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Video game addiction and the causes - dismissing or villanizing "old school" fun

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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?

posted on Sep, 7 2018 @ 08:51 PM
I'm old school.
My daughter, no video games cell phone. We have a home phone and a TV. She grew up that way, I just hope her 2 kids don't fall into the trap of having disconnected parents.

posted on Sep, 7 2018 @ 08:52 PM
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I went through it. I'm on the other side fortunately. Didn't lose any jobs but did slack off a ton of school work. At a certain point, they just got boring.

posted on Sep, 7 2018 @ 08:53 PM
I been playing early re-lease SCUM....

Being able to poop on another player is the pinnacle of gaming.

Wouldn't play it for days on end though.

posted on Sep, 7 2018 @ 08:59 PM
The parents are semi responsible. My mom would take the Nintendo and lock it away. But I do believe its a skill that will be necessary in the future of medicine with remote surgery, in war with robot soldiers and many other fields. Like Enders Game. There's a lot of problem solving in games as well. The digital is the new frontier in our near future. Back in my day kids blah blah....... parents used to worry about Elvis.

posted on Sep, 7 2018 @ 09:06 PM
We have a kid who gets hyper focused on games.

Get him a new one and he obsesses over it until he plows through it. We have to fight to keep his video gaming time to a reasonable amount while he's working through it. Once he's been through it once, it's fine. But until then, we're liabel to catch him up at 2 and 3 in the morning trying to play. We have to lock our computers down and if that's not enough, we've had to just plain uninstall games before.

We'd like to let him get into Minecraft, but the idea of an endless game scares us for the above reasons. Until he shows more ability to control that facet of his personality with new games, we're not sure he's ready for it.

posted on Sep, 7 2018 @ 09:16 PM
Back in the day, mid 80s, I had my fling with video games. The games were on the Commodore 64, no internet, primitive RPG games (D&D), played with my D&D/Risk game playing friends. A natural progression from our game board days. We'd play those for many hours for weeks at a time, but we always had other interests. Many of those other interests are considered dangerous today, perhaps illegal now too, certainly not considered acceptable.

At any rate, I know a number of young people in their 20s that are literally addicted to online gaming. They work day jobs, even have families of their own, but the games are all consuming when they get home from work. The yard is never kept up, their homes are a wreck, they eat crappy take out food mostly. Their priority is to get the fastest internet, best gaming computers and Hi-Res screens. Disfunctional at best, not what I consider a normal family life to be sure.

Not all young people I know are like that, but a few are (not that I know that many people these days). Living in a rural area, hunting, camping, fishing, boating, most younger people around still have those interests. I'd think it's more of a problem in the city.
edit on 7-9-2018 by MichiganSwampBuck because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 7 2018 @ 09:24 PM
Gaming is one of the last places where masculine things can be expressed.

Of course, the PC Police are coming for that too.

posted on Sep, 7 2018 @ 09:32 PM
It is having an impact. I know many of my neighbors have children but you never see them. Nice yards to play in but they are never in them.

One has a basketball hoop, swings and other equipment, five children and I've never once seen them used as their children grew up over the last decade. Their father is very active, always outside working on something, but never the kids. Heck of a nice guy also, loves outdoor stuff but apparently the kids are content inside with their TV's and games. Sad really.

posted on Sep, 7 2018 @ 09:37 PM

originally posted by: Blaine91555
It is having an impact. I know many of my neighbors have children but you never see them. Nice yards to play in but they are never in them.

One has a basketball hoop, swings and other equipment, five children and I've never once seen them used as their children grew up over the last decade. Their father is very active, always outside working on something, but never the kids. Heck of a nice guy also, loves outdoor stuff but apparently the kids are content inside with their TV's and games. Sad really.

The times they are a changing.

I would rather have them at home playing video games than out doin the stuff I did
Now that they are middle-aged , I still look at it the same way.

edit on 9/7/18 by Gothmog because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 7 2018 @ 10:00 PM
a reply to: Blaine91555

Ours is outside when he can be.

One side the neighbor has a 1st grade boy. Other side the neighbor has a 3rd grade boy. Ours is 2nd grade.

Now that fall is starting to cool the weather a bit, the three of them have created a bike path that goes from the top of our drive through the gate into our backyard, over a ramp they've built onto the lower part of our patio across that, they jump off, through the gate on the other side of our yard and on down the natural slope into the 1st-grade kid's yard.

