Ever since video games became a thing, we've seen parents worry about their offspring becoming hopelessly addicted. However, in a world where screentime is possible literally anywhere in the world thanks to the rise of the smartphone, it seems quaint to recall that, way back in 1998, the media was losing its collective mind over the idea that kids might play "more than 2 hours" of video games in a single day.
The archived news report – originally broadcast on ABC 15 in Phoenix, Arizona – looks into the issues with video game addiction, focusing on youngster Shane Erwin and his love of N64 games like GoldenEye 007 and 1080 Snowboarding. While it's clear that other gaming brands exist, the fact that the report chooses to focus almost entirely on Nintendo's system might not have been the best PR for the firm – especially at a time when it was losing ground to Sony's PlayStation.
Shane's exasperated mother is also called in, and brands her son a "Nintendo junkie", while child psychiatrist Eric Benjamin says that too much time looking at a screen and not enough time communicating with others is bad for any child's development (the report ignores the fact that many games – especially on the N64, which has four controller ports – encourage social play).
The report even ponders the question of whether or not this really is "addiction" or if it's just a "phase that children will outgrow." The fact that many people who grew up with the N64 are still playing games today might suggest that it's not a phase, so it must be an addiction, right?
We dread to think what the same reporters would make of the world of video gaming today, but back in 1998, they were clearly very, very worried indeed.
Thanks to Drewski's Archive for sending this in!
And they’re damn right. Nintendo got me hooked with super Mario. It was gateway drug to all the other games I’ve had to play after wards. Do you think it’s a good idea to sue Nintendo about this?
Oh sure. Buy your kid Superman 64 and just see how addicted theyll get to their N64 then.
I thought the world would outgrow this paranoia, but bizarrely you still see people freaking out over "video game addiction" and the unsavory influences of video games to this very day. Never mind the brain-numbing effects most people suffer from flipping through social media and vegging in front of the tv for hours every day, or the rage they willingly foster by fighting strangers on twitter etc on the regular.
@BAN remember how church's claimed pokemon was the result of demons and how it was brainwashing the youth? Then in 2016 there were church's everywhere asking pokemon Go players to stop on by to catch some Pokemon. Good times
Heck, when I was in school, I would spend a lot more than "two to three hours" a day playing games. Once I was back from school it was non-stop alongside my brothers and cousins.
I think it becomes a problem when the kid starts ignoring all other aspects of life for the game. At that point, it's on the parent to correct the behavior. No need to label the child, just do your job as a parent.
My parents smoke and drank every night, while sitting in front of the TV every night.
I don't smoke and have a glass of whiskey maybe once every two or three months, but play video games every night.
I think I'm winning.
I play a LOT more games now as a grown ass man than I did as a kid or teen.
I have considered there might be addiction at play.
That being said, I've been able to go months without playing anything at all, and instead of using all that free time to be proactive and productive, I just binge watched a lot more TV than normal and messed around on my phone for most of the day.
The games were never the problem
@patbacknitro18 There are still probably people who believe that. As someone who grew up Mormon, I can think of at least a few people that might still feel that Pokemon is from the devil.
Hope chadtronic will make a video about this. Love his “X are upset about videogames” reaction videos.
OK I'll give... I'm guilty 😂
Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time are two of the top ten most addictive games I've ever played, so I can understand why this video focused on the N64.
I've noticed that the same people who are outraged at how video games are supposedly "addictive", "harmful" and "rot the brain" tend to be just fine with drinking alcohol.
I'm an adult. I'm a gamer. I play on average an hour a day. But it used to be a lot more sometimes. It's not always been good for me. Especially some young kids around me I feel really bad for them that they don't have the limitations I had as a kid. Video games are definitely addictive and so is a lot of internet/online. Parents who ignore it will be setting their kids up for failure in life not knowing that too much gaming is addictive, fuelling depression and that the answer is not more gaming but to stop gaming and spend IRL time with people and activities. (I'm dead serious).
