Video Games: An Introduction

E-Parenting: Video Games
Video games have come a long way since today's adults sat down at a computer to play Pong or Donkey Kong. The newest-generation gaming consoles are as powerful as personal computers, and can accomplish many of the same things. And today's games are increasingly realistic and technologically advanced. Social networking has even made its way into the video game industry with online gaming. These virtual worlds can be complicated and perplexing to parents, which is why it's important for you to understand what your child is playing and when to get worried.

Did You Know?

  • In 2009, over 11 million people played World of Warcraft, an online, subscription fee-based multiplayer game.

  • According to one study, nearly 1 in 10 young gamers displayed behavior patterns similar to addiction.1
  • The Kaiser Family Foundation found that 8- to 18-year-olds are exposed to an average of 10 hours and 45 minutes of media each day.

Whether your child is an avid gamer or rarely picks up a controller, it's important to understand the world of video games--especially in the age of online gaming--so you can make your child's experience with games both a positive and a beneficial one.

1. Douglas Gentile, “Pathological Video Game Use among Youth 8 to 18: A National Study,” Psychological Science 20, no. 5 (2009): 594-602.



I have two boys an 8year and a 19 year old.
i have been experiencing all the negative side effects of what video games do to children. Its becoming a strugle with my 8 year old, and he’s become obssed and is starting to show agression towards me. i have placed rules when he can play but he’s no longer obyeing them.. i’m feeling very over whelmed by my situation. i have to say i truly hate video games there’s nothing positve about them. I’m getting to the point where i will have get rid off his video system.

The previous commenter may need to do more research into family settings on the consoles, check the ratings of all games, and offer positive incentives to not play all the time. Video games can be an incredibly positive part of a child’s life, if presented in the right manner. Is your child playing games that are meant for older children/adults?

There are many types of games available, several that are educational. Add in to the mix the exercize games, and you might be surprised that there are games that are very beneficial. There are also ways to make sure that you child obeys – such as taking the required components (power cords, a/v cords), enforcing the rules with punishments, ect, ect. Just like with television, it’s all about what you allow to happen.

I totally agree with the first comment. I think the negative side effects is so much more out weighted the positive effects. I know there are some “good” games such as exercise games. What is the % of those in the total game population? Yes, there are ways to control kids by taking away equipments or using blocking software. It only works on younger kids (<10 years). When your child is taller and strong than you and knows more about the technology than you, you basically lose your power. The only think I can do to my 14-year old is to keep talking to him about the bad consequence and pray that he will understand one day… For my 8-year old, I am limiting his educational online time and have not let him to play any purely fun video game. Crossing my fingers…

The only think I see wrong about having your child play un-fun video games is that one day he will find one he likes alot and become addicted to it. I am a young (23) soon to be father and my parents never bought me a game system, and the first one I purchased was when I was 16 from all my saved allowances. Now its true that I never had my system taken away (I am sure it would have been a differant story if they had purchased it for me) and if they even wanted to they wouldnt know how to unplug it lol. I think parents need to change, for example, you wouldnt go just you and your child bungee jumping and know nothing about it right? Why would you introduce your child to something you know completly nothing about. If people are really worried about what thier kids are doing on the internet or in gaming…do the things for yourself, read up on it, or get with someone who does because you never know the risks of something (even if you read it) until you know yourself. I have been in several online (and online gaming) where there are predators, vulgarity, along with racism and sexual innuendo flooding the waves. I for one will definatly let my daughter play video games, but respect ESRB ratings, and when it comes to Facebook or online networking, know exactly what crowd she interacts with and what actually goes on there.

most video games have bad sublianal messages in them

I like how the 5th comment down is put. You wouldn’t take your child bungee jumping without knowing anything about it, why then would you allow your child to have a video game system and you not know anything about it? My husband likes video games, I do not. But our family has a wii and we play the sports together and Just Dance. My oldest plays with his dad as well, but the time is always limited to an hour or less. And I think if you keep yourself “in the know” at least then you are including yourself in your kids’ lives. The minute you aren’t as knowledgeable about what they are doing as they are, then problems can arise.

I have been a gamer for a long time, but even I know how to control myself (sometimes) when it comes to control on playing games. My parents have tried to control my usage and failed, but I found a way and they haven’t bothered me on my gaming for 2 years. So if your child is getting obsessed with a video game, 1st, find out what they are playing, and 2nd, find a plan for them that they would stay active in real life and balance it with the virtual life. Don’t just take away the system completely, because the child will find it and sneak playing it.

I think people put to much blame on video games for violence and poor behavoiur. Yes, there are some games which may have over the top violence but those games are made and marketed for an audience over 18 years of age. Most people who play games are in their mid 20’s or early 30’s. If a game is violent or you feel it is not apporiate for your child, then don’t buy it. You wouldn’t buy an 8 year old child a ticket to an R rated movie, so why buy an 8 year old child a violent video game. There is a rating system like there is for movies and T.V shows recomending age groups for certain games.

