How damaging is it to let my child play adult rated games?
To answer this properly you need to know a little about the brain and the states of awareness. We have four levels of awareness
1) Beta - the state we usually operate at on a day to day basis, conscious mind in control.
2) Alpha - a light state of relaxation and contemplation/daydreaming.
3) Theta - the deeper state hypnotherapists use to access the subconscious.
4) Delta - the deepest state of relaxation possible - subconscious in complete control.
Children spend a lot of time in the alpha state, daydreaming and imagining. When playing computer games children’s imaginations are working overtime, put them in front of an 18+ game and they are presented with adult content from violence to sexual references. Apart from the fact younger children learn by example, the game could become almost imprinted because of the time the child may be spending playing it.
Children are so highly suggestible in childhood in general, that when in alpha state they are more likely to suffer trauma from playing violent shooting games, much like adults do facing real combat situations. This is because games now are so realistic, the child becomes part of the game.
A study on adults, carried out by Brendan J. McCollum from Georgia Southern University called "violent video games and symptoms of distress and trauma" suggested that all video games illicit anxiety. But violent games are much more damaging, causing higher levels of disassociation and the involvement in the game was so real to the participants they felt as though it was actually happening to them.
This level of interaction for a child could cause them to experience anxiety, panic attacks, nightmares and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It could take weeks, maybe longer, to unpick the psychological ramifications these games could be inflicting on your child. This isn’t to say that all children will be affected, but it goes without saying that risking a child’s mental well-being perhaps is something you should think twice about.
Hypnotherapy will help undo some of the problems, but in all honesty, prevention is better than cure – these games have ratings to keep safe those not equipped to deal with subject matter.
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About Karen Lee
Karen Lee has always had an interest in helping others help themselves, after two years online voluntary work in a group she set up herself, she is now a qualified hypnotherapist, EMDR specialist and is studying to achieve a BSc hons degree in psychology, looking to become a psychologist in the next few years.