Video games are easy low hanging fruit to target rather then address real family issues or society issues. But then again they always need a ScapeGoat because if they looked at themselves it wouldn't be a pretty picture of white picket fences that they expect. They should ask themselves why they can't be parents with open minds instead of preconceived notions of what they think not what is reality. If people did that then we address society issue but then we all know people don't want to address the root problems.
When I was a kid I loved doing chores and homework and then along came video games.
If you have an addictive personality you’ll get addicted to anything, sex, drugs, alcohol, tv, tobacco, internet, games, food, sugar, sleep, collecting figurines, etc.
It’s the consumer’s fault… not the product per se.
Ah yes, the boomers and their notorious inability to wrap their heads around video games.
The only problem with video games was how the demographic of adults back then were unfamiliar with them, so gaming was new and scary.
The way I look at it, there's far worse things for people to be doing with their time than playing video games.
@Purgatorium Back then people acted like kids had a disorder if they didn't want to just sit down and read a novel for fun. Looking back it's hilarious what parents were freaking out over considering the way kids today live their lives on average constantly having some mobile device with streaming media and games everywhere they go.
Removed - unconstructive
I'd love to know where Shane Smith is today lol.
I love these symptom's lists. All of which can be attributed to other problems the kid might be having. I know when I didn't want to play with the neighborhood kids it wasn't because I'd rather be gaming. It was just gaming is what I ended up doing because it had my interest in a void.
lets be real, people can get addicted to pretty much everything. some addictions are more socially accepted than others and/or may have less severe potential consequences. video games are like movies, books and other stuff, its escape from reality. too much escape can be harmful
What about smoking? What about alcohol abuse?
OH OH WAIT what about smoking addictions?
Are you freaking kidding me? I though we were over this!
Oh ya for sure going crazy waiting for my fix tomorrow when Legends drops. Nintendo is my dealer total Ninhead 😂
Wonder if anyone has ever sucked **** for a Mario game.
Rip Bob Saget
@BAN Haha very true. We never outgrow our stupidity as as species, just manifest it in new ways. The internet has just made it easier to find like minded people to reinforce ones own beliefs and "enemies" to fight with.
But I need to know more about the band mentioned at the end of the segment.
@JayJ Oh yeah for sure and 200 years ago people thought novels would rot your brain.
It's interesting to note that one of the things they list as signs of video game addiction is "won't play" when they earlier mentioned he played games with friends.
Man, I do NOT miss that era. I grew up in 90's playing the Snes and N64 and adults would always overreact my playtime
@BAN Me: Heh, yeah, right, what you said... **pretending I didn't just get out of a heated Twitter argument I engaged in for far too long and ultimately had my day ruined**
@patbacknitro18 As a devoutly religious person, I don't condone those kinds of fanatics. I had a cousin whose parents wouldn't allow him to play Kirby because they thought Kirby was a Pokémon, lol. Meanwhile, my dad is a pastor, and we used to watch Harry Potter all the time growing up, haha. It's such an arbitrary thing to get upset about.
@fafonio Agreed. I hate microtransactions/loot boxes, but this is why I think "They prey on people with addictive personalities!" is a bit of a weak argument. They still have free will, and saying they can't help their behavior just further enables them.
@Williamfuchs420 haha, I think he was uncredited in that “weed is not an addiction” scene as well, what a treasure. RIP Bobby
The 'NEWS' is always wrong about everything.
Wonder what band that's having a free concert that the parents are banning is.....
He was pushing mongo on his skateboard hehehe
@Sagobok I just can't see games "fueling depression". If a kid is depressed, just MAYBE there is something else going on in the kid's life causing it. Maybe the parent should consider both ends of that as possibilities?
As to gaming being harmful, maybe it is depending on WHAT is being played.
I feel like playing a lot of SNES RPGs, and reading the dramatic stories, as a kid helped somewhat.
I know I'm not the only one who can say they've felt a positive impact from playing games.
As to "Internet/online", well that is again depending on WHAT.
Conversing with other users online can be okay, people just got to learn to not stress themselves out over it. I feel like people think they got to "win" arguments all the time, even strangers they're never going to deal with IRL.
