Gaming, specifically massive multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGS), was my drug of choice for years. Where else can I become a badass blue-skinned Draenei shaman who duel wields maces in one moment, or a night elf shadow priest who melts faces and offheals for raids of 15-40 people? Gaming has been a gift and a curse for many, including myself. With our culture's increased use of technology, there may be a need to address the reality of internet and gaming addiction. Seeking balance can be an important aspect of any behavior, even one that gives so much joy and creative beauty.

It can be a great escape when life becomes too stressful, or a chance to be a hero or villain one's always wished of becoming, and it can also help bring people across the globe together for a unified cause. It may be difficult for non-gamers to understand how important gaming can be to many.

I offer coaching that is gamer-affirmative.

This approach acknowledges that gaming is an essential part of a person's life. There are real memories created with real people, and the investment of time is very important in honoring when talking about gaming. It is not just a hobby. It can be a person's lifeline to the outside world, a chance to process issues, and/or opportunity to spark creative exploration.

WORKING WITH A GEEK OR GAMER:

Each person has a unique situation, and here are some things we may be able to work on together:

  • Identify and implement strategies to reduce problematic gameplay (insert hobby or behavior here)
  • Learn how gaming (or any of your interests) can be strengths in life and when to apply them
  • Improve social skills through communication exercises, and developing self awareness
  • Learning perspectives of others with homework and activities (yes I assign readings & homework!)
  • Build trust with your loved ones and strengthen healthier habits by working on smaller, achievable goals 
  • Connect with loved ones by expanding on how we all see games or playing together
  • Create community through self-acceptance and finding your tribe

WORKING WITH LOVED ONES:

It's important to work with loved ones when possible. If open to collaboration, here's what we can try:

  • Parents: learn about developmental stages your child is working through, and how to model emotional regulation and boundaries (I will assign readings & videos)
  • Discuss discipline versus punishment and age-appropriate consequences
  • Learn about escalation and de-escalation with conflict, language choice, and family rules for problem solving
  • Communication and self regulation exercises will be identified and practiced together
  • Identify how gaming (or behavior) affects the relationship, what your relationship needs are, the alternatives to getting them met, and compromises (if any)
  • Gradually create ritual or family bonding through agreed-upon activities (taking turns to share individual interests)
Contact me today to see how I can help you or a loved one: organizedmesses@gmail.com or (949) 381-1894

Rachel Moore MFT (a therapist for creatives in San Diego) and I speak on our podcast about video games. Please enjoy the conversation. For more podcasts, visit: www.sparklespodcast.com

Dustin Weissman, Psy.D. and I chat about online gaming and technology, and how our work supports the community. Dustin serves the Los Angeles area. If you are looking for a group or individual therapy, learn more about his work here: www.dustinweissman.com/

Organized Messes Blogs & Videos on Gaming

Banner image: PERSONAL VIDEO GAME LIBRARY, JIM PICARDO, INTP