Why I Hate My Son's Xbox

A year ago, my son (ten at the time) received the ultimate Christmas gift - an Xbox 360. In his eyes, this was the to-die-for console - all of his friends had one (an only slightly over-exaggarated statement) and if he did not join the throngs of Xbox gamers then life was not worth living.

Of course, he was just dramatising in the hope of getting a result - and on this occasion, the much desired gift came his way, wrapped up and hidden under the tree on Christmas Day 2010. I loved seeing his excited, exhuberant face as he ripped off the paper. It really was a surprise, because he had been told that he couldn't have it. But I was glad we had bought it for him, because sometimes it's nice to indulge the children (especially at Christmas) and it made him very happy. However, the longer the Xbox resides in our house, the more my dislike for it grows.

Better in the Family Room

The problem was not quite so bad in the early days. Before he acquired the Xbox, we already had a Wii, and it was not too much of an invasion into family life. The Wii was kept in the family living room, connected to our only television, and time spent playing games was limited to around an hour or two. When the time was up, I asked him to turn it off. If he didn't turn it off, I did it for him. Then he would go off and find something else to do. Games played in the living room are easily supervised. I didn't, however, face too much resistance - those were the rules and that was how it was.

So, when we first set up his much-desired Xbox, it was also connected to the downstairs television. After the initial indulgence of a new Christmas gift, play was limited to a specified amount of time, just as before. Life with the Xbox in the house continued in a fairly blissful manner - my son loved the current Fifa football game and it all seemed like harmless entertainment. His little brother, two at the time, used to sit and watch him and everyone was happy.


Grumpy and Obsessed

Only a year later, however, my son is no longer a boy who can play a computer game and then go off and do something else. Instead, he has become a child so obsessed with the Xbox that I would hardly be surprised if it sucked him away into a parallel online universe never to return. Asking him to abandon his game now results in a very grumpy attitude and an argument over the unfairness of it all. Sometimes I really think he would make an excellent politician - after all, he never backs down and he certainly knows how to hold his corner. Apparently, every other 11 year old in the entire world is allowed to play violent Xbox games 24 hours a day. We are 'weird' parents for trying to stand in his way. Apparently, we cannot relate to his excessive passion for the Xbox because we are from another era where life was cruel and no one had anything to do. It is now perfectly normal to want to spend every waking moment 'plugged in' to a device with a screen and only parents who go along with this are 'cool'.

Why Did it Change?

So, why did it all change? I am sure, without a shadow of doubt, that my hatred of the Xbox began when we bought him a television for his bedroom last May. So it is all our own fault, then? Maybe so - after all, we are the parents. We should have stuck to the old arrangement of games consoles in the family living area. It definitely is the best way.

But my son is growing up. He doesn't want to play Fifa all the time - typically, older boys do tend to enjoy games which require a certain level of shooting and death. You can buy quite realistic shooting games designed for age 12 upwards (some of the Bond games are advertised as 12+ and don't look much diffferent to the more mature titles). I didn't think it was necessarily fair to deny him, even if I am a woman who does not like violence. The main swaying point for us was the presence of his little brother. I knew without question that I did not want him to be a spectator of these older, unsuitable games.

That was why our older son was allowed to have his own television, together with the fact that he liked having friends round and they needed their own space (as did we). We have just moved, but our old house was very small and we were all on top of one another when anybody visited.

Televisions in Rooms and Headsets - Beginnings of a Slippery Slope...

The presence of a television in my son's bedroom made policing the Xbox much more difficult. Almost immediately, he seemed to think that every single spare moment in life was an opportunity to disppear into his virtual world. He would even pretend to be reading a book when in reality he most definitely was not. However the television - although obviously a key part of the problem - was not the only offender. It has a partner in crime that works alongside it to further corrupt my son - and it is called Xbox Live (together with a headset).

Over the past few months, experience has shown me that Xbox Live is, for 11 year old boys, the new Going Out. When my son wakes up on weekend mornings, he does not think about going to the park for a kick about. In fact, he does not consider the outside world at all (or even the downstairs world). He thinks instead about checking online to see how many of his friends are already plugged in. He does like to meet up with his friends a lot, but only to play Xbox. He invites a friend round to the house and they immediately rush upstairs to turn it on. When I suggest (sometimes insist), after a couple of hours, that they do something else, they look dumbfounded and are completely unable to think of an alternative. His friends are just as bad as he is - and sometimes even worse. Granted, in the summer, they might play football for a bit - but then they will return after a while, 'hot and tired' and ready to play Xbox. Even if I deny them, they sneak upstairs and do it anyway. The Xbox really is the bane of our lives.

Loss of Passion and Creativity

I don't think there is anything really wrong in playing on a games console, as long as it can be done it moderation. However, it seems, in our house (and the houses of most of his friends) that 'moderation' is a concept to be fought and battled against from all angles. I would just like to state, at this point, that an Xbox belonging to one of his friends came to an abrupt end when a very exasperated parent threw it down the stairs and beat it with a pitchfork. This is obviously not the ideal solution, but I must admit that it has, at times, seemed wonderfully appealing, especially in the heat of the moment. For me, the most worrying part of this Xbox obsession is my son's increasing inability to use his imagination and creativity to pursue other interests. When I insist that he comes off a game, he starts talking about it instead - it is never erased entirely from his thought patterns.

I recall that, at a similar age to him, I used to enjoy sketching pictures and writing stories. I am quite creative and writing is my passion - my son is his own person and I do not expect him to be just like me. He doesn't like writing. But playing computer games does, in the end, bring little to life. It is not soul-enriching, it is not creative and it does not broaden the mind. A computer game, played on any platform, is nothing more than a product of someone elses' creativity. That is fine, up to a point (and for a bit of light entertainment), but when it begins to replace other aspects of your child's character then I believe it to be a problem.

Real self-fulfilment surely comes from following one's true passions and interests and achieving small goals in life. Sport, creative arts, exploring nature, musical pursuits - all of these can inspire a child and aid their development as they grow towards adult life into an interesting and hopefully well balanced individual. I have many memories of time spent pursuing hobbies that I really cared about; of making up games to play outside with friends and of creating my own projects when no one else was about. When I was young, children seemed to know how to come up with an idea and to bring about its reality - this is most definitely something missing from the life of my son and almost all of his friends. When the Xbox is turned off, instant boredom grips them like a painful disease. I suppose I should be thankful that he still likes reading.

Don't get me wrong - I am not the kind of parent who will allow my son to spend all day playing Xbox games. I can and do turn it off myself when my requests to stop playing are conveniently ignored. I frequently resort to turning off the Wi-Fi connection downstairs, to angry protests, which puts a stop to any socialising on Xbox Live. When I have really had enough, I hide all of the controls - in the tumble dryer amongst the washing (not when it is on!), in drawers, in the kitchen cupboards with the saucepans - I will put them anywhere. I confiscate them for a time I see fit, if I really feel tried and tested, though I have fallen short of getting rid of it altogether. He learns his lesson for a short while, promising exemplary behaviour upon its return. But then it starts again. And, of course, when there is no Xbox available in his own house, he goes off to someone else's to play there instead. It truly is a problem compounded by the society we now live in because, unless we move to somewhere in the middle of nowhere, there will always be an Xbox close by.

Peer Pressure and a Desire to 'Fit In'.

I know for a fact that my son's exasperating behaviour regarding the Xbox is not exactly unusual. In fact, the vast majority of his school friends behave in a similar fashion. There is little doubt that our society has changed considerably since the childhoods of many (if not most) of today's parents. Electronic entertainment has become the norm (girls might not be so taken with console games, but they definitely gravitate towards social mediums like Facebook). When you are not a parent it is very easy to draw conclusions - in reality, today's parents face an uphill battle against peer pressure, accessibility to technology, creating balances and to society in general. To own the 'in' game and to be able to play it online with friends initiates a child into a kind of 'online club'. For many children, a desire to 'fit in' and to be seen to be like 'everyone else' is the single most important aspect of school life, especially once they begin secondary education. Hasn't it always been like that? It certainly was in my day, even if the posts were different. Last year, my son enjoyed collecting and painting Warhammer, then learning how to play at the local Games Workshop. Now that he has begun secondary school, however, he tells me that everyone thinks only 'nerds play Warhammer'.

But, whilst most parents want their children to be happy and to be able to join in activities with their friends, there is no doubt that the world of Xbox has become far too prominent in the lives of many young people. When we allowed our son to spend his birthday money on Xbox Live and the accompanying headset, we did not realise the extent to which he would become totally obsessed. In fact, from the very beginning we set certain ground rules about how much time would be allocated for such activities. He is absolutely not allowed to do whatever he likes, but as he gets older he pushes the boundaries more and more. Sometimes I feel disappointed, because I know that his childhood is different from mine (not so much when he was younger, but as he has gained more independence) and that we enjoyed many activities that he and his friends just don't seem interested in today. We wanted to explore the world - he just seems interested in the 'virtual world'. Loss of imagination, creativity, inspiration and motivation, as well as the ability to concentrate for long periods of time on other pursuits - these are all problems that I could easily blame on the Xbox. If you met my son, you would think he was a perfectly ordinary, polite child capable of social interaction, humour and intellectual thought. Thankfully, he is still all of these things, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't like to erase the Xbox 360 from the face of this earth. At least he still likes reading....and swimming....

More by this Author

Comments 268 comments

profile image

rorshak sobchak 5 years ago

Great Hub. Gaming consoles can be very addicting. I have been there.

I was shocked to learn that those bond games are 12 and up. That is surprising! I agree they should be for a more mature audience.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi rorshak sobchak - you are right about how addictive some games seem to be, and they certainly seem to act as substitutes for other areas in life for some young people. My son thinks my childhood sounds awful and can't imagine what I used to do - I told him that when I was his age nobody had anything like an Xbox at home and so we were busy doing other things. Although, we did sometimes play games like Space Invaders and PacMan and Mario, but they were only available in arcades. However, even then I did find them a bit addictive - the only reason it was not a problem was that the opportunity to play was not so readily available and of course you had to put money in! And you couldn't have lots of goes in a row as other children were waiting for their turn. Actually, I would love it to still be like that, a lot more sociable and the games were much more innocent.

Not all of the Bond games are 12+, but the one that springs to mind is Quantum of Solace. To my eye, it doesn't look much different from other games rated 16 etc. Probably has less bad language but still looks fairly violent. Anyway, thank you for stopping by and reading :)

emilybee profile image

emilybee 4 years ago

I think your hub is excellent. When growing up, my older brother had his video/ computer game phase where he wouldn't leave his room and was addicted to his game. Being female I don't understand it much but thanks for sharing. Well-written hub.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi emilybee, thank you for reading and for your great comments. It seems to be such a common problem where boys are concerned - as a female, I don't understand it either but I certainly feel it is a downside of the technological times we now live in. Thanks once again for stopping by! :)

RichieGils profile image

RichieGils 4 years ago

Thank you for this funny and well-written Hub Polly! I completely understand your feelings of frustration and regret over the all-consuming Xbox 360 Live. I, too, have had to learn to live with this unwelcome intruder.

I laughed out loud when I read the bit about our generation being from another era where life was cruel and no one had anything to do! I have heard words to this effect from my own kids so many times over the past few years.

At their age I suppose I was a bit obsessed with my drums and guitar, but I still loved going out with my friends to ride my bike and play made up games in the woods and fields.

I hate to say it, but despite all of their cool electronic games and devices, I can't help but feel a little sorry for the kids of today! They would think I'm nuts if I told them this, but I believe mine was the more magical childhood.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Richie - yes, the Xbox is certainly a very unwelcome intruder indeed, even more so right now as he has a whole week off school and keeps sneaking off to play on it at every opportunity!

I agree with you about feeling a bit sorry for the kids of today, I too think that my own childhood was more magical. Of course, perhaps everyone thinks that way, looking back with rose-tinted glasses and feelings of nostalgia - but I know without a shadow of doubt that we were the more creative and imaginative generation.

Actually, my son did start to learn to play the electric guitar at one time. However, even though it was his idea, he gave it up because he 'couldn't be bothered to practice'. I'll never know, but I wonder if he would be better at persuing things if he didn't have the lure of so much electronic entertainment to distract him from making the effort. That's not to say that I didn't have any electronic entertainment at all - Pacman was really big when I was about 10 (my son thinks that is a really bad game with terrible graphics). However, it didn't overtake life in the way that the dreaded Xbox does!

Anyway, thanks for reading, I appreciate you stopping by :)

Keith Ham profile image

Keith Ham 4 years ago from Niagara Falls, Ontario

I'm a pretty dedicated gamer, I know lite C# Code, and I'm a well ranked Microsoft Xbox Ambassador - a lot of this I can say isn't really true but it also is at the same time. Remember that your stating the progression of a child as he gets older. If he is growing up or is going on in his teenage years, the less he will even want to bother with you or what you have to say. The more you show disdain, the more he does.

You can't blame a Xbox for being what it is, I have one and do much more. Its more how the on the person playing it is.

Maybe, since he is getting older with time - you need to get him more to do rather then frolic in the grass? Friends change too and there is a lot you won't be told outside your home. If you feel he only has the xbox also look: Does he have any other things to do when it comes to his interests or is he so bored that its the only thing to do?

Josh Culp 4 years ago

Quit bein' stuck up. You sons future and interests don't have to be exactly parallel of yours, considering the fact you called your childhood "cruel and no one had anything to do" (direct quote). Have you ever wondered if it could also just be the technology you child is interested in instead of the games itself? You know there is entire work professions out there in and around nothing but technology works? When you talking about being creative and passionate about anything and everything you end up doing in your life ranging from work professions to hobbies. You son, could do that some day. Yea I'm 14 years old. I play Xbox 360 easily up to 5-6 hours a day. I'm not afraid to admit it. I also work from 11 to 6 on my Grandpas farm EVERYDAY (not including weekends). I consider playing Xbox a very fun hobbie and lifestyle (almost). Yea I play Left 4 Dead, Modern Warfare, Call if Duty, the very bad Grand Theft Auto, GTA, every single Halo in their series. Don't worry what the gamw shows. It't only pixels. Very fun pixels. Don't take it away from him. I'm independent. I just recently bought a 1M Xbox membership because I ran out. I buy my own games with the money I MAKE. Just today I got paid about $119 for about 15 hours at my Grandpas (about $7 an hour) and I never pester my parents for anything I can afford myself. I am an Xbox enthusiast. I say it proudly. Just remember, just because you childhood was cruel with no one having anything to do (direct quote) doesn't give you the right to screw up your childs childhood too.

Josh Culp 4 years ago

::REWRITTEN:: Quit bein' stuck up. You sons future and interests don't have to be exactly parallel of yours, considering the fact you called your childhood "cruel and no one had anything to do" (direct quote). Have you ever wondered if it could also just be the technology you child is interested in instead of the games itself? You know there is entire work professions out there in and around nothing but technology? Have you ever asked him if its the technology he's interested in? No, your to busy hating on the Xbox even though it might not even be the problem. When you talking about being creative and passionate about anything and everything you end up doing in your life ranging from work professions to hobbies. Your son, could do that some day. Only in technology. Yea I'm 14 years old. I play Xbox 360 easily up to 5-6 hours a day. I'm not afraid to admit it. I also work from 11 to 6 on my Grandpas farm EVERYDAY (not including weekends). I consider playing Xbox a very fun hobbie and lifestyle (almost). Yea I play Left 4 Dead, Call if Duty, the very bad Grand Theft Auto, (GTA), every single Halo in their series. Don't worry about what the game shows. It't only pixels. Very fun pixels. Don't take it away from him. I'm independent. I just recently bought a 1M Xbox membership because I ran out. I buy my own games with the money I MAKE. Just today I got paid about $119 for about 15 hours at my Grandpas (about $7 an hour) and I never pester my parents for anything I can afford myself. I am an Xbox enthusiast. I say it proudly. Just remember, you bought it upon yourself and just because you childhood was cruel with no one having anything to do (direct quote) doesn't give you the right to screw up your childs childhood too by taking away his Xbox, a fun and vitial part of his life.

P.S ~ It's not our faults you didn't have video games back then.

Josh Culp 4 years ago

*Note* Scratch what I said about a 1M membership. I meant a 1Y membership. ($60.00)

Hunter Preston profile image

Hunter Preston 4 years ago

I read your post.....made an account just to leave a comment.....and saw these guys already said what i was feeling. But in a more non-aggressive manner: I understand what your saying. But think of it this way, as much time as he spends on it, you can push him torward things like Game designing, graphics design, software design....basically he could make his or someone elses game. Are we gamers stubborn? YES! Do we maybe spend to much time doing nothing? YES! Can we make a difference? YES! YES! YES! But enough of the Daniel Brian plug. Its not usual for a kid to love games and turn out great. I hope you can see it from his point of veiw and he can see it through yours. ;}

og gamer 4 years ago

A 14 year old child lecturing a parent on ruining their sons childhood . That has to be the funniest thing I have read all day . I will spare Polly the indignity of having to respond to Josh Culps postby responding myself . Josh since you play your xbox 5-6 hours a day and work for your grandpa from 11-6 when are you in school ? The reason I ask is because I can tell by your poor use of grammar that you are not getting the education you should . I hope you plan on working for grandpa for a very very long time because if you continue in your current course of action you will not be making much more than 7 dollars an hour when you grow up . Also tone down your disrespectful attitude towards someone old enough be your parent .

I am a gamer as well Polly I've been gaming since the Atari 2600 days It's one of my favorite hobbies . I agree with your original method of keeping the xbox in the living room where it can be monitered and play time can be controlled . Mom did it for me and believe me I could play for hours on end . As you mentioned there has to be a sense of balance when it comes to any hobby because there is a fine line between hobby and obssesion . My parents made sure that we did have many excursions outdoors and also encouraged my other hobbies like art ( absolutely love it ) . Parenting is hard but you are the parent and if the gaming machine is having an adverse effect on your child I say severely restrict or even throw it out . There is a reason the military uses those violent games in training soldiers . It has a psycological effect on them over an extended period of time it even numbs them to the violence "It't only pixels " direct quote from the child above who is obviously experiencing this firsthand . Good post thank you .

profile image

Eat-Sleep-Game 4 years ago

I think that while it can be addictive to some, others it is a lifestyle and even career. For me personally i consider myself an avid gamer and am working towards majoring in game design. Not to mention my hub is all about video games.

mw3fanatic1 profile image

mw3fanatic1 4 years ago

great hub and very true im 12 and i don't get addicted that much if at all, yyes and my mother gets mad and irratated if i spend all day on it, sure i get a little mad when i get kicked off, but who doesn't if u have been playing for a long time and then u basicly have to destroy all ur hard work, anyway great hub!

profile image

Eat-Sleep-Game 4 years ago

yes good point, if its your passion live it. no to self promote but i review games and talk about other topics relating to gaming. if you would be interested in following me

ienjoythis profile image

ienjoythis 4 years ago from Nevada

Moderation, moderation, moderation. I have seen how video games can consume the lives of young people, and you're right, attitude can take a nasty hit from it.

Parents: take note of the information in this article!

Great hub.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

These video games really are addictive. I see it in my own boy. We do not have an XBox at home. His dad has one and when S visits his dad that is all he does-for hours at a time.

Ours is the "go to" house in the neighborhood and all the kids wanted to gather around the television or Wii. Once they learned outside was the only option, they began having a great time and now spend hours building forts, playing games and the like.

I refuse to allow a television in any of the bedrooms including mine. That opens up the door to many other problems.

Anyway, great Hub on a very serious issue. I hope you can make progress and draw your son away from this addiction and back into his old self. Thanks, HB.

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Hmm, Josh makes the point for moderation well, three times in fact. A bit cheeky that lad, good thing he's got the farm job with Gramps and can afford to buy his own game stuff. Grow up son and have some respect. I empathize with you Polly. Have a 21-year-old nephew and that's all he wants to do. Isn't interested in dating, getting a driver's license, further education so as to support himself one day, nothing but game playing. You know there are those who say this technology wasn't foisted on young males by accident or strictly for monetary profitability. Yes, the results we're seeing now were exactly what was planned. I don't know, jus' sayin' as they say.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ og gamer - Thank you for your very well-thought-out comments, I absolutely agree with everything you say (and had little intention of replying to the 14 year old commenter, I just know that that is not what I want for my own children). My son has actually taken up karate now and is really enthusiastic about it, he goes 3-4 times a week and has passed three gradings in 7 months, it has been a very motivating experience for him. However, he is still pretty obsessed with the Xbox the rest of the time!

I think you brought up an excellent point with regards to violent games being used for military training. I was not actually aware of that, but of course such games do desensitise young people to violence and that has therefore probably changed the perspectives of many of the younger generations. I actually did play games at home when I was a child from about 12 upwards, but the technology was much more limited: very basic and innocent compared to the material on offer today. We had an Amstrad 64 computer with games on cassettes that took a very long time to load! What we definitely did not do was play them for five to six hours- or even for two hours.

Anyway, thank you for reading and for expressing your views.

mw3fanatic1 profile image

mw3fanatic1 4 years ago

great hub, i am kind of like that though i do understand what u mean, when im playing and my mom kicks me off i get kind of mad i mean because u lost everything you've been doing, and to state im 12 i know about everything ur talking about, but its easy to addicted to games, but i do not play 4 hours straight if anything 1 hour and i still go outside most of the time.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ Eat-Sleep-Game - yes, I know that some people do want to work within the games industry somehow and that is a good point. However, this hub is fundamentally about the obsession many children have with the Xbox (or other consoles), and as a parent I can easily see how childhood has been transformed by such technology in the home. Believe me, I do not think the Xbox itself is necessarily bad, but I really think children need to be doing other things for much of their time, just to create balance, get exercise and think for themselves. My son keeps telling me about somebody on Youtube who has made obscene amounts of money posting videos about games - I think he thinks that is an easy ride to a high income. I tell him that he would have to have something new or better to offer, he can't just emulate other people. But if he does want to work in game design or whatever as an adult, that is up to him and fine by me - however, I still think he needs balance as a child in order to grow up to be a healthy individual.

Many thanks for reading and commenting.

profile image

hoozi 4 years ago

today's gaming system replces children's cretive thinking,and natural talents,likewise games they tend to seek cheat codes in real life.

your post is very good

Nicfrombristol 4 years ago

We had been thinking of buying our 3 boys an Xbox. We really weren't sure if it was a good idea...thanks to your article we've decided to not to bother. THANKS!

jravity1 profile image

jravity1 4 years ago from bellevue, MI

Games are addicting, I started fixing xbox360's. I got so irritated with them, that I just stopped playing. Anyway...good hub.

rutley profile image

rutley 4 years ago from South Jersey

Great informative hub! I have a 12 year old with playstation, wii and psp. he's now bugging for Xbox. I agree with you that it changes the

way they view other activity. My son's are getting lazier. After reading this, my mind is made up! Thanks and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@mw3fanatic1 - I really think the most important factor is moderation, not the actual Xbox itself, although so many young people seem to become addicted very easily. Going outside and doing other things is really important and it's great if you do that - life is all about balance, really. Thank you for your comments.

mikedean84 profile image

mikedean84 4 years ago from Childersburg, Al.

You're not too much of an accomplished writer Josh. Reading your comment was like reading something a seven year old wrote with a dictionary close by. It doesn't matter how good of a gamer you are. If you can't read and write you will be lucky to have a job at goodwill. I wrote a hub called "The Destruction of Youth in America" that shares a lot of the same feelings as this piece does. I'm 28 and I wish I was born in the 1900s because of the way society is today. It's like everything is made to be an escape from reality. Life is too short for meaningless games.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ ienjoythis - hi there, totally agree that moderation is the key. We used to be able to encourage this quite effectively in our house but as my son grows older it definitely becomes harder - he pushes the boundaries much more, and is constantly arguing about what other children's parents allow them to do. Of course, we are still the parents and can (and do) turn it off, but it just makes for a less peaceful environment overall. I think that the games themselves might be more addictive than perhaps they were years ago, because video games have been around for a long time now and yet it seems to be that the level of addiction amongst young people, especially boys, has risen. Not only that, but the level of violence portrayed by the gaming industry has increased hugely and it has already been proven that violent games have an effect on the brains and behaviour of adolescents. There was an experiment shown on TV several years ago and the boys (who were 12) were split into two groups, one half playing a football game and the other half a shooting game. It was proven that the half that played the shooting game had less empathy immediately afterwards than those who played the sports game. Anyway, thank you for reading and for your comments :)

Organised Kaos profile image

Organised Kaos 4 years ago from Hobart, Tasmania ~ Australia.(The little bit broken off the bottom of AUS)

This is my house also. We are currently looking at options to change things. Arrrggghhh the resistance...I even brought a campervan. The lack of sunshine worries me, the getting up and playing till bedtime frustrates the hell out of us, and doing anything to help around the house only interupts his game play - Oh no!

Thanks for the hub!

Joseph Renne profile image

Joseph Renne 4 years ago from Milton

Nice Hub! I have notice that this problem is not only with young people but older people as well. I myself do not own a gaming system (Besides my PC Which i do not game on). I have seen grown men waste days playing a video game. I can see how addicted one can get from gaming.

hollyparadis profile image

hollyparadis 4 years ago from Colchester, Connecticut

Polly I really enjoyed reading this Hub...I feel your pain completely. I have two sons that are 12 years apart and the Xbox addiction in our home as been awful. We call it possessed by Xbox. My older son is now a young adult and devotes a lot of his free time to the Black Ops Saga. For us I have learned from it with dealing with my younger son and installed and we use all of the parental controls of the Xbox and its entirely. This system has helped.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ Hyphenbird - yes, I quite agree that it is a very serious issue, especially because it is changing childhood and the entire mind-set of so many young people. Whenever other children come to our house - which is often - all they want to do is play the Xbox games as well. And the most worrying thing is, as I suggested in the hub - that they are not able to think of anything else to do unless the games consoles are taken completely out of the equation (i.e. not there at all). I think it's great that you haven't succumbed to the pressure in your own house and that the kids are able to concentrate on 'real' activities and enjoy the fresh air as well. It's what childhood should be about.