When rock was introduced it was condemned and censored beyond belief..all because the older generation didn’t understand it. see what im getting at here.
If your child is too young for 15plus games DON’T BUY IT FOR THEM
if your worried hes too young for the internet DON’T LET THEM GO ON IT
if their spending to much time TELL THEM TO TAKE A BREAK
its not hard its parenting – yes i do know about it
if your child is exited at playing a game its because it gives them a necessary sense of accomplishment for their psyche. video games have been proven to increase our cognitive and development skills as well as our thinking and puzzle solving ability that we can use in day to day life.
video games are just like a good book and provide an intriguing, fantastical narrative.
you wouldn’t scold your child for reading a book would you?
and for the person who said they wouldn’t let their child play any purely fun video game. .. that truly disgusts me ,, the imagination of children is our future and why shouldn’t a child have fun.

i agree with the 1st comments video games are not useful for the health of a is the growth age.children must do physical exercises,it can be possible when he play with his fellows he become a social child .in physical games child face practicaly win and defeat,humble and mercy,fear and his practical life he become a social man

I like your blog. Thanks!

First it was books destroying our children’s minds.
Then it was comics getting the blame ( up on the Superman Comic controversy in the 50’s).
Then Rock ‘n’ Roll became the Devil incarnate.
Afterwards…Video Nasties.
Now…it’s video games.

Parents always need someone else to blame for their poor attempts at parenting. But kids do bad things now and again, teenagers even more so. They always have…and they always will.

Mrs Smith will always feel the need to blame Call of Duty because their teenager got hold of a gun and shot 12 students at their school. Of course it was the video game developers fault…never Mrs Smiths.

Nothing ever changes. Only the tools we choose to blame.

No person should complain that video games cause violence to their kids. For me i Blame the parents for making the dumb reason to allow their kids to play M rated Games such as battlefield, Call Of Duty or any other shooting games. When i was 13 years old I used to play Halo and still do sometimes and i got angry but not because it made me angry. I was mad because i was not good as the other people in the game or it was from competition. When you are in a shooting game you get a boost of adrenaline or testosterone that would make you feel more tense in the games. I am 19 years old now and I still feel the same way but i don’t yell at people, shoot or kill people. I know the difference between real life and what is not real such as video games.

It is the idiots that are allowed to play the games that do not know whats real and what isnt real and to that I blame some of the dumb parents that allow them to play the games. I can also say I have a sister that is 21 and has two kids and she is being a dumb parent because she mostly doesn’t do much s*** and her fiance or boyfriend who I don’t like doesnt do s*** either – Thats another part why its peoples fault for letting their kids behavior go out of control.

video can cause violently bad behaviour

you should ad some car games like parking mania

A friend of mine is considering purchasing an xbox for her 6 year old son this christmas. After reading about the possible effects on the child – both good and bad – I would have to say the negatives far outweigh the positives.…


thank you for helping u didnt help me but thank for trying to

My grandson who is a 9 year old boy (birthday yesterday) has no social life. Not into sports or any other extracurricular activity. His mother is weighed down with his sister, age 2, who has CP and they live on SSD income. No money to pay for those extras. To top it all off, he has ADHD and is on meds. I fear for his future. He is terribly behind in school (repeated kindergarten due to lack of appropriate social skills). Meds have helped control his anger but he is a bit of a zombie at times.

He doesn’t “play” games on the computer but rather watches videos of games. Minecraft in particular. The language and themes tend to be for an older age group. He shows no interest in games made for his age that would require him to think for himself. They don’t have to be necessarily educational either.

When in trouble, he is gounded from the computer. Unfortunately, this is quite often. A Big Brother has finally come into their lives. It is hopeful they will find another interest besides computer videos. I try to find other interests for him but at my age, I cannot go out and “do” the things a boy of his age should be doing. He has yet to learn to ride a bike, not interested in boating, tried roller skating – too much falling, doesn’t climb trees or build forts like we did in my day.

Life is too easy for kids these days and I think, too boring so they aren’t challenged to think for themselves. Thoughts??? Anyone???

I have a story to tell you. When I was much younger I had serious coordination problems actually I still do, but a very wise person told my parents to get a computer and a game system. The games I played were simple by today’s standards but they made slowly building those motor skills fun and possible to work on without a playground full of laughing children. I love video games, but I also love reading, and the outdoors. People with this condition rarely learn to drive a car or do a lot of other things I have accomplished. Like many inherantly neutral things in life, video games are a good thing, in moderation. They help us to relieve stress, if online they can allow interaction with great people as easily as the bad ones. I know of distant family members and friends who have moved away who are able to stick together in games. Games like books are interactive, and not every game with something worthwhile to teach has an educational label. If your kids like games and you want them outside work on building an obstacle course like their favorite game, encourage them to learn programming, painting, writing, sculpture. Look into games that explore scientific concepts, teach positive values, or kindle an interest in history.

