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Still think games are bad for kids? Read this then.

Read this and allow an educated person to disabuse you of the notion.


Talk of video game addiction is just absolutely hilarious. Not only does it have zero support in science (hint: one or two idiots shrieking about their studies means nothing, L2Science please) but it's just flat out idiotic. I don't know anyone who is legitimately addicted to video gaming.

Most people object to having to give up their games or their computer because they've got nothing else to do. At best, this requires a re-orienting of their entertainment. I've gone through phases where I played many hours of video games, but I've also never been all that annoyed at having no interactive electronic entertainment.

Why? Because I've always known I could pick up a book, or listen to music, or whatever.

If I ever was, it's because someone else was fucking with my property or trying to tell me what to do with my own free time - that dickhead "psychologist" who insisted video games were addictive because "just see how your kid reacts when you snatch that controller out of their hands" needs to be spoken to rather gently.

Rational thought might scare him, but I'm sure he'll eventually understand that I'd want to smack you in the face if you turned off my movie, tore my book from my hands or otherwise interrupted my entertainment in a violent, peremptory fashion and demanded I do what you want me to do.

At worst, I'm seeing people who don't understand they can do other things aside from play a video game. Many of them don't have the option of playing a physical game for instance - I don't. I don't own a basketball hoop or a yard I can practice my football shots in anymore... hell, where did my soccer ball go?!
So, in fact, some people DON'T have much in the way of options nowadays. Games are a hell of a lot better than television.

Any mention of a pathetic creature who played Star Craft for 56 hours and died is just embarrassing. Don't mention it. That's laughable. There are people out there who randomly burst into flames and die, would you call that a common occurrence to get worked up about? People really need to get a grip on figures and statistics; stop letting yourself be manipulated by sensationalist newspapers and their doctored statistics. It is annoying.

Millions of people play video games and are fine. They do not cause violence. They do not cause addiction. They cause nothing. Video games are guilty of nothing more than superseding a few forms of entertainment (such as television) during a time in society where we've sabotaged the remaining forms of entertainment. For kids especially.

Forcing kids to read in school and accompanying it with tests has decimated interest in reading.
"Stranger Danger" hype and paranoid parents have killed the pick-up-group neighborhood games, locking kids indoors.
A culture of jocks, hyper-competitiveness and adult-directed "formal sports" turns children away from sports - or into douches.
A lack of community spirit means kids can live next door to one another but never speak.
More stranger danger hype, paranoia and general hatred of children/teens discourages youths from going outside in groups to skate, cycle, play games, or hang out.

As for adults? Well, I luckily avoided being turned off of reading despite my teachers' best efforts, so I'm probably going to finish this journal, completely ignore the dozens of games on my computer, and sit down to finish a book. Or write one.

But how many of us adults just have toys sitting around and people we can play with? I DO own a Nerf gun, and I do play with it when I'm with friends, but they're miles away. I've got nothing I can really do by myself, and the motivation to do much isn't really there. All we've got are video games, television, ugh, and working out.

Besides, after a hard day's work or whatever, I want to sit down with a beer, a steak and to chill out on WoW or ArmA or something until I go to bed and read. Bugger off and leave me alone!

Y'see, our country has the same elements (whackjob religionuts) that America has trying to ban or restrict video games. They're fighting an uphill battle here because our culture negates much of the problems that spring up in America. They've got less ammunition to distort and throw at us.

Teenagers and kids are still kind of fucked over, due to their lack of transport and factors like that, but here? Well my friends, who were once those very teenagers who couldn't go anywhere or do anything, now can do whatever they want. They're going to the beach, they're holding barbecues,  they're just going to places to "hang out" with people. Clubs, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, etc.

Oh. My friend owns a basketball hoop and he practices every day, then goes down to the recreation center and plays in a pickup group game for 2 hours. On days he doesn't do that, he drives to the gym and does that instead. I can't do that, but the options are there for him, he is aware of them, and that's why he takes them. How many of you, teens or adults, even know that you can just go to a recreation center and walk onto a court like that?

Kids go up and down streets in their bikes, skateboards and scooters. If you know any kids, you know that they'd prefer a Wii and two friends over for a quick game before a Nerf war over sitting on X-Brick and putting up with trolls on Modern Warfare 3. I've been dragged into 45 minute games of tag when a game console was sitting right there.

Australia has the exact same electronic entertainment as America. Sorry to shatter any delusions, but this is not a third-world country and we don't ride kangaroos to work on the farm (they're too fragile to carry us and our knives). This is one of the best countries on the planet, routinely dominating the "top ten cities" lists in The Economists and other publications and second highest on the international Human Development Index. Video games don't cost twice as much here ($120 AUD = $60USD). We've got EXACTLY what the US has. So why are things so starkly different?

It's not the games, it's the culture. And before Aussieland gets too fucking comfortable: we're just as guilty. Being slightly better in this area doesn't change the fact that our parents need to be firmly re-educated about nonsense like stranger-danger. If nothing else, we need to stop blindly copying America in these very areas before we fall down the same pitfalls.

