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For God’s sake think of the children!


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Two weeks ago a program aired on television here in the UK which I’m embarrassed to say is a legitimate, honest to god bit of prime time scare mongering about one of our favourite subjects. I of course refer to….. bananas, and by bananas, I mean computer games. Watch it to see what deluded sick bastards we really all are!

 

Forums like this are a sickening cell of activity, a breeding ground for those who'd rather piss into a bottle than walk away from their 360s. Watch and feel ashamed, sickos! They even have to blur out the game footage it's so digusting to take in with your own eyes.

 

First ten minutes:

 

Second ten minutes:

 

Last few minutes:

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I watched the whole thing. Why is it that these programs can't bother to show youngsters who play video games on a regular basis but lead normal healthy lives on top of that? Oh, I remember! Because there's no story in "Video Games Are Not Harmful to Children". How silly of me.

 

Just out of curiosity, how many of you got yelled at for playing video games too much as a kid? Did it happen on a regular basis? If so, what would you do once the controller was taken out of your hand?

 

For me, I can only recall one time when my parents ever confronted me about the amount of time I spent playing games. It was shortly after I had purchased my SNES and a copy of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. I started playing one afternoon at a point very near the end of the game. I remember going through Ganon's Tower, which is the biggest, most complex level, so obviously, it was taking me a long time to get through it. After several hours of play time, my mom finally knocked on my door, came into my room and asked, "Are you still playing that game?" At that point she told me to turn it off and go outside.

 

Keep in mind that the SNES had practically consumed my free time ever since I got it a few weeks earlier. Between Zelda and Super Mario World, I was pretty much in Gaming Paradise. I figure her outburst had been building up for quite a while, since she didn't want me to spend my money on the system or its games anyway. (I remember her protest over me getting an SNES, saying something along the lines of, "Well, you'll just have to get all new games for it if you buy one." Um, yeah, mom. That's sort of the point. :) )

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As much as I like video games I dont recall ever being completely obsessed with them to the point of playing them allday. I can recall being really into a certain game but at the same time I recall times when I'd feel like going outside to shoot some hoops, ride my bike, etc. Geezus have times changed that much from my generation to this one? Hell I'm only 30 years old and when I start talking about things like this I feel old....

 

*starts talking in old man voice*

 

In my day I had friends over and we actually played OUTSIDE. We rode bikes, played sports, climbed trees, had dirt claud fights, played hide n seek, etc. We got dirty, sweaty, and often times got hurt...and we had a damn good time doing it! And oh ya we played video games from time to time too...

 

BOTH my parents were very involved in my life. We did things TOGETHER as a family. We would go camping. Me and Dad would shoot hoops together and go on bike rides. Mom would cook dinner and we ate together. Bottom line is I always had a healthy respect for both and an understanding of how important they were to me and my sister. They are 2 of the most loving, devoted, humble, and generally kind people I know. At the same time I always knew that if I ever disrespected by not obeying I was "going to get it when Dad got home" since Moms spanking didn't really hurt me anymore. :) Even when I was being punished I could see the pain in my parents eyes and always came away with a lesson learned and even more respect for my parents. However I dont recall being punished very much because I never wanted to disapoint my parents. Gee I wonder why that is.....

 

*end old man rant*

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We played a lot of Video games when we were younger, but it was not for more then a few hours. We had a lot of people our age on the block so we did a lot of sports. Baseball leagues, Bowling leagues, Basketball in our yard, football games in the streets, hockey, soccer, rode our bikes etc.. If there was a sport we did it.

 

Only time i can remember thinking to myself i played a game too long at one time was when COH came out and we played one night for 6 hours . That was recent though.

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Ever since my Atari 2600, I recall being glued to the TV many times, like the day I flipped the score twice on Asteriods (I think thats when you hit something like 100,000 points but it only shows 5 digits so it resets to 0). I also played outside quite a bit. I never recall getting in trouble for playing games, but I did get in trouble for things I did outside.

 

Stupid story that focuses on a very small percentage of people/kids and escalates it to some huge problem we are facing. :td

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Just out of curiosity, how many of you got yelled at for playing video games too much as a kid? Did it happen on a regular basis? If so, what would you do once the controller was taken out of your hand?

 

I don't recall it ever happening. I probably played games a little more back then than I do now, but not much, and these days I'll probably play a games for about four or five hours a week so I've actually never consistently sat glued to a games console for days on end unless I've been in bed ill for some time, or on the extremely rare occasions where - last year for example - I let a game like Resident Evil 4 consume me until it was completed over about five or six long sessions spanning about four evenings and very late nights. I'm a single adult now thought of course, so "whatevah, I'll do what I want"

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I think I could very easily have become an "addict" as a teen. I think back to my youth and imagine that if PC games, the internet, online console games, etc, had been available to me back then, it would have been easy to succumb.

