I had the pleasure of having dinner with a good friend and his wife. Now, full disclosure, he is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  He is also married with two children. His oldest son was a complete gentleman. He engaged in the conversation and was just completely great to be around. During our conversation, I asked him how he was adjusting to high school. He remarked that it was a busy, exciting, and scary. Overall, he had a great freshman year.

Once dinner was over, he asked to be excused to play a video game. His father and mother both agreed that he could. His parents told me that they limit the number of hours that their children are allowed to play video games per week. The conversation they had reminded me of an article I read recently about adolescents and video games (please find the article at the bottom of this week’s blog). Specifically, I liked this quote,

video game players who did not experience an adequate amount of basic needs satisfaction were more likely to display symptoms of Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) at a later point in time, and that players who displayed symptoms of IGD were less likely to be needs satisfied later.” (Bender & Gentile, 2019, pg. 2).  

The Downside

My intention in this week’s blog is not to write about Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD). However, I do want to point out that video games – like substances – can be abused. Also, like substances, video games can be used to numb us from the outside world. Video games can be alluring because they are stimulating. Online gaming groups offer a sense of community, the ability to feel successful, and even a feeling of joy with the accomplishment of moving up levels. However, as a parent, it is also our duty to make sure that our children are still connected to their families and social groups. As far as tips go, we as parents can first reference The American Academy of Pediatrics which recommends limiting a child’s viewing of movies, watching TV, and playing video games to one or two hours per day

Our lives are busy. We all need some time to escape. Whether it be television, the internet, or games, it is highly encouraged that we all have some time to “veg out.” However, we just need to remember that there is no better connection than being connected with others – in person.

If you have any questions about Amy Wine Counseling Center and our therapeutic services, feel free to call us at 832-421-8714 or contact us here.

Bender, P. K., & Gentile, D. A. (2019). Internet gaming disorder: Relations between needs satisfaction in-game and in life in general. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, doi:10.1037/ppm0000227