Q: I am 14 years old, and currently debating my choice of friends. They all play first-person shooter (FPS) games, while I choose other kinds of games. They often tell me how great their games are but criticize mine. When they clamor for the new Call of Duty, I freak out over the new Sonic… Read more »
Posts Categorized: Ask the Mediatrician
Dear Readers, Last week, the New York Times featured an article entitled “Unlearning Gun Violence”, which discussed the work of an epidemiologist who, after a decade of fighting TB, HIV, and cholera in Africa, returned to a life-threatening epidemic in his hometown of Chicago—violence. He uses the same techniques that worked in Africa, teaching perpetrators and… Read more »
Q: My kids (10 and 7) have been invited to a number of Halloween-themed parties this year that are being held at their schools and at the homes of a few of their friends. Several of these parties will have scary movies, scary music, and in one case (the school’s) a dramatic reading of a… Read more »
After reading a recent article in the New York Times about the connection between media violence and aggression in real life, Dr. Michael Rich felt compelled to respond, writing the following letter to the editor: Asking whether video games “cause” violent behavior is asking the wrong question. As a parent, I constantly make risk-benefit analyses… Read more »
Q: Hello, I am the mother of a 10-year-old boy. We don’t allow violent video games in the house, but we do allow him to play first-person shooter hunting games (Duck Hunter, Cabela’s, Big Buck Hunter, etc.), which he loves, especially as he takes a hunting trip with his father every year. My fear is… Read more »
Q: We have stopped our 17-year-old daughter from using Facebook a number of times due to angry and inappropriate postings. We put unrecognizable passwords in, but she keeps creating or restarting Facebook pages. I believe she has one now, and I can’t find it. She has probably blocked me. Is there any way of totally… Read more »
Q: Do you have suggestions for how to find appropriate media, such as educational video games, for different ages, such as an 8-year-old boy who likes war stuff? I’d like to help direct him to more creative sites. –Seeking solutions, in Burlington, VT A: Dear Seeking, It’s not always easy to know which video games… Read more »
Recently, I answered a question from a mother asking whether she should purchase the video game Call of Duty for her son. When the answer was featured on Thrive, the Children’s Hospital Boston blog, it ignited controversy and spurred many gamers to comment. Here is my response.
Q: Can a weekly diet of violent and sexual media for teens from good families affect their attitudes and behaviors when they’re in college, contributing to the high numbers of college sexual assaults?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician
Q: My boys, now 15 & 17, are so different. I’ve noticed that my two kids can watch the same violent programs and, depending on each child’s nature, they respond differently. Is it true that after viewing violent programs, some children will behave more aggressively while some children become more fearful? If yes, can you explain how that happens? Any chance that some children are not affected at all?
Answer from Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician