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ustbeeowl

Video Game Addiction

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Here's an idea. Next spring, have the "Video Game Camporee". get a few former gaming adults together. Have them go pick apart some of the more popular video games for program area ideas. OOPS, I forgot, they're to violent. Alright find some non-violent games, pull some ideas for an area activity and incorporate Scout skills. Set that area up around having to complete the task or level to move on to the next area/level. Offer up some great prizes for the patrols that make all the levels.

 

Promotion wise: really promote the weekend as a gaming weekend. Don't let the boys in on the fact that they can't use their systems. Actually advertise which games are going to be used for the weekend, and that the games instruction manual is specifically needed. Have them use the manual to decipher clues at each station, then use their Scouting skills to complete the station.

 

With a little deception, and a well kept secret, I'll bet you would have the largest turnout in history for your camporee, and show them that they can have fun away from the screen and controls.

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How about invite them over for a cookout (make sure that everything can be prepared without power), then simply pull the main breaker to the house for the duration of your event.

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If our PLC proposed a Video Game Lock-In, I would be okay with it as long as the video games were of appropriate content and the planned activities tied in scouting methodology. For example, the boys would probably have a really good time playing baseball, bowling, tennis, etc on the Nintendo WII. They could compete as patrols where they pool their scores (patrol method) and tie in real games and activities as handicaps to their video game scores.

 

If a troop is having monthly campouts doing a wide variety of things, this could be a fun addition during the winter.

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I'm a young scouter, just 21. Former Eagle Scout, going to graduate college in two months and join the real world (oh boy!). I'm of the age when video games have always been around. They are great fun! Still enjoy them at times, even I get caught up for hours from time to time when there is nothing else to do.

 

I must just say that I found this threat a bit funny. The games are like everything else - they can be fine moderation. I think we are overlooking a greater problem - and the video game "addiction" as you call it is just a symptom of that. It seems to me that our society is loosing what I guess I would call discipline. In these times it seems like parents spoil their children more than ever, kids get whatever they want, and nobody ever tells them no.

 

If a kid enjoys games, so what? A kid could be "addicted" to any other activity - like playing football or whatever. The great question is if the kid as enough discipline to stop whatever they enjoy and do what has to be done.

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I take it that you haven't done very much research on the subject, have you?

 

Talk to anybody that can say" I don't see what the problem is with this drinking of beer, I'm not addicted, so no one else can be either...it's nothing but a bunch of hogwash... etc. "

 

OR

" I found this thread to be funny"..

 

OR

 

" just get sick of people always trying to blame video games "

 

 

or

 

 

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

 

 

 

or

 

 

 

" particularly like the bit about dopamine. Oh gosh, playing video games shows up in da "chemical" dopamine in the brain, just like amphetamine addicts!"

 

 

Just insert durgs, porn, and it will sound the asme.

 

All I asked was for people to read it to their Scouts and post back their reactions.

 

 

Since all of you are posting here, that tells me that you have acess to the same Internet that I do.

 

Do your OWN checking and post back what you find.

 

 

No one has done that yet.

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Greetings,

 

I had intended to respond to this thread earlier but since many have already stated opinions similar to mine I didnt post earlier.

 

I, for one, would not read it to my scouts. As I read it myself I got the impression I was reading a verbal version of Reefer Madness. It was purely black and white If you think you play too much get rid of the games. No discussion of moderation and self-discipline, essential parts of good character. The suggestion of cutting yourself off from the games for a month and advising that if you find yourself thinking of the games during that time means you are hooked is silly. Ill ask you whats your favorite food? Deprive yourself of it for a month and if you can honestly tell me that you dont get a hankering for it during that time then perhaps Ill have a rethink.

 

Im the father of three young children and Ill agree that, if left to their own devices, they would probably spend too much time on video games. If left to their own devices they would also subsist on a diet of candy, cookies, and chips with tonic (soda to all you non-Bostonians) to wash it down. Are they hooked on sweets? Shall I deprive them of these goodies? What I should do is be a vigilant parent, set boundaries, and teach my children the virtues of moderation. Ill admit its easier if you start when theyre young, but even with older kids (young teens), if you cant have a constructive dialogue with them and are unable to impose house rules on the minors in your care then you have a much bigger problem than video game addiction.

 

My oldest (10) spends a lot of time on the computer but in addition to games he also explores the programs. Hes shown me function in Microsoft Word that I didnt even know existed (and I use that program heavily). He recently chose to do an assignment as a Power Point which so impressed his teachers and other faculty that he was asked to present it several times, including once to our Superintendent of Schools!