Thank you for reading and for adding your views

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ Alastar Packer - yes, Josh certainly felt very strongly about the points I made! I could have deleted his comments but I think they add to the overall debate quite well. Your comments about your nephew also take this hub to another level, showing us how children who are interested in little else can become adults who don't want to participate in other things either. Learning to drive, dating, studying and finding a worthwhile career are all milestones that help young people grow, broaden their horizons and develop a zest for life and good social skills. I hope that your nephew is able to grow out of it soon.

Your final comment is very interesting. I had not heard of that but it is pause for thought. Many thanks for stopping by here and adding your experiences and views.

Sanxuary 4 years ago

The life of true social skills has become one of new technology's where everyone is attached to a social group by Online games, electronic pads and cell phones. Involving low social skills and no energy, people simply sit at home and text all day. There claim to fame is their social page and game scores as they lack any real communication with real people in true reality. All the social norms in life become boring as imaginary online friends evolve from a lack of social conflicts and life can not compare to killing the human population on their x box. Stressing balance and reality by forcing them to live it once in a while. Can eventually make these devices a reward and a privilege instead of their life. Cell phones are tools and not social mediums that take the place of meeting others face to face. Making your kid go to someone else’s house to play X box with him forces the social norm to be re-established. Chores and real family issues done together by the family restores reality. Make him a part of it regardless of if he wants to or not. When the connection has been established then reward him with social media time. Remember this is not punishment but family business and he is a member.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ hoozi - yes, excessive time spent on console games really does lessen the ability of young people to be creative, I have seen it first hand as I explained in the hub. Creativity has to be nurtured over time. It also takes away the very incentive for a child to be creative - they don't want to bother because they already have laid-on entertainment created by huge games companies. They have much less interest in being inventive as a way to fill their spare time. Kids these days, in general, seem to have much less imagination than I remember from my own time growing up. But this will surely end up having an effect on society in general, when the current xbox generation grow up and go forth into the world. The most successful people in life are usually good at thinking for themselves and seeing through their own ideas. I guess by the cheat codes in real life you mean taking the easy way out? Yes, you're probably right. Anyway, thank you for reading and commenting.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ nicfrombristol - maybe your boys would be different, all I can say is how it is in my house, although a lot of people have reported similar experiences and it is definitely a common problem. My youngest child, who is four now, doesn't really play video games but is so often drawn in to sitting and watching his brother. I think children can become obsessed when they are pretty young if given the chance. My youngest son's friend - who happens to be our next door neighbour - informed me that I should buy my four year old a 'nintendo ds or something' because it wasn't fair that he didn't have his own device to play games on. There would be no way in the world I would ever do that, I like to see him play with real toys. Thanks for commenting.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

jravity1 - yes, they seem to be so addictive that they can take over the lives of some people, and not only children. Many thanks for reading.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ rutley - your son sounds like mine, we had a wii (for the family), then he was desperate for an xbox and now he keeps saying he wants to get a playstation3. I can never understand why they want all these different consoles to play the same games on, but there you go! When I ask him what the point is, he tells me it is so he can play with different friends online (ones that have got playstations in addition to the friends with xbox)! I think it's ridiculous - and he will not be getting this playstation unless he pays for the whole thing himself! I wish I could say it had got better since I wrote this hub but in fact it has gotten worse.. Anyway, thank you for reading and Happy Holidays to you too :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@mikedean84 - Hi Mike, I think you have it there when you say 'everything is an escape from reality'. That's just how it is for people who play games excessively, because they are not participating in the real world. It's ok, I think, for a certain amount of time because everyone has to have fun (not that I think playing video games is fun, but I understand why young people do). However, when played to excess it is to the detriment of other activities and social engagements and so a full and balanced life can't be enjoyed.

When I tell my son that he can no longer play on his xbox, he complains that he is 'talking to his friends'. But talking to people via a headset whilst playing a game can never compensate for real-life, face-to-face communication. When young people would rather sit in a bedroom than go out and meet people, every day, then I see it as quite sad. I remember being young and being really excited at gaining independence and going different places without my parents - today, it seems that many young people would rather stay in and that you have to fight to get them out of the house. That's my experience, anyway.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@OrganisedKaos - I absolutely love campervans, it would be my dream to own one and just take off in it somewhere! Maybe one day..

But you are so right, the resistance from the kids is really tough. I'm pretty sure my son would play it all day, from breakfast to bed, if I didn't step in. In the UK it's the middle of winter right now, cold and miserable and dark by 4pm, but even in the summer he has to be torn away from it. I hate that, because I think it's so frustrating that he would rather sit in his room (with the curtains pulled so that it's dark) than go outside and enjoy the sunshine. If we go out on day trips then actually he does enjoy it, but it's just when we're around the house that the temptation appears too much.

I was really interested in your comment because I saw that you are from Tasmania and I was of the belief that children in your part of the world were more inclined to adopt an outdoorsy lifestyle. We used to have a programme on TV called Wanted Down Under, where Brits go to Australia for two weeks to try out the lifestyle and decide whether they want to move permanently. One of the points many parents made in favour of moving was that their children would be spending much more time outside instead of playing computer games or watching TV. Seems like it is not always the case!

Thank you for reading :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ Joseph Renne - Hi there. Yes, I know there are many older gamers who seem to be really obsessed and I must admit I find that hard to understand. Personally, I can't help wondering what they get out of it and what sense of achievement it could possibly bring. But each to their own, I suppose. I've also heard of men so addicted to games that it comes at the expense of participating in family life, which isn't very nice. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Xbox 360 4 years ago

I am 15 and live about 16 miles out of town and I have little to nothing to do usually. Thank god I have an Xbox to entertain my self I use my phone to play online. Through mobile hot spot. I bought my own Xbox 360 and 30 inch TV. I play more than 1 hour I usually am on for about 4 you might say holy crap that's along time but it isn't. some games are made to be 45 mins to 1 hour long. The reason mostly for me being online so much is it is the only way I can talk to my friends. The phone signal is bad and facebook is DUMB! That is all I have to say.

profile image

grimpanda 4 years ago

Hey, before I say anything it is good to hear that your son has taken up karate. I am 13 and I got an Xbox 360 when I was about 11 when I got it I had a couple games like Call of Duty and Guitar Hero. Let me note when I first got it I was over weight. I played Xbox a good 4-5 hours a day. After a while I started wanting to become a marine because I wanted to do good and take down evil leaders. Also, playing Guitar Hero made me want to learn to play the guitar. I am no longer over-weight and I am in guitar lessons. So if it was not for Xbox I would not know what I wanted to do with my life.

ravenphotography profile image

ravenphotography 4 years ago from Memphis, TN

Loved your hub. I can honestly admit that when I was in my teenage years i got addicted to the internet. I was an AOL whore. And I did not break the internet habit till probably 3 years ago. I can say that I wasted a lot of time on the internet playing games, and in chat rooms. It became an alternate reality for me. Sometimes I wish I had persued other interests instead of sitting in front of a computer screen all day. I could have been reading books, out with friends, painting, writing(which use to be a favorite of mine and that I recently started to fall in love with again), and so much other stuff.

I think you are doing the right thing by limiting how much time he spends on xbox. For those who say that there is nothing wrong with it and it could spark interest in other things. Yeah for a small majority it does. But if you never put down the game to persue it, then it is never going to happen.

So keep doing what you are doing.

Mommymay profile image

Mommymay 4 years ago from Ohio

I would also add that the "controller" situation is horrible for young children! The wireless ones seem to go bad quite often and the wired ones ---the wires keep splitting open and going bad as well! I can't win. The same children have managed the same 4 wii remotes for over 2 years!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@hollyparadis - sorry for the long delay in replying to your comment. But it truly is an awful addiction, isn't it? I love your saying, 'possessed by Xbox' - I think it really does sum it up. It's like another world has stolen them away! Thanks for your tips on the parental controls, glad to hear it helped.

R Creighton G profile image

R Creighton G 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

I loves me some games, but when I see kids playing some of them I can see there's a lot to be said about the benefits of living the Amish life. Hmm, there's an idea. You have children, you're required to live on a farm without electricity for eighteen years. Anyone?

Bob 4 years ago


Adams-ebooks profile image

Adams-ebooks 4 years ago from Worldwide

My brother is obsessive with his Xbox. He is 15 and I think my mother regrets ever getting in Xbox live to the house! If he was not kicked out the door to rugby and soccer training and for school I dare say he would never leave the house..

rumintasari profile image

rumintasari 4 years ago from Sleman

I don't have xbox, and I already hate it, lol

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@Sanxuary - yes, technology has definitely changed the face of socialising, and in so many ways it is not for the good. Sometimes it can have advantages, such as the amazing ability it gives you to connect and keep in touch with relatives, friends and other people around the world, which would not be possible otherwise. However, that is the other side of social media and does not have very much to do with the Xbox. Also, I find many young people are mostly using it to communicate with people who live close by, instead of bothering to meet up and socialise in person. It also means that they can isolate themselves within the family home, by connecting to social media in their own rooms, rather than sharing times with siblings and parents. Really, it's all about balance, but so often that goes out the window. I do agree that young people can find traditonal social activities 'boring' when the lure of the online world is constantly attainable. The ability to think for oneself, and come up with creative thoughts and pastimes is definitely affected. I'm not sure I agree that going to someone's house to play Xbox re-establishes social norms, because the focus is still all on the Xbox and the games and usually nothing more. There is often little enthusiasm to go out and explore the world, or even chat about other things, when the Xbox with its alternative reality is sitting there. Taking time to do things as a family is certainly important - my son is not allowed to miss out on family activities to stay at home and play Xbox, and when we are away from the house I find he does forget about it temporarily. However, ideal as it might be to get out and about, there are still a great many hours spent inside the home and he would while away the whole day on Xbox if he was allowed (he isn't!). R

Anyway, many thanks for reading and contributing your thoughtful comments :)

Cheshercat profile image

Cheshercat 4 years ago from Virginia

I wish my parents had made some effort to bring me out of my crazed internet shell lol I wish I had back all the time I wasted... but we all make choices in life.

Dark Gujji 4 years ago

I'm addicted to my Playstation 3 and struggling to get "unaddicted". It's not a matter of fitting in and peer pressure because I'm a girl. I have become addicted to the Playstation 3 because I'm a loner at school and nobody seems to like me, no matter what I do. In the Playstation, violent video games all have a story with a likable main character. When you play, you escape to a whole new world. Since Playstation 3 is interactive (unlike movies or books) you can control what happens. Life is perfect in my Playstation 3. In reality I'm a wealthy and intelligent loner who once had a bully at school. I look for the perfect life in these violent games but as a result I have crossed the fine line separating reality from fiction. I behave violently when asked to do something I am not keen on doing and have become incredibly anti social within my family. I played for hours on end and the only thing I could think of was my Playstation 3. Luckily I never suffered academically.

My parents have taken action and limited my Playstation 3 time to two hours a day. At first they said I would never get it back and I became incredibly depressed and had separation issues. After a week they gave it

back on the condition I only play two hours a day. I was relieved.

My parents think I'm addicted to the Playstation 3 without a reason. They always compare me to my perfect brother who always had at least one friend throughout his life. Now he has tons of friends. When I get one best friend they always seem to relocate to another country leaving me alone. The Playstation 3 makes me happy. I didn't want to get addicted to it but I did.

Sorry I ranted on your website. I like your article. I understand why you would feel hate towards the Xbox. I fell victim to the Playstation 3 many times and I became an absolutely violent and anti social child.

Meowstar 4 years ago

If someone loves electronics and spends a lot of time playing on them doesn't mean they lose creativity. I got an XBox 360 for Christmas, 2012, and I love it. I am a girl, and you have no right to say that 'most girls' or 'a lot of girls' don't like video games, and more of social games. That's a false statement, because most of my friends that are girls are gamers, including myself. I'm very social still, and I may play Skyrim for a long period of time, but that doesn't mean I get stupid or lose creativity! When your son gets older you can't control every single thing he does. He likes electronics and reading and swimming same as me, but if you took away his Xbox, it's be like taking away his world. Video games are what a lot of people like, and it is a fact, so our generation is changing to where electronics are becoming our world. Let me put it like this: What if someone told you, you couldn't write or create projects anymore or ban you from doing what you love? You wouldn't like that. Same for me, if I couldn't draw -computer or paper- or be on electronics a lot I'd lose a part of me. I play video games ALL the time, and I'm still very creative. I have a dA -deviantART- if you don't believe me -Meowstar1- or even doubt my creativity. I have more recent pictures I've drawn in real life and on computer. My YouTube is more up to date with speedpaints of my creations, and is Meowstar1 or Meowstar Cat.

If you can't accept our world of new technology, then don't even try to do anything about it.

--My Likes--

*Exploring the woods/Playing out in my field

*Tree Climbing




* Artistic Activities


* Algebra

*Cats -love my kitties :3-







*Saints Row


*Resident Evil



*Violence/Rated M/Blood and Gore-Games

*Building - Building Games

*Adventure games -Such as Skyrim-

*Platform games -Such as Mario-


*Horror Games -Such as Slender or Resident Evil-

*Athletic Games -Such as Wii Sports Resort-




*Jewelry Making

*Costumes/Costume Making/Clothes Making

*Recording- Video/Sounds



*Avatar Creating

*Styling Hair



*Makeup/Costume Makeup

*Much More...

~~From a 12 yr old gamer girl~~

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@grimpanda - it's great to hear that your Xbox games led you to aspire to join the marines and to take up guitar lessons. It sounds as though you found a new path to follow which will bring you rewards in the future. I would like to commend you for losing weight and learning the guitar, because other kids might not have found the same motivation. Whilst 4-5 hours on an Xbox is rather excessive, you have been inspired to achieve something and I think that's great. Thank you for your comments, it is great to hear the views of young people.

crochetfancy profile image

crochetfancy 4 years ago from New York

Great hub, I would say that technology as a whole is a danger if not moderated and I would not pay mind to the negative comments, I am sure you are not. It is important to be involved with your children. I have two young children, 7 and 4. We own game systems and tablets, etc., but at the same time I first and foremost encourage reading, hands on creativity, imaginary and outdoor play. That control is in our hands as parents, at least it is easier when they are young. I will prepare myself for the later years. I do not deny them technology because the skills they acquire will be used in life, although I totally agree with you that some children and adults have become addicted to games and this can have negative effects. So much that the normal for them is to communicate this way. Some of them cannot even interact face to face and hold a conversation because of social media. We can see by the comments made here by they young commenters how defensive they can become and how they of course "know it all." Oh the joys of parenting. It is good to read that your son has joined karate. Great points made in the hub and I think readers should maybe not read so deep into things, you were merely expressing an opinion, not starting a petition against all gamers! :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ravenphotography - I think these things are really easy to get addicted to and that is the main problem. The internet has huge advantages and I much prefer life with it than without it, but limits are important. It's so easy to waste large amounts of time online without even realising sometimes, I do it myself at times (though not playing games).And I'm glad that I didn't spend my whole childhood in front of a screen - the option wasn't there anyway, but all of my best memories in life are from interacting with 'real' people and doing 'real' things. That's what you remember in the end. Also, with the games made for the consoles, like Xbox etc., games manufacturers surely thrive on the obsessions of young people - it's good for business so they don't care. Games mania can be ridiculous - my son told me his friend's mother went into the city at midnight to queue up for the latest popular game (which he had reserved anyway). It was just so he could be one of the first to have it. Nobody would do that for a CD or a DVD, it's pretty crazy. My son asked me if I would do it and I said there was not a chance in a million that I was going out at midnight to buy a game!

I totally agree with you about pursuing other interests. I always loved writing as a child, from a really early age. I would spend ages sitting at the table working on a new 'book'. Because I didn't have the lure of electronic entertainment to fill in my time, writing was not only something I loved, but something to do. I liked drawing as well but I'm not very good at it! I think we all have things that we are naturally good at and naturally inclined towards, but I can't help wondering how many young people don't reach their potential these days because they are too distracted by other things. I know my son does not look for creative outlets like that anymore, he has no interest because he sees it as less exciting that the laid-on screen based entertainment that does not require any motivation or hard work from himself. He doesn't see it, of course, because he has nothing to compare it with. He has this crazy idea at the moment that he might one day become a millionaire by posting videos on YouTube. Of course, it is possible but I think it is not very likely!

Anyway, I think it's great that you are falling in love with writing again. I really appreciate your comments, thank you for reading :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@Mommymay - oh dear, I don't think we've had much problem with our controllers. My son has the wireless ones which he has thrown across the floor a few times when I have insisted he stops playing and he doesn't agree, but they are still working, amazingly!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@R Creighton - well, that's the other extreme...I think I'll stick with my theory of moderation. I don't think we have any Amish people here in the UK, but whilst I would respect anyone's way of life , there is no way I would want to live without electricity for even one year - I wouldn't even be able to write anymore hubs! Thanks for stopping by :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@Adams-ebooks - yes, I know how your mother feels, believe me! And as for kicking your brother out the door - well, my son is the same, except that he will willingly go to karate. That's only for four hours a week though, the other 164 he would happily hide in his room. I don't know if he would even eat - we got some new carpets upstairs last month and we don't have food in the bedrooms anymore. I do wonder if he would bother coming down!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ rumintasari - yes, a sensible opinion!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@Cheshercat - that's an interesting comment because most of the young people that I know, plus some that have commented here, have tried to justify the amount of hours they spend on games and online. Perhaps they will think differently in the future, like you. Hindsight is a great, but we all have at least some things we wish we had done differently. For me, I wish I had procrastinated less and wasted less time in other ways. It's all about movig forwards, I guess! Many thanks for your comments :)

MichelleDulansky profile image

MichelleDulansky 4 years ago

I feel you, my 11 year old is the youngest and only one who plays it. It's like there is some kind of virtual crack in that system.

hoov45 profile image

hoov45 4 years ago from Denham Springs, Louisiana

My son plays xbox some but he's also a good athlete and plays basketball and football for the school team. He also makes good grades, mostly A's. I agree that excessive video game playing can be a problem and it is up to parents to limit the time spent playing and encourage other extra curricular activities to be involved in. Maybe, karate or music or soccer or whatever your child shows an interest in. Parents may need to be willing to drive their kids somewhere to help this process.

Jenn-Anne profile image

Jenn-Anne 4 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing this! You have reaffirmed my decision not to allow my kids to have TVs in their rooms. We do have an Xbox and my kids love to play, but it is hooked up to the family room TV and there it will stay. Stick to your guns with regard to limited numbers of hours of play/week. We also have a grade requirement - my kids' grades need to stay high in order to have playing privelges. Poor grades = no play. Voted up!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ Dark Gujji - Sorry I took so long to reply to your comment, sometimes it does take me a while but I always do try to reply. I really do feel for you, I can feel your sadness in your words. I know that being young can be incredibly hard sometimes, and that school is not a happy place for everyone. It is a bit 'sink or swim', always has been. It seems that some people can make lots of friends without even trying, and form little cliques that can be hard to get accepted into. These popular kids might be socially confident but often (because they are young) pretty immature and lacking in empathy. Other people find it more difficult to make friends at school because they are not as socially confident, or feel they don't 'fit the mould'. However, it doesn't mean they are not worthy or adequate. They are, and so are you. Also, please believe me when I tell you that as you grow older and leave school you will probably find people to be more accepting and less judgemental.

Do you have any other interests? When I was a child, right through my teenage years, I was a member of an artistic skating club where I had another set of friends entirely. Shared interests can spark strong friendships. Also, people would be meeting you for the first time, so would have no preconceptions. If you can be open to them they are likely to be open to you. School is not the only place in the world.

It's hard to find the 'perfect' life. In reality, life is full of ups and downs and we just have to ride over the bumps the best we can and appreciate the good bits. The best thing about life is that most things can be turned around, with a bit of strength and courage. I don't think the perfect life can be found in a computer game, because games are devoid of emotion, and the beauty of life is the very opposite. I know I don't know you but I think that acting violently is probably your reaction to not being happy with yourself, more so than the Playstation games. You say your parents don't understand the reason you are addicted to the Playstation 3 - it is not possible that you could talk to them about how you feel? I know it's quite hard to talk about things sometimes, but most of the time it can be very helpful in moving forwards. The hardest part is the coming out with it in the first place.

Some of the most successful people in the public eye were loners as children. Being different can be hard when young, but sometimes very advantageous in the end. You say that you are intelligent, and I believe you. Isn't there anything else you can focus on when you are not playing Playstation games? I always wanted to be a writer as a child, I was very ambitious about it and spent hours writing the beginnings of 'books'. From about the age of eight, I always knew it was what I wanted to do. That is like another world as well (and also keeps you from focussing on the here and now at times because your mind is in another place), but it is one born from your own creativity. When all you do is play games, you might be able to control the game to an extent, but you are only every really being sucked into something created by someone else. It's fun, but a real waste of time if you don't do anything else. I don't really hate Xbox, Playstation or any other console, I just hate the extortionate amounts of time my son spends on it. It's just not living life or gaining any sense of achievement.

I don't know if you will come back and read this reply, but I hope you do. I wish you well for the future.

4 years ago


Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@Meowstar - well, you obviously have a lot of strong feelings about my article! That's fine with me, I welcome all comments. When I wrote that it was especially boys who were obsessed with Xbox, I was writing from my own experience. Most of the girls at my son's school do not seem to be very interested in Xbox games, preferring other things instead. That's my world, but yours is obviously different - I only write what I see.

I think it's great that you have a wide range of interests, and you clearly like to be creative when it comes to art. I don't know how you fit all those other things in if you play video games 'all the time', though. Either you don't spend that much time on the other activities or you don't try to spend every spare moment on an Xbox. What I do know is that my son is considerably less interested in pursuing other activities since he got his Xbox, because he finds them 'boring' in comparison. Therefore, creativity has definitely been lost. Whether that is because he has become a less creative person, or whether he has lost the motivation to be creative is another matter. Personally, I think it is the latter. Not only that, but I have nearly four decades to look back on and decide how much creativity in childhood has changed. You don't have that and so have nothing to compare. We do live in a world of technology, and I like technology (if I didn't I wouldn't be writing articles online). But it's still all about balance and moderation.

I don't think I mentioned taking the Xbox away...though as a parent I have a responsibility to make sure my children have a reasonably healthy lifestyle (which I don't think is possible if they play Xbox all day long). You mention I wouldn't like it if I could no longer write or create projects - well, that might be true, but I have to balance such things with everything else in my life and don't have nearly enough time to spend on it.

There are many young people who are obsessed with computer games and don't want to do much else. I know that is true because I have seen it. Maybe you are more motivated - if so, that's good, it will probably do you well in the future.

MichelleDulansky profile image

MichelleDulansky 4 years ago

My son is a straight A student and an athlete as well. He is also the kid in my family that asks to play board games as a family. Does he play a little too much Xbox sometimes, yes. Is he a good kid with other interests, yes. Is it our responsibility to monitor their media time, absolutely. The xbox is in our front room. My daughter who has a tv in her room that only has a DVD player (no cable) to watch movies with friends. None of my kids have computers and they do not have the password to mine, so they can only use it when I log them in. I do my best to make sure they are viewing content that I approve of or that we can have a discussion about. Once you have teenagers, keeping track of their social media behavior is much harder and will make you miss the days when Xbox was your biggest issue. Also, as parents, we need to look at the example we set, do we have hobbies or things we enjoy or do we sit down in front of the tv or computer each night and zone out. Food for thought.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ crochetfancy - I have a four year old as well, and whilst he is quite interested in technology and seems to have been born knowing how to navigate a mouse, he is open to so many things which are creative and imaginative as well. My older son uses the computer for most of his homework, but whenever I walk past I see that he always has a tab open for Youtube as well! I think that it is easier when they are younger to limit the time spent on games - certainly my son seemed to listen to me more then. He didn't question my decisions as much, but now he is constantly going on about what his friends do. That is where he gets his view of how his world should be. When I wrote this hub my son was 11 but he is 12 now, going to be 13 in the summer. He has the attitude of a teenager. I think the most important thing is making sure they do find other interests (I'm really pleased he likes karate so much) and involving the children in family activities. It's definitely different now though - when I was young I found many things to do using my own initiative (everyone did) whereas I find I have to take control of the situation if I don't want my son to lose himself in a screen all day.

I don't mind the negative comments from some of the young people - they add another angle to the hub and we get to hear the opinions of a generation who have grown up with technology everywhere. I think the comments section has almost become better than the hub itself!

Anyway, many thanks for reading and commenting. Parenting is definitely an ongoing challenge with lots of obstacles and joys as well :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@MichelleDulanksy - yes, maybe there is a virtual crack pulling them in! Sounds like a storyline for an episode of Doctor Who, if you know what that is. Will they ever return?! :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@hoov45 - Yes, I totally agree that finding other activities is very important in creating a healthy, balanced lifestyle. My son does do karate, he is really obsessed with it and usually goes 4 times a week which is great. It is the only extra-curricular activity that he has been really passionate about and wanted to keep up (and he has tried a few!) I still find, however, that even with the karate there are still many spare hours in the week for the dreaded Xbox. I would drive my son anywhere to get him away from it!

