Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.
The Biggest Threat to the Future of Hunting Could Be In Your Own Home
Anti-hunters are no doubt a threat to our beloved sport, but I believe an even bigger threat to our outdoor heritage can be found in many of our homes. That threat takes the form of gaming devices, such as Xbox, Wii and Nintendo. These addictive devices keep kids indoors and encourage laziness and unproductivity. The video games and electronics are creating a generation of youth who have little to no interest in what's going on outside of the virtual world, much less in the great outdoors. Many children would rather spend the day bathed in the artificial light of a screen than under the warmth of the sun. I despise these video games and playing devices for this very reason, and a story recently posted on Yahoo News has fueled my disdain.
According to the article, an Ohio teenager collapsed and was hospitalized on Tuesday after playing the game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” on his Xbox for the majority four days. The 15-year-old boy collapsed several times on Tuesday after emerging from his room. He was rushed to the hospital where he was treated for severe dehydration.
The doctor featured in this NBCNews video says the teenager did not consume enough fluids during his video-game marathon, which caused his blood volume and blood pressure to drop, preventing enough oxygen from getting to his brain. He’s recovered, and his mother claims she’s taken away his Xbox, but if I had to guess, he’ll be back in front of it before too long.
I would like to say that I can’t believe any mother would allow her son to play video games for that long, but sadly, I know several parents who permit their kids to play video games and sit indoors in front of their TVs or computers as much as they wish. These days, way too many parents let electronics do the parenting. If their kids are wrapped up in their video games, they aren’t bothering their parents, and this is just fine by mom and dad.
I grew up in the time of the Atari (yes, I’m revealing my age). I had one, but I rarely played it. I preferred playing outside with my friends and roaming the woods behind our house. But, my oldest son, Ethan, who is 8 years old, would sit in front of his Wii or play his Nintendo DS all day if I'd let him. I don’t. He’s allowed to play for a set amount of time each day during the summer and that’s it. During the school year, his time is even more limited. I also make him and my other children play outdoors every day. Ethan thinks I’m too strict as many of his friends don't have to abide by such rules, but I don’t care. I want him to grow up to be an active, healthy, outdoorsy and sociable young man, and I’m willing to endure a little bitterness if I must.
So, what are the rules in your house for gaming devices? Do you limit the time your children can play? Do you allow your kids to carry them along on their hunting trips?