Sorry, anti-game crusaders. Science and basic rational thought concludes unequivocally that it is nothing to do with video games. It's the culture; nothing happens in a vacuum.

It's the culture, and the people most vulnerable to and harmed by a culture's stupidity is the children. A reform is required, and banning or limiting video games is just a disgusting option. The reason it's so popular is not addictiveness, but because we've methodically stripped youths' avenues of entertainment away from them and made the outside world a scary, bleak place. Taking video games away from them too is just foul.

Viewed: 79 times
Added: 7 years, 4 months ago
7 years, 4 months ago
Uhh.. I know lots of people whose lives are utterly ruined because of their addiction to playing games. Maybe what people mean by "addicted" is being argued. I think someone who plays 14 hrs a day+ and lets their school and job and life fall to pieces is addicted and there are heaps of those people in this fandom alone. Unfortunately the whole issue gets hijacked by conservatives with other agendas.
7 years, 4 months ago
There's a difference between drinking too much and drinking too much because you're addicted. Both can ruin your life, but in one case the blame goes to the drink, the other goes to the drinker.
The entire point of the article I linked at first was to address the very cases you're mentioning and pointing out that it cannot be called an addiction. The blame doesn't rest with the games.

"Still, of course, some people let their dedication to video gaming--or to chess, or to skiing, or to anything else--interfere with other aspects of their life, and that can be a problem. Lots of us need to learn time management, especially as we reach adulthood, in order to do what we want to do and still fulfill our obligations to others. ... But, let's not stigmatize any of this by calling it an addiction. Let's just call it a time management problem and figure out constructive ways to deal with it."

"In a study of more than 1300 adult video gamers (age 18 to 43), Andrew Przybylski and his colleagues at the University of Rochester found that a small percentage of them, who played many hours per day, described themselves as obsessively engaged--they felt that they didn't just "want" to play, but "needed" to play. ... The extensive questionnaires used in this study also revealed that these "obsessed" player were, in general, those whose basic psychological needs--their needs for freedom, competence, and social relationships--were not being met in real life."

You may also want to note that people who let their lives fall apart due to video games are a distinct minority. If we're seeing a disproportionate amount of such people in the furry fandom, then I'm sorry but that says more about the furry fandom than anything else. Such as, say, perhaps it attracts people who lack (social) competence, freedom and social relationships? Would it offend anyone if I was to say that yes, it absolutely does? Certainly not every furry is such a person but I've met more such folks amongst furries than I have amongst the general populace, online and off.

Personally, the only person I know who could seem at first to be addicted to games is a furry kid (note: only one I can think of is a furry) of 19 who has crippling emotional and social difficulties that can be blamed on his shithouse mother. He's basically impotent, can go nowhere, has no job, etc. He spends more time playing games and messing around with shit like FurryMUCK rather than being productive and getting his life on track. I don't blame video games for this.

I blame his mother for making him socially awkward and confused by the adult world, and the society that let it happen, but that's a rant for another day.
7 years, 4 months ago
eek. wrong reply button.
7 years, 4 months ago
I'd love to see those "experts" at the golf coarse. That way I could rip their clubs from his hands before he tees off then tell him "your addicted to golf. See how upset you got when I ripped away your club." the only problem with that is I could've been encouraged to do that by games like gta.
I think that homework also has a big role in keeping kids indoors. I personally don't have any time to go outside let alone play videogames.
7 years, 4 months ago
Video games are pretty addictive. Is there irrational fear of them? Absolutely. But really... kids play them a lot more than they used to, particularly at a young age, and I think it's cutting into their development of imagination.
7 years, 4 months ago
in other words its the difference between a psychological addiction and a physiological addiction. no one ever differentiates between the two. well 'cept Kichigai.
7 years, 4 months ago
That's not exactly it either. As I said to Starling, it's almost never an addiction of any kind.
7 years, 4 months ago
I'd get pissed off if you snatched my chocolate from me too. That doesn't mean I have a chocolate addiction.

From what I've been reading lately, Swedish institutions spend a lot of money on studying video game addiction. The last study I read condemned studies like these. Kids spend more time on the computer these days, but the trend follows the same curve as for adults. We also spend more time on the computer. The difference is, kids multitask more, and they're getting better at it at a staggering rate. Said study puts the "addicts" as an occasional thing, not a problem that needs containing.

Still, WoW when you should be studying for tomorrow's exam is bad. Blame Blizzard for making it so addictive, not the kids playing it. :C
7 years, 3 months ago
Have you read the book Killing Monsters: Our Children's Need for Fantasy, Heroism and Make-believe Violence, by Gerard Jones?It's a 2003 book, I believe, but still in print - and libraries should have it or be able to provide it through interlibrary loan, I'd expect. It touches on parts of what you speak of in this journal, including the flaws inherent in many studies used to "prove" how bad the Internet, videogames, roleplaying games, television, radio, comics, or whatever new entertainment technology/fad of the day, are for children.
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