Your son sounds quite motivated and is obviously doing well at school. I find in our house that homework suffers because of the Xbox - usually I ask him if he has any and he says he hasn't, but I later find out that's not quite true. His attitude towards school is not as good as I would like it to be. Anyway, many thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@Jenn-Anne - I think you have made the right decision! My son's Xbox was so much better when it was downstairs. Like I said, though, I do like to keep some of the games away from my little one so as not to corrupt him, so that's why we moved it. I think the grade requirement is good but not sure it would work so well in the UK. I rarely get to see the marks he gets for classwork, only sometimes for homework and we only get contacted if there is an issue. Everyone's target level is individual and we sort of find out where they're at about 3 times a year. Also, the target level is for the end of the year (July), so if it is earlier on than that your child would not be expected to have attained it. I find it a bit complicated actually and it's not easy to understand where your child is placed as a whole.

Anyway, thank you for reading and commenting

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Michelle - your son sounds like he is doing pretty well. My son does like to play some board games - we did that over the Christmas holidays sometimes. He mainly likes strategic ones because he is good at forward-thinking and anticipating other people's moves - which means he has a good chance at beating me!

My son will be a teenager in the summer, so I'm sure I have lots of other issues to look forward to! I liked the bit you wrote about your kids not having their own computers and not having the password to yours. It made me laugh because I was just the same - my son had to ask to go on my laptop and I would type in the password for him. I didn't used to have a password but got fed up with it being carted off and used whenever he fancied without asking. Anyway, with the password in place he asked to use it and I let him - next time I logged on I discovered he had used the time to set up his own account and protect it with his own password! It was very cheeky I know, but did show initiative! I made him take off the password. He is far more technical than me though, I have to ask for his help a lot because I am the opposite. His Dad works in IT, I think he takes after him.

As for me, I do go on my computer a lot at night, but it's the only time I have to write hubs!

Dark0019 4 years ago

It is true that the Xbox is addictive. I own one myself but it's also down to self control. It's everyone's fault in the end. Yours for being so lenient and his for his lack of self control. When it gets to this point there is only 2 options. Sell the console or turn on family settings. In family settings you can restrict the amount of time the Xbox stays active and after that time expires, it will shut itself off until the predetermined time in which it will allow itself to be reactivated. You can stop your son from changing these settings by making a 4 button pass code.

profile image

RibBrain 4 years ago


1. parents

1.) those who, because they gave birth to you, claim to have complete control over your life, personality, friends, clothing, and any other specifics that define you as an individual.

2.) the people that want to mold you exactally after their wonderful selves, and then resent you when you aren't what they expected.

3.) the people who other conceited, ignorant adults tell you that you will someday appreciate, but in reality, you look back and pray to god you don't turn into them.

4.) instigators of the breakfast club syndrome.

it never occurs to parents that it doesn't take a genius to get knocked up.

2. Parents


1) People who think a "normal teenage social life" involves studies and chores.

2) People who think a drivers license is a "go out and pick so-and-so up from practice/supermarket shopping" license.

3) Someone who thinks the stories and problems you tell them in confidence are fun things to share with friends and family.

4) People in the previous generation who believe nothing has changed since they were teenagers.

5) People who believe school vacations/ weekends are one of the following: family time, chore time, study time, homework time, "let's go do something I want to do" time, "let's wake up earlier than you would on a school day to get an early start" time.

6) People who can vote but still manage to screw the country over.

7) People who want us to form our own opinions as long as they influenced them.

8) People who don't care about global warming, greenhouse effect, extinction, nuclear war, or the world going to hell because they figure they'll be dead before the worst of it happens.

9) The people who think we should have censors on our music when all of theirs talked about rape, sex, and drugs.

10) The people who have 3+ kids when they can barely handle 1 and say they had the others by "accident."

11) Someone who thinks it is appropriate to come on to campus looking for you because you have taken more than 3 minutes to get to their car

don't be so harsh... it really is a different time

ive played video games all through my youth and i am still a non-violent contributing member to society

btw i still play video games all the time

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@Dark0019 - yes, I do agree, there is more than one side to the problem. I won't sell it, but the family settings do sound like an excellent idea, particularly as the older he gets the more time he seems to want to spend on it. It's even worse at the moment, but the weather here isn't very good so maybe it will be better in a couple of months. I do like the idea of the time restriction but he will hate it! Thank you for sharing your opinion :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@RibBrain - well, since I am obviously a parent I would be honoured to remark on your defintion from the Urban Dictionary of what that entails:

1) I have no wish to assert total control over my children, in fact I am a huge believer in children developing their own individuality and finding their own style, interests & friends. However, I still have a responsibility to guide my children and encourage a healthy lifestyle (which means playing Xbox in moderation, not 24/7, amongst other things).

2) I have no wish to mould my son into a miniature version of myself, I don't think many parents would agree with that point.

3) Not sure about this one either. My son wants to have a lot of money when he's older, so I simply tell him that he will have to find a good job, hence the importance of school.

4) Haven't the faintest idea of what you are getting at here, sorry.

Part 2

1) Teenagers do have to do homework (the world over), which is set by the school and not parents. However, it is only one part of a young person's life and without a decent education many young adults will not be able to find a good job, especially in the current climate. I activitely encourage my son to spend lots of time meeting up with his friends, which you should know if you read the article. Much better than wasting a day playing computer games! As for chores, they are a good idea but in my house no one has any.

2) Hmm, my son won't be old enough to drive for another five years so I won't go into that now.

3) Sharing something told to you in confidence should never be shared and joked about with anyone

4) People born in previous generations know that life has changed, they also have something to compare.

5) Family time is important, it helps maintain stronger bonds and understanding. Friends time is important too. I think it doesn't matter when homework is done, as long as it gets done. Weekends are for getting up later, if possible - not having to rush is a very welcome thing for me.

6) Don't think I'll get into a political discussion, too tired for that now and they rarely turn out well.

7) I think young people should definitely feel able to express their own opinions. However, so should parents. My son has a different opinion to me about many things - however, that does not bother me at all.

8) Global warming is one of the most important topics in our present day. It matters very much to everyone I know, most of whom are parents.

9) Language and the subject matter of some music is much worse than what I grew up with. I don't think explicit words were allowed in songs when I was growing up. However, not all music is like that now and not all music in the past was about sex and drugs, far from it.

10) That's a ridiculous comment, since everyone's situation is different.

11) Where I live, most children over 10/11 walk alone (or with friends) to school. They are independent, they don't need lifts. They walk home alone, go to the shops, friends houses or the park. No need to go looking for them!

I don't remember saying that young people who played video games were always violent, I mentioned a lack of creativity and interest in other things. Thank you for your comments, anyway - I always find it interesting to read contrasting opinions on my hubs. It adds another dimension to the discussion :)

profile image

CountMandarin 4 years ago

Dear Polly C., I would first like to start off with saying that your Hub is a marvelous work of writing. I feel that you were able to express yourself and story in a good, detailed manner, all the while bringing up a good point of video games possible addictiveness. However, I just don't feel the same way about their blocking of creativity. I guess I should start by asking why you feel the need to regulate your child's playtime? I know you seek what is best for him, there isn't a good parent who doesn't seek the best for their child, but what harm does it do to let him have his fun and play? There is no possible way to know the appropriate amount of time to play video games. I'll give you an argument I read in a book researching the topic of video games: What if your child played chess for several hours a day? There's no doubt you would be proud of him for being so good at it and praising his intelligence. Concurrently, what if he spent several hours a day playing the piano? It would be nearly the same instance, there is quiet a bit of evidence to the effect of video games being intellectually stimulating. I believe that video games make a great show of providing an interesting creative outlet- that's right, creative outlet- for children of all ages. I, personally, enjoyed the stories of many, many great games of my day so much that I started writing stories and coming up with cool, awesome ideas that I found so enthralling that I just had to put the pen to the paper and orchestrate a beautiful story of whatever interested me. I am of the opinion that today's video games offer a wide variety of artistic outlet: whether it be from coming up with interesting stories with a gripping plot, becoming inspired to draw creatures or things you see in game or would want to see in game, become curious of how the entire game works and develop an interest in programming, or become so inspired by a game that you want to make your own and join the video game industry's lucrative field. I suppose my defense of video games as a medium for artistic outlet is because, in some way, they allow someone to express themselves without the large initial costs of learning to play the piano or other similar devices and video games are something *anyone* can pick up and do and benefit from in some way.

I don't know why I decided to reply to this; I guess it's just my inner instinct to disagree with people because I love being the one shout of "No!" in the chorus of "Yes!"

Anyway, best regards.

will dale 4 years ago

i will hopefully have kids one day. articles like this help tremendously, thanks

profile image

prestonshelle 4 years ago

I found your blog after googling about my son's problem. He is 15 years old and addicted to XBox Live. He mostly plays ModernWarfare. He has joined clans and quit clans and joined other clans. He, like your son, feels like his has to be on it all of the time. Since his addiction has grown, so has his outbursts of anger. I laughed while reading some of the comments of those that are defending "Live" because, my son says the same thing while defending it. It almost makes me wonder if they have handbook that they read to come up with these things. What they need to know is VERY FEW people who play these games will actually become programmers and designers. That is comical that someone else was actually saying that because that is his number 1 argument to me. We have recently taken his XBox away for a while (maybe permanently). 2 weeks ago he got really violent and punched a hole in his wall...all because I told him that he needed to limit his time on that game because he isolates himself in his room. His only "friends" are those that are online...he even "dates" girls through XBox, even though he has never met them. One time, he even "dated" a girl that he met online, emailed, texted and called "her" only to find out that it was a boy pretending to be a girl to get a laugh. During that period, my son became more isolated and even threatened me when I wouldn't let him play the game for 2 days because "she" would break up with him and he would never forgive me if "she" did. He was devestated when he found out "she" was a "he". His Dad and I had to pick up the pieces and help him heal, only to have him go back online and repeat his mistakes.

Those "young kids" who say that they should be able to play whenever they want and parents should just stay out of their business...yeah, he says that to me as well. My answer to that is that when he gets a job, pays all of his bills, including his OWN rent, then he can make those decisions himself. However, when I observe a downward spiral such as I have with him, then I am all for getting the pitch fork out and killing the XBox...I love my son too much to allow him to continue on in the illusionary world of XBox live.

I would suggest to any parent that reads these blogs, to listen to other parents on here, and not the "kids" that think they know more than parents. DO NOT allow the game in your house. Even with observation, just as the blogger stated, they will push and push and push until they are playing 1 hour, then 2, then 3 and suddenly, you wll find that they are playing 4 or more hours a day, isolating themselves in their room and changing in personality. It is a dark world in XBox live and I pray that you take heed, I wish I had.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@ Count Mandarin - hi there, thank you for reading and for leaving such a detailed comment. I don't mind at all if you don't agree with me - I welcome everyone's opinion since it adds value to the discussion.

I believe very much that children should have their own space and time to enjoy as they please. However, in my opinion, doing nothing but play Xbox, for hours on end, is not healthy. I think that it is fine for a certain amount of time, but when it affects the rest of life then it is definitely an issue. I step in and stop my son playing Xbox because otherwise he would never come off it (and I am being serious)! It simply doesn't matter how much time I allow him, it is never enough.

I stand by my opinion that playing Xbox hampers creativity. I can see that my son is much less inspired to go off and do other things than he used to be. He used to enjoy making things and drawing, but he is not interested in anything like that anymore. Part of this is probably to do with his age, since he is growing older and obviously won't want to do the same things forever - but I feel that his creativity has lost its spark since he started becoming so obsessed with Xbox, rather than the other way round. Certainly, it has not led him to want to go off and write stories or create anything around the games. He does have a friend who likes to create games using Game Maker, and I would agree that that is a creative outlet. However, all I see is my son playing games created by other people, and therefore being entertained by other people's creativity. I think it is great that you were inspired to write stories and create characters after playing video games, but that is definitely not happening in this house!

I think that spending excessive amounts of time playing video games is not healthy for a number of reasons. If a child simply spends all his/her time sitting before a screen, they are fairly immobile, and therefore not getting any physical activity. Neither are they getting any fresh air or socialising, except for online, over a game. As a parent, I think this indicates an unbalanced lifestyle and while my child is still a minor, I do think it is my responsibility to curtail excessive game playing. How would I feel if he was playing Chess for hours on end? I'm not sure about that. I think I would be proud that he was mastering a complicated and logical game. I think I would value it more than playing a video game (especially the ones my son likes playing) because he would be developing careful planning and strategic thought. I suppose you could say that about video games also, but video games tend to raise adrenalin levels and have even been linked to hyperactivity in children when played too much. Sometimes, they lead to an increase in aggressive behaviour and loss of empathy, depending on which type of games are played. I watched a programme once on which a ten year old boy had an epileptic seizure after playing a computer game for ten hours. He had no history of epilepsy. And even if he did play Chess all day, or even the piano, I think I would still have to encourage him to do other things as well, such as meet with his friends or go outside, just to create a balance.

Anyway, I think Xbox and other console games are fine if played in moderation, it is just finding that moderation that is so often the problem.

Thank you once again for sharing your thoughts:)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 4 years ago from UK Author

@will dale - you are welcome, I'm glad you find it helpful :)

Bignob 4 years ago

Hahaha heheh hohohoh haaha aha aha haaaaa and I though my jokes were bad? Nah but seriously here are some facts.....


Wilfred Daily 3 years ago

I do not agree I believe young boys should do what they want! Let them play xbox 24/7 it's so good for them.

profile image

AHugeMistake 3 years ago

Thank you polly,I can see from my parents view now.

You can say i am exactly the same as your son.Games become a HUGE problem when you're addicted to it.When i was young,I was socially uncapable of making friends.Maybe its just me.My last resort were to be xbox.For the first few days clinging into it.I felt good,My social life became secondary and i can focus on my studies properly now.My grades were better,that was the only thing productive.Some people might resort to food making them fat,But the xbox saved my life.It was good,at first with all these "Positive" effects

The negative effect throughout the years is really depressing.My hands became soft as if i never worked all my life.My muscles became weak.Creativity shrinks as to only "run and gun" being the only thing that comes up in my mind.Being productive is not easy.When you play games 24/7,it will eventually become a habit.Habits are naturally near impossible to eradicate let alone growing up to it.

I don't know how to cook,clean my own room and any other activity that you can think of productively,You can bet on it that i have no idea how to.My parents tried to advise me,scold me all the way.even taking away my xbox.Instead I 'listened" to friends on xbox live(whom i never meet) .If i listened to my parents,My life would be 100x better.

I don't know if i'm wrong or right in this manner,But Please anyone out there,If you're addicted to gaming,change your attitude before it becomes a habit.Don't make the same mistake as i did.I should have just click in over at the most 4 hours,Then doing something else productive.Habits are IMPOSSIBLE to remove unless you try VERY HARD.Right now,I'm learning to be productive,Helping my parents and trying to be more social in school(slowly improving).My gaming years serve as an unproductive effect on my life,4 years gone,just like that.knowing nothing.

Gaming can only serve as an entertainment,Much like watching tv.After a hard day's work,playing 1-2 hours of xbox is fine.I still do.

Thank you so much POLLY.You've given me a more broad knowledge about my parents position.

jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj 3 years ago

jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

Army of Shodo 3 years ago

Why don't you come down off your holier-than-thou pedestal, grow a set, and throw the xbox out the window. It seems you spent more time justifying to yourself and others that the xbox will only allow your son to be creative if he plays in moderation, than you have doing something about it.

Modern video games allow users to create many things and find different ways to solve puzzles, utilize items, and make crucial decisions. You know there are a lot of emotions involved in gaming and there are countless pros/cons to living a virtual world.

Stop driving yourself crazy. Yes it is that obvious you are drowning, however you do have quite a few drones throwing you paddles.

I say let him go and play till he shits megabytes. One day he will pick the cheerios off his t-shirt, or beard depending on how long it takes, and look out the window.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@ prestonshelle - hi there, please accept my apologies for the late reply to your comment, which is unquestionably one of the best on the page. You are so right, Xbox Live can be a dark place, too separated from the 'real' world to be healthy. It sounds as though you are having some really difficult times with your son in relation to his Xbox. I can relate to the increase in violence and aggression- I definitely notice my son being shorter and less patient with his younger brother going into his room when he is in the midst of a game. It is as though anything other than the game and his online friends is a major interference. And, of course, the fact that kids can't be sure who they are communicating with online is an issue - my son mostly talks to friends he already knows from school, but certainly he has played and spoken with strangers (who he says are his own age) on occasion.

It certainly seems as though a great many young people who are heavily into these games harbour ambitions to become games designers or make their fortunes online. Maybe some will, but I quite agree that it will only be a few. Besides, my partner works in IT and says that in reality such a job would involve some very dull and repetitive work, just to produce one small part of a game. It certainly would be totally different to playing it!

Anyway, thank you for bringing your experiences to this hub, I much appreciate it and hope that other readers take heed of your advice. :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@AHugeMistake - Thank you so much for your honesty and for sharing your experiences, comments like yours bring so much value to this article. You have said it all with just one comment - habits really are very hard to break (and we all have them). You say that you struggled with social situations in the past and so turned to the Xbox as an alternative. I can definitely understand that escaping into the world of Xbox can divert you from other problems - actually, my son had a situation he was really worried about recently and during that time he played on Xbox even more because he said that it was the only thing that stopped him feeling negative. It was only a temporary issue and all turned out fine, but he still used Xbox as a distraction from it. However, that is obviously not a solution to any long term problem, for the very reasons you highlight in your comment.

I actually think you are really mature - whether you listened to your parents at the time or not, you seem to have a really good perception on the whole thing now. You might think you have wasted four years being unproductive, but what really matters is that you are moving forwards now. Perspective is everything. Like you say, there is nothing wrong with a couple of hours of Xbox, but you miss out on everything else life can offer if you don't do anything else. Take life in both hands and go for it! That applies to everybody. I didn't spend hours playing computer games on my own when I was young, because the opportunity didn't really exist in the same way. However, I still look back on life and think that I wasted far too much time procrastinating and missing opportunities that could have made life better. I think most of us do.

Anyway, thank you once again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts here, I wish you lots of luck and happiness :)

I am someone. 3 years ago

It's the age. The puberty causes boys of male gender to strive to become more self-aware and independent. Though with independency and self-awareness comes responsibility.

Many teenagers may not take responsibility of what they are doing. Even if they are aware of their responsibility.

Especially then, because they do not want to see or experience the consequences made by their choice to forget about these responsibilities.

They forget about the future by gaming. If you make them aware of real-life and thus their responsibilities they become disrupted and disconnected from their world without worries.

Their reaction is very natural. Take a look at people when they are being separated from their material possessions, attention from other people, ideals and theories or their fate (as in world-vision). T

hese reactions are more visible to children as mature people have been taught that these reactions are immature and really not helpful to the situation.

Teenagers still have to learn this, and not only by being taught how to be mature, but also through experience.

profile image

fullofturtles 3 years ago

Im 14, i play xbox a lot (6-7) hours a day. Its really fun to me. but its not unusual for teens to play xbox like this, over 20 million kids do this(believe it or not). its like smoking, ADDICTING, but trust me they will grow out of it. my cousins (brendan, ryan, richie, kelli, dan, nick, joey mia) are all addicted to it. but there all that age (10-16).I have relatives that have grown out of it(michael, tim, matt, rich). if they don't grow out of it, then they probably have nothing else to do.one time my xbox was taken away for a month, i didn't play much at all but im stuck on it again be

cause i don't own anything but my xbox, i don't even have a room, just the living room couch.

AND DO NOT BLAME THE XBOX. that is just about the stupidest thing you can do, just get something else for them to do and take it away for 1-2 hours a day. But don't break it, that's a lot of there time down the drain and a lot of your money.

just be patient.

Rebruttal 3 years ago

@meowstar - you're wrong.Being 1 sided is pathetic especially if you're a 12 year old girl who seems to "know" everything about life.I'm not going to judge you,But your self righteousness is really stupid and really shows how arrogant you are not to look outside and just stick in what you want to HEAR inside your little box.

You have to focus on all fields.It might look good to you from your point of view.Do you ever imagine people nowadays just look at their mobile phones even when their close with their friends?Each generation has it ups and downs I agree.But that doesn't mean we can't change who we are.What makes us human is our morality.Civilization will advance through science but humanity won't if morality doesn't move a single pace.

Technology is made to make our live easier,BUT NOT our choices.You seem to forget everything and wander across your isle of opinions.That's what happens when you refuse to go out of that virtual screen.Really takes a beating.Good Luck All Knowing Bitch.

logan8368 3 years ago

I think an xbox is great and i do everything i think is good. Parents do a crappy job at rewarding us when we do good things and my xbox is that reward. My parents never notice when i do something bad they only hate me for the things i do wrong! My xbox gets my away from the fighting for a little while until my parents say i have been on too long and when i have the chance to play it, it is only for one or two hours. You also have to look at the teens point of view!

Kyemicals 3 years ago

I call bull. I'm an avid gamer, an artist, and musician. Playing games didn't do any harm as a child, and don't now. Maybe your child is just not the special boy you hope he is. Or maybe, you're applying your distaste to his life. That's him. You can't take that away from him. Everyone has a different personality, and if you don't think it's just fine, that is a major personal problem.

Mohammed Asmar 3 years ago

please parent's

don't judge your sons because they are living in a different generation as your generation

you generation didn't got the new games we see today

buy the new generation got the xbox and ps3 which can be liked by kids and 14+ people

thank you

LewyLaBoohey 3 years ago

Im 16, i have an xbox. I can play as long as i like, if i wanted to.

Which I don't..half the time i try to force myself to play and just ending up switching it off all-together.

You might resort to your afternoon cuppa's with your feet up gazing at jezza through the pixels, we're all different.

If a game really immerses me then heck yeah i keep playin, if it's fun and interesting then why the hell not? 'Moderation' above all else, can be annoying but i moderate myself and if (at rare times) i find myself playing continuously for 5+ hours then i stop and maybe resume the next day. But games aren't all bad, they can prove educational. I find i can sit and play and subconsciously assimilate information without actual effort, rather than grind through the prison that is school doing everything but that. If your son's 'obsession' proves ever-more exponential than get rid of it all together, your his mother and you hold the key to his future.

Love and peace.

hub haider 3 years ago


kieran 3 years ago

i just want to say that im 10 and a half and my dad said that i can't have it because apparently there are bad pepol on there and that i can't have a head set and believe it or not i looked on amazon website and there is a head set for 2 pound some times i hate my dad he treats me like a baby and im practicably nearly 11 and he still said no also my family and friends live all over the world and i live in the uk but my nan and grandad who live all the way up the over side of scotland and my friends live miles away and i fliping get anoyid i tell ya when im older i am going to get what i want when i want and if my mum or dad ask me for something i just going to say get lost

Cleandy 3 years ago

Hello! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old roommate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing! make your pc run like new

Richard 3 years ago

I'm sure you'd play games as well if there were any on gossiping or shopping or any of those boring things girls like to do.

web watcher 3 years ago

Sensational blog website my fellow! Incredibly cheerful I came across it, I hope you will persist with placing more of your written content in the future. Regzooka

Austin Nurse 3 years ago

I am 16 years old, I play computer games but what I am about to say still applies. Every day I play games like EVE online or Call of Duty for entertainment, These games do not undermine creativity and ingenuity instead they promote it. Games like EVE require massive amounts of thought and social interaction, these elements replicate an environment such as school only the work is more entertaining. The reason your son is grumpy when you kick him off is because you ruin his stats in the game, which would essentially be ruining his work. I highly disagree with your comment "It is not soul-enriching, it is not creative and it does not broaden the mind. A computer game, played on any platform, is nothing more than a product of someone elses' creativity." Games give you a social environment outside of school and other venues when you cannot go outside. The person who created the game was creative, I do agree with that but I disagree that it does not require creativity to play them. Games that you find mindless ofter require more intelligence than school, in a math class you can zone out and pay no attention the regurgitate formulas. In these games players must create unique team-based solutions to beat the opposing team, sometimes it takes days to develop these strategies. I know successful creative adults that play games like these, they do it not because they have no life but because they have their own social experiences in which they prefer.

Ryan 3 years ago

Hey I was looking over some stuff for my xbox, and honestly I completely agree Austin Nurse, as I am an Xbox fan. I love my Xbox dearly and I think its the best gift I have received. Why? I love my Xbox because it allows me to things that I would never be able to complete in real life. Online gaming brings people from distant parts closer together. You complain about your son not going out for a kick in the park, well that happened to me where i would stay at home and play my Xbox. We do this as the Xbox allows us to control star players and have them play for us. What would be better, playing soccer with your own mediocre skills and never play a serious match or play on online match where you control star players to do it for you? Honestly, I have no clue where parents get these ideas that games are not enlightening or mind-stimulating. As through playing games we learn more about facts where we would not learn otherwise, such as how good is a certain hockey player or even historic games which project the past, such as the battle of Thermopylae or Greece. Resorting to such tactics like switching off the router or hiding the remotes, will only inspire a much more rebellious attitude from your son. Miss, you cannot change your boy as this 21st century where every kid plays through on a console, telling your son not to play is like telling him that he should go and play in the park by himself. Also things such as time constraints are unreasonable as games can be time consuming. I have good news for you, as your son grows up, he will start drifting away from this virtual world and become more involved in the real world, as real world offers more mature things. This is simply the phase of which kids go through, where all the boys are violent and think that they are invincible. Don't deny him the xbox, but instead let him play till he exhausts himself, and let him play more. don't say a word towards him, leave him be, because he will start missing you and will start putting time aside for family and then as he grows older, he start considering his Xbox as an item that he plays from time to time. Ma'am trust me as this will work. Let a rebel rebel all he wants, eventually he will tire out. or if you prefer "Too much of something, will leave a bitter taste in your mouth

Willsummerdreamer profile image

Willsummerdreamer 3 years ago from Marietta, Georgia.

