Interview with Liz Woolley to discuss video game addiction can be tragic

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Andrew_Doan
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Interview with Liz Woolley to discuss video game addiction can be tragic

Join Melanie and Andrew live on Thursday Aug 1, 2013 at 5:30 AM PST/8:30 AM EST when they interview Liz Woolley, founder of Online Gamers Anonymous to discuss video game addiction can be tragic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lyn17CWPdSk

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

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Cool Andrew and Liz! Gotta

Cool Andrew and Liz! Gotta figure out how to be there. Sounds great!

OLGA Home Page: "We advocate and provide a 12-Step Program of recovery. For those who are interested in a formalized meeting approach, we provide both a traditional 12-step program and a modified program for atheists and agnostics." I advocate and use the 12 steps programs, which have helped tens of millions of addicts of all kinds recover.

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Anonymity? Isn't it supposed

Anonymity?

Isn't it supposed to be Gamers Anonymous?

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hirshthg
hirshthg wrote:

Anonymity?

Isn't it supposed to be Gamers Anonymous?

On OLGA yes, but as individuals, we can interview and discuss.

I am not going to debate this, but obviously being Anonymous forever is NOT going to push video game addiction forward in the public's eye.

OLGA has two arms: Online Gamers Anonymous and OLGA Outreach. Cleary, one is anonymous and the other cannot.

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

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I believe we discussed this

I believe we discussed this at length during our members meeting regarding our plan to change the 11th tradition. I was not at all the meetings but I believe the end result was as Mudphud has quoted above, that we left the original wording:

11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.

But that we are really two separate organizations, the fellowship and an outreach programme.

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

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As recovering individuals in

As recovering individuals in OLGA we need to be anonymous in press, radio and films.

As members of the Outreach program (Liz is not a recovering OLGA person), those members don't need to be anonymous.

The problem lies when someone has got one foot in both programs. I could be part of the Outreach program, but in this case--since I am a recovering member of OLGA--I would have to participate anonymously.

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mudphud wrote: On OLGA yes,
mudphud wrote:

On OLGA yes, but as individuals, we can interview and discuss.

You are welcome to do in your personal lives what ever you like, however if you are going on the air saying that you are a member of a Anonymous group you look real silly giving out your full name.

Will your audience think that you are authentic or not?

@ Scott: You can vote and do whatever you like, however the consequences for other addicts who have broken their anonymity have been real.

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hirshthg wrote: mudphud
hirshthg wrote:
mudphud wrote:

On OLGA yes, but as individuals, we can interview and discuss.

You are welcome to do in your personal lives what ever you like, however if you are going on the air saying that you are a member of a Anonymous group you look real silly giving out your full name.

Will your audience think that you are authentic or not?

@ Scott: You can vote and do whatever you like, however the consequences for other addicts who have broken their anonymity have been real.

On the Air, it's Real Battle Ministries. I am interviewing Liz for my PERSONAL YouTube Channel. Is that clear?

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

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Oh Youtube only thanks for

Oh Youtube only thanks for the clarity.

Why would a public posting on Youtubebe be any differant than on the air?

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As far as I know, correct me

As far as I know, correct me if I'm wrong, Mudphud got sober in Celebrate Recovery and I'm not sure if they have the 12 traditions that we have. Possibly they do not. If they do not, he is not familiar with them.

To you and I Hirsh, the 12 traditions mean a lot, and these are also valued in other 12 step programs, but not sure about CR.

I guess the question is, should he follow them as he is now a considerable part of OLGA.

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I got sober through God. I

I got sober through God. I volunteer as a Celebrate Recovery leader. I support the 12 Steps but I did not become game free through a 12 Step Program. Regardless, I am not breaking traditions as I do not state I am an OLGA member.

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

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I believe we are all here

I believe we are all here for the same cause:

Mission Statement: On-Line Gamers Anonymous is a fellowship of people sharing their experience, strengths and hope to help each other recover and heal from the problems caused by video game addiction.

Liz Woolley

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lizwool wrote: I believe we
lizwool wrote:

I believe we are all here for the same cause:

Mission Statement: On-Line Gamers Anonymous is a fellowship of people sharing their experience, strengths and hope to help each other recover and heal from the problems caused by video game addiction.

I just have one question Liz, on air are you anonymous or not?

Patria wrote:

As far as I know, correct me if I'm wrong, Mudphud got sober in Celebrate Recovery and I'm not sure if they have the 12 traditions that we have. Possibly they do not. If they do not, he is not familiar with them. I guess the question is, should he follow them as he is now a considerable part of OLGA.

I am not worried about Mudphud because I know that the only reason I made it this far is because jesus strikes me sober every time I see mudphuds profile.

I am only concerned about liz.

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hirshthg wrote: lizwool
hirshthg wrote:
lizwool wrote:

I believe we are all here for the same cause:

Mission Statement: On-Line Gamers Anonymous is a fellowship of people sharing their experience, strengths and hope to help each other recover and heal from the problems caused by video game addiction.

I just have one question Liz, on air are you anonymous or not?

Patria wrote:

As far as I know, correct me if I'm wrong, Mudphud got sober in Celebrate Recovery and I'm not sure if they have the 12 traditions that we have. Possibly they do not. If they do not, he is not familiar with them. I guess the question is, should he follow them as he is now a considerable part of OLGA.

I am not worried about Mudphud because I know that the only reason I made it this far is because jesus strikes me sober every time I see mudphuds profile.

I am only concerned about liz.

Liz is the founder and she also heads the OLGA Outreach. She has every right to represent herself and as the founder of OLGA. I'm not sure why you're so angry.

