More than 13 hours of video games per week = addiction, researchers say

Story and captions by Kendall Chamberlin, Reporter

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Teenagers are addicted to video games more now than ever in America, according to researchers. They say that teens should not play more than 13 hours per week, but the reality, according to a study by Iowa State University and the National Institute on Media and Family, is that 8.5% of youth are addicted, playing video games more than 24 hours per week.

These kids are twice as more likely to have ADD/ADHD, get into more fights, and have more health problems than casual gamers, researchers claim.

Miriam Academy student Henry Lohmann figures that he plays video games at least 25 hours per week.

“I don’t consider myself addicted,” Henry says. “I limit myself.”

That’s exactly the problem, researchers say. Kids aren’t realizing that 25 hours per week is a problem.

According to the the University of Bergen,  young and single men are easily able to become addicted to video games. Experts say that 58% of Americans play video games, and they say that an average teen plays 9-13 hours per week. That’s more than Henry plays every weekend.

“I play for about 10 hours during the week,” Henry said, “and about 10 hours every Saturday and five hours every Sunday.”

That’s about how much teacher Kathy Puettmann plays per year.

“I don’t play that much,” Mrs. Puettmann said. “But when I do, it’s usually just Candy Crush and Alphabet.”

Researchers don’t claim that video games are bad. They claim that too much of a good thing is bad. That’s when it becomes a problem, when people — especially kids — become obsessed or addicted. The result is often that they avoid doing what they should be doing. 

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