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#61 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 01:05 PM
 
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having a wii is not anywhere near as addictive as drugs and it's pretty laughable to see the two compared.
Tell that to some of the women around here that are video game widows and are on the verge of leaving their partners because they do nothing but play video games the entire time they are home. It's laughable that people would deny that this is a problem for some.

I'm not saying that video games are evil. I'm saying that you can't make blanket statements that video games are not addictive, that they are always constructive, or that kids should be allowed to have them because "everyone else" is doing it.

We choose to not have them because we feel that there are better ways of spending our time. It's an opinion. That's all.
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#62 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 01:05 PM
 
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Do some reading. Video gaming increases dopamine in the brain, just like alcohol and drugs do. Increased exposure leads to addiction. Yes, video games are like a drug because they have similar effects on the brain that drugs do, releasing the same chemicals in the brain. There are plenty of studies about it.
There are plenty of studies about spending money as a drug/high, workaholism, endorphins in running, and so on. That doesn't mean that parents who choose to allow their children to run down the street, have allowances, and do chores are getting their kids addicted.

I'm not huge on video games as I said, but I think sometimes if we allow fear to govern our parenting via absolutes it can get silly. I misread the OP's original post; it seems like what the OP wanted to know was whether it's okay to not provide VGs in the face of generic social pressure and I say: totally ok!

But I don't think it's necessary to treat it like it's the same as not handing over cocaine, no. And I do think that sometimes those of us who grew up in the Pong era fail to recognize how actually interesting and nice some games have become.

As I said, I am trying to make my decisions based on quality, not category. If there are quality games out there that can contribute to my child's quality of life whether by sharing a decent/good activity with his friends or engaging his imagination, then within the context of a balanced life I see no reason to treat it like the devil's candy.

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#63 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 01:40 PM
 
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Video games are very different than alcohol or a drug. If someone has an addictive personality, that person will find something to get "addicted" to, but it isn't the same as alcohol or drugs, which have some level of physical addiction for everyone.
??
How so? I can take or leave alcohol. I smoked pot heavily for a few years in my teens, but that was because it made me numb, and I didn't want to kill myself when I was high. When it started making me feel wigged out and paranoid, I quit - no problem. I also socially smoked it a few times in the years following that, and it was never an issue to say "sure" or "no, thanks". If there's been any level of physical addiction with either of those things, I've missed it. I know a lot of alcoholics...but I also know a lot of people who have an occasional drink, and they don't seem to suffer from any level of physical addiction.

I don't think videogames are addictive for everybody. However, I don't think most drugs are addictive for everyone, either (some exceptions, obviously). Videogames can be really dangerous for some people, and there's no way to know which people ahead of time. Physical activity, which someone mentioned, tells you nothing. I know kids/teens who are very, very physically active...and they still shut down in front of the box.

It's also untrue that the addiction is temporary with small kids. It can be, of course. There are always people like ds1, who will jump into a new game, or new console, full-time for a few days, then drop it. However, there are others...like a boy I know who played videogames for hours as a small child (4 or so), and would freak out when the game was taken from him. He's now in his teens, and he'd still rather play video games than live his life. It's not uncommon for him to get up again after everyone is in bed and play until the wee small hours, which obviously has a profound negative effect on his school work, social life, etc.

OTOH...I'm not sure I agree about the fact that people spend too much time staring at boxes. I didn't interact with people much for much of my late childhood, most of my teens, and a lot of my adulthood. But, since I had my nose buried in a book, instead of looking at a screen, nobody worried about it. I still have the social skills of a turnip, and I'm kind of social phobic - don't think it would be any worse if I'd spent that time playing videogames, instead of reading or doing crosswords. The single biggest boon to my social life has been the internet.

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#64 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 01:44 PM
 
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Tell that to some of the women around here that are video game widows and are on the verge of leaving their partners because they do nothing but play video games the entire time they are home.
While my ex had a lot of other problems, including drugs, this was huge for us. He'd be up until 4:00 in the morning, playing games, then wouldn't get up for work, and be "too tired" to help with anything when he came home. If he didn't work (he had a job that was basically on-call, although close to full-time hours), he'd spend the whole day playing videogames...even to the point where I'd have to pick up ds1 from the babysitter's house after work, because he didn't see a point in quitting his game to go get him from school. It was freaky.

