Possible Trigger Warning: Question (primarily) for recovered gamers...How to "say goodbye" to certain aspects of gaming

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mommy3
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Possible Trigger Warning: Question (primarily) for recovered gamers...How to "say goodbye" to certain aspects of gaming

I'm looking for input. Soon my 17 year old gamer will be returning from treatment where he spent 100 days working on a ranch (all good!) away from gaming. Before leaving he mostly played LOL, Team Fortress 2, Skyrim, and Minecraft (there could be others I'm not aware of). He has agreed not to game in our home when he returns (but I don't know that he's fully convinced he should quit gaming all together). Before he left we simply took away the computer, he got severely depressed, defiant, abusive, engaged in self-harm, then we had him entered into the program (where he's very compliant and doing quite well!). I'm saying all this to paint a picture before asking my questions. He has not talked about gaming, in detail, in his letters or during our one three day visit with him. We are in the process of devising some way to allow assess to the internet, but not the gaming, so he will be turning on his computer again and could potentially be faced with all the "stuff" there related to his gaming. The idea of this concerns me deeply and I'm not sure how to handle it. I could either have someone remove all the gaming "stuff" from his computer or he could do it himself in the presence of someone who is more savvy than I. I'm not sure which would be more theraputically beneficial...maybe it depends on the individial. I realize that gamers have an emotional tie to certain aspects of the game, their avatar/character (sorry I don't know all the lingo), the team members, etc. I could ask him how he feels about it, then decide perhaps. I'm talking to an counselor in internet addicition tomorrow who may or may not have an opinion. I thought recovered gamers though could give me the best insight from a personal perspective. As a gamer, how would you handle the transition and what could another do to make it a "healthy" experience as opposed to an "resentment-filled one? I'm trying to be sensitive to his needs, but do what needs to be done to not enable. I'm open to advice. Thank you.

WoW Parent
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I hope you don't mind a

I hope you don't mind a parent perspective. While our son was away my husband removed his computer from the house. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he smashed it to pieces and just didn't tell me, but none of us ever saw it again. There was no more "his" computer, and my son never once asked about it, either. He used mine, and only with supervision. We had a computer guru come in and do whatever he could to block any and all gaming websites.

Yes than a year after he came home we bought him a new laptop for a high school graduation gift. You should have seen the shocked look on his face! By that time he'd been close to 2 years away and it never became a problem.

mommy3
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Wow Parent, Of course I

Wow Parent,

Of course I don't mind if you answer! I have to laugh at the "computer smashing" comment though. Hmmm...I couldn't say I haven't given it some serious thought. Melting it in a fire might be nice too! Anyway, let me not get too carried away. You do make a good point though, starting over and starting fresh. On the other hand, no offense, but I could never have him use my laptop (I don't know how you did that). You are a much better person than I!!! My computer is sort of an extension of my brain and a private journal of sorts and contains too many precious things to me, photos,bookmarks, articles, letters, notes, etc. Also, I'll never forget the threat that he was going to "mess up my computer" and I know he knows how (but don't really think he would ever do it, as long as he's in his "non-addictive" mind). But we do have my old laptop, that my daughter uses, just for homework...I think they could share that! Great idea, hadn't thought of it. I'm going to give this some more thought, definately! As for the "computer guru" that's my next project...neverending. I think I've got the personal coach/mentor set up (out of pocket, ouch!), the family counseling (the one paid for by insurance!), the internet addiction specialist "parent coach" (out of pocket, second ouch!), now the computer techie (we know no insurance co is paying for that!). Argh...maybe some day I'll know what it's like to get a full nights sleep and have a little extra cash in my pocket.

Thanks for you input Wow...loved it!

dan1
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I'm not sure what specifics

I'm not sure what specifics you are looking for, but I'll take a shot here. How would I manage this kind of transition?

First, I think removing triggers and anything that would make it easy to game is probably a must. You should probably know that it is not likely it will be impossible for him to game, just difficult. If you want to get rid of his avatars, go ahead, but I would not stand over him and make him do it. Why?

