How Dangerous Are Video Games for Children?

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

One local boy, Andrew, said he plays video games for nine hours a day and sometimes even longer than that.

“I'm allowed for at least nine to 10 hours a day. Sometimes 10 hours if I'm really good,” said Andrew.

His mother, Angie Shifflett, explained how it happens.

“He'll play it for 10 hours. He'll say, but, 'Mom, I just got to get this. It won't take very long. Look what I'm doing mom. This is what I'm doing,' And I will say, 'Ok, well finish that up,'” said Angie.

Some people say there needs to be some sort of distraction during the day so a child does not dedicate too much time to their games.

“You shouldn't have your child shut themselves away for more than a couple hours playing the games without some kind of interaction with the family and or getting food or that kind of thing. You need to see that they have breaks,” said Office on Youth Pathway Coordinator Tammy Zirkle.

Do not forget to remind your child that there is a much larger world outside of their video game.

“It's fun but you got to really believe that's not real life,” said Joseph Swengel, a gamer. “There are things that happen outside and it's nice to take part in the real world once in a while.”

Representatives for the Office on Youth also say parents need to keep an eye on the ratings of the games their kids play. In many cases, kids are playing games that are not appropriate for their age.


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