Oh yes, I bet you there is. We'll be going through this soon enough - first I need a little moment of attention to my real life (which I adore - currently).
I know I know! Once again I have been slacking the days away, tending to my life and the connections in it. Shame on me - nothing should be more important than updating this blog, for the sole purpose of satisfying my "readers" and dealing out of my supreme WoW-exspriences; yes I know it's a bit excessive to mention them as multiply, but one's gotta' dream! Trust me; christmas is so overrated and thearaphy as well.......... no? No.
Originally I wanted to introduce this 'chapter' with another comic strip, but since my computer crashed out on me, the link got lost; and inspite of more than 5 hours hillarious researching of diverse comics ( - I've thrown a link to some of them in my link session -) and some help from a friend, I havn't been able to find it. So I chose an alternative one. It fit's todays subject, and gives a pause to the eyes from endless walls of steaming text. Personally I prefer a little diversity.
So say, is it really such a big problem with the kids - or people - playing in general? In my opinion and from what I've seen, heard and read on the internet and out in the real world, it actually is becoming that. Or has been in a very long time. It's hard to realize but I bet most parents have this magical bell inside their heads, that 'dings!' when something is wrong. My mum did too, and she literally tried everything she could to stop the bell from ringing; came and helped me clean, called me daily to hear how I were and offering to come and pick me up and stay the weekend at my familys place; how thing's were in school, and frequently came on unexspected visits, just to discover that my appartment were a big friggin mess, in spite of her 6 hours of cleaning, two weeks before. At that time I was too locked up in my World of Warcraft, to even feel bad about myself that I pissed on my mothers efforts, or care what it looked like in my home. And I often found myself getting very angry at my mum, when she obsessed about the problems and told me that I spend too much time playing WoW.
It's silly, 'cause I remember, that I denied it every single time she brought the problem up, telling her that WoW was SO NOT the reason for me never visiting them or going out in the weekend; or doing homework for that matter, sorting laundry, taking a shower, doing dishes, attending birthdayparties and what so ever. Making up excuses in my head, letting them slip through my lips, in an effort to make them real. But truth be told, I were aware of my inability to abstract from the game; but I was embarrased and really felt that I had no control over it at all. And that was the hardest part to realise and admit. I were also well aware that I often didn't answer my phone when my friends called me, becuase I mostly were engaged in Roleplay or other stuff related to World of Warcraft. But it just never - really hit me hard enough to wake up.
This link might seem funny, and it's a bit exstreme, but I've found myself in an almost similar situation, embarrasing enough, considered I'm soon 21 years of age, and probably were around last in my 19th year - considering the fact I started living alone when I turned 18. Mostly it evolved around dinner time while visitng my family. My mother still thinks the day today though, that she is to decide what I'm eating when we're out or when my bedtime is, visiting my mothers boyfriends side of the family; but It's okay, you have to coop with parents once in a while, untill they learn to let go. They do, afterall, always know what is best for you (- cough -).
So see - there are many different ways to deal with your own, your kids or your relatives behaviours, to prevent the game from coming too far. Of course it is a bit more complicated, if the relative is not your kid but a grown up who is in charge of their own life. I'll try listing some good advices to both situations - seen from my point of view.
At first, it might be good to know what to be aware of to 'spot' a gaming addiction (or any other additiction for that matter), or unhealhty behaviour; it's important to be able to seperate between a mere habbit and an addiction. I think it is also VERY important to realise about addictions, that it is NOT a matter of choice; many individuals does not have the ability, to simply decide to stop using their 'drug' of choice. The symptoms can be diffrent according to the individual, but some of the most common symptoms are as follows:
- One being unable to meet responsibilities at home, work, school or in personal relations.
- Continuous use of substances or engagement in behaviour even when dangerous.
- Increasing need to engage in behavior or use more of a substance, to achieve the same effect or feeling.
- Multiply failed tries of trying to stop using a given substance or end a given behavior.
- Continuous engageing in behaviour or use of substance, even when being aware of the dangers or bad effects.
- Neglect of both looks and sorroundings, but also friends, family and socialising.
Getting in control of an addiction can take years, and requires a great deal of work and engagement; but also the will to recover and ongoing support from those around you. And one of the first steps into sucessfull recovery, is recognition of the problem. It is VERY hard. I know this, because I have been there, and exsprienced it. Therefor I think it might be good to air some my own advices to prevent World of Warcraft in particulair, from taking control.
