What in the World of Warcraft is This Guy Thinking?

GypsyNester Boomerang Kid

One of our readers sent me an email that really touched me:

I am not completely an empty nester unfortunately. My 20 year old son was not able to return to college this fall because of the lack of loans and grants available to him. So now he is doing nothing except for playing the computer game WoW (World of Warcraft) most of his waking hours. He did just purchase a small business that will make him a small living, but I pray he goes back to college. He is very bright and it would be such a waste if he didn’t. –Hannah

Hannah, my heart goes out to you. As a mother of three adult children who has gone though the college years with all of its glories and pitfalls, I can only try to put myself in your shoes and let you know what I would do:

My son would need to get a game plan — and fast. Otherwise, by the time he gets his face out of the fake world of online gaming, this crucial part of his life will have passed him by. After all, none of his gaming gear would be there to assist him in real life. I would need to take action soon or I would find myself enabling my son to continue this lifestyle indefinitely. And that would be tragic.

I would sit down with my son and have the BIG TALK and have David on board as well. My emotional ducks would need to be in a row beforehand, strength is necessary for chats like these — my son’s future is at stake.

I would start by asking if it is his desire to return to college. If the answer is no (and let’s hope not), the discussion becomes clear. I would insist he move out. He needs to get a second job while he builds his business and to pay his own rent (and internet access). People do it everyday. Staying under my roof is only going to hurt him and he will continue down the same path.

He is 20 years old, a man, and needs to start acting like one. Period.

If the answer is yes, he needs to keep up with his studies. I would have brochures for local community colleges on hand. Encourage him to research the classes that offer credits transferable to the university he plans to attend. Explain to him that university admissions officers will be more willing to accept him back into the fold if he shows the drive to continue his education no matter what his circumstances.

In addition to school, he must get a job. I know how rough the job market is and it might not be the work he wants, but it’s the real world and he’ll love getting out in it (my kids worked in restaurants all through college to offset costs and it didn’t kill them — it was actually good for them).

What if my Adult Child is Addicted to Online Gaming?

Hannah, there is a possible screw in the works that you need to be aware of.

MMORPGs (Massively multiplayer online role-playing games) like World of Warcraft are an increasing concern for parents and members of the mental health community. It is currently listed as a condition warranting more clinical research by the American Psychiatric Association.

Addiction to online gaming has been linked to job loss, the college dropout rate, stunted social skills and death. I’m not kidding about the death part. Treatment facilities are cropping up all over the world, including residency programs in Europe, Asia and the United States.

If you feel your son needs help kicking WoW, there is help and, I encourage you to read this message from Online Gamers Anonymous:

Help! I think my adult child is addicted to video games!

I hope at least some of this helps you Hannah, and I wish the best of life to you and your son,

Veronica, GypsyNester.com

YOUR TURN: You’ve read what I’d do under these circumstances, what would YOU suggest Hannah do?

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14 thoughts on “What in the World of Warcraft is This Guy Thinking?”

  1. Forbid him from playing as a condition of being in the house … if he really wants to play, he should focus on his business or get a job, then move out and then he can play WoW to his heart’s content if he so chooses!

  2. Before you sit down to talk to anybody about their addiction to gaming make sure you are not sitting for hours watching TV every evening. Gaming is an interaction between people that is another form of escape. Many times there are lessons to be learn in gaming like social interaction and working together to reach a goal. That is way more than watching a soap opera on TV. Like any escape it needs to be planned. Like going to Las Vegas. You visit there but then get back to business.

  3. I couldn’t stand playing games all day, so how on earth could adult males, with all that testasterone stand it?

  4. I totally agree with you on this one.I know WOW is totally addictive. My son was addicted enough that when he came to visit a few Christmas’ ago he went and bought a TV cuz he didn’t like the one in the guest room. Now that is carrying it way to far. He is a Naval man, a submarine Nuke and when he had land service in Hawaii he had all the time in the world. I do thank goodness that he was able to buckle down when back at sea although it was available at certain times when the boat could have internet, which wasn’t often.
    This acted like a way to a mean, to give up that damn game, and save money as well. I cannot believe that the kids nowadays spend money, mula, cash on things for their characters, like special weapons, new armor,etc. And expensive.
    An example, my daughter played a game where they design their own emoticon, room, etc, and she sold all her stuff together as she needed money and made close to $1600 for this stuff. $1600? Teach me to play. But she doesn’t play anymore and is getting ready to complete her final year for a BA for Business Admin. and I am proud of her and that she realized she needed to get rid of game and made money.
    Tke kids sitting on their butts paying that kind of money is so unreal.
    Thank you for the great topic, and either he needs to cont. school or get out.

