Originally Posted by PostalTwinkie
Here is a perspective.....
As a Father of a child with Autism, my wife and I found he is most comfortable playing video games and drawing. As compared to going out and running around as much as the other kids. While he does join the others outside, he spends more time with video games and drawing than the others.
The problem with studies like this is it makes it easy to point to video games as a cause of behavior, when it isn't, thus leading to unaddressed issues. It was several years of multiple specialists to get our son the help he needed.
Reports like this just need to be careful, as they could lead to exclusion of activities that are helpful to many. Be it games, painting, singing, Yo-Yos.
Exactly. Games and similar activities offer controlled variables that children with autism, and autism like conditions find comforting. My youngest daughter has RAD and SPD (Reactive Attachment Disorded, Sensory Processing Disorder), which are very similar to the most common traits of autism. She enjoys any activities she can find patterns in and see common traits. My Little Pony for example, is her absolute favorite, and she can watch them all 50 times and be just fine since she knows what will happen, and why. Watching other random shows with her 1 year older sister gets frustrating because the shows are more random and disorienting... non-stop shtick and such.
I think a lot of what this study, and all the others like it are trying to prove can boil down to parenting issues. If little Johnny is having anger issues because you let him play a game beyond his age range, watch shows he shouldn't just because he thinks they're "cool", and so on, and he starts developing behaviors you don't like. Maybe you should intervene, cut out that material, and substitute more positive material or activities? Parent some.
Linking to the validity that negative media/gaming can influence children though, it's just common sense that it can... because parents let it happen. My step-son lives with his father (technically) but is actually raised by his paternal grandparents. They are the kind that live believing money is the only thing that matters and tv can raise your kid. They screwed up royally in raising the kid's dad, and are now doing the same thing with him. He has been raised in front of the tv and video games, has developed anger issues and abnormal behavior for his age, is completely socially inept, and has no care for anyone's personal belongings because the grandparents tell him to just go buy a new (whatever he breaks). The law says there's nothing you can do about bad parenting... fine... but at least be aware of the real causes. Violent video games, negative media, and so on... they're a contributing factor of course. The parents are the cause in a majority of the situations I'd wager.