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ustbeeowl

Video Game Addiction

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Wow, I thought this was about my son when I first saw the header...lol

 

Some of my kids have some pretty expensive toys. PSP's are $300, IPODs are $150 and up and up, and the list goes on. One thing thats way too easy to hid is a cell phone. They are the bane of my existence at troop meetings, even among the young kids.

 

Almost all of my boys have them and at one time or another they bring them to the meeting and I find them using them in lieu of watches, as timers, playing games on them...

 

We went back packing a few weeks ago. We got the boys down to the parking lot after the hike and before we got the cars open, 1/2 of them were on the phone...this means they took thier phones with them...AARRGGHHH!!!

 

I refuse to do a shakedown, I will however use my best guilt trip on them and make them understand that if they have to bring a phone on a campout, it's in the care till we get close to home and then they can call mom to come pick them up.

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I find it amazing that people are denying the video game addiction on the premise that since they (the games) cost money, then the parents should be able to control their kids.

 

How many people are out there that have gambling addictions (kids, too)? They need to get the money from somewhere, most likely from grandparents or even from parents themselves in the means of birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, etc.

 

I have seen and heard of kids sneaking into their family rooms in the middle of the night, donning headphones and playing throughout the night only because they "have to beat this one level or "boss""

 

Just because you aren't addicted to the games, doesn't mean that the addiction doesn't exist. (that is like saying that since "I" don't drink, there is no such thing as booze addiction). Video games haven't been out that long to gather reams and reams of data to show the addiction. Do a bit of reasearch yourself to see or talk to some parents or even some "gamers" to check on the vadlity of the statements contained in the letter in the beginning of this thread.

 

I think thst ustb doesn't just mean that ONLY Boy Scouts are the ones that are addicted, but people (mostly males) from all age groups and walks of life are the ones that are affected.

 

Just talk to your Scouts and their parents to build your own database of info up without reading this letter that ustb has posted, and see what kind of info you obtain.

 

Sorry for the soapbox.

 

Pete

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Ugh cellphones, I try and leave mine in the car when I go to meetings, only time it rang durning a meeting it was a wrong number.

Just last night an older scout had to fiddle (game?) with his for 10 minuets at full volume, it was intresting when he tried to quiet a 11 year old and was informed that his behavior was compairable. This was done in a nice way and you could see the light bulb start to glow.

 

I will settle for little steps, as long as they are in the right direction.

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I was about to start a thread on this "new" book I just read, "Playstation Nation", but hit Search before Start New Thread.

OK - so it's just new to me. Sorry I missed earlier discussion, but I wanted to bump this one up anyway.

 

This book could have been written about my son and our struggles for the last 2 years. His grades were heading downhill fast and his attitude at home was absolutely rotten. In desperation, we severely limited computer access and unplugged the games and cable TV. After a couple of months of rebellion, things were greatly improved. After a year and a half, he's still making up for missed learning in school, but is on track to continue on to college. He also has friends and hobbies again - outside of gaming - because his world doesn't revolve around getting to the next level. As long as the grades and attitude are up, he's now allowed limited playing on weekends and an occasional game party with friends and it's not an issue in the home. I wish my wife and I had read this valuable book as soon as it came out in 2006.

 

I've heard from some of my scouts in college that gaming continues to be an issue. One of my guys had to change roommates because his (Eagle Scout) roomy would play games all night and was in the process of flunking out.

 

If your kids are playing games, developing a bad attitude (esp. when it's time to unplug), and have falling grades, I would strongly suggest you get a copy of this book. I bought 10 copies and am loaning them out to all interested parents in the troop.

 

-mike

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Wow,

I'd almost forgot about this thread.

 

Glad to see someone else using that book.

 

Let us know how it turns out.

 

I wonder how many actually read that letter to their Scouts.

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I recently read a book, Boys Adrift, by Dr Leonard Sax. He's a pediatrician and psychiatrist.

 

In this book, he addresses the lack of motivation that so many young man have to "grow up." One of the five factors he discusses is the overuse of video games, and that they supply easily defeated challenges, if you have the player's guide & cheat codes. So it is his theory that these boys are being conditioned to seek out these *easy* challenges, and to avoid the REAL challenges--like the ones Scouting provides.

 

I'm not sure how much I agree with him, but it's something to consider, and I am managing my 8 year old's gaming time much more stringently than before.

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One thought. My oldest son was babysat by my inlaws several days a week while my wife and I worked. They bought a gaming system, Sega I think. We're talking the late 80's and early 90's. Dave played the games with both grandparents for several hours a day. This was when he was 4-6 years old. By the time he was 8 or 9, he was totally burned out on video games, and it was never a problem through his teen years. Maybe we can burn them out early.

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WOW some of these posts are trully unbelievable! Equating Video games with drugs and alcohol? are you people on drugs. there is a huge difference, not the least of which is one is illegal and the other isn't.

 

why not change playing video games to camping or hiking. they are both activities. they are both enjoyable. both cause the doer to release adrenaline and endorphins. what makes one better than the other?

 

To a person who likes to hike, video games is a waste of time and money. for a person who likes to play video games hiking is a waste of time and money. It probably cost more money for the equipment for camping than it does for an xbox 360. It all depends on what somebody likes. to the person who enjoys the activity "the 1000s of hours wasted" weren't wasted. they were spent doing an activity that the person enjoys.

