Are Online Games a Bad Influence Or Not?

Online gamers are a different breed of individuals. For one they can spend days playing with people they have never met and even forget to eat. It’s like a drug, they can yell, scream and cuss whenever their parents or family are not around and no one can say different. Even if your loved one does not use foul language in front of you it is still present online. The headsets that allow communication while in a game seem to be a breeding ground for foul mouth people trying to be “over the phone tough guys and girls”. So what do you do?

Try limiting their play time to daytime hours when you can hear what is coming out of their mouths. Make them take a break every couple of hours if they have been engaged to long. Be aware that these games can be addictive because of the adrenalin rush they provide. Your kids will act like they are on crack. I have seen this behavior from my son when I take it and lock it up for a week or two. He goes nuts for the first two days then he is fine.

Does online gaming change kids? Absolutely it does and not always for the best. The only positive behavior I noticed was that my 15 year old is much better at defending himself from high school bullying and peer pressure than other kids. I raised him to be a good person and defend others that are in trouble and he has still held onto that. But at home he has a whole different attitude. I let him play online as long as he does his homework and keeps his grades up. He also has to do his chores without arguing. Could it be normal behavior? I would have said yes until I started taking it away for different periods of time.

Like I said earlier he is a different person when he doesn’t have his game. Some studies have shown an increase in violence when kids play violent games. I personally have not witnessed this, but the disrespect for elders is a very real problem. It seems that since they can speak to other gamers any way that they want due to anonymity, then they can do it outside of the game environment as restaurant game well. Control is a big issue because you want your kids to succeed in life but they want to be left alone to their own devices. Give them space but limited space. Otherwise they might choose the game over you. You laugh, but I have seen it with my friends children.

When it comes to letting them play online it’s up to you to keep track of how much time they spend online and how they are developing as people. As far as them being addicted to the games, I like it because it gives me leverage for when he has gone too far with misbehaving. Just for the record I like to play myself, but not online. I don’t enjoy hearing little kids all over the World swearing and using racial slurs towards one another. Not my cup of tea. If you just bought a system for your children please take a snap shot of how they act now and reflect on that in a year or so and see if I am alone in my conclusion.

©2009 David Gasser

My name is David Gasser and I have two children who I adore. While it’s not easy raising teens it can be very rewarding. My philosophy is simple, let them grow and try to guide them with good advice, knowledge and a sense of being. They are individuals like you and me so let them be themselves.

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