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Old 2004-07-03, 18:32   Link #1
Roots
外人、漫画訳者
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Austin, TX
Age: 32
Dealing with videogame obsessed children

I have a problem that is growing exponentially regarding my younger brother. He has always played computer games an unusually high amount, and now they completely control him. I don't know what to do anymore, because no matter what I try he never listens to me or heeds anything I say because all he does is play his damn computer games. I imagine that many other youth these days are suffering from similar problems and addictive tendencies, but this is just gone too far.

First of all my brother is 15 and a sophomore in high school. My mom is having trouble cracking down on him because he got mad at her grounding him from the computer for breaking a rule (no games on school days, which he breaks all the time when she's not around). My brother talked to my dad (they are seperated) and my dad said if its really that bad he could come live with him. My dad doesn't know the whole story though. He thinks that my brother is just tired of my mom and her rules in general, when really the only thing that he is trying to obtain is more freedom to play games non-stop. But my brother moving in with my dad would make the situation even worse because my dad travels a lot for business and he's only home about half the time or less. Therefore my brother would neglect his school work (maybe even skip school) and play games with no one to stop him. This isn't speculation my friends. This is what will happen, I'm sure of it.

So now with my dad clueless and my mom powerless things are just getting worse and worse. No matter what I do to stop it his tendency is like a virus that adapts to a new immunity. When I put Linux on my computer that I had left at home, he plays games on my mom's (slower) computer. I'm going to put Linux on that soon as well (at her request) but then he'll just go spend all day at his friend's house playing games. He hardly ever talks to his friends BTW. He never does anything social like go to the movies, the mall, or anything a normal high schooler would do. I think he might even be better off if he was on drugs.

So now I have no idea what to do and I ask for your advice. How can I stop this before it's too late? It gets worse everyday, he now stays up all night till 7 or 8 in the morning, then goes to sleep and sleeps all day. He eats at the computer and the only time he leaves is when he goes to the bathroom. I'm ashamed to have him as a brother and I'm going to cut ties with him if he doesn't make a change for the better. Please, someone


Oh and you know what perhaps may be the most pathetic thing of all? The ONLY two games he ever plays are Diablo II and Warcraft III. Yeah they are good games, but not enough to play exclusively for three god damn years!!!
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Old 2004-07-03, 19:08   Link #2
LynnieS
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Ouch. BTW, while your brother have talked to your father about this and presented his view, have you or your mother done the same? I don't see how your dad will feel the same about letting your brother live with him if he knows everything.

An interesting selection of games too that your brother has chosen. Not sure if they're deliberate (even done subconsciously) or what. You should also look for a family councillor to help, though, if you haven't looked yet.

Good luck!
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Old 2004-07-03, 19:13   Link #3
Roots
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Austin, TX
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My dad and my mom don't get along very well. I don't think my mom has tried to tell him of the problem because she thinks it could make the chance that my brother is taken away from her even greater. I won't let that happen though, no matter what. My dad knows that he's a videogame freak and I've frequently reminded him of the problem, but I don't think he realizes just how bad this is for him. I just came home a couple weeks ago so I didn't know that it got this bad either until recently. I just sent him a long angry e-mail about it and told him he's the only one with any power to do something right now. *sigh* I hate this messed up family.
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Old 2004-07-03, 19:20   Link #4
phoenixfire92983
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First thing...If you're this concerned about your brother, then you should definetly tell your dad the whole story. It sounds like your mom needs all the support she can get, so if her and your dad can work together then I think that would really help a lot.

Second thing...Get linux on your mom's computer

Third thing...If he tries to sneak off to play games at his friend's house, then make strict curfew times. That way he's only playing a couple hours, instead of half the day hehe. Plus at least he has a tad bit of socialization if hes at a friends house. If he breaks curfew, then ground him for a couple days or whatever. That way he's in the house, doesn't know how to play games on your linux systems, and now has to figure out what else he can do with his life.

