Video Game Addiction Resources for Parents and Loved Ones

Struggling with a loved one addicted to video games? Find articles, videos, how-to guides, and the latest research below. For a step-by-step process to reclaim your loved one from gaming, purchase our practical action guide: Reclaim.

Recently I sat down for dinner in Adelaide with a group of 15 parents and the conversation was enlightening for me in particular, because there was a consistent theme that kept coming up throughout the night: their desire as parents to ensure their kids did not fail.

To avoid that, they were taking care of every obstacle in the way of their child’s success. They were cooking for them, doing their laundry, and paying their bills. But was this truly helping their children succeed?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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If you want to break through to your son or daughter when it comes to their gaming behavior then the importance of building greater rapport, especially around gaming, cannot be understated. By understanding and being able to speak in the same gaming lingo as your child, he or she will feel less judgment and separation, creating an opportunity to get connected and influence a shift in their behavior.

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You just don’t get it. What is it with these video games? You feel frustrated and don’t understand why they play these silly games. You feel overwhelmed because, although you try, it seems like no matter what you do, your child simply wants to keep playing more and more. What has happened to your son or daughter? Why are they so drawn to these video games?

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The question every parent is asking themselves these days: Are my kids really addicted to video games? It’s an important question to ask and one you’re concerned about as you’ve noticed your child glued to the computer screen, no longer interested in other activities and increasingly difficult to interact with.

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