It's been a hot thing now for about a week when we've had our backyard open. It'll be hard when winter comes and chases them back in. I know the other two are couch potatoes by nature. Ours is not.

posted on Sep, 8 2018 @ 12:18 AM
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Video games as I remember were multi player, in person.

I couldn't imagine the first Atari, or Magnavox pong/breakout going Anywhere without air to air combat, or any other two player game. Even single player games took turns with at least one other.

Later in my 20's we'd rent a multi tap and play bomberman etc. I couldn't imagine playing any of those in the summer, when there were bikes to ride, fish to catch and girls to chase.

With the advent of internet connected multiplayer and in game chat its to easy to find entertainment solo.

I promised myself when I married I would "toss the computer/game console outside and set them alight" before they interfered with my family or life in general.

Now the kids have grown and gone, I wish I had upheld that rule for the "adults" and included phones.

I should have never purchased my love a smart phone or acquired one myself. So much wasted time. What is a internet friend or distant family if you don't recognize the ones beside you.

Hypnotizing Boxes with lights.
Don't forget that little button, usually situated atop the box. It is of course yours to use.

edit on 9 8 2018 by Lykan because: Spelling grammar and that stuff. (Still awful)

posted on Sep, 8 2018 @ 06:30 AM
a reply to: Lykan

I'm going to have toher knick name myself thread killer.

Apologies if I've stifled the conversation.

posted on Sep, 8 2018 @ 08:31 AM
Reality sucks plain an simple.

Some grow out of games while others could play the same one for years like it was literal religion. I grew up during the golden age of gaming where developers tried new things Eventually though, trying to be different was kind of like Russian Roulette for developers due to the increased amount of work needed to make cgi look great, let alone to even make it worth playing.

The only really benefit from playing video games is hand eye coordination , so it kind of does fine tune the motor skills. Hell, they are even better at testing ones critical thinking then any automated school teacher program can do, or sadly try.

I studied the water temple for hours of not days.

Some of the smartest an dumbest people were video game addicts, some ended up successful, others still stuck in time.

Long story short I've been on both sides of the arugment, it not my line of credit or bill of health, and that which is, which was and has yet to come will be said again...reality like evolution sucks.
edit on 8-9-2018 by Specimen because: (no reason given)

edit on 8-9-2018 by Specimen because: (no reason given)

oh and ps, any one thinking they can be a real commando just playing first person probably deserves to get shot.
edit on 8-9-2018 by Specimen because: (no reason given)

edit on 8-9-2018 by Specimen because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 8 2018 @ 08:45 AM
link is like anything else that tickles the pleasure centers. Moderation is key. You can blame the person or you can blame the game. Most will blame the game. Because if you blame the person, then god forbid, they would have to work on themselves.

posted on Sep, 8 2018 @ 10:29 AM
the electronic gadgets phenonium/problem is multi-faceted. i grew up in it's very beginnings. at that time most kids unless they suffered from health problems tended to spend a fair amount of time outside. the good old "when the streetlights come on, it's time to come in" era. parents gave their kids boundaries of where they could go, without consulting them first, based upon age and maturity. it would start out the area of a few houses. then as kids grew older it was the block, and perhaps to the corner store. until as you grew older you might be permitted to go into the city with friends, or even meet friends downtown to shop, go to concerts etc. all this was done on the kids own, and with equal age friends. no parent needed to be in attendance. if you got in trouble people would call your parents for whatever it was you had done.

at that time video games were something you played at a friend's house, or in crappy weather, or after you had to be inside. now most games at that time were rather time neutral. many were rather short time span with levels increasing in difficulty. and you were given codes that you could use to start at the more advanced levels (no save games really at that point). so you could easily play whenever you liked, and didn't have to put a lot of time into things like leveling toons, or gaining needed equipment. you didn't need to hang out so you could form groups to go after stuff, where you need cooperation to beat mobs. seriously many of the games now are time intensive. you have to almost work hard while playing. and if you miss out being there, you miss out on leveling and gaining equipment. or even in some cases having your base literally wiped out so that you needed to pretty much start over. i remember one game i fell into. it was called o-game. and seriously if you were not there you stood a chance at being completely wiped out. i was at the point of waking up early before work so i could figure out timing for the time i would not be home so i could send my ships out and have them back when i got home. this game also required that you yet again do the same thing before you went to bed. again so you wouldn't be wiped out while you were sleeping. after a few weeks of this i realised that that was complete BS. and far too much work for no real reward and stopped playing. i also remember on MMO's where people were setting up scheduling so you could get together for raids. so this is one issue that is causing the problem. there is just too much involvement needed for games now. seriously it can become like another job.

