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Video Gaming - How much is too much?

By October 18, 2008 - 12:16pm
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How much is too much when it comes to video gaming?

I know women whose husbands (yes, grown men) spend hours on video games, at night and weekends and it creates problems with parenting, as well as marital woes. It's like an addiction.

I can't imagine what it must be like to compete for a man with a game!

I wonder how common this is - as it seems to happen frequently in homes across America.

I think video games definitely have their place. They can entertain and kids with fine motor skill delays can improve them by the repetitive eye-hand coordinated nature of gaming. But I think hours of it, at the expense of human relationships - is very troublesome.

Does anyone have to deal with this? How do you cope and should there be a cap on the time used for video gaming for kids, like parents often have for television?

And how does someone tell as adult to shut the games off?

Add a Comment5 Comments

Anon, he probably had a great day being able to do nothing but play online! As long as it doesn't happen all the time, if it doesn't interfere with his life (or with your relationship), there's probably no harm. It sounds like he is regularly employed and that this was an exception? Or is it something that you fear is becoming a problem?

March 6, 2009 - 9:57am

In my house, I'm the ultimate gamer. My DH doesn't play computer or video games. So, the role is reversed where he sometimes has to remind me to shut down and go to bed. However much time I spend on gaming, though, I know that I really can just walk away - AFTER I solved the last riddle or defeated the last enemy character, LOL! I love puzzles, and gaming is simply solving puzzles in my book. But, I don't take it to work or bed.

March 5, 2009 - 5:43pm
EmpowHER Guest

The other morning i got up at six to go to work and my boyfriend got up with me but had the day off, however. I got home at four and he had not moved from the computer. He had not eaten, showered, or done Anything! (other than go to the washroom I suppose). I loathe how much sum boys are addicted to video games...

March 5, 2009 - 12:10pm

Celtic, the way I have always seen addictions defined -- and I can't see how this one would be any different -- is that you know it's too much when it's having a negative impact on your life. In other words, the psychological need or dependence that you have for the behavior is so great that you are willingly choosing it over other important parts of your life.

Here's a list of indicators of Internet Addiction from the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery:

"Preoccupation with the Internet. (Thoughts about previous on-line activity or anticipation of the next on-line session.)
"Use of the Internet in increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction.
"Repeated, unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop Internet use.
"Feelings of restlessness, moodiness, depression or irritability when attempting to cut down use of the Internet.
"On-line longer than originally intended.
"Jeopardized or risked loss of significant relationships, job, educational or career opportunities because of Internet use.
"Lies to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet.
"Use of the Internet as a way to escape from problems or to relieve a dysphoric mood. (e.g., feelings of hopelessness, guilt, anxiety, depression.) "

Here's the site:


And here are some tips for recognition and recovery of internet addiction:


October 20, 2008 - 8:43am
EmpowHER Guest

I actually had an ex boyfriend that would call off work to play games all day long. It is amazing how a virtual world becomes so real that he would have dreams at night in regards to the game.

CBS News just ran a story on computer gaming addictions that that can be found here http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/07/03/health/webmd/main1773956.shtml.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has not mentioned that video game addiction is a mental disorder, yet. I found this information about video game addictions on this website (www.myaddiction.com). Since there are few options about gaming addictions, they tend to use the 12-Step (as in Alcohol Anonymous) to combat the addictions.

I am certain we will see virtual addictions in the near future in the psychology books. The Internet has become so prevalent, that addiction has already encompassed the generation.

October 18, 2008 - 2:31pm
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