February 5, 2010
IN RESPONSE to the previous post on video games and their effects on the academic performance of boys, a mother reports her own distressing experience with video game addiction. This is a powerful story of one family’s encounter with the compulsion to play.
As one who has been subjected to witnessing video game obsession since 1987, I wholeheartedly concur that those who play them incessantly become less and less functional in the real world, but may be predisposed to this behavior by other life factors.
When my oldest child was three, my husband brought home a Nintendo game system, something brand new at the time. My husband comes from a home in which the father was an alcoholic, the mother a sweet, religious, but weak woman who enabled her husband’s drinking and otherwise did the best she could. The family was always either playing cards or other games, or watching TV.
Now, as head of our family, my husband (who himself had been a teenage alcoholic), was no longer drinking and was a fine worker in his job, but still given to addictive behavior. ( I believe, for all my mouthing off and persistently trying to come up with alternative activities and ideas while trying to maintain an intact family, I am probably playing his mother’s role to a “T”).
Enter the Nintendo. He brought it in, set it up, and began to play. This went on for hours. The next day the same thing, and on and on, until almost every bit of time off was consumed by this activity. The things he did with the rest of his free time consisted of eating, sleeping, TV watching, and taking care of bodily functions. Read More »