another issue is that kids today can not be out on their own like when i was young. a parent pretty much has to be in sight of the child at all times. if you dare let your kids play even in your yard and you are not there people actually call the cops on you. CPS may even get involved and threaten to steal your kids because of your negligence. so what happens to the kids? especially today with many two parent families having both parents working, the kid is literally stuck in the house. since the parents are too busy doing stuff like trying to fix dinner, and doing the housework that needs to be done, to be able to go outside and watch them like hawks. so what does a kid have to do inside? generally it means the kid is sat in front of the TV, given a cellphone or tablet, or given a video game console or computer to occupy themselves while the parents are busy. which of course means many of these kids are quite literally brought up be such things. and it does not help with so much of it being games that you are constantly involved in. it also does not help that the cellphone of today is a portable game/TV that can be used anywhere and almost everywhere (unless you are outside of cities). unlike in my younger years a cellphone was something permanently attached to a car and extremely expensive. gradually becoming portable, by carrying a 20lb battery briefcase with the phone attached. and only being able to use to call people, no texting even. and i remember as a teen working at an amusement park laughing about the people who had to have such things tying them down to the office, even while on a weekend or after work in their own time. now almost everyone has to carry that phone at all times. but it's that easy portability of their electronic universe which ends up giving the kids that much more dependence of those games and such. look around next time you are shopping. you are almost sure to see kids up to teenagers sitting in shopping carts staring at a cellphone or tablet. these kids are totally dependant on the electronic device, otherwise they almost go mad. even many cars come with rear seat entertainment centers to even keep them occupied with electronic imagery while they ride. is it any wonder when these kids get older they become totally engrossed in their electronic worlds?

then yet another issue is escapism where that electronic toy is their escape from a crappy world. and that just heaps onto their reliance of such devices. rather like a drug they are addicted to.

seriously if the crap ever hits the fan. i bet a lot of people will actually DIE without their electronic gadgets. they simply will be bored to death. and not able to do anything. they won't be able to cook or start a fire without that little electronic device and the internet to tell them what to do. they will be completely lost without those devices. since people are quite literally becomming completely dependant on them

posted on Sep, 8 2018 @ 07:33 PM
OH look another vider games are like teh drugs! oh noes!! I swear. anything to blame anyone except the parents for not doing their dam jobs. Mos tkids are online on FB and twitter as well as games from time to time.

Ive been playing games 30 yrs and i can pu tthem down just liek that. My parents taught me how to be responsible and not spend all day long playing games. Another study by a freaking moron who is gettng paid to make crap up or blow it out of proportion.

posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 09:13 AM
Had the console game and eventually home computers back in the 1980's/1990's. The city apartment I grew up in had a large green garden, and that was my first outdoor play area. For others in my elementary school, their play areas were their bedrooms and the back lanes and gardens behind their homes. When we moved house, I had a new play area which
was a scraggy bit of forest land that was walled off. There was nothing there except for the remains of an old house bathroom at one end.

Everyone walked to and from school. There weren't any school buses. Everyone just used regular public transit. We had problems with crime. Some kids were bought expensive BMX bicycles, skateboards and were heartbroken when they were stolen. It's amazing how we were allowed to walk home and so far. Everyone had activities like Cub Scouts, Girl Guides,
The worst injury that someone got back then was to be pushed off a table at Cub Scouts and break their arm. That would
be a major lawsuit these days.

These days everyone is driven to and collected from school by their parents by car. Modern housing estates are just these nested subdivisions of cul-de-sacs and rat run roads. Your home might only be 1/4 mile away as the crow flies, but it can be a 1.5 mile trek by walking. Streets are so narrow, that cars have to park on the pedestrian pathways.

Some games back then were two or more party games (Air Sea Battle, Breakout, Video Olympics) but others were more single player (Asteroids, Space Invaders, Missile Command).

But now, once high-speed broadband and LAN internet become standard, then all these multi-player network games became available (Doom, Quake). The VR/AR games are more fun and are multiplayer rather than single player. That's one important difference. Anything requiring team play (capture the flag) requires cooperation, communication and coordination. But given the choice, the kids would play these games in a real world if there were space.

posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 04:24 PM
I remember growing up and the complaint was over television and the beginnings of video game complaints. After a lot of money and study, the main takeaway was that games let people do things they can't do in real life, and rather than watch it on TV they can participate with a video game.

Take an example like sports. Sure, you can goto a local court and play a basketball game, but you can't play with pro's or compete against a wide variety of players. Video games offer something that reality doesn't.

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