I'll ignore your Jesus comment as Jesus can defend himself. ;)

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

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mudphud wrote: Liz is the
mudphud wrote:

Liz is the founder and she also heads the OLGA Outreach. She has every right to represent herself and as the founder of OLGA. I'm not sure why you're so angry.

Liz as well as everyone else in On "Line Gamer's Anonymous" has every right to go out there and do whatever they like. I am not angry at her or you Andy however I think you are getting carried away from the spiritual principles which every spiritual being needs to service, in exchange for a title ride which helps no one.

I think that the mother of gamer is a much more significant message to another family member or to a gamer then being a founder of a movement. When anyone breaks the spirituel (human) principles of anonymity what you are really doing is removing yourself from your true title as a person and making yourself into a movement or a office, not a person.

I will be fine one way or the other. Enjoy the interview.

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hirshthg wrote: mudphud
hirshthg wrote:
mudphud wrote:

Liz is the founder and she also heads the OLGA Outreach. She has every right to represent herself and as the founder of OLGA. I'm not sure why you're so angry.

Liz as well as everyone else in On "Line Gamer's Anonymous" has every right to go out there and do whatever they like. I am not angry at her or you Andy however I think you are getting carried away from the spiritual principles which every spiritual being needs to service, in exchange for a title ride which helps no one.

I think that the mother of gamer is a much more significant message to another family member or to a gamer then being a founder of a movement. When anyone breaks the spirituel (human) principles of anonymity what you are really doing is removing yourself from your true title as a person and making yourself into a movement or a office, not a person.

I will be fine one way or the other. Enjoy the interview.

I see your point. We are focusing on her experiences as a mother to tell her son's story. OLGA Founder is a title.

In the interview, Melanie and I are focusing on the signs and symptoms of addiction, Shawn's decline with gaming, and the addictive design of gaming.

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

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Thank you Andy. We are all

Thank you Andy. We are all in this together.

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I can say this...both OLGA

I can say this...both OLGA and Real Battle Ministries have been extremely helpful from the perspective of mom of a gamer. I wish both organizations well and appreciate that the focus is on helping others affected by this addiction. I think the 12-step OLGA program is a bit unique in that it is online which makes it more "public" maybe than other "standard" 12 step programs and there are very few f2f meetings available. But maybe there are a number of 12 step programs online (I've not investigated). I really think we need to get the word out to more parents who are uninformed or misinformed. I believe gamers and parents alike are qualified to do this. It needs to go beyond OLGA because most parents won't come here unless they're in distress.

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Broadcast may be watched

Broadcast may be watched live at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n7ekQWgQU0#at=1378

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

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We are starting 15 min late.

We are starting 15 min late.

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

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Full interview

Full interview posted:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n7ekQWgQU0

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

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AWESOME! Great video. I was

AWESOME!

Great video.

I was going to post a comment, but it wouldn't let me. This is what I was going to say:

"I relate a lot to Andrew's experience in gaming, where the game was a second job. I was very responsible in that game: showed up at all the fights, gathered herbs, made pots, made $$, either "tanked" or "healed" when in raids; I was an "officer" in the guild; it was considered important to be there on time. Yet, my real life job was telling me I was not performing well, my home life was a mess, my husband was disgusted with me, and to top it off I spent a lot of real money. Glad I quit."

Games weren't given to me as a kid; video games didn't exist. But I did get cancer at age 55 and was told that gaming would help me survive the effects of chemo. So I bought a game; several games. I didn't get hooked on games that ended (Scrabble, Mahjong) but someone at work recommended a MMORPG, and the minute I played that game I was addicted.

I'm shocked that in the last 10 years there still isn't recognition that gaming can be an addiction. I didn't know anything about it; if I had known, I wouldn't have bought the first one.

Parents aren't to be blamed; very few people are telling them the truth about what can happen. Innocent lives are going down the tubes not knowing what is in store for them.

As for us adults, most of my co-workers (women) play Farmville at work and according to Jonathan Blow, that game is even more addictive than World of Warcraft (my drug of choice).

Lots of work to be done. I'm trying to pass the word on in my AA meetings; because even there many people play games, young and old alike. The young like the fps and mmorpgs, the old seem to prefer the Facebook games.

Lots of work to be done, and all we can do is spread the news.

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Patria wrote: Lots of work
Patria wrote:

Lots of work to be done, and all we can do is spread the news.

YES!!! Spread the news!!! That's my goal! :)

Patria, are you up for an anonymous interview? You can turn your camera off! :)

We have over 5200 followers on our Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/realbattleministries

My Andrew Doan Facebook Page has over 11900 followers:

https://www.facebook.com/DrAndrewDoan

And Hooked on Games has over 14,100 followers!!!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hooked-On-Games-The-Lure-and-Cost-of-Video-Game-Internet-Addiction/282030421824746

My Christian Recovery Resource Page has over 84,000 followers too:

https://www.facebook.com/ChristianRecoveryResource

The word WILL get out! :)

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

May Light
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Andrew, this is a great

Andrew, this is a great video, thanks to you, Liz and Melaine.It is very informative and an eye opener to many parents no doubt.

You are doing a great service to families, societies and humanity as a whole by spreading the awareness of the dangers of gaming addiction to the parents. A big THANK YOU!

