"Video Game Addiction" to be Forum Topic at Sandy Hook School District

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"Video Game Addiction" to be Forum Topic at Sandy Hook School District

Videogame Addiction

Connecticut's Newtown Public Schools district, the site of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, will feature the parent forum on video game addiction as part of a series sponsored by the Newtown Recovery Project.

A parent forum on video game addiction will be held next week in Newtown, Connecticut, the site of the infamous Sandy Hook shootings in December 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults, as well as the shooter Adam Lanza. The event is part of an ongoing series of forums hosted by the Newtown Recovery Project, set up in the wake of the tragic killings.

According to the Newtown Bee, the April 24 forum "will provide information on the definition and criteria for video game addiction, the psychology of video game addiction, signs a child may need help, what makes them so addicting, negative consequences of gaming addiction (physical, social, etc) and treatment."

The forum will be presented twice, once during the school day at 10 a.m. at Newtown's Hawley Elementary School and a second time at the school at 6 p.m. Another parent forum will be held the day before, April 23, titled "Springtime Stress Management."

It's worth noting that an official report on the motives behind the Sandy Hook shootings found no links with video games.

Before you comment, please realize that Newtown is still a community going through a healing process and is likely still trying to find answers to why this shooting happened. It's safe to say that most of us have never been affected by an event as horrific as a school shooting and while video games do often get an unfair rap for being the cause of such violence let's try to be respectful while discussing the matter.

Source: The Newtown Bee via Polygon

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This may be a great time for us Gamers to take one on the chin. Grieving people need to wail and pound against somebody's chest until the tears stop. Let's just let them and maybe give a hug afterwards.

We know Games aren't the cause of these tragedies, but rather something within a person which we cannot know anything about.
There is now a continuously growing set of scientific studies showing there are no links to Video games in these situations.
Gangster Rap managed to weather the storm, we can too.

SilverStuddedSquirre:
This may be a great time for us Gamers to take one on the chin. Grieving people need to wail and pound against somebody's chest until the tears stop. Let's just let them and maybe give a hug afterwards.

We know Games aren't the cause of these tragedies, but rather something within a person which we cannot know anything about. There is now a continuously growing set of scientific studies showing there are no links to Video games in these situations. Gangster Rap managed to weather the storm, we can too.

As long as they don't try to start any kind of anti-video game crusade, sure.

Still, I hope they at least have someone from the gaming industry there to give their say on the matter.

I would of thought having a discussion about the dangers of guns would be more useful, and while its ok to say let them use gaming as a scapegoat to escape the horror of that event, it does not actually sort out the real issue.
Its like popping painkillers to remove the pain of a broken leg, and still walking about on it rather than addressing the leg, treating the symptoms but failing to sort out the cause.

ASnogarD:
I would of thought having a discussion about the dangers of guns would be more useful, and while its ok to say let them use gaming as a scapegoat to escape the horror of that event, it does not actually sort out the real issue.

Hear hear!

Weekend before last, there was a real-life run-and-gun street fight going on just outside my back door. I'd rather those fools were addicted to video games. It'd give them something to do besides putting bullet holes into everything*.

*Except, oddly enough, each other.

Anything to avoid dealing with the real issues behind this tragedy! (i.e., Things like the lack of decent mental health care or the easy availability of deadly weapons.)

I know this isn't a real threat to the gaming community, but Jebus! When are we going to stop going for easy targets and start at least looking at some of the underlying problems?

You wanna talk about patterns of behavior. How about funneling peoples grief into a laser to pursue a certain agenda.

the7ofswords:
Anything to avoid dealing with the real issues behind this tragedy! (i.e., Things like the lack of decent mental health care or the easy availability of deadly weapons.)

I know this isn't a real threat to the gaming community, but Jebus! When are we going to stop going for easy targets and start at least looking at some of the underlying problems?

ASnogarD:
I would of thought having a discussion about the dangers of guns would be more useful, and while its ok to say let them use gaming as a scapegoat to escape the horror of that event, it does not actually sort out the real issue.
Its like popping painkillers to remove the pain of a broken leg, and still walking about on it rather than addressing the leg, treating the symptoms but failing to sort out the cause.

