Author Topic: Does anybody else not allow video games?  (Read 7796 times)

charis

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #50 on: December 25, 2022, 10:51:56 AM »
@BeanCounter, if you are asking me, 13 and 10.  A variety of games I guess, depending on what they are into at the time.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #51 on: March 01, 2023, 02:21:42 PM »
PTF, because I see this dilemma staring me in the face as well. 

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #52 on: March 01, 2023, 02:57:35 PM »
I spent a good chunk of my teenage year on a computer, mostly playing video games. While I definitely had fun playing with my friends it was probably not the best use of my time.

Our older kids were also enthralled with Minecraft. Their cousin and some kids at school introduced them to it a few years ago when they were around 8-10 and then when my mom came to visit one time, she let them use her phone to play it. We spent the next several months telling them repeatedly that we were not going to let them download it on one of our computers.


We made a decision very early on that our kids were not going to play video games, get phones, etc. Only in the last year or so have we loosened up on the video games front (they can get a smartphone when they turn 18). Our second oldest participated in a STEM club at school where they used Raspberry Pi computers running Linux. He saved up about $100 to buy one and convinced us that he wanted to use it for coding and programming (11 or 12 at the time). Once he got it, it quickly turned into a platform to play games more than coding. There was actually a version of Minecraft he downloaded (no internet, I only connect it sparingly for them to download a few programs at a time) and some arcade style games.

Our third oldest also saved up and bought a Raspberry Pi so now we control their time to weekends only for usually 30-45 minutes by taking away the adapter to connect to a monitor. They will let our 6-year-old occasionally play an arcade style game or our 14-year-old. Our third oldest (11) definitely has a lot harder time with impulse control and turning it off. They still spend hours reading, playing outside, and doing other things so it's definitely not the typical childhood experience of spending hours glued to a screen. I think setting the limits very early on was helpful. Also, not letting them play online or have unrestricted internet access.

Update: We finally decided to let our kids have some regular video game time a couple of months ago. For Christmas their big, shared gift was a used PlayStation 4 with 4 controllers so they could play Minecraft Dungeons all together. Pretty quickly our youngest (7) found that his older brothers (11, 13, & 14) mostly badgered him for not being good enough or slowing them down, etc. So it's usually just two kids playing at a time. There was one other adventure style game that came with it, but they weren't that interested in it. They're looking at buying a two-person racing game. It's nice that they can pool their money together and it's only $5-10 each.

We brought home an old work laptop for our older kids to use for school and did let them buy a few games to play on there. Mostly Minecraft but I introduced them to some strategy games from my childhood like Colonization (1995 sequel to Civilization) and the Heroes of Might and Magic games. 75-80% of the time they just play Minecraft with the other kids crowded around watching and giving lots of unsolicited advice.

We established that they get 1 hour per day on Saturday and Sunday or if it's a day off school (sometimes). They can lose that time for bad behavior - especially anything physical (with 5 boys it's pretty common for them to fight). Sometimes I'll play with them on the PS4 or play one of the older games to demonstrate it to them.

Overall, it's been a mixed bag. Sometimes we've had to question if they really only spent an hour. With 4 kids rotating through it's not easy to keep track of and we've mostly relied on the honor system. We did end up backtracking on one game we let them buy. It was basically a world simulator where eventually they just ended up as a cruel god torturing their people and destroying the world. We decided that wasn't a good influence - especially on the younger kids so we uninstalled it and just gave them their money back. The also only play offline.


They're still not getting a smartphone or unrestricted internet access until they're 18.

BeanCounter

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #53 on: March 01, 2023, 06:17:27 PM »
@BeanCounter, if you are asking me, 13 and 10.  A variety of games I guess, depending on what they are into at the time.

 I was just curious because you said 10-30 minute time limits and that seems like a tease to me. Some of the games my kids (same ages) play couldn't be finished in 10 minutes. Like Madden or NBA 2k. 10 minutes would be maddening as a kid, like you can see the game, try it, but you can't actually PLAY it.

BeanCounter

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #54 on: March 01, 2023, 06:26:57 PM »
I spent a good chunk of my teenage year on a computer, mostly playing video games. While I definitely had fun playing with my friends it was probably not the best use of my time.

Our older kids were also enthralled with Minecraft. Their cousin and some kids at school introduced them to it a few years ago when they were around 8-10 and then when my mom came to visit one time, she let them use her phone to play it. We spent the next several months telling them repeatedly that we were not going to let them download it on one of our computers.


We made a decision very early on that our kids were not going to play video games, get phones, etc. Only in the last year or so have we loosened up on the video games front (they can get a smartphone when they turn 18). Our second oldest participated in a STEM club at school where they used Raspberry Pi computers running Linux. He saved up about $100 to buy one and convinced us that he wanted to use it for coding and programming (11 or 12 at the time). Once he got it, it quickly turned into a platform to play games more than coding. There was actually a version of Minecraft he downloaded (no internet, I only connect it sparingly for them to download a few programs at a time) and some arcade style games.

Our third oldest also saved up and bought a Raspberry Pi so now we control their time to weekends only for usually 30-45 minutes by taking away the adapter to connect to a monitor. They will let our 6-year-old occasionally play an arcade style game or our 14-year-old. Our third oldest (11) definitely has a lot harder time with impulse control and turning it off. They still spend hours reading, playing outside, and doing other things so it's definitely not the typical childhood experience of spending hours glued to a screen. I think setting the limits very early on was helpful. Also, not letting them play online or have unrestricted internet access.

Update: We finally decided to let our kids have some regular video game time a couple of months ago. For Christmas their big, shared gift was a used PlayStation 4 with 4 controllers so they could play Minecraft Dungeons all together. Pretty quickly our youngest (7) found that his older brothers (11, 13, & 14) mostly badgered him for not being good enough or slowing them down, etc. So it's usually just two kids playing at a time. There was one other adventure style game that came with it, but they weren't that interested in it. They're looking at buying a two-person racing game. It's nice that they can pool their money together and it's only $5-10 each.