There is another aspect which I like to bring to your attention how games can creep up into the homes. This is our family's story : We as a family were very careful not to expose our children to electronic devices. We encouraged and spent a lot of time with our children to establish healty habits; healthy outdoor activities, healthy eating, balanced life etc. We bought their first Xbox when they were in upper primary years (we finally gave in and bought it because our children were being left out in the conversations with their friends;games were just about the only thing their friends were talking about!) but our children were only allowed max 45 minutes per day which they accepted the rule (there were times they tried to push the limit but, it would only be a few minutes more).Then they started Year 7.The world of never ending internet based assignments....Just imagine a young boy going through adolescence in a competetive world and there is a constant homework pressure. When he meets with his friends at school,they talk about games, forums etc. When they are home doing their homework on the computer, you can't just sit and watch them. It is only a click away to reach these sites while they are doing their work. They are curious and they like to be able to talk about them with their friends.As a parent you have no idea because as soon as they hear you coming, they just click and they are back to their assignment.. If things are progressing normally with their grades and other aspects in life you wouldn't have a clue.By the time you realize things are not as it used to be and trying to figure out what is going on, it may already be too late and addiction might have already crept in.

Even though as parents we could be informed and very careful about internet/gaming but if the internet is constantly required for their school work, student under pressure may want to escape this fantasy world for a bit of a break. More and more into this world as time progresses and the next thing you know, your child is addicted. And it may take ages for you to figure out exactly what is going on because you have no idea how often and how long they escaped into this fantasy world.

Therefore schools should be made aware of this and maybe internet based assignments should be limited or given only to be completed at school. I am just throwing a few ideas here but I strongly believe there has to be an awareness by the school management that internet based assignments are the easiest and the quickest way to hook these teenagers who might be feeling the pressures of academic life and the life in general. They can easily fool their parents into believing that they are busy doing their homework. And when the parents notice the changes in their children, it is already too late!

Hope, It all makes some sense.

"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches." "The first step toward change is acceptance." "Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do." "Change is not something you do, it's something you allow."- Will Garcia

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FYI CR differs in some

FYI CR differs in some important respects from other 12 Step groups.

They do not have 12 traditions, instead 8 PrinciplesCopyright and usage is more tightly controlled than NA or AA and most groups are required to have Christian churches as sponsors

And of course membership is open to Christians only...

Patria wrote:

Celebrate Recovery ... have the 12 traditions that we have. Possibly they do not.

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

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May Light, So true. We were

May Light,

So true. We were able to manage very closely prior to 9th grade when internet was required for homework, then management became a nightmare. I think it may have helped if we had used a monitoring program like Spector Pro from the very beginning.

http://www.spectorsoft.com/products/SpectorPro_Windows/

I'm not advocating this particular program (just the one we happened to purchase). It's on my son's laptop now, but he's not using the laptop (he uses a computer at work, supervised), so we really haven't had much experience with it.

Additionally, a conversation on OLGA about monitoring, etc.

http://www.olganon.org/?q=node/5650

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Tommi, I didn't think CR had

Tommi, I didn't think CR had the 12 traditions. The way you quoted me sounds as if I thought CR had them. Glad you clarified it.

Mudphud, I'd be happy to be interviewed, Give me a week or two to write out my story. Not to read it, just to clarify in mind the sequence of events. My doctor tells me that several of his senior patients are now gaming and he's not happy about it. It's an easy thing for seniors to get trapped in, when what they really need is exercise and exploring the world.

Thanks!

As for parents, my step son and his wife chose not to have computers in the house until the kids were supposed to use them for school work. I thought (since I've used computers since 1971) that he was wrong to do this. He was right, I was wrong. They did was not monitor the kids; what they did is make sure they did things as a family: hiking, backpacking, vacations, reading together, camping, board games with all their friends, bicycling, lots and lots of activities. As a consequence their 3 kids are in cross-country running, bicycling, all three play a musical instrument (two clarinets and one horn), father plays clarinet, mother plays guitar, mother bicycles, runs and swims, father runs 5 miles a day, all play musical instruments together, etc.

The thing is, their son sometimes plays a game or two online, but he gets bored with it an hour later and then picks up his book to read.

My stepson was right about their choices for the kids. I was wrong. They all use computers now to do their homework, but they can't wait to get off the computers to do something else.

As for friends, all their friends are in music, cross country running, and service work. I forgot to mention, my daughter-in-law has always volunteered at the local hospital to hug and hold babies who are getting treatment but the families work and can't be there every second. She takes her two daughters and they all love doing this together. The point is the kids are doing what the adults are doing, and all do it together.

People don't raise kids; they are raising adults.

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Pat, I completely agree that

Pat, I completely agree that it's important to keep kids involved in activities and I also love the idea of keeping computer usage restricted to need, rather than entertainment. We'd most certainly have done that had we known how cunning and attractive the MMORPGs are. I can't imagine a household without a computer these days. I'd say close to 50% of our neighbors work remotely and that seems to be the trend for the future.

Our son was active...extremely active with a large circle of good friends. He didn't get obsessed with gaming until he played WoW (one month after its release), and that coincided with a sports injury that prevented him from playing football, wrestling, etc. It took no more than 4 months before he was hopelessly hooked.

I think it's important to educate people about the dangers of gaming addiction. If we'd been aware, we'd have prohibited it the same way we did use of alcohol, drugs, etc. He could have spent his time playing chess!

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WOW Mom, my experience is

WOW Mom, my experience is just like your's. I didn't know. And because of that I bought WOW for both grandsons (my step-daughters sons) and for myself. I got addicted in about one week.

Luckily my stepson wanted nothing to do with computers in the house. Where he got that idea I don't know. I've used computers since he was a youngster, and his best friend is a computer engineer. But he didn't want it in the house.

My step-daughters sons became as addicted as I was. But luckily both have stopped playing. Me, too.

Wished I'd known. It would have saved me a lot of grief.

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Pat and WoW Parent, I

Pat and WoW Parent,

I completely agree with almost everything you said.

But what I am trying to emphasize is that: this is a battle needs to be fought in two fronts not just one. Unless we raise the awareness of the existence of the second front, we can't win this battle.

