ERROR The request could not be satisfied. Are video games bad for your kids? Who plays video games in the U. Ask any parent how they feel about their kids’ video gaming and you’ll almost certainly hear concerns about all the hours spent in a virtual world and the possibility of antisocial video about kids as they do homework even violent behavior.
My teenage son is a gamer — bigly — and I’ve wrestled with how proactive I should be in monitoring an activity he’s clearly passionate about. Research on the subject is all over the map, from those who say gaming is a benign part of young people’s lifestyles to those who see it as a gateway to the next Columbine. 30 billion in revenue last year, according the Entertainment Software Assn. At a recent seminar on video games at UC Irvine, Constance Steinkuehler, a professor of informatics at the school and president of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance, emphasized that most researchers embrace the idea that “play is good.
She also acknowledged that video games, like smartphones, social media and other modern technologies, can have addictive properties. I spoke with Steinkuehler this week and she said “there’s a lot of confusion and a lot of fear” among parents as to how they should respond to an interest that’s consuming much of their kids’ lives. Our children’s lives are structured very differently from how our own were,” Steinkuehler said. Many kids are spending more time on average playing games than they are on homework. Yes, games can be addictive in some cases, she said. But, no, there isn’t any meaningful evidence that video games lead to abhorrent or violent behavior. Kids are just as stressed as adults, Steinkuhler observed.
Their lives are heavily structured and they’re often pushed to succeed. Game play is a form of blowing off steam,” she said. And it’s the one media that turns screen time into activity time. At the beginning, we tried to address our son’s emerging interest in video games by limiting him to games and game systems that included an educational component. He quickly outgrew their offerings, so we transitioned to Nintendo’s Wii, which offered more family-friendly games and a physical element thanks to its motion-based controls. My son and I played virtual ping-pong and Frisbee golf, and flew digital planes around the Wii Resort island. Eventually my wife and I noticed that he was scheduling play dates at the homes of friends who had Xboxes and adrenalin-charged, kill-or-be-killed games such as “Call of Duty.