The memories are painful to revisit. They all came rushing back, however, as I read an op-ed piece in last Sunday’s New York Times entitled, as if the matter has been settled once and for all, “Video Games Are Not Addictive.”
Well, Christopher Ferguson and Patrick Markey, I beg to differ. I can assure you, my son Jack would differ, too. “Is video game addiction a real thing?” the two of you ask at the outset. Yes, guys, it most definitely is.
When you love someone who is a gaming addict it can be difficult to relate to the situation — especially if you’re not a gamer yourself — and it’s common to find yourself confused about what to do. Do you confront them? Do you hope it’s just a phase that will pass?
This experience is stressful as you struggle to understand what’s going on with the person you love, but the stakes are high and you may feel a sense of urgency to figure out a solution. To make matters worse, as your stress increases so does the tension and miscommunication is bound to happen, working against your intervention efforts.
You may not know it yet, but the type of game children play gives many clues as to what their interests are and how they are inspired to engage in the world. Each game genre brings with it a different experience and will provide insight into what they are interested in and motivated by.