Parents vs. Kids:
- First of all, be aware of changes in your kids behaviour, especially if it applys one or more of the above mentioned stages.
- Consider when your kid asks you to buy him World of Warcraft for the first time, that they have a healthy relation to computer and console games, and if you trust your kid to be able to treat the game as it would any other game, and control the play time.
- When buying the game for the first time, sit down with your kid, install the game and create a Subscription with them. This way you make sure that you understand what your kid is doing, and it gives you a good look into the way a Subscription functions; as well as the game. It can also be reccommended to buy an Subscription of your own, so you can play together with your kid, and that way get a better idea of what World of Warcraft is. It is - afterall - a really great game, for both kids, youngsters and adults - as long as one remembers to treat it as one.
- When the subscription is made, there is a function called 'Parential Control'. This allows you to control your kids' playtime, which is a very nice opportunity to make sure your kid mantain a certain distance. Of course they should be allowed to enjoy the game, just not all the time.
- If the damage is already done, try and sit down and talk to your kid about it. Make sure to let them know that you are concerned, but not angry, and in a neutral way explain to them, what the problem is; eventually offer to compromise. This can be a good way to slowly cut down the playtime to a manageable stage; without your kid feeling attacked or blamed.
- If things are already out of control, sometimes the exstreme is nesseceary. Pull out the internet plug or shut down the computer; or better, collect it. This might cause drama, both tears and hate-related conversation; perhaps some excessive behavior, such as things flying through the room, and diverse havoc. Make sure you have a good insurance before trying this. I'd reccomend it as the last sollution of course, since things should never be taken to the exstreme if it can be avoided.
Relatives/friends vs. Adults:
- First of all, be aware of changes in your relatives/friends' behaviour, especially if it applys one or more of the earlier mentioned stages(-copy paste and edit is your friends too -).
- Remember that your relative is an adult and are 100% in charge of what to do with his/her life. Often, young adults or adults don't like one telling them what to do but do listen to reasonable arguments.
- Try to take the bull by the horns, be honest, and let your relative/friend know that you feel things have gone too far. Preferringly do this in a way, where you don't blame them or get angry at them, because this will most likely only create more trouble. Often, young adults and adults knows perfectly well when they have a problem, but as I have explained earlier, it is often very embarrasing and hard to admit.
- Encourage them to seek help and let them know that you will be there for them. Don't ridicule their problem or behaviour, no matter how far out it appears to be for you. It is okay to have an opinion but in some cases it is best to keep it to yourself.
- Professional help might be the last/only/preffered resort in some cases, and this can be very hard for people to seek. My exsprience however is, that no matter how lame and silly psycologists and doctors might appear, they do something right. (Trust me, at first I thought "No way, I'm not a nutcase, I don't need some shrink picking in my brain and analysing my behaviour" - but it worked in the end. And I am glad the day today I chose to eat my pride.)
- If you as a relative/friend can't deal with the problem, it is okay to take distance. But it is very important that you let your 'addict'-friend know this and why, because if not, in most cases, one just feel let down, and even more likely to sink deeper in the mud than they already are. In some cases though, telling your friend/relative that things have gone too far with eg. the game, that you don't want to/can't be their friend anymore, might be an eyeopener.
- If you are willing to deal with the problem, and be there for your friend/relative 100%, even when things are though and they neglect you, keep doing what you can to help them getting through their 'addiction'. Offer to go out shopping with them, encourage them to participate on social events, or do the dishes - whatever. Just make sure they somehow stay in contact with the 'real world'.
- Furthermore it is important to accept the fact, that no matter how much you do to help your troubled friend/relative, it might not be enough. THEY have to decide by themselves, that they want things to change - truly. Thereby not said that everyone is able to, but it is, in my opinion, the key to recovery. And frankly, most people have the will to get out of their troubels, one way or another.
- Last but not least you can also always chose the take-out-the-plug/steal-the-computer -sort of thing, but I can't guarantee for the consequences.
So fact is, that no matter how much your surroundings and realatives tries to drag you out of your problems, addictions or whatever, you can never really recover – until the day you finally and truly decide, from the bottom of YOUR heart, that you want to change; or at least try. Until then, as a relative, you can only keep doing what you do best, and be ready to catch the ones you love when they fall. No matter how far out they've been, no matter how much they've neglected you, what they really need, is for you to show them that you're still there; as you've always been, the day they chose to let you be. Until then, all you can do is hope and try to settle with things as they are. Because noone will ever truly change, before they decide it for themselves.
- Wall over and out!- Stay tuned?