Video games have been given a lot of bad rep in the media because several tragic incidents – such as shootings and muggings – have been laid at the feet of violent games. But are these incidents really the fault of video games, or is this kind of behavior evidence of a deeper psychological problem?
Video games have been given a lot of bad rep in the media because several tragic incidents – such as shootings and muggings – have been laid at the feet of violent games.
However, some child psychologists warn that blaming video games miss the larger point of the issue, saying that obsessive behavior and sudden shifts in habits are signs of a deeper, emotional issue.
This long-running debate was sparked by the disappearance of 15-year-old Brandon Crisp, who ran away on his bike after his parents confiscated his Xbox. They have not had any solid leads on his whereabouts for 10 days after he disappeared.
Child psychologist Dr. Lawrence Kutner, co-author of Grand Theft Childhood, says that video games are not the root of the problem, but being overwrought with games is symptomatic of something else, as the vast majority of gamers don’t suffer from psychological damage:
In essence, it’s a way of self-medicating. Kids play for a variety of reasons: for the fun of it, for the challenge. Or they play for emotional regulation. They can get their anger out.
Dr. Paul Donahue suggests that the problem begins when parents don’t establish the difference between rights and privileges to their kids. Without this distinction, kids will see video games as a right, and will feel wronged if they are deprived of it.
Via National Post