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OK, I'm not sold on this Video Game Addiction idea!

Just because someone posted something on the WWW doesn't make it true.

I'm saddened to see what great lengths some Scouter's will go to trying to find fault with a Scout.


"beware of the EARBUD. It is small like a hearing aid and can hold music downloads, and quite easily concealed.

Come on!!

This is the Boy Scouts of America.

We talk about teaching ethical choices.

A Scout is Trustworthy.

We have to give him the opportunity to be trustworthy.



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"I expected to read another "Video Games are the Devil" type thing."


Oddly enough, throughout human exisitence, various things have been branded as the devils or at least his spawn.


A long time ago, a new dance craze hit the modern world. The young kids loved it, the old folks deplored it as immoral and lascivious in nature. What was this vulgar outrage? The Waltz. Dancing to this point had always been with a gulf between partners, to have them actually touch was scandalous! It was the "Devils Dance" The old folks proclaimed this outrage to be the harbinger of the decline of western society, but we endured. The Gay Nineties, the Flappers of the Roaring 20's, the Zoot Suiters of the 40's and the Greasers of the 50's were all spawn of the devil according to the previous generation, Rock and Roll music was said to make those who listened to it incapable of making moral choices, it was the "devils music". Remember when certain adults were positive that the rock band KISS were Knights In Satan's Service? That Gene Simmon's oft operated on tongue would be the downfall of western civilization? Here is a man who dated Cher, is married to Shannon Tweed and has a reality show, big threat he is. Lets not worry about what the current craze is, lets understand our target populace and address their needs.

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Time to get this thread back on track.


I'm NOT talking about searching our Scouts before a campout or other outing for any sort of counterband. You are correct that a Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, etc.


I'm NOT talking about dancing.


I'm NOT talking about ANY immoral activty.


What I am talking about is Video Game Addiction.


Eamonn, I agree with you 100% about not believing everything you read on the Internet. What I would like you to do is just talk with the members of your ship about how they feel about video game addiction.


I have had a number of parents in my Troop talk to me about what they can do at their home to help their kids get over this video game addiction. They have seen that their kids undergo changes while playing these types of games and that their kids are very hard to get them to stop playing. When they do either stop or their parents take the games from them, the kids start to go through withdrawal, just like a drug addict "going clean". I've had kids at summer camp that for the first few days without their video games, are real bears to get along with. After a few days, they become fine kids. It is just the first couple of days that is the problem. Just because some are not completly sold on the idea of the addiction, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.


I have had some people tell me (at church), after a talk on ADD/ADHD, that they do not believe in ADD or ADHD. They just think that it is an excuse for poor parenting. That, in their day (the 40's + 50's), they would just take their kids out to the woodshed to whip them into submission. What would YOU do with a statement like that?


Some people do not believe that consuming a certain liquid beverage can make them crazy of "addicted" to it. Just talk to the fine folks at AA.


Others believe that watching a ball go around a spinning table, waiting for it to drop into a slot or to pull a handle on a box to watch some spinning wheels after depositing a coin into a slot, that that isn't addicting, just ask the folks at Gamblers Annonoumous what they believe.


Since they are so new, there is not much data on the subject of video game addiction. With this thread, I hope to get some ideas that would help out the Scout and their families in my troop (and other troops) to be able to deal with this.


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When I joined this troop there was a troop rule that no electronics were brought to camp or troop meetings. If a cell phone was brought to a meeting it was to be turned off during the meeting.

If aboy brings a game to camp it is taken up and locked in a car. When his parents pick him up they are told he is not to being it again. We also don't allow boys to bring cell phones on camping trips. The adults have their phones for emergencies.


What we do in once a year we have a GAMEING CAMPOUT. The boys can bring their games. This year we used a church fellowship hall. THey bring their TV's, games and what ever else needed.

The only thing they are required to do is cook. And that can be easy stuff. But in order to earn this camp out there can't be any violations of the game rule at other campouts. We have now had our game campout 4 years.

So give them a yearly gameing event but set rules for it.


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I'm not into video games.

I think because I'm not very good at them.

Years back I remember being at the home of our SPL, who's parents were both involved in the Troop. At the time Atari Space Invaders was the game of choice. Steve the SPL was really good at it and could beat the pesky Space Invaders, reaching the very uppermost levels of the game.

Today Steve is in charge of the training center in the UK that trains Air Traffic Controllers, he claims the skills he got from playing video games were a big help.

As the parent of an 18 year old, I have paid my video game dues. Starting with Nintendo, then Super Nintendo, then Game Boy and then Play-station. While the games have been around in the house my son has never seemed to spend a lot of time playing them and the biggest problem we seem to have had is that he wants to save the game or do whatever you do? Which has delayed dinner for a couple of minutes.