I would draw a very clear boundary between the requirements that are set that form a basis for your son having permission to stay with you, have various privileges, etc. on the one hand, and the business of "saying goodbye" which you cannot require him to do, but can only encourage. Recovery is an internal, personal process. External conditions can set up circumstances favorable to recovery, but recovery cannot be mandated or managed by anyone other than the person who is recovering. That's not a "shouldn't", it's a "can't." I can't get someone else to say goodbye to their beloved pet, a close friend, favorite stuffed animal, etc., and gaming is more loved by gamers than any of those. I would mandate the external stuff (you don't game while you are in this house) and enforce it strictly, but not confuse that with what's needed for recovery, which has to be brought to the table by your son. Trying to push or manipulate his internal progress could be counterproductive.

It seems like it's quite easy to make the mistake of switching these two around: Trying to impact, manage, coerce or somehow advance someone's personal progress for them, while simply allowing whatever external behavior is going on to continue. That's an unhealthy, backwards recipe. It looks like you are going to be quite serious about mandating the no gaming, which is excellent, it seems to me. Then he could be allowed (and encouraged) to make his own internal progress without coercion, whatever form that progress takes.

I am a recovering computer game and gambling addict. My recovery birthday: On May 6, 2012 I quit games and began working a program of recovery through OLGA No computer games or slot games for me since December 12, 2012. No solitaire games with real cards since June 2013.

Jenatorre (not verified)
Mommy3: As an active and

Mommy3:

As an active and addictive gamer, my parents never allowed me to have my computer in my bedroom. When I told my mom I also have an addiction to pornography, she definately did not allow me to have a computer in my room. This helps all of us. My parents can see when I am on the computer at all times (except when they are sleeping or not at home). By knowing that my parents can see my gaming activity; it does help me regulate my computer time somewhat because we all know how much time I spend on the computer, and an idea of what I am doing on the computer.

- Jennifer Ann de la Torre

Tommi
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What do the staff at his

What do the staff at his rehab recommend?

You can buy a 2-3 year old used desktop which is underpowered and low on memory for very little money (here they go for $100 or less monitor included). Keep this in a public area. A smart router or software can allow you to easily limit access to the computer or internet by hours per day or between certain hours.

If you do not feel competent to do this technically, check classifieds in your neighborhood for someone who can. It should not be too expensive, and in relation to the money you may have already spent on rehab, its not a lot.

Good luck!

Olga/non member since Dec. 2008 Check out my latest video on Gaming Addiction and public awareness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-6JZLnQ29o

WoW Parent
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Unless he's in a rehab for

Unless he's in a rehab for gamers, I wouldn't trust their judgment re: gaming. They could be just like the (IMHO) therapists out there who advocate moderation. For a non-addict, sure. But it sounds like Mommy's son has crossed that line.

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WoW Parent wrote: There was
WoW Parent wrote:

There was no more "his" computer, and my son never once asked about it, either. He used mine, and only with supervision. We had a computer guru come in and do whatever he could to block any and all gaming websites.

That's the best suggestion I've read yet!

mommy3
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Dan: You're right on.

Dan: You're right on. We've decided not to allow gaming in the home, but realize we don't have total control of what he does outside of the home. In other words, we can set up external motivations but not dictate the internal ones. We're required to contruct a contract/transition plan so all will be very specific. After reading your comment and other posts, I'm feeling like it wouldn't benefit him to bring closure by deleting accounts or avatars. I think we'll simply store that computer away and replace with a "work only computer." Your last two sentences were right on...thanks for the support!

Jennifer Ann:Keeping the computer out of the bedroom is a must. We've always had it in the livingroom, but he would sneak to play in the middle of the night, as you mentioned. This time, I will be Administrator, so if he can't hack through that, that will help. We used to disconnect power cords and unplug the modem at night...it was a hassle!

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