I absolutely agree with you. These tragedies will occur less when people dissect the true causes, rather than looking for a scapegoat. It's also important to acknowledge that damaged individuals get born, and while to call them a ticking time bomb is a massive oversimplification, it is true to an extent. While an argument could be made that such violence would still occur, just with a different weapon, I submit that it would occur with less frequency for the following reason:

Guns are just TOO easy. You literally push a button to kill. It takes a MUCH deeper commitment to do violence with your hands, or even a club or knife. Also much harder to kill many people in a short span of time.

I don't know what the solution is, other than do a better job of locking up your guns.

SilverStuddedSquirre:

the7ofswords:
Anything to avoid dealing with the real issues behind this tragedy! (i.e., Things like the lack of decent mental health care or the easy availability of deadly weapons.)

I know this isn't a real threat to the gaming community, but Jebus! When are we going to stop going for easy targets and start at least looking at some of the underlying problems?

ASnogarD:
I would of thought having a discussion about the dangers of guns would be more useful, and while its ok to say let them use gaming as a scapegoat to escape the horror of that event, it does not actually sort out the real issue.
Its like popping painkillers to remove the pain of a broken leg, and still walking about on it rather than addressing the leg, treating the symptoms but failing to sort out the cause.

I absolutely agree with you. These tragedies will occur less when people dissect the true causes, rather than looking for a scapegoat. It's also important to acknowledge that damaged individuals get born, and while to call them a ticking time bomb is a massive oversimplification, it is true to an extent. While an argument could be made that such violence would still occur, just with a different weapon, I submit that it would occur with less frequency for the following reason:

Guns are just TOO easy. You literally push a button to kill. It takes a MUCH deeper commitment to do violence with your hands, or even a club or knife. Also much harder to kill many people in a short span of time.

I don't know what the solution is, other than do a better job of locking up your guns.

For parents that own guns and don't want their kids near them, this is absolutely the best solution. Put them in a safe or a vault, give it a combination that only you would know, and check it every so often to make sure no one gets in there.

Grieving is an explanation, not an excuse. Calling video games an "addiction" amounts to engaging in pseudoscience to equate engaging in an entertainment medium with drug use.

It's all well and good to empathize with people who lose a family member to the Black Plague; that empathy doesn't mean you're somehow obligated to accept their need to burn witches.

Blaming video games (music, tv, etc) isn't the answer.

Stricter gun control isn't the answer.

Providing an actual way to diagnose and combat mental illness, rather then treat it like something to be ashamed of and not properly fund it.

They should rather hold a convention about how to not alienate kids into becomming extreme outsiders and how to stop bullying. This here just tries to find solutions to problems that had little to nothing to do with the shooting. Healing process or not, blaming the wrong thing only leads to repeated mistakes. They have to face the fact that everyone looked the other way as those two descended into the depths of violence and that no one saw or wanted to see the warning signs go off. Blaming video games is just an easy copout to a much more complicated social problem and makes people feel good about themselves cause they dont have to ask themselves if they themselves could have done something different to prevent the tragedy.

What you need to stop doing is searching for answers in insanity. Never ask why a crazy person does the things they do. It doesn't make sense, that's why we call it crazy. How long has it been since Columbine? Do we even understand why they did what they did? One was depressed and one was probably a sociopath, but that still doesn't explain their actions.

While videogame addiction sure as hell is a thing, it's fairly rare and doesn't normally spawn anything worse than used bedpans, poor hygiene, and the cavalcade of problems that go along with agoraphobia.

I'm sorry, but while denial may be part of the grieving process it is not healthy to live in denial. Allowing them to pick a scapegoat for their frustrations and grief over this tragedy is not the way to go about things. That grief and frustration simply gets converted into anger and support for a false cause. If the forum was about educating parents on video games and teaching them that the majority of studies done on the subject have not found any distinct link between games and real life violence, then I'm all for it. But this forum - based on the description in the article - seems to be condemning video games as a dangerous form of recreation.

I do not deny that game addiction exists and that parents should be careful to make sure that what's meant to be a recreational activity does not turn into an addiction. However in this context all they're doing is looking to blame something, and as usual the blame falls on an easy target such as video games.

God forbid we, you know, blame the terrible person that committed the crime. No, it couldn't be that individual's fault, something MADE that person commit such a heinous act. But I suppose it's just not as satisfying to blame a cold blooded psychotic killer when that killer is already dead. After all, we still need someone/something to punish, damnit!