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I misread the OP's original post; it seems like what the OP wanted to know was whether it's okay to not provide VGs in the face of generic social pressure and I say: totally ok!
This. Videogames aren't necessary. They're also not inherently evil. They'll work better for some families than for others. I don't think anything about a family, based on whether or not they have a console, or several consoles. I do think it would be a huge mistake to get one, just because everyone else says you "have" to. Mind you, I can't imagine why anybody else even cares...

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#65 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 02:18 PM
 
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While my ex had a lot of other problems, including drugs, this was huge for us. He'd be up until 4:00 in the morning, playing games, then wouldn't get up for work, and be "too tired" to help with anything when he came home. If he didn't work (he had a job that was basically on-call, although close to full-time hours), he'd spend the whole day playing videogames...even to the point where I'd have to pick up ds1 from the babysitter's house after work, because he didn't see a point in quitting his game to go get him from school. It was freaky.
I went through something like this in university, on the internet in - 1992, where it was more of a text game addiction.

It was freaky to be that person too, but it was also in my case very, very related to issues around abuse and depression. In fact what I learned from that was that I had used various behaviours (overachieving, keeping myself hugely busy, reading compulsively) to cover up underlying issues for a very long time.

As soon as those two things were dealt with, I was able to get things in balance (and don't really like VGs, although I am on MDC so take from that what you will... ). And actually it was the social support I developed through that online network that helped me break through. And because I was an early adopter on the 'net I ended up in a happy career path.

So... yeah I am definitely not one to deny that people do video game absolutely compulsively, but I tend to see that as the symptom and not the disease. For a long time I said "no VGs for our house" but as I watch my nephews bond with their friends and stuff I think I am becoming a bit more relaxed about it.

My son's 4, so I don't think we'd be looking at investing in any technology for a few years though, so there it is. Someone in my family gave him a VTech thingy but we've never actually plugged it in anywhere.

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#66 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 02:39 PM
 
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For the person wanting the studies on the dopamine released through VG playing. I did a google search and here are the first few results that came up. There were lots.

this one is very medical:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal.../393266a0.html

This one is kind of long, but says it in non medical speach
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1719

This one talks about how the dopamine released is even greater in children with ADHD
http://www.time-scout.com/register/i...hp?act=tv_adhd

There are several more just do a search. Also there was a pretty interesting sounding article in a psychiatry journal, but you have to register for it and i do not have the time right now.
http://psychiatry.jwatch.org/cgi/con...ng/1998/701/15

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#67 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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I allow computer time and with in reason she may spend her computer time as she likes. Shes has her own browser with things bookmarked some are pure fluff like web sites for my little pony or barbie (shes plays games watches 3 mintue video clips ect) others are a bit more educational starfall.com for example we also have safe "TV" bookmarked like totlol how long we allow it varries I'm not one to restrict time blindly is shes can show overall restraint I'll allow the occasional "rainy day" on the computer for hours things it though it becomes obsessive we pull the plug for a while. She naturally spends around 20-1 hour a day doing computer things.

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#68 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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And actually it was the social support I developed through that online network that helped me break through.
It was internet friends who got me through the breakdown of my first marriage, and have kept me from going completely insane over the course of my birth trauma and stillbirth issues), and I met my wonderful dh online. (We weren't one of the first online couples, by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn't trendy yet, either. )

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So... yeah I am definitely not one to deny that people do video game absolutely compulsively, but I tend to see that as the symptom and not the disease.
Actually, when I think about the people I've known who have had huge problems with it, I'd have to agree with you. My ex had so many issues (drug addiction, depression, a total inability to be honest with himself or anyone else, serious confusion about his sexual orientation - didn't know about that last until recently) that it would be a bad joke to blame his problems on the games...

Oh - and my ds2 is almost four. He's actually done some (like 2 or 3 games since Christmas) boxing on the Wii. He likes to play it with his big brother...

ETA: I don't really like playing video games, but I definitely spend more time online when I'm avoiding dealing with things (be that housework, emotional issues or something else). I can see video games being a symptom of existing issues, in the same way.