We brought home an old work laptop for our older kids to use for school and did let them buy a few games to play on there. Mostly Minecraft but I introduced them to some strategy games from my childhood like Colonization (1995 sequel to Civilization) and the Heroes of Might and Magic games. 75-80% of the time they just play Minecraft with the other kids crowded around watching and giving lots of unsolicited advice.

We established that they get 1 hour per day on Saturday and Sunday or if it's a day off school (sometimes). They can lose that time for bad behavior - especially anything physical (with 5 boys it's pretty common for them to fight). Sometimes I'll play with them on the PS4 or play one of the older games to demonstrate it to them.

Overall, it's been a mixed bag. Sometimes we've had to question if they really only spent an hour. With 4 kids rotating through it's not easy to keep track of and we've mostly relied on the honor system. We did end up backtracking on one game we let them buy. It was basically a world simulator where eventually they just ended up as a cruel god torturing their people and destroying the world. We decided that wasn't a good influence - especially on the younger kids so we uninstalled it and just gave them their money back. The also only play offline.


They're still not getting a smartphone or unrestricted internet access until they're 18.

 Here's my advice-
 Don't get too caught up in time limits and monitoring how much time everybody had. You'll drive yourself mad. You'll generally know if it's getting out of hand. And they will likely know how to split their time fairly and self regulate a bit, or there be a sibling war.

Most importantly- just make sure that they are getting homework done, studying, spending some time reading, playing outside and pursuing other interests (legos, music etc) having dinner with family, family movies etc. If all those things are happening with regularity then you don't have a video game problem.

On the phone. I totally get where you're coming from, I'm a parent of a teen and getting him a smart phone was scary. We waited until he was 13 before he got a phone, but our experience was that we couldn't wait much longer. He needed a phone to be included in text groups to make plans to do things IN PERSON. (there are no house phones, parents don't set things up after a certain age) Like go to the movies or the trampoline park etc. That is how kids communicate. He's also frequently dropped off places like Scouts, the movies with friends etc and needs to be able to call for a ride (or God forbid, be able to call me to come get him if he's in a bad situation with friends). There are no pay phones anymore. It's hard for me to imagine how one would navigate this stuff until their kid turned 18.

charis

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #55 on: March 01, 2023, 06:30:23 PM »
@BeanCounter, if you are asking me, 13 and 10.  A variety of games I guess, depending on what they are into at the time.

 I was just curious because you said 10-30 minute time limits and that seems like a tease to me. Some of the games my kids (same ages) play couldn't be finished in 10 minutes. Like Madden or NBA 2k. 10 minutes would be maddening as a kid, like you can see the game, try it, but you can't actually PLAY it.

My 13 year old barely plays video games, so that's not a great example.  But the 10 year has only ever been able to play for 30 minutes or more a handful of times with dad over the holidays.  It's typically 10-15 minutes at a time on the weekends as a reward after homework or a chore.  I'm sure it's maddening for him, but if he wants to do it, there will be a time limit.  If he overreacts to ending a session, he will not be playing for the next couple of days.  He's in control of his reaction to limits, we are in control of the limits and it won't be dictated by a child being mad.

BeanCounter

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #56 on: March 01, 2023, 06:35:14 PM »
@BeanCounter, if you are asking me, 13 and 10.  A variety of games I guess, depending on what they are into at the time.

 I was just curious because you said 10-30 minute time limits and that seems like a tease to me. Some of the games my kids (same ages) play couldn't be finished in 10 minutes. Like Madden or NBA 2k. 10 minutes would be maddening as a kid, like you can see the game, try it, but you can't actually PLAY it.

My 13 year old barely plays video games, so that's not a great example.  But the 10 year has only ever been able to play for 30 minutes or more a handful of times with dad over the holidays.  It's typically 10-15 minutes at a time on the weekends as a reward after homework or a chore.  I'm sure it's maddening for him, but if he wants to do it, there will be a time limit.  If he overreacts to ending a session, he will not be playing for the next couple of days.  He's in control of his reaction to limits, we are in control of the limits and it won't be dictated by a child being mad.

 But what is the really adverse thing that will happen if he's allowed to play for an hour? I don't get the over control.

charis

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #57 on: March 01, 2023, 06:57:43 PM »
@BeanCounter, if you are asking me, 13 and 10.  A variety of games I guess, depending on what they are into at the time.

 I was just curious because you said 10-30 minute time limits and that seems like a tease to me. Some of the games my kids (same ages) play couldn't be finished in 10 minutes. Like Madden or NBA 2k. 10 minutes would be maddening as a kid, like you can see the game, try it, but you can't actually PLAY it.

My 13 year old barely plays video games, so that's not a great example.  But the 10 year has only ever been able to play for 30 minutes or more a handful of times with dad over the holidays.  It's typically 10-15 minutes at a time on the weekends as a reward after homework or a chore.  I'm sure it's maddening for him, but if he wants to do it, there will be a time limit.  If he overreacts to ending a session, he will not be playing for the next couple of days.  He's in control of his reaction to limits, we are in control of the limits and it won't be dictated by a child being mad.

 But what is the really adverse thing that will happen if he's allowed to play for an hour? I don't get the over control.

What do you mean by "over control"? The kid is 10, guess what he does when he isn't spending an hour on video games? He plays outside with friends, does homework, reading, plays sports, plays an instrument, and hangs out with his family.  I find your comment baffling, sorry.  Setting age-appropriate limits, if needed based on the individual child, is part being a responsible parent.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 07:00:18 PM by charis »

BeanCounter

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #58 on: March 01, 2023, 07:17:47 PM »
@BeanCounter, if you are asking me, 13 and 10.  A variety of games I guess, depending on what they are into at the time.

