Nearly half of young people say they would lose a part of themselves if they had to stop gaming, according to a new report published to mark Safer Internet Day. The findings of the report were discussed on Good Morning Britain, where a professional gamer and addiction expert debated the pros and cons of gaming with hosts Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid. The good-natured debate concluded with Reid sharing her frustrations as a mother of children who spend their free time gaming.
“For me the issue is there’s no stop point,” Reid told her co-host Richard Madeley. “With a game of chess there’s a point where you’ve either won or lost. The issue with video games is there’s always another level, there’s always something else to get.”
Unsurprisingly, Reid said the only game she plays is Wordle (join the club), which is limited to one puzzle per day. Reid added that Wordle only takes up between 10-15 minutes of her day, making it hard to get addicted to.
“Whereas with all these video games, it’s impossible to get children off them,” Reid continues. “Or adults, you know, get drawn in to them because there’s always another thing to achieve.”
While Reid undoubtedly speaks for many a parent, it’s worth noting that there are ways to limit the time children spend playing games on consoles such as the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch.
All of the major gaming consoles have their own set of parental controls, which can be programmed either online or by using an app. The links below will explain exactly how to set screen and spending limits on your child’s consoles.
PLAYSTATION PARENTAL CONTROLS • XBOX PARENTAL CONTROLS • NINTENDO SWITCH PARENTAL CONTROLS
As for the debate itself, the GMB hosts were joined by pro Fortnite player Jaden Ashman, as well as Game Quitters founder Cam Adair.
Ashman made headlines for winning a staggering £1.8 million during the 2019 Fortnite World Cup, where he finished second.
The pro gamer told GMB that he plays with an end goal in sight, and has used gaming to learn valuable life skills and earn lots of money.
Adair, meanwhile, identifies as a recovering gaming addict. He said that while playing video games can be beneficial, there are times when the hobby becomes a problem.
Parents are encouraged to approach the issue of gaming addiction without any preconceived notions and stereotypes, and to speak to their children to find out what their motivations are for playing, what they’re learning and how they’re going to manage their time.