March 28, 2017

"She found him sitting up in his bed staring wide-eyed, his bloodshot eyes looking into the distance as his glowing iPad lay next to him."

"He seemed to be in a trance. Beside herself with panic, Susan had to shake the boy repeatedly to snap him out of it. Distraught, she could not understand how her once-healthy and happy little boy had become so addicted to the game that he wound up in a catatonic stupor."

From "It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies," by Dr. Nicholas Kardaras in The New York Post.

ADDED: The purple-prose description, oddly enough, makes the mother sound more psychotic.

34 comments:

CJ said...

"Can't you tell the difference between TV and real life?"

"I can, I just like TV better."

Laslo Spatula said...

""He seemed to be in a trance. Beside herself with panic, Susan had to shake the boy repeatedly to snap him out of it. Distraught, she could not understand how her once-healthy and happy little boy had become so addicted to the game that he wound up in a catatonic stupor."

I was that way with Yahtzee.

I am Laslo.

dda6ga dda6ga said...

sidewalk foot problem gone...

Unknown said...

If anything is eternal its: "Kids these days, sheesh!"

Comic books demonized in the 50s ("Seduction of the Innocent"..)

Television demonized in the 60s (rememeber "Mike Teevee" from "Charlie & The Chocolate Factory"?)

Rock & Roll

Dungeons & Dragons demonized in the 80s

Video games

Socials..

Henry said...

"Psychotic"?

Good god, man. Get a grip. Heroin doesn't even make people psychotic.

Here's some context: Kardaras is the executive director of The Dunes East Hampton luxury addiction recovery center, which Vanity Fair reports costs between $50,000 and $75,000 per month.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

There’s a reason that the most tech-cautious parents are tech designers and engineers.

Yeah, the Amish are well known for being tech designers and engineers.

Fernandinande said...

“electronic cocaine” and ... “digital heroin.”

If only.

Matthew Sablan said...

Reading this I see things like "let him Minecraft away his afternoons" and that the mother "gave in" to temper tantrums. I'm not a parent, but I'm thinking that, maybe, the digital heroin isn't the only problem here.

"Indeed, I have found it easier to treat heroin and crystal meth addicts than lost-in-the-matrix video gamers or Facebook-dependent social media addicts." -- I'd like to see that evidence, because I imagine physical addictions to be a lot harder to treat. But, I'm not a doctor, so maybe I'm wrong.

mezzrow said...

The modern version of reading pulp SF under the covers at night with a flashlight.

Gracious these modern parents are overwrought, aren't they? "Well," (he said knowingly) "these are the crazy years, after all..."

Fernandinande said...

Comic books will turn boys into lesbians like Wonder Woman:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seduction_of_the_Innocent

Henry said...

My teenage son loves computer games to the point of it hurting his performance in school. It's been a frustrating game of analog and digital restrictions vs. his loophole- and work-around persistence.

Without going into that in any detail, the point where he really started playing constantly was when he could Skype with friends while playing team events. In other words, the thing that made it addicting (to use a word) was the social aspect.

CJ said...

The modern version of reading pulp SF under the covers at night with a flashlight.

Gracious these modern parents are overwrought, aren't they? "Well," (he said knowingly) "these are the crazy years, after all..."


Exactly. Hell I remember playing Civ2 on the family computer in the kitchen all night long and ignoring my parents and my parents getting pissed.

Nothing's new under the sun.

mockturtle said...

I was addicted to a computer game at one time. It didn't make me comatose but when my husband complained that I was shooting tanks in my sleep I decided to give it a rest.

mockturtle said...

PS: If I could play this game on my Mac, I'd probably get re-addicted. ;-)

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Yeah, it sounds like the real problem is not the computer, it is the mother.

On a more positive note, I did get a metal coat this morning, so will finally be able to evolve my scyther into a scizor.

Ann Althouse said...

Blogging made me into a monster.

mockturtle said...

The number one problem with too much gaming, especially in the young, is the lack of physical exercise. We had our games and adventures outside. Sadly, the children today are obese and physically unfit. And that can affect mental health, as well.

Birches said...

Reading this I see things like "let him Minecraft away his afternoons" and that the mother "gave in" to temper tantrums. I'm not a parent, but I'm thinking that, maybe, the digital heroin isn't the only problem here

Bingo. Does this mother have an inability to think for herself? "Well, little Johnny has been on the iPad for most of today, but his teacher did say minecraft was ok, so I guess I'll leave him be." Reality is mom wanted to buy kid an iPad and used all the educational reasons as an excuse.