 I was just curious because you said 10-30 minute time limits and that seems like a tease to me. Some of the games my kids (same ages) play couldn't be finished in 10 minutes. Like Madden or NBA 2k. 10 minutes would be maddening as a kid, like you can see the game, try it, but you can't actually PLAY it.

My 13 year old barely plays video games, so that's not a great example.  But the 10 year has only ever been able to play for 30 minutes or more a handful of times with dad over the holidays.  It's typically 10-15 minutes at a time on the weekends as a reward after homework or a chore.  I'm sure it's maddening for him, but if he wants to do it, there will be a time limit.  If he overreacts to ending a session, he will not be playing for the next couple of days.  He's in control of his reaction to limits, we are in control of the limits and it won't be dictated by a child being mad.

 But what is the really adverse thing that will happen if he's allowed to play for an hour? I don't get the over control.

What do you mean by "over control"? The kid is 10, guess what he does when he isn't spending an hour on video games? He plays outside with friends, does homework, reading, plays sports, plays an instrument, and hangs out with his family.  I find your comment baffling, sorry.  Setting age-appropriate limits, if needed based on the individual child, is part being a responsible parent.
I get it. I have a 10 year old boy too. He gets on the Xbox and laughs and has a great time playing with friends from school. He also reads books, plays piano, is in chess club, plays soccer and does Scouts. And has straight A's.
I'm suggesting that he can do all those things and still have more than 10 minutes of video game time. I think you can give him that and still be setting "appropriate age limits". And he won't become addicted. I'm suggesting that allowing him to play more, to get to actually experience playing a game, maybe even play a game with friends would not be such a bad thing. You don't have to control it down to 10 minute increments. Handing it out like a cookie for good behavior. I find this makes the kids want it more.
Maybe I'm wrong and your kid is totally fine with his 10 minutes. I'm just suggesting if that's not the case, it's okay to give a little. If you've had arguments about this in the past you could find a small compromise. He won't become a addicted, hoody wearing gamer holed up in his room pissing in Gatoraid bottles.

charis

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #59 on: March 01, 2023, 07:44:31 PM »
Ok. There's a disconnect here. I'm truly happy for you that you have an amazing, successful child. My approach is not a condemnation of your parenting. However, you should not assume your approach applies to all children. My child has a learning disability and obsessive approach to screen time. He is not going to benefit from an hour of video gaming. There is nothing wrong or over controlling about setting limits as a parent if it's appropriate for that specific child. My older child has no gaming limits because they are unnecessary. This thread has several concerned parents and my responses speak to the reasonable conclusion that it's ok to set limits.

BeanCounter

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #60 on: March 01, 2023, 08:08:33 PM »
Ok. There's a disconnect here. I'm truly happy for you that you have an amazing, successful child. My approach is not a condemnation of your parenting. However, you should not assume your approach applies to all children. My child has a learning disability and obsessive approach to screen time. He is not going to benefit from an hour of video gaming. There is nothing wrong or over controlling about setting limits as a parent if it's appropriate for that specific child. My older child has no gaming limits because they are unnecessary. This thread has several concerned parents and my responses speak to the reasonable conclusion that it's ok to set limits.
Sorry. Iím not meaning to condemn your parenting either. I think setting limits is important. Iíve certainly had to remove my kids from the gaming system. Iím just suggesting that a ten minute time limit would be pretty frustrating as it doesnít really allow (most) games to be played. Itís just like someone only letting you watch 10 minutes of a movie at a time.

charis

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #61 on: March 01, 2023, 08:39:17 PM »
In my personal experience, the kids will ask for more time for a game or movie whether it's been ten minutes or 45 minutes, it doesn't matter. So the precise time limit for that activity is irrelevant.  They aren't gaining anything from playing longer. But my kid's friends aren't playing online games with each other at their age, they play outside and in person, daily. We would much rather encourage that type of interaction and I can't imagine a scenario where my kid he has an hour to spend on video games on any regular basis.

Malossi792

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #62 on: March 01, 2023, 11:59:01 PM »
@charis
Micromanager is what came to mind first, sorry.
Please see my previous reply.
I've never had an actual 'relationship' with the over-controlling parent; too much resentment was built up by the micromanaging and lack of actual care.
Not at all saying that's happening in your household, just saying it happened in mine. Food for thought, nothing more.

Freedomin5

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #63 on: March 02, 2023, 03:52:14 AM »
Yikes, I wonder what people would say about our family*, LOL! We donít own a TV. We donít have a home computer. No gaming systems. We have a school-provided iPad with school-sanctioned learning apps. DD hasnít mentioned feeling deprived by not having a PS XBOX Nintendo Sega Genesis Wii Switch gaming system. Nor has she mentioned anything about not being able to connect with her classmates and friends. She has quite a few friends and goes on playdates almost every weekend.

I donít see it as being over controlling, just that people have different priorities for how they spend their time.

*Actually, donít really care what people say about our family. Our family is weird, and thatís okay.

charis

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #64 on: March 02, 2023, 05:05:28 AM »
Yikes, I wonder what people would say about our family*, LOL! We donít own a TV. We donít have a home computer. No gaming systems. We have a school-provided iPad with school-sanctioned learning apps. DD hasnít mentioned feeling deprived by not having a PS XBOX Nintendo Sega Genesis Wii Switch gaming system. Nor has she mentioned anything about not being able to connect with her classmates and friends. She has quite a few friends and goes on playdates almost every weekend.

I donít see it as being over controlling, just that people have different priorities for how they spend their time.

*Actually, donít really care what people say about our family. Our family is weird, and thatís okay.

