Paid to play: Parents weigh in on kids now opting for careers in video games

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Parents weigh in: Kids opt for careers in playing video games

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

As the multibillion-dollar industry of video games continues to soar, parents are now weighing the options when it comes to allowing their children to play them and how much is too much.

It's a tough call for many parents, especially in the age where children as young as 13 can become millionaires for winning a Fornite tournament.

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Some parents have gone as far as suing game makers for not warning them how addictive the games are. Other parents don't let their kids play at all. Many, however, let their kids play as much as they want.

Colleges, such as Becker College, are now offering degrees in professional video game playing, something many of us wish would have been around when we were still in college.

"I would be open to that," said Dave Hamilton, a parent and teacher.

Video games, much like anything else, are fine in moderation. Too much and it could impair your vision and, for younger players, affect brain development.

However, video games have also been proven to increase certain motor skills and help kids develop problem-solving skills.

"Sometimes motor skills can be improved or visual selective intention can be improved," said Carol Garfinkle, a doctor of psychology.

Garfinkle, however, warns of the dangers video games could pose.

"It is creating addiction and altering our brains and that leads to kids being on their screens for five hours a day as opposed to building up social skills or going outside to play and negotiating those relationships and talking," said Garfinkle.

While no conclusive study has been done on how much is too much when it comes to playing video games, Garfinkle says that over four or five hours a day is too much. She says it will be up to each parent and their children to decide, but knows the decision won't be easy.

"A lot of parents think video games are a bad thing but I think if their children are really passionate about it, if they're good at it and they know they can make something of themselves, I say go right ahead," said Brian Rommah, a video game clerk.

Psychologists say that, 15 years ago there were no MRIs which allowed you to see exactly how a video game impacts the brain, but further research is needed to pinpoint exactly what too much exposure does to the brain.

It could take years, if not decades, to get the full understanding of how video games could impact your children.

"I think the point is this is not going away so we have to learn to live with the technology and figure out the ways we can take advantage of it and use it in a productive way," said Hamilton.

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