We're on Spring Break right now. I was gone most of the morning yesterday. My 8 year old spent most of his time playing Mario Kart. When I got home, I made him go outside. He didn't play the rest of the day. He asked if he could play as soon as he got up this morning. I told him he might be a little too focused on the game and he will need to wait. I didn't realize that was exceptional parenting for some.

Henry said...

With a hat-tip to Morrissey you could write that as Blogging spawned a monster and hit the assonance.

Matthew Sablan said...

Now, don't get me wrong. I am of the age where video games were important in my growing up; like I grew up on Sierra Adventure Games and Square RPGs along with fantasy/sci-fi books. Even today, as a grown adult, I have set aside time where I don't play games on phone, computer or handheld consoles to read or do other things (like go outside and take pictures with a real camera, not a phone camera so the temptation isn't even there.)

And I imagine getting a small child to grow into these habits adult me has is hard. So, I'm not trying to say the mom is solely to blame. But, I feel like blaming video games for bad behavior related to video games is like saying beer is bad because alcoholics have no control.

Infinite Monkeys said...

On a more positive note, I did get a metal coat this morning, so will finally be able to evolve my scyther into a scizor.

Congratulations. I got my second metal coat Sunday. I already had a Scizor and now have a new Steelix. I just wish I could find a shiny magikarp.

whswhs said...

I've played Civilization on a desktop till my eyes were sore. After the second time, I uninstalled it. Of course, I wasn't a small child.

buwaya said...

These little tablet computers are the work of the devil.
Look at me, staring at the thing all day.

buwaya said...

Re pulp Science Fiction -
I resemble that remark!
Except no covers, it was the tropics.
Anyway, that stuff was much better than modern games, as there was always something to learn in those things.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Infinite Monkeys said...

I just wish I could find a shiny magikarp.

I'd never heard of shiny anythings. Had to look it up.

Yancey Ward said...

I can't imagine the floaty chairs are far into our futures.

Karen said...

Actually, the mother is right. I have friends whose sons have had to be institutionalized due to these catatonic stupors. It's a long road back from the kind of psychotic break that can occur from that level of addiction to the screen.

Bob R said...

There are probably people for whom genuine obsessive-compulsive disorder focuses on video games rather than (or in addition to) handwashing or cleaning the bathroom. It is in the interest of people with $50-75K treatments to sell to expand the meaning of the term "genuine." Moral panic of the month in the NYP.

jaed said...

Blogging made me into a monster.

Althouse, you can't just say that and stop there!

damikesc said...

As one of the more hard-core gamers most will know (I keep the hours low, but the amount I have is a bit insane), these stories are infuriating.

CONTROL YOUR KIDS.

My kids have strict rules on electronic devices. NONE during the school week. On weekends, 2 hours a day at most and then it's off. I know my mom ignores that when she watches the kids, but c'est la vie. And, rest assured, there is not a game they play that I do not vet first. I actually do not mind Minecraft (it's basically Legos, just digitally and a lot more of them), but they will play with Legos and play outside regularly. It's not even all that difficult to control gaming and kids.

It's not the ipod. It's the parent. My mom wouldn't let me watch TV for 10 hours straight either.

...also, she might want to have her child checked for epilepsy. I know of few games that don't have warnings about that risk and his behavior indicates that possibility.

The number one problem with too much gaming, especially in the young, is the lack of physical exercise. We had our games and adventures outside. Sadly, the children today are obese and physically unfit. And that can affect mental health, as well.

Sadly, society plays a large role. My oldest's best friend lives less than a block away. And I know there are neighbors who would call CPS and accuse me and the wife of abandonment if we let him walk there. Nor can my kids go for walks since the house right behind ours has dogs that break out of the fence and attack. Yes, we've called animal control repeatedly and no, it has not helped.

damikesc said...

Again, she should have the boy checked for epilepsy. There is a chance he is suffering from it and the flashing lights of the games are a stimulus.

mockturtle said...

Yes, we've called animal control repeatedly and no, it has not helped.

Damikesc, invest in some bear spray. It has a long range and does no permanent harm. I carry it with me every day when I walk my dog and have had to use it a few times. Animal control tells me it's legal and not harmful [other than some temporary misery]. Loose dogs are a big problem and many are aggressive breeds [because often the same people who want aggressive breeds are those who don't believe in leashing their dog]. I think we also have the right to shoot them if they attack but that might depend on where you live and firearm restrictions.

Peter said...

Some used to call TV "the devil's lantern."

Yup, I guess we got ourselves a brand new lantern!

And more devilish than ever. Who shall deliver us from this manifestly malicious, malignant menace?

mockturtle said...

The kid could have been having a petit mal seizure. They can be triggered by computer games. So can migraines.