Just how addictive are videogames?

So here is a funny/scary little anecdote about how addictive video games could be for young children.

I work at a preschool. On Monday a parent came to pick up his 4-year-old son and he told me the trouble he was having with his son and video games. His son, who is playing Little Big Planet 2, spends hours every night playing the game. So much so that he is beginning to neglect other things: eating dinner, going to bed on time…and even using the bathroom. His once potty trained son has regressed back to forgoing the restroom facilities to get his game time in.

Have you ever felt that addicted to a game??

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ivalentinexi
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 16:14:52

    I think video games have an addictive component to them much like a lot of others things such as gambling among other things. A lot of people also have addivtive personalities and get easily attached to games. They keep thinking “just one more level” repeatedly but in the world of video games there are no ends. There are always more things you can do. MMO’s are endless, multiplayer games are endless even in RPG’s there are hundreds of other missions and side quests that you can do. Video games are designed to keep you hooked and some people just aren’t able to pull away. You hear of the people that played WOW for so many hours straight, they ignored their need for food and eventually died in the chair that he was playing in. Video games, like everything else is only good in moderation.

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  2. caramol
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 21:51:27

    Hahaha! Actually I probably shouldn’t be laughing, that’s a serious problem. Honestly the first thing I thought was how much of a push-over the parents must be. But after reading ivalentinexi’s comment too, it made me think of the episode of South Park that made fun of World of Warcraft and all the people obsessed with it. The clip connects the idea of how addicting World of Warcraft is with the regression to not being potty trained……. I don’t think there’s a more perfect video clip to sum up this blog post! 🙂

    Reply

  3. Alex Rich
    Feb 03, 2011 @ 21:06:24

    I have been having this problem since I was 12 years old (although I usually made time for the bathroom). I love videogames and definitely consider myself to be a “gamer”. Although I do believe that videogames have a lot of stellar qualities and do present significant education opportunities I do recognize a tragic flaw with them, they are addicting! The basic premise of a videogame is to transport you to a somewhat fantasy like reality where you can do things that you cannot do in real life. Plagued by a lack of height and getting sick of getting blocked in basketball? Why not go pick up NBA 2K11 where you can play as Joakim Noah and dunk over some of the most intimidating and athletic players in the NBA. Although the creation of a parallel universe where you can do things outside the realm of your physical capabilities sounds fun the problem with it is that it is to fun. Moreover, its fun to the point where gamers find themselves neglecting reality and their social and physical commitments. Time and again gamers will find themselves having more fun playing a videogame than they would in real life which leads them to the ultimate question all gamers must themselves at 3am after about four bags of Doritos and three cans of coke. Why turn it off? Although I have learned to control my urges to stay up all night playing a videogame I have definitely had my all-nighters at the computers which typically resulted in me neglecting some type of academic commitment. I believe the addicting component of videogames is more so a problem that plagues younger gamers. As adults we have responsibilities and we understand that if we neglect our responsibilities there will be consequences. Moreover, when it comes time to turn the game off we are able to weigh the additional pleasure derived from continuing to game versus the determent we would experience by neglecting our responsibilities and make a smart and responsible decision. Children, on the other hand, do not have this foresight and, in most situations, do not have many responsibilities. Therefore, in the eyes of child it almost always makes more sense to continue to game which is why children are so adversely affected by videogames.

    Word Count: 381

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  4. Maria Kramer
    Feb 04, 2011 @ 12:08:13

    I think maybe a lot of enjoyable activities could be seen as addictive. I am addicted to reading, for example. I read on the bus, I read when I’m supposed to be doing homework, I carry books around with me so I can read on a moment’s notice. Why is staying up all night playing video games ‘bad’ when staying up all night finishing that new Robert Jordan novel is ‘good’?

    Reply

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