The Name/Blame Game

Right now, doctors are deliberating on whether or not to include a create a new diagnosis, Video Game Addiction. Yes, I'm serious. You can read more about it in this article which warns of all the dangers, such as "teens holing up in their rooms, ignoring friends, family, even food and a shower, while grades plummet and belligerence soars." Not surprisingly, much of the focus is on the risk to children and teens.

You may say that there are some who cannot function at all because of their "addictions", but I disagree. There is more to it than that. There is an underlying cause which leads some to choose their addictive activity above all others. It might be depression, frustration, need for control, among many other things. Maybe there are too many frustrated children and teens, seeking some sense of control and joy in their life, and video games are one of the ways they find it. Maybe for some with a homelife so unhappy the video games become "like" an addiction. But true addiction is a physiological state, caused by substances taken into the body, not by things outside of the body.

This is an opportunity for people to look deeper and see why are there so many unhappy children and teens, not what new label can we give them. Wake up people! Give your children the respect they deserve and stop treating them like projects to complete. They are whole already. If you need a project, look at yourself. We all have need of self-improvement, don't we? Or maybe we need a new label. As Dr. Brody, head of a TV and media committee at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, stated, " You could make lots of behavioral things into addictions. Why stop at video gaming? Why not Blackberries, cell phones, or other irritating habits?"


kelli said...

Yes, *sigh* it was in our local newspaper too. I thought it was pretty funny that they chose to focus on teens when the numbers of people aged 19-45 was the highest? Although it isn't funny the way teens are treated pretty much everywhere.

And why can't it be looked at like any other hobby? Why is video game playing to feared?

And that last line is great. How could you stop at video game playing? It's all really ridiculous. All for fear of a game.

kelli said...

My husband just informed me that the APA (American Psychiatric Assoc.)just voted to not label video gaming as an addiction. They feel as though there needs to be more studies.

Maybe they'll look into it and see the sense in allowing our children to play. Not only playing video games but just to allow our children to be children.

I guess it does make a case for us to keep talking about our unschooling lives :)

Deanne said...

Thanks for the happy update! :)

As for the value of play, that's been documented already, even touted in the media. I just think it's too hard for people to let go of the notion, "no pain, no gain".

I think they should be studying what we can learn FROM children and teens, rather than how we describe and categorize and label their behavior. It's degrading.

Living and learning joyfully just seems too unreal for some people. So, yeah, I think we should try to keep illuminating! ;)

Nance Confer said...

Oh, that is good news! Thanks for the heads up, Deanne, and the update, Kelli. :)


kelli said...

And now my paper made its own comment about how parents need to step in and limit our children more in regards to video games! ugh... are they blind?

I'm going to do a post about it too, I was going to let it go but its gettin me goin now.