Kids

Common questions about kids and gaming addiction
  • What is it about gaming addiction and kids, especially boys?
  • Why are more likely for kids to be addicted to video games than adults?
  • Why is my kid, child, son, or daughter suffering from a video gaming addiction?  

Answers:

We have received gaming addiction stories about gamers playing for over 20 hours at a time and in almost every case it is a young man under 25.  A study at Stanford showed that men tend to have more brain activity while playing video games but does this mean that every kid could get an addiction to gaming?

We have several answers for these questions for you.  First, the average age for gamers is actually around 30.  However, the largest demographic of gamers is young men.  Why?  M
en tend to biologically be of a warrior ethos characterized by being macho or fighting.  Video games provide the perfect place to "be a man" which is particularly attractive to single men and young men.

However, for children at home and school, they are not likely to be the boss and have respect.  At the same time, online they can feel like a giant with a high level character that dominates "casual" players.  For many kids, playing video games and using the Internet is the best way to feel important and powerful (which they likely do not in their personal life) and to escape reality.  Many parents have tried everything from physically cutting the cable to canceling accounts and treatment but the child continues to still want to play the video games like it is their job. First, understanding that excessive gaming is usually the physical manifestation of other emotional problems can help a parent to know what is going on with their kid's gaming addiction rather than fighting it.  The best approach may be to try to understand what is being avoided, suppressed, or enabled by a kid with gaming addiction instead of simply providing them negative attention. This is similar to other addictions but the main difference is the second possibility: playing games is simply fun and there is nothing else as fun as getting online and playing for a kid. The key difference is that, like introducing any new technology from television to the printing press and wider availability of novels to read (some kids no doubt had "reading addictions" that prevented them from doing well in school or playing outside), people take a while to adapt and use exciting new parts of life and kids are usually the first to embrace these new innovations.

The moral of the story is that THERE IS NO MAGIC RECIPE ANYWHERE for getting your kid quit their gaming addiction but there are ways you can understand why they do it.  In the end, this will help you deal with it. Some of the most comprehensive self-help resources for helping boys with gaming addiction are found on our books page here.  We also have videos on kids and gaming addiction specifically to help you relate to this.
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