Has your child's life been taken over by the internet and/or video gaming? Are you concerned your child is becoming addicted to technology? Is your child neglecting school work, chores, friends, and family? Has he dropped out of clubs, hobbies, and sport leagues in favor of gaming? For comprehensive assessment call 855-735-HELP or go to www.teenvideogameaddiction.com.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Chapter 6 from my Teen Video Game Addiction Workbook
Chapter 6: Am I Alone? (What
type of teen is most likely to become addicted to gaming?)
majority of gamers -- particularly those who favor MMORPGs -- are very smart
and enjoy problem-solving. The majority of gamers are motivated to do the right
thing in life -- such as complete school work, follow house rules, show respect
for family and friends, and achieve a meaningful career. Likewise, the majority
of parents of gamers are intelligent, kind, concerned, and want their children
to have a good quality of life.
if most gamers are smart and well-motivated and come from kind and supportive
families, why do they end up becoming addicted to video games?
1)Most teens that run into problems with video gaming start gaming
at a very
early age, usually six years or younger. Starting gaming at an early
age sets in motion a potential lifetime of recreational/leisure time spent in
isolation with technology. The brain becomes wired for stimulation through
technology -- and then rejects other forms of stimulation (e.g., “I’m not
interested in going to the beach. I want to stay home and play Mario”).
2)Most addicted gamers have significant amounts of unstructured and
unsupervised time, particularly after school hours and on weekends (usually due
to parents who work and have other children that need attention).
3)Most addicted gamers have computers and video game consoles in
their bedrooms (this
is a BIG mistake).
4)Most addicted gamers come from families who have the financial
resources to purchase gaming systems, upgrade gaming systems, have multiple
laptops, and have multiple handheld devices. It makes sense that families that
can afford to give their children the latest in technology would be more likely
to develop problems using technology.
addicted gamers have very few off-line or “real world” friends and usually have
a history of struggling socially with their peers. For example, children and
teens diagnosed with a form of high functioning autism, called Asperger’s
syndrome, have significant problems developing relationships with their peers
and seem to feel most comfortable socially within gaming communities.
6)Many addicted gamers have problems focusing or
concentrating on repetitive tasks or tasks they find boring -- such as chores
and homework. Many children and teens that have been diagnosed with ADHD
struggle with repetitive tasks, organization, and concentration, but
excel in the world of video gaming.
7)The vast majority of addicted gamers are male. Although girls
enjoy video gaming, they are much more likely to be drawn to social media and
are very rarely interested in role-playing games or real-time strategy games.
8)There seems to be a relationship between gaming addiction and mental
health problems, particularly depression. It makes sense that someone who feels
sad and/or lonely would be drawn to the excitement of role-playing games and
real-time strategy games.
9)Most addicted gamers have anxiety about taking risks in social situations.
Video gaming allows anxious teens to avoid the challenge of negotiating and
overcoming risks by offering a virtual world where success, power, strength,
and popularity can be achieved without having to undergo the ups and downs that
are part of everyday life.
10)And, finally, most addicted gamers did not
establish hobbies that gave them pleasure in the outdoors. Addicted gamers
typically spent all of their time indoors before
gaming took control of their life. Living indoors deprives the mind and
body of positive experiences that increase self-esteem.