’Tis the season…for the release of the latest and greatest video games for Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo. There is little doubt that video games have become the dominant entertainment medium for American youth. A recent study found that nearly 70% of all households in the U.S. have at least one gaming system, not including their computers. Thankfully, the majority of those who enjoy playing video games report that it does not have a negative impact on their life; however, between 5-10% of gamers report that their playing causes problems for them in their lives, whether it be social, financial, physical, or academic.
If you notice someone in your life is having problems resultant from video gaming or suspect problems controlling his or her gaming, here are some tips:
- Track gaming patterns and consequences
- Limit “screen time” to 1-2 hours/day
- Make gaming a weekend activity
- Establish structure and routines for free time
- Identify potential underlying issues behind excessive gaming:
- Self-esteem, relationship issues, depression, anxiety
- Keep consoles out of bedrooms
- Identify alternative interests to gaming
Please feel free to contact Christian Family Counseling at 800-438-1772 with any questions. If you suspect there is a gaming issue and would like to make an appointment with a counselor, please click here to view our office locations. We also offer counseling via secure video in several states or through our Member Assistance Program. If you’d like to request an appointment online, please click here.
Interested in a presentation on this topic? Dr. Brandon Hayes offers an educational presentation about gaming addiction to parent, school, and community groups. Please click here to learn more.