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Video game addiction – What's are your thoughts?

Libbi Gorr’s talk on video game addiction with Susan McLean from Cyber Safety Solutions prompted a strong reaction from one listener. This is interesting.

Video game addiction - What's your take on it?

How young is too young for online video games?

Minecraft and other MMOGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) can prove addictive for some, with many children dedicated to playing them for hours on end, day in and day out.

Libbi Gorr spoke to Susan McLean from Cyber Safety Solutions about whether these games are a negative influence on young minds, and looked at how involved you should be as a parent.

It’s a discussion that prompted this response from a listener.

My name is Jordan, I’m 20 years old and I was listening to the broadcast today about the effects of video games on children. Personally, I have played video games from a very young age (about 5 years old) and still do today. Throughout the program, there were many points of view that were raised by the hostess and special guest about communication within online games, addiction to said games and antisocial behaviours caused by said games that I personally disagree with.

I frequent a store at which there are rows of computers set up for people to come in and use the internet; primarily for online gaming. I have been visiting this store for a number of years and have met people aged between 12 and 40 (roughly) who come down on a semi-regular basis to play games, whether it is with whoever is in the store at the time, or an organised group. I have spoken to the parents of some of the younger people who come in to play games such as Minecraft, and they have said that it is a social environment for people to play games. Gathering at places like this also negate the need for chat applications like ‘Skype’ because you are sitting right next to all your friends.

In online games, cyber-bullying can be completely nullified, and people shouldn’t be told that its simply out there and to be afraid of it. In the majority of online games, there is an option to ‘block’ or ‘ignore’ someone who is making the online experience less enjoyable. Simply taking the time to inform the person playing these games of this functionality and when to use it can make online gaming a much safer, more satisfying experience.

Video game addiction is a real thing. There are people out there who play video games all day, every day, non-stop. Playing a video game for more than 30 minutes a day doesn’t make you an addict. Coming from someone who has played video games from as far back as the Nintendo 64 (dating back to the mid/late 90’s), before games were as in-depth and complex, at a rate of 30 minutes a day, it would take close to a year to complete one of these games. Video games are, in my personal opinion, supposed to be about the sense of achievement you get from completing certain objectives to finish the game. From a mature perspective, playing video games for hours on end is not acceptable. I agree with this, however I also think that people who play games, especially younger people, need to get that sense of achievement from playing it. I would suggest that instead of setting a 30 minute time limit to play, monitoring the game time and finishing up after a level is completed, or after 2 20 minute rounds of a game.

I believe that the special guest who I believe was referred to as an expert should be giving the public this kind of information instead of jumping to the conclusion that video games are terrible and shouldn’t be played. That was the understanding I took from listening; the internet and video games are unsafe, antisocial, addictive and should not be played. With proper precautions, and close monitoring, younger and older people alike can enjoy the games, get that sense of accomplishment and play with their friends in a safe environment.

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