Posted by: coachingparents | December 17, 2008

Interesting Statistics About Video Games and Kids


By Mark Brandenburg

According to a recent study of 1,178 children in the US, almost 9 percent of child gamers are pathologically or clinically “addicted” to playing video games.

However, 23 percent of youth say that they have felt “addicted to video games,” with about one-third of males and a little more than one in 10 females reporting the sensation, according to the survey by Harris Interactive.

Forty-four percent of the youth 8 to 18 also reported their friends are addicted to video games, the survey said. The average child 8 to 12 plays 13 hours of video games per week, while teens age 13 to 18 year play 14 hours of video games per week, according to the survey.

These statistics raise some interesting questions.

  • While the majority of kids who play video games don’t become addicted?
  • What does it say about our culture when one third of our boys have felt addicted to video games?
  • How do video games and other stimulating products prepare our kids for the future?
  • What child, after the excitement of 14 hours of video games each week, doesn’t get bored when faced with “spending time with grandma”, or some other activity that doesn’t provide intense stimulation?

Furthermore, Japanese researchers found that playing computer games stunted the development of the frontal lobe of the brain in teenagers, which is a crucial part of developing impulse control. The tendency to lose control is not due to children absorbing the aggression involved in the computer game itself, as previous researchers have suggested, but rather to the damage done by stunting the developing mind. The full article can be accessed here: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,539166,00.html

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to decreasing the chances of my kids’ developing as well as they can, I don’t like to take any chances. I don’t like to allow my own denial to impact their development—socially, physically, or any other way.

Letting your kids play video games for hours each week? Their brains only have one chance to develop.

Can you really live with that?

P.S. Sign up at http://www.markbrandenburg.com/free_newsletter.htm. It is free, they will get a free copy of the popular article, “150 Things Dads can do for Their Kids”, and it never hurts to become a better parent!

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Responses

  1. See – this is why I am not a fan of video games. It’s like introducing cigarettes to your kids. “Okay, honey, you can have one a day, but don’t you dare start smoking for real!”

    Hmmm…anyone else with me on this one?

  2. I disagree Christine, it’s not anything like introducing your kids to smoking. If you were to hand your child a cigarette then why not just shoot him now and not drag out his death that will most likely be caused by emphysema or cancer. Video games on the other hand dont kill your child and the youth can easily be removed from them without any horrible side effects.


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