The Washington Post has a call for help post up on online gaming addiction:
It’s the usual story of a student (in this case a 20 year old who is still living at home!) addicted to an online game, and basically dropping out of society and responsibility with his parents asking what they can do to correct the situation. The response to this call for help is not to unplug, but to seek counseling (after reading a book on addiction to games). This seems to be the trendy thing these days, as online games move further into the mainstream. Much like actors and actresses going off to rehab for treatment of drug and alcohol abuse, today’s parents are asked to seek therapy for their children, and to join On-line Gamers Anonymous. Many self help books are also suggested as a way to understand this phenomenon.
While I was whipping up a reply to post here about this call for help (give me a break, the kid is 20 years old, kick his butt out and put him to work) I stumbled on a post at Terra Nova that is filling up with like comments and suggestions for this situation.
My wife has an excellent solution in our house for this, it’s called a “power outage” or “black out”. She also employs “family game night” (and we are talking board and card games, no plugs or power necessary). We camp a lot and have plenty of board and card games in the camper to fill the evenings. We encourage our kids to read daily, and they are all involved in scouting. I can’t say that my kids don’t get overly enthused about online games, and sometimes spend more time than they should playing, but I do feel that we are teaching them to have balance and perspective when fitting these forms of entertainment into their busy young lives.