How To Save Your Child From Singapore’s Video Game Epidemic

Is your child addicted to video games? How can you determine if your child has an addiction to video games? Is it possible to ‘defeat’ video game addiction and unlock your child’s full potential?

Studies have shown that video game addiction is on the rise and that Singapore has one of highest rates of addiction in the world, with Singaporean children spending on average 20 hours a week playing video games, almost twice as much as American children. We will share the answer to these questions and more before sharing with you how martial arts is the logical first step to curing your child’s video game addiction.


Distinguishing between a ‘hobby’ and ‘addiction’

A hobby is a positive action that blends in seamlessly with the rest of your life. It adds value to you as a person, whether physically, mentally, or both. There are such things as ‘good’ hobbies; reading for example. However, even these hobbies, which are universally agreed upon as beneficial, can be problematic if they negatively affect the other areas of a child’s life.

As beneficial as reading books can be, if a child locks themselves in their room to read books whenever possible, there should be concerns about their ability to socialize and learning to adapt to real-life situations. Much like video games, fiction books can create a fantasy world in that a person becomes completely engaged. People can be addicted to reading, just the same as becoming addicted to video games.

The problem, however, is that video games have a tendency to be much more addicting.

This is why you will rarely see “Here’s how to cure your child’s reading addiction”; it just doesn’t happen as often. Video games are entirely constructed for the hobbyist to become addicted. Nowadays, with the addition of virtual transactions into games, developers are finding new ways for the player to spend countless hours within the game with the aim of encouraging them to spend more money to unlock virtual items.


How do you know when playing video games has become a problem?

A book titled ‘Digital Cocaine’ references Kimberly Young’s definition of addiction as:

  1. The person needs more of a substance or behavior to keep them going.
  2. If the person does not get more of the substance or behavior, they become irritable and miserable.

Here’s a real-world example of a difference between addiction and hobby; something you must distinguish.

The UFC Flyweight World Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson enjoys playing video games as a pastime and is known for his enjoyment of video games. “Mighty Mouse” shares his experiences with others by live-streaming his play over the internet, allowing fans to spectate and engage with him.

It is important to understand how playing video games affects the quality of life of a person. For “Mighty Mouse”, he has never let his gaming take priority. His quest to become the greatest mixed martial artist is paramount, and he only recently set a UFC record for most consecutive title defenses in the organization. Would this be possible if you were addicted to video games? Not at all.

“Mighty Mouse” is also regarded for his incredible ability to stay humble and put his family first. He and his wife share a special relationship, and he is actively involved in the raising of his children. Again, Demetrious Johnson’s priorities are not playing video games. Instead, when there is no better alternative, he enjoys sitting down and enjoying this hobby.

Imagine if Demetrious Johnson became so addicted to video games that it ultimately cost him the opportunity to become a UFC champion. The strangest part about it all is that we probably would never have known his full potential.

Whether it is affecting their ability to socialize, their education, or even not instilling important values in life, if your child is addicted to video games, they are on an uphill battle to unlock their full potential.

Playing video games for upwards of three hours per day leaves a child with almost no time to complete homework, socialize, or participate in other (more beneficial) hobbies.

Researchers of a particular study found that video game addiction was linked to depression and anxiety.

The same article references Dr. Richard Gallagher who states: “If they’re [children] attracted to games so much so that they don’t get involved in other things, or they talk about gaming and don’t talk about anything else, there may be a problem.”

If you have identified a problem, it’s time to act now.


How martial arts can cure your child’s video game addiction

While there are particular treatments, facilities, and even prescriptions to counter video game addiction, these all seem like extreme options.

Fortunately, children and teenagers who are still young can be molded to experience and enjoy different hobbies. The problem with overcoming addictions at a senior level, such as alcoholism and smoking, is that these routines have existed with the adult for decades.

Treatments, facilities, and medication seem to treat the symptom rather than the cause. If the addiction is resolved, there needs to be a plan for a child to become engaged in a positive activity and hobby.

It might sound simple, but beginning the journey of martial arts is an effective way to overcome video game addiction and form incredible qualities that are applicable on a day-to-day basis. The primary reason for this is that there are many similarities between these two activities.

Essentially, children enjoy martial arts for the same reasons that they enjoy video games. However, martial arts teaches real-life values including integrity, humility, honor, respect, courage, and discipline, and doesn’t allow for the same negative tendencies which are created by a video game addiction.

Martial arts is a powerful alternative for children who are addicted to video games and can be a logical first step to overcoming a child’s video game addiction.

Here are some similarities between martial arts and playing online video games:

  • Martial arts, much like online video games, often require people to cooperate with other people to advance and achieve their goals.
  • People who train martial arts also enjoy a sense of community, much similar to how what a child experiences when they play online video games.
  • “Leveling-up” creates a sense of reward or gratification for efforts. This is prevalent in many martial arts, such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for example, and is also an overwhelmingly popular feature in video games that keep children coming back.

While there are many similarities between martial arts and video games, it is understood that these games create tendencies or a mental framework that is not suitable for the real world.

In a fantasy world, children and teenagers sometimes feel as though they can express opinions or behave in a way that would otherwise get them in trouble. There is no real consequence for poor social behavior online. For example, do you think your child is more likely to cooperate in a real-life scenario with other children or in a virtual world where there is no deterrent to bad behavior? As such, it is common that children who experience no lack of consequences for their choices create habits that flow through into real scenarios.

By learning martial arts, your child will develop a unique passion for an overwhelmingly positive hobby.

They will develop leadership skills, become more disciplined, and learn the importance of respect.


So if you’re serious about maximizing your child’s development, sign your child up for martial arts classes to overcome their video game addiction and unlock their full potential!

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