PAX Prime 2012: Dr. Tyler Black on Parenting and Video Games

We’re in a unique position as far as generations go. Many of the people who grew up with video games in the 70s, 80s and into the 90s are now having children of their own. Even so, there is still a stigma that surrounds children and video games. That’s why we were so intrigued by the talk given by Dr. Tyler Black at PAX Prime 2012.

He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at BC Children’s Hospital and he also happens to be a big video game fan. During his presentation, he talked about how much of the science that links violent video games with violent behavior in children and teenagers is seriously flawed. He also reminded us that well over 90% of youth and teens play video games now. That number continues to rise, but the figures for violent crime are going down. Yes, that’s only correlation, but that’s gotta mean something.

It used to be that the people who played video games were “weird,” but it’s become overwhelmingly the norm for children to play video games. Given that, Dr. Black said, “If you don’t play video games, it could be a sign of psychopathology.” To be fair, he followed that by saying that “it could also be a healthy decision.” He also said that “Minecraft is like an autism simulator.”


If you have any interest in video games and children –particularly when it comes to addiction, antisocial behavior, the connection to violence, and so on — you should have a look at Dr. Black’s presentation on his website. Parents need to remember that the video games aren’t to blame; they have to look at the bigger picture and put everything in context.

PAX Prime 2012: Dr. Tyler Black on Parenting and Video Games

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