The Truth About Video Games and What Parents Should Do
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In this video we speak to the author, Dr. Lawrence Kutner about what he has found concerning girls and gaming, as well as what parents can do if they are concerned with their children's gaming.


Male Speaker: Hey, welcome to I'm your host Derek Allen, And in part two of our interview with Dr. Lawrence Kutner, we speak to this parenting expert about girls in gaming as well as what parent should do if they are worried about their children's gaming. What isn't is still latching in research out there on this subject? Dr. Lawrence Kutner: Oh, there still is lot of research to be done especially with girls. We were surprised to find girls were playing a lot of these games. Among boys again this is seventh and eighth graders, we found the most popular game series when we did this few years ago was Grand Theft Auto and Madden Football and Halo were the other top ones. For girls, the number one game series was the Sims. But number two was Grand Theft Auto. We never would have expected that. Now, we have some preliminary anecdotal data, that they may be playing it differently from boys and so that's the one of the things really to explore. How are girls playing games differently than boys? Are there are different markers of risk for them. Adolescent markers will benefit. We have to remember that kids benefit often from these games, not just the hobbies things like hand eye coordination but help him explore new feelings and get interested in new things. Derek Allen: What would you suggest for parents, for teachers, when they see their kids being involved and wanting to play this m-rated video games? Dr. Lawrence Kutner: Parents know their kids better than anyone else. There are certain things that you have to pay attention to. For example, developmentally there are some issues. Grand Theft Auto contains a tremendous amount of satire. But, until a certain age kids don't really appreciate satire. They may now get the social and cultural references, but they may take it very seriously. So, satire goes literally over their heads. So, they see the game very differently in that. You may see that your child gets more upset at the end of a session of playing games. that's marker of a problem. Most people feel better after playing games for a while. Those kids who play the most violent games are the ones who have consoles, TVs and computers in their bed rooms. One of the things you can do as a parent is keep the console, keep the computer out of their bedroom. Put it in your public place. One of the reasons for this has to do with impulse control with young teenagers. if you have whole this electronic equipment in their room, they are most likely or more likely to have trouble with sleep, because they are distracted and it also allows you to keep an eye on what they are playing. But, as a parent you know your kid better than anyone else and you know what may be appropriate or inappropriate. But, even if you think something is inappropriate for your child, it's important to talk about what' going on because kids don't just play games at home. They play with their friends. you want to keep the conversation open. So they have a question about what' going on here, what' the moral value here, or why is this person acting that way. That way they feel more comfortable coming to you. one of the great things that you can do as a parent, that the kids were telling us, that they really wanted not very many parents did, is play the game with your kids. Let them show you how to operate the control if you are not used to that and frankly let them beat you at the games which isn't too hard because they are going to be better than you are. But it's a rare opportunity for a child, for a teenager to be really be better at something than a parent. And that's an important feeling to have when you are a teenager. You are often feeling pretty powerless among the all the adults and this gives you a sense of power and it also helps build the connection with your kids and when it comes to worse, its fun.