Video Game Addictions

Video game addictions are one of the most common things that we see when working with others with Asperger’s. Not only do we see them, but I was heavily into video games growing up, and spent most of my years through Junior High & High School playing video games, instead of socializing.

Watch the video below to learn what to do about this:

18 thoughts on “Video Game Addictions

  1. “There will be video games whether you like it or not.” I find this to be a micro-aggressive comment and a total defense mechanism that can be used by the Aspbegers community. Smacks of desperation (“Don’t think you can take our video games away from us!”). Viewers…don’t believe this part of the video. I think his explanation of WHY AS kids/adults game is spot on. I don’t think he understands fully what can be done when you eliminate and replace. I have an AS husband and 3 AS children and several NT children (second marriage). Believe me, YOU CAN take the video games away and guide the child to replacement activities mixing with neuro-typicals and thus helping an AS person find more fulfillment than a game ever could. Caution! Most AS kids can’t do “a little” gaming. It’s almost always too much. Don’t be afraid to get kids involved in Boy or Girl Scouts, community volunteering, hiking, music programs, and keep them out of kids homes that play a ton of games. Limiting games to Christmas break with family (and only as a social experience) and no other time, has worked for us! For us, the games of choice at the top of the list are movement games on the Kinect or maybe something completely social and enjoyed together for a limited amount of time.

  2. Thank you so much for this video, I will be following you on facebook for more helpful videos. My son is believed to have Asperger’s by 2 social workers and 3 teachers so we joined the waiting list for an appointment for an official diagnosis. Unfortunately it is difficult to find ways to help him from google searches while we wait. I love hearing about what he is dealing with from someone who has it as well!

  3. I am so associating with Linda here and feel we are dealing with exactly the same issue. Five years ago it was the guitar obsession that of course made him the phenomenally talented guitarist he is. When we started looking at colleges, he was told by three professors that there was nothing more they could teach him. He was at that level. He started college with a full 4 yr music scholarship and was doing awesome…..for 2 months. Then the overwhelm happened and he crashed. He quit school….felt like he had disappointed everyone and everyone hated him. He dropped not only school but ALL his friends. To me it seemed like he was trying to punish himself for what he thought was as inexcusable failure on his part. There is NO talking about school….none. The subject is completely taboo. I’ve tried assuring him that lots of people quit school because it’s not for them. Or they quit and go back. Even a famous local guitarist here told him he had done the same thing. That he had to be ready for school and went back when he felt he was. Course he isn’t an aspie. Guilt is a huge problem we have…..and reassurances of his choice to quit don’t seem to help. Right now gaming is his only activity besides a once a week studio visit and a once every other month recital where he has two to three rehearsals a week interacting with the other hand members at rehearsals only….does the recital…..and then it’s right back to back to the video games. This has been going on for 2 yrs. He still has friends trying to reach out to him, but he will not respond to them at all. I’m at a loss on what to do, but will definitely try what Danny has recommended on what the games are providing over his music. I can handle the music obsession with no problem because he used to perform with his band almost every weekend. He was so happy then. Now……can’t think of his last smile. Well he might have smiled once during his last recital. Not sure. I know that he enjoys playing……but won’t make the effort to form another band. And he has a few that would love to have him. He even has his songs on iTunes and spotify. Is he associating what he thinks his biggest failure is (quitting school and throwing away his scholarship) with being happy again playing? I cry most every night when I think of him playing again. Course I cry every time I hear him play as well. He has a gift….and he’s been told he’s gifted. So my quarry is why doesn’t he want to play more? Why now video games instead?

  4. Absolutely AMAZING you two, working towards giving this world an understanding of people struck by this (such as myself) and especially those who are addicted to gaming, being my primary past time. I loved the video and your guides with it’s tips. Never stop being amazing.

    Ps. Danny, what do I do if I don’t have anything I can find I like aside from gaming in a scenario where they would be taken off of me?

  5. Was wondering today if I could get my 19 yr old son to look at life as a video game to be played since he is into gaming. He did poorly his first semester in college, he blames the teachers as he did in high school and community college. He keeps refusing help and tries to do it on his own. I know he uses forums to help figure out video games so was thinking of approaching him with the idea that when he can’t get past a level in a video game he doesn’t keep doing the same thing but he goes to seek help. Video games are fun to play because they challenge us and we can look at life as a challenge to have fun trying to conquer. Don’t know that he’ll listen but I might try it.


  7. My son aged 20 is so addicted. He has no social life, no friends. When he is on the computer he feels like someone famous, everyone wants to be his friend because he is very good on the games. He comes alive and feels that he is important. He speaks to many people across the world. I have tried many ways to replace his addiction but nothing. Only causes just chaos and meltdowns . This is something we are currently battling with. All I am able to control is the Internet connection which I switch off at 11pm. I feel that there is nothing I can do to help his addiction he is getting more and more addicted to his computer.

  8. My son is 12 and he has this obsession with Mario Kart. In the beginning, it was a gradual obsession and now at 12, he has to play with something like the 3DS, ipad, Wii, and the phone all the time, on the way to and from somewhere, while he is waiting, when we are shopping, etc. He says that it is something to do while he is waiting but it has become like the first thing he wants to do in the morning and the last thing he wants to do at night. I know Danny said that we should try to find what needs the gaming is fulfilling and replace that need with something else while reducing the video gaming, however, how do I go about identify this need? Can you recommend some steps in doing this? We are fast approaching the argumentative stage related to the gaming and I so distraught by this.

    Does puberty have anything to do with this obsession also? Any suggestions are deeply appreciated. thanks

  9. In middle school, did you play games like Doom, Portal, Half Life? My son has Aspergers & is almost 13. He has a strong interest in Sci-Fi theme games & books. He wants to be able to play FPS games like many of his peers. We have agreed to Portal but not the other games because of the violence. He is figuring out ways to play& we discuss. But the more we discuss the more he wants to play.

    Any suggestions on other games he can play that are not so violent but have the Sci-Fi theme?

    1. I know it’s been a while since you posted this, but there are definitely other cool non violent sci-fi games. Faster than Light (or FTL) is a great top down Real time strategy game where you control a ship and it’s crew. Like Portal the game encourages problem solving, not puzzle based problems but cool tactical ones that will help with multitasking. It’s only like 10 dollars on steam and the games usually last about 30 to 40 minutes so it’s really easy to keep track of time played and allot your child some game time in sections. The Star Wars games, such as Knights of the Old Republic and even the MMO are kid friendly as well.

  10. Hi, I would just like to thank you for the videos. My little brother has Aspurgers and wasn’t diagnosed till 16. We have had the hardest time trying to find a way to connect and help him. I’m going to use the tips in your videos and let him see them. Maybe then he won’t feel so alone. Once again I would just like to say THANK YOU!!

    1. Honestly, if we made a video/blog post on every single obsession, that would be in the thousands, so instead we try to teach general advice that can be applied to any area. Here’s the key: Look for what emotions the addiction/obsession is filling, and then give those in another way.

  11. Danny,
    I like the tips you offer in this video. How, though, can a college-age Aspie who is living on his own address this? Do you have any video clips where you speak directly to 18-22 year olds who are on their own and struggling with video game addiction?



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