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Topic : 06/03 Virtual Chaos

Number of Replies: 390
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Created on : Thursday, October 16, 2008, 10:37:46 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 10/20/08) Sixty-five percent of American households report playing computer and video games, and surprisingly, the average player is 35 years old. Computer games are supposed to be fun, but when a hobby turns into an obsession, virtual fantasy worlds can ruin lives and wreck marriages. Juli says her 34-year-old husband, Fred, plays computer games all day and ignores his entire family. Fred admits to spending up 10 hours a day in a cyber world, but will he call it an addiction? Fred’s stepson, Brandon, thinks Fred is lazy and that his mom can do better. Then, Brad, 40, was so addicted to games that he spent up to 80 hours a week locked in the basement with his computer. Not only did he accumulate close to $24,000 of debt, his addiction nearly cost him his marriage and his life! Next, Liz found her 21-year-old son, Shawn, dead at his computer from a self-inflicted gun shot. She says that a role-playing game in the virtual world transformed her son from a vibrant young adult into a depressed introvert, which ultimately led to his suicide. Liz founded Online Gamers Anonymous to educate others about the potential dangers of obsessive gaming. Then, when Wendy married a video game designer, she literally took matters into her own hands and started playing herself.  Are you or is someone you love at risk for video game addiction? Log on to for a checklist of signs!

Find out what happened on the show.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

October 19, 2008, 3:30 pm CDT

10/20 Virtual Chaos

Quote From: fabrat

I have 2 boys ages 14 and 11. They both love video games and the oldest loves the rpg games. However I have a very strict rule of no EQ and no WOW. I have heard way too many stories of addiction associated with these games. I have rules for video games in general. On nice sunny days my kids are required to spend at least one hour playing out in the sun. They also have to keep up with school work and bring in good grades to even play video games. On the weekends if we go somewhere the psp stay at home. If then have done chores then they will likely get several hours to play video games. Now my youngest would rather be out riding his bike or playing with friends than to play a video game. My oldest is starting to like riding a skateboard. They still love games but they see there is more to life other than games. My 16y/o daughter started talking to this boy she knew from school. At first it was fine they talked every day and for long periods of time. At one point he told her that she was the only girl who made him want to stop playing WOW to spent time with her. She refused to talk while he played that game. After only about 2 weeks or so his calls became shorter and shorter and before long he was right back into that game. He has only 1 good friend and has never had a girlfriend. I think that's really sad. Parents need to take time to teach their kids that there is a lot more to life than video games!!!!!!!!!!
It may be a better idea if you allow them to play 1 hour of video games on a sunny day, and spend the rest of the day outside, getting the sunshine, fresh air and exercise that was created to heal our bodies....
October 19, 2008, 4:59 pm CDT

Gaming addiction can CAUSE depression

I agree that gaming addiction is not always the result of depression. My son was not depressed when he picked up the World of Warcraft in 2004. He was a happy, smart, funny A/B student with a lot of outside interests and a TON of real life friends. He became an anxious, phobic shell of his former self within months of picking up the game and flunked out of college. The personality changes and the new psychiatric symptoms were frightening, especially since I didn't know what was causing it all until I found OLGA at, where people understood and could explain to me what had happened to my son and what I can do to help him.

No one is blaming the game. We just want people to understand what is happening to themselves and their loved ones, because this issue is so new that people don't have a clue sometimes. I know I didn't for a long time.

Sheryl, I'm glad you and your husband are happy. Please don't have kids until you can devote 12 hours a day to them instead of to your game.
October 19, 2008, 7:02 pm CDT

I was there, so...

Quote From: KathySue

What the heck is wrong with you people who post messages BEFORE the actual show is aired???  The message boards are meant for commenting AFTER  you see the show. 
Good question...

I was on the show as a guest, so I guess my excuse is I want to introduce myself and start talking to people about the issues raised on the show because I'm really passionate about recovery from online gaming addiction.

Online Gamers Anonymous can help...

My blog will have a new podcast tomorrow night at 7 pm Eastern time.

Thanks everyone for your interest and support!
October 20, 2008, 12:31 am CDT

10/20 Virtual Chaos

Quote From: KathySue

What the heck is wrong with you people who post messages BEFORE the actual show is aired???  The message boards are meant for commenting AFTER  you see the show. 

The show airs in different time zones. So sometimes when people make "early" posts, it HAS already been aired.


And, it doesn't say anywhere at all on this forum that we HAVE to wait until after the show is aired. This is an open, public forum and people are allowed to post in it any time they like.


Plus, there is info on what the show is going to be about and what will happen on it, so people can discuss the subject of the upcoming show, and talk about what they anticipate might happen.


And your post has nothing to do with the topic at hand anyway.

October 20, 2008, 6:13 am CDT

Addiction and the Gaming Krib

Great topic, The hope he gets the statistics correct, from what I see, he has posted some and condradict what I have read at major research firms results, PEW, Endowment of arts, AMA, the # are alot worst.  And lets not forget about kids and parents who watch tv all day and night!  ;)

WE also hopes he mentions all debate quotes from Obama and his recent endorsement of the gamingkrib


Barack Obama's personal message and support of "The Gaming Krib" ..."Thank you for all you do!"

"But there's one last ingredient that I just want to mention, and that's parents. We can't do it just in the schools. Parents are going to have to show more responsibility. They've got to turn off the TV set, put away the video games, and, finally, start instilling that thirst for knowledge that our students need." Obama/McCain Debate #3 08'.