So lets blame the games that he played, lets blame the guns that he used, lets blame the car that he drove, lets blame the shoes he was wearing, lets blame the real estate agent that sold the house that he and his mother lived in, lets blame the universe which created the elements that formed the earth which we humans mined for resources to convert into said guns and ammunition. Lets blame everything else we possibly can except for the single fucked up individual who committed a fucked up, horrific crime.

I'm sorry if this comes across as disrespectful to those that are grieving, but I'd rather be seen as being disrespectful than to just sit by with the excuse of "Oh well they're still grieving" and let another group of people become fixated on a false assumption/conclusion just because they want something to throw their anger at over this tragic event.

the7ofswords:
I know this isn't a real threat to the gaming community, but Jebus! When are we going to stop going for easy targets and start at least looking at some of the underlying problems?

When people are motivated enough to go looking at them. People go for easy targets because they are easy.

That said, there's no obvious link between this and shootings. Videogame addiction is a thing, it's just not as much of a concern to people involved as being murdered. A lot of gamers will want to condemn anyone talking about games in a way they don't like into someone taking the easy way out and blaming games for everything instead of looking at the issue because it's the easy way out and allows them to avoid looking at the issue.

I know I am going to get quoted out the wazoo for this but please, save both our time and just don't.

This obviously just a scapegoat, nobody is disputing that. What I see to be the real problem is all to do with how America is set up. Mental health and health in general is based on if you can afford it and not if you need it "'cos giving to the needy makes you a commy pig!". Treating mental health should be more than "here, take these pills" ... it should also be diagnosed properly, is that kid really depressed or just a loner? If he is depressed, how about getting him to exercise (shown to help with depression) or do some voluntary work (made me feel SO much better), instead of cramming pills down him. Does he actually have ADHD or ADD or is he just an ass hole? Does the kid getting bullied need some people who are like him, so he can get some confidence or just have somebody to talk to.

Secondly and this is where I will quoted out the ass. Stop with the guns! Jesus, how do you stop people getting shot? Stop people having guns! Not only will public places getting shot up stop, no more drug wars and no more cops shooting kids with wii motes or going for wallets/phones.

I don't even understand how guns help you! Gun safety people say "guns should be locked up in a gun safe" but if you get robbed and you're in the house, how are you going to defend yourself with a gun? IT'S IN A SAFE! "excuse me Mr. Robber, I am just going to get my gun" ... "oh, yeah, no worries ... take your time dude, no rush!".

Obligatory videos


People in the UK have guns to deal with pests on the land, I think American's should have the same deal. If you live in an area where bears or some shit is a risk, then of course allow them to have something.

As gangs, you know where they live, raid the shit out of them. Instead of spending billions on "bringing freedom" to other countries ... spend a few billion on internal affairs! How about restoring Detroit? Instead of leaving it as an eye sore, make something of it! Do a cars on that motherfucker, a once busy town turned hick town ... try spending the cost of a missile armament on a single aircraft to give the people something, instead of "I'm, not spending money their! It will go to waste!".

RJ 17:

God forbid we, you know, blame the terrible person that committed the crime. No, it couldn't be that individual's fault, something MADE that person commit such a heinous act. But I suppose it's just not as satisfying to blame a cold blooded psychotic killer when that killer is already dead. After all, we still need someone/something to punish, damnit!

So lets blame the games that he played, lets blame the guns that he used, lets blame the car that he drove, lets blame the shoes he was wearing, lets blame the real estate agent that sold the house that he and his mother lived in, lets blame the universe which created the elements that formed the earth which we humans mined for resources to convert into said guns and ammunition. Lets blame everything else we possibly can except for the single fucked up individual who committed a fucked up, horrific crime.

You have NO idea how much I agree with this. The biggest problem with any case like this is "Not MY Baby!"

Most parents react with borderline psychopathic rage if you even tell them their child is impolite, let alone say engaging in bullying or worse behavior. I can only imagine how difficult is is to realize your child is being a Douchebag, but that's why PARENTING exists. You are supposed to learn HOW your kid is being a poor human being, and teach them to do better.

