Gaming Addiction – a Parent and the Gamers

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I found a very interesting blog post about game addiction which I’ve been tackling since late 1997, and this is the first time I’ve read an article/post from a parent who is not approaching the issue by stereotyping the/us gamers by saying “Gamers Are Immature (Adults)” or that “Gaming Will Only Produce War-Freak Adults“.

I commend Noemi Lardizabal-Dado for being unbias in this issue and I agree with her, which as I’ve said before, the main problem with game addiction lies in their immediate environment and families – especially these kids’ parents or guardians. (Computer Game and Internet Addiction: The Emergence of a New Clinical Disorder)

I’m no parent, I am still single. I am no psychologist or sociologist to realize and see the root cause of this game addiction problem, and sadly, many are tackling this issue, attacking it in the wrong direction, in the wrong perspective.

But there is one part of her post that really caught my attention which she quoted from Manila Bulletin’s August 20th issue article entitled “Computer ‘Addicts’ Rise in Defense of their hobby”, saying:

Better Games than drugs. Who would disagree with this reasoning esecially when cited by teenagers hooked on computer games? This is the reason why computer game afionados should not be restricted in pursuing their hobby, said Gladys, a self-confessed computer game addict

Ok, didn’t I said that before already? And I’m sure that I shared to many gaming communities, guilds, and friends why saying “better (play) games than drugs” is stupid. This thinking partly originated from the anime fans and the community. Let me explain, the anime fans were or are a misunderstood group of people in Philippine society. Anime is cartoons technically speaking, because of that, the anime fans are being seen as ‘immature’ individuals or kid-minded adults. The main source of the discrimination comes from their homes – their parents. Anime fans will say “it is better that we are into anime than into illegal drugs” – which is true and which is fine to say.

But not when it comes to gaming especially in today’s generation. Gaming is different than anime, though the discrimination is similar. In anime, the fans or otakus (as they are called) still have control of their lives and are still conscious of the real-world. But when one play the games of today, one can lose control of their lives because playing these games is very fun, a good stress reliever, and touches our human need of social-interaction, remember the saying – “no man is an island”?

So saying “it is better that we are playing games than into illegal drugs” is very, very stupid. There are very few gamers who still have control of their lives, the rest are very addicted (at least here in the Philippines), and what’s worse is that, majority of the gamers are still in schools or fresh graduates or are first timers in their real-world jobs. Those gamers saying this doesn’t know what they were talking about and this is one of the main reason why gamers still do not get respect here in the country.

There are gamers who are responsible and mature, but the other portion of the gaming community are irresponsible and are only contributing (unknowingly to them) to the declining respect and bad image of the gamers in general. Good examples are in Korea, where gamers are considered “national sports heroes” but are now at the same time being seen as otherwise because of the recent “game addiction deaths” that occured in the country.

Similar here in the Philippines where gamers who have stable jobs are being viewed by the politicians and parents as immature people because the other portion of the local gaming population acts as if they have something to be proud of by being gaming addicts.

Time to stand-up and teach these addict gamers a lesson, or rather, let’s attack the problem in its root – their parents/guardians, homes, and immediate environments.

Other read: Are Addictive Online Games Destroying Productivity?

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Summary
Gaming Addiction - a Parent and the Gamers
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Gaming Addiction - a Parent and the Gamers
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I found a very interesting blog post about game addiction and this is the first time I've read an article from a parent with a balanced analysis.
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