Pat,our family's view in raising children were pretty much similar to your step son's and his family's views. Our children were involved in everything we considered healthy and necessary for a balanced, healthy life. We as a family, did a lot of activities together right from the start: camping, hiking, playing board games, holidaying with other families of similar age group kids, cycling, fishing, canoing,reading together every night etc. you name it, we did it. They were involved in various sports via school or clubs, soccer, basketball, tennis, swimming etc, some of them at representative level for years. Played musical instruments (piono, trumpet, guitar etc), pretty **** good levels too. They were involved in debating, drama etc. To cut the long story short we did everything to provide them a balanced life and they were happy children with lots of friends and as you said, they enjoyed reading books when they were tired of pysical activities (not obsessive reading, reading for pleasure, and relaxation).

They only started using computers to do their homework after Year 7. The only game console we bought them was an Xbox and only when they were at upper primary. And it wasn't connected to the internet. They were mainly playing some fun games(the ones they would hear from other kids at school) on their own for 45 minutes a day after school. They were doing great at school academically too because they were involved in holiday science activities, puzzle solving sort of many brain developing activities as well. In other words, I believe we have done everything to provide them a stimulating environment with full of healthy activities, some as a family, some individual and some with friends. Our kids were probably the only ones among our circle of friends without access to the computer and the internet until school work started in Year 7.

I believe we won the battle in one front!

But when they were in Year 9, 10, in other words when they were 15, 16 years old with heaps of school work, we kind of left them alone to concentrate to do their work during school terms while still driving them from one activity to another in between. After all, all these years they have proven to us, year after year that they were responsible, hard working, conscientious, good kids with a well balanced life. We sort of felt that the good habits were instilled in them and they were on the right track.

But we were not aware of the existince of the second front at that time. We thought, as parents we were very diligent in keeping our home pretty much game and computer, internet free, so we were safe.

But unfortunately what we weren't aware at the time was it didn't end there... For as long as schools continue to give internet based assignments, kids at a vulnarable age might be attracted to these games as a break from their work. Like in any addiction, majority of people will do in moderation but there are some who will have the tendency to be addicted. Your step sons' children, like my other child, were not interested in games and could easily get bored even if they played. But I had no idea before, that my younger one had a tendency (or addictive gene, the scientists are talking about recently) to play excessively when under stress. Not being aware of the second front, the addiction issue hit us hard when it was least expected. And personally I feel kind of betrayed by the school system because all our hard work for many years trying to raise balanced, responsible adults were thrown out of the window, in my son's case by giving them internet based assignment after assignment. I have been to the school once expressing my concern of them being on the computer for hours to do their homework (at that time I was mainly concerned about their eye sight and general physical health).

While we try to raise awareness for parents (which may help children to be internet/game free till the age of 15,16) unless we try to raise awareness to the schools , it will be only half the battle won.There is so much pressure on today's parents. I constantly felt like rowing our boat against the current to protect our childen from the dangers of modern living.

I am so glad your grandchildren are enjoying life through many healthy activities and I sincerely hope it stays that way because in our case it took a dramatic turn at the age of 16. I do not wish this even to my enemy.

By the way, WoW parent, it is funny that you mentioned about playing chess in your post above:

"I think it's important to educate people about the dangers of gaming addiction. If we'd been aware, we'd have prohibited it the same way we did use of alcohol, drugs, etc. He could have spent his time playing chess!"

My son was a very good chess player and still is and represented his school in chess till he dropped out of school!!

"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches." "The first step toward change is acceptance." "Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do." "Change is not something you do, it's something you allow."- Will Garcia

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mommy3, thank you for the

mommy3, thank you for the links.

If we could only travel back time with today's knowledge and understanding of the battle in the second front!

Take care!

"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches." "The first step toward change is acceptance." "Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do." "Change is not something you do, it's something you allow."- Will Garcia

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I don't understand what the

I don't understand what the two fronts are to the battle.

I understand there needs to be more awareness for parents, kids, education, society; absolutely.

And it isn't just kids. I played with a lot of addicts 25-55, and now I hear it's very popular with the senior population. It's a worldwide problem. If I had known about it I wouldn't have gotten addicted because I wouldn't have bought one to begin with.

But what is the other front? confused.

I probably shouldn't have brought up my step-son and his kids as examples of what kind of childhood could possibly work to prevent kids from getting addicted to games. I meant it as a guide to young parents who don't know what to do with their children. Young parents who might see a blooming problem but don't know what to do.

But that won't prevent kids from getting addicted to games later on if they choose to play, including my grandkids. I brought my son's experience up because at the time I thought he was being silly: preventing them from using the computers when everyone else was; I thought he was being excessive. It turns out he was right because many of his friends ended up with game-addicted kids also.

Gaming addiction reaches all ages and all points of life from the very young to the very old. And once a person becomes addicted to it, then it's another point altogether.

I totally understand the parents frustrations once their kids become addicted; especially something they bought innocently for the kids to have fun with, and it turned around and bit them in the butt. The anger you must experience at how this can possibly happen when you care so much about your kids and trying to raise them to be happy individuals, only to have an addiction enter your houses when you least expected it.

We don't give booze, drugs, or porn to our kids. We wouldn't think of it. Yet I gave games to my other two grandsons (not the ones mentioned) and they both became addicted. And I didn't know they would...not at the time.

But some parents with young children don't know what to do about their children and what to do with them instead of letting them game. My suggestion was my son's idea. That's all. Just an example.

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Sorry Pat, I should have

Sorry Pat, I should have made my point clearer. I totally agree with you that it is a world wide problem affecting people from all walks of life.

All the videos I watched and interviews I listened about gaming addiction seem to address educating parents about the dangers of the gaming, which is great. I totally agree with you that there may be a lot of young parents not knowing about the dangers of gaming or not knowing what to do with their kids, therefore educating them is upmost important. That is what I called 'first front of the battle'.