Also just a little question to the parents:

If you bought them the game in the first place, why did you not watch your child playing a few times and see if he was able to handle the content? Should you not have noticed SOME signs of unhealthy behavior if you want so badly to blame the Games?

SilverStuddedSquirre:
This may be a great time for us Gamers to take one on the chin. Grieving people need to wail and pound against somebody's chest until the tears stop. Let's just let them and maybe give a hug afterwards.

We know Games aren't the cause of these tragedies, but rather something within a person which we cannot know anything about.
There is now a continuously growing set of scientific studies showing there are no links to Video games in these situations.
Gangster Rap managed to weather the storm, we can too.

We're not suppose to weather the storm. Grieving and yelling is one thing, but this is a waste of time and energy. They would feel alot better if they jammed both thumbs down on the actual cause than us.

marioandsonic:

SilverStuddedSquirre:
This may be a great time for us Gamers to take one on the chin. Grieving people need to wail and pound against somebody's chest until the tears stop. Let's just let them and maybe give a hug afterwards.

We know Games aren't the cause of these tragedies, but rather something within a person which we cannot know anything about. There is now a continuously growing set of scientific studies showing there are no links to Video games in these situations. Gangster Rap managed to weather the storm, we can too.

As long as they don't try to start any kind of anti-video game crusade, sure.

Still, I hope they at least have someone from the gaming industry there to give their say on the matter.

my thought's exactly, im all for letting them work this out and using us as a punching bag to do so but the second they decide Games are the problem for this all! let stop them! then is the time I officially wont care what they went through.

I think they would be better served to have a forum on how to identify people who are retreating socially or are showing signs of burgeoning mental illness. America in many senses is failing its young people. The US public school system seems like a factory for young, aimless, angry, disaffected and jobless males. Both white and black.

This is of course assuming they are going to ignore the blatant evidence from the likes of Australia then stopping the development of a dangerous gun culture and limiting the availability of weapons slashes gun deaths. The American Gun lobby was involved in AU very highly before it got rumbled. The rejection of the ideas of the likes of the NRA is the only path to limiting gun deaths.

Callate:
Grieving is an explanation, not an excuse. Calling video games an "addiction" amounts to engaging in pseudoscience to equate engaging in an entertainment medium with drug use.

It's all well and good to empathize with people who lose a family member to the Black Plague; that empathy doesn't mean you're somehow obligated to accept their need to burn witches.

Funny thing is, video games can cause the same kind of chemical responses in the brain that lead to addiction (though compulsion would be a more correct term, I suppose).

The good that I think can come from this is that video game obsession (and this is different from passion; passion is a positive side to obsession. Addiction is not) often starts as a salve for other issues in someone's life (and I know; I've been there before). If a parent sees their kid's life being consumed by video games, it might get them involved to know if anything is wrong with their child, and get them some help.

Anyone else noticing that some here are saying they shouldn't target video games because they are an easy target and yet blame guns which are an easier target? Video games and guns are not the reason these things happen. Give someone a gun and they do not automatically turn into a psychopath and start shooting places up just like someone playing the latest COD or GTA does not make them a psychopath and start shooting places up if they already had access to a gun. Guns are another scapegoat and arguing for no guns does not solve the problem. But nobody is saying anything about the most recent school tragedy that did not include a gun. That is the same situation that needed prevention the only difference is it is not important because it wasn't a mass shooting but a mass stabbing.

The way to solve the problem is learning to spot the signs that an individual needs help and get them the help they need before they get to the point that shooting some place up seems like the only option they have left. Get these people help and mass school shootings/stabbings will be a thing of the past. Blaming guns is the same as blaming games, it does not solve anything.

As for the school district wanting to teach parents how to spot addiction, that's a good thing. Using that as a way to pass blame for what happened at Sandy Hook is pathetic.

Deal with the feelings as they must, but also deal with the actual issues concerning guns and support for alienated youth.

frizzlebyte:
Funny thing is, video games can cause the same kind of chemical responses in the brain that lead to addiction (though compulsion would be a more correct term, I suppose).

The good that I think can come from this is that video game obsession (and this is different from passion; passion is a positive side to obsession. Addiction is not) often starts as a salve for other issues in someone's life (and I know; I've been there before). If a parent sees their kid's life being consumed by video games, it might get them involved to know if anything is wrong with their child, and get them some help.

