Neglecting kids isn't videogame addiction-- it's bad parenting

Mike Schramm
M. Schramm|07.16.07

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Neglecting kids isn't videogame addiction-- it's bad parenting
The AP is reporting on the story of a couple in Nevada who claim they were so addicted to "the Internet and video games" that they neglected the health and well-being of their two children, a 22-month old girl and an 11-month old boy. I won't go into the details, although you can read them in the article, but it's a horrific story. WoW isn't mentioned-- "the fantasy role-playing Dungeons & Dragons series" is, but does that mean DDO or does the reporter just, as usual, have no idea what they're talking about?

At any rate, (also as usual) the report eventually turns to videogame addiction and what a "serious issue" it is. Exactly zero mention is made of the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of parents who play WoW and other online games right alongside their children, happily and healthily. A few of my guildies are parents and often play with their kids, and our own Robin Torres writes Azeroth Interrupted, a column about doing exactly that and how to handle issues like playing with your kids. You'll also note that almost no attention is paid to the other problems with this couple-- they gained $50,000 in inheritance, and spend it on computer equipment and a plasma screen rather than anything for their two children. This isn't "abuse rooted in videogame addiction"-- it's abuse rooted in bad parenting.

Kayholder over on WoW Ladies says she gets attacked for playing the game with young children at home-- people automatically say that having children around to take care of should automatically exempt you from playing a game like World of Warcraft.

That's just plain wrong. Any game can be played responsibly by anyone of age, World of Warcraft included. Kay even says that she doesn't raid because she doesn't think she has the time (which is fine as well), but one of my guildies who just had yet another kid is actually our main healer. Good parenting and videogames aren't mutually exclusive-- in fact, in some situations, they're better together.
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