Allowing kids to use portable versus console gaming systems

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Allowing kids to use portable versus console gaming systems

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So the differences between hand-held devices, a phone, maybe an iPad, those kind of video games versus sort of the larger screen video games that are conducted online or interactive, there is a difference. Clearly, the magnitude of the size, the sound, the visual qualities, those are all high-stimulus, high-attraciveness to the games, therefore probably more likely to lead to some addiction. Although I've seen a lot of people playing a lot of Angry Bird games lately; but they're just not as addictive. Again, the size, the quality of the phone. But the same measurement applies, the same assessment applies. If it's starting to become an obsession, habitual, it's on its road toward addiction. If other lifestyle things are being avoided to the detriment such as no homework getting done, no chores getting done, nothing else getting done, that's all they care about, well again, you're looking at addictive type symptoms and signs. So generally, again, no the hand-helds aren't as prone toward addiction as the larger, more visual video games that have the sight and the sound. But you still have to be careful.

View Rick Meeves, PhD, LMFT 's video on Allowing kids to use portable versus console gaming systems...

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Rick Meeves, PhD, LMFT

Clinical Director of CRC

Dr. Rick Meeves has spent the last 16 years working with adolescents and their families. He currently serves as the Director of Adolescent Clinical Services for CRC Health Group, the nation’s largest provider of addiction treatment and related behavioral health services.  Rick has helped families deal with the rapidly expanding access to video and electronic media. As a practitioner he has seen teens lock themselves in their rooms, playing video games for days on end. He has also seen teens who became addicted to online gambling. Rick has seen parents who have accepted this behavior as some acceptable alternative to staying out all night or using drugs or alcohol. He has helped families re-establish healthy patterns and use of electronic gaming and has established healthy patterns with his own boys.

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