October 20, 2008, 6:19 am CDT

10/20 Virtual Chaos

Quote From: lizwool

It may be a better idea if you allow them to play 1 hour of video games on a sunny day, and spend the rest of the day outside, getting the sunshine, fresh air and exercise that was created to heal our bodies....
that's a great suggestion. It started at just an hour but to be honest the boys usually decide on their own to be outside a lot more than an hour. I have a feeling after I see this show they will play game a whole lot less than they do now. I just think it's really important for people to know that's there's a whole lot more to life than just games.
October 20, 2008, 7:21 am CDT

virtual loosers

I am really surprised on how little time Dr Phil spent on how much time the 3 year old had NO ONE taking care of him.  He was left unattended to run around the house to do whatever he wanted.

Dr Phil (which I think is just the BEST!) normally speaks for the children that do not have a voice. The little 3 yr old boy on the topic was very pitiful and I felt very bad for him. It didn't seem to matter to anyone that this little boy was left to fend for himself.  At AGE THREE!!!!!!!

Those parents do NOT deserve to HAVE these children with such "CHILDREN" in charge. 

This mother needs to grow UP herself.  Either he gets OFF the computer and plugs into his family.. or she should kick his butt to the curb and take care of her children in a healthy and safe environment, with resposible grown-ups in charge.  She'll have trouble with the 5 yr old as it is.


I pray she doesn't wait until the 3 year old gets hurt or becomes the NEXT victim to a sick & twisted Dad who doesn't love them enough to even spend time with them. Think the KIDS don't think that way??!?!?!?  Think again.... HE has broken their hearts. He doesn't deserve them- and SHE should protect them!

October 20, 2008, 7:40 am CDT

10/20 Virtual Chaos

My six year old grandson stays with me most weekends.  When he is home with his mother, other grandparents and step father (or the stepfather's parents) all he does is play video games.  All he does is talk about video games.  All he obsesses about are video games.  And they all allow and encourage that.  To me, that's a lazy way to raise a child.  it keeps them occupied, out of the way and quiet.  Shameful and disgusting.

My home doesn't have video games.   The original reason was that I am not oriented to sit on my bottom for any time watching TV or doing anything inactive while life passes me by.   Now I have the added, more compelling reasons as mentioned on this show.


When he is with me, I make sure my grandson is out in the fresh air and sunshine during the day.  And we read, draw and play when it is evening.  At most during an entire weekend, he watches TV at my house for one hour, and is away from the damnable video games for the duration. Although video games are all he talks about getting as gifts, he won't get them from me. I won't contribute that that.  My ex daughter in law's parents even hinted that I should buy him an new PSP for Xmas to play at their house --where he currently lives.  Like hell I will.)  As a result, he is sociable, socialized, balanced, healthy.  I am responsible for making sure my grandson has a childhood, and grows up balanced, healthy and happy.  I am responsible for making sure he engages in activities that contribute to that, for at least the time I have any say in it.


It would be easy to say that parents need to evaluate these activities and set proper boundaries of subject matter and time spent, but apparently when it comes to these activities, some cannot even use wisdom and balance themselves.  It's pathological.  In fact,  most recent ex-boyfriend spent more time caressing his video game than he ever did with me.  He showed more enthusiasm for the games he played than he ever did with me.   He lives alone and plays alone.  He is a pathetic waste of a life too.


Don't think that I'm a virtual illiterate.  I own a computer.  I check my email daily.  And I research things of interest from time to time.  But, this show convinced me further, that people are trading  an inordinate amount of the best part of their lives for something inane, non-productive, and unhealthy.  When someone is plugged in, they are tuned out of life and what makes it worth living--chatting with your neighbor on the stoop, taking a walk to enjoy the sunset, having a conversation with a fellow human, volunteering to help someone in need, cleaning and beautifying one's living environment, spending time contemplating how to be a better person...add your own....

October 20, 2008, 7:47 am CDT

not so bad

i understand that some people can get addicted to video games, but i don't understand how husbands, wifes, and parents let this go go far.

I am engaged to person who used to play for hours on end. When we moved in together, i would not let him play for hours on end.  I set rules, i threaten to literaly pull the plug on his computer, and leaving.

I don't understand why other people who have significate others get lost in these games and wonder why their relationships are falling apart and i am glad to see of course at the last 10 min of the show they have someone to say that the games are not the issuse

October 20, 2008, 7:50 am CDT


We at strive to provide a place for all Gamer Widows and Gamer Widowers.  The forum is a safe place to get together and share their feelings and frustrations. 


We also learn about the games and their gamers.  Gamers who want to quit or are trying to quit or want to learn more about us are also welcome.


We have many Forums and venue’s that are there specifically designed to help you.


We have our General and Introductions forums that immediately give you a place to let us know about you and what you’re experiences are.


The Sort Yourself Out – Rehab Room is specifically designed for those of you who are in the middle of or have successfully beat the addiction.  Whether your addiction was gaming, smoking, eating, etc. you are welcome to get help to get through it or share your story of how you got through it.


We also have our Media Room (Current Events) and Real Life Forums to keep us informed.  Our Fun & Jokes forum is for the lighter side.


You will also find on private forums specifically designed for Widows and Widowers of gamers who are involved with MMORPG’s, Fantasy/RP games, Action/Fighting games and Sports games. 


You will find many people just like you, going through exactly what you are on 


We hope that you will accept this personal invitation and become a member our compassionate community.




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