The problem with video games

February 16, 2010
My mouth always begins to water when I step into the kitchen and smell the succulent scent of lasagna rising from the oven. I have always loved to sit down with my family for dinner. When sitting at the table, we chat about how our days went and all the new things that happened that day. Sitting and talking with my family is something that brings us all closer together. Recently, however, I have noticed a new trend. As I sit down for some of my mom’s wonderful pasta, I look up and notice something isn’t right. “Mom, where’s Hunter?” I ask. With a sigh, she replies, “Oh he’s out playing video games in the other room…again.” I’m almost getting used to not seeing him in the house anymore as he is always hiding away in that little cave of his. For hours and hours he sits in there shooting at Nazis, smashing police cars, or sometimes even playing a game of Quiditch. The amount of video games that my brother plays, along with millions of kids across the nation, ruins precious bonding time with your family, as well as destroying kids’ ability to interact socially with others.

As kids sit and stare into T.V. screens away from their families and friends, they miss opportunities to talk to the people that they spend the other half of their lives with- away from the T.V. screen that is. When kids play video games, they are isolated, as if on their own little island. In addition, they don’t talk to anybody else and are completely oblivious to the world around them. This isolation can have very negative effects on the children because at a time when kids need their family for guidance, they barely exchange words with anybody. Kids definitely don’t have to always be with their parents; however, it is absurd that they almost never even see them throughout their day. In my house, I can’t even remember the last time I saw my brother talk seriously to my mom. If kids can’t have a good relationship with their family then it is extremely hard for them to get guidance when they need it the most. Although they may not want it, kids need guidance from their parents.

It’s not just the family that kids don’t interact with as much; it’s their friends as well. A lot of the time kids play video games by them selves and they don’t get the chance to talk to anybody. As they sit in silence, there social skills will slowly deteriorate. Video-games hinder opportunities to build up relationships with the other kids they go to school with everyday. Since there isn’t enough time at school to develop a real relationship, time can’t be wasted playing Call of Duty for hours on end. And while you can talk to other kids on-line while playing video games, when you do there isn’t a real, personal relationship. The conversation never gets past the topic of how cool that high speed chase was in “Burnout”, or that killing spree in “Halo”. If kids don’t have the time to talk to other kids, they will almost forget how to talk normally to other people. They will lack the people skills that are necessary for getting jobs, being successful at your job, and making friends. If they don’t stop playing video-games so often, kids are going to have nothing to do but play video-games.

One day I hope that we can drag my brother out of that cave. This issue is becoming a bigger and bigger part of our society as technology continues to advance. Millions of kids like him need to realize what they are doing to their lives and be a part of the real world for awhile.

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