Addiction to violent video games led to a 14-year-old girl being taken to the hospital for psychological assessment and treatment, said Dubai Police. The Arab teenage girl would play violent games on Play Station, and with time her parents began to see a change in her behaviour as she started to exhibit signs of aggression in her speech and behaviour. Alarmed at her conduct, her family took her to the hospital which asked for more backup and contacted Dubai Police.
Lieutenant Colonel Rashid Bin Dhabwi Al Felasi, director of Criminal Control in Criminal Investigation Department in Dubai Police, said they were alerted by Rashid Hospital about the condition of the girl and dispatched their experts to examine her.
“She used to treat her family and friends violently. When our experts sat with her, she showed annoyance and started talking in an aggressive way,” Lt. Col. Al Felasi said.
Influenced by what she saw, the teenager began to take her cues from the violent culture of the games and at one time, even brandished a knife at her father.
“She was addicted to the violence and assault scenarios in the games and that affected her character. We found videos of her carrying knives and behaving like the characters in the video games. Her family tried to help her but she thwarted all their attempts until they took her to hospital,” he added.
Under the supervision of the Dubai Police, the girl underwent psychological counselling and was advised not to play violent video games. She was advised to switch to watching non-violent video games. The counselling sessions also educated her on the negative impact of violence and advised her on how to channel her energies in a positive way.
The parents were also part of the rehabilitation as they received advice on how to help their daughter.
After few sessions and a change brought about in the girl’s routine, she began respond positively to the counselling.
Lt. Col. Al Felasi said this kind of an addiction to violent games could prove to be extremely dangerous. “It is a serious issue as her addiction might lead her to commit crimes and impact her future.”
Dubai Police urged parents to be fully attentive to their children’s activities and ban them from playing violent video games.
“Children and teenagers these days are connected to the internet all the time and the internet has much material which can affect their mentality. Parents shouldn’t neglect their children’s interests and should always advise them on what is good and bad for them in video games and on the internet,” Lt. Col. Al Felasi said.