By 'second front of the battle', I was referring to educating the schools about the dangers of the internet and the on-line gaming, so that the schools would not encourage the students in using the internet for their school work. Since I haven't come accross with a video emphasizing this point, I thought it would be worth while to bring this aspect to Andrew's attention, in my post yesterday.

I am glad you gave your son's family as an example, because I could totally relate to it. And it made it a lot easier for me to stress my point.

I hope we all see the sun shine again in our lives sooner than later!

Take care of yourself and enjoy your weekend!

Hugs!

"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches." "The first step toward change is acceptance." "Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do." "Change is not something you do, it's something you allow."- Will Garcia

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May Light wrote: By 'second
May Light wrote:

By 'second front of the battle', I was referring to educating the schools about the dangers of the internet and the on-line gaming, so that the schools would not encourage the students in using the internet for their school work. Since I haven't come accross with a video emphasizing this point, I thought it would be worth while to bring this aspect to Andrew's attention, in my post yesterday.

Melanie and I agree! Schools are fighting this, convinced that our kids need to be "trained for the digital world". However, they forget that NONE of the teachers 45 years and older worked with technology as children like kids today and the teachers are doing fine with email, the Internet, and Smartphones.

These schools also ignore this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/technology/at-waldorf-school-in-silicon-valley-technology-can-wait.html?pagewanted=all

A Silicon Valley School That Doesn't ComputeBy MATT RICHTEL

LOS ALTOS, Calif. -- The chief technology officer of eBay sends his children to a nine-classroom school here. So do employees of Silicon Valley giants like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard.

But the school's chief teaching tools are anything but high-tech: pens and paper, knitting needles and, occasionally, mud. Not a computer to be found. No screens at all. They are not allowed in the classroom, and the school even frowns on their use at home.

Schools nationwide have rushed to supply their classrooms with computers, and many policy makers say it is foolish to do otherwise. But the contrarian point of view can be found at the epicenter of the tech economy, where some parents and educators have a message: computers and schools don't mix.

This is the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, one of around 160 Waldorf schools in the country that subscribe to a teaching philosophy focused on physical activity and learning through creative, hands-on tasks. Those who endorse this approach say computers inhibit creative thinking, movement, human interaction and attention spans.

The Waldorf method is nearly a century old, but its foothold here among the digerati puts into sharp relief an intensifying debate about the role of computers in education.

"I fundamentally reject the notion you need technology aids in grammar school," said Alan Eagle, 50, whose daughter, Andie, is one of the 196 children at the Waldorf elementary school; his son William, 13, is at the nearby middle school. "The idea that an app on an iPad can better teach my kids to read or do arithmetic, that's ridiculous."

Mr. Eagle knows a bit about technology. He holds a computer science degree from Dartmouth and works in executive communications at Google, where he has written speeches for the chairman, Eric E. Schmidt. He uses an iPad and a smartphone. But he says his daughter, a fifth grader, "doesn't know how to use Google," and his son is just learning. (Starting in eighth grade, the school endorses the limited use of gadgets.)

Three-quarters of the students here have parents with a strong high-tech connection. Mr. Eagle, like other parents, sees no contradiction. Technology, he says, has its time and place: "If I worked at Miramax and made good, artsy, rated R movies, I wouldn't want my kids to see them until they were 17."

While other schools in the region brag about their wired classrooms, the Waldorf school embraces a simple, retro look -- blackboards with colorful chalk, bookshelves with encyclopedias, wooden desks filled with workbooks and No. 2 pencils.

On a recent Tuesday, Andie Eagle and her fifth-grade classmates refreshed their knitting skills, crisscrossing wooden needles around balls of yarn, making fabric swatches. It's an activity the school says helps develop problem-solving, patterning, math skills and coordination. The long-term goal: make socks.

Down the hall, a teacher drilled third-graders on multiplication by asking them to pretend to turn their bodies into lightning bolts. She asked them a math problem -- four times five -- and, in unison, they shouted "20" and zapped their fingers at the number on the blackboard. A roomful of human calculators.

In second grade, students standing in a circle learned language skills by repeating verses after the teacher, while simultaneously playing catch with bean bags. It's an exercise aimed at synchronizing body and brain. Here, as in other classes, the day can start with a recitation or verse about God that reflects a nondenominational emphasis on the divine.

Andie's teacher, Cathy Waheed, who is a former computer engineer, tries to make learning both irresistible and highly tactile. Last year she taught fractions by having the children cut up food -- apples, quesadillas, cake -- into quarters, halves and sixteenths.

"For three weeks, we ate our way through fractions," she said. "When I made enough fractional pieces of cake to feed everyone, do you think I had their attention?"

Some education experts say that the push to equip classrooms with computers is unwarranted because studies do not clearly show that this leads to better test scores or other measurable gains.

Is learning through cake fractions and knitting any better? The Waldorf advocates make it tough to compare, partly because as private schools they administer no standardized tests in elementary grades. And they would be the first to admit that their early-grade students may not score well on such tests because, they say, they don't drill them on a standardized math and reading curriculum.

When asked for evidence of the schools' effectiveness, the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America points to research by an affiliated group showing that 94 percent of students graduating from Waldorf high schools in the United States between 1994 and 2004 attended college, with many heading to prestigious institutions like Oberlin, Berkeley and Vassar.

Of course, that figure may not be surprising, given that these are students from families that value education highly enough to seek out a selective private school, and usually have the means to pay for it. And it is difficult to separate the effects of the low-tech instructional methods from other factors. For example, parents of students at the Los Altos school say it attracts great teachers who go through extensive training in the Waldorf approach, creating a strong sense of mission that can be lacking in other schools.