Yeah, some of the response are out of touch with how much a 10 year old with lots of friends on the block plays with friends in person.  They also need 10 hours of sleep. There aren't enough hours in the day, lol.  I don't care about other opinions, I got flack for letting my kids play video games at all at the beginning of the thread so it's no win with internet strangers.  It's not about control at all, actually, the gaming time is incentive for things like reading and chores and it's earned.  I don't know if the time would increase if he played video games with friends, but that's a bridge we haven't had to cross yet.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 05:11:52 AM by charis »

BeanCounter

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #65 on: March 02, 2023, 05:41:09 AM »
What Iím (not so eloquently) trying to say is that if itís working for you fine. But if youíre getting pushback and your kid feels frustrated or left out then there is plenty of room to give. There is such a wide range from ďno video gamesĒ to ďmy kid is addicted and canít be pulled off without a fightĒ.
 I do think itís important to be mindful of what their peers are doing. If they have school friends that never play video games and are readily available to do other things then great! I know from volunteering in the school lunchroom that my sons classmates talk about sports and gaming. Itís important to me that my kids can connect with them on those things if they want to.
(Also, I hate to say this but girls are totally different)

Gaming, cell phones and all the other distractions are here to stay. I feel more comfortable with teaching (and modeling) appropriate limits and encouraging other activities and being well rounded is important to start at an early age rather than highly controlling (which can make the activity more desirable) or outright banning it. YMMV


charis

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #66 on: March 02, 2023, 06:01:26 AM »
What Iím (not so eloquently) trying to say is that if itís working for you fine. But if youíre getting pushback and your kid feels frustrated or left out then there is plenty of room to give. There is such a wide range from ďno video gamesĒ to ďmy kid is addicted and canít be pulled off without a fightĒ.
 I do think itís important to be mindful of what their peers are doing. If they have school friends that never play video games and are readily available to do other things then great! I know from volunteering in the school lunchroom that my sons classmates talk about sports and gaming. Itís important to me that my kids can connect with them on those things if they want to.
(Also, I hate to say this but girls are totally different)

Gaming, cell phones and all the other distractions are here to stay. I feel more comfortable with teaching (and modeling) appropriate limits and encouraging other activities and being well rounded is important to start at an early age rather than highly controlling (which can make the activity more desirable) or outright banning it. YMMV

I was very clear that it works well for our child in our situation.  You are the one that suggested it was high controlling and maybe wasn't going fine.  Presumably because you read some sort of judgment of your own parenting when you read what we do at our house.  I can't think of another reason why our personal experience is triggering for other readers.

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #67 on: March 02, 2023, 06:20:06 AM »
I think it's so individual.  Our kids are 9 and 6 and we are quite permissive I think - they have a tablet each and most often use that to play Minecraft together (they don't have log ins/can't play online, but Minecraft allows you to play together if there are two of you on the same wifi network).  They also have some "Timewaster" type games but get bored of them quickly.  I quite like Minecraft as they build nice stuff together and some of the mods are quite fun and educational (e.g. DD recently downloaded an ancient Egyptian world as she was doing Egypt as a topic at school, and there are some quite nice ones with animal facts or bits of mythology woven into them).  They do also just build traps and houses and stuff for each other and prank each other - but I think that's quite fun too and a good way to relax.

However, they both would play for too long if left to it (or watch endless hours of YouTube of people playing Minecraft).   On weekdays we're just too busy for them to go overboard - between school and clubs and homework and eating meals and other random projects they want to do there's not a lot of time left.  There have been times at weekends when we've been getting on with DIY, or times the kids have been off sick and I've had to work that I've let them have too long and it does make them a bit wired and grumpy, or they start to get frustrated that builds aren't working out how they wanted, so there definitely is such a thing as too much.  I'm keen that over time they learn to self-regulate on this stuff (as I largely did - though I'm still guilty of spending too much of my own time online at times) - but at ages 9 and 6 they certainly need some boundaries.  In our house that tends to take the form of "you've spent enough time on that now - have another 10 minutes and then we're going to go and do something else" and generally that goes down fine - I think they can kind of tell themselves when it isn't doing them any good any more and not actually helping them relax and they are pretty open to stopping as long as we give them a little bit of warning.

The other game I quite like is Pokemon Go, which is on my phone and I let them play on our bus commute to school once they've done any times tables/spellings we need to get done.  It's not a very improving game by itself but the elements I like are (1) that it incentivises you to actually walk off your route (so e.g. sometimes we get off the bus early and walk the rest of the way home to try to catch a Pokemon that is a bit off our route), (2) that the Pokestops are points of interest, so it causes you to stop and notice a little plaque to a historic event or a piece of art somewhere, and (3) that you can "save up" coins to buy things like extra storage space (or fritter them on lower item things like clothes for your avatar).  DD (9) is a natural saver, so I worry less about her, but DS (6) is a spender and I think it's quite a good way for him to start to learn that if he spends all his "money" on clothes for his character then he can't get a bigger Pokemon storage or something that might give him more pleasure in the longer term.  They also learn negotiation as there is only one account that they take turns on, so they have to agree how to spend the coins!  I enjoy them having the opportunity to teach me about something they know more about too - it leads to a lot of fun conversations.

I think "money" in games is a tricky one as you don't want them playing for hours to try to generate coins - but in Pokemon there's a (fairly low) limit on how many you can get a day - and you can basically generate that through one action - so I don't worry about it generating that kind of obsession with the game (and in fact when they are on holiday from school we often don't play at all for long stretches).  At some point I need to actually give them pocket money so they can learn these lessons with real cash!

