Home / Technology / WALSH: Children do not suffer from "video game addiction". They suffer from lack of parenting.

WALSH: Children do not suffer from "video game addiction". They suffer from lack of parenting.

Parents in Canada filed a class action lawsuit against Epic Games, the company that made the popular Fortnite video game. The disturbed plaintiffs accuse the rogues behind Fortnite of purposely having made "as addictive as possible". This addiction has destroyed the lives of their children, they say.

The lawsuit alleges that one of the allegedly addicted children played around 1,800 Fortnite matches in seven months, while the other has recorded about 7,000 matches and often stays awake until the wee hours of the morning. Google tells me that a Fortnite match usually takes about 20 minutes. If this is a good estimate, these children spent 600 hours or more than 2,000 hours playing the game.

Lately, much has been discussed about the alleged scourge of video game addiction. It was announced this week that UK children are treated by the National Health Service for their addiction. Children suffering from this condition can meet with psychologists and psychiatrists at the newly established Center for Internet and Gaming Disorders. Even the children in our country seem to cope with this mysterious disturbance alarmingly fast. Fortnite even forces "children to video game rehabilitation," according to Bloomberg News.

Most children will hopefully not put 2000 hours a year into their video game habit ̵

1; sorry, "addiction" – but they average about two hours a day, according to some studies. Considering that this is only an average – many children play much longer than this value – does not mean all the time spent on other media. But is it justified to treat video games as an addiction? And who exactly should we blame for the problem? Are video game companies guilty of using any kind of voodoo to hypnotize children and force them to play, or is there a more objective and local explanation?

The First Question as Psychology Professors Christopher J. Ferguson and Patrick Markey A recent article noted that video games are not "addictive" addicts. Yes, the pleasure of playing video games affects the same areas of the brain that drug use activates, but the same goes for almost any entertaining activity. If this simple neurological fact justifies the comparison between fortnite and cocaine (a comparison made in the lawsuit by Fortnite), then one could argue that reading a book is like using heroine and jogging as if you were talking about Crystal To smoke meth. The only similarity between these activities is that the person performing them enjoys them, and they therefore all encompass the part of your brain that makes it easier to enjoy things.

The publication cites one in the American Journal of Psychiatry, in which at most 1% of players " possibly qualify for a potential acute diagnosis of Internet gambling disorder" (focus on mine). But even this value of 1% is doubtful. People who play video games – even people who spend much, much too much time – are not chemically dependent on the games, as a heroin addict is dependent. Video games in and of themselves do not cause any physical damage to the player. Sure, if you stand around all day playing games, you're going to get fat. But you get fat when you stand around doing something all day. By contrast, if you drink alcohol all day, you can die from the effects of alcohol on your internal organs.

What does all this mean? This means that a word like "addiction" is not right when discussing video games. The compulsion to take a video game controller obviously belongs to a different category than the compulsion to take a crack pipe. They are not the same thing and they do not guarantee the same type of label or the same kind of treatment. By tapping "addiction" to every bad habit, we medicate normal and controllable human behavior. Suddenly, we have turned a lazy child who has just left home into a psychiatric patient in need of medication. In this way we have deprived his and his parents of all power and control.

I think we have just answered the second question that was asked above. Who is to blame for all this supposed video game addiction? Well, I'll put it this way: 10-year-old kids do not go out and buy their own games. They also do not buy their own televisions, phones and computers. If a child plays several hours a day, his parents have decided to invest a considerable amount in promoting the hobby. Why does your child play video games so often? Let's solve the puzzle: Because you allow and finance .

I will stop those parents who are standing around with perplexed looks and trying to stop understanding their kids of video games. The how is not difficult or complicated. Set limits. Tell them that they are only allowed to play for a set period of time within a set timeframe. What if they disobey? Then take the games and deposit them at goodwill. Or throw them in the fireplace. Or smash them with a hammer. Have fun with it. After all, they are your video games. You bought her. You can do what you want with it. And if you want to give it to your child so that they can play it for six hours a day, barely stop for bathing or eating, and rarely leave the house, the choice is yours. And your fault. Your child is not dependent. He suffers from lack of parenting.

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