Melanie Hempee of ScreenStrong stresses that games have changed since the days of Pac-Man on Atari and Nintendo offered Super Mario Brothers.
"Video games are not what they used to be,” she insists. “They are very highly scientifically designed to capture our kids and keep their attention."
The video games are able to “capture” their users, Hempee says, because of their “immersive” nature. She says games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and World of Warcraft are designed to pull a player in and keep them involved for hours and hours.
Hempee likens modern-day video games to gambling and, worse, to a gambling addiction, because you win and lose, lose and win, and no matter what you just keep going.
Statistics show boys tend to get hooked into video games more while girls get hooked on social media and the endless scrolling and scrolling.
So what's the best option? She recommends not only avoiding violent video games for young boys and teen boys but to encourage them to get outside, to find hobbies, and to hang out with friends.
“Video games are going to be here forever. They're not going anywhere,” she says. “We're not saying no forever. We're just saying no for now.”