Anyway, as I said, I get the impression I'm more permissive than most on this thread and maybe too much - but I do also see some advantages in giving them some space to go a bit "overboard" and learn to self-regulate as they get older.  In the end I tend to believe that people with addictive traits will find a way to express that in one way or another, and will need to learn to regulate it in one way or another - it isn't possible to protect somebody from all addictive substances for their whole life long.  It's certainly reasonable to protect young children from those things until they have the skills and level of development necessary to learn to manage those traits - but once they do have those abilities it's probably best to start to learn to apply them in "baby steps" and in a home/family environment, within some safe limits, rather than as an adult and entirely on their own.  I think most areas of parenting are a judgement about what your child's personality is, where their skills are at, and at what point you start teaching skills and exposing them to challenges that they will need to face to thrive as an independent adult.  I need to judge whether they are ready for a certain level of exposure to video games just as I need to decide whether they are ready to try a certain book or movie.  There is no one "right" answer, and the "good enough" answers will vary for every child.

BeanCounter

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #68 on: March 02, 2023, 06:26:06 AM »
What Iím (not so eloquently) trying to say is that if itís working for you fine. But if youíre getting pushback and your kid feels frustrated or left out then there is plenty of room to give. There is such a wide range from ďno video gamesĒ to ďmy kid is addicted and canít be pulled off without a fightĒ.
 I do think itís important to be mindful of what their peers are doing. If they have school friends that never play video games and are readily available to do other things then great! I know from volunteering in the school lunchroom that my sons classmates talk about sports and gaming. Itís important to me that my kids can connect with them on those things if they want to.
(Also, I hate to say this but girls are totally different)

Gaming, cell phones and all the other distractions are here to stay. I feel more comfortable with teaching (and modeling) appropriate limits and encouraging other activities and being well rounded is important to start at an early age rather than highly controlling (which can make the activity more desirable) or outright banning it. YMMV

I was very clear that it works well for our child in our situation.  You are the one that suggested it was high controlling and maybe wasn't going fine.  Presumably because you read some sort of judgment of your own parenting when you read what we do at our house.  I can't think of another reason why our personal experience is triggering for other readers.
Nope. I donít feel judged. Most days I think we are doing fine here.
Your comment about if your child he overreacted to ending a session then he would not be allowed to play the game for several days (or something like that) led me to believe that there might be friction on the boundary. My immediate thought was ďwell yeah, Iíd be pissed too if I could only look at a game for ten minutes. You canít play anything in ten minutes but stupid click games on a tablet or phoneĒ

GuitarStv

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #69 on: March 02, 2023, 07:20:06 AM »
Yikes, I wonder what people would say about our family*, LOL! We donít own a TV. We donít have a home computer. No gaming systems. We have a school-provided iPad with school-sanctioned learning apps. DD hasnít mentioned feeling deprived by not having a PS XBOX Nintendo Sega Genesis Wii Switch gaming system. Nor has she mentioned anything about not being able to connect with her classmates and friends. She has quite a few friends and goes on playdates almost every weekend.

I donít see it as being over controlling, just that people have different priorities for how they spend their time.

*Actually, donít really care what people say about our family. Our family is weird, and thatís okay.

How old is your daughter?  We were doing something similar at one point, but as our son got older we relented a bit.  The concern was that he would be left at a disadvantage in the future - basically all work today requires computer skills.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #70 on: March 02, 2023, 09:26:06 AM »
Update: We finally decided to let our kids have some regular video game time a couple of months ago. For Christmas their big, shared gift was a used PlayStation 4 with 4 controllers so they could play Minecraft Dungeons all together. Pretty quickly our youngest (7) found that his older brothers (11, 13, & 14) mostly badgered him for not being good enough or slowing them down, etc. So it's usually just two kids playing at a time. There was one other adventure style game that came with it, but they weren't that interested in it. They're looking at buying a two-person racing game. It's nice that they can pool their money together and it's only $5-10 each.

We brought home an old work laptop for our older kids to use for school and did let them buy a few games to play on there. Mostly Minecraft but I introduced them to some strategy games from my childhood like Colonization (1995 sequel to Civilization) and the Heroes of Might and Magic games. 75-80% of the time they just play Minecraft with the other kids crowded around watching and giving lots of unsolicited advice.

We established that they get 1 hour per day on Saturday and Sunday or if it's a day off school (sometimes). They can lose that time for bad behavior - especially anything physical (with 5 boys it's pretty common for them to fight). Sometimes I'll play with them on the PS4 or play one of the older games to demonstrate it to them.

Overall, it's been a mixed bag. Sometimes we've had to question if they really only spent an hour. With 4 kids rotating through it's not easy to keep track of and we've mostly relied on the honor system. We did end up backtracking on one game we let them buy. It was basically a world simulator where eventually they just ended up as a cruel god torturing their people and destroying the world. We decided that wasn't a good influence - especially on the younger kids so we uninstalled it and just gave them their money back. The also only play offline.


They're still not getting a smartphone or unrestricted internet access until they're 18.

 Here's my advice-
 Don't get too caught up in time limits and monitoring how much time everybody had. You'll drive yourself mad. You'll generally know if it's getting out of hand. And they will likely know how to split their time fairly and self regulate a bit, or there be a sibling war.

Most importantly- just make sure that they are getting homework done, studying, spending some time reading, playing outside and pursuing other interests (legos, music etc) having dinner with family, family movies etc. If all those things are happening with regularity then you don't have a video game problem.

On the phone. I totally get where you're coming from, I'm a parent of a teen and getting him a smart phone was scary. We waited until he was 13 before he got a phone, but our experience was that we couldn't wait much longer. He needed a phone to be included in text groups to make plans to do things IN PERSON. (there are no house phones, parents don't set things up after a certain age) Like go to the movies or the trampoline park etc. That is how kids communicate. He's also frequently dropped off places like Scouts, the movies with friends etc and needs to be able to call for a ride (or God forbid, be able to call me to come get him if he's in a bad situation with friends). There are no pay phones anymore. It's hard for me to imagine how one would navigate this stuff until their kid turned 18.

The time regulation is more to keep things fair among the four boys (our daughter has zero interest in games). One or two of them could probably self-regulate but a couple of them would play for as long as we let them. If they're not playing, they're typically watching the other brother play. We do require that all their homework and chores are complete and usually make sure the go play outside or go for a bike ride first. They're all voracious readers and will spend plenty of time playing with Legos or other things so not much concern there.

