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CraftyRole4567 t1_iwzxzol wrote

It’s worth noting that this measured well-being only as self-reported mental health, clearly with a focus on whether anxiety or depression as linked to gaming. This didn’t look at the cost to these kids of spending the equivalent of a full day every week gaming in terms of impact on grades, social life off-line, lack of physical activity etc., or compare any of those things among kids who don’t game/game less.


Electrical_Tip352 t1_ix0gc09 wrote

Anecdotally, my 12 year old games A LOT. He wants to be a professional gamer when he grows up. I can honestly say that with very little effort he gets all As and Bs in school (after two and a half years of online school, he’s back in public school now). He’s really good at math, problem solving, engineering,and has tenacity. I will say he struggles the most with language arts though. I wonder if he played more story games, with some dialogue and reading if he’d excel in that too?

I heavily cut down on his allowable gaming hours during the school week, trying to encourage more tactile arts, like sketching and reading. But the more I real of these studies the more I think I should encourage different types of games to build those lacking skills.

He’s in a STEM class where they use an engineering computer program to build out the specs of the things they’re going to build. He picked it immediately and is doing all of the blueprints for my at home projects.

The biggest negative effect I can see (compounded by covid and isolation) is lack of in- person social skills. We all know the way we act online is different than how we act in person. So he’s having a hard time making “real life” friends at school.


hottwhyrd t1_ix2089t wrote

Ugg. Professional gamer. At what age is at safe to explain there are more NFL players than people making a living playing games. I know many kids who idolize these gamers but what the don't realize is, it's not the gaming that garners viewer/money. Its the personalities. One thing I like to mention is most of the top end streamers are fit and healthy. That's because when not sitting in front of a PC they are active, kids just don't see that part.


Hautamaki t1_ix2jdxy wrote

I mean Tyler1 does lots of pushups and weightlifting stuff on stream, maybe more streamers should copy that. Then again he also babyrages a lot on stream which isn't exactly what you want to see emulated either...


CraftyRole4567 t1_ix1k5nb wrote

The teachers I know at the grammar school level have always referred to it (out of the kids’ hearing!) as No-friend-o because of the association they see between gaming heavily and lack of social skills/isolation. That said, the games have changed a lot and quickly over the years, and especially for kids who are playing team games and know each other in real life it can be just another social outlet.

Covid has left* so many* kids struggling with social skills. 12 is a tough age, too. Your son sounds like a great kid, with a lot of interests (nothing wrong with math and engineering! And I say that as a history teacher.)

The idea about games that includes storylines makes sense to me, and wouldn’t it be helpful if there were some detailed studies on what kinds of video games are most helpful to kids in improving specific skills? I don’t know if they’ve even bothered to do that.


Hautamaki t1_ix2jant wrote

my guess as both a former teacher and a gamer is that what he really craves is an outlet for his competitive instincts/urge, as most boys do. Schools heavily de-emphasize and even discourage feelings of competitiveness around academic achievement, and that I think is one of the primary de-motivating factors that causes boys to be less interested in school. If there's anything you can do to try to re-ignite, in a healthy way, a competitive aspect to achievement in school, that would allow him to scratch that itch in a possibly more productive way. It seems like the STEM class you refer to possibly already has done that to some extent; being surrounded by other boys with similar interests that probably all want to develop and show off their abilities to contribute has probably ignited some of that passion. Figuring out how to compete with peers in a productive and healthy way is definitely a major part of developing social skills as well.


kidicarus89 t1_ix1su3p wrote

Since he’s now 12, does his school have sports that he can try out? That always seemed to help me socialize a lot more at that age, with the added bonus of often being too tired to play games.


shadowkiller t1_ix3cyjj wrote

> The biggest negative effect I can see (compounded by covid and isolation) is lack of in- person social skills.

As someone who was like your son, many years ago, this is far more important than the rest. If he does really want to be a professional gamer, that means building a community of fans and interacting with them frequently. If he ends up going into a more traditional job it's obviously important.


Youaskedforit016 t1_ix3d9nh wrote

>he’s having a hard time making “real life” friends at school.

Really? No Way? A nerd gamer not able to make friends? Isn't that the point. Gamers have all online friends, Cause "real life" is well REAL. And if they could face that, they wouldn't be gaming all the time.


reg454 t1_ix0muho wrote

That sounds lot like how I was when I was younger. I'd check for symptoms innatentive ADHD.


Sinemetu9 t1_ix0noo4 wrote

Thank you, I suspected as much so didn’t bother reading it. Ask anyone that’s high on something if they’re happy, they’ll say yes. Was there a control, to see how the same people felt when gaming was taken away, to compare with a natural state?


CraftyRole4567 t1_ix1ihhv wrote

A control!?! That would require more than sending out a questionnaire, of course they didn’t do that.


mill_about_smartly t1_ix1xx3f wrote

Anxiety, depression, poor physical health...

Yeah. Kids who enjoy gaming report higher levels of "well-being" when allowed to game. Who knew


LizardInASuit t1_ix2coh9 wrote

Poor physical health (and lower grades) maybe, but depression/anxiety would certainly reflect in subjective wellbeing questionnaires, as those factors tend to reduce wellbeing.


CraftyRole4567 t1_ix3q1hj wrote

I know people who game a lot and are perfectly functional people, physically healthy and with lots of friends in real life. I don’t think it’s an inevitable outcome to have depression or anxiety or weight gain, but especially when we’re talking about kids this young I think that the problem is that they aren’t going to all react identically. Some of them are going to be able to maintain mental & physical health, and life/school/game balance, just fine! Some won’t. The problem is that we don’t know who’s who when they’re 12.

24 hours of gaming a week seems like a lot that young. At that age I was still figuring out what kinds of things I wanted to do, but there was time to try music lessons or different sports. (That said, I probably spent 24 hours a week reading, easily… back in the 80s my teachers worried that that would make me fat and lacking in social skills and friends! ;)


Enthusiastically t1_ix2x8dz wrote

I imagine the researchers just asked how the kids are and all the gamers went “fine, ugh.” And got back to their games while the non gamers actually think and talk about how they are.


Mother_Welder_5272 t1_ix1w0pz wrote

Yeah I don't mean to jump to conclusions. And I know it borders on being an anecdotal fallacy. But the vast vast majority of video game podcasters and discussions I read on /r/truegaming and /r/patientgamers and /r/games point to a whole lot of gamers having mental health issues, anxiety and depression.

Being a gamer myself, I don't know if it's causal or if people who already have those issues gravitate towards games. But I have a gut feeling there's a link.


SoCuteShibe t1_ix21b0t wrote

I mean games can be an incredibly immersive and effective form of escapism. It would make sense for people wanting to escape their situation (depression, generalized anxiety, etc) to gravitate towards games.


rennarda t1_ix2go3r wrote

I was wondering about that. Physical well-being is crucial, but inactivity at an early age will likely set you up for a lifetime of sedentary behaviour and associated health risks. Then that’s when the mental health effects kick in.

Kids will be perfectly happy being inactive, but it will lead to poor outcomes when they are older.