Maybe it’s a sign of the times that certain kids see video games as being reality. Is it due to the fact the graphics are so advanced they look real nowadays? Or is it simply people have lost all sense of reality? Whatever the answer maybe I found this issue appearing in training sessions a few years ago.
One of the most popular training sessions I offer is self-defense, and people have many reasons for wanting to learn this, most of course wish to learn this to protect themselves. But when someone wants to learn it because of what they’ve seen on video games, and then doesn’t even think it’s realistic you could say they’re a little confused as they cannot separate make believe from reality.
The kid who wanted to do the impossible!
One such client was a 14-year-old kid who had persuaded his parents to buy him self-defense sessions after becoming obsessed with it after playing these fighting video games. However, my realistic style of self-defense didn’t quite live up to his unrealistic expectations.
He started asking questions like how he could rip someone’s spine out like he’s seen on his video games! When I told him that was just in video games and not even possible, he claimed I said that because I didn’t know how to do that particular move! So, I quickly figured these sessions were not going to be easy at all.
The kid was totally obsessed by these video games, especially the fighting ones. Surely at 14 years of age he should know they’re not real…shouldn’t he? Maybe a kid at 8 years old could be forgiven for being confused, but at 14, come on now! Let’s get real here.
The next session I’m trying to teach him how to escape from being grabbed from behind, but he has other ideas! This session he wants to learn how to rip someone’s heart out and show it them before they die! Again, I tell him that’s not possible and try to explain what he’s seeing on his video games is not possible in real life. Once again, he accuses me of not knowing how to perform this particular move, and it went on like this for several sessions.
Parents and kid need a reality check here!
Ok, time for a reality check here. I’ve had enough of this nonsense and call the parents. They tell me they’re so happy he’s coming to me for self-defense and he talks about your sessions all the time! Really? We haven’t even done a self-defense session yet, all we`ve done is listen to this kid talk nonsense about the crap he’s seen playing video games.
To my amazement they renew at an even bigger package than the first one! Well, I guess money is money and if they don’t mind wasting it then I’ll take it! The sessions carry on much the same as before with the kid trying to re-live everything, he’s been playing thinking it`s real. Then he starts to tell his parents that I’m teaching him all these crazy moves from the video games, which isn’t true. Not a good situation developing here.
Time to set the record straight!
The parents call wanting to know why I’m not teaching him real self-defense instead of what he’s seeing on video games. They go into great detail about how the fighting on his video games isn’t actually real! Really? I tell them instead of telling me I suggest they tell their son as I know they’re not real, he doesn’t! And while we`re at it, why are they letting him play these things so much leaving him with a totally warped sense of reality.
They claim the video games are just harmless fun and it keeps him busy instead of running the streets at night. Harmless fun? I don’t think so, not when he thinks they’re real. Anyway, thankfully they pulled him out of our training sessions once the current package was over and I was quite happy to see the back of him!
Now, I’m not saying video games are bad, but like everything else they must be played in moderation. What we had here was simply a case of a young kid being allowed to play video games to the point of it being an obsession where the make believe had become reality to him.
Seems to me like the parents let him play them so much as it kept him occupied and out of their hair! An all too familiar story in this fast-paced modern technology age we find ourselves in. Video games and cell phones are turning the kids of today into zombies!
Any trainers or clients reading this that have dealt with similar situations regarding kids being obsessed with video games to this degree?