Absent clear evidence, the debate comes down to subjectivity, parental choice and a difference of opinion over a single world: engagement. Advocates for equipping schools with technology say computers can hold students' attention and, in fact, that young people who have been weaned on electronic devices will not tune in without them.

Ann Flynn, director of education technology for the National School Boards Association, which represents school boards nationwide, said computers were essential. "If schools have access to the tools and can afford them, but are not using the tools, they are cheating our children," Ms. Flynn said.

Paul Thomas, a former teacher and an associate professor of education at Furman University, who has written 12 books about public educational methods, disagreed, saying that "a spare approach to technology in the classroom will always benefit learning."

"Teaching is a human experience," he said. "Technology is a distraction when we need literacy, numeracy and critical thinking."

And Waldorf parents argue that real engagement comes from great teachers with interesting lesson plans.

"Engagement is about human contact, the contact with the teacher, the contact with their peers," said Pierre Laurent, 50, who works at a high-tech start-up and formerly worked at Intel and Microsoft. He has three children in Waldorf schools, which so impressed the family that his wife, Monica, joined one as a teacher in 2006.

And where advocates for stocking classrooms with technology say children need computer time to compete in the modern world, Waldorf parents counter: what's the rush, given how easy it is to pick up those skills?

"It's supereasy. It's like learning to use toothpaste," Mr. Eagle said. "At Google and all these places, we make technology as brain-dead easy to use as possible. There's no reason why kids can't figure it out when they get older."

There are also plenty of high-tech parents at a Waldorf school in San Francisco and just north of it at the Greenwood School in Mill Valley, which doesn't have Waldorf accreditation but is inspired by its principles.

California has some 40 Waldorf schools, giving it a disproportionate share -- perhaps because the movement is growing roots here, said Lucy Wurtz, who, along with her husband, Brad, helped found the Waldorf high school in Los Altos in 2007. Mr. Wurtz is chief executive of Power Assure, which helps computer data centers reduce their energy load.

The Waldorf experience does not come cheap: annual tuition at the Silicon Valley schools is $17,750 for kindergarten through eighth grade and $24,400 for high school, though Ms. Wurtz said financial assistance was available. She says the typical Waldorf parent, who has a range of elite private and public schools to choose from, tends to be liberal and highly educated, with strong views about education; they also have a knowledge that when they are ready to teach their children about technology they have ample access and expertise at home.

The students, meanwhile, say they don't pine for technology, nor have they gone completely cold turkey. Andie Eagle and her fifth-grade classmates say they occasionally watch movies. One girl, whose father works as an Apple engineer, says he sometimes asks her to test games he is debugging. One boy plays with flight-simulator programs on weekends.

The students say they can become frustrated when their parents and relatives get so wrapped up in phones and other devices. Aurad Kamkar, 11, said he recently went to visit cousins and found himself sitting around with five of them playing with their gadgets, not paying attention to him or each other. He started waving his arms at them: "I said: 'Hello guys, I'm here.' "

Finn Heilig, 10, whose father works at Google, says he liked learning with pen and paper -- rather than on a computer -- because he could monitor his progress over the years.

"You can look back and see how sloppy your handwriting was in first grade. You can't do that with computers 'cause all the letters are the same," Finn said. "Besides, if you learn to write on paper, you can still write if water spills on the computer or the power goes out."

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

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Quote: “I fundamentally
Quote:

"I fundamentally reject the notion you need technology aids in grammar school," said Alan Eagle, 50, whose daughter, Andie, is one of the 196 children at the Waldorf elementary school; his son William, 13, is at the nearby middle school. "The idea that an app on an iPad can better teach my kids to read or do arithmetic, that's ridiculous."

Hear, hear. Tuned in, smart parent/educator. Lay a strong foundation in the first 6 yrs minimum, 12 yrs ideal, and a human has good odds for navigating life. Technology is an accessory, not an essential.

And Andy, you might be surprised by the number of teachers over 45 who've checked out and are online rather than teaching.

Acceptance. When I am disturbed, it is because a person, place, thing, or situation is unacceptable to me. I find no serenity until I accept my life as being exactly the way it is meant to be. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  Acknowledge the problem, but live the solution!

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Hi All, This is a great

Hi All,

This is a great discussion. Having worked in schools as a career, and having had a child with developmental challenges and gaming addiction, I have to say, at least in our area, that public schools fall terribly short in a variety of areas, so short that we're not going to be able to change any time soon. That's not to say that schools don't contain wonderful staff. I worked with some of the most committed hardworking people I've ever known. Our school system (at least in our state) is just not equipped to go beyond what's required, since "simply" teaching to the standard is difficult enough.

States are concerned with budgets and Administrators are concerned with test scores, for the most part. I've found, that thankfully, most teachers are genuine concerned about their student learning and life-long success and well-being, but find limited funds and unreasonable pressures to perform on standardized tests (to name a few) extremely intrusive to the process. It's not easy.

Kids with learning challenges and kids prone to addiction are still the minority. State educators focus on the masses, so these factors, unfortunately, will not motivate change any time soon. In my opinion, while some public schools provide top notch service, most of us will need to look elsewhere for schools that will provide more unique and specific curriculum (private, charter, magnet, homeschooling, etc). Unfortunately, many of the alternatives are simply not in the average family budget and public schools discourage students from seeking other options (since they lose funds).

Sorry to sound so negative. I'm all for change and improvement in the schools, but it seems we've been trying to "get it right" for just too long. I'm much more energized by what I see outside of the norm. I'd like to see these schools (like the one's mentioned in the article) become more accessible and affordable to everyone.