Our kids go to a Catholic school on the other side of the city so none of their friends live closer than 10-15 miles away. Anything they're doing in person requires my wife or I to drive them there and it's almost always to another person's house. Given the time/distance it's not a very frequent occurrence. Our teenage boys have email accounts, so they do interact with some friends that way - including some that no longer go to the same school. But once again that's accessed on a laptop sitting in the middle of the house and they don't have unrestricted access.

Our 14-year-old is going to a multi-day event this summer and we'll send him with a prepaid "dumb" phone to talk/text us. But I see very little upside to unfettered internet access and social media for younger teenagers - and a huge amount of downside.

FINate

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #71 on: March 02, 2023, 10:43:20 AM »
We are firmly in the no smartphones or tablets for the kids camp, but we do have a Nintendo Switch.

The kids get 30 minutes/day of screen time on school nights, 1 hr/day non school nights. This can be video games or a TV show or whatever. We make exceptions for family movie/video game nights. Yes, we actually enforce this with portable timers. If the kids exceed their time we take away screen time from subsequent days -- the emphasis here is on building responsibility and trust.

We went with the Switch because there are a lot of just fun party/puzzle games, and it's cheap and easy to connect 4 Joy-Con controllers so the entire family can plan, and often the kids do their screen time with friends, which is a lot more social than sitting alone in front of a screen.

charis

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #72 on: March 02, 2023, 11:03:18 AM »
We are firmly in the no smartphones or tablets for the kids camp, but we do have a Nintendo Switch.

The kids get 30 minutes/day of screen time on school nights, 1 hr/day non school nights. This can be video games or a TV show or whatever. We make exceptions for family movie/video game nights. Yes, we actually enforce this with portable timers. If the kids exceed their time we take away screen time from subsequent days -- the emphasis here is on building responsibility and trust.

We went with the Switch because there are a lot of just fun party/puzzle games, and it's cheap and easy to connect 4 Joy-Con controllers so the entire family can plan, and often the kids do their screen time with friends, which is a lot more social than sitting alone in front of a screen.

This is very similar to how we do it in our house, although generally we don't use a timer (which usually results in a couple of extra minutes of play/tv time), but they are expected to turn over/off the device when we say that the session has ended.  There was some push back in the beginning, but they have acclimated to the limits on screen time.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #73 on: March 02, 2023, 12:38:43 PM »
Update: We finally decided to let our kids have some regular video game time a couple of months ago. For Christmas their big, shared gift was a used PlayStation 4 with 4 controllers so they could play Minecraft Dungeons all together. Pretty quickly our youngest (7) found that his older brothers (11, 13, & 14) mostly badgered him for not being good enough or slowing them down, etc.

When I play video games with my kids (7&4) there are certainly are a lot of "teachable moments" when one of them gets upset at something the other has done.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 05:04:17 PM by YttriumNitrate »

Freedomin5

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #74 on: March 02, 2023, 02:53:56 PM »
Yikes, I wonder what people would say about our family*, LOL! We donít own a TV. We donít have a home computer. No gaming systems. We have a school-provided iPad with school-sanctioned learning apps. DD hasnít mentioned feeling deprived by not having a PS XBOX Nintendo Sega Genesis Wii Switch gaming system. Nor has she mentioned anything about not being able to connect with her classmates and friends. She has quite a few friends and goes on playdates almost every weekend.

I donít see it as being over controlling, just that people have different priorities for how they spend their time.

*Actually, donít really care what people say about our family. Our family is weird, and thatís okay.

How old is your daughter?  We were doing something similar at one point, but as our son got older we relented a bit.  The concern was that he would be left at a disadvantage in the future - basically all work today requires computer skills.

Sheís almost nine. She has computer skills, and we use technology. She uses iPads and computers at school for work and for her digital art. She takes typing lessons. She attends coding camps. She wears a smartwatch (with all functions disabled except calling whitelisted contacts) when she walks over to her friendís place for a play date. She just doesnít use gaming systems or play video games on her school iPad or on a computer.

Iím just an N of 1 (well, N of 3 if you include my sisters), but I have a degree in computer science, and a masters and a doctorate in another field, and I have computer skills even though family was too poor  to own any kind of gaming system when I was growing up. We eventually got a very slow, very old computer for homework purposes when I was a teen, but we never used it for video games.  My sisters are also all computer literate and hold advanced degrees and are gainfully employed. We havenít really noticed a technological disadvantage resulting from lack of video game playing.

Iím still not totally convinced that ďnot playing video gamesĒ will put DD at a technological disadvantage, or a social disadvantage, which seem to be the two main arguments for why you should allow your kid to play video games. Maybe for some folks in different circumstances? But it hasnít been our experience.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 03:27:38 PM by Freedomin5 »

Gronnie

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #75 on: March 03, 2023, 04:01:50 PM »
@BeanCounter, if you are asking me, 13 and 10.  A variety of games I guess, depending on what they are into at the time.

 I was just curious because you said 10-30 minute time limits and that seems like a tease to me. Some of the games my kids (same ages) play couldn't be finished in 10 minutes. Like Madden or NBA 2k. 10 minutes would be maddening as a kid, like you can see the game, try it, but you can't actually PLAY it.

My 13 year old barely plays video games, so that's not a great example.  But the 10 year has only ever been able to play for 30 minutes or more a handful of times with dad over the holidays.  It's typically 10-15 minutes at a time on the weekends as a reward after homework or a chore.  I'm sure it's maddening for him, but if he wants to do it, there will be a time limit.  If he overreacts to ending a session, he will not be playing for the next couple of days.  He's in control of his reaction to limits, we are in control of the limits and it won't be dictated by a child being mad.

