Mother Says World of Warcraft Turned Her Child Into Aggressive School-Skipping HunchbackS

A mother writes in to Australia's Telegraph to complain that World of Warcraft has turned her 13-year-old son into an aggressive computer addict who skips school and threatens violence if pulled away from his game.

She says the boy, who is bigger than she is, missed most of his schooling this year and most of last year as well. She's tried talking to him, can't physically move him because he outweighs her, and has even gotten the school and police involved.

"We have spoken to the school and they have spoken to him but he is not worried about it at all," she writes. "We have called the police because he gets aggressive when you take the computer away.

"He starts punching holes through the walls, throwing things around and threatening you."

She said before buying the game for her son two years ago he was a healthy kid who liked to play sports, now, she says, he's even going slightly hunchbacked.

The anonymous writer didn't go to the newspaper just to cast blame on games, but as a call for help. There is no support for this sort of problem in Australia, she writes, because computer addiction is so relatively new.

She believes this is true addiction, something you can't tackle by simply taking away the computer.

"You are dealing with aggression, anger, swearing, pushing, punching," she writes. "We need support from the government to open up facilities around Australia, places for children to wean off it."

She's tried everything, including having mental health services come to her home and speaking to a judge. A psychiatrist is suggesting putting the boy into the hospital because his health is deteriorating.

This is the face of a new sort of problem modern parents may start to find themselves facing. It's also one that psychologists continue to struggle with classifying. I know that my wife and I keep a careful eye on how much gaming our 10-year-old does. We've got a timer set up on his console. We don't allow him to game during the school week. If it's nice out we kick him outside. I even have him doing exercise to earn gaming time.

That may sound a little excessive, but Tristan has friends who spend nearly all of their downtime playing games inside. As much as I love gaming, and want Tristan to experience some of the wonders of discovery in virtual worlds, there's plenty I want him to see and do outside as well.

What do you do as a gaming parent, to limit your child's gaming habits?

Do you think you were addicted to games as a child? Hit me up on email at brian@kotaku.com if you're willing to chat about it.

Mother explains her 13-year-old son's aggression and computer addiction [The Telegraph]


You can contact Brian Crecente, the author of this post, at brian@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.