Why Kids Love Playing Video Games?
Earlier this week, I received a call from a CBC writer who wanted to hear about my conversations with trainers across Canada about the influence of Fortnite as well as other video games on child sports at the grassroots level.
As one of several screens that kids have resorted to in the digital era to replace their prior active play time with sedentary screen time, the topic comes up literally every time I give a presentation or speak with coaches on the phone.
The primary reason it is affecting athletes at all levels, from grassroots to professional, is that many athletes have been playing video games late into the night, especially when travelling to road games, resulting in sleep deprivation, which affects their performance during “real” games of the sporting events they play.
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What Motivates Children to Play Video Games?
Kids play video games for the same reason they play youth sports: they like them. It’s hardly rocket science, yet video game companies spend millions of dollars on research and development to create games that are enjoyable to play, whether for PC, Mac, video game consoles, tablets, or smartphones.
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One of the main reasons why youngsters participate in Youth Sports is to play video games with their buddies or to meet new people, either in local neighbourhoods by going to houses or online, where they may meet people from all over the world.
Many children may claim that they play since they enjoy competing with their peers, which is no differently than pick-up games, and we were younger. There was nothing like a tight match of shinny, basketball, soccer, British Bulldog, or anything to get the adrenaline going.
The difference between today’s youngsters playing video games and organized youth sports and when I was a kid is that have transformed youth sports into a win-at-all-costs environment, rather than playing for the love of the sport, the spirit of rivalry, playing with friends, and having fun.
- Compulsive Behaviour
Video games have been addicting kinds of entertainment since their inception; whether any of you recall some of the first games?
The makers would not be performing their jobs unless they made the games addictive enough that you
(a) bought them and
(b) kept buying newer versions of them.
Consider the numerous EA Sports top-selling games; each year, they add to the games, requiring you to pay between $50 and $100 to get the most recent edition, such as Madden, Fifa, NHL, and others.
I’d even argue that they cause the very same release of neurotransmitters Dopamine that Simon Sinek mentioned in his iconic diatribe about Millennials in the Workplace, which we discussed in our previous essay This is the Future. Fortnite, in particular, has youngsters and even men playing for hours on end, well into the early morning hours.
Youth sports can also be addicting; if kids play again for love of the sport, they will spend hours playing, just like we did when we were younger.
There seem to be no present, as there are in today’s professionalized kid sports period, no parents or coaches directing them what’s what, no officials applying the rules, and if they don’t like the pre-set rules of the games, they can change them and play at their own level.
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