@Not_Soos Microtransactions/loot boxes feed on people.
"It's only a dollar." They feed on people who don't stop to realize those dollars add up after a point (and even moreso aiming at children who really don't understand that especially when it's their parents money they're spending).
Now the news reports would say it’s good to keep your child away from others. That you are not the boss of them and they should be able to express themselves however they want LOL.
I played lots of games as a kid but we always went outside, played sports, hung out with neighborhood kids, etc. It was then and is now about balance.
I was addicted to gaming, but the N64 had no part in it. By the time I was in High School in the early 90's I was taking the subway by myself. The sense of freedom I had at that point was immeasurable! Soon, I found all the major arcades in Manhattan, plus pool halls, and a few dives. By the time I was in college and had a part time job in the mid-late 90's, I was blowing money playing the latest versions of Street Fighter and other fighting games, NEOGEO (I had one at home, but couldn't afford the new games), rail shooters, racing games, and whatever was the latest and greatest, I found where the games were at. That said, I still had a little time to play my SNES and weekend rentals, but not all the time. I missed out on the N64 completely, and most of the early life of the PlayStation, due to going outside and playing arcade games. No regrets.
But for the absolute gaming time sinks that got a hold of me, like games that stopped me from getting sleep, it's a really short list:
-Discworld MUD (an online text-based Multi-User Dungeon)
-World of Warcraft (vanilla and Burning Crusade only)
-Skyrim (125 hours in January 2012, yes just one month before quitting cold turkey, AND I was working full time)
-Minecraft (a couple months in 2020 when I first started)
This reminds me of how my fiance absolutely hates me playing video games. She's about the same age as me, so you would think that she gets it, but she doesn't. I swear it's like living with my parents all over again LOL!
It kept me off the streets, away from Drugs, (although I've experienced with Marijuana in the past) out of Trouble, and helped me through tough times. "Addiction" Accepted!
I'm 33 now, Still Play Proudly! I'm a Corrections Officer and went to College.
Gaming can be addictive, like any other habit.
My kids struggle with it, and screen time was shown to be the number #1 influence on impairing young children's development.
To me, video games are like cigarettes.
I love them both, but wouldn't recommend them to anyone.
@Not_Soos If people with addiction knew how to control themselves, they would. That's why many get upset when confronted with their situation, because they are unhappy with it.
The problem is addiction comes at a loss of control, and the thought of regaining control also comes with thoughts that control is impossible within the individual. That's why so many recovering alcoholics turn to religion. It's an outside source of power. In truth, the person is the one saying "no", but because they had mentally given themselves up as too weak, they essentially outsource that power to something they see as more powerful than themselves.
The first two steps of AA is "admitting the person was powerless over alcohol", and "that there is a power greater than themselves".
Saying "they prey on addictive personalities" is very accurate, and not a weak argument if you understand the truth about addiction.
@Richnj You developed an unhealthy addiction to fresh air and water because of video games.
@ManInTheChair some of the evangelical tv preachers are still calling pokemon demonic. I saw a clip from one where they try to say Picachu tail is demonic symbolism
@KingMike I beg to differ. I think all video games and all internet/online usage, regardless of content, in high doses, is re-wiring and re-shaping our brains and, yes, in itself fuelling depression. A lot of research about the correlation between dopamine in our brains and using modern technology suggests that it is in fact so. That's why our modern technology simply can't be compared to reading too many books in 1910 or even watching too much TV in the 70's. It's all because of the highly addictive dopamine rewards we get from novelty and interaction in games and online.
@Sagobok I just don't believe chemical reactions are an ACTUAL REALITY cause more than a human (or in rare cases, other living creatures).
Haven't heard of a confirmed case of a perfectly socially adjusted, confirmed to have no other causes, being ruined by a video game.
Not just scientists "it COULD happen" speculation.
The only thing I could see maybe is an excessive desire "to win" that they get depressed, but hopefully children would've been taught to turn the game off when it gets upsetting.
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