With the emergence of the new generation and personal mobile technology, playing online video game has become a daily routine of many adolescents in Canada. Popular types of online games include shooting, fighting, and puzzle games. According to Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) (2016), about 52% of Canadians are gamers, and the average gaming time is 11 hours per week. Over 90% of adolescents between 13 and 17 years old played video games every month (2013). Parents are worried about their adolescents’ overindulgence of in cyber gaming.
Parents are worried about the adverse impact cyber gaming may have on adolescents. Ironically, when they steer their youth away from cyber gaming, conflicts may arise, damaging the parent-child relationship.
When worrying about adolescent gaming behaviour, are the needs that underlying their behaviour being over-looked or neglected? What are the underlying psychological needs in adolescents’ gaming behaviour?
According to the theory of Stages of Psychosocial Development (Erickson, 1950, 1963), among the 8 stages of psychosocial development, those for adolescents are outlined as follows. Certain missions destined to be achieved in each stage in order for one to acquire self-growth and healthy psychological development.
Psychosocial Development Mission 1: Identity vs. Role Confusion
At this stage, adolescents seek self-value. They yearn to master a clear concept of self, and crave the sense of accomplishment and success. However, gaining a sense of accomplishment at school or in social life may be challenging for some. Through playing online video games, adolescents are gratified with the feeling of accomplishment when they break through different game stages and defeat powerful gaming characters. This instant gratification makes cyber gaming much more attractive to adolescents than homework.
Psychosocial Development Mission 2: Intimacy vs. Isolation
At this stage, adolescents build more intimate relationships with others. In the cyber world, gamers can always battle with different gamers and be connected with friends with similar interests. In real life, cyber gamers can also share a common topic with others in their social network. Some adolescents also become gamers due to peer pressure, for membership in the social conversation, or for fear of being left out.
Online games are undoubtedly very exciting. More importantly, they can effectively meet adolescents’ psychosocial needs. By understanding the importance of healthy psychological development for adolescents, parents can understand that concerns should not be around the online video games themselves, but how they could help adolescents better manage gaming time. Some tips for parent include:
Source of Information: Chinese Family Services of Ontario
時代轉變，電子遊戲已成為時下青少年消遣娛樂的必需品。最受歡迎的遊戲種類包括射擊、搏擊和砌圖，內容刺激好玩。可是，過度沉迷電子遊戲的狀況令不少家長擔憂。Entertainment Software Association of Canada (2016) 指出約有52 個百份點的加拿大人平均花11小時玩電腦和電動遊戲，更有數據顯示超過九成13-17歲年青人有玩電動遊戲的習慣。
根據心理社會發展階段理論 (Erickson, 1950, 1963)，人生分成八個成長階段，青少年時期則處於以下兩個心理社會發展階段。在每個心理社會發展階段中，人需要完成一些任務才達致自我成長和人格發展。