 But what is the really adverse thing that will happen if he's allowed to play for an hour? I don't get the over control.

What do you mean by "over control"? The kid is 10, guess what he does when he isn't spending an hour on video games? He plays outside with friends, does homework, reading, plays sports, plays an instrument, and hangs out with his family.  I find your comment baffling, sorry.  Setting age-appropriate limits, if needed based on the individual child, is part being a responsible parent.

Children of parents that many would consider over controlling tend to rebel much worse at some point.

Also not everything has to be good for the child or enriching -- some things can just be fun, no?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 04:03:40 PM by Gronnie »

nereo

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #76 on: March 03, 2023, 04:51:07 PM »

Children of parents that many would consider over controlling tend to rebel much worse at some point.


has that actually been established, or is it something we assume is true without any real data?

Gronnie

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #77 on: March 03, 2023, 05:12:35 PM »

Children of parents that many would consider over controlling tend to rebel much worse at some point.


has that actually been established, or is it something we assume is true without any real data?

That assertion is purely anecdotal. I'm not aware of any studies per se or how they would even be conducted.

charis

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #78 on: March 03, 2023, 05:42:40 PM »
@BeanCounter, if you are asking me, 13 and 10.  A variety of games I guess, depending on what they are into at the time.

 I was just curious because you said 10-30 minute time limits and that seems like a tease to me. Some of the games my kids (same ages) play couldn't be finished in 10 minutes. Like Madden or NBA 2k. 10 minutes would be maddening as a kid, like you can see the game, try it, but you can't actually PLAY it.

My 13 year old barely plays video games, so that's not a great example.  But the 10 year has only ever been able to play for 30 minutes or more a handful of times with dad over the holidays.  It's typically 10-15 minutes at a time on the weekends as a reward after homework or a chore.  I'm sure it's maddening for him, but if he wants to do it, there will be a time limit.  If he overreacts to ending a session, he will not be playing for the next couple of days.  He's in control of his reaction to limits, we are in control of the limits and it won't be dictated by a child being mad.

 But what is the really adverse thing that will happen if he's allowed to play for an hour? I don't get the over control.

What do you mean by "over control"? The kid is 10, guess what he does when he isn't spending an hour on video games? He plays outside with friends, does homework, reading, plays sports, plays an instrument, and hangs out with his family.  I find your comment baffling, sorry.  Setting age-appropriate limits, if needed based on the individual child, is part being a responsible parent.

Children of parents that many would consider over controlling tend to rebel much worse at some point.

Also not everything has to be good for the child or enriching -- some things can just be fun, no?

Are you responding to me?  Was the is the playing outside that with his friends that got you thinking over controlling and enriching?  lol  My kid has the least structure of anyone I know.  I'm seriously confused

Gronnie

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #79 on: March 03, 2023, 06:22:00 PM »
@BeanCounter, if you are asking me, 13 and 10.  A variety of games I guess, depending on what they are into at the time.

 I was just curious because you said 10-30 minute time limits and that seems like a tease to me. Some of the games my kids (same ages) play couldn't be finished in 10 minutes. Like Madden or NBA 2k. 10 minutes would be maddening as a kid, like you can see the game, try it, but you can't actually PLAY it.

My 13 year old barely plays video games, so that's not a great example.  But the 10 year has only ever been able to play for 30 minutes or more a handful of times with dad over the holidays.  It's typically 10-15 minutes at a time on the weekends as a reward after homework or a chore.  I'm sure it's maddening for him, but if he wants to do it, there will be a time limit.  If he overreacts to ending a session, he will not be playing for the next couple of days.  He's in control of his reaction to limits, we are in control of the limits and it won't be dictated by a child being mad.

 But what is the really adverse thing that will happen if he's allowed to play for an hour? I don't get the over control.

What do you mean by "over control"? The kid is 10, guess what he does when he isn't spending an hour on video games? He plays outside with friends, does homework, reading, plays sports, plays an instrument, and hangs out with his family.  I find your comment baffling, sorry.  Setting age-appropriate limits, if needed based on the individual child, is part being a responsible parent.

Children of parents that many would consider over controlling tend to rebel much worse at some point.

Also not everything has to be good for the child or enriching -- some things can just be fun, no?

Are you responding to me?  Was the is the playing outside that with his friends that got you thinking over controlling and enriching?  lol  My kid has the least structure of anyone I know.  I'm seriously confused

I quoted you didn't I? I would almost say zero video game time would be better than 10-15 minutes. The latter just seems cruel.

The whole "I'm so confused" act you put on with everyone that questions it is just weird too.

charis

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #80 on: March 03, 2023, 07:22:29 PM »
@BeanCounter, if you are asking me, 13 and 10.  A variety of games I guess, depending on what they are into at the time.

 I was just curious because you said 10-30 minute time limits and that seems like a tease to me. Some of the games my kids (same ages) play couldn't be finished in 10 minutes. Like Madden or NBA 2k. 10 minutes would be maddening as a kid, like you can see the game, try it, but you can't actually PLAY it.

My 13 year old barely plays video games, so that's not a great example.  But the 10 year has only ever been able to play for 30 minutes or more a handful of times with dad over the holidays.  It's typically 10-15 minutes at a time on the weekends as a reward after homework or a chore.  I'm sure it's maddening for him, but if he wants to do it, there will be a time limit.  If he overreacts to ending a session, he will not be playing for the next couple of days.  He's in control of his reaction to limits, we are in control of the limits and it won't be dictated by a child being mad.

 But what is the really adverse thing that will happen if he's allowed to play for an hour? I don't get the over control.

What do you mean by "over control"? The kid is 10, guess what he does when he isn't spending an hour on video games? He plays outside with friends, does homework, reading, plays sports, plays an instrument, and hangs out with his family.  I find your comment baffling, sorry.  Setting age-appropriate limits, if needed based on the individual child, is part being a responsible parent.

