Teenagers: Video Game Addiction

Video game addiction is mainly a problem with boys. As well as affecting teenagers the problem often shows signs of developing at younger ages too.

Why does it Happen?

There are a few reasons why video game addiction happens. If you look at the type of game most gamers play they fall into two broad categories. These are action (shooting and killing) and sports. If you go a long way back in time the role of the male was hunting and killing for food. Although in the developed world these skills are no longer required the male brain is still hard wired for these skills. Therefore any boy playing video games is utilising some of the most basic skills he is equipped with. He is likely to find he can develop gaming skills quite easily and therefore enjoys the level of success he feels when playing.

Problems Caused by Excessive Gaming

In most cases a gamer will play on their own. Countless hours honing gaming skills can slow the development of social skills. It can appear as if your child is starting to become withdrawn as they seem to be more comfortable playing video games than interacting with others.

A further concern is that your child is becoming less active. If your child prefers to get their fix of sports activities through a gaming console instead of in the local park you are likely to be concerned about the longer term implications for health and fitness.

Not surprisingly spending time on a gaming machine is seen as much more exciting than doing homework. Therefore you may find a gaming machine becomes a big issue if you are struggling to make sure your child stays up to date with homework assignments.


Like most activities gaming is not all bad. Played in moderation and with other children it can be a fun way for your child to relax and have something in common with friends. It may well be that a dad also has an interest in gaming and it can be a big help when it comes to maintaining bonds between a father and son.

Violent Games

It is true that many games do contain an element of violence. Often that violence can be extreme. Although video games are given age ratings in a similar way to films at the cinema most parents tend to be more relaxed about the suitability of video games rated for older children then what they would allow their children to watch at the cinema or on DVD.

It is often made more difficult to control the games children play owing to the peer pressure they come under. If there is a dominant child in their friendship group that plays more violent games it can make your life harder to restrict the games your own child plays.

Setting Boundaries

If you are looking to control gaming times one way to do so is to set time limits on playing games. It is difficult to suggest exactly how long a child should be allowed to play for. There is little point in setting a time of say one hour per day if you know that you cannot achieve that without great difficultly that leads you to decide it is simply not worth the effort. The time limit you are able to set will depend to a degree on how strongly hooked your child is.

You may also wish to consider looking at what time of day games are played. For example playing action games just before bed time can make getting to sleep a lot harder. It can also make enforcing bed times more challenging when a gamer is caught up in the middle of the action.

As well as time restrictions you can also consider activity restrictions. For example you could look at making sure homework is done before any gaming is allowed or perhaps half an hour of chill out gaming is allowed before homework has to be started.

You may also find it beneficial to avoid gaming at mealtimes in an effort to ensure your family eats together if this is important to you.

The younger your child is when you start to look into how you are able to curb a child's enthusiasm for gaming the better if you wish to avoid major conflict later on.

It is also important that you and your partner support each other and work together when you are trying to bring gaming times under control.

Some families I have spoken to have gone to the extreme of hiding video consoles. In the few cases I have heard of where this has happened it has caused quite a lot of upset within the house. If you do decide this is necessary in your house be prepared for major upset. It can also cause problems further down the line as more extreme action can damage the bonds between you and your child.

Explaining Your Reasons Clearly

Whatever actions you decide to take it is important that you explain your reasons for doing so clearly. If you child can understand your reasoning you have a much greater chance of succeeding. If you just say "you are spending too much time on your console" it will not make a lot of sense to your child. How doing an activity they get an immense amount of pleasure from equate to spending too much time on it?

Offering Alternatives

One of the more positive approaches you can take is to offer your child alternatives to gaming. These can include signing up with local sports clubs. With some games built around music your child may also be interested in branching out and learning an instrument.

As a child reaches their teenage years it is normal for them to want to be less involved with you and your family in general. Even so keep in mind the activities they do still enjoy in a family group and be sure to include these in your routines. In general the better your general relationship is with your child the easier it is likely to be to keep gaming time reasonable.

The Bottom Line

The big problem is that gaming can be very exciting. Companies that develop games are very good at doing so. They know the triggers that generate excitement and build their games around them. They are able to key right into the minds and brains of the players. It is not surprising if you find prising your child away from a games console an extremely difficult task. You are likely to find very few boys that would prefer to sit down and read a book if they have just bought the latest action game.

The fact is that games are highly addictive. If you have a child predisposed towards video games it can help if you are able to accept the very strong pull games have on people.

There is no magic wand you can wave to make a gaming console boring. This means if you can be realistic about what you can achieve as a parent in keeping gaming time reasonable it can also make your life less frustrating and reduce arguments and tension points in your house.

Your Views

Posted by:

Posts: 3


Channel Islands

Video Game Addiction

video game addiction is growing with speed. There are many children like to play video game but some of them are addicted which is very bad effective for them. Sometimes. it is responsible to spoil whole life of the children.

complain about this post

Posted: 21/Jan/12 at 8:50:44

Posted by:

Posts: 3


Channel Islands


Very good information post in this post. Children are always attract to any attractive things. video game is also attract the children and make them addicted after some time.

complain about this post

Posted: 21/Jan/12 at 8:52:46

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