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Are TV and Video Games That Bad?

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3. Playing Violent Video Games Can Make Kids Violent

Battling fake villains can be a lot of fun -- especially when you win. But some video games are really violent, with people getting punched, kicked, or shot. These games can make you forget that it's dangerous to hit or hurt people. Kids who play a lot of violent video games sometimes feel angry or think about starting fights.

Are video games making you mad?

See if the sentences below are true for you.

You get into fights to solve your problems.

You spend less time doing homework and playing with your friends.

You have angry thoughts.

What you can do about it:

  • Play video games that are rated E for Everyone, and skip violent Teen (T) or Mature (M) games.
  • Ask your parents before you start playing a new game.
  • Don't play video games for more than one hour a day.

4. Computer Time Can Make You Tired

Your mom says its bedtime, but you can't tear yourself away from your computer. If you stay up late playing on the computer, you won't get a good night's sleep. You'll feel tired the next day and will have trouble paying attention in school.

Is computer time making you tired?

See if the sentences below are true for you.

You stay up late on school nights playing computer games.

You have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning.

You have trouble sleeping after playing on the computer.

What you can do about it:

  • Turn off the computer at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Talk to your parents about moving the computer out of your bedroom.
  • Relax before bed by reading or listening to soft music.

5. Too Much Video Game Playing Can Hurt

When you press the same buttons on your video game over and over again, you put stress on your fingers and wrists. Your hands and fingers can start to tingle, hurt, or lose feeling. People who play too many video games sometimes get pain in their thumbs, called "gamer's thumb." If you hunch over your game, you can also have pain in your neck or back.

Signs you're playing too often:

See if the sentences below are true for you.

Your fingers are tingling, painful, or you can't feel them.

Your neck feels sore and stiff.

Your wrists hurt.

What you can do about it:

  • Keep your wrists straight, not bent, on the controller.
  • Take breaks every 20 minutes to stretch your neck and fingers, and blink your eyes.
  • Take your hands off the controller and wiggle your fingers.
  • Play video games less often.

 

Ready to take a look at your TV habits? Try This: Judge Good TV Shows

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Daniel Brennan, MD on December 22, 2013
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