Children of parents that many would consider over controlling tend to rebel much worse at some point.

Also not everything has to be good for the child or enriching -- some things can just be fun, no?

Are you responding to me?  Was the is the playing outside that with his friends that got you thinking over controlling and enriching?  lol  My kid has the least structure of anyone I know.  I'm seriously confused

I quoted you didn't I? I would almost say zero video game time would be better than 10-15 minutes. The latter just seems cruel.

The whole "I'm so confused" act you put on with everyone that questions it is just weird too.

I am truly and honestly confused.  It is not an act.  You are saying I should forbid video game playing instead of 15 minutes sessions (which is just absurd, and other posters do the same with their kids), in addition to television, for a fourth grader who would rather play with his friends in person anyway.  It's a perfectly good length of time for the types games that he plays. But apparently we don't know our own kid, thank you internet stranger for your advice.

waltworks

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #81 on: June 07, 2023, 09:08:21 PM »
I'd let my kids play video games before I'd let them watch TV. At least there are interactive/social aspects to gaming, and even some problem solving/logic.

We settled on "neither", though they can watch movies in the car on road trips (got tired of cleaning up vomit from their attempts to read that resulted in carsickness).

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GuitarStv

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #82 on: June 08, 2023, 07:41:09 AM »
I'd let my kids play video games before I'd let them watch TV. At least there are interactive/social aspects to gaming, and even some problem solving/logic.

We settled on "neither", though they can watch movies in the car on road trips (got tired of cleaning up vomit from their attempts to read that resulted in carsickness).

-W

I think it seriously has to depend upon content for both.

Like . . . I bet you would be happier that your kids were watching Sesame Street than playing the latest iteration of GTA - interactivity be damned.  :P

waltworks

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #83 on: June 08, 2023, 08:51:51 AM »
I'd let my kids play video games before I'd let them watch TV. At least there are interactive/social aspects to gaming, and even some problem solving/logic.

We settled on "neither", though they can watch movies in the car on road trips (got tired of cleaning up vomit from their attempts to read that resulted in carsickness).

-W

I think it seriously has to depend upon content for both.

Like . . . I bet you would be happier that your kids were watching Sesame Street than playing the latest iteration of GTA - interactivity be damned.  :P

Ok, sure. I guess maybe it would be more accurate to say I'd rather have them play age-appopriate games than watch age-appropriate TV.

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mustachian816

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #84 on: June 13, 2023, 12:24:12 PM »
I allow them to indulge in things that are bad for them such as sweets/video games, etc on a limited basis now so that when they leave the nest, there isn't a shock to the system of going from full restrictions to almost no restrictions in college.  Some people struggle with handling that transition from having zero temptations available to having lots of them available if they live away from home.

nereo

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #85 on: June 13, 2023, 02:47:04 PM »
I allow them to indulge in things that are bad for them such as sweets/video games, etc on a limited basis now so that when they leave the nest, there isn't a shock to the system of going from full restrictions to almost no restrictions in college.  Some people struggle with handling that transition from having zero temptations available to having lots of them available if they live away from home.

Do you consider all video games and all levels of playing ďbad for themĒ?

waltworks

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #86 on: June 13, 2023, 03:48:40 PM »
Do you consider all video games and all levels of playing ďbad for themĒ?

I do wonder about this. I played a ton of D&D as a kid, and then also some early RPGs( (ie Wizardry, Zork/text adventure stuff) and strategy games (Civilization I, original SimCity, etc). I got pretty obsessed with some of them and wasted many a nice sunny day, and I feel like I turned out ok.

But then I turn around and see all the kids I teach (I'm a sub and reading tutor) who can't read/write/do any math and are years behind, and the common thread is that they love love love video games. If MineCraft or FortNite is making their geometry or planning ahead or delaying gratification skills better it's sure hard to tell. Their futures are pretty bleak at this point (these are all boys, FWIW). Then I come home and go into full get-off-my-lawn mode and want to make sure my kids never so much as play Minesweeper while they wait for the bus.

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GhostSaver

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #87 on: June 14, 2023, 08:31:35 AM »
I played a fair bit growing up. I was good enough at street fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, and killer instinct that I probably would've had a twitch stream and probably some gamer team affiliation. I was also pretty good at the 16 bit side-scrollers. However, at the same age I was also an A student, I read a lot, I was into mountain biking and skateboarding, I was competitive on my swim team and shitty at Little League, etc.

By the time I was a teenager, I got into Doom and Quake on my PC, I still enjoyed playing, but I couldn't/didn't want to put the hours in to really whip ass at it. That's still where I am today. Games that are resource accumulation, huge sims, or otherwise take hundreds of hours to play through or master are just a HUGE time-suck. I don't have the time. Most people probably don't (maybe if you're childless and FIREd?) But I do have an XBox and will jump in to play Halo or Forza for 30 minutes after the kids are in bed. Or I will play the Lego Star Wars games with my kids occasionally. But games that are enjoyable to pick up for 30 minutes at a time once or twice a week? Sure, I don't see any harm there.

I guess my point is: all things in moderation, but there are plenty of games that aren't meant to be enjoyed in moderation and this aren't worth picking up.

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Re: Does anybody else not allow video games?
« Reply #88 on: June 15, 2023, 06:39:56 AM »
I allow them to indulge in things that are bad for them such as sweets/video games, etc on a limited basis now so that when they leave the nest, there isn't a shock to the system of going from full restrictions to almost no restrictions in college.  Some people struggle with handling that transition from having zero temptations available to having lots of them available if they live away from home.

Do you consider all video games and all levels of playing ďbad for themĒ?

Not necessarily all bad, but there's usually better alternatives to spending one's time, learning things, creating things, exercising, socializing in person, etc.  But in general, I put it in the same category as watching tv or internet surfing, okay in moderation but bad in excess.