Monday, November 5, 2012

Chapter 5 from my Teen Video Game Addiction Treatment Manual!


Chapter 5: How much time do I really spend gaming?

If you are uncertain about whether you are addicted to video gaming, there is a very helpful way to put your gaming behavior into perspective -- and that is by keeping a “time log.”

What is a time log? A time log is a record of the total amount of time you spend gaming each day.

Example of video game log:

Day: Monday

Time of day: 3PM

Game: Call of Duty

Number of hours: 4.0

Location of gaming: bedroom

Day: Tuesday

Time of day: 7 PM

Game: World of Warcraft

Number of hours: 1.5

Location of gaming: bedroom

Day: Wednesday

Time of day: 930PM

Game: Call of Duty

Number of hours: 2.5

Location of gaming: bedroom

Day: Thursday

Time of day: 430 PM

Game: Call of Duty

Number of hours: 1.0

Location of gaming: bedroom

Day: Friday

Time of day: 430 PM

Game: Grand Theft Auto

Number of hours: 4.0

Location of gaming: bedroom

Day: Saturday

Time of day: 3 PM

Game: World of Warcraft

Number of hours: 4.0

Location of gaming: friend’s house

Day: Sunday

Time of day: 2 PM
Game: Grand Theft Auto

Number of hours: 3.0

Location of gaming: bedroom

What was the total amount of time you spent gaming this week? 18

What time of day do you usually play? Afternoon

Why do you play during this time? To take a break after school and to hang out with friends on the weekend.


What is your favorite gaming location? My bedroom - because it is private.

Putting your gaming time in perspective:

The gaming log above recorded 18 hours per week (or about 2.5 hours per day). If you have a similar gaming pattern, you are spending:

72 hours per month (4x18 equals 72)

864 hours per year (12x72 equals 864)

4320 hours per five years (5x864 equals 4320)

To put this in perspective in terms of days spent gaming, divide the above hours by 16 hours (or the typical amount of time a person is awake), and this will give you the total number of days you are spending playing video games:

4.5 days each month (72 hours divided by 16)

54 days per year (860 hours divided by 16)

270 days per five years (4340 hours divided by 16)

What is your reaction to the total number of days you are spending in the course of the year video gaming? Were you surprised 2.5 hours per day of gaming, which is a very common amount of time, means you are spending 54 days gaming per year?

Can you see any downside or problem with spending 54 (or more) days a year gaming? Yes/No/Unsure

If yes, briefly describe how you see the negative consequences of gaming:
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What are you missing due to the time you spend gaming? Circle any of the activities that apply to you:

Going to the movies
Going to a concert
Going to a restaurant with friends
Going to an arcade
Going to the beach
Taking a bike ride
Taking a hike,
Going fishing
Camping
Cooking a meal
Barbecuing
Participating in a political group or club
Learning to drive
Taking a road trip
Writing a blog
Creating a website
Studying
Preparing for college entrance exams
Participating in school-based clubs
Taking a martial arts class
Playing chess
Learning to play an instrument
Learning photography or film making
Reading
Working out
DATING!

As any honest gamer will admit, the vast majority of online gamers are male. As such, the more time you spend within the gaming community, the less time you have to spend with girls. The less time you spend with girls, the less time you have to practice how to start up a conversation, flirt, or learn the best way to ask a girl out on a date.

One thing is absolutely certain about spending time video gaming, no girl is going to knock on your computer or television monitor and ask you out on a date. One of the great risks of being a big-time gamer (50 plus days per year) is the loss of opportunities to develop socially, especially learning what girls need and want from friends that are boys and from boyfriends.

So, given the potential downside to gaming, why not keep a gaming log for a period of seven days and see what is really going on in terms of how you are spending your time and energy.

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