Addictive internet games

The Washington Post online had an interesting piece today about teens addicted to onliine games and the havoc such an addiction or obsession can cause in a person’s life.

There is, of course, a lot of research and concern about this issue.  The author, Caitlin Gibson, quotes psychologist Kimberly Young, founder of the Center for Internet Addiction. As saying the number of kids affected by such an addiction might (modestly) be estimated at “… 5 percent. But 5 percent of American kids is a lot.”

The article points to some resources, such as sthe Center for Internet Addiction and a residential facility called reSTART.  reSTART, the article states is “…the nation’s first therapeutic retreat devoted specifically to Internet addiction.”   Last month reSTART :…launched a new adolescent program…after receiving a barrage of calls from parents desperate to separate their children from video games, consoles, computers and smartphones..”

Here in Pasadena, CA a colleague, Dr. Joe Dilley has published a book entitled The Game Is Playing Your Kid:  How to Unplug and Reconnect in the Digital Age which is a book for parents giving them a three-step program to help prevent or handle this problem.  I can recommend this book as having great information and practical suggestions for dealing with this issue.  You can find it at Barnes and Noble or Amazon, among other places

Some related academic resources include books by Sherry Turkle at MIT (Life on the Screen (1997), Alone Together (2007), and Reclaiming Conversation (2016)) and the book by Catherine Steiner-Adair (The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age (2014)) which are based on rigorous research.

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