If video games are becoming an overwhelming fixation of someone's life to their significant detriment, certainly taking some measures to wean them off their fixation might be a positive step.

But "addiction" is still a misleading word, and one with an unwarrantedly negative connotation. Video games don't appear to show any greater effect on dopamine levels in the brain than activities that are considered natural and healthy, such as food and sex, and far less than cocaine or methamphetamine. A Psychology Today article disabuses the notion that video games are even comparable to another non-chemical "addiction", gambling.

As described, the forum appears to come front-loaded with negative conclusions and likely to cause anyone who attends who might be "on the fence" to assume that anyone in their life playing video games is an addict in need of treatment. It claims that video game "addiction" is broadly accepted and clearly defined in a way that gives those with negative presuppositions about games an undue sense of authority.

If I thought the forum was more genuinely focused on helping people who needed help, I could be more supportive. What is being described sounds more like it was designed to create business for underqualified therapists.

Need help??

Call us. 1-800-Videogames

marioandsonic:

For parents that own guns and don't want their kids near them, this is absolutely the best solution. Put them in a safe or a vault, give it a combination that only you would know, and check it every so often to make sure no one gets in there.

Or you know, not have a gun? I know to you American's it's a scary prospect but alot of us over seas have never touched a gun because their not revered in the same way. The problem seems to be that because the US 'won it's freedom' with guns their seen in a different light than those that haven't been through a civil war and I believe this is a large part of the problem. Guns aren't the issue, but the way the culture treats them and sees them is. After that is fixed the rest will fall in line.

Obviously, games aren't the issue here; there are many and the cuts are probably still too fresh to talk about it without offending anyone. It's a mixutre of guns, education, maybe bullying, all kinds of insane crap that nobody really knows too much about at this point.

Really, we shouldn't retaliate right now. I imagine that, if they believe that it's physically possible to be addicted to video games, then they don't know anything about them. Let the community have their loud, tear-driven say.

omega 616:

I don't even understand how guns help you! Gun safety people say "guns should be locked up in a gun safe" but if you get robbed and you're in the house, how are you going to defend yourself with a gun? IT'S IN A SAFE! "excuse me Mr. Robber, I am just going to get my gun" ... "oh, yeah, no worries ... take your time dude, no rush!".
.

Since you haven't been quoted into oblivion yet, I figure this is ok.

As I do own a gun and it isn't locked up, I do have some rules. 1.) If there is going to be a child in the house, it will be locked up and unloaded. 2.) If I feel depressed or I suspect any person in the house is depressed, the gun will be dismantled as much is practical.

It's the truth that you are much more likely to kill yourself with a gun than someone will kill you. Also more likely that a kid will find the gun no matter where you hide it. Also, ounce of prevention. Proper alarms, door locks, and a dog are very effective at getting random criminals to choose another house. Finally, most criminals who break into places are not interested in hurting you. They want your stuff, not anyting to do with you. They'll damn well try to steal when you're not there.

WouldYouKindly:

omega 616:

I don't even understand how guns help you! Gun safety people say "guns should be locked up in a gun safe" but if you get robbed and you're in the house, how are you going to defend yourself with a gun? IT'S IN A SAFE! "excuse me Mr. Robber, I am just going to get my gun" ... "oh, yeah, no worries ... take your time dude, no rush!".
.

Since you haven't been quoted into oblivion yet, I figure this is ok.

As I do own a gun and it isn't locked up, I do have some rules. 1.) If there is going to be a child in the house, it will be locked up and unloaded. 2.) If I feel depressed or I suspect any person in the house is depressed, the gun will be dismantled as much is practical.

It's the truth that you are much more likely to kill yourself with a gun than someone will kill you. Also more likely that a kid will find the gun no matter where you hide it. Also, ounce of prevention. Proper alarms, door locks, and a dog are very effective at getting random criminals to choose another house. Finally, most criminals who break into places are not interested in hurting you. They want your stuff, not anyting to do with you. They'll damn well try to steal when you're not there.

Last time I got into a "robber wont try to harm you" argument, all I got back was "I wont take that chance" and in my head I saw

I look at all these other places that have gun laws and are doing just fine, they aren't being ransacked every 2 minutes, the government hasn't turned into North Korea or any other argument for guns ... to which I get, "America isn't like those places".

