Video game

LARSEN: Should we be worried about video game time? | Columns

Dr Larry Larsen

Dear doctor,

I just heard on TV that China has limited video game time for its young people. I’m a grandmother, and when grandchildren come to visit me, it seems they can’t get away from their computers and games. This should reduce the time spent on education and learning. It worries me. What do you think as a psychologist?


Dr Larry Larsen

Dear Gma,

I think you are a wise grandmother.

Often in my field, we see young teens especially addicted to video games. Life is like a shelf, and we are able to put things in the form of time. When the shelf is full, there isn’t room for a lot of worthwhile things.

When I use the term “addiction” it is literally true. It has been described to me as a longing that takes time, a deep and all-consuming desire. More importantly, it destroys education and learning.

I have seen teenagers who would not leave their rooms to go to the bathroom use bottles to relieve themselves. Hours of time are spent playing while homework and reading are forgotten.

China is a story in itself. Here in America, it is the parent’s job to oversee the video game experience. If you have grandchildren who worry you, stay silent but show this column to their parents.

Definitely limit video game time. Make school time sacred and participate in the learning process. Start by sitting down and negotiating a reasonable contract with the youngster. To watch. Control and reinforce with minimal conflict.

It is something to be settled. You’ll be glad you did.