Myths About Gaming

A topic that is of uncertainty and may be a source of conflict between digital natives and digital immigrants nowadays is gaming. This is an issue that worries most parents especially now as summer is nearing and kids will be out of school, with more time in their hands. Therefore, I’d like to explore some of the myths surrounding this idea and explain some things which may not be as clear for some parents.

Myth 1: Kids get easily addicted to video games, which becomes a mental disorder.

Up to 90 percent of American youngsters play video games and as many as 15 percent of them – more than 5 million kids – may be addicted, according to data cited in the AMA council’s report. In fact, it got so serious that the American Medical Association was preparing to recognize ‘Internet/video game addiction’ as a ‘formal diagnostic disorder’ in the 2007 annual meeting. However after much debate, the AMA changed its mind and decided that they would not place the “video game addiction” in the same category of serious mental disorders as schizophrenia or depression.

The reason for this change of mind is that people can be addicted to anything such as work, novel reading or sports. Addiction is not necessarily equivalent to disease. The key to solve this issue is to find a transfer mechanism or alternative for kids to divert their attention. One way to help is for parents to give more accompaniment and attention to their children especially before the age of 16.