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#69 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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This one talks about how the dopamine released is even greater in children with ADHD
http://www.time-scout.com/register/i...hp?act=tv_adhd
DH was diagnosed as having ADD a long time ago, and he's somewhat afraid of computers/video games, because he knows he gets sucked in easily. He's also even stronger on the "no computer in the bedrooms" rule than I am, because he says he'd have done a lot better in school, and been more social, if he hadn't had one. My FIL says that if he could go back and do it over, the first thing he'd change as a parent is that the boys would never have had computers in their rooms. I think it's good to be cautious, especially if you have kids who are unusually prone to being hooked.

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#70 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 04:14 PM
 
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Gamer family here too!

Moderation is the key. Isn't it with everything? It isn't possible for my children to get "sucked in" for hours. I simply do not allow that.
I try to only play after the kids go to bed, sometimes that works sometimes it doesn't hehe.
There are certain games I do not allow my children to even see. Just like movies and books there are games for certain ages. I am not even going to say how many different game systems we have heheheh

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#71 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 05:59 PM
 
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also, when he has a task, he HAS to finish it no matter how upset he gets. i'm afraid that if he doesn't get his way on a game, he will keep trying until he wins.
And this is bad how? don't we want our children to persist and solve problems? Why are video games a bad way to practice this?

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#72 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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There are plenty of studies about spending money as a drug/high, workaholism, endorphins in running, and so on. That doesn't mean that parents who choose to allow their children to run down the street, have allowances, and do chores are getting their kids addicted.

I'm not huge on video games as I said, but I think sometimes if we allow fear to govern our parenting via absolutes it can get silly. I misread the OP's original post; it seems like what the OP wanted to know was whether it's okay to not provide VGs in the face of generic social pressure and I say: totally ok!

But I don't think it's necessary to treat it like it's the same as not handing over cocaine, no. And I do think that sometimes those of us who grew up in the Pong era fail to recognize how actually interesting and nice some games have become.

As I said, I am trying to make my decisions based on quality, not category. If there are quality games out there that can contribute to my child's quality of life whether by sharing a decent/good activity with his friends or engaging his imagination, then within the context of a balanced life I see no reason to treat it like the devil's candy.
well said...

We have lots of video games. Our family of ten shares six computers, three TVs, and four game systems. The kids moderate themselves, I have never allowed or disallowed gaming or tv watching. Right now, my 14 year old is choosing to study geometry, my 12 yo is reading, my 10, 3 and 9 yos are out frog watching, my 7 yo is at camp, my 5 yo is playing at Club Penguin.

I think the studies with TV causing issues, might be ignoring the fact that most of those children are stuck in classrooms for seven hours a day, doing who knows what in the ways of chores and homework, and then trying to destress from the day. ack! if my day ran like that, i would try to lose myself in someone else's life/TV/. My destressor of choice is a book

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#73 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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book addictions are the best... the only drawbacks are library fines, needing even more bookshelves and the horror of moving all those books
Don't make light of that. We're in the process of winnowing bookshelves right now. If we didn't have books, we'd have tons more room in our house I don't even want to discuss library fines-I still have a 45 dollar balance on one library card.

Plus there's the fact that I'd rather read than anything else.
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#74 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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I think the studies with TV causing issues, might be ignoring the fact that most of those children are stuck in classrooms for seven hours a day, doing who knows what in the ways of chores and homework, and then trying to destress from the day.
There can be lots of factors. I once had two moms express shock that my son would get off the videogame when he was told to do so (we were going home!). They both told me that they "couldn't" stop their kids from playing games all day. But, I saw both those families in action more than once, and trying to stop them consisted of yelling at them about every 15-20 minutes to get off the game "now - this time I mean it". Neither of them ever enforced it, and they also didn't provide any kind of alternatives. I think I posted earlier about ds1 and his friends going to the park with me one day. Two of the four kids involved were the children of the moms who told me they "couldn't" get their kids off the games. Yet...when I offered the park, the game got turned off mid-move, and they were frustrated because it took me "so long" (under 10 minutes) to get out of my work clothes and into my shirts and t-shirt. This doesn't suggest kids who "refuse" to get off a game, yk? I'm sure those kids would show lots of problems, and a correlation could be made between their issues and the hours on the games. But, I don't think the games caused the problems. If they were "bored", they usually got sent off to play...no board games, few books, no art supplies, etc. etc.

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#75 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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We own a Wii, which occasionally (like once every 4 months?) my son will use for about 10 minutes. I dont want video games in the house (DH was dying for the wii and I caved because at least you are somewhat active). I dont mind if kids use them once in a while at a friend's house, but we wont have playstations and whatever else. I never had them growing up and I survived.

