Thursday, June 21, 2007

My thesis for videogame addiction/abuse

I wrote this on a clan forum a few moths ago and thought i should post it here (i just did a mono copy, so it might be missing some periods or some sentences might seem weird)

Halo is my first online gaming experience for the computer, but i am an observer and gather information, and will post what knowledge i have gathered

Online gaming is addictive. Whether its Xbox Live, Nintendo Wi-fi, or simply Gamespy Arcade, online gaming has been an established feature in video and computer gaming and can guarantee product success if the multiplayer aspect is addictive enough. However, it isn't the game play by itself that is addictive: its the community you play in. You make friends online, you fight with them, talk with them (statement doesn't apply to Nintendo Wifi, as i play a lot of it), and grow into a community. You make friends all over the world and get to know them. Very few people play the game online and don't get involved into a community; its a byproduct of online gaming, and the developers know it. It doesn't matter if its just text-based chat, team speak, or any way of communication (again, Nintendo wifi excluded), you make friends who play the game you enjoy. Its even more addictive if you have friends in your community:church, school, neighborhood, or anywhere, and they do not think highly of the game. They ignore you whenever you talk about it. There are people like that, and it is dangerous for them. While growing into a community is a good thing, it can be a very bad thing as well. Since you may not know them physically, and only know them from online, there is the "friendship mask" that can hurt someone if the person they may perceive as their friend online may hate them in real life, outside the "online world" they want to live in. However, on the plus side, it can be a healthy and godly thing as well. Online gaming to the "average" player is a place to "pwn", "become l33t", and post/say abbreviated cussing. However, online gaming is slowly yet surely establishing itself as a "ministry beacon" for those who want a creative way to spread the Gospel. Halo clans like CoG, SoC, ELC, and other Christian gaming clans are powerful ways to spread the Gospel. While in a sense it can be dangerous, online gaming via a Christian clan can be a safe way of playing online without getting a "ungodly addiction". Parents fail to realize that not all online gaming is bad as parents believe. But, even though you may play on a Christian server, it still can be bad if you do not restrain yourself and complete your other activities before you play. Homework, jobs, friends, girlfriend/boyfriend, family and God; when those things become ignored, then it becomes an addiction. When its a hobbies, those items are still prioritized first before gaming. Having a healthy relationship with your friends can also help restrain yourself

Parents, here are some way of realizing that your child/teenager is becoming addicted to online gaming
1: Its the first thing they do when they come on, saying "ill do that later" to everything else.

2: They play several hours of it nonstop, without breaks, ignoring meals and other activities (this is very dangerous, as it can result in CT'S, Seizures, and several other medical issues)

3: If they are playing in an unholy environment, listen to when they say (both while playing the game with voice and around the house while not playing) Depending on who their friends are, their attitude will change, they may slip out words they shouldn't, and will be more grumpy and violent if provoked

4: If they are playing in a holy environment, they may start to ignore church in place of a more pleasing environment; the clan or server, simply because "I'm hanging around a godly environment". wrong. ignoring church for Halo is a sin. Make, plead, and flat-out threaten if your teenager ignores church for playing Halo with his online christian friends.

Teenager/Kids, here are some ways to prevent yourself from getting addicted

1: Establish a "play OK" time, whether it be 1 hour 2 or 3 times a day, or 2 hours once or twice a day, where you can only play during that time. If you plan to meet a friend online, then try to meet them in one of your times

2: If you have homework, tell yourself "the faster i get done the more time i get to play". Don't rush it or do a sloppy job, but try to do your best

3: If you get the impulse of "I'm bored", just stop playing and do something else. If you tell yourself "yea i get bored but i don't have anything else to do right now", then it become an addiction twice as fast as normal

Unfortunately, that covered mostly the addiction issues. there are other issues, mainly sexual abuse, identity theft, or other web-crimes that parents tend to think more about every day.Tell your kid that under no circumstance are any of these things to be revealed

1: Last name

2: Phone number

3: Address

4: Any card numbers

However, some of these items may be eventually revealed
1: Age
2: State
3: Gender
4: First name

The above 4 items are commonly revealed and normally pose no threat, but the 4 above should never be revealed under any circumstances. If they are, tell your child to log off and, depending on what was revealed, contact the appropriate police to handle the situation.There will always be the "parent/child gap" on several issues, and online gaming is no exception. In fact, due to online gaming's growth over the last decade, it is becoming a more common issue, as well as the potential threat for cyber bulling and cyber sexual harassment.. The best way to understand what is going on and what your son/daughter is doing is to try to immerse yourself as much into your child's activities as possible without becoming a stalker. Try to make conversation about online gaming in basic terms and work your way up. Hopefully, your child/teenager will be more open about it and you can protect your child without acting like a "parent parent".

alright I'm done blabbering. i should also add that i am 15 and wrote this all by myself. i expect a lot of flack from that aspect.

God bless,
{ELC}Neo X, Austin.

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