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Friday, April 18 12:00 AM ET

Seven Hidden Video Game Dangers that Should Concern Parents

By Brian Briggs

A recent poll showed several items that concerned parents about video games, with sex between a man and a woman topping severed heads and men kissing. Like most sensational stories about video games, the poll missed the real dangers in video games. We try to remedy that with this list of the hidden dangers of video games that parents should be concerned with:

  • Map Reading Skills - Everyone knows that video games increases map reading skills, but do parents know how boring a life as a cartographer is? Probably not.
  • Cheat Codes - Using cheat codes in games lead kids to think that they are entitled to easy solutions for all their problems. That may be good for self-help experts, but not for your kids.
  • Bad Hygiene - Most video game characters don't shower, shave or even change their clothes. Is it really hygienic to bathe in all that zombie blood without washing your hands?
  • Unlimited Ammo - Many games give the player an unlimited supply of ammunition for their weapons which leads to a distorted view of the cost of war. Killing people costs money and resources. Kids should know this, or they may have a long life of voting Republican.
  • Rewards for Collecting - In games you may end up with an extra life, or a new sword, but in real life you end up with shelves full of worthless knickknacks, and maxed out credit cards. Teach your children the dangers of collecting at an early age.
  • Protective Goggles - Doom may have had over-the-top violence, but more dangerous was that it taught our kids that using a chainsaw to dismember raging Hellbeasts without safety goggles is A-OK. Taking little Johnny to the ER with a splinter of bone in his eye isn't easy to explain. Trust me.
  • Slow Motion - Kids are being trained that the cools things in life will slow down for them to appreciate it. Life doesn't operate that way, and kids need to learn that or they'll miss a lot.

Severed heads and men kissing don't seem so bad now, do they?


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