Fourth thing...Get him to start doing other activities. Whether its playing a sport with you, joining a club, doing community service...just something else besides computer. He probably won't do it alone, so you're gonna have to do it with him. Heck, even take him to the movies and try to get him to socialize with other kids his age. It may be a little embarassing for you, but if you want to see him change then you and your family has to help him. Also, don't show that you're embarrassed or that you really don't want to do this. If you show that, then he's just gonna feel like a burden and think he's better off just staying at home.

Hope this advice helps you. But yeah, the first thing and most important thing is to let your dad know exactly whats going on. Its important that he knows the truth before he lets your brother move in. Best of luck!
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Old 2004-07-03, 19:26   Link #5
boneyjellyfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixfire92983
Fourth thing...Get him to start doing other activities. Whether its playing a sport with you, joining a club, doing community service...just something else besides computer. He probably won't do it alone, so you're gonna have to do it with him.
This is probably the most sensible solution that can be offered in this thread: bond with him. If you're as worried about your brother as you say you are, then the best solution for the both of you would be to do some bonding. Go out and learn tennis (his high school probably might have a court) or play frisbee or golf or something. Get him out of the house, and spend some time with him. If you're too lazy to do that (I mean, you ARE posting here and you watch anime, so you're probably lazy), then just let him do his own thing. As long as his grades are good in school, he'll be fine. Things like this will pass. Probably the last thing you want to do is make this a big family matter, as that will most likely only alienate him more.
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Old 2004-07-03, 20:16   Link #6
Roots
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Austin, TX
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You give good advice. I'm not exactly a bonding type of guy, but I'm definitely not lazy. Maybe I should make him get out of the house instead of just getting angry with him like I have been doing. For some reason when it comes to him I have a really short temper. Maybe I should get one of his friends to come too. Well I'll have to think of something to do. OH, maybe I can get some girls his age to come too! He goes to the same high school I went to and I still got some connections so.... yeah

I'll try to be less harsh and alien to him, though its hard for me. Thanks
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Old 2004-07-03, 21:00   Link #7
DarkCntry
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Hey, it's obvious you like anime...he likes using the computer...why not get together and watch some anime together. Subtly force him to watch it with you, of course, start off easy

The whole video game issue can be the same for a lot of people, escapism...there might be some other underlying reason as to him doing it, but I could be just looking too deep with the psychology training in me. Sometimes it takes a bit of 'bonding' on your part to understand why he's doing it, as from what you are stating this isn't just casual playing, or even hardcore playing...this seems to be more of a way for him to escape from something.

Stupid as it sounds, you say he is 15 and just starting High School...I know it was a long time ago for me, but I do remember that when I first started High School that there were a crapload of issues. Perhaps he is trying to escape from something there, or maybe something domestically, or it could just be teenage angst kicking in. The rebellious nature tends to come out predominantly at that age.

So you may have to sit him down, shut off the computer, and have a little man-to-man discussion with him. If, like boney said, his life isn't being adversely affected by this it could just be a phase, hell I still spend more time on my computer than anything else, but my reasoning is that it is my place of business, but that doesn't excuse that I still need to step away from it occassionally.

The best thing you can do is be attentive to his habits and attitude...paying attention is probably the only thing you have going for you. If you notice this is becoming a serious problem that you can see it affects his life in an adverse way, then you need to intervene. I'm guessing that you're probably the only predominant male figure that he sees at home daily, use this to your advantage, as well as you still being fairly young enough to remember those days. Just go with your instincts
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Old 2004-07-03, 22:05   Link #8
Tommy
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Well he might grow out of it on his own I mean he is only 15 and he is gonna wanna get laid sooner or later. He sure as hell won't be able to if hes playin video games and not ever socializing. So unless he's really ugly and all the girls ignore him, ones gotta catch his fancy sooner or later.
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Old 2004-07-03, 23:14   Link #9
Sanjuronord
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Kentucky
Well, just getting angry with him might not help and could make the problem worse. Doubt it's just the computer games that's causing him to act like this, probably havng trouble socially or something. As Tommy said he might even come out of it on his own.