Sounds to me like your son (at least at the time this hub was written) needs a lesson in moderation. Well I was there too at his age. Honestly though, it sounds to me like he just hasn't discovered something that he likes to do more than video games yet. And his friends saying stupid stuff like "Warhammer is for nerds" isn't really helping (I mean, I used to know an army medic who loved playing Warhammer. And I also know a cop and his wife who plays Dungeons and Dragons in their free time).

Although I have to disagree with you about video games and the loss of creativity and passion. Heck, video games actually inspired me to start writing fiction, something that I enjoy to this very day, and I personally know some game designers and they are some of the most creative and passionate artists (in every sense of the word) I've had the pleasure of meeting. I agree that your son needs to find something else to balance out playing the Xbox all time, but my point is that video games can inspire creativity as much as they can zap it away. But admittedly you probably have to look at that on a case by case basis.

But I think what it really boils down too (and I in no way claim to be expert on kids or parenting or anything) is that your son is still a kid, very easily stimulated, doesn't really know what he's truly capable of yet and has yet to learn to tell his friends to go jump in a river when confronted with peer pressure.

But that's just what I think.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@I am someone - yes, I'm sure it is his age and I really hope that eventually he decides of his own accord that there are other activities worth pursuing. And, of course, I quite agree with you that learning from experience is the best way to learn - however, I still feel a responsibility as a parent not to allow him to remain attached to a virtual world 24/7. Of course, young people are often not very good at looking to the future - they tend to live in the moment and I don't think I was any different. I just don't want him to look back on his childhood at a later date and think that all he did was play Xbox or other screen-based alternatives.

Thank you for reading and sharing your opinion :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@fullofturtles - Hi there, thank you for sharing your thoughts, I think it's great that a lot of young people have commented since it gives a balanced view of the issue. 6-7 hours is a long time though, it's almost a full day's work! Sometimes my son gets eyestrain from looking at the screen too long, he even admits it himself.

My son does really love karate, so he now goes out to do that 4 times per week which he excellent - he won two trophies recently. However, the rest of the time he is still obsessed with playing games and I think he is definitely addicted to it. He used to read a lot as well, but now can't find any books he likes as he's read all his favourite authors. It seems he has replaced everything else he used to enjoy with various forms of technology. If I take one thing away, he sneaks off with something else - Ipod Touch, Tablet etc.. I hope, as you say is the case with your older family members, that he grows out of it. I'm sure he will, but still I think it would be great if he spent more time going out and doing things with his friends, because he does have a lot of friends but seems to prefer talking to them online rather than actually going anywhere.

I think I still do blame the Xbox! I don't know about you, but I could give my son plenty of other things to do and plenty of ideas, but it wouldn't interest him as much unless it was something else with a screen. To tell you the truth, he is currently obsessed with Minecraft on the PC rather than the Xbox. But don't worry, I wasn't going to break the Xbox - that did happen to his friend but I was just joking, I don't like wasting money!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Rebruttal - I do agree with you that being one-sided is not good, we have to expand and broaden our horizons to develop as people. Technology can enrich our lives but it isn't our whole lives - and a life can't be lived purely in a virtual world. As you point out with the mobile phones, we are all so distracted by technology that sometimes we are thinking about other things even when we are with our friends - and many adults do this too! However, I would appreciate it if you could refrain from attacking other people who have commented as in your last sentence - she is only young and her opinion just makes the comments box more interesting!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@logan8368 - I do consider the young person's point of view and I think that playing Xbox, computer or whatever for a certain amount of time is perfectly fine. However, I don't think it should be the only thing a child/teen does, as I said in the article. It just isn't very healthy to sit in front of a screen all the time. But it's ok for some of the time. I think it's good to try out lots of different things in life - and I also think that the best times I remember when looking back on being a teenager were just hanging out and laughing with friends, in the real world.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Kyemicals - Well, it's true that everyone has a different personality and that is a good thing. I would not want my children to be clones of myself but to be their own people. However, I don't think that spending every waking moment playing computer games is a very healthy thing to be doing - and since I am a parent I have to take reasonable responsibility for that, in the same way that I would if he didn't want to eat anything but chocolate biscuits or whatever. Variety is the spice of life, after all - and if, as you say, you are an artist and musician, you don't spend all your time playing games either.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Mohammed Asmar - It's true, every generation is different. But the technology we have around these days does have a certain addictive element, I think. Every single one of my son's friends seems to be obsessed with Xbox, computer, etc., to the extent that they would actually prefer to stay in playing it than go outside and do other things. My son is now almost 13 and has quite a lot of freedom. He can go to friend's houses alone, go to the park, go into the city centre with his friends, go swimming etc. Yet he would still rather stay indoors and play Xbox or go on the computer. I think that it is ok to enjoy this technology after going out and doing something else, but not instead of!

My generation saw the beginnings of this kind of technology. My parents bought a home computer when I was 13 and it was the most exciting thing ever. It was an Amstrad 64 (you can google it) and you will probably think it pretty rubbish, but to us the games were awesome because we had never had anything like that in the home before. You had to put cassettes in it and then wait for the game to load and it would take ages - probably 10-15 mins at least, maybe longer. I did spend a lot of time enjoying this new technology, but I still did a lot of other things as well which were not technology related at all.

Thank you for reading and leaving your comments.

jedisquidward 3 years ago

Polly, as a Mother, it is perfectly normal to be worried about your son, and it shows you are a good mother and want the best for him.


Some of the assumptions that you are making about games and especially what some of your commentors are saying is to me and many other people extremely offensive and condescending. These games can be more than entertainment. They can educate, help us explore human nature, and become more peaceful by being able to experience someone else's point of view. When you take that and treat it as something that is just a family activity on your Wii, or even worse, a nuisance, it makes us, the people who have put our heart and soul into making something good, getting people to open their eyes and see that we can help bring happiness, feel completely lost and hopeless. Please, if you can, try to connect with your son through the games. Don't ever listen to someone who says you should be a parent and not a friend. Even though he's in his teenage years, he will like you both now and when he's an adult if you don't act distant from him through the role of a complete mother. Please try and connect with the games he plays, and you will be able to connect with him. To better explain my argument, please watch this video. It's not an ad or a prank, but please, from one human being to another, please watch this video.


I don't want to fight, I just really, really want you to understand.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@ LewyLaBoohey - It sounds to me that, although you enjoy playing Xbox, that you also spend time doing other things - or at least choose for yourself not to spend all your time on games. I'm all for moderation and I don't think that games are bad unless that's the ONLY thing you want to do. It's true that some games are educational, and I do let my five year old play games on my laptop - just not for too long. After all, we live in a very technological world now. But I still think it's all about balance. And I think most high school students are not too keen on school - I didn't like it much at all! It is true that I am his parent and I could get rid of it altogether if it proved to be too much of an issue - but I never do that because I don't like to be too much of an ogre. I just wish that he would pursue other activities as well. He used to be an avid reader and really enjoy getting into a book in the evening, but now it's only ever about the screen.

Thank you for reading and commenting, I appreciate your opinion :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@ hub haider - well, unfortunately parents can't be popular all of the time - if kids were allowed to do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, then there would be no difference between being a parent and being just another mate.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@kieran - I understand that you're not happy because your parent's are not on your side when it comes to getting an Xbox/headset and that must be really frustrating, especially if all your friends have one. I also see where your Dad is coming from, because one of the modern issues that parents often worry about is their children meeting strangers online. It's true that you can be basically talking to anyone on Xbox Live, if you allow that to happen and that you have no way of knowing who they really are. You can also get a lot of bad language from other people, which is something that I am not very keen on - my son was 10 when he first got his Xbox and about 11 when he got Xbox Live and I was concerned about this. However, 99% of the time I'm pretty sure my son is only engaging with other kids from school, or friends from other parts of the country. He has a friend who moved away a few years ago and they chat quite a lot on their headphones - that is actually a positive point, because they had kind of lost contact altogether before Xbox Live linked them together again.

Don't be too angry with your parents, things might be different in a while. Most parents only want to do what they think is best for their kids - growing up usually brings with it a few battles and clashes of wills.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Cleandy - thank you, glad you liked it. :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Richard - no, I wouldn't and for all I know there might well be a game on shopping! When I was young I did play computer games, some of the early ones which you would probably not like much. I do know how easy it is to become hooked on them because there were some arcade games in the foyer of the sports centre where I went for a sports club and I could never leave without playing them, sometimes not for ages. I think it was a bit more social, because a crowd would often be gathered round and you had to wait your turn, but anyway... I suppose the main difference now is the amount of technology we have in the home, where it is easy to gain access 24/7 and thus today's young people do spend a lot more time hooked to a screen.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@ web watcher - thank you for your compliments, glad you enjoyed it"

jrwarmke profile image

jrwarmke 3 years ago from 'Merica

This was an interesting hub and no doubt this is an issue many parents today deal with. My advice about the issue is just to keep trying to be involved with your son's life and perhaps present to him alternate forms of entertainment or activities to engage him. Eventually, he'll move on, or at least play games less.

I also thought that you maybe took an overly negative view of video games. While I will admit that those mindless shooter games could and frequently do have a negative impact on people, and in children in particular, there are also some very creative and educational games out there. For instance, Minecraft allows for players to take a raw environment and build whatever they want. The Assassin's Creed series explores historical cities and events with a historical fiction story. Basically any open world questing game teaches about investing and management. There are plenty of positives to be found in video games.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Austin Nurse - Hi there, thank you for sharing your opinion. I am actually enjoying the comments made by the younger people here, since it offers a much broader perspective on the matter. Maybe you are right, and that certain games do have an element of creativity and strategic planning. In fact, I'm sure they do, but I still lean to the opinion that it is just a game and cannot really take you any further in life. You will probably disagree, but that's ok. I still see it as primarily a leisure activity - which is fine, we all need to chill out - but my main bone of contention was not that my son wanted to play games, but that he didn't want to do anything else. And I think that doing nothing else but playing computer games can possibly be healthy or balanced. I am perfectly happy with him spending a certain amount of time playing Xbox, but I think people should spend time pursuing alternative activities as well. I still think it's quite sad that my son, and other young people, would prefer to stay indoors speaking to friends on headsets instead of meeting up in person - not some of the time but MOST of the time. My son is now of an age (13 tomorrow, in fact) when he could go out and explore more of the real world with his friends (he does actually have quite a lot of friends) - but the outside world is deemed 'boring' when compared to the online world, and that is a large part of the problem for me. Playing computer games when it is bad weather or not much else to do is one thing - but doing it all the time, regardless of everything else, surely can't be good?

AnnonomousXboxGirl 3 years ago

Hey there

I read your hub. It was great! I myself are a xbox 360 owner and one on the 'rare' girls. I do agree that the xbox can take over ,bit by bit, hobbies. It does get really frustrating! I do have kid friendly games like fifa 13 but I have played all the james bond games and the mass effects series. Don't get me wrong my parents feel extremely strongly about violence so I don't own horrific games like Call of Duty or Battlefield. I do agree that the james bond games are like most other games and the age rating should be reviewed. Thanks so much for posting and happy future endeavours.

Sincery Lucy

Trent 3 years ago

You may find this approach to game addiction interesting:


JohnGreasyGamer profile image

JohnGreasyGamer 3 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

Fantastic read and it's something that made me feel both guilty and at the same time argumentative. On the one hand I believe video games - if not taken into consideration - can literally be the death of you, and the collapse of all social activity and interaction with family and friends. On the other hand, video games have broadened my creativity and have given me far more to think about, and I'd even go as far to say that many games are art forms. Games like Heavy Rain and Dishonoured are prime examples of video games being both gorgeous and having so much narrative and drive, and I could even say something like Alan Wake is better than reading a book, though just as immersive.

It's a shame though that children, including myself some ten years ago, actually went to such lengths to play video games, and I can understand completely what it's like to be someone who is completely ignored because of a video games console, and how much damage it can do to oneself in a matter of weeks.

I'd recommend you get your son into things like writing reviews, or fan-fiction based on these video games. I've done it for years and look at me now - a professional critic on HubPages and currently doing a journalism course. It may not get him away from the Xbox, but it's something to do if you can't remove it from his personal world, and it's good for developing reading, writing and creative skills.

Voted up, funny, interesting and beautiful!

RetroBrothers profile image

RetroBrothers 3 years ago from Sunny Scotland

I've been a gamer since I was about 14 - and now as a parent myself can see exactly what you mean in this hub

Games were aplenty for me in my youth, but there was no world wide web or online play back then - multiplayer games took place over a single console or computer with two joysticks or people fighting for keyboard space!

I did used to play games a lot back then, but during the summer would still spend a lot of time playing sports and swimming. I think the online world now makes games yet more addictive and a 'meeting point' for friends - without actually really meeting up.

It's a problem for sure and your hub has nailed it 100%

my xbox360 is awsome 3 years ago

im a xbox360 pro so all you parents are going get served

Juliet 3 years ago

I just read this article with my 12 year old son. He sounds just like your son, and I too have resorted to hiding the cords and controllers to prevent him from playing it. As I read this to him I actually began to cry - I too am at a loss - he cannot seem to function unless he is playing. His every thought is consumed with playing on the xbox. When he is off the xbox he then watches you tube videos about the game. I am at a loss - I want my wonderful, sweet, happy son back...pre-xbox!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

Hi Juliet - I must say I feel your pain. It's so difficult, isn't it? I know exactly what you mean about a 'pre-xbox' son - actually, I think I need a 'pre-technology' son, because now he just moves from one screen to the next as though there is nothing else in the world! My son is 13 now, I wrote this a couple of years ago - all he wants to do is be in front of a screen from the moment he gets in from school until he goes to bed. Luckily, he now does karate a couple of evenings a week and astronomy after school on another day which breaks the cycle a bit. Going outside of the house to do things is definitely helpful.

There are lots of comments from children and teens on this post, I don't know if you have read any (because the comments section has become rather long) but it's very interesting to read. Some agree with me and some attack me! However, I enjoyed learning about the differing opinions from both sides - the comments section is actually probably better than the article now! Thank you for taking the time to share your own experiences :)

Michael 3 years ago


Let me start off by saying I'm 13 as well, and I'm also addicted to games, but not Xbox, I prefer 3DS/PC/WiiU since I prefer games with a little more value and depth to them than "Call Of Duty", a game where you literally run around and shoot people in the head for no apparent reason.

While I agree he could be doing something more productive with his time, and that most Xbox games aren't that...Enriching... I still believe gaming as a whole can only INCREASE creativity, and I consider them a form of art just like drawing, dancing, singing, sculpting, or any other hobby you would consider normal back in your days (No offense there!)

Be comforted that there are worse cases, completely anti-social kids with awful grades who will amount to nothing sometimes get sucked to these gaming wormholes, at least he is doing Karate/Astronomy, which is great!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Michael - thank you for your great comments and for sharing your viewpoint. Several young people have explained that they believe gaming increases creativity, so I am willing to accept that in some ways that might be a possibility! I do, however, still stick to my belief that it should be 'everything in moderation'.

It's sad that some people get so sucked into gaming that their schooling suffers and they don't learn social skills - that will have such an impact on the rest of their lives if they can't snap out of it.

I'm actually really impressed with your comment, it's mature and very well put for a 13 year old. Thank you for reading my article!

123 3 years ago

We live in the 21st century so why not give a nit of freedom? But limit them tho.

123 3 years ago

We live in the 21st century so why not give a nit of freedom? But limit them tho.

Isaiah 3 years ago

I see that this is a fairly old post, and while others have already put their two cents in this, I'd like to put my own. That's fair, right? But do with this as you please.

I'm currently 17, playing games since, boy I don't even know. For as long as I can remember? I have a very strong belief and will probably stand by it forever as I say this; You can't never truly understand a value of an item unless you learn to appreciate its existence.

I play countless hours a day, unless I have homework to project that are in need of my attention, but I am very well an avid gamer indubitably. At points, my mum would also hassle me to get off point point or tell me that I'm over exaggerating over a 'game'. Note, I hate this phrase ' It's just a game, it's not about winning or losing. '

Now this can very well make COMPLETE sense to the ignorant, not using ' ignorance ' as an insult, just by definition, but you're ( using generally ) not understanding what the point of the game is. Competitive games for instance. The word COMPETITIVE, in itself is my point exactly, but let me elaborate. Now, it may not be ' everything ' but yes, it sucks to lose and it's the only thing matters when a player is judged by their ranking in tiers. MLG players ( major league gamer(s) ) are not professional because it's ' just a game ' or ' it's all about having a jolly time! ' It's about perseverance, team work, team composition, the meta, team knowledge, game knowledge and having fun of course. Never said it wasn't important, just that it isn't the only thing. It's in our DNA to have progression, to win, to be the best. It shows in nature, mating. But indeed, not the best analogy, but an analogy nonetheless. The point of competitive gaming is to win, when the whole game is revolved around winning or losing, especially team based when it's team work to do an objective, it will in fact irk you.

It may sound pretty stupid, because at the end of the day, it really is. But in the moment, it's the only thing that matters. I remember you using the phrase ' escape to a different world' or something along those lines, yes but how is that a bad thing? The world sucks and the human mind always wants more, hence music, illustrations, authors. All making sense now I hope? They're using what they have to 'escape reality'

" Not getting enough exercise " while this maybe true, it's not for everyone. Like I've mentioned before, I play countless hours. But I always make time for exercising, at this point it's all about individuality. I go to the gym everyday for cardio and weights for about a few hours then come back home to play some more. " Social interaction " it's an online interface with servers, which equal online multiplayer. This may sound a bit rubbish or maybe even 'sad' but my met my two best friends on xbox. I've known them for about 5 years now, and we don't even live that far apart. ( Living in the states right now. )

My mum and I have this mutual understanding, I bring in the grades, withstand at least a 3.2 gpa, and I get to play all I want. It's a reward at a sense, as a student I'd like to spend my free time however I please. Who's to say I can't do something simple as kick back and play? It could be so much worse, think about it.

Outside interaction, let's be honest, most of my generation are pot heads and drug addicts if they're not working the corner if you know what I mean. Disrespectful bastards, excuse my language, but it holds true. ( At least in the states I see that *cough cough* ) So hypothetically speaking, it COULD actually be better, ha-ha.

Notice that my post might, if not IS going all over the place because well, let's face it is. I'm no professor essay writer.

Consequently, I also read that you think 4 hours is ' excessive ' On a weekend I'll play till I wake up, till I go to sleep. Most of the time, I don't sleep the same day I wake up if you catch my innuendo.

Technology is advancing and significantly progressive at that, I just don't understand why must we fault down the ' nostalgic ' way of our past generation, but to each their own, am I right? Can't really tell someone to raise their children. Ruins the whole diversity affect.

Going off again on a relevant, yet random, tangent, I have a cousin just wee bit younger than myself and he was restricted from playing anything above his age perimeter, until his parents finally realized entertainment does as entertainment should. Entertain. Entertainment system for? You guessed it, entertainment. Repetitive how I used it, but non-redundant nonetheless.

As a wee lad I was playing Grand Theft Auto 3. Now if you're not familiar with that, it's pretty violent. You start off breaking out of a inmate truck and the whole game you're killing and stealing. I was first introduced to the third installation to the series fairly young, like not legally able to play rated E games 10 and up. Was it sort of irresponsible as a parent, debatable, but did it cause me server mental illness to want to kill random pedestrians or commit grand theft auto? Absolutely not. In fact I restrain myself from using ' profanity ' when in general public, but I'd be lying if I said I couldn't be mistaken as a sailor when actually playing. ( Note, talking about present, not when I was a tyke )

Infact, I could say gaming is probably one of the best way to 'learn'. You may not have heard of this title/series, but Assassins Creed implies and or you get to live through, American milestones in history. Sure some might be inaccurate as the character you learn about is completely fictional and have no relevance to modern history, but the whole covenant was.

I.E. Leonardo Da Vinci, pretty sure he never conceived confrontation from or to an assassin of any kind, but again, debatable. Nevertheless, you learn about his paintings, his inventions, and hell, you're even able to use his 'flying machine' invention.

Including the ADD ON to the game ( Assassins Creed 3 ) you get to play as though George Washington became a Tyrant. A whole hypothetical time line where our first president had the capability to become a king.

Gaming can be addicting, like anything could be and not saying it couldn't be, but just take the account of the whole


Completely rubbish! In the interview with the scientists that proposed this hypothesis/theory/inference clearly said that they gave it 2 of 3 choices. An oreo, or a dried rice cracker. Cocain or dried rice cracker. They even said that the percentage of actually liking rice crackers in general are low as they have been lessely preferred over the years over a delicacy. Then they 'yellow paged' the whole mess and now we have people believing that eating oreos are now on par, ON PAR allow me to emphasize that again, with a drug that can cause death by over dose. Seriously, it's completely pretense what people think about things they don't fully understand.

Don't you love my un-organized post? It's quite eloquent is it not?

Also using videos games as an escape goat for murders and crime as a whole, complete rubbish. I guess I missed the memo that the world was a utopia before the satanic video game creation happen and we started to kill eachother. I guess I missed that chapter in all my history classes.

I even go as far as not only xbox, but I own many other alternative systems like hand helds or other AAA gaming consoles with PC gaming as no exception.

Lastly, nothing Pro without it's trusty Cons, but isn't everything?

Jack 3 years ago

Look your son playing Xbox isn't going to turn him into a murderer, gaming is a fun and downright awesome hobby and he's just playing for long periods of time because he enjoys it and it's no different then any hobby you had when he was your age. I'm 16 and I live in Australia where the age to start playing these kinds of violent games are ages 15 and over however younger children can play them with their parents consent. Whilst I'm more of a PC gamer I have both a Xbox 360 and a secondhand PS3 both of which I bought with my own money from a job where I earn about $64 a week, I'd go as far as saying that gaming has taught me a lot of values about life, I've learnt how much certain things can cost and I've been forced to save for long periods of time for consoles and video games. Just don't let him get too addicted, remember everything in moderation! Whilst nothing serious will happen you don't want your son to let his school work suffer or his physical health. But don't hide the controllers he needs to learn enough is enough and hiding this stuff is going to end up making him loathe you and lie to you more and more. Video Games have plenty of advantages as well because I'm such a lover of games I want to go into Software Engineering at University so I can become a programmer and start making games.

Spartan swagger 1206 3 years ago

hi! I am 12 years old and I just wanted to say that I happen to be an xbox gamer too my parents don`t let me plat M rated games, the only one I can play is Halo this is because I told my parents the concept of the game, you know, alien fighting in a suit that looks really robot like but anyway what I usually have to do for my parents to get a game is tell them what the game is about first, just so they know what it`s like ,they would never let me play a game like GTA or anything like that and I understand that, because I just search up games on youtube and see if their ones I like, or if it`s suitable.Maybe what you could do id if he wants a game or a console you could make him do maybe a chore, or do something productive other than play games for hours. you could make him wash the car, do dishes, or something else if he does not want to pay this price of doing something other than videogames than he does not get anymore of what he wants to buy. Sorry for any grammar or spelling errors in this paragraph for that I need to do something else than stay on my laptop all night bye!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Isaiah - thank you for taking the time to write such a long and detailed post on the subject, there is nothing better than reading comments which represent every generation - it gives a brilliant, rounded view from which we can all learn something. It also bridges the gap a little between parental opposition and the place that young people are coming from, so that's all good as far as I am concerned.

Ultimately, I am not against game playing but I do worry when my son plays for hours and hours. You're right that this post is quite old now, and unfortunately it seems that my son only wants to play for longer and longer at a time. I don't know if he would ever stop if I didn't make him! You say that you also play a lot, but you do approach it with a little more maturity than my son (perhaps because you are older; my son is 13 now). I like that you say you have a deal with your mum to bring in certain grades - and that if you have a homework project, you will complete that before gaming. My son will not - he will only do the homework if I go up and insist, he also puts gaming before school work so sometimes he doesn't reach his full potential because he has left the work until the last minute.

My son enjoys karate, so he does get some exercise and he has won trophies for it too. However, the rest of the time it seems he is quite happy to spend all of his time shut away in his room and that seems sad to me. It might not to you, but I just remember all of the times I spent at his age, going out and having a real laugh with my friends. I do think he is addicted to being online all the time, and all I want is for him to lead a more balanced life, with more time spent doing other stuff as well. I mean, I might go on about nostalgia, but I am actually happy that technology has enriched our lives - I'm not a gamer but the internet has given me many opportunities that simply didn't exist 'in my day'. So, I actually wouldn't want to go back to the time when I was a teenager - life is all about moving forwards - but I do think it is important to be able to use this new technology in moderation, otherwise it becomes unhealthy. It's even unhealthy for our eyes, just sitting at looking at a screen for hours. This is true - not just my opinion. My son wears glasses and we were at the opticians talking about it a few weeks ago. Just focusing on a screen doesn't allow the muscles in your eyes to function properly because you are just looking the exact same distance all the time.

I understand that people who play these games want to win - and there's nothing wrong with wanting to 'escape to another world' as I put it, occasionally (or even every day, as long as it's not all day!) I suppose, when I talk about loss of creativity, I now understand from reading the comments that there is a certain amount of creativity to be expressed when playing some of these games - however, I'm perhaps referring to something which is more tangible or which continues to exist, like a painting; model; story; poem; piece of music, etc. Something which is created by YOU, from your own mind, rather than simply using someone else's platform. Also, when the mind is freer and not thinking about the next stage of a game all the time, it allows space in which other thoughts and ideas can occur, which can lead to productivity unrelated to computer games.

