How Video Games are Effecting the Youth

According to the Smithsonian Magazine in the summer of 2018 a British law firm got 4,665 couples petitioned for divorce. Two hundred of those couples made petitions because one of them was addicted to video games. That’s a total of 5% of all the firm was seeing. Keep in mind, that’s only one firm of hundreds. Relationships aren’t the only thing video games effect, they cause kids and teens to only focus on their games and not their grades. Devorce can also lead to more problems in a child’s youth. Video games could be a new addiction to a new generation.

According to Kirk Moberg, MD, addiction specialist for UnityPoint Health, “Signs include changes in behavior and mood, such as social isolation, ignoring previously enjoyed activities and withdrawal when not playing — all of which might result in irritability, anxiety or depression. You might also notice declining performance in school or work or loss of control over time spent in gaming,” He also states the long term and short term effects of video game addiction, “Consequences of video game addiction can showcase in a number of ways, including wrist, neck and elbow pain, skin blisters, calluses and sleep disorders. Long-term addiction could lead to obesity, weakness or numbness in the hands (peripheral neuropathy) and even blood clots,”

Amy Shriver, MD, UnityPoint Health pediatrician also backs up the risk by stating, “There is not one age at which gaming disorder starts. Ninety percent of children and teens are gaming in our society, but only one to nine percent will go on to develop gaming disorder. Like any addiction, there are some who are more at risk. Children and teens who play more video games and who have lower social competence (below normal social, emotional, cognitive or behavioral skills) and greater impulsiveness (ability to act on a whim) were at higher risk of becoming pathological gamers, according to a 2011 Pediatrics study.”

Although all of gaming is not as bad as it seems. Games can be modified and changed to teach kids about things like math, communication and improve imagination. According to Kurt Squire, a researcher on games like Civilization, a simulation game where players can build historically realistic civilizations and interact with them, says games like Minecraft, Sim City, Civilization, Skyrim, PUBG, Overwatch, WOW can help with these things. 

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association video games have improved laparoscopic surgery significantly. JAMA states, “When comparing demonstrated video gaming skills, those in the top tertile made 47% fewer errors, performed 39% faster, and scored 41% better (P<.001 for all) on the overall Top Gun score.” Obviously Video games can be used for many good things and could possibly lead to bad.  Many parents use control usage and time spent to monitor kids and give them a certain time to play then work. Have an open line of communication with them and even play with them, to have that time with them. Parents say it works for them.

Parents need to monitor kids and know what is too much for them. If people don’t have a good relationship  and control over your kids schedule, not only will video game addiction be a problem but the parents will have less control over their kid with their life. It’s best to start young and set boundaries.