hobby like wood work an art like painting.
When I watch these shows and they say that their kids only play video games, I wonder how much the parents are at fault. Isn't it easier to just buy
them games and let them sit there quietly? Even if the kid isn't the most "sociable" (read "dork") that can't stop them b/c I went through
that, most kids do, especially when there are older kids around they feel this way.
Can these kids really not have any other interests or is it that they haven't been exposed to other options in a real way, not forcing them to "have
fun" - that isn't natural/organic. Fun comes naturally and forcing it feels like torture.
I see this, and I could be very far off, as largely being a parenting issue, either the parents aren't willing to be "the bad guy" and tell them to
turn it off, or they don't want to be bothered to find out what the kid would really enjoy doing. If you are given a bunch of bad options, playing
games non-stop probably seems like the better choice. I had to deal with bullying from K-12 and lots of things sucked but that is a necessary part of
growing up and w/o it you don't grow. With the anti-bullying policies in school I would think this has been dealt with to a large extent but maybe
that is part of the problem, kids never have adversity or challenges to overcome.
Are the new games that much more addicting (scientifically created to be such) and if they are, then it is the parents fault in large part, for
allowing the kid to get so involved - but the manufacturers are more to blame as it is their intent to do this.
Has anyone been through this themselves or with a child/friend/loved one?