I think if they are used in moderation its fine, but I find a lot of stuff like that is a slippery slope and 10 minutes turns into an hour or two and so on. JMO
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#76 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And this is bad how? don't we want our children to persist and solve problems? Why are video games a bad way to practice this?
that part of his personality is not the problem. it is that mixed with an addictive thing like video games. i don't want him "needing" to accomplish tasks on a video game.

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#77 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh, and as far as the studies go: i don't think video games inherently cause problems. however, too much of a good thing turns into a bad thing in almost every case. i fail to see the good in video games because i do not enjoy them or see a purpose.

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#78 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 08:11 PM
 
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I think video games are great and can be so many things - from engaging in problem-solving to being really creative and artistic. I think video games are, in large part, misunderstood and the good is unfairly lumped with the bad. The people who really dislike video games are usually those who have little experience with them. I have great memories of solving puzzles in adventure games with my family - all four of us, when I was a kid, around the computer or just in the room and offering suggestions on how to solve a riddle or a puzzle.

There are some amazing games out there, many of which encourage really positive skills like hand-eye coordination, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, etc. Sure there's trash - but there are trashy books, trashy movies, trashy internet. There are plenty of opportunities for making video games a really positive experience for everyone. And, of course, as with anything, moderation is key. People who have addictions are a different matter and need to deal with those issues but in the same way I wouldn't warn people off a glass of wine because I know there are alcoholics, I wouldn't warn someone off video games because some people can develop an unhealthy relationship with it.

That said, no one should do something just because everyone else does it. I think if you dislike video games because you've never really given them a try (I mean really, how many games have you played start to finish; how many unusual or unique titles have you even tried?), then that's a shame. But your option, of course. And of course you don't have to buy any for your kids. We don't have cable TV or antenna (just Netflix and whatever we might see fit to buy on DVD, which isn't much), and I don't feel like the kids are missing out on much (other than the commercials, thank goodness!). So I know what it's like to be a bit "odd" in that respect, and hold an opinion different from the majority. I don't feel any pressure to run out and buy cable. Ultimately, it's a personal decision and I don't care what other people think.

If at some point you decide to let your kids play video games, I would strongly recommend that you learn more about them yourself and figure out what types of games - and what specific games - are appropriate, fun, and foster positive skills. It's not hard to avoid violent, negative, or stupid/boring games if you know what you're looking at.

FWIW, I would cut out TV/movies altogether long before I'd cut out video games.
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#79 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 08:18 PM
 
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I think if you dislike video games because you've never really given them a try (I mean really, how many games have you played start to finish; how many unusual or unique titles have you even tried?), then that's a shame.
Why is that a shame? I haven't played any games from start to finish (not since simple stuff like Centipede, anyway), because I don't like them. I wouldn't read a book I wasn't enjoying all the way to the end, or watch a movie I wasn't enjoying all the way through. Why would I play a videogame from start to finish, if I weren't enjoying it?

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#80 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think video games are great and can be so many things - from engaging in problem-solving to being really creative and artistic. I think video games are, in large part, misunderstood and the good is unfairly lumped with the bad. The people who really dislike video games are usually those who have little experience with them. I have great memories of solving puzzles in adventure games with my family - all four of us, when I was a kid, around the computer or just in the room and offering suggestions on how to solve a riddle or a puzzle.

There are some amazing games out there, many of which encourage really positive skills like hand-eye coordination, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, etc. Sure there's trash - but there are trashy books, trashy movies, trashy internet. There are plenty of opportunities for making video games a really positive experience for everyone. And, of course, as with anything, moderation is key. People who have addictions are a different matter and need to deal with those issues but in the same way I wouldn't warn people off a glass of wine because I know there are alcoholics, I wouldn't warn someone off video games because some people can develop an unhealthy relationship with it.

That said, no one should do something just because everyone else does it. I think if you dislike video games because you've never really given them a try (I mean really, how many games have you played start to finish; how many unusual or unique titles have you even tried?), then that's a shame. But your option, of course. And of course you don't have to buy any for your kids. We don't have cable TV or antenna (just Netflix and whatever we might see fit to buy on DVD, which isn't much), and I don't feel like the kids are missing out on much (other than the commercials, thank goodness!). So I know what it's like to be a bit "odd" in that respect, and hold an opinion different from the majority. I don't feel any pressure to run out and buy cable. Ultimately, it's a personal decision and I don't care what other people think.

