This episode is incredibly important, and because we live in an increasingly digital and connected world, it’s a topic that impacts every single family with access to the internet.
Video games are not new but the games of today are far different than the ones you or I had as kids. Video game companies leverage incredibly robust bandwidth and state-of-the-art graphics capabilities, as well as the latest behavioral sciences, to produce games that are not only fun and entertaining, they’re designed to be addictive. And kids are not the only ones at risk. These games impact the lives of many young adults as well.
It’s important to note that I’m not against gaming, and neither is my guest. And we are not suggesting that just because a child or young adult likes to game, that he or she will become addicted. Gaming—in moderation—can have a positive impact on the person playing. But being able to turn it off and walk away has become increasingly difficult for many.
There are more than two billion gamers in the world, including 150 million in the United States. Studies indicate that 3–4% of these gamers struggle with addiction. That’s a considerable number. And the World Health Organization recently declared video game addiction as a mental health disorder.
It’s a growing problem, but video games aren’t going anywhere. And that's why I wanted to bring this content to your attention. We all need to better educate ourselves about the risks involved so we can help our kids develop a healthy relationship with games and technology as a whole.
In this episode, I talk with Cam Adair. He is an international speaker and leading expert on video game addiction. Cam is the founder of Game Quitters, the world’s largest support community for video game addiction. His work has been published in Psychiatry Research (a peer-reviewed medical journal on psychiatry), he has been featured in two TEDx talks as well as NPR, BBC, Forbes, ABC 20/20, CNN, VICE, and Bloomberg, among many others.
During our conversation, Cam openly shared his struggles with gaming, outlined several warnings signs that might indicate a child is too attached to their game, and many more valuable pieces of information relating to this topic.
What You’ll Learn
How to handle a child or teen that doesn’t think they have a problem
A parent’s role in helping their child develop a healthy relationship with technology
The impact of using technology to “babysit” our kids
Specific aspects of games that make them addictive (what to watch for)
The impact of prolonged exposure to overstimulating games and devices
The financial risks to parents if we’re not familiar with a game’s functionality
The gaming industry is extremely powerful—but just how powerful? (this will blow your mind)
What makes many games predatory in nature
The long term consequences of raising an entire generation of gamers
What parents can do to help equip our kids to deal with these threats
The effects gaming has on a child’s perception of the real world and in turn, their young adulthood
We know the impact gaming and technology has had on teens, but scientists have no data indicating what it might be doing to the brains of very young children (ages 1–5)
The most dangerous types of video games for kids
If you’re uncertain about the games you currently own, or games your child has expressed interest in, Cam suggested looking them up on YouTube for an in-depth analysis. He also referenced commonsensemedia.org as a place to learn more about the content of many video games and apps.
Watch Cam’s new documentary, Game Over.
Follow Cam online:
THANKS FOR LISTENING!
The next episode will be released Monday, May 6. In the meantime, please be sure to check out all of our other available episodes.
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