 

As it was, up until I was 17, I spent nearly every bit of my allowance and later my work-income at the arcades.

 

My parents were very lenient when it came to my gaming. I was always a straight-A honor student, so since my grades never suffered, they didn't have a problem. I was bean-pole skinny, so it wasn't an issue of fitness.

 

I did get plenty of outdoors activities: Riding bikes, ping-pong, basketball all at one time or another became my favorite activities, but I always played games too. I was somewhat well-rounded, but with a heavy dominance of games as the focus of my attention.

 

There is a cure--the attraction to and attention from the opposite sex. Fixed my priorities right up!

 

 

Carlos.

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I can recall being really into a certain game but at the same time I recall times when I'd feel like going outside to shoot some hoops, ride my bike, etc. Geezus have times changed that much from my generation to this one? Hell I'm only 30 years old and when I start talking about things like this I feel old....

I'm about the same age as you with an 8 year old, and the answer is no things haven't changed that much. The major changes from when we were kids are dvd players and portable games. It's way too easy as a parent to just throw a dvd in, or throw a portable game system at a kid and go about doing whatever you want to.

 

I watched the 1st 10 minutes of that show, and the 6 year was throwing a temper tantrum. Anyone w/ kids knows these start out at about the age of 2, and most parents get them under control around the age of 3. If you give into your kids temper tantrums, you get exactly what you saw on that screen, it doesn't take child psychologists to figure that out. :rolleyes:

 

I've come to the conclusion that anything that derives any sort of pleasure will have some form of addicts. Sex addicts, gambling addiction, adrenaline junkies, there's probably hundreds of non-chemical depencies that people "suffer" from.

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Actually, I like seing things like that, simply because it makes me feel better about my own paltry "addiction". Still, I don't think I could play just anything for 10 hours a day. Something like an Oblivion or a Dead Rising maybe, but even then you gotta take a break every so often...

 

I remember one of my friends' parents saying that the biggest mistake she ever made was letting the kids have computers in their rooms (the same can be said for TVs). I know that all of our computers, consoles, and TVs were always in common areas, so even if if my brother and I were gaming all the time, at least we had to (potentially) interact with others to do it. The only other rule I recall was not letting anything (gaming or otherwise) interfere with school or other responsibilities. Clearly, these kids were letting other things suffer.

 

On the other hand, playing outside is overrated anyway. I don't know why people assume that playing sports outside is the panacea for society's problems. If anything, it's worse than gaming for instilling competitive behaviour and social awckwardness :)

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On the other hand, playing outside is overrated anyway. I don't know why people assume that playing sports outside is the panacea for society's problems. If anything, it's worse than gaming for instilling competitive behaviour and social awckwardness :)

 

It also promotes exercise, teamwork, hand-eye cooridination, & confidence, to name a few benefits. Also, what is wrong with being competitive?

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Just out of curiosity, how many of you got yelled at for playing video games too much as a kid? Did it happen on a regular basis? If so, what would you do once the controller was taken out of your hand?

Many, many, many times. However, I also played sports year-round (basketball, soccer, baseball) and had good grades. And my parents and I got along for the most part. So even though it was a constant struggle, it wasn't a big problem.

 

I think all of my gaming did a hell of a lot more good than harm. It gave me an outlet being a pretty shy kid all the way up until the end of high school, I made lots of friends THROUGH gaming and computers, and finally it pushed me into my career (software developer).

 

I didn't watch much of the video, but like many have pointed out, this is just shit parenting. You could substitue about a million things for video games in those situations with the same results.

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I think this report and others like it really call for the need for some actual research. This as opposed to that laughable excuse for a study in the report with the cameras and a child psychologist who could have come to the same, vacuous 'conclusions' had she simply looked at a spreadsheet totaling the playing time, clearly that's all she really cared about.

 

I played a lot of video games as a kid, but not at home, because living in a single-mother household with 3 kids, there simply wasn't money for a console. But I did spend a lot of time at the arcade, in fact on sundays the "Video Ranch" had a play-all-day for $5 deal that I heartily took advantage of...showing up at opening and often leaving when they closed. However, on most days when you are paying per-play, the actual amount of time you can spend playing is pretty small compared to sitting at home with a console. But I have to say I can identify with those kids wanting to keep playing on and on. But I wonder if it's rightly called addiction, or if it's more accurately described as escape. Judging by the parents featured (all mothers, which is curious), it doesn't stretch my imagination to think that the kids might want to escape the environments of those households, or even their peer environments, if they don't have solid friendships outside the home (of course the two can work hand in hand).