You say that you can broaden the mind and learn about history through games - I don't know if this is true but I'm willing to accept that it probably is,to an extent. My son used to have Assasin's Creed. I'm still completely against games like Grand Theft Auto - they might not turn a gamer into a murderer, but the concepts are less than desirable. The world was never a utopia - perhaps it never will be - but the trouble with games like that, for me, is that young people often experience the nasty side of something (via games) before they have a true understanding of the good side.

Anyway, I truly appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts and opinions on this post,so thank you.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Jack - Software engineering sounds exactly like the sort of thing my son wants to do - at least, he says he does. Whether or not he would really enjoy it as much as he says is another matter. He has a very low boredom threshold and I understand programming is very repetitve and probably not quite as though he imagines it. His dad is a programmer and so we do know quite a bit about it (at least, he does).

The keys words of your comment that stand out for me is: "Everything in moderation." I absolutely agree. There is nothing wrong with gaming but there is something wrong if it takes over your life. My son does put gaming before homework - even when homework is due the next day, he will play games until as late as possible and then have no time left to do the homework properly. In fact, once he begins the homework he is often so tired he gets annoyed and gives up saying he can't do it and then just goes to bed. So, there is a problem. If only he could have a little more responsbility, then it would be so much better. That's one of the main reasons I always end up having to intervene - because gaming hasn't just become a part of his life, it has almost become his whole life. That's how it really would be without me stepping in.

Anyway, thank you so much for reading the article and for your comments. It sounds like you have quite a responsible attitude. It's funny, actually, because you say that you are in Australia - here, in the UK, we used to have a show on TV in which families here go to try out life in Australia to see if they like it, with eventual emigration in mind. One of the reasons UK parents want to take their children there is for the outdoorsy lifestyle and to get them off computers and away from TV! So, maybe that isn't the answer....

Reis Chestnet 3 years ago

Hello Polly, very nice hub. I am currently 14, I work for my uncle at Pizza King, and make A's and B's in advanced classes at school. I often play Xbox 360 though. I normally play out of pure boredom, but I've played ever since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In truth in one week I played 11.5 hrs on a new game. I used to play online. The thing is that since I have started playing I have also looked more into things like learning like how to edit videos that I can get from the Xbox. The guy that makes money off Youtube that your son may of been talking about is one of the people that is good at the game, but they can also take the videos they get and then match things like shots to music, or changing the lighting, etc. I think that you should maybe see if he is interested in things like that.

The situation for me right now though is honestly horrible, because my dad is 100% against me playing games online. I often talk to friends, and at times play late into the night. The problem is that ever since I've been forced offline and not allowed to play like I used to I haven't hit clips and have been forced away from making videos and editing them. Now even though I can pay for and maintain my games, I am not allowed to play online or spend any of the money I make on them, because my dad thinks that I play to long.

The thing is that since I'm being forced away from them I've had nothing to do of my interests and have not improved any on the skills I was starting to learn with editing. So I guess I am getting bit off topic, but what I'm trying to say is that while gaming is something you and your son don't see eye to eye on, it may hurt some of his looks on possible future careers if decide to completely take them away from him.

Miguel Rodriguez 3 years ago

I am a gamer my self. I agree with it is relatively addictive and violent. But I highly disagree with just about everything else. We all are entitled to our opinions but this is mine. I started about the same time he did. I have a very active imagination because of this. Playing so many games inspires me to think of all the possibilities ther are in gaming. One minute you can be an adventurer that travels the world doing good or evil the next you can be a race car driver on the indie 500. That's the thing about games most are free platform that allow you to become who you want to be and who you can never be. To me violence in games helps kids they can let there anger out in a passive aggressive way where as goin up to a kid and punching them in the face. I have become more and more social because of xbox. I was a very shy kid and then not having to be intimidated by looks or judged. I honestly think you are to quick to judge. I'm guessing you haven't even touched his xbox. Give it a shot you never know you may like it

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Spartan swagger 1206 - I like your ideas, they are very sensible. You obviously have a good attititude to gaming and I really like the fact that you research the games you like and then share that information with your parents. Plus, doing chores for games or money for games is an excellent idea and creates a great work ethic. I also like the idea of washing the car or doing something else that is productive and is a break from a screen-based activity.

Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave your comments. I love hearing from young people since it creates a balance between the opinions of parents and children.

CWanamaker profile image

CWanamaker 3 years ago from Arizona

Growing up most of my friends were addicted to video games. We called each other "vidiots." Eventually we grew out of it, went to college, and got decent jobs. We still occasionally play games but it is nothing like our childhood. Hopefully this is just a phase for your son as well.

Marge 3 years ago

I am 73, and had a very rewarding childhood, building forts in the woods, eating lunch with my friend under a tree, discovering old trestles, abandoned cabins, etc. Also reading & going to the library. A different time, but a very rich rewarding experience, and I'm glad I had the experience. Being a girl, I suppose I wouldn't have cared about it, anyway. But my parents were poor, and so I was very thrilled when I got a microscope for Christmas, and nothing else.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Reis Chestnet - Thank you for sharing your thoughts on here. I understand how being interested in gaming can lead to making video clips, etc. and thus using creativity in doing so.

I wouldn't want to completely deny my son the chance to play games, whether online or off, because I know how much he likes it. We didn't have the same opportunities when I was young, but technology (although much simpler) was making its way into people's homes. My parents actually never tried to limit the amount of time I spent doing any one thing, not even when we did get a (very basic) computer with games for it. Neither did they ever limit the amount of time we spent watching TV. I do think this kind of downtime is necessary and that there is nothing wrong with it, but I just don't want it to be the only thing my son does. For me, it's all about balance - I only want for him to look for other activities for some of the time. I feel that, with him, no amount of time is ever enough, and that is where our main problem lies. Plus, his eyesight is getting worse!

Sorry that you are having a hard time not being able to play games at all, or make the videos that you enjoy doing. Hopefully, your dad will change his mind eventually. Thank you also for pointing out the links between computer games and future careers. I do really like reading the opinions of young people on here, there are so many and it gives a really great insight into a different generation.

profile image

Jesse Pinkman 3 years ago

Im 14 and at that age pretending just wasn't enough for me so video games give an actual visualization of those things which is just one reason why its so fun and one reason why he won't be addicted forever just like you move on from toys and pretending and using your imagination hell do the same but probably never stop completely and Xbox can give a very accomplishing feeling

Joe 3 years ago

That is exactly what my dad says. he only lets my on the 360 one hour on a friday saturday and sunday. so, your sons better off

jack 3 years ago

Introduce your son to steam. Then maybe he will become a bit more creative. (Pc master race)

steve 3 years ago













Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Miguel Rodriguez - Hi Miguel, thank you for sharing your opinions on here. I am interested that many gamers disagree with me about the creativity factor. You (and others) insist that many games require a high amount of creativity. I am wondering, though, whether you are able to take that imagination and creativity and apply it to other areas of life?

One of the things that disappoints me when my son wants to do nothing but play computer games is that he isn't interested in doing anything else. If he was pursuing creativity on the games, and was then being inspired to go off and put that same amount of effort into something for himself, rather than a game created by someone else, then that would be wonderful.

My son is sociable anyway, and so I just wish he would get off the Xbox and go and meet with his friends in person! But I can see that it provides a common connection, since all his friends like to conect online and also talk about it on the way to school etc. I only wish they were so enthusiastic about other things in life! Actually, he is very into karate, so that's one good thing at least.

For me, it isn't that he plays Xbox - and no, I haven't tried it but I don't have any inclination to. However, if I was younger I am sure I would be delighted to own such a thing. I'm not so old that I can't remember playing games - we did have the earliest versions but they didn't overtake life. They were, however, incredibly fun - the graphics were so much more simple but we didn't know any different. I would even say they were addictive, and yet we spent not even a fraction of the time playing them. A lot of the time you could only play them in an arcade, so you had to wait your turn and it was more sociable from the start, since a crowd of other kids would be waiting around, watching you.

Anyway, thank you so much for adding your input, it is much appreciated.

profile image

Corduroy 3 years ago

Hi Polly,

This is a very well thought of article which covers almost every aspect of the issue from parents' perspective .. totally agree with everything u wrote .. it is nonetheless a very daring step against an army of GAMERS whose comments and objections i sifted through (above) ..

I am a 32 yr old parent of a one yr old daughter and guardian of a 9 yrs old nephew who has been living with me since his birth .. so i practically became a parent at the age of 23 .. He is like a son to me and i like a father to him ..

@ the Gamers and Kids

You cannot outsmart your parents .. you only think you can .. your parents have been through what you are experiencing right now but you cannot step into their shoes as you are still children or teenagers who think they can rule the world without their parents even knowing it .. :) trust me when i say that ‘we’ve been there’ .. Our (parents’) intentions are not to snatch your right to play games and have fun .. all we want is to tailor your daily routine towards a more disciplined life which is really going to pay off in times to come ..

To me there seems to be a disconnect when we use the word Social Life or being social .. Its more of a war between living a virtual life versus a more practically interactive life .. you may be social with people whom you don't even know or haven't met in real life, but this doesn't bring you at par with the experience of meeting someone and experiencing things (having fun) together in person .. Trust us, you are more likely to cherish the times spent together with friends than the chit chat or friendships over the internet !!

Even i like playing games on xbox and i usually sit down with my nephew and we play together .. and have fun .. but obviously staying within limits of time frame and accessing only the content he has the authorization to .. and during the weekdays we end up waiting for the weekend in order to play games and never get bored of the console or the games .. he is also a die hard fan of Cricket and Soccer and i always encourage him to go out and play with other kids ..

@ Polly C. and Parents

No matter how hard we try to blame the technology for invading our personal lives and crippling our social setups or the living room environments in our homes, its the parents who are responsible in deciding how much of that invasion they can live with .. I, for one, have set up some rules in my house regarding use of technology for my nephew .. he is only allowed to use xbox console on weekends (Friday – Sunday) for 03 hrs at a stretch .. the same applies to his laptop with an exception if he needs to do some research or assignment during weekdays .. he is not at all allowed to play games on a cell phone as he already wears glasses due to weak eyesight ..

My nephew has more than 35 games for his xbox console but then there is a family safety feature in the console which allows me to restrict his access to any game that i deem has inappropriate or mature content (despite his blabbering about other kids being allowed by their parents to play those games) ..to which usually my reply would be, ‘whatever goes in their home does not apply to our lives .. there certainly are many things that you are allowed to do but your friends are not permitted by their parents .. and we are not living directly proportional lives with everyone else ..’

I dont intend to sway from the essence of the topic here but would certainly like to mention the additives that have practically paralyzed our lives, which include but are not limited to Laptops, Tabs, Internet, Gaming Consoles, Cell Phones and Cable TV etc ..

Polly, its a fight that we keep fighting, trying to keep our kids from what we deem is not beneficial for them and they’ll keep coming back at us with all their reasonings and complaints (of not letting them) .. but hey, ain't that whats life all about with kids .. :)

Best of luck to all the parents (including myself) as my nephew is also becoming harder to convince with every passing day .. :)

Nate 3 years ago

Hi, Just thought I'd enlighten you all with the opinion of a 15 yr old gamer.

I just bought an Xbox, exactly 4 days ago. I'd been a playstation gamer for 6 years. I worked all of last summer- i would caddie, mow lawns etc. and I made close to 500 dollars. My parents took away the Xbox the day after I got it, because my GPA dropped below a 3.5. Let me just say that it pisses me off SO MUCH. Like A TON. I feel like yeah my grades are crap, but I worked all summer for the money to buy this thing, cant I use it? I'm sure your son is feeling something similar, and he's right about the whole 'everyone has one' thing. Also, it is 100% normal to play for a ridiculous amount of time. My parents don't allow me, but every one of my friends has an Xbox, and they average 300+ hours of gameplay per year. I even have one friend who logged over 700 HOURS on the new Call of Duty game in only one year.

Not all of this comment was relevant, but I thought I would share my thoughts.

Person 3 years ago

Ok first of all you are an awful person. You are a bad parent because he has CLEARLY earned his time fair and square. His grades are decent and he does his chores. You can't complain. He seems like a good kid that any parent would be proud of. And yah Nate is right it's normal.. Maybe get him into sports?

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Person - I don't think you read the post properly. My son does play Xbox and the point was the amount of time. He hasn't been refused it. And how do you know what his grades are? I didn't mention that at any point. Also, he doesn't do any chores. Not because he refused but because I haven't asked him to. He does karate four times a week, although I will forgive you for not knowing that since that information is revealed in the comments section, not in the post.

Probably half of the posts here are from young people who enjoy gaming. Almost all of them have managed to express their thoughts in a mature and polite manner, so you might be able to learn something from them.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Nate - Thank you for adding your opinion. I think you've done brilliantly to save up all that money yourself and you are obviously a hard worker - you should be proud of it!

I'm not familiar with the GPA reference you made since I'm in the UK, but actually I think it's unfair for you to lose the Xbox the day after you got it - I wouldn't have done that personally, and believe me I have had many rows with my son over the Xbox taking priority over homework! In fact, I think that the longest my son has had his Xbox confiscated has been two days. When the homework is complete he gets it back - it's an incentive.

Your comment about 300 hours of gameplay over a year is interesting, because that's less than an hour a day and even 700 hours is only two hours a day at most. I would be happy with that! I wrote this post quite a long time ago and my son is 13 now. He will play for hours, much longer than that.

Anyway, thank you for commenting and offering your viewpoint and I hope that you can reach a compromise with your parents.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Jack - yes, my son uses Steam already because he has a pc now as well.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@joe - he is better off, I'll tell him!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@CWanamaker - Thank you for giving me hope! Yes, I'm sure in time he will move on too, since he wants to go to university and get a decent job. I'm sure it's just a phase, but it is a very long phase! I was introduced to earlier computer games and I agree that they were quite addictive, but I think that my friends and I enjoyed a more varied leisure time compared to my son and his friends.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Jesse Pinkman - my son is actually 13 now, so quite close in age to you - he will be 14 next summer. I do understand why he likes it so much, I just wish that he would introduce a bit more balance to his free time.

Anyway, thank you for reading and commenting.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Marge - I love your comment, it is perhaps the best of all. I don't know how you came across my article, but I'm so glad you did. All of those things you mention are the type of activities that build great memories. I don't think the same can be said for hour upon hour of computer gaming.

My son wants nothing but games and technology for Christmas, if he asked for a microscope I would be over the moon. You have highlighted the simple but rewarding pleasures of outside play and friendship, and unfortunately children move away from that much earlier than they used to. I was born in 1973 and I am 40 now - I can remember the first computers and even the early games, but my childhood was filled with playing on the streets, at playgrounds (with no parents) and in parks and gardens. We loved going for bike rides - again, without any adults. My son never wants to do anything like that with his friends. They don't even think of it. Times have changed a lot.

The Game Artist 3 years ago

joe forceman

Polly C:

I think it's very mature of you to welcome all sorts of opinion on this hub. It was also interesting to see your view evolve from the first post to the last and accept games a little bit more as an art form and a creative outlet, which they very much are.

I would invite you to view gaming the way you look at books, movies, comics, music, photography, etc. They make your imagination fly, they introduce you to new worlds, experiences, and concepts; they tell you stories and entertain you, they let your creativity flow. It's no wonder they're so addictive!

You're absolutely right that moderation is the key. My only beef is when you say really fallacious and hurtful things like "gaming doesn't lead to anything in life" or "games don't make your life richer" or "games don't develop your creativity because they were made by someone else." That'd be like saying reading doesn't develop your creativity or don't make your life better. That'd be like saying photography is not your own creativity because you are using someone else's "platform" (e.g. camera).

Yes, some games are what pornography is to photography. But some games are what Ansel Adams was, or what Picasso was for painting. You are being a little cruel by painting them all with the same broad brush.

There are hundreds of thousands of artists, musicians, character designers, painters, directors, actors, concept artists, level designers, puzzle makers, sound designers, etc. etc. making these games. Can you really say games lead to nothing in life as a medium, or that it isn't an artistic and creative medium the ways movies and music are? Furthermore, a lot of games put the player in the drivers seat and allow THEM to be the creators in a blank canvas, playing with creating virtual worlds, characters, stories, or even paintings, music, car designs... you name it. You can't say that just because it exists in the virtual world and isn't tangible (the way a music mp3 does or a JPG photo or a PDF ebook) it's not art. It absolutely is art, and it absolutely enriches the persons creating it and consuming it.

Again, bottom line I 100% agree with you, but I was a little taken aback at your very bad generalization of what gaming is and your arguments for saying games aren't really art, don't really stimulate creativity, and don't lead anywhere in life.

Part of our responsibility as parents is to evolve with the times, and realize that "digital," "electronic," and "virtual" doesn't mean "fake."

Virtual friendships are real. Digital photoraphy is real. Lots of people get married meeting online first. Music is nowadays created with computers and shared virtually before it even comes out on a CD. Creating characters, cars, levels, liveries, game photos and videos, mini-games, etc. very much is a form of artistic expression. Games are an artform just like film, books, and other forms of expression. There are games that tell stories, games with accurate historical contexts, games for making music, games about managing companies, nations, games about crafting tools, games about creating mechanical objects, games about tuning cars, creating and managing sports teams, even games about creating games where you can share them with the world!

Sorry if I'm rambling, but I wanted to make sure you really understand the medium and stop selling it short, even though you're dead on about the need to moderate its consumption.

victoria1800 profile image

victoria1800 3 years ago from Whitechapel UK

Great hub! My Son is 13 now, and we bought him an Xbox 360 last Christmas. He was exactly the same ("But Mum....all my friends have got one").

He loves the Skylanders game, which I don't mind too much. Recently he has been asking for games such as Grand Theft Auto and any game which requires shooting. Myself and his Dad refuse to buy him these types of games, despite him claiming everyone else in his class has them.

I think a lot of it is, as you say is 'A desire to fit in'. Don't get me wrong, I played computer games as a child, but those were the days when computer games seemed fun and innocent. They certainly didn't require stealing cars and shooting at everything in sight.

Interesting topic, voted up!

Chris 3 years ago

i agree with you. The xbox nearly destroyed me. the life i had i feel like almost came to an end. This system should not only have never been made but it should have been banned due to its dark nature. Realism sucks in both video games and tv. So i can agree with you completely. I am still recovering from when i had one. The gore, the blood and the ethical standards were better before the 2nd millennium began. Sure they weren't perfect but who cares, animated graphics are ultimately superior due to the freedom they give from reality. long story short, I ultimately detest xbox and any type of game that sucks you in like that.

grumpy and obsessed you say. i know what that is like because that is what it did to me same goes for loss of passion and a drop of creativity. still trying to get both back. it is a slow process... but if you think sony is any better not so.... Nintendo is much, much more safe right now. (as long as you don't get any m rated games.) thankfully they only have a few m rated games. long story short though everything you described is true and i am not even in my 30's. i was born before the 90's though. I think the long and the short of it is, microsoft needs to lose on the video game market and go back to the one thing they do right. (making non gaming software for their computers.) and sony? well they need to return to how they made things with thr ps2. Nintendo is mostly fine but needs to backup to the old ways too. i think.

Hans 3 years ago

I am a 14 year old boy who views the world as a man. I may have a better understanding as to what is happening because I was in a similar situation.

You are both to blame for your son's situation. Your son has fallen for the mindless reformation of a consumer who knows no alternative; and you have fallen for the average 10 year old's wants.

I was born into a poor family, both of my parents lost their jobs twice in my first 10 years and divorced when I was 11. At that point in time, I had to buy any toys that I wanted (aside from Christmas and my birthday) with the money that I collected from the sidewalk and what little I had saved from my relatives. We had a Wii that we had gotten for Christmas in 2008 and I absolutly loved it, that is, until I reached middle school. Everyone else had a Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 and I was left out of the social norm. How I fixed this? I asked for one of the two. Coming from a poor family, my immediate response was "no". I was upset but didn't expect a "yes".

I was 10 when I first asked and went one year without any socialization and by the time I was 11 I couldn't take it anymore. I saved up $175 and debated the concept with my father of helping me purchase it EVERYDAY FOR 8 MONTHS. Well, I finally won the debate and he was so impressed that he was constantly trying to get me to perform such a feat again.

I was addicted. I couldn't stop playing the machine. The only thing that got me to stop was when I finally realized how many more things I could be doing instead of playing Assassin's Creed (a violent game). I rarely play the Playstation now, I have devoted my free time to working on concepts for spacecraft, but that is besides the point.

I needed to figure out for myself that my obsession was hurting those around me. If your son can't see what he is doing is putting stress on your family then you need to make that apparent. If he decides to put down the controller more often and joining you in doing everyday activities the that means it is working. If you do get to this stage, I also recommend sending him to camp where he can socialize without the assistance of a machine. And promise me, do not make the same mistake with any other children you may have. As you lost your son to the Xbox I lost my sister to the computer. She even skips out on meals and homework just to continue her 14-hour streak.

i dont know if you still read these but this is my input 3 years ago

I’m a 14 year old boy and I have some experience with gaming specifically getting grounded and losing privileges. I currently can’t use my Ps3, IPod, or Computer. I used to play 2+ hours a night on school nights and 10+ hours on weekends and it was I time waster but I would most of the time get my school work done. Don’t worry about his mood because I am generally a bright kid and I would freak out and “rage” as it’s called whenever something BS like “Lag” (when the games connection shorts/skips) or when I lose and it’s not a big deal because they will get over it quick. It’s the simple fact that everyone wants to win. There should be a limit, I have a limit when I play and the reason I get grounded is because I go over it and I deserve it. About me I think that long term punishment isn’t good. For me, since I got my electronics taken away 2 months ago and I get it back in a month, I don’t think that’s a good idea because now I have become a generally lazier person and I went from a 75 (good for myself) in Academic English to a 66 and 65 in Acedemic math to a 58 because I get mad easier and I’ve become lazier. You probably live in a city (I live 30 min from nearest town) so he has access to other people consoles. I suggest you should do groundings from consoles for around 2 weeks to a month because when my parents did that to me in grades 7-8, I was still an A and B student but now I get more miserable with 3 month bans etc. Also don’t allow him to friends houses for that time because the situation you described… he just goes to a friends and plays there. (that’s what I do) This comment thing isn’t very well written but I am not doing so well in school so oh well but the main thing is monitor his play and if he goes over it take it away, it’s the best way to learn.

Evil-Waiffles 3 years ago

Heh, I got my first current gen system when I was 16 years old. I wasn't that attached to it as I am with my laptop which I loved to play Battlefield 1942 and MoHAA with the elderly lol.

Now I've gotten an Xbox 360 (I'm also late on getting a PS3, but it was cheap, so why not?) and I'm not really attached to it either. I can play a game on a console for maybe an hour till I'm back onto my laptop and start browsing debate.org :D.

I was, however, really attached to my PS2. Now that was a glorious console (Besides the SNES, nothing could compare). My parents had a hard time dealing with me and that bloody PS2 but I loved it to death X-X.

Having played almost every game available on the PS2, it was great and now I'll have a very fond thought of the PS2 which no child of this generation could truly experience. After all, who wouldn't want to know how Call of Duty was really like before Call of Duty 4 became the casual norm for all console gamers? I'm glad I'm not a CoD person anymore once the PS3 and Xbox 360 came along, I wouldn't want to be apart of that image of kids no-scoping and listening to dubstep/rap. Really pitiful in my opinion...

Kelly Mmmmm 3 years ago

Hey hey Polly C,

Your hub was very interesting and I agreed with many of your points but... I am a 16 year old girl and I love playing video games. I am not obsessed but I have found myself addicted at some points, because lets face it, gaming can be addictive for anyone. I have been a gamer since I was about 6 years old, when my mum and dad decided to get the first play station for a family Christmas present. I will be honest and say that it got banned a few times over the years because of me playing over time and getting a little bit grouchy when asked to turn it off.

By the time I was 9 I had moved over to the play station 2. I was the main user of this system in the house, but often had my sister join in for a game or 2. Over the years I gained quite a collection of games and just a few years ago my Christmas present was an Xbox 360.

After getting the Xbox my interest in games changed. I began to enjoy the more violent games, but also started to see games in a different way. I know, probably sounds weird but I will explain. I know this wouldn't happen with everybody, and not necessarily your son either, but I began to look at the quality of games, their story, their graphics, and I started to wonder how they were made.

So long story short, I have, after a long time, discovered that my passion is video games, and when I grow up I would like to make video games for a living. I am a creative person and I love to read, write and am a real whiz on computers.

So although I agree with a lot of your points, I believe that video games are not such a bad thing. They were what led me to discover my passion and help me (in a way) to pursue my future goals.

I know I am only 16 and don't really have any advice for you but I have always had a time limit on the Xbox where I can play for an hour, and then have to have at least an hour off of it. My other two rules are that I am not allowed to play on school nights, and am not allowed to play past 6 o'clock at night.

Video games are fun (addictive at times) and can also be a good for family bonding, I will never forget the times I played Lego Star Wars on the play station 2 with my mum and sister, and my mum and I make a point of having a Kinect tournament every school holidays (haha don't judge, it's fun).

So finally, my opinion is that games can be good and bad. Games, most of the time, tell a story that you get to be apart of, or you tell your own. Either way I believe that they need to be monitored and time limits should be set. Good luck with your son, and I am sure that over time he will make more time for other, more important things. Anyway, hes still got the teen years to go ;)

profile image

Minnow8 3 years ago

Hi Polly C...