My being frugal (OK -Cheap!!) Might have a lot to do with this. He has had his money for about the past four or five years. He has earned it by mowing grass and doing work around the house. I don't give him an allowance.

It used to be that during the summer he was able to make some real money as much as $150.00 a month for mowing the grass (It takes six or seven hours.) I did however pay for 50% of any Scouting activity he wanted to participate in or attend. Scouting helped keep both of us poor!! Jamborees and NOAC along with Philmont really did leave a lot of extra cash for new video games.

The games were only allowed to be hooked up to the TV in his bedroom. Up until the Christmas before last this was a 13 inch VCR/TV Combo unit. I did upgrade it to a 20 inch LCD because I found a really good buy!!

He has had his own laptop for about four or five years and I'd say he has spent more time Instant Messaging his friends and down loading really bad music (How any kid of mine could like Country and Western??) than playing video games.

Zac our youngest Sea Scout does seem to be into video games. He has a new handheld whatever that can pick up wireless whatever and plays disc's about the size a super-sized silver dollar. Strange thing is that he does seem to play the games! It is in fact more of a "Hey look what I got" sorta thing. This seems to happen with cell phones. It's not so much how they are used but having the newest and latest that makes them and the owner move up in the "Cool Rankings"

I thank God that so far my son has not got into alcohol or drugs. Studies have shown that certain types of cocaine can lead to addiction after only one use.

While I'm still strict will him even at age 18. - Yes I want him home by 2300 and I want to know where he is going, who he is with and I still wait up for him if he is out late.

Still if he wanted to try alcohol or drugs, there is very little I could do to stop him or prevent him. I have to hope my past work pays off.

But I fail to understand how any parent can complain that their kid is addicted to video games?

Where do they play these games?

Who gives them the money for the tapes/disc's?

A common cry in our home for the past 14 or 15 years has been turn that TV OFF!!

Surely if as a parent you notice that your kid is stuck in the family room 23 hours a day playing games-You have to notice?

The problem isn't video games -The problem is just poor parenting!!


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How about we change the last post from video games to drugs?


Where do they shoot these drugs?

Who gives them the money for the drugs/joints?

A common cry in our home for the past 14 or 15 years has been stop using drugs!!

Surely if as a parent you notice that your kid is stuck in the family room 23 hours a day doing dope-You have to notice?

The problem isn't drugs -The problem is just poor parenting!!


You could edit this and insert just about ANYTHING, like booze, gambling, SEX, etc.


Just to make this thread a little more interesting....NOT to get on anyone's case.

(This message has been edited by PeteM)

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Eamon wrote: "Still if he wanted to try alcohol or drugs, there is very little I could do to stop him or prevent him. I have to hope my past work pays off."


Sorry to hijack this thread, but there is something you can do. Check out http://www.project7thgrade.org/ Synopsis - keep drug test kits in your home, and use them. If your son doesn't use drugs, he has nothing to worry about - and you can reward him for staying drug free.

It also gives him an "out" if he is pressured to use drugs. "I can't do that - my parents have drug test kits at home, and we all get tested periodically."

If he is using, you will find out early, before it is too late.


The parents that started Project 7th Grade and notMYkids.org thought their kids would never use drugs - straight A students, star athletes, etc.. They thought they could trust their kids, and didn't realize how powerful and addictive the drugs were. If your son is using drugs, how would you rather find out - from a police officer knocking on your door or a call from the hospital, or from a home drug test kit?


As for video games, my son loves X-Box. He would play all the time if he could. He isn't allowed to play on school nights, and only on the weekends after all projects and homework is completed.

I find it to be a great tool for correcting behaviour. Losing those privileges for a weekend is a severe penalty to him.(This message has been edited by BrentAllen)

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Thanks for the info.

But I can't help thinking a program like this seems to be saying "I don't trust my kid".

He is now 18 and is seen to be an adult !!

I'm a lot happier telling him how much I do trust him and how very proud I am of him for choosing not to do things that he knows to be wrong.

Maybe? If I thought he was doing drugs or stuff that he shouldn't I might be tempted to look at a program like the one mentioned.

I did a lot of things that I shouldn't have done when I was a teenager. The fact I'm still around is proof that I got away with it (My Irish mother was never one to spare the rod!!)

But having a kid sitting playing video games, when the tapes cost ?? and then complaining that the kid is addicted?

What ever happened to "Turn that thing off and take the dog for a walk?"


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My question to you all is "Have any of you read that letter to your troops/packs yet?


That is what owl asked you to do, to get the scouts input on the subject, NOT to go off and talk about is the scout trustworthy, etc.


Some of the scouts in my troop were amazed when they heard the letter this past weekend, that they "might" be addicted to them. A couple of them even stated that they sneak down to their family room after mom + dad go to bed, so they can continue to play their games.

