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Video game addiction

August 14th, 2008 / 9 Comments

Gears of War, Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft…

These are just a few among hundreds of video and computer games that kids are playing, often playing late into the night when their parents are asleep.

Talk to a few parents and you will soon hear laments about their son spending too much time on the computer or game console playing games – 4 hours, 6 hours, even 10 hours a day (Do they sleep??)

The harmful effects of game addiction is not limited to violent games such as Grand Theft Auto, but also seemingly innocent games such as SuperMario.

At what point does the playing of a game become a damaging addiction?

Here are 5 questions to ask if your child may be overboard in playing a “game” (Based on Dr. Mark Griffith’s research on video game addiction):

1. Does your child play almost every day?

2. Does your child play for long periods of of 3-4 hours at a time?

3. Does your child get restless and irritable if he does not play?

4. Does your child try to cut down on playing, but can’t?

5. Does your child lose interest in real-life activities and sacrifice social events to play?

If you answer yes to most of these questions, what should you do about it?

We will continue to explore this issue in upcoming posts.

What experiences have you had with this issue of gaming addiction?

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  1. I think games are terrific, in SMALL measure. They are great for cognition and spacial relationships, but this is best if the family does it together. Check out this post if you have three or four minutes. It discusses the subject on a far more primitive level.

  2. Writer Dad: nice post! Ah…Pac-Man and Centipede brought back memories…
    I do encourage parents to play video/computer games with their kids –

  3. It’s not really the kids, but ME! I keep getting caught playing in the Webkinz arcade and my daughter will say, “Not again, Mom!”

  4. Momo: First I heard of anyone addicted to Webkinz!

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