In summary, while few have the opportunity, I'm thankful I was able to homeschool for three years and to send my son to a Middle College as well. Trying to fight the system was just way too exhausting (even having worked in the field).

Note: We too did all the activities we thought would propel our children into a healthy and successful future. Both my children were given the same access to love, support, stimulation and activites. One ended up on the path of addiction, the other, not at all. Try as we may, we can't possibly assure the desired outcome for our children (and I know no one is suggesting this). We do our best, love 'um, then have to let them go. We pray that they will make the right choice, eventually, and that all those little lessons we taught them along the way come back to the surface eventually. For me, this has been the year of "letting go" and realizing that it is not for me to decide the fate of my childs future, but is in the hands of their creator.

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Thank you for the great read

Thank you for the great read Andrew.

It is good to know that realization has started among some. I couldn't agree more with Mr Eagle's comment below. It is not a rocket science, give these young minds a few days, they will be experts...

"And where advocates for stocking classrooms with technology say children need computer time to compete in the modern world, Waldorf parents counter: what's the rush, given how easy it is to pick up those skills?

"It's supereasy. It's like learning to use toothpaste," Mr. Eagle said. "At Google and all these places, we make technology as brain-dead easy to use as possible. There's no reason why kids can't figure it out when they get older."

I think some teachers are using internet to replace their teaching. Instead of reading from their books or learning from their teachers, the students are expected to learn from the internet via internet based assignments.

It is so concerning to hear from friends that nowadays even the preschools have computers for 3-4 year old kids.

"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches." "The first step toward change is acceptance." "Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do." "Change is not something you do, it's something you allow."- Will Garcia

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With all due respect,

With all due respect, teachers are not replacing teaching with computer usage. It's just not possible.

If that were to happen, at least in my school district, that teacher wouldn't last long.

Not that the computers aren't used as tools, they are.

I agree that having your kid sit in front of a computer won't make them smarter. It's important to teach kids good comunication skills and writing is essential, as is reading.

My son reads on an electronic reader though. He's got 20 books on it. Does using that electronic reader it make him smarter? no.

But I like not having to deal with 20 paperbacks.

We are also practicing Spanish via a website. It works pretty good.

Addiction is the enemy, not technology.

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May Light wrote: Thank you
May Light wrote:

Thank you for the great read Andrew.

It is good to know that realization has started among some. I couldn't agree more with Mr Eagle's comment below. It is not a rocket science, give these young minds a few days, they will be experts...

"And where advocates for stocking classrooms with technology say children need computer time to compete in the modern world, Waldorf parents counter: what's the rush, given how easy it is to pick up those skills?

"It's supereasy. It's like learning to use toothpaste," Mr. Eagle said. "At Google and all these places, we make technology as brain-dead easy to use as possible. There's no reason why kids can't figure it out when they get older."

I think some teachers are using internet to replace their teaching. Instead of reading from their books or learning from their teachers, the students are expected to learn from the internet via internet based assignments.

It is so concerning to hear from friends that nowadays even the preschools have computers for 3-4 year old kids.

Technology too early is causing brain underdevelopment of specific skills.

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

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mudphud wrote: Technology
mudphud wrote:

Technology too early is causing brain underdevelopment of specific skills.

overuse... correct? The only research I could find involved a study of those who use smart phones for more than 7 hours a day reporting memory issues... but 7 hours a day? a kid wanting to be online like that has got to have preexisting conditions... I can't imagine my son having the desire for that...

I think it's kind of which came first, chicken or egg?

My friend's son is on the computer constantly... But he is also diagnosed with ADD at a really early age and takes meds twice a day... he has really tough issues, but I am thinking his obsession with gaming has more to do with his issues, rather than the gaming causing it...

What I am trying to say is.. some kids are vulnerable...

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Look at this way, if parents

Look at this way, if parents expose a child to smoking at the age of two (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4c_wI6kQyE), then the result is a baby who smokes.

I would argue that there are kids who are predisposed and those that are being created by their environment. It's not exclusively one way or the other.

Our brains only have 24 hours a day to develop. Where and how we focus our brains will determine who we are.

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

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And from one of the videos

And from one of the videos that were posted here earlier (TED talks) about brain development, Dr. Amen said that brains aren't fully developed in humans until the age of 25. Wow! Even the insurance companies know this as rates decline with the 25+ population.

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Getting back to the original

Getting back to the original post about the harms of gaming addiction, getting the word out there to parents, to society, to everyone is a valid mission.

The second part of that mission, beyond getting the information, is what to do on this website to help parents, individuals, and the addicts themselves, to find relief. I've noticed that there are significant number of "moms" joining OLGA for help, not sure if they found us because of this program presented by Mudphud, but find us they did.

Hopefully all those sons and daughters who have the addiction will find us too.

We have chat meetings at certain times, but we have very few sponsors to go around the existing group of recovery people. Somewhere in our quest for more adequate information, we also need to focus, too, on recovery. Right now have just enough help for the people who are already here. We don't have extra for many more newcomers. Any thoughts on this?

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May Light wrote: For as
May Light wrote:

For as long as schools continue to give internet based assignments, kids at a vulnarable age might be attracted to these games as a break from their work. Like in any addiction, majority of people will do in moderation but there are some who will have the tendency to be addicted. Your step sons' children, like my other child, were not interested in games and could easily get bored even if they played. But I had no idea before, that my younger one had a tendency (or addictive gene, the scientists are talking about recently) to play excessively when under stress.

It's not likely that those types of assignments will go away soon. Last year a new evaluation system was rolled out for teachers and a significant part of it is centered around the use of technology in teaching.

My son is this. He can pick up a game.. and put it down. I've never seen him obsessed with anything. I've outlawed all MMO type rolplay games, basically because of the chat involved, but he still games with his friends on the WII on occasion. I just can't seem to equate gaming with smoking.