I so enjoyed your post and frankly, identified with every single word...to the point where I thought you'd stolen my thoughts!! lol. (Yes, even hiding the remotes in strange places...I do this with my boys' Exbox 1 remotes and ipods also). My current dilemma with my eldest (12 yr old boy) is that he wants to now play extremely violent games on his XBox 1, like Dead Rising 3, because all (note: 2) friends have it and they want to play it online together. We made a family decision to not allow R 18+ games entering the home as a way to curtail the escalation of violent games - even returning Grand Theft Auto witha full refund to EB Games when we realised the level of sexual overtures and drug taking contained therein. Dead Rising 3 has received a higher rating in Australia than the USA where it is MA15+ I believe. He wants this more than anything in life at the moment - his obsession is all consuming...he wants it, and he WANTS IT BAD! Anyway, I am standing by my decision even though every parent wants to be able to say 'Yes' and relieve the 'anguish' ... the more I investigated it...talking to the Manager of our local EB Games shop to verify, read reviews on line, reviewing the game on You Tube the worse the game became - more gore and violence than I could have imagined...My decision to ban it was correct. The arguments, tears, tantrums and now ABUSE that have ensued have not relented in more than 4 days...This level of out of control behaviour is the only time we've experienced it so badly from him. This reinforces my opinion that his out-of-control behaviour is linked to his obsession with Xbox 1.

I have spoken to the two parents who permitted the Dead Rising 3 game for their 12 year old boys as we are friends, and I respect every parents choice in parenting their children as they see fit, but our views differ on this game and will continue to as long as they permit R18+ games into their home.

So for now, we are experiencing very trying times. My son is learning how to argue in a respectful way, i.e. not lowering himself to abusive comments. I am learning better parenting by explaining our families belief structure in relation to these games, allowing him to understand that my decision is not a punishment but rather a protection from images and exposure that cannot be 'unseen'.

And finally, we've always limited Xbox to the weekends, for 2 hours in the mornings and evenings. I never sway from this and although he pushes the envelope, I haven't given in (I do become exhausted though from all his challenging ... I muster all my parental strength most of the time when dealing with my son and his Xbox 1)!

My child will understand one day and thank me (I hope) for protecting him from violence that does not enrich his character but rather diminishes his level of compassion towards others (in my humble opinion) ...no doubt he'll probably be even stricter as a parent than I...but for now, I make the decisions that impact him and so does our Australian Law...the bottom line remains - it's a R 18+ game..and, my beautiful son, you're not 18 yrs yet. Love Mum xx

So thank you all Polly C for your thorough, informative, amusing and poignant post...and thank you all for allowing me to vent on this hub.

profile image

Jesse Pinkman 3 years ago

Seriously it's a different time entirely this is what kids like to do playing a game is similar to being imaginative adults just don't like it cause they don't understand it cause honestly life back then sounds boring and this could become a career there's plenty of pro gamers who actually make some good money it's his interest let him do it and who cares about ratings I've been playing violent games song like eight (14 and a half now) and it's not a big deal I mean twelve years old is more than old enough and it's embarrassing for a kid to not have something everyone else has and you're excluding your kid from doing things with his friends and exposure to violence honestly took away all fear of that kind of stuff I ever had so you won't have to deal with a little punk of a kid who's gonna get bullied like hell cause I've witnessed it kids are mean

Unknown 3 years ago

Hi I'm 17 I read some of what u were trying to say ( I'm also a gamer been to many CoD events and have personally won money at the tournaments) and I can't say I completely agree with what your saying but I'm not going to disagree either if he does what he needs to do everyday like u or his teachers ask honestly I see no problem in letting him play video games I don't mean play all hours of the night but forcing him to only play an hour or two in the day seems a bit strict u gotta think about it if u sleep 8 hours and go to school for 7 and spend about an hour or two on homework and other chores that still leaves 7 extra hours but I'm not u and I can't tell u what u can do but in my opinion if he wants to spend his free time playing video games who is he really hurting their are plenty of studies that show video games help u more than anything it relieves stress helps u think improves reaction times in real world occasions and actually can help your memory and many other things and in my opinion it's a lot better to spend your free time playing video games than out doing drugs or anything illegal and some of the best friends u could ever have would probably be on a video game because they share ur interests and are probably the most loyal friends even if u don't see then personally everyday if he takes an interest in something you should encourage ur child and not tear down what he enjoys because you don't see the point of it I know this from experience my parent did the same to me and I think it would be best I shared it with u so u don't make that mistake just ask him to show it to u let him explain it to u talk to him about engage in one of his interests and maybe u will be able to see that there is nothing wrong with it it's just like if u were to watch tv but u talk to friends threw it and u are in control of what happens I hope I helped u or anybody snooping through the comments section have a nice day.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Steve - Playing Xbox only on even days - now that is actually a fantastic idea. It would cut the use in half, instantly. Unfortunately, I fear it would be completely impossible to implement. Some parents don't care at all if their children are playing games for hours and hours. But I love the reasoning behind it.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Corduroy- what a fantastic comment, it is an article in itself! You make great points from both perspectives. I don't feel especially brave to approach the subject and the backlash of the gamers - in fact, I have really enjoyed the comments of the younger people, even though they mostly have a different opinion and are quite articulate at expressing it!

My son wears glasses too, so I know what you mean about that. In fact, I was speaking to his optician recently and he was explaining that it isn't the screen itself that weakens the eyesight but rather the distance of the screen from the eye. So, even going from a computer to watching TV is a good change because the TV is generally placed a lot further away so the eyes are changing focus for a while. Interesting, but it didn't change my son's thoughts.

Thank you so much for your detailed post, I enjoyed reading your views.

Meagan 3 years ago

Hi! I saw this article last night, and even though it's pretty old, I thought I would put in my two cents.

I'm 15 years old, in all honors classes (which are essentially regular classes at just below a college level) and am earning A's and B's in all seven of them. I have a healthy social life, I'm mentally stimulated on a daily basis-I get out and do things with my life, is what I'm trying to get at.

I also have been gaming since I was 5, give or take a few years.

My dad was actually the one to introduce video games to me on the Sega Genesis, on which we played for hours at a time the Ren and Stimpy game. Later on, I remember receiving video games for Christmas and my birthday, for systems like the PS2, the Nintendo DS, the Wii, etc. My dad and I would play fairly inappropriate games for a child to be seeing like GTA, Gun, and others of the like, but I would say that I am no psychopath or someone willing to place harm on someone else.

Currently, I play a video game called Skyrim, a Dungeons and Dragons type game with role playing and character creation/development involved. Having this sort of free realm really delves into your creativity and imagination, as it allows you to make and do whatever you please. There is violence, sure, but I think that the point of a video game is to really let you be someone else for a little while, whether that be a wizard, viking, a soldier in combat, whatever. That is ultimately the creative aspect of video games.

I feel that video games have influenced my imagination; they have inspired me to read stories related to them, write stories myself, and I can even say that I do apply the logic and creativity I use in video games in real life as well, even if I can't come up with an example. But to say that video games provide no outlet for a creative mind is ignorant.

I would also like to quickly address that in your article, you mentioned things about video games leading you nowhere in life, and that can be hurtful to someone like not only me, who tries their hardest and has their heads around the future and what they plan on doing. I have plenty of friends that game, like I do, and are perfectly fine. Some of them even plan to work for NASA or go into engineering. So I disagree, no, video games do not lead you no where in life.

I just have one more comment on that subject-your son is 13, and I know I'm no mother, but I would like to also address that he has plenty of time before he needs to figure out what he would like to do with his life. He should be in no rush to pick something and get on with his life.

On the topic of whether or not it is healthy for one to sit around and play video games, of course it's not. But your son is getting exercise from his karate, and I do respect that you're trying to get him to have that mindset.

Now, on the subject of him playing so much. Over the summer, I was bored and I didn't really have many friends, and I found Skyrim a fun thing to do. I do do other things-for instance, I ride horses once a week and over the summer sometimes I go out to the barn and work for a one hour ride-but towards the end of the summer I would play Skyrim for maybe 6 hours a day. It is a little excessive, but sometimes it was all I wanted to do, or all I could do.

Your son is still young, and if he is still playing in large amounts of time at once, I'm sure he'll stop once he finds something else to do with his time, or he tires of it. I got tired of playing xbox everyday once school really picked up, and now I only play when I have no homework or I don't have anything to do.

My parents were engaging in my games, often coming to the basement with me and asking me questions on it, and I feel like not taking the system away helped me get over it faster.

Overall, I respect your point of view, but I disagree with it. This is a new generation, and though it's not what you did as a child, it's something that maybe someone as a child now would prefer doing. And like some other people said earlier, maybe it would be beneficial for both of you if you engaged in his games with him. You get to see the game from his point of view, and maybe you can get your point across to him.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Victoria1800 - My son is actually 13 now, he was 11 when I first wrote this.

I know what you mean about the difference in gaming now to gaming in past generations. I grew up as computer games were just taking off really. As a child, I had to actually go to the arcade to play a game - it was ten pence per go! Plus, it was more sociable, because real children were hanging around you and egging you on whilst they waited their turn.

We didn't get our first home computer until I was about 12, and the games were so innocent and simple. Not only that, but you had to load a cassette which took ages! My parents never minded how long we spent on this computer, but we always found plenty of other things to do of our own accord. Also, none of the content was anything for concern.

When I was 20, my boyfriend bought a Playstation - it was the first one out. Even though we were grown adults, the games were suitable for pretty much anyone. Sonic the Hedgehog was all the rage. Now, though, all of the games that my son wants are violent, except for Minecraft. He wants Grand Theft Auto 5 for Christmas - something which I have never allowed him - and he says everyone else has it. I actually think they do, because he only likes to play games that his friends have.

Anyway, thank you so much for your comments, I'm sorry that I have been late in replying recently. But I am happy that this hub is still receiving so many comments after so long.

Anon 3 years ago

This is how we communicate and hang out with friends now. I mean, would you rather have them all go outside and poke ants with a stick outside? Gaming is so much more than playing "violent" video games. It has evolved into its own culture that values cooperation, teamwork, productiveness and problem solving. I think you need to read Jane McGonigal's speech about how gaming will change the world for the better. The best memories I have are of my friends and I cooperating while gaming to achieve amazing feats. The only problem I can see is if gaming interrupts schoolwork. The rule that was in my house while I was in high school was as long as I had (taking all IB classes) a 4.0 unweighted GPA or higher I could game as much as I wanted. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. Gaming (violent or not) promotes so many great character values in people. It builds trust and strengthens friendships, even if you are against the person because you must trust them not to cheat. Gaming teaches cooperation, teamwork, productiveness and problem solving. Why would you want to limit that if the primary focus is still in school? Gamers like me are an amazing group of people who have the ability to do anything that they would like.

Anon 3 years ago

I also do not agree that creativity is being lost in gaming. It is merely being expressed in a different way. When you are gaming, you are always thinking "how can I accomplish this task?" You find that gamers can come up with the craziest ways to solve problems. Sure, it doesn't produce physical artifacts, but does it have to?

Chris Repp 3 years ago

I have the very exact same problem. It is like you are reading my mind. I sometimes joke that the Xbox Live is the devil. I am currently researching for timers that would allow me to shut if off at certain times during the week vs weekend. I have daydreamed about smashing the Xbox to pieces. When I hear parents talk about getting one, I tell them they are inviting the Devil into their home. lol

all awesome me 3 years ago

I think I'm all awsome

Some dad 3 years ago

I agree with some of this but it does quite depend on where you live.

I myself live in a small village and my sons not a sporty person. There is not Much for him to do other than play Xbox.

If you live in a city/town but wish for your son to pay for cinema tickets, bus fares etc, then he will turn to the cheaper alternative of Xbox games.

You need a new approach to this such as him and his friends going to the movies each weekend to get him off it.

profile image

machonacho44556 3 years ago

I'm 20 years old and one of the top rankers for gamerscore in Michigan. If you want to get him off of xbox still I would suggest not letting him buy any new games until he has every achievement in ones he already owns. There is a good chance that with how difficult some of the achievements can be that he'll give up and have to settle for what he has which will eventually lead to boredom. Then he will probably start at least spending more time with the family.

beta2 3 years ago

I don't think the parents perspective is really any better than the childs.

We all have our personal passions and not being able to fully focus on them only makes us miserable.

Also if this is the attitude of the parents, it's much less likely the child will be encouraged to build a career out of his love for games, something which is a very real possibility in this day and age.

Justin 3 years ago

The Xbox has nothing to do with it. I own an Xbox 360 and go days where I play it a lot, to weeks where I don't touch it. If you have other things to do in the environment he is in (be it fun or chores) your mind gets taken away from gaming, and soon gets embedded into your subconscious. It's like blaming food for making your kid fat. No, HE made himself fat, and YOU allowed it.

Naomi McDougal 3 years ago

If youve had a problem with it to this extent i would take it away for a couple years...im 15 and a girl lol. But ive been into games for as long as i can remember! But when i got xbox live it became a major problem in my life i didnt wanna do anything or go anywhere for the first year. I would constantly deny invites to friends houses and parties. I would stay home from school and play xbox all day till early morning. I was about 11-12 like ur son. My parents took my xbox after i threw a fit to go shopping. I didnt have it for 5 months then they finally gave it back but no xbox live. I got that back after i proved that i was responsible and could mantain a normal life. I now still love my xbox and am saving for an xbox one now but i also read and write and draw and spend time with family. That may be what your son needs

Tessa 3 years ago

Go on his Xbox when he's not in and put perental controls on it so he can't play violent games

M.Andersen 3 years ago

Hi, I'm 14 years old and my grandparents just bought my family the Xbox One. Currently we do not own any of the violent video games, not because they are violent, but because if the cussing. I wanted Assasins Creed Black Flag but my dad read there was a sex scene in it so there went that idea. I personally do not think cussing is very inappropriate for someone my age. People my age hear cussing in school all day. But still I am not allowed to get any war related games because of cussing. I will say I have played many war games at friends house and most of the cussing occurs on Xbox live. When you say that kids become obsessesed with the games, this is true. Last year, before I switched schools, there were two boys on my bus and all they did was talk about COD and AC and when they got home they would sit and play it for hours. I'm pretty sure they were both failing in school and so for their parents to set limits on their gameplay would be entirely fair. But when I read your post and your replies it doesn't sound like your son is obsessed. He sounds like a regular middle schooler who has a great social life. With Xbox live he is interacting with people he knows even if not directly. Xbox provides entertainment and something in common with his friends. I will say that because he is a guy he is much more drawn to violent games. I love gaming, but most of my friends who are girls are on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, and youtube for hours a day. They are "plugged in" for much more time than the guys. I do not see the appeal of social networking sites because they are full of drama and things you honestly do not want, or care, to know about people. The Xbox is a drama free environment most of the time and aside from cussing and and violence is pretty positive. I'm not a parent but if it was me I would be glad my child was addicted to Xbox rather than the much worse alternatives running wild throughout society. I know this isn't a very well written comment, and some parts are pretty irrelevant, but thanks for reading anyway.

ConsoleHaterUK 3 years ago

I don't think that the Xbox did this to your son. I think it's this little thing called puberty, and don't tell me it's too early because... well, it's not.

Of course, the Xbox had its part, but be real; if you think about it from a logical standpoint, rather than that of a mum investigating her now askew child. If you think that it's a code red alert problem, meaning it's spring break and your son hasn't left the house in two weeks and the sunlight hurts his eyes and he hisses when he sees it, be very mature and polite and reasonable with him and try to figure out a way to reduce Xbox time. Not drastically (important).If it comes to it, try to figure something out with his friends' parents, as they may be having the same feelings.

However, I am in no way supporting the fact that he sits on his bum all day and probably all night as well. British studies show that time spent sitting directly correlates with the length of one's life. And get this: the time spent seated cannot be revoked by extra exercise.

Nadeem El Zahr profile image

Nadeem El Zahr 3 years ago from Beirut, Lebanon

Hello Polly,I am very intrigued by your son's crave to play Xbox and i understand him…considering i am a 13 year old boy myself and am a ps3 gamer i think restricting him of the xbox is just going to want to make him play more…and he can,at his friend's house or at a local gaming café (i dont know if you have that in your vicinity)without informing you of the events of his time at these places.So i say make a deal of only playing on weekends and holidays.but not for the whole day i used to spend 3 irritating hours in a row playing and not feel it.so maybe your son just feels that he is not playing a lot.however…if ur son will not abide by the rule of only in weekends.i suggest you get him something similar to gaming but in reality.like for example:Airsoft weapons may hurt but are far less harmful than spending 12 hours on a tv with rapid finger movement.or maybe u can buy him a new ball or a kit for his favorite football team. Whatever seems comfortable.


A 13 Year old that has had friends similar to ur son.

Milos Golubovic profile image

Milos Golubovic 3 years ago from Los Angeles, California

Ma'am, I will speak to you from my own experience. Now, all the non-gamer kids, apart from my friends who aren't really gamers, they are vandals. Now these days you have 2 choices: Let him be a drug and alco addict, party junkey nymphomaniac vandal, or let him be a gamer. You don't need to let him play violent games, even other gamers don't make children play violent games. You can let him play titles like Super Mario, Sonic or Legend of Zelda. You could let him play some games desired for children, or some fighting plane simulators, I think they're rated 12+. Now, the thing is this is a sanctuary, and let's face it that everyone who works out wants to impress the opposite gender. And I see you want to interest him into the "joys of life". I'm sorry ma'am, but since the creation of books there we're some children, and well adults which didn't want to go to the end of the world, but wanted to read about in books. Now it's proven that children, and well people in general have their reactions sharpened out due to gaming about 2 hours every day. Oh, and you shouldn't be one of those mothers who want to make their children doctors, or lawyers, or presidents. Let him be whatever he wants to be, even if it's a video game programmer. And if you're thinking it's about fitting in, then I can tell you it's the right kind of group. As I told you, there are now alcocholics, drug addicts, and sex addicts (at a very young age sadly...) and if you don't believe me you might notice some girls always wearing really short shorts. This way he'll be isolated from Miley Cyrus, and other bad stars which are bad influence.

If you ask me what games he should play, Nintendo makes nice titles for children, and you can give him driving games like Need for Speed. I'm not quite a fan of sports, I'm interested in cars and wolves myself, but let him play FIFA, PES, and other sports games.

YourGellyOfMyPC 3 years ago

With all do respect I disagree with this article. I played Xbox ,PC,PS3 everyday for at least 8 hours A day. Video games don't reduce creativity they simply inspire it, take games like Minecraft for example the entire game is based around creativity along with countless other simulation and building games. I gladly work as a beta tester and a youtuber on the side and stare at a screen from 8am to 6pm. I have my dream job because I played video games constantly and was recognized.

Also if your to restrictive he could be overwhelmed when he is released into the world. Lastly be carful not to restrict him to much, my parents grounded me because they said I played to much shortly after I lived with my uncle and played more than ever. Im not saying your wrong but gaming can be a great thing!

YourGellyOfMyPC 3 years ago

Edit: I would also like to add that this generation is very creative with a quick google search or trip to http://www.deviantart.com/ you can realize our generation has extremely talented and creative minds! There are people on youtube that make millions a year just playing games!

Ewan 3 years ago

Hi, I play the Xbox every now and then, because it doesn't interest me that much. Your son reminds me of a lot if my friends. Personally, I would rather watch paint dry than play violent games or the Xbox 24/7.

However, on the pc in my house, I look at (sometimes) a game developer programme. That drives me nuts with creativity. Great hub!

Tim 3 years ago

I'm sure as your son gets older he will lose interest in playing xbox 24/7. I was like that when I was younger and my friends were too but you grow up!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Tim - You have given me hope, thank you for that!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Ewan - hi there. The game developer programme sounds interesting and my son has talked about something like that. However, he talks about it but doesn't actually do it, and just carries on with the Xbox games instead! Since I first wrote this article he has actually got worse with the amount of time he wants to spend playing games. I would be much happier if he was spending his time designing games instead of only playing them - that is a creative pursuit and he would actually be learning something. Although I would still like him to go out and do other things as well.

Thank you for reading!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@YourGellyofMyPC - I appreciate you reading this hub and sharing your thoughts - it's great that you have found some work doing what you love. I don't actually mind my son playing Xbox but rather don't like the fact that he doesn't ever do anything else. He wears glasses already, and the optician told him that it isn't good for the eyes to stare at a screen for too long without breaks because the eyes need to look further into the distance. But anyway, that's another topic entirely.

My son does like Minecraft a lot. He also has an interest in setting up a Youtube channel - I think he has already done this but has only made a handful of videos. He is very inspired by some people who have made lot of money by making videos and is always telling me about how rich they are. As for DeviantArt, I have looked this up before because one of the other commenters mentioned it. So yes, I understand that you can be creative on a PC - I can see also that this can lead on to other opportunities and career options. However, that must be different from simply playing games - to design something of your own can't be the same as just playing a game already designed by someone else.

Everyone deserves some leisure time in which to do what they want, of course. I just don't like to see my son's entire life taken over by his Xbox, and to see him sitting in his room all the time instead of going out and actually meeting up with his friends. I think he needs fresh air and a bit more exercise!

Jacob 3 years ago

Wow :') this is like my own mother wrote this, she always told me I was obsessed with my xbox, we found the solution through me getting bored of the same routine, we always watched tv until it was time for bed so instead we played board games such as ludo and monopoly or card games although this may sound 'lame' and 'uncool' once I started I couldn't stop. Hope this helps

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Jacob - That is a fantastic idea Jacob, we did play some board games and card games over Christmas and it was good fun, it would definitely be great to continue it. Thank you for commenting!

Anon 3 years ago

Wow People Seriously Geting Ticked Off At This Post But Yet Again I Shouldn't when i was 6 i got the Xbox Orginal. I Had A Preety Normal ChildHood Helped My Dad When He Needed. Helped My Mum Chosing New Games for her Pc. Couple Years Ahead My Parents Get me a 360 My Parents Where Fine Whith It. But Until i was 10 i got alot into coding and computers did alot of tinkering and still do. Now at 14 I Don't Bother With My Xbox Slim It Gathers Dust. Iam Just making Games on pc or tinkering. But My Point Is Untill When Hits High Shcool He is Going to relise that Hey I Can Do More Stuff With Gaming i can Make money and Knowing How to Code is A Good Way To get in to senior IT

ThinkOTB profile image

ThinkOTB 3 years ago from Boston, MA

Honestly video game craze for young boys is pretty normal and is really nothing new. Even before there were consoles like the xbox360 all the way back to to Atari 2600 young kids would be flocking to video arcades and spending every free moment they could there. In this day in age it's all about xbox live or playstation 3 with playstation network allowing kids to gather and play multiplayer games with each other. I can imagine it can be frustrating but honestly at least the kids are safe at home playing a game instead of out getting into trouble. It's a phase just like anything else and eventually something else new will come out for kids to be obsessed with. Keep up the good job with setting the boundaries and doing your best to manage his game time.

One Time Only 3 years ago

@Polly C (However you alert someone on this), I am a gamer myself. Just like how you described your son, that happened to me. Just, not with Fifa games. I played Splinter-Cell, Halo, Call of Duty. I usually seem to hear the same thing from all parents. "It absorbs their creativity and passion.". I play Xbox because it's fun. It allows you to do things in a game that you can't do in real life. I mostly play Grand Theft Auto Five and Battlefield 4. They both have amazing graphics and texture that allows the player to experience the full effect of what the game maker has created. It's a realism which can really help the brain grow in certain ways. Having an interaction with technology is a vital part of the future for kids. I am 16, and I can already see that all this technology is altering at a crazy fast rate. And that't not bad. CHANGE, is not bad. Going from the 40's to the 60's, and so on is a perfectly normal part in time. I have put a good amount of my life into Xbox, and I am perfectly normal. I still see the world the same. I don't have hallucinations of gory stuff or anything. I have A's and B's, and all I can say that Xbox has changed dramatically, is my career. I want to serve in the military for my country. I want to fly jets, or become a sniper with a .50 caliber. I find that cool in my head. Our military is made up of people that have the brain to do that. Xbox has made me used to that stuff. But I'm not some kid stone cold by the images I've seen. I get grossed out by blood and broken bones. But when it comes to serving my country I can get that feeling of what I've played since I was young. So when I go into the military, I will have that dream before me. Flying a jet at hundreds of miles per hour. Or picking off the enemies with a .50 caliber(It sounds gruesome, and it is, but snipers are there to protect the ones up close. They are the ones with the strong stomachs to watch their bullet kill somebody). So if I die out there, you can think to yourself many things. Maybe you'll be grateful I went out there and helped my country. Maybe you won't care because I'm a gamer that can't do anything for the world. Or maybe you'll be happy that I died, glad I didn't come back with PTSD and "back to the Xbox" with all this violence.

One Time Only 3 years ago

Um, STEVE! That angers me that you would even think of the idea to "Save the youth" by cutting their Xbox time in half. MAYBE that's just YOUR kid! I wouldn't like my dad to cut my Xbox time in half. Matter a fact, I became best friends with the friends I have now because of fun times on Xbox playing GTA, having police stand offs and working together. It's not as bad as you think and make it. You don't understand because you aren't into technology. You have to start out with shortened hours and reward them with longer hours. You can't just cut it down when he's played for so long.

Vacouz 3 years ago

@One Time Only Wow, we don't really have that much difference then :P

Mumofoneboy 3 years ago

I loved reading your post it is exactly how our house is with our 10 year old son. He gets so angry on the game. I have lost count how many times he has broken headsets and we have said he is not getting a replacement or we are going to get rid of the xbox.

But when he has tried to go and play with friends they are all on there xboxs so can't win and some of these children are on games I do not want my son playing. It is a hard issue to find peace and compromise with.

One Time Only 3 years ago

@Mumofoneboy, thennnn, why did you buy him the headsets again? And most importantly, why would you buy him violent games you don't want him playing? You're contradicting yourself.

One Time Only 3 years ago

@Mumofoneboy, thennnn, why did you buy him the headsets again? And most importantly, why would you buy him violent games you don't want him playing? You're contradicting yourself.

