Seventeen year old Zach Richardson is “suffering” from what some might call a “video game addiction.” The teen’s life is consumed day in and day out by video games like Call of Duty, FIFA, and Football Manager. He plays for close to 15 hours a day, seven days a week. The habit has become so bad that he’ll skip meals, ditch friends, and won’t even clean himself.
The “addiction” began a little over a year ago when Richardson left school. He turned to video games as a means to occupy his time while he looked for some form of employment. It started slow for the teen, but it gradually snowballed into what it is today.
It started off slowly. I only spent two or three hours a day playing. It was just for a bit of fun. Now it has got out of control and I know I have an addiction but I cannot help it.
While it’s a good sign that he knows he needs help, his video game habits are not without consequence. Richardson’s school friends have begun to ignore him and his girlfriend has threatened to call it quits unless he stops. On top of that, the 17 year old is skipping meals so he can keep playing. It has lead to headaches and blackouts for the teen. His doctors state the obvious by saying that it’s damaging his health — that’s why we pay them the big bucks!
The most disturbing part about all this? It probably could have been avoided or at least stopped early on. The boys mother has straight up said she doesn’t want to take away his things and that she can’t stop him from playing.
There is nothing that I can do to stop him playing. Doctors have warned him of the health risks but playing video games is the only thing that makes him happy. I do not want to upset him by taking his consoles away.
Is it me, or does this seem like the real source of the problem? It’s not video games, it’s not a lack of employment, or a lack of a social life — but bad parenting that has caused this. Parents shouldn’t be afraid to say no to their kids or take away things from their children when it becomes a problem. What happened to the good old days of grounding your child and taking away their things?
Parents need to always remember that they are in charge — not their children. When parents start to let their kids run the show, that’s when things become a problem. As is the case with 17 year old Zach Richardson and his “video game addiction.”
Boy’s daily 15-hour Xbox Habit [The Sun]