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My question to you all is "Have any of you read that letter to your troops/packs yet?


That is what owl asked you to do, to get the scouts input on the subject, NOT to go off and talk about is the scout trustworthy, etc.


Some of the scouts in my troop were amazed when they heard the letter this past weekend, that they "might" be addicted to them. A couple of them even stated that they sneak down to their family room after mom + dad go to bed, so they can continue to play their games.


It doesn't matter if you believe in the games being addicting or not. It seems to be a query about what the scouts think their games are.


True, the games cost money, but the so do drugs and booze, but no one is asking about that, only about the cost of the "tapes".(This message has been edited by PeteM)

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Thanks Pete, for trying to get this thread back on track.




So many different comments.


Have any of you shown the letter to your Scouts yet?


I'm not really interested in comments like "what about the trustworthiness of a scout, or having shakedowns before meetings/outings.


I really want to see what the boys think about their gaming habits.





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"Something similar occurs when we play video games regularly or for long periods. A chemical called dopamine begins flooding the brain after only about twenty minutes of video game play. This chemical is about the same as injecting an amphetamine into a person, creating a pleasurable "high" that makes the process addictive."


You know the same thing happens to me when I go into the outdoors with a group of lads and see how they put teamwork, outdoor skills to use to overcome challenges and reach the next "level" of scouting. I think I may be addicted. :)



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Yah, I gotta say that I will not read this letter to any kids. Might just be me, but I think highly of bein' Trustworthy, and for me a part of that is not giving kids poor information or really poor science under the color of my authority. OK, maybe to older kids as an example of arguments you need to examine with great skepticism and a critical eye ;).


Lots o' men in my state would be addicted to hunting by the definitions here. For me, it would be fly fishin', scouting, and several other hobbies. And some weeks hangin' around forums like this one, eh? ;)


I particularly like the bit about dopamine. Oh gosh, playing video games shows up in da "chemical" dopamine in the brain, just like amphetamine addicts! :( Or like running a couple of miles. Or like eating a few slices of good pizza. Or like gettin' really into a good book. Or like comin' home and kissin' the beautiful Mrs. Beavah.


And let's not even get into the average adult's cup of coffee, which has as strong or stronger effect on dopamine levels.


Gimme a break.


Video games are fun. I think they're especially fun for kids these days because they are kid-led and adult free. They are one of the few places left where "free play" still exists in a child's life. Yeh get to run around, experiment, fall down, "die", be social and just learn from interacting with the (virtual) world. Yeh get to try things over and over until you succeed, with no pressure of a "test" or "competition", just the fun of gettin' better.


You know, all the things we've taken away from kids by "organizing" all of the rest of their life.


Yah, sure, all things in moderation. It's possible to watch too much TV (worst), play video games too long (not as bad), get pushed into sports too much when you're young, be too much of a bookworm, or even spend too much time fly fishin'.


Ordinary good parenting required. Fear of "addiction" not necessary at all.



(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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If I saved all those quarter from my college and engaged days, I'ld probably own the eastern seaboard. I could easily drop $10 a night, and this was in the late 70's, SPACE INVDERS, PACMAN and PINBALL MACHINES.

Now a days I still have to watch what I do, with free gaming on the computer, being able to do it at home and not go out anywhere. You get playing and lose track of time and all that stuff. Got to beat the system, just like gambling. Thank God I've never done that. I wish someone had read that article to me back in '77 when I became ASM the first time.



Yes ust, I'm going to read the article to them next meeting.


Beavah, your always into "Hey guys, what do ya think?" Read it to them and let them make their own determinations.


Pete, interesting site. Pretty much common sense or older info, but still applies.


Lynda, I like the idea.


St Patties Day weekend campout. NO ELECTRONIC DEVICES. Two of our older scouts buried the Ipods deep in their packs, had a late afternoon snack after a hard days work project, disappeared into the tent around 4:30 or 5 PM (didn't have the cooking duties for dinner), said they weren't hungry because of the snack (hotdogs) and came back out around 8 PM. Yep Bevah, had their earpieces in so no one could hear and find out they had Ipods. So much for TRUSWORTHINESS. I was talking to one of the parents and said that the boys were no supposed to have the devices. He replied that he had questioned the boy the night before about having the Ipod. The reply: "Dave said it would be alright if it was quiet", when in reality Dave said maybe in the car, but with the sound system in the car there was no need. SO MUCH FOR HONESTY and HONOR. This is a Life Scout. Shake them down once maybe twice, they realize you mean what you say, and maybe the TRUSTWORTHINESS AND ON MY HONOR"

might return.


Ea. I'm all for letting them show that they are TRUSTWOTHY, I just get frustrated when a few keep trying to circumvent the rules every time you turn your back, especially the older higher ranking scouts.

You mothers rod? What ever happened to the good old shellaly?

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