Mumofoneboy 3 years ago

In reply to one time only I never said I have bought my son violent games.

His friends have the violent games I don't want him playing. Also because I don't want him playing them I try to keep him at home on the xbox so I can monitor what he is playing.

One of the problems with headsets is he has made so many friends online and he wants to talk to them all the time. This is the reason I have kept buying replacements, but he is not getting anymore.

William 3 years ago

It's the way it is now.....life has changed. Why would he go outside when all of his friends are on Xbox?

Junk it ! 3 years ago

I can,t believe how irrational some are about not kicking this game to the curb! talk about your weight problems the society is looking at food for the adults,and making sure school food is ok! for kids pile of metal plastic recycled piece of # is and will be ruins for the children weight problem I have seen just think about that sitting around on your # all day for 6 hours what is it that you people don,t get ! your making Americans losers all day every day .Hey maybe they can make them edible when we all go into a depression ,or protect ourselves sitting down!

Qixil 3 years ago

Thanks for this hub Polly - You've attracted a great mix of informative views here.

My household just graduated from the Wii to play Minecraft on the xbox and my son (8yrs) is getting pretty hooked on doing this with his friends on live.

It's sometimes hard to restrict the time, and I have similar concerns to those you describe.

Now I grew up without a computer, but after Uni (30yrs ago) spent a fruitless year coding an unsuccessful text-only game. Pretty much 24/7 coding.

Nowadays, I only play occasionally with my son - but (rarely) when life gets stressful I'll spend all night taking it out in a first player shoot-em-up (I'm pretty rubbish).

Sometimes I think the best remedy is to allow them to fill their boots with whatever floats their boat at the time, and hopefully we come back to moderation. But I fear that modern games attempt to avoid this return to the norm to make a quick buck.

There's also the thought out there that excessive porn screws with your long-term sexual behaviour and attitudes - so I wonder what some of these modern intense games do to people.

Similarly, there are different types of games - some of them just keep hitting the adrenaline button - and others require a long-term attention-span. It's tricky separating one from the other. I thought all racing games are the same - but find WorldRallyC too intense to allow on our xbox beyond a demo. The only way I can keep on top of this is to spend time watching him play and being well informed.

Rest assured, we indulge every interest he has to find the things that really interest him (BMX racing + swimming so far). Fortunately we're in a position to be able to do that - many aren't.

I was brought up with little to do except go out exploring the countryside with my friends - unfortunately I'm living in a place/culture where it no longer seems possible. But yes, life has changed and perhaps it's not such a bad thing.

At the moment, my father is spending 24/7 on a couch doing very little - but that's because he's dying of cancer. I will put my foot down if my son starts doing the same when he's young and perfectly healthy.

Thanks again Polly for starting/nurturing this hub.

seal1790 3 years ago

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but you neex to look at the situation. It isn't addiction, he's playing to be with his friends, as they talk over the microphone. Addiction would br to the point where the games outright anger him, but he can't stop playing. The television in his room wasn't the best idea, as it is the one place where he can stay and not expect to be disturbed. His behavior isn't indicative that he likes violence, simply that he doesn't want to be stuck at home all the time. It can indicate he simply wants independence. The looser restrictions on his xbox 360 play timd sounds like how i.pushed slowly for later bed times as a kid until i was allowed to stay up as long as i saw fit at 14. He just wants rights, and that is the area of his life he is pushing for them.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Qixil - Thank you so much for reading and leaving your comments. When I first wrote this article my son was 11, but he is now 13. I can only say that things have become worse, really, in terms of how much time he wants to spend attached to a screen. He does have other interests - he does karate three times a week, which he really loves. However, even though he does this, he is still at home for far more time and he really doesn't seem to want to do anything except for play on Xbox, on the computer or on a tablet. If he doesn't have those things at his disposal, then he is on his phone instead!

I think you may be right in that modern games aim to reel the gamer in so that they don't want to go back to reality. Hopefully, our children will tire in the end and seek out other forms of entertainment or leisure pursuits. But I do know that there are many adults who are utterly obsessed with new games and queue up in the middle of the night to buy new releases - I find that quite hard to understand, but it just proves that it isn't only youngsters who are hooked.

Once again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences - and I am really sorry to hear about your father. Take care.

Steven Lopez 3 years ago

You should probably look into neurology before coming to conclusions as what is the best way. The reason he became so attached is because of the limits he had. For me, it was always play as long as you'd like. You get bored of playing video games for so long a time and then find something else . But if all these limits are set, it suddenly becomes a huge treasure that they try to get any second they can.

Spartan swagger 1206 3 years ago

you are very welcome Polly! I am happy to help you because as years go by, we kids change a lot, if you compare us to the 1950`s to now we show an absolute no respect toward our parents, and yes I am being very hypocritical here but I want parents to understand what we feel, what we go through, and our point of view of different things in life, thank you very much for reading this, and nice hub polly I can see a lot of work has been put into it! Great job! :)

DS 3 years ago

You obviously know nothing about creativity and immersion. Hobbes such as sports promote violence and (surprise) have a much higher rate of injury and even mortality then gaming. The thing that parents like this obviously fail to see is the fact that because they grew up one way does not mean there child will be the same. It's a new generation and there are many positive games out there that promote creativity and letting yourself sink into the game as if you are in that universe and that is a great thing. So just because he plays the main stream shooters dosent mean he won't branch out to other better games. He might make a career of making them one day. Give him some freedom to explore his interests.

profile image

SikeGamer 3 years ago

I didnt read all of the comments but I saw some of your comments and I was finding this lie in all of your comments it was that games take away creativity. I have to disagree because I am 16 years old started playing games when I was about 12 I used to go out all the time and hang out with friends and my grades were really bad , when I started playing video games because of my friend Boris I slowly started realizing that its more fun than going outside so I spent more time in the house and my mom was able to make a deal with me if I have good grades she wont bother me about video games she even said that we can play together sometimes. Now if you think that I have a small amount of friends your wrong actually when I started high school I met a lot of gamers people that were just like me so we hanged out online and in school all the time. If you think about it its better to be a gamer then a drug addict or alcohol addict and also since we are gamers and we get insulted all the time we learn to be better persons to not insult others to help others. Ask your kid what would he do in some situations since from games we learn how to be heroes.

Oh and sorry for my bad grammar I am not a native speaker of english. I learned english thanks to games.

James Collins 3 years ago

Polly, Thankyou for this incredibly well written article. This really hit a nerve with me as I am constantly trying to teach my son that whilst the 'virtual' world can be entertaining, everything needs to be done in moderation.

Anything in excess is harmful.

I do believe we are creating a world of zombie children who seem unable to really communicate

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@James Collins - I agree with you, it's not a good situation when it isn't in moderation. I find that my son just wants to take more and more, no matter what I give him - if I say one hour he wants two, if I say two hours he wants four. This hub is quite old now and so my son is now 13 - I can only say that it has become worse, not better. It is half term right now, and he has wanted to spend all of his time on the Xbox - all his friends are on there talking to each other, but it is still not the same as actually going out and doing things. Because I have a younger son who is only 5, I end up leaving him (my 13 year old) at home while I go places like the park with his brother. He won't come to the park with me because it's 'not cool to be at the park with your parents'. But then he is just left to his own devices and guess what he does?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions, much appreciated :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@SikeGamer - yes, it is definitely better to be a gamer than a drug addict. But I am not against gaming as such, rather the loss of a balanced life when my son doesn't want to do anything else. I will admit that creativity can be expressed on a computer, or on a game even, but to me that still isn't a good thing unless it is enjoyed in moderation.

It's good that your grades are good and your mum is happy with them - my son leaves his homework constantly because he is sucked into a game, and I don't think that is good at all - it pulls his grades down.

Anyway, thank you for your comments and for reading :)

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@ds - well, I do allow my son freedom to play Xbox - the problem is not the Xbox as such, but rather the very excessive amounts of time he spends on it. Surely it cannot possibly be healthy to sit in front of a game for hours on end, every day, and not pursue other activities?

I don't agree with you about sports and violence - I read a study once which claimed children who participated regularly in sports activities were actually less aggressive. Also, it has been proven that children who play violent computer games show less empathy in the period following the game.

My son might well like to have a career developing games (although he says he doesn't because the process isn't very interesting - his words) but even if he did, I would like him to have a balanced life pursuing other activities away from a screen as well. Excessive behaviour like this cannot really be healthy. And as for creativity - yes, perhaps there is an element of creativity in gaming, but only within the boundaries of the game designed by other people.

Anyway, thank you for your comments on this article.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Spartan swagger 1206 -Thank you so much for your nice comments, communication between different generations is always the key to a better world, I think.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@Stephen Lopez - I understand what you are saying, but that doesn't seem to work with my son. He is older now because this is quite an old post - rather than improve, the situation has become even worse, with him playing for longer and longer hours. And I must admit that I have given up somewhat, since it seems like such a struggle. He seems to never want to come away from it whilst he is in the house, and considers everything else boring. Rather than come off it on his own accord if I don't say anything, he just stays on in and takes as much rope as he can. Perhaps one day, when he matures a bit, your theory might prove itself - I hope so, because I think it is quite depressing the way things are at the moment.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 3 years ago from UK Author

@seal1790 - you are right, I believe that without the ability to communicate with other people on Xbox Live, then it would not be such fun for him. He is a sociable boy who likes to chat with his friends - seemingly without ever going anywhere. Yes, he certainly pushes the limits and wants to play later and later at night. The truth is, I don't know if he would ever go to bed if I didn't tell him to. I have fallen asleep in the evening before - accidently, on the sofa - and when I wake up at past midnight, he is still there playing on his games because no one has told him not to. I don't think he is very good at monitoring himself, and this can be on a school night as well.

Thank you for adding your thoughts on this article, I did not believe for a moment when I wrote it that it would turn into such a long debate!

brutishspoon profile image

brutishspoon 2 years ago from Darlington, England

It can be a healthy distraction to play Video games but it can also become an unhealthy obsession. I remember sitting up all night playing games after my mom and dad had gone to bed. I was caught once or twice but could not help it, once I got into a game that was it and it's still like that over 15 years later. You should not blame yourself he is at an age where he wants to rebel and become independent. Have you tried getting some family games and getting him to play with you? I used to do this with my dad and my console was in my room not the family room. It was a Spectrum not a Sega like everyone else had in my family at the time but it was mine. I also do this with my daughter who has claimed my PS2 and DS. She is only 5 so I've got it all to come.

Does it have a Kinect?

This is a great piece of kit and there are games that would appeal to your son. It may be a good investment if you don't already have it.

Callum 2 years ago


Your Son sounds exactly like my brother and I when we were passing through high school. It started when we used to play world of Warcraft an online PC game which required a subscription fee much like Xbox live.

We would play for hours and hours until we got bored of it, this went on for a year or so then we moved on to other PC games, and I bought an Xbox and my brother a ps3. My parents always let us play if we had free time, and did suggest having friends over and going out which we still enjoyed, we were about 18 then and more independent.

When we started university we barely had time for gaming, and pretty much were all bored of most games and couldn't get addicted to anything anymore.

Because of PC gaming, however, my brother and I becomes really tech savvy and he went on to do information technology and web design, I went into environmental geology completely different i know. But from time to time I still play with my old high school friends online or I invite them over to play the occasional halo or battlefield on PlayStation 4 and my friends and I enjoy it still to this day, but I look at it like this, my dad and his friends come over to watch football or cricket and that is a less interactive experiences than playing games with friends.

But maybe if you join in with your son and be supportive he won't be so aggressive or sneaky with the Xbox.

By the way my brother and I are in our mid 20s now and hope to be playing games with our children

kenny 2 years ago

polly in a earlier comment you posted your son plays minecraft. in minecraft you can basically build a world unique from anyone elses. yet you still believe xbox is taking away creativity? what sense are you making? sure ill agree playing xbox shouldnt be played for hours but saying games take away creativity is an opinion i cant agree with.

Technic 2 years ago

I am... a kid. While I can understand the point of view you're coming from, I can see you don't really understand the appeal of video games and how to use them wisely. I see that there is two types of parents: Those who understand the appeal of gaming, and those who don't. Mothers usually understand less, and fathers slightly more. Now, Xbox is definitely the worst console for addiction. Get him a decent laptop, 4GB and any Intel processor should do. Introduce him to Minecraft, and if he says "It's geeky!" or something like that, tell him that if his friends dislike him for playing Minecraft, then they are not a good friend. Peer pressure is not that big for me, because I hang out with kids who are like me, they play stuff like Minecraft and Animal Crossing. I'm not big on shooters and stuff like that, I'm a PC/Nintendo gamer, and I have absolutely no interest in an Xbox (not that I would get one). Anyways, just trying to get you to take a new look at things. In fact, a great thing for you to do is to make it fair to your son. Instead of forcing him to stop without much justifiable reason, try sitting down and playing with him for once, even if you don't like it. If he pushes you away, get defensive, seriously, maybe even cry a bit. And if he doesn't, which is more likely, then try to understand how the game works, and get some perspective. Just trying to add some perspective to the conversation.

Connor 2 years ago

I've noticed that it's the older generations that complain the most about new technology ( no offence to whoever started the thread) ,

I'm 16 years old, almost constantly on my xbox ... My parents are not really bothered about me playing on my xbox for 3-4 hours at a time...

I go to my grandmas quite a lot and normally it's for a week or 2 , so I take my Xbox with me as most of the time there they r watching corrie emmer dale and all the other soaps ... Not to mention all the house programs which are sooooo boring.

Whenever I'm on the xbox there they complain.. Even I I've only just turned it on! ( literally!)

What I'm saying is that the older generations are not used to all this new technology! That is probably why u started this thread... I mean if ur son I on it constantly 6 hours plus a day then that's a little too much and I can see your concern! But if it's just for a few hours at a time then that's nothing to worry about, that's teenagers for you!

Harrison Pye 2 years ago

I'm a person who is very much in love (Not sexually! but emotionally with Football (Soccer). FIFA 14 was my favourite game because I could do things with the players I idolised. Unfortunately this is exactly what happened to me. But I used my mother's credit card for my use and stole $500 to my account. It was a very bad thing to do and I regret it a lot. I'm glad my mother has punished me by taking it away, because I can engage in more things and do things with other people (i.e. My Friends) It should be for hobbies and hobbies only. Of course that is my opinion.

Babo 2 years ago

Hey im a teen of 13 . I think u should let him play.

Self, im addicted to. I play for like 6 hours in the week and 9 hours in weekend, but i dont get bored because its my hobby and im not good at something Else . Its Nothing wrong with gaming if he enjoy it

Anonymous 2 years ago

As I agree because I'm a little addicted myself I think that for you to actually understand what your talking about is to play the the games. You say that they are not creative but this is a stereotype that most parents have and that's okay because some games aren't creative but the games I find are most fun are the games the you have to think about how to pass a level or finish a mission for example Mario games don't tell you how to kill bosses so you have to figure it out and honestly the rating system is messed up now there is too much protection. And I don't mean to criticize your parenting because I'm just a kid myself but some parents are so concerned with what their kids are playing or watching that the kid never gets to explore their options and this isn't only for technology like games and tv but for the outside world aswell. I remember my mom would give me a walkie talkie and tell me to go to a friends house or go biking at around 9 or 10 o'clock in the morning and I didn't have to be home until 6:30 for supper and then 8:00 if I went out again. Now my friends younger siblings can't play in a fenced yard without supervision. And I know the world is a worse place then before but still it's fenced next to the house and in yelling range I'm not saying let them play outside while you you sleep but don't always be where they are. Does anyone agree? I mean now if a kid gets hurt its always someone else's fault not the kids but their friends or the neighbour. Do with this as you will this is just a teenage perspective on the situation.

Darkdisasterz98 2 years ago

I saw what you said about he just wants more and more what my parents did is just let me play as much as I wanted and after a month or so I got bored and got back into BMXing (previous addiction) also find out what other Bobby's he enjoys or enjoyed and support him in those too. And if he is really into shooting games every once and awhile ask him if him and his friends want to go paint balling (excellent sport and hobby for the right person) if that is too painful for them then look into airsofting (similar to paintball but with low velocity plastic beads also less painful) I hope these help ;)

bobsagetfan34 2 years ago

Have you considered that your son is merely enjoy the escapism that is literature. Video games are new and as always, will be somewhat scary when faced by one from a time that they were not so prevalent. It is hard for every person to let go of their fear of ambiguity, also known as conservatism, but remember that not every thing that is new is necessarily bad. Would you be OK with your son spending all his time reading, even if it takes away spending time with the family. Most likely yes because the act of reading is "much different than playing video games." Do remember the only reason you feel this way is because you were raised to think so, just as the current generation is raised to our "social norm". Video games can be an excellent way to tell stories, with plot, character development, and life lessons. Many games lack these however and badmouth the industry as a whole. Change is not a bad thing, as it opens up new possibilities for learning and comprehending things. I for one have not "lost creativity" by playing games, but on the contrary have been greatly inspired by these "bad news bears" video games. They have helped me comprehend how the human mind works, the reasons many people fight (although all conflict is pointless as it solves nothing), and reasons why people cling to their beliefs, even though the beliefs are merely forced upon them. I may be wrong, but your dislike for violence leads me to believe you are a religious person, as am I. Do not forget that the Bible has many instances of violence. Israel was formed from violence and violence keeps it as it is today, many weapons of death are made there. Violence is an unfortunate and tragic happening of petty human struggle, inevitable, but that does not mean we should turn our backs on it. Violent stories happen to be the most effective when it comes to explaining and understanding humanity's animalistic nature. I agree to much of anything is bad, but video games are simply a way to tell engaging stories, and if multiplayer, building friendships and teamwork skills. I am not a parent and am only fifth-teen but I feel that my debate is valid enough to stand up for.

jiM 2 years ago


profile image

Jhirsch3 2 years ago

I think one of the main issues here is that your son is limited in his playing. People want what they can't have so he will never be bored as long as he is limited and cut off from playing. Having said that I agree that you cannot let him play all day every day so there has to be a balance between cutting him off every time and trying to let it play itself out. I know it seems like it may never end without you doing so but I promise you if you keep cutting him off it could never end and think about how bad it could get when he moves out of the house.

Soccer mom 2 years ago

Oh my god I love desperate house wife's! Xbox is bad.

profile image

Raul Cabral 2 years ago

Hello polly, i would just like to say your article was well written and please excuse me for any grammatically incorrect mistakes. I am 17 now, and began gaming when i was 5, but i never had parents telling when to get off. I would spend 4-8 hours a day gaming and it got worse and worse, i was socially inept at school and had 1-2 friends most of my life, all i thought about was coming home and gaming. I would never pay attention in school and always got bad grades, because all i would think about was coming home and playing games. I would constantly get suspended and in trouble (adhd didn't help either) but a lot of my social problems did come from constantly gaming all day and locking myself from society. Then xbox live came out and my addiction became more of a problem, it still is today but at least i know now, I have always had problems and while i'm a good reader i have a 4th grade math level at 17, i am not very responsible and i'm not trying to sound like i'm blaming this on all video games, i am just saying it contributed to a lot of things in my life since gaming was and is my life, it is like drugs, it is an addiction that is hard to overcome, but you can help your son by limiting his playing severely, and i do not want to come off by telling you how to raise your child because i am still merely a child, i would just try and give advice based on my experience, prepare your son for the future, give him more responsibility, make him earn time playing by doing things around the house. Maybe even try to give him a job, anything to take his time from playing useless video games as a hobby, and getting him to become a responsible adult, honestly i wish today that i had parents who did that for me, because video games raised me, and now i do my best to stop gaming and currently trying to find a job to help prepare me, even though i wished i started sooner its a start. Its only going to become worse if you do not step in and severely limit his playing, take my advice with a grain of salt if you want but heed my warning Video games can take over your sons life if you let it, thank you for reading this and good day.

Jon 2 years ago

I don't see how video gaming is different from anything else besides being electronic? Too much of anything is bad, including reading, going out with friends, sports, and other accepted hobbies. Too much time spent reading will cut back on time with friends or time to do your own thing, instead of experiencing others' stories. Too much time with friends may prevent you from being an active learner, or become too dependent on them. Too much time with sports will bring on an obsession with all the players and colleges. No different from these are video games, too much time on them will do what? Rot your brain? An extreme exaggeration. The downsides of video games are the same as any other hobby.

One of your problems may be the fact that you bought an 12 year old boy a violent fps. Or xbl at 11. The types o people he meets online can have a devastating effect, more so than the game itself. Im making an assumption here by saying your son goes to a public school, but the words, phrases, and actions he learns there are about the same as xbl.

Maybe instead of limiting him see what happens when he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He will soon realize that the game isn't as fun or isn't fun when his friends get off eventually.

13yo 2 years ago

I find this posy extremely funny, and pretty inaccurate. First video games make kids very creative. Have you heard of minecraft? Extremely popular but its what you do in it thats important. You build things, not weapons, but structures. It TEACHES architecture. And if you dont want you're child playing violent games then heres a tip. DONT BUY THEM! And before turning the wifi off tell youre child to say bye so hes not interupted. I think you hate being interupted, well so does he.

Max 2 years ago

You must get rid of all video games. they are a disease beyond all diseases for our children and major companies are exploiting our gullibiliity and laziness as parents.

Spartan Swagger 1206 2 years ago

@ Josh Culp That was disrespectful to say to someone that their childhood was boring without even knowing them, that is utterly horrible. I respect that you get your own money at 14, i do too but because she doesn't like her sons xbox and she doesn't like him spending 24/7 on it does not mean that you have to be disrespectful, just because you like like it (I do too trust me) doesn't mean that you say that to someone who doesn't like it, everyone is entitled to their own opinions I think. I mean, i have to admit i really like videogames alot, but Polly doesn't and i respect that, i think everyone else should too.

Gabriel 2 years ago

I'm 13 and I'm a gamer.I get straight A's and I'm in advanced math and reading.I spend at least 8hrs on the Xbox and I still do my homework.If my mom did it u can too because she made a plan she told me to first do all my chores then my homework 2hours of sunlight and then I can play Xbox.If my grades are at anything below an A or B then no Xbox.This works perfectly and I have to pay for what I want on the Xbox try this and he is your son u can also just unplug it for a month or two and then tell him u won't plug it in if he doesn't listen next time but be reasonable and five him a schedule for him to do like giving reasonable hours like 4-6 hours of Xbox and the rest of hours outside reading or socialize

Alex 2 years ago

There is a "Family Timer" on the Xbox. You go to family settings then enter your 4 digit code and go to family timer. There you can make there be as much time as you want, it can be reset daily weekly or even monthly. I being an Xbox gamer myself, came from the same mentality. I have learned to accept my family timer, when the time runs out a pop up comes up giving you the options to "Add more time, Suspend timer ( pause it until the console is tuned off) or turn of console. If you have more questions fell free to E-Mail me at Karkidsimmons@gmail.com thank you!

Celine 2 years ago

I don't understand why most parents tend to seize their kids toys nowadays, for the fact that they're trying to grow up and live their own life. So far as I've thought, seizing anyone's toys is never a good idea. Xbox might seem to be bad from the outside, but maybe deep down your son is somehow inspired to create a game for Xbox when he's older. So basically you can't blatantly state that Xbox is a bad thing for your son. To look on the other side, studies shown that reading books are worse than playing games. When games give your son the freedom to choose their own choices (e.g The Walking Dead), books on the other side, don't give him that kind of freedom. Let's imagine if books are invented after the video games. Kids are starting to read those books, while parents and teachers are concerned about it. Then they'd say "Perhaps the most dangerous property of these books is the fact that they follow a fixed linear path-- you can't control their narratives in any fashion, you simply sit back and have the story dictated to you.". The second thing i have to say, a United Nations report said that disconnecting people from the internet is a human rights violation. So really, don't stress about it. His Xbox is just like his hobby. Imagine if you took away his Xbox and locked him in his room without anything, how would your son communicate with the society? How would he crave his future? What if your books are seized and you're grounded in your own room? Feeling grumpy? Everybody will. Give him the freedom to live and i'm sure he'll love you too.

profile image

guygonegamer 2 years ago

Well what I don't understand is why you got him an Xbox most of Xbox exclusives (games only on Xbox) are m rated titles such as halo,gears of war and fable I would recommend the ps3 being as there are more kid friendly titles such as uncharted, little big planet, ratchet and clank and last but not least sly cooper these are games I grew up playing sly cooper and ratchet and clank were the first games I ever played and I'm not obsessed or anything I still like to read and I enjoy a really good movie every now and then I'd try out PlayStation if I were you

Mr.Man 2 years ago

Stop! This is Madness !!!!!!!!!

profile image

N0F3AR 2 years ago

As the reason my 3 nephews were introduced to the xBox (and later it evolved into the xBox 360) and being now a middle-aged male, I may offer a unique perspective regarding video games.

I grew up in the arcade era, when the games first came out and games like "Pac Man", "Berserk", "Centipede" & "Defender" ruled the minds of young boys. I can't even remember how many quarters I dropped in those machines and for that reason getting good on them was a matter of justifying the expense; if I could play longer on a quarter it seemed less like a waste of money. I grew up in an area where when I was younger I played basketball and swam in a lake, as well as spending days exploring the forest that went for miles behind our house. Yes, "idyllic" describes my childhood. In order to play in arcades, I had to ride my bike some 3 miles into town and then to the arcade the next town over--not horrendous but certainly more effort than my nephews make today for sure.

Fast forward to the early 90's and my first computer; I was hooked when I found out I could play some video games FOR FREE on it. Even if they were simpler graphics, for me they were great because I could control them and the games were FREE. That said, the games were the "killer app" that drew me in to learn computers and which led me to a career in IT.