 

The comparative simplicity of the gaming world, where one can exercise control over how things are going, and also exert a virtual kind of power by playing with skill, might look very attractive to kids with difficult real-world environments.

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The only console I had as a kid was a 2600. I played it a bit, but not huge amounts. Maybe an hour or two here and there after school, a couple hours with dad on the weekend sometimes. It was definitely not the focus of my downtime.

 

I did, however, have computers in my bedroom starting in 6th grade. First was a Vic 20, then an Apple //e, then a Mac SE. I played a decent number of games, but my time was mostly spent on local BBS's and attempting to program my own BBS. I remained extremely active socially, however, so it was never a concern for my parents. I played varsity tennis and went out as much as possible to the point that my parents sometimes suggested that I stay home and play with my computer rather than go out.

 

I think it has a lot to do with not only parenting, but also the general chemical and neurological makeup of the child. Some kids are just spazzes. They'd be just as annoying with a rock and stick as they are with a gaming console. People are looking for a scapegoat, in my opinion, here.

 

As for the report (or studying this phenomenon in general), I think it would be more methodologically upright and interesting to look at the children as individuals rather than a control group. Are these kids acting up at school? Are they prone to fits during other activities as well? Do they play only mindless games, or are they working through (or exposed to) the more interactive, telescoping adventure games that require problem solving and paying attention?

 

So many questions, so little effort on the part of the "researchers."

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My grandparents got concerned a few times. They were old though, they got worried after about 3 hours.

 

Major time sucks back then, all PC DOS games:

 

AD&D Goldbox Pool of Radiance

Civilization 1

Master of Orion

Master of Magic

Betrayal At Krondor

 

And yes, I never got enough excercise, and still don't. But I always got picked almost last anyways - that's what happens when you're a poor, scrawny, nerdy kid. I didn't play any sports except for some basketball with my buddies once in a while at school. Sports can bite me, America is too obsessed with them :D

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I watched the whole thing too. I threw it on sunday night while I was preparing dinner thinking it would be worth a laugh or two. As I am chuckling to myself about the absurdity of this, the GF/wifey comes in and says "that's going to be our kids, you know" and I started thinking.

 

OK, my kids (4 & 6) are down stairs playing Lego StarWars which I had picked up for them that day. My 4 year old schooled me 3 to 1 in NHL07 that morning, and after I had asked him to let me win (In fairness he is almost 5). The weekend before that I find him setting up challenges in TDU (something I gave up trying to figure out). The 2 of them played through all of Cloning Clyde, except the last two levels with which I helped them (or they let me help them). On top of that they have there own imac with about 50 kids sites bookmarked which they freely roam. They spend a lot of time playing games.

 

Anyway, GF/wifey and I watch the rest of this little feature and I had to ask myself... is this something that I have to worry about? I used to be concerned about what I would let them watch me play. Anyway, 2 minutes later after dragging my kids to the dinner table I have decided that it is all about parenting. Quite frankly, when it comes to drawing a line I can live with being a hard ass and my kids telling me they don't like me. (they don't throw temper tantrums, but they do know how to manipulate) In a few plus years they are going to hate me anyway and I'll be ready for it. Sure, I encourage them to play games, but they are kids and thats what kids do. It's not like they don't have full lives, swimming, soccer, gymnastics, ballet, school and there school friends and the fricken birthday parties every fricken weekend.

 

Anyhoo, In the mean time I am proud of the fact that although they are just learning to read they can surf the web, navigate the XBL, find the games they want in arcade, pretty much pick and play anything and I appreciate the help with the achievement points.

 

J.

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Here is an interesting thought...... Though I totally agree that it comes down to parenting.

 

Has it gotten easier in today’s times to let the kids stay indoors and be "babysat" by video games or DVDs?

 

Let's think about this myself being almost 30 I can remember coming home from school going outside and playing till the lights came on. riding my bike all over town. Building forts in the woods climbing trees in the neighborhood.

 

Were I’m going with this is simply this, Have the times changed?

examples I can think off

People are more sue happy- no more tree climbing or fort building

Seems like child related crime is up- no more staying out late cursing town on your bike

 

Are parents today in the mindset that well at least they are home I know they are safe?

 

But than they jump on the bandwagon when cause like this come out of there own quilt for their own lost childhood?

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Here is another in-depth "investigation" on gaming "addiction:"

 

http://www.joystiq.com/2006/10/04/faux-news-investigates-wow-addiction/

 

It is pretty much the same as the other one with all the must haves: push-over single mom, unemployed school-drop-out gamer son, and a biased reporter who chides the gamer for having online "so-called friends" and imitating an "American accent" to blend in with his clanmates.

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