I always liken it to an atheist arguing with a Christian, the atheist will pull out all this scientific evidence to rule out the Christian god but the Christians just say "but the bible says ...", much like Americans say "but the second amendment says ...".

Fuck we're a bunch of indignant cunts aren't we? Gamers really are pathetic little creatures, crying whenever anyone dares say anything bad about their hobby.

It's a general meeting about raising kids. They weren't even drawing links between the shooting and video game, you geniuses and the rest of gaming media are doing all of that.

Guess what the other topics include? "Tips for Managing Sibling Rivalry" and "Spring Forward! Ideas and Programming Suggestions to Enjoy Summer". Untwist your panties and get on with your life, stop trying to be so fucking offended all the time. What is this, Tumblr?

BlameTheWizards:
It's worth noting that an official report on the motives behind the Sandy Hook shootings found no links with video games.

No it is not worth noting. It's irrelevant. Stop writing sensationalised clickbait nonsense. These people are just running general workshops for issues affecting kids today, not "blaming" video games or in any way suggesting that video games were responsible for the shooting. Stop jumping down their throat. It's disgraceful how googling "Newtown Recovery Project" just leads to a bunch of video game websites complaining that video games are being addressed in a management course about fucking children.

This poor community just want to draw together and help parents raise their children as well as possible. I'm honestly disgusted that gamers are acting like this.

/rage

shadowmagus:
Blaming video games (music, tv, etc) isn't the answer.

Stricter gun control isn't the answer.

Providing an actual way to diagnose and combat mental illness, rather then treat it like something to be ashamed of and not properly fund it.

I totally agree. Unfortunately mental health is still almost a forbidden topic in most modern societies.

It's easier to blame one thing as the 'root of all evil' as it were, rather than tackle the enormous social, environmental psychological, and emotional causes of these tragedies that are occurring all too frequently.

If it wasn't games, it's be something else.

While I am fine with people having their forums to open up a grounds of discussion, I feel that choosing to focus on video games (a subject only tangentially related to Sandy Hook and has been shown to have no link to most violent crime) only obfuscates the real issues surrounding this tragedy. Namely, access to guns and the treatment of the mentally ill. While video game addiction can in fact be a real issue, here it seems to, at best, be a symptom of the shooters others issues.

But if there is one thing people in this country that people don't like to talk about even more than gun control, it is the mental health system. While people can actually get into debates and argue about guns, people almost refuse to acknowledge the massive problems with our current health system. People like to think of mental illness as not a big deal, thinking it is more a sign of weakness. Hell, for the the longest time I refused to get help for my own illnesses and have know many others who are still struggling to come to terms with this. If we want real change, we have to be willing to talk openly about these issues or else we risk them going unsolved.

I see a lot of people getting upset about this. Just stop.

It doesn't hurt anyone to allow a discussion on video game addiction to take place. Nor does it indict gaming as the sole cause of the problem. If someone has a point you disagree with, the mature thing isn't to complain and shut them up about it - it's to have a civil discourse about the pros and cons of their arguments. Debate.

We might not like to admit it, but violent media might have a role in these kinds of things. To the average person, they don't - but the average person doesn't shoot up places either. If media is negatively impacting some (which, lets face it, in some respects it does), addressing it won't mean violent video games will go away, or be banned. If anything, it could serve as a point of saying "Hey, if you think you're kids 22 cents short of a dollar, maybe you shouldn't get them these."

I don't think video games (or media) cause violence in an overwhelmingly vast majority of the population - but speaking for 100% of all 7 billionish people is hard to do. I don't think it will hurt anyway if someone with a different opinion discusses their opinions. We have a slew of scientific and anecdotal evidence to support that games don't cause violence, and in the US, our First Amendment protects games.

So, next year I will be holding courses at a community college aimed at providing parents with a better understanding of the games their kids may be playing...

I feel that parents should be provided with the right information to make decisions on their childs gaming habits and also understand how to approach the topic with them in the best way.

Video game addiction will be a part of that. But just because a real topic is discussed does not mean we should demonise the subject of the addiction and nobody has said that the parental forum at Sandy Hook will do anything of the sort.

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