When I got the xBox, I enjoyed it but rarely had time to play it. It was connected to a 51" HD tv, and I loved playing the games but found the controller less than intuitive having cut my teeth most recently on a computer keyboard and preferring that. However when I had my 3 nephews stay overnight I decided to let them "get it out of their system", saying they could stay up as late as they wanted playing. How long could they play in a 24 hour period anyway, I asked myself?

The answer is about 22 out of 24 hours. It is said that if a monkey is taught to smoke eventually he will eschew everything including food and sex for cigarettes; boys and video games seem to be cut from the same cloth. The oldest has (since he secured a well-paying job) bought himself a flat screen TV and an xBox 360, and now locks himself in the room way too much with it. However he HAS graduated to other interests--firearms for example, which so far at least gets him out of the house and his room. The 2nd nephew is away at college and prefers NOT to play the games, and the youngest (18 yrs old) still would play them all day if he could.

The bottom line is that most boys seem to grow out of it--I did, finding computers and computer networks eminently more interesting, as well as girls, and my oldest nephew is beginning to as well. The trick is to introduce your sons to other things in the world that can compete--they may not be going out and "making their own fun" like we had to, but the world is changing, like it or not. There ARE benefits to video games as well---the world is moving towards a technology-based existence, and it familiarizes them with electronics and concepts that extend beyond gaming. It also develops eye-hand coordination, which is always helpful. But realize that while they play to excess now, all it takes is a girl they like, or the realization that to get the car they want they have to leave the room and it all changes. Maybe you can drag them out to a gaming-free environment, but until they are ready or interested in something else, it will always draw them.

Voiceofreason 2 years ago

Ok, so clearly some gamer kids got a like defensive so I'm here to set things straight. I agree with you on a lot of points but also dissagree. Firstly gender stereotypes get my motor going. Most of my friends are girls, and all of them game. Gender has nothing. To do with interests. Secondly games can be very inspiring. I'm currently at college to be a games designer because of my upbringing with games. It's certainly a different world now and just as much inspiration can be found in the virtual world as in the real one. It's following up that's the problem. We see these characters do crazy things but since we can't do that we just play and pretend. Try getting your son into hobbies similar to the games he plays. On another point that I agree with is that kids don't really do anything anymore. As all of my friends are gamers I'm one of the few thats aware of the outside world but none of my friends want to do anything because they would simply rather stay in their bedrooms. It's very sad indeed, I often find myself going for solo walks around because my buds would rather kill some zombies online :(

Polly C profile image

Polly C 2 years ago from UK Author

@Voiceofreason - Hi there, thank you for commenting on this article and for sharing your views. I appreciate it. I am willing to admit that there IS creativity involved in game playing (especially as everyone keeps telling me so!) I know that the online world can be inspiring, because I find my own inspiration from it in other ways. However, I guess it is just the fact that if gamers don't want to do anything else at all, then it just seems so unbalanced. Having said that, this summer my son has started to make his own social life by meeting his friends at the local soccer centre so I think that there is light at the end of the tunnel! He would probably love to be a games designer, so we will see what the future holds. Right now, he is setting up a Youtube channel with a friend but I think it only has games clips on it!

HeavyMetalBard profile image

HeavyMetalBard 2 years ago from Grundy, Virginia

I am a father and I have to say, I understand how you feel about this. That being said, you are going about the issue in an entirely irrelevant manner. First of all, a point needs to be made. You are angry with the xbox because your son is addicted to it. Now lets think about all of the addictions that he could have instead. Would you rather he be addicted to drugs? Alcohol? Pornography? If you said yes to any of this then you seriously need to rethink yourself as a parent. I am sorry if that sounded rude but it had to be said. Now here is how you can adjust to this problem you think your son is having. Step 1: Talk to him. Find out what he likes about the games. If you can do this then you know the reason he is playing them. If the answer is something along the lines of, "I play them because everyone else does." Then instead of preaching games are bad, go about it this way. Try explaining the classic "If your friends jumped off of a cliff..." lesson, BUT, and this is important, do it in a calm, non-arrogant manner. You exist as a parent to teach and raise your children, NOT so you can have someone to prove you are big and bad to. If the previous answer to why your child plays games then is not what I stated then, listen and listen good because your child is about to tell you something important about himself. Many kids play games as a source of inspiration, or to make their possibly unrealistic life goals seem more realistic. There are a ton of good reasons for children to play games. As I said you will be astonished.

2. Learn about the games your child likes to play. Compare them to real things. If your child likes call of duty then talk to him about the real military.

3. If you still haven't figured it out then these last few tips are for you. You are just going to have to adjust. This is 2014, we have been in the age of technology for quite a while. And just think we who as kids didn't have many games and most of our time has been spend outside. We weren't born with all of this technology. Our kids were and when they grow up and become adults odds are there is going to be at least ten times the technology there is today. We cant expect our children who are born and raised in the age of technology, to succeed in a world built around technology if we do not let them experience the same technology. And yes you may be allowing him to play and such so yes you are allowing him to experience it, but if he knows you are distressed by it, he will feel bad for it. We are entering into a world were technology is a necessity to make it in the job world. It being a necessity means just this, Have you ever eaten something and just finished it when (for example) your child who you love more than anything in the world comes in and says "OH NO MOM I HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT IT ALL DAY I WANTED IT SO BAD" How do you feel? You feel that like you would give anything to go back in time and never have eaten it but you were hungry and knew eating something was a necessity. Now you feel upset, and confused. To finish with this comment, The technology is the food, and your son needs it, but you just walked in upset because you didnt want him to eat it even though he needs it.

Mo 2 years ago

I'm so pleased I stumbled across this post, today I have finally hit rock bottom and I am disgusted to say turned into a screaming banshee!... My son is 11 yr old and last year I treated my partner to an xbox one, he is really into gadgets and I didn't for one minute think it would turn my life upside down, as this xbox was situated in the living room my son was limited to playing it, but he sat he's S.A.T's exam in the summer and did incredibly well :) Me and my partner took the decided to buy him a playstation 4 and it is situated in he's room...He has become withdrawn and last night woke the whole household up at 3am creeping downstairs to play xbox.. We spent all morning trying to put him back to bed!!!...he is completely wired up and now can't focus on anything else :( after suffering sleep depravation and trying to make my child see reason I broke the game into tiny pieces...I feel totally defeated...

Polly C profile image

Polly C 2 years ago from UK Author

Hi Mo, I don't think you should feel too bad about the game, since at least your son can now see how you feel about it! I think I wrote in the article that my son's friend's dad threw the whole xbox down the stairs - it was a few years before he got another games console, so your son is very fortunate in comparison! And anyway, sometimes we do and say things we don't mean in the heat of the moment, when it seems like there is no other way. It might not be ideal, but it is human nature. He might think twice about it next time, since the games are expensive! Besides, creeping downstairs in the middle of the night is quite extreme - my son has done that at sleepovers, but not otherwise!

You could try insisting on a time limit and really sticking to it (i.e. confiscating the whole thing if he doesn't listen, for a certain amount of time). I did that on certain occasions and felt that it improved the situation for a short time at least. My son is actually 14 now, because this article is quite old, and I feel things have changed a bit. He is in Year 10 at school, and whilst he does still play on the xbox and computer for what I believe is too long, he has gradually developed other interests as well. His friends have become more important to him than simply playing games, and because they are older they now arrange to go out places. They spend at least one day at the weekend at the local soccer centre, and sometimes they meet at the park or go into town or to watch football matches at the stadium.

I'm sure your son will eventually turn a corner, but if I thought my son was going to creep about in the night I would probably hide away the controllers or something drastic! (Perhaps sleep with them under your pillow!) Or maybe you could try to fill up his weekends more so that he doesn't have as much spare time. I still resort to turning off the wi-fi connection when my son doesn't listen to me - one pet hate is when I have cooked his dinner and called him and he still doesn't come.

Ezekiel Serrano profile image

Ezekiel Serrano 2 years ago from Escondido, California

Does he Still Act like this?

I play Games Like James Bond

I rate age as

Quatom of solace 11+

BloodStone 15+

Goldeneye Reloaded 13+

Legends 14+

I even Play Cod Black ops 2 I give it 14+ if you turn off the the blood

But I come from the Sony Nintendo side I see Xbox live Very Evil I see my cousin Playing it Mature Games But his mother Only let's him play it in his room sometimes I get to play it

Tony Loving 2 years ago

I do not like the xbox 360 because gold is not free for childeren if gold was created which it is for the xbox then this is the reason why we all have certain people to blame one of the people we have to blame is the xbox 360 developers.

batman 2 years ago

dang,thats bs

hmmm 2 years ago

Polly, at first I really felt for you...your hub was well thought out and written. Then I saw your comment to person I believe it was, and you stated you do not ask your son to do chores. And he only does homework when you tell him too (not on his own free will, of course he won't....he's a kid). IMO, you have no boundaries for this kid. He needs some structure in his life. Give him a time each day where he must do homework. And for pete sakes, give him chores. It will get him off his ass. He needs to learn responsibility. And if you want to make some fun out of it, pay him for it and he can use that money towards gaming time/membership but at least then, he's working towards it. WOW!! When I was 13, I came home and had to do homework from 4:30-5:30. Then it was dinner. Then my chore was the dishes. Then I had free time usually 6:30 to 9:00 and then I had to read from 9:00-9:30. It's up to you to instill these rules and boundaries.

profile image

AdamWestBatman 2 years ago

"The bond games didn't look much different than the more mature titles". So I guess because pride and prejudice doesn't look much different than gone with the wind so they must be exactly the same.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 2 years ago from UK Author

@AdamWestBatman - well, there was a similar amount of violence and the graphics were similar!

biggamer 2 years ago

when i think of the james bond games violence is the last thing that comes to mind especially when you compare them to all the new call of dutys and battle fields that have come out there's alot less blood and plus the experiment they did with the kids playing a football game and the others playing a war game was a pretty bland experiment since some people have more obsessive personalities than others

profile image

Justin Xie 2 years ago

Hello Polly,

I am the same age as your son wod be today, 14. I also play video games, except I use PlayStation. You wrote your hub very well. I know you may be worried about your boy playing his games all day. However, your son does not sound like a trouble maker at all. If he is achieving high performance in his schoolwork and is doing other things than playing games, then you should not have anything to worry about. There are people at my school are into drugs, alcohol, and partying. Please do not think your son is bad, useless, or anything negative. He is into video games, instead of girls and partying. Another point that I want to make is that your son can still learn self control. He will probably be entering the 9th year of school (In America it is called freshman year). He will have more schoolwork, which will require him to better manage his time. He will have to learn self control, so as not to achieve poor results in school. If you take his Xbox, he may not be able to learn self discipline and control, which he will need in college and his adult life. I learned to control myself very recently. I just kept practicing limiting myself on my games.

Anyways be proud that your son has found a hobby, friends with a common interests, and is not into drugs and sex.

Polly C profile image

Polly C 2 years ago from UK Author

@Justin Xie - Hi Justin, thank you so much for your positive and inspiring comment. Yes, my son is 14 now - he is in year 10 at school in UK, and,as you say, the seriousness of school has stepped up. He takes GCSE exams next year. He doesn't welcome the new focus that needs to be placed on school work at all - however, as you so rightly say, self-control is something that needs to be learned. I think he will learn it over time - most people do if they are to go anywhere in the world, and he definitely wants a good job as he has dreams for the future!

I really like that you pointed out that there are so much worse things he could be doing. Thank you for that :)

Lisa 24 months ago

Wow, you could have written this blog about our 11yr old son and family life!!

We too have the same issues of 'addictive playing' and moodiness. I'm sure a lot of it can also be put down to hormones and growing up, but I am also convinced its the peer pressure and the need to impress others with their knowledge of the latest game.

We currently have an xbox ban due to bad behaviour so it will be interesting to see how he is after the ban of 2 weeks has finished. Probably a completely different boy!! We currently have no room downstairs to house the Xbox without impacting on the rest of the household which isn't fair but we are planning a kids room/games room after some building work has been completed later in the year. At least that way we can control when the Xbox and other equipment is used, it will prevent late night secret attempts at gaming and allow us to control the length of time spent at the screen. We have also been known to isolate the electric to the upstairs in an attempt to remove him from the offending article which is met with complete disgust, arguments and strops!! Is it our own fault? Probably, but we certainly didn't expect such a change of personality from our previously caring and fun son to that of a moody, miserable and argumentative pre-teen intent of having his own way sitting locked away in a darkened room attempting to kill the opposition/grab the flag/building & creating towns etc.

There is an element of creativity I agree, but there is also the need to learn self control and limit the time spent on these games. I only hope this comes with age otherwise we may end up falling out big style.

Thanks for writing this blog. Its good to know that we aren't alone is this computer mad world!!

Oran 22 months ago

This should not be the case, you should let your son play as much as he wishes, the way the world is going these dsyays people are making millions from sitting in front of a tv and playing their xbox, uploading it to the internet and people viewing it, if you ask me you should buy him a laptop and an editing software so he could edit his videos and get paid for what he is doing

22 months ago

Well actually right now the number of women and gamers and men gamers are about 50/50 but in the next few years 75% of people who play video games will be women.

Chip 21 months ago

I agree with *og gamer*

As a guy who grew up around video games (starting with my videogenie) I spent days trying to get the 'best score' or best items/hidden secrets or just glitching games for fun.

I will admit that games can be addictive & should be played in moderation, also some people should avoid certain games as if they find them annoying there most likely to break something (the console/controller etc).

There are a few violent games (manhunt etc) that glorify violence.. however I believe that you would have to have some mental illness to 'copy' a game.

Also i have noticed that most games out now don't have the same 'magic' as some of the older games & get boring quick, there are some (not many) decent games though.

I still prefer my older consoles though (such as my Amiga or Original Xbox).

P.s. there are quite a lot of girl gamers out there (my sis plays games.. exp final fantasy, archeage etc).

Preston 18 months ago

Im 29, play constantly, and when im not playing im doing other activities on the computer. I work 35-40 hours a week as a security guard. I mostly agree with whats been said here and would even like to add some warnings of my own, but I also want to raise a few counterpoints...

first off, Ive always been an extraordinarily creative, and online gaming has actually enhanced that for me. I started a YouTube channel about gaming and thus have learned many new skills like video editing, audio editing, creating music remixes, image manipulation(photo shop), graphic arts, and more. This lifestyle has also lead me to wanting to learn more about home networking and computers in general. Its like my thirst for knowledge cannot be quenched. As for my social life being 99% online only...it has some drawbacks but it's not what you may think. My mother used to describe it as "a loud party in his room ever single night". I cant think of a possible way to be more social because there are endless amounts of friends online and every match played with strangers can be a new place to make a friend. people are confident when playing online and they dont hold back whether thats a good thing or not. I only wish that it somehow could bring people closer together physically, like if you could be paired with people who playing locally. But Ive met A lot of true blue friends and I value there friednship as much as any other even though ive only seen there profile pictures etc. Communicating frequently while both enjoying the same builds a really strong connection sometimes. Sometimes deep conversations that last for hours upon hours.

Last positive thing i'll touch on is that a video game is no different than any other game and a competitive game that requires skill, such as a game of football, or a game of chess, can be very beneficial to your brain. My faveorite Youtuber (the only youtuber I even watch actually) said that research showed that brain surgeons who are gamers make 20% fewer mistakes during there career. I seldom watch youtube but I like BdobbinsFTW because he is well informed and I consider a very trustworth source....he diddnt sell out and paid the price for it...but he still reached success even with the corporate big wigs hindering him.

Anyways, point is that a fun silly game is silly, but a competitive skill intensive game is just that. I play Call of Duty at a very high level of skill. COD trains many of the same skills that real life soldiers use. heightened scense of awareness, faster reaction times, fast critical thinking, eye hand coordination, memory, intuition, foresight, I could go on and on. How will anmy of that help the average person? well, I personally dont think I'll ever be involved in a serious car accident because I'm extraordinarily aware of my surroundings and my reaction time, quick desicion making ability, applies here.

Now for the bad....

besides all that already been said in the article itself, the peer pressure and the false idols are the most dangerous thing for any persons mind at any age. The game companies are ALL CROOKED and have taklen drastic measures to BRAINWASH players so that they act and react a certain way. The makers of COD are at the forefront of this. They want the player to feel like they are talented, they want them to take the game seriously as if it was a true competitive sport where only the strong survive and the best compete against the best. And we all do....except behind the scenes the developers actually take every possible measure possible to remove skill from the game and infuse more random chance instead. they do it because thats the only way to sell more games because if a new player with no skill buys the game and gets destroyed over and over (by the throngs of skilled players that have played a previous call of duty games over the last decade) that player will quickly give up because its no fun loosing , and they wont be buying any future titles. Also, the thrill that a player gets when he succeeds and all eyes are on him because he was the fucking man that game! that feeling is very strong and feels so good that we chase after it again and again. We of course get better at the game and just like a heroin addiction forces the addict to take more of the drug each time in order to feel the effects due to tolerance, so do we develope a tolerance, and in order to feel like the fucking man again we must get an even better score. I remember my first 25-5 game (25 kills, 5 deaths). I felt like a bad ass. Nowadays, I complain about a 25-0, or even a 30-0, hell Im not really getting my rush of joy unless i can get a 40-3 or better ( most players havent even seen anyone get above 30 kills ever, so its not everyday that I get my fix sadly) Even though its so frustrating, its like torture actually, for me to continue day in and day out, I still keep chasing the high that i felt that first time. This enabels the developer to cut costs when producing the next game, degrading the product, and surpassing sales goals that have already been MAXED OUT (hit the profit ceiling) because they know that the players are addicted and will buy the product regardless. Sound familiar (big tobacco).

I could go on and on, but I wont. Dont let your kids play Call of Duty and if thay do play it, you should actively engage with them about it so that you can personally correct all the immoral lessons that its teaches them. It can and will teach any person of any age to be selfish, to complain, to take zero responsibility, make excuses, to be a poor sport and to TO CHEAT AND TO LIE, TO LIE JUST FOR THE HECK OF IT ACTUALLY, because its been made a cool thing to do cheating that is... to be overly proud, to idolize false prophets, to worship people that literally have sold there souls for fame and fortune and who's job it is to teach all of these evil characteristics to your children. Worship them they will, and defend them they will, even against you or against logic and reason itself!

I fight against all that stuff and I pay the price for it every time. My channel is called S E C R E Tv. here is a link.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvWEsshrM-Q

Shannon S 18 months ago

I think it is hilarious to read angry teenagers combating this post. When I grew up in the 80s and 90's we had gaming and it was actually harder than the titles now, which have been mostly dumbed down so that anyone can win if they change the settings. People liked gaming then too. The difference was if you were addicted to it, you were seen as a weirdo with no social skills. It wasn't accepted among your peer sets that you did nothing but sit and drool at a screen all day long. That wasn't "cool" that meant something was wrong with your head. My kids do it too- something has changed, it has become so immersive that they don't want to deal with real people, it is easier to deal with NPCs and control their environment. Kids on Xbox are like little crackheads. We "mean" grownups aren't picking on you lol, we can see that you are addicts, the same as an alcoholic or a meth head, when all you do is wake up and stick your face in a box, disregarding showers, socializing in person, eating and etc... you have a problem not a hobby. Your "interests" are not interesting, they are lamely disguised obsessions, and you aren't being cool or interesting - you are totally the opposite. People that have to play video games to socialize are boring and unimaginative. You guys are a generation that is going to be so easy to control it isn't even funny. If you protest something, they will shut off your Wifi access and you will all fall apart because you have no idea what to do on your own. No imagination, no original thought. I threw out the TV last year, after being woke up at 5 am to the request that one of them could play the Xbox - because they didn't want to share with their brothers and sisters. Seriously they would mainline that crap if they could. Best choice of my life. My kids went through actual withdrawals for three days. Then the weirdest thing happened. They went outside and played. Then they began reading and pretending and resorted to even interacting with other kids. Bought another one for Christmas so we could have family movie nights- STUPID MISTAKE. It isn't about controlling the amount of time or the game ratings. The games themselves stimulate a part of the kids brains that create dependency - it's like feeding your kids booze then getting mad they are alcoholics. I can limit it to an hour a day and the backlash is severe when it is time to get off. Everyday. The world has changed, you can try to limit it and stave it off but you can't stop the inevitable unless you start a commune or live in a bomb shelter- the grownups of tomorrow are going to be placid, addicted and easily controlled because they will have no social skills and no imagination.

SeekerVII 17 months ago

I am in total agreement with the previous commenters when it comes to works that are designed to brainwash people, it's not just in video-games, but many media. There's no way I'd allow my kids to play Cards Against Humanity, read Mein Kampf, or watch 80's "action" movies. A big problem I see is that people are unfamiliar with the the medium of video-games and instead of seeing individual titles, treat them like a giant inseparable mass. Something that's seen as a way around that is that different consoles may be aimed at different age groups, like buying only a Wii for children, but this overlooks that there are M-rated titles for the console.

EVERY work is different, no matter the medium, you have to actively participate with your family when it comes to selecting the right video-games, the same way you would with movies or books. The main thing that seems to go under parents' radar is that some games can have a multi-player community that needs review as well as the game itself. And examples of youth-appropriate online communities are few and far between. This is part and parcel with games that are completely online, for example, amidst the countless stories of World of Warcraft addictions there are helpful articles on WHY the game is so addictive that can be used as a checklist when looking at any other game before allowing kids to play it.

Additionally, my first and foremost rule when it comes to games I'll let my kids play is that they must have some sort of editing mode, in-game like Little Big Planet or as a separate program like RPG Maker. Any game without user customization is automatically vetoed, because there are countless games that stifle creativity by limiting interaction, and that includes card and board games, too. That said, material games are easier to approve, for example Chess was OK because they made their own pieces and had fun doing it.

Of course, over time nearly anyone of any age chafes under these sorts of restrictions, no matter how good the intent. The solution that has worked best with my older child has been that she can buy her own games, but I'll buy her a game if I approve of it. There are also a lot of simple tricks I use; like having our wireless router stop service to specific devices daily at 8:00 PM, never paying for anything on any online store (especially subscriptions), and making sure the game consoles are ONLY in our centralized living room and not out-of-the-way in bedrooms or the den.

Also, I would have thought I'd have more problems with mobile platforms, like smart phones and handhelds, but for whatever reason my kids will just as often use them for reading books or watching video, and for less often than when in front of a TV. Not sure why. Finally, I'd like to add that there are a lot of games out that I've enjoyed, like Child of Light, that I would never have even heard of if my kids weren't into games.

annie 17 months ago

I agree that there should be better innesent games for kids for xbox. Going through the game shop I could not find one game that is a good infuens for kids or educational at all. my step son get night mears at night but still don't want to play anything els less violont. now he is starting to shoot the birsd in the back yeard with his toy guns and his friends. this is the infuans of the games. Trying to take the xbox way from him just make him play the games in real life form. I am conserned about how thes games might create more crimanils later on in life !!!

kiddiecreations profile image

kiddiecreations 10 months ago

Thank you for your post on this topic. I think the obsession many boys and men have with video games has really been detrimental. For example, I have a 25-year-old brother in law who is obsessed with video games and has been for years. He is a very sweet and loving guy, but he has very little ambition, goes from job to job without any direction for a future career, and still lives at home, with no plans or ambition to move out on his own. I think it mostly goes back to his obsession with video games, because that seems to be what he spends the majority of his time doing. He got the games taken away at home and now he has to go to friends' houses to play, so he is hardly ever at home anymore. I think video games can really stunt the growth of boys and prevent them from maturing into the men they ought to become. I'm thankful my husband doesn't play and we don't plan on letting our son play games either. Hopefully we can steer him into a better direction and help him develop better interests. I do wish you luck with your son though and hope he finds more balance with it all.

Mike 10 months ago

I have based many aspects of my life around videogames. I used to be the one that stayed in my room and didn't have much of an outdoor life but you have to realize that if you piss him off and send him outside it just leads to behavior that would be unwanted anyway.

The scariness of tech in general can be overwhelming, and I understand concern but the xbox isn't to blame. It's just a change into a new generation. I remember when people blamed radio for warping the minds of children and it's pretty much the same deal.

If you want to try and find common ground, ask him to find a game you can both play. Portal 2 is awesome and family friendly. There's plenty of coop games, and you never know. Something simple and fun could help you find common ground and maybe instead of arguing and misunderstanding you can be on the same level.

I recall my parents and I arguing many times when I was younger until I invited mom to come and play a few rounds of tetris. She loved it and started to understand that I had to save before coming up to eat. Or that immersion is the most powerful thing an entertainment medium can offer. I'm getting older now and I work a lot and I find I can't do it like I used to. It would be arguable that taking it from him would be taking an experience away from him.

At least if he's at home you know he's safe and playing with his friends instead of wandering around the city smoking pot and getting into trouble out of boredom.

Michael 10 months ago


With all due respect whilst you don't seem to deem your son computer game playing as suitable as your writing or drawing I don't think you have the right to dismiss it altogether.

Why don't you see if you can get interested in to drawing and writing his own computer game?

There are games that have a story more then gratuitous violence.

Why don't you get him interested in creating his own computer games?

Instead of dismissing it all together there is site called pygame and programming language called Python and it was also give him a valuable skill the ability to code and program.

I am sick of the baby Boomers who did drugs had gratuitous sex give there own kids a hard time he also 12 so he is starting to go through teenager years.

You have the right to discipline which I think your handling that better then some of your peers who have broken there kids gaming systems.

The teenager years are going to be tough so you need to have a dialogue with your son otherwise he isn't going to come to you when the issues get serious such as sex drugs etc.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article