Child development, school, parent and teacher comments just seems to be an issue for a different type of website IMHO.

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I apologize if I offended

I apologize if I offended anyone by expressing my opinion based on personal experience.

I had no intention of blaming schools or teachers neither for my son's problem nor for internet/gaming addiction issues in general.

When the parents are warned about the dangers of gaming addiction, the idea is to educate the parents, not to blame them.

Similarly I thought it is worth while to warn the teachers and the schools about the dangers of gaming addiction and excessive use of internet, not with an intention of blaming them but informing them.

Referring to Kate1song's comment below:

Child development, school, parent and teacher blaming just seems to be an issue for a different type of website IMHO.

We are all here because either ourselves or a loved one is suffering from gaming addiction. Supporting each other is the main reason of this site I realize. And I am grateful to warm welcome and support I received from the members. But I believe the site is enriched with lots of information, videos, links, books aiming to warn the parents and community in general about the gaming addiction issue. As hard as it was for me, I thought sharing my personal experience might help others to be more vigilent about how excessive internet usage via schools might be another trap for the young minds.

"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches." "The first step toward change is acceptance." "Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do." "Change is not something you do, it's something you allow."- Will Garcia

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Kate1song wrote: I just
Kate1song wrote:

I just can't seem to equate gaming with smoking.

Good point. I have to think about this, as I've equated it with smoking. But I need to rethink it.

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Ahh.. May, I'm sorry.  I

Ahh.. May, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to come off as critical of what you wrote in the thread, it's just that gaming addiction is a really complex problem, too hard to point fingers and any institutions in general.

I actually went back and read some of the stories of the long time anon members who commented in this thread and some of their comments I found really relavant.

WOWparent talked about her son being an extremely respected member of a very demanding guild. That's really significant when it comes to dealing with the gamer. Much of the endless levelling and wee hours of the night gaming have to do with the social aspect of these games.

It's not just as simple as a drug that affects one's mind a certain way.. There is an entire social peer pressure, status thing that is just as addicting as the pressing of the buttons.. maybe more so?

IMO that is a separate issue in and of itself.

On the other hand, many gamers here on Olga compulsively played single player games on end...

I visited an addictions counsellor when I was trying to quit and honestly, he had no clue.

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Kate1song wrote: mudphud
Kate1song wrote:
mudphud wrote:

Technology too early is causing brain underdevelopment of specific skills.

overuse... correct? The only research I could find involved a study of those who use smart phones for more than 7 hours a day reporting memory issues... but 7 hours a day? a kid wanting to be online like that has got to have preexisting conditions... I can't imagine my son having the desire for that...

I think it's kind of which came first, chicken or egg?

My friend's son is on the computer constantly... But he is also diagnosed with ADD at a really early age and takes meds twice a day... he has really tough issues, but I am thinking his obsession with gaming has more to do with his issues, rather than the gaming causing it...

What I am trying to say is.. some kids are vulnerable...

I agree with you kate that a lot of the technology is a tool and not a hinderance to education, however that can't be the same for all technology. For instance if a kid brings a calculator to math class and every time he needs to do a problem he just uses the calculator, his mind will never learn the math.

In history class, if every time a kids needs to remember a date of war or what ever, and they just goggle it, they will never memorize our past.

Personally I use goggle as a spell check, because not even word can understand what I am writing half the time. Do I abuse it? Somewhat. I do spend time memorizing spelling, but most of the time I misspell horribly and goggle the whole sentence and goggle figures out from context (not from the word I wrote) what I was trying to say.

I think artificial stimulants and automatic information without having to work for it has a down side. Not with all technology, but with some of it.

I will agree with you that on this site we fight the addiction, but it is also our place to call it's sometimes out on the carpet when it is undefendable.

leveling in steps, serenity, sponcys, sponsors, exercise, and sleep, (sanity has been downsized)
sober from all electronic games since 11/19/2010

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No worries Kate! I totally

No worries Kate! I totally agree with you that gaming addiction is a very complex problem and the reasons and the degrees may vary from one person to another. Raising awareness is a good starting point.

Since it is a fairly new problem, professionals don't have a clue, you are right. This is probably why 6 different professionals suggested 6 different things in our case!

Hope we all see the light at the end of the tunnel soon...

"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches." "The first step toward change is acceptance." "Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do." "Change is not something you do, it's something you allow."- Will Garcia

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Patria wrote: Kate1song
Patria wrote:
Kate1song wrote:

I just can't seem to equate gaming with smoking.

Good point. I have to think about this, as I've equated it with smoking. But I need to rethink it.

It's the same when gaming stimulate dopamine pathways. Did you know cocaine stimulates dopamine and catecholamines? If gaming stimulate dopmaine pathway, then it is a digital drug.

Did you know gaming is used on children so doctors can perform painful procedures?

It's a digital drug, digital pain killer, and digital anti-depressant. Thus, it's very similar to smoking.

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

Kate1song
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mudphud wrote: Patria
mudphud wrote:
Patria wrote:
Kate1song wrote:

I just can't seem to equate gaming with smoking.

Good point. I have to think about this, as I've equated it with smoking. But I need to rethink it.

It's the same when gaming stimulate dopamine pathways. Did you know cocaine stimulates dopamine and catecholamines? If gaming stimulate dopmaine pathway, then it is a digital drug.

Did you know gaming is used on children so doctors can perform painful procedures?

It's a digital drug, digital pain killer, and digital anti-depressant. Thus, it's very similar to smoking.

I get that. But any activity that bring pleasure stimulates dopamine pathways. One can attempt to demonize the activity of gaming but the enemy here is addiction.

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