 

As a parent I think it would be more productive to talk to, encourage, advise and, yes, play a video game or two with my kids (Im a fan of Half-Life and FEAR but my wife will not let me play THOSE games with them) then to scare them with Reefer Madness

 

YIS

Mike

 

 

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Good post Mike. I guess for some people it is just easier to blame "addiction" than it is to blame themselves for lack of parenting skills.

 

I wonder if the OP is really Jack Thompson.(This message has been edited by beardad)

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I might agree with you about parenting if it wasn't for my son. If denied his video games, all my son wants to do is sit and mope. Send him outside and he'll just sit outside and mope. He didn't even grow up with video games, he didn't have one until he was past 13.

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" As I read it myself I got the impression I was reading a verbal version of Reefer Madness."

 

So you're saying that marijuana is an acceptable form of recreation if used in moderation?

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I had a feeling somebody would call me on that.

 

What I am saying is that the film Reefer Madness is viewed today as a humorous bit of Americana rather than the educational, cautionary film it was intended to be due to its hysteric, distorted presentation of facts. Im not advocating marijuana use, just using the film as an analogy as to how I view the video game addiction letter.

 

Its been years since I viewed Reefer Madness but I believe one of the scenes has a guy smoke a joint and is instantly transformed into an ax murderer.

 

YIS

Mike

 

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All I know is that I've known far too many kids who want to do nothing else other than play video games.

 

How often do you hear a parent say, "I have to ration my son's baseball time. He just wants to play baseball and do nothing else"?

 

Or "I told my son that if he didn't get his grades up that I was going to take his chess set away"?

 

 

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Gold Winger,

 

Youre right about the chess board but I am aware of instances where parents have had to step in when their kids fixation with ball games and player stats was taking precedence over schoolwork and grades.

 

I too have gotten attitude from my boys when I pulled the plug on their video games for whatever reason. My response is a mixture of a flat-out get over it and an attempt at explaining the reasons behind my actions. I know some think attempting to rationalize with a child is a waste of time (as it can be with any pig-headed adult) but personally Ive always felt to wasnt quite fair to continually play the because Im the Dad thats why card (not that I havent in some cases). I figure that, like with some Eastern religions, if you keep repeating the same mantra over and over eventually enlightenment will happen. My kids and I have a running joke Oh no, its time for one of Dads lectures!

 

YIS

Mike

 

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The letter is OK, but a bit long for youth in my opinion. It is also full of partial research quotes, which would drive the 25% of my parents who are actual research scientists crazy. Since one of the those scientists is also a gamer (he and I play Halo III together online sometimes), he would be one of the first to ask for the journal article that supports this.

 

Here is the problem - there does not appear to be much in the way of peer-reviewed research on video game addiction. There IS research on dopamine type addiction that CAN be applied to gambling, athletics, gaming, and other activities that stimulate through specific reward based activity. There appears to be a percentage of the population that has the ability to become addicted to certain types of stimuli much more than others.

 

For Scouts, a simple ban on electronic devices works just fine. We take away batteries on our campouts if we spot earbuds or screen glows. More Scouts are carrying cell phones today, which makes it a little more difficult, but I have found that talking to the Scouts works well. Are some of them playing in their tents after lights out? Yes they are - but at that point they are already on the campout and I can live with that.

 

In our house we also control through passwords, and use gaming as a risk/reward for academics. My son "forgot" some homework that he was found completing this morning, and will have his access locked out until Saturday evening. When we do this, we also have to lock up the TV as well to prevent him from just jumping to another habit.

 

Controlling your habits is part of the Duty to Self. To help, we also need to make sure that our adult leaders are also aware. How many of you make sure the coffee pot is brewing at dawn? Which leaders fight nicotine withdrawel on campouts? How many joke about finding ways to make it legal to have a drink on a campout? Who is desperately searching for scores on Saturday during football season? Kids are FAST to sniff out hypocrisy, and any scent of it destroys your message as well.

 

Some interesting information, with links is here:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_addiction

http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20060228/clark_01.shtml

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It is a national epidemic!

TheScout hit the nail right on the head.

The games are like everything else - they can be fine moderation. I think we are overlooking a greater problem - and the video game "addiction" as you call it is just a symptom of that. It seems to me that our society is loosing what I guess I would call discipline. In these times it seems like parents spoil their children more than ever, kids get whatever they want, and nobody ever tells them no.

Pretty wise for a 21 year old! Obvious Scouting background:0

Parents have to be parents. Limit your children on how much they are allowed to play. Discipline is not an inherited trait. It must be learned. Parents need to establish what is acceptable, in this case how much time video game playing is allowed, so that kids can use this as a guideline to set there own self-discipline. (This message has been edited by Herms)

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