If at some point you decide to let your kids play video games, I would strongly recommend that you learn more about them yourself and figure out what types of games - and what specific games - are appropriate, fun, and foster positive skills. It's not hard to avoid violent, negative, or stupid/boring games if you know what you're looking at.

FWIW, I would cut out TV/movies altogether long before I'd cut out video games.
it's not the violence that i'm against at all. kids hear and read about violence all the time. it's part of the world we live in. and i'm not going to shelter them from that.

but why is it a shame if i don't like playing video games? i don't feel that i have to try out a bunch of games and systems to decide that. i don't like the entire idea, and from what i have tried, i don't like. i don't know why i should keep trying.

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#81 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 08:27 PM
 
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oh, and as far as the studies go: i don't think video games inherently cause problems. however, too much of a good thing turns into a bad thing in almost every case. i fail to see the good in video games because i do not enjoy them or see a purpose.
Not even adults only do things that have a purpose. For kids, even less of what they do really has a purpose. Tons of what kids do is just for fun. Is that really a goal for you - for everything they do to have a purpose?
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#82 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not even adults only do things that have a purpose. For kids, even less of what they do really has a purpose. Tons of what kids do is just for fun. Is that really a goal for you - for everything they do to have a purpose?
no, but i also don't enjoy them...so the fun aspect isn't in it for me either.

i'm not really trying to convince anybody of anything or compel people to believe me.

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#83 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 08:33 PM
 
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no, but i also don't enjoy them...so the fun aspect isn't in it for me either.

i'm not really trying to convince anybody of anything or compel people to believe me.
Yeah and there's no reason to have them if you don't like them, for sure. I just sense a generalized negativity, I guess, and sometimes you verbalize it in ways that aren't making sense to me. But it isn't the specific issues that bother you - like for instance the unproductive nature of video games - you just generally don't like them. Is that right?
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#84 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 08:33 PM
 
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I went through something like this in university, on the internet in - 1992, where it was more of a text game addiction.
That wouldn't be a MU*ing addiction would it?
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#85 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah and there's no reason to have them if you don't like them, for sure. I just sense a generalized negativity, I guess, and sometimes you verbalize it in ways that aren't making sense to me. But it isn't the specific issues that bother you - like for instance the unproductive nature of video games - you just generally don't like them. Is that right?
no, not really anything specific. i don't intend to shelter my kids from anything. i just don't want the games in my home. the fact that they can be addictive, are semi-unproductive, can lead to problems, etc...are kind of just added reasons. i know my kids' personalities, and i know that games just aren't for them. i don't think an inanimate object is inherently evil or causes certain things. it's what people do with them. and i don't think my kids are a good mix.

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#86 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i just asked the question to get different perspectives.

incidentally, what does everyone think of this one?

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#87 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 09:35 PM
 
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i just asked the question to get different perspectives.

incidentally, what does everyone think of this one?
Interesting stuff. I'm going to think that over. As a former metalhead, who was told more than once that I must be a sociopath, because of my taste in music, it gives some food for thought.

I will admit that dh and I won't allow GTA in the house, but ds1 is welcome to play it elsewhere. We just don't want it around.

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#88 of 107 Old 06-09-2009, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting stuff. I'm going to think that over. As a former metalhead, who was told more than once that I must be a sociopath, because of my taste in music, it gives some food for thought.

I will admit that dh and I won't allow GTA in the house, but ds1 is welcome to play it elsewhere. We just don't want it around.
i actually have this guy's book...he is a hardcore gamer. that blog was written 4 years ago i think. he works at lucasfilm now in the gaming department i am pretty sure.

stuff like this is why i don't immediately dismiss video games by saying they cause violence. that is a very naive thing to say. there are other things i don't like. it's the people that play them that determine their effects. however, i still don't like games nor do i want them in my home.

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#89 of 107 Old 06-10-2009, 07:37 AM
 
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That wouldn't be a MU*ing addiction would it?
Definitely.

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#90 of 107 Old 06-10-2009, 11:38 AM
 
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We have Leapsters with Scholastic games for use in the car (trips of 2+ hours) and the very occasional use in the doctor/dentist waiting rooms. The kids know we don't play with them at other times, and don't ask.

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