As other users have said, you are the parent, make video games a positive part of a well balanced world from the start (I started playing offline games at 6 years old) and you will enjoy being the parent of a gamer

I thought by Games it meant that you all had games on this Website. But it turns out that you guys did not have it at all so you guys just fooled me. So shame on you but you guys gave me good advise about parenting and I took notes. So you guys have a advantage but a disadvantage too.

my child is happy

Video games can only ever be as bad as you allow them to be. Yu choose what to get them. Just be educated and know what they are playing

This is ver retarded

Anyone under 18 can not buy an M rated game, which generally are the most violent and graphic, etc… Mom and Dad buy those. With all the shootings and such, like Columbine, blaming video games. Those guys played Doom. Even made mods for it. They were high school students. Their parents didn’t know they were playing violent video games all the time? They didn’t know they were stocking up on ammo? They didn’t see them leave in trench coats, loaded with weapons? Wow. Good parenting. When someone is shot it’s not the guns fault. It’s the one who pulls the trigger. The developer, while advertising their game and wanting people to buy it, doesn’t say “hey kids get mom to buy this for ya!”. I believe it’s parenting. I’m a parent myself, with a little girl who likes to play video games. But we don’t allow anything violent other than Super Smash Bros. IT’S ON THE PARENTS TO WATCH WHAT THEIR CHILDREN ARE DOING!!! Grow some balls people. Take accountability. I’m 26. I’m what most people would call hardly an adult. I’ve played video games all my life. I played GTA 3 when I was 12. Guess what? I’ve never been in a fight, never disrespected my parents, never shot anyone, never burglarized anything. You know why? I was raised by a damn good set of parents. I was taught right and wrong. I was taught to be appreciative of what I had. I still play violent games, not when my child’s around, and still no blood on my hands. Yeah, I get frustrated. But I’ve met people who have gotten frustrated at losing a game of checkers. I’m ranting. Sorry.

Hi there, I’m a 15-year old male high schooler and I’m having problems balancing my gaming/ internet usage with school and the rest of my life. I’ll give a brief summary of my problem, and anyone who can offer some advice feel free to comment.
I’ve been playing video games since I was young, probably before age 6. I grew up with the PS2 and Pokemon on the Nintendo DS, and ever since I’ve had major problems over the years with being able to balance my gaming time and my school/social life and my health. Currently, I am failing math and have a C- in Spanish simply because I spend 5+ hours a day on the online surfing the web or playing games. I’m just wondering about some strategies of tips anyone has to be able to limit my Internet usage, because it is has been a major problem for me for years. Thanks for reading :)

The comment about 18 year old being the only people that can buy M rated games is a lie. While many places will refuse, persistant people are able to find ways. My 8 year old sibling asks if he can play halo with his friends at school.
Truthfully, sit and watch at a game store. While a child cannot always buy a M rated game, a parent is typicly not refused.
In the end,nit is trully a matter of useing commen sense. Unless you are addicted to games. Asking for advice would be a better option, perferably advice from someone not addicted to games.

That is nice. Thanks for your explanation

its not so helpful

it wanst helpful but thanks


it was great but something were bakwhas :-s

to the 15 year old high school student: You’ve already made the first step in helping yourself by realizing you have an addiction. It is hard to break an addiction but it can be done. try analyzing why you play. Are you bored? Lonely? Stressed? There could be lots of reasons. Then look for healthier alternatives that will fulfill your needs and give you the positive result and reward you are looking for or find in gaming. Ask a trusted adult for help. There is a really good book called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg that explains how we make and develop habits and how to change those habits. I am not affiliated with the book, author, or company in any way, but I have read a lot of it. It is interesting and helpful. I highly recommend it. If you have the means you could seek professional counseling or look for an addiction recovery support group in your area. I realize that not all gaming is bad, but if it is an addiction it can affect your life in negative ways. I applaud your efforts to improve your life, seek help, and become a better person. I am a mother of six children and have 3 teenagers. Life is much harder for your age group then it was in my day. Hang in there and seek out good friends that will be supportive and helpful as you try to overcome your addiction. Remember that you are not alone. There are many others your age, and all ages that have addictions to different things. Keep searching until you find something that will help you. Good Luck and best wishes.

I do hope that the hacks that run this site are ignorant to the fact that the research they quote has been thoroughly debunked, as it would be wrong to knowingly distribute this sort of misinformation.


Wow it is great introduction it help me in my essay THANKYOU SO MUCH

Has anyone tried “Viva Pinata”?
it is rated 3+, yet allows players to force animals to commit Incest, beat them to death with a shovel and feed their remains to the survivors.

Can somebody write a Wikipedia of video games with an amazing idea