I'm writing a short text on how playing video games for excessive amounts of time could prove harmful to young children.

one of the main ideas I'm trying to express is that children, if not supervised by their parents, will forego almost all 'social obligations' such as forming friendships, helping around the house, doing their homework, participating in social events among many other, just so they could keep playing. In other words, video games becomes their first priority and everything else is way back in the second category.

What's a more precise word I could use here?

  • 2
    Children can become addicted to video games. Commented Oct 8, 2021 at 17:33

2 Answers 2


Not all of the things you mention are obligations: "forming friendships" is not an obligation although it is very desirable, while "helping around the house", and "doing homework" are obligations, although not particularly social ones.

You might use the phrase "social activities" or perhaps better "other activities, especially social activities".

You might also describe the games as "addictive" or say that children can become "addicted to them" as a comment by user John Gorden suggests. This is a conclusion which the forgoing of other activities is evidence for, and might also be considered loaded language.


As David Siegel has pointed out, the things you're describing are not all "obligations" and "responsibilities". All of them, however, are "requirements for healthy social development". I include household chores and homework here because a healthy adult will have learned during childhood the value of doing things that are required and not fun, and so will have gained the social maturity to take personal responsibility for themselves when there's nobody telling them to clean their home and complete job obligations on time. Playing video games constantly prevents children from aquiring this maturity.

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