too much time playing video games

A new poll investigates parents’ opinions on video games and the effects they might have on their children.

Video gaming is a common pastime that many people, particularly children and teenagers, engage in.  People generally have mixed opinions on video games in youth, as they can either be beneficial or detrimental depending on the type of game that is played and the amount of time spent playing the game. Video games can have beneficial effects on youths including mental stimulation, gaining knowledge, improving problem-solving skills, and socializing with friends by online chat rooms.

However, video games can also be damaging in a few different ways.  For example, they can potentially lead to addiction, they can distract from other responsibilities, and they can potentially facilitate young people putting out a negative digital footprint. For these reasons, parents sometimes have concerns regarding their children’s screen time.

A study conducted by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health published to Mott Poll Report looked into parents’ opinions on their children’s video gaming habits.  963 parents with one or more children between the ages of 13 and 18 participated in the poll.  Researchers asked parents questions on whether they thought young people spend too much time playing video games and the effect that video games might have.  They also asked parents what they did to prevent any negative consequences of gaming.

According to the poll, 41 percent of teenage boys and 20 percent of teenage girls played video games every day. Moreover, 54 percent of the teenagers that played video games every day played for three hours or more daily. Video games also appear to interfere with other responsibilities, as 44 percent of parents say they distract from sleep and 34 percent of parents say they distract from homework. As a result, 86 percent of parents believe that teenagers spend too much time playing video games.

Although 71 percent of parents believed video games could be beneficial in some circumstances, 44 percent of parents have rules about the type of video games their children play. Additionally, 75 percent of parents encourage outside activities, 54 percent restrict their children’s playing time, and 23 percent provide rewards for reduced playing time.

The results of this poll suggest that many parents believe that their children spend too much time playing video games and try to regulate their use. The results also suggest that parents realize the potential benefits of video games and want their children to use them responsibly to avoid impacting other aspects of their lives. More research is needed to determine whether this applies to people other than the study group, as well as determine strategies to minimize potential negative consequences of video game use.



Game on: Teens and video games. (2020). Mott Poll Report35(4). Retrieved from

Nearly 9 in 10 parents say teens spend too much time gaming. (2020, January 20). Retrieved January 20, 2020, from

Image by Olya Adamovich from Pixabay

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