Is Gaming Creating Delusional Thoughts Among Children?

What is the first thought we get when we think of gaming? 

Don’t we get thoughts of unrealistic scenarios and different fantasies?

However, as an adult, if we experience it, let’s just try and understand what our children must be thinking and feeling about the same. As we all are aware to some extent that we do experience this but as an adult we might feel to be on a moderate level but what about children who are experiencing and find it challenging to distinguish the fictional world and the reality. 

Today, I would like to share my discussions and experiences with my students as well as focusing on their thought process. I always ask my students, “

Video game room. Kids at sofa playing at console game with two gamepad controllers and tv interior of childrens home vector background. Illustration video game, boy and girl gaming console, “They do feel relaxed and agree with the fact that it is distracting but the urge of living in that moment is so much that living in a fantasy world makes them feel more calm. Few parents reported, Children feel less motivated towards their life and career as they are involved in their virtual world. Most of the children consider themselves as the protagonist of the event. As we know in various games there will be a leader and different other characters who will have specific roles. Children in general are meant to be an imaginative person, they are full of curiosity and exploring new things in life due to which creating or having false beliefs about this thing is bound to happen. In such scenarios it is very important to draw a line and make them aware about the reality because if this is not confronted with the children, then the frequency and intensity of the same increases. 

 

In one of my case studies, A boy named XYZ has anger concerns,he tends to destroy objects such as any household objects or engages himself into verbal aggression. Recently, he started playing games and has been spending time on them. The child experiences family conflict as well due to which he experiences the emotion of anger. We discussed the events that make him feel angry as well as the things that can help him to manage the anger emotion. The child mentioned, “One of the things is to play games because I have a control to hit someone in the game as in reality it won’t be possible.” However, children are finding different ways to vent it out and one of the ways is through gaming. Most of the children are very well aware that the virtual world is not the reality world but they find their comfort zone in the world where they can express and vent it out and that is the gaming world. 

 

One of the models named ‘GAMM’ (General Affective Aggression Model) discusses the increase of aggressive behaviours and engaging in violent gaming. The model explains that when the children indulge themselves into the game world, it provokes the situation and automatically affects the cognitive thinking which leads to affecting the emotion i.e. state of feeling hostile leading to feeling revengeful which is acted out through the behaviour such as name calling, teasing or using inappropriate language (Craig A. Anderson, Department of Psychology, University of Missouri—Columbia; Karen E. Dill, Department of Psychology, Lenoir-Rhyne

College). 

 

In most of the findings it has been seen that when children are in the state of confusion they tend to experience ‘Magical Thinking’ which means when they get confused between what was ‘real’ and what was ‘not real’, leading them to think magically (Bolton et. al, 2002 & Simonds, et. al, 2009). However, when children experience any emotion (Joy, excitement, sadness or anger)  they tend to relate with the character of the game and deviate their mind into  the world of magical thinking (Antar, Rafi, “INVESTIGATING THE IMPACT OF VIDEO GAMING ON CHILDREN’S MAGICAL THINKING IN EARLY CHILDHOOD” (2019). College of Education Theses and Dissertations. 164.). 

Children are bound to create false beliefs among themselves but to what extent they are creating is something to be aware of. However, the key to understanding their thought process is to be in their age and in their mind which will help us to figure out to what extent the children are in their magical world. 

 

“Children see magic because they look for it.” – Christopher Moore

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