Whether yours is the kind of family with "screen time" limits or the type that takes a more laissez-faire approach to logging in, there comes a point when enough is enough. Plenty of pixels and ink have been devoted to the debate over whether or not internet and gaming overuse should be considered an "addiction." What we're here to discuss is how gaming affects your family. As parents who game, we should be in a unique position to appreciate, respect and guide our children's attraction to games. But sometimes in the crush of day-to-day living, it's easy to let those last few minutes slip into half an hour ... past an hour ... into the evening ... into a habit that's begun eating away at family balance.
To help parents recognize when their children's gaming may have passed what's reasonable and productive for them as individuals, we touched base with psychiatrist Dr. Kourosh Dini (author of Video Game Play and Addiction: A Guide for Parents and himself a gamer). Statistics on gaming use, he explains, show that most gamers manage to balance gaming with their daily lives without negative consequences. "In fact ... sometimes what one can gain from a game is quite profound," he observes. "The person's mind and the video games together set the stage – either for benefit or for detriment." A gaming schedule that suffocates one child's motivation and energy might buoy another through social problems at school. Our mission: to keep the mix healthy, productive and fun.