I am often asked some variant of this question, and a few of my recent cases have stimulated me to explore more evidence-based answers to improve the quality of my response. As it turns out, many have written fairly extensively on the subject of how much video gaming is too much. It has been proposed that two to three hours per day of playing the games is now an average amount of time for the average adolescent to play video games or spend time on the computer (APA Task Force, 2008).
There are many reasons for parents to be concerned about their child’s seeming obsession with video games, and the amount of time that their children are playing them. Initial concerns were that the games, which were largely played by adolescent males, stimulated aggressive instincts and increased the likelihood of violence in the, again, largely, male population who played the games. These concerns were fueled and heightened by the massacre at Columbine, Colorado, on April 20, 1999, in which two high school students went on a killing rampage. These two students had reported that they spent a great deal of time playing “Doom,” a gory video game with a great deal of violent and aggressive themes. It was also inferred that the boys had spent a great deal of time watching violent movies–which may inspire another article at a later date.
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