Dad Days of Summer: While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I grew up in the dawn of video games.
Galaga, Pac-Man, Asteroids. You name, I played it.
They were new to the scene in the early 1980s and all my friends pumped plenty of quarters into them.
Through the years, I’ve owned an Atari, a Sega Genesis, a Wii and all three generations of PlayStations. I still enjoy trying to sink ships on a submarine game when we take Ty to our local Chuck E. Cheese’s.
But I don’t think any I’ve ever been addicted to any of them, and for the most part, they were, and are, an innocent way to pass some free time.
There’s a new study – and I don’t know how scientific this is, but it’s going to be published in a upcoming issue of Pediatrics magazine – that says video game addiction “among children and teens may lead to the development of psychological disorders such as depression,” according to a yahoo.com article.
The article says, “pathological” video gamers “have trouble fitting in with other kids and are more impulsive than children who aren’t addicted. Once addicted to video games, children were more likely to become depressed, anxious or have other social phobias. Not surprisingly, children who were hooked on video games also saw their school performance suffer.”
The study included more than 3,000 children and teens in Singapore and the article explains that “pathological” gamers spend up to 30 hours a week playing video games. It explained that 9 percent of the children qualified as pathological, a number consistent with kids in the U.S.
(Kids) Playing video games more than 30 hours a week, lack of social competence, less-than-average empathy and greater impulsivity all contributed to the addiction, the researchers found.
(Professor Douglas A.) Gentile said the researchers aren’t sure how gaming is contributing to depression, anxiety and other social phobias, but in this study, “the gaming precedes the depression. We don’t know if it’s truly causal, but gaming has an effect on its own, and you can’t just ignore gaming and treat depression,” he said.
Thirty hours is an amazing amount of time. What are these parents doing to allow their kids to play that much?
Do your kids play a lot of video games?
Do you let your kids play for 30 hours a week?
Do you think the numbers in this story reflect kids who play video games a lot?
- By Andy Johnston, for the Momania blog