 

I understand the no electronics thing on campouts. we have the same rule, and nobody complains. but sheesh worrying to this extent about saving our youth? you gotta be kidding me.

 

some of you should check into reallity rehab.

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for some reason I can't edit my above post. but I wanted to add this.

 

This thread reminded me of this for some reason. check it out.

 

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At my troop, we have one basic rule: If its electronic LEAVE IT IN THE CAR!

 

After the rule came into being, our troop managed to find some cellphones in a boys pockect ringing,, and it was conficscated and returned after camp.

 

This helps scouts realize that they could have just as much fun without games. The only time we are allowed electronics is in the cars.

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Beardad,

I think you missed the intended correlation between alcohol, drugs and gaming. Yes, one is illegal, the other two are not. Sorry to respectful disagree, but yes, video games can be just as, if not more addicting then the other two.

Ask an alcoholic and he'll tell you that yes he likes drinking and doesn't have a problem, and would probably rather be at the bar then on some stupid camping trip or out door activity. Does he have an addiction problem? Not in his eyes.

Does that mean a kid that can't wait to get home to get on the system and play for hours, every day does not have a problem? Not in his eyes, or probably in the eyes of the parent that has dished out major bucks for the system, games and accessories. If he would rather be on the system all the time instead of participating in other activities whether they be school, church, family, sports, etc, yes he has an addiction problem. I

s he going to go to a Gaming Olympics and make a name for himself? Doubtful.

Will he become a weapons specialist or pilot for the military? Possibly, if he can be a team player and learns some leadership abilities. Isn't going to happen sitting behind a screen all day long.

Will he become a program designer? Possibly.

 

As for gaming being cheaper then buying camping equipment, LET'S GET REAL HERE!! An XBOX 360 starts at $279, Most of the accessories such as steering systems, different control devices all start around $50 and run up to $200. Games start at $50. So I'm looking at at least $380+ just for the system and two games? Let's see. i can get a good sleeping bag for under $100, a starter backpack for under $75, a good sleeping pad for around $50, a mess kit at $10, a Nalgene water bottle for $10, a flashlight for $10-15, and a good tent for the other $140 to get me just to the starting price of the system. Honestly, I think I'm way ahead for what I'm getting for my dollar with my camping equipment then you are with the gaming equipment. At least it will be a long while before my equipment will become outdated and need replaced unlike the system that will be outdated within a year or two and need replaced.

We have fun playing games also, but don't throw a lot of money away. The last thing we bought was a used Playstation 2 and a few used games. Sorry if I come across as being hard. Find my earlier posts in this thread and read them.I have been there in the past and now really have to watch if I start playing to make sure that I don't get caught up in it a waste a lot of valuable time.

 

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Beardad,

 

Lots of things can be a problem if they become an obsession at the expense of other important things. (Many of us on here can relate either to this forum or to our passion for scouting.)

 

I guess its possible that hiking or camping could qualify, but its pretty rare to find a boy sneaking out after bedtime to sleep in the backyard or get in a 5-miler. Video games are designed to get the players deeply involved. Some kids get bored, turn it off, and go do something else. For many, however, the more they like it, the more they play and tell their friends. If the games arent attractive, they dont sell. Even when playing with friends in a social setting, the better players are honored by the group and the others vow to go home and practice so they can be better next time. (Ive heard this interaction within group of scouts playing in my home. Sure wish I heard the same exchange after a knot-tying competition.)

 

Fortunately, my son likes to read, too. Occasionally well have to make him turn out the lights when hes into a book, but Ive never received a hostile reaction (like I have with video games) and he reaches the end of the book in a couple of days.

 

Back to the commercial aspects of video games. Again, the more people like a game or system and want to play, the more the company sells. From the companys point of view, its a very good thing when people get all wrapped up and want to play for hours and hours. In order to have a game which accomplishes this, they spend a lot of effort figuring out how to stimulate players in ways which make them come back for more and more. In other words, make them addictive.

 

Your mileage may vary.

 

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"Will he become a weapons specialist or pilot for the military?"

 

Most likely not because he'll be so out of shape that he won't pass the physical.

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Mike F,

"Back to commercial aspects". Sounds like the casinos.

 

GW, he'll only gain weight if he remembers to stop long enough to eat. LOL.

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I wouldn't call it an addiction, obsession might be a better term.

 

I know two young men who are brothers. Both were good students in high school, multi-sport varsity athletes, off too college where they are good students. However, both are obsessed with video games.

 

They've always bought their own games and game systems and have progressed from Nintendo to N64, to X-Box 9billion and PS-19 (or whatever). The newest game system and newest game is what they have to have.

 

What I've seen is a crippling of their social skills. They have friends but when they get together with their friends, they just play video games. They usually don't even compete. They drag the games from their house to a friend's and set up five or six systems and play by themselves. When I'm visiting their parents, these young men don't come out of their rooms to say hello or good-bye. Dinner is served, they appear, eat and then vanish back to games.

 

My son and his game obsessed friends are the same way. They get together only to play video games. Real games like touch football or Horse are lame. Ride a bike? Come on, get real! Banish them to the out-of-doors and they sit on the porch and mope because there's nothing to do.

 

It is sad. Truly sad.

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