If Nothing Else Works: Introduce Diablo 2 and Warcraft III to the microwave...snap, crackle, pop
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Old 2004-07-04, 01:33   Link #10
Green²
It's Magic
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Up and to the Left
Age: 34
**First introduce him to some of Japan's finest animated Ero games for the computer. Then when he wants more, substitute with real*² porn. Should all work out ok, he will likely give up his daily life style in search for the perfect real girl,.. assuming that you had gave him some good tasting porn during the second stage.


* Critically required. Or else the result may become an addiction to animated Ero games and/or animated women. And lack of real porn may also result in a weakness in an confrontation of the opposite sex outside of the digital realm.

² Repeat daily.

** May require parents permission.
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Old 2004-07-04, 01:44   Link #11
Thany
Unfair
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
I find it funny how you dramatize this.
Really, it's better that he's like that that most people in my city who drug themselves and constantly fight for stupid reasons.
Be happy that your brother won't be a delinquant at least
Really, just leave him alone : he'll eventually find out that there are others things he can do than just playing to games.
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Old 2004-07-04, 01:54   Link #12
LoveOfAnime
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Roots, I am sorry to hear this about your brother. I have a friend addicted to EQ(yeah that damn Everquest)! She will sit for like 12 hours logged on with her crew. Her husband has actually threatened to throw her puter out the window to get her away from it. As she is in her 30's it is sad.

It sounds like it is time for serious intervention. If you are capable since it is summer, you should literally kidnap your brother, throw him in the car and take a road trip. Doesn't have to be a long one or anything just a couple of hours or days if you have it in you away from the computer...........Talk to him, show interest in what he is talking about and try to bridge a connection. You two have been close at some time or another so maybe that will help. Don't just lecture him though really try to share your own experiences when you started high school and such. Sometimes a teen just needs someone to really listen and empathize with their problems.

I really hope this helps, it is just my suggestion but it would have really helped me at that age.......................I will keep you in my prayers.
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Old 2004-07-04, 01:55   Link #13
Lefteris_D
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Here are my suggestions:
#1 Forget the whole e-mail thing to your father and simply get your ass over there! Explain the whole situation to him face to face and exactly what you are afraid of.

#2 Dont try to force him to get into any extra activities right away, instead start by spending some time with him to bond and that way he will have the chance to like some things. I know he is only 15 and you are 22 but there must be some things you can do together! This is not like hanging around with a friend or with your girlfriend, he is your brother, your own flesh and blood! That is beyond standard bonding.

#3 Let him play games... even at schooldays but at least 1 hour every day, nothing more. Think of it as a way to reduce his obsession as he seems to like those two games alot.

#4 I read that some people suggested anime as a way to bond. Try finding some that have a more "Diablo 2" theme but that should be your last choice as getting him out in the open is what you need to do.

#5 I have a 38 year old brother from my father's first wedding. Every week he would give him money and sent him to prostitutes to allow him to be more open(those were the days unlike today ).



Overall the plan is this. Go to your father and say exactly what you told us. Make him realize that no matter how much he "hates" his former wife when it comes to that issue they are both responsible.


Being 15 with devorced parents is hard and sometimes might cause some people to become isolated.
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Old 2004-07-04, 02:52   Link #14
7thMethuselah
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Have you thought about the following. Instead of punishing him and not allowing him to play the computer, reward him.

Like, if you do your homework for an hour each say you can play the comp afterwards. If you help out mom in the garden, you can play the comp afterwards. Make him got to a sports club (or whatever) and reward him with playing comp .

This will not reduce the addiction right away BUT

-he'll be doing other stuff besides playing video games
-he may still have a social life besides the comp
-after a while he will find pleasures in these things as well, which will reduce the amount of hours he will play.

Anyway he's still 15 years old, it's normal at that age, maybe he should get a girlfriend somehow, that'll reduce comp hours fast


PS Don't laugh I still play Diablo II and Warcraft III as well (luckily only a couple of hours a week and no longer 24/7)! They are great games . I don't play more than 5-10 hours a week but I'm waiting for World of Warcraft to replace those 2 games.
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Old 2004-07-04, 03:50   Link #15
Necrodeath
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First of all, Diablo2 and Warcraft3 Are such good games to play 3 years if you get sucked in. I was the same, for example on D2: I wouldn't stop until I found a decent unique, or until my amazon could beat baal on hell without any help from others. Diablo2 is that addicting.

7thMethuselah said the things that I think would work best. (I think I heard that on Dr. Phil )
But Thany's comments was how I stopped from playing a freakishly amount of games. Sure, I still play games, but not as much as I did before, and I go out to LAN parties or just take my gamecube to some friends and invite even more friends (There will be around 12-15 people with 4 gamecubes ). But I also just go out to the movies and such...
If nothing else works, try to find a small LAN party(20-30 people) in your area, and just let him start to talk and hang out with other people, you should go to. He will play different games on LAN-parties, this means he will at least abandon D2 for a short time.

We can give you advice, but I think it's best to just have a conversation with your brother, mother and maybe even your father.
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Old 2004-07-04, 04:28   Link #16
HoboGod
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yea, this kid sounds like me. it is a good life that. but anyway, you are not going to get him unaddicted to diablo 2 unless he has some horrible experiance with it. you could go into his account and delete all his characters without him knowing... but that would be a horrible thing and requires you to steal his password and you didn't hear this idea from me, btw.

also, are you sure that video games are making him anti-social? have you ever thought he was just naturally anti-social? i like Lefteris_D's idea to find anime that is more diablo ii themed. but if he is just naturally anti-social, it is better to encourage him to do better activities such as reading. there are several warcraft and diablo books out there made by blizzard. get him those and then slowly find other books with similar themes. it is another form of escapism, but at least it is more benificial in a way.
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Old 2004-07-04, 07:47   Link #17
Babak
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Is he playing those games online?

[EDIT] > If he is; how about going back to 56k? I'm sure that the slow connection would kill his intrest in playing online at all, right?

Last edited by Babak; 2004-07-04 at 07:58.
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Old 2004-07-04, 08:52   Link #18
OutPhase
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Just 2 games over the past three years?! 0_o

This could be difficult to make your fanboy... er, brother stop, but I suggest internet connection games. They're so immpossible and clunky to use he'll have to give up eventually, or you can do the next best thing: hide the games. What he can't find he can't play. ^_^

Eventually afterwards he can take up an outdoor activity like swimming, jogging, biking, birdwatching, etc. He will realize not everything revolves around a video game and start having a normal social life. Hell, he might even have a girlfriend (Not get laid) Just an ordinary girlfriend who probably won't pressure him for sex.

Then the balance of life will be restored (well, to your brother anyway).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Babak
Is he playing those games online?

[EDIT] > If he is; how about going back to 56k? I'm sure that the slow connection would kill his intrest in playing online at all, right?

Wait, that's 56 kb right? To me that's really fast. Hell, going 10 kb on my computer is like Godspeed because mine goes about 4.6 kb per second average, and I have to use Internet Explorer, along with AOL.
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Old 2004-07-04, 08:59   Link #19
Secca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoboGod
yea, this kid sounds like me. it is a good life that. but anyway, you are not going to get him unaddicted to diablo 2 unless he has some horrible experiance with it. you could go into his account and delete all his characters without him knowing... but that would be a horrible thing and requires you to steal his password and you didn't hear this idea from me, btw.
LOL that's so evil. yes that would probably make him quit. ^^
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Old 2004-07-04, 09:27   Link #20
kamij0
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Roots , no matter what he did, he's still your brother, there's no point in lashing out at him if he really does indulge in playing games, some of us sure got to this stage of gaming till we drop, sometimes its not just the sake of fun, your brother could be lonely or having problems with his school work/family/friends, you should talk it out with him.
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