  5. I don’t necessarily mind my children coming back home, as we all need some type of help from time to time. Besides, I am totally in love with my boys 🙂

    However, let me be clear, I don’t condone free loading or slothfulness on any level. My boys have this saying, “Mom and Dad, man… they are always kicking somebody out of the house.” Well, let’s be clear, it is my house, my room, my bed, shoot… it’s even my pillow case that you rest your pretty little head on. And that head… I paid for the haircut!!!

    As much as I am going to miss those sweet cheeks that resemble mine, I know that teaching independence at an early age is important to adult children exercising the knowledge the gained throughout the years.

    Now, I can’t say I agree with taking money for rent and such and then giving it back. If we are teaching them to be real men and women, guess what, you don’t get rent back. I have never given my children their rent back. Not one penny. What did I apply the money to? Rent, their food, the water so they could continue to wash their clothes and their adult hiney’s, and other household necessities.

    I tell you, life is sure rough and tough, even for me. I can’t let my boys slip through the cracks. If so, they will not be fully functional in a dog-eat-dog-kinda-world.

    I know, I am rambling… 🙂

  6. I enjoy this blog because I can relate to it. I found it while searching for ways to get my son to move out…for good.

    I know a number of parents with adult children living at home. Some of these unfortunate parents not only have kids but grandkids living with them. Say goodbye to having the house to yourselves, your retirement fund and your extended vacation.

    My son has boomeranged home several times, usually with a girlfriend in tow. It’s a very difficult situation when you have so many people living in a small house.

    I’d like to have him out for good, as I never know when he’s going to turn up.

    Unfortunately, this situation is all too common.

  7. I wholeheartedly agree that the kid needs a reality check, big time. If Hannah hasn’t taught him self sufficiency when he was growing up, it’s time for a crash course. The kid is going to be plenty pissed off at first….they need to set a timetable for this. First off he needs to get a job doing something — doing anything. Working at McDonalds, walking dogs, shoveling snow, whatever. I notice she says he bought a business, so what’s going on with that? Is he working? Apparently not–if he’s still playing games.

    The second step is to teach him some basics about money management… rent, food, gas, insurance, beer money, movie money…get busy adding up how much it costs.

    Third, take action. Set a timetable. Did you give him 2 months, 3 months, to save up enough to pay the security deposit on an apartment? How about furniture? Does he have champagne taste or is a couch from a garage sale good enough? What about household goods – plates, silverware, towels, sheets, cleaning supplies? Has he ever heard of the Salvation Army or Goodwill? You can get a lot of stuff there for not a lot of money.

    Last, and sorry, Hannah, he IS smart. He found out a way to get you to support him while he plays video games. Either he wants to go to school or he doesn’t. If he wants to go that badly then if you agree, he can save money while living with you, in order to pay for his education. He can go to the community college and take 1 or 2 classes per semester. If he doesn’t want to go that badly then you oughta take action as stated above.

    Yep, who wants your kids around when they are 30 and raising a family of their own?

  8. Hum….my experience with two children who have dropped out of college was that it is important to make it clear that they are going to have to support themselves if they are not in college…..starting NOW….like give them a close deadline to do their own thing. I said something like: “I don’t agree with your decision, but I respect your right to make it. You are a grown up now, making your own decisions. I wish you the very best, but I can not support an independent adult. You will need to find a place to live by the first of the month.”

    Then I STuCK TO IT. Amazing things happened. Once they moved out, life had a way of teaching them the lessons they needed to learn. If I had not done this at that time, they would have not had the “opportuntiy” to learn.

    It wasn’t pretty to watch, but it was what they needed, just as much as they needed to be spanked when they ran into the street at three years old. I kept reminding myself of that….everytime, I felt weak around the knees.

    They’re doing great now…!!!


  9. Be aware gaming can be a very good career. Maybe not WOW but there many opportunities in OLG and gaming in general to be had that can be very profitable. Even the military is looking for good gamers. This is a billion dollar industry. I am not discounting problems. There are various serious problems that can occur with OLG. It is not to be taken lightly. But there are more possibilities than in professional sports.

  10. Hi, There is a much larger problem present. Unless you want to have your son living in the basement at the age of 40 I suggest you disconnect the Internet immediately. Seriously, turn off the cable or DSL. The big talk should include a generous but specific time when as to when he is in school, or in his own apartment.

    Good Luck

  11. What kind of business will make you a living while you’re spending all your time on line??? I’d like to buy into several like that…

    Where did the money come from to buy the business, while he doesn’t have enough to get back into school???

    Your advice was spot on. The decision is 1) If he’s really serious about going back to school that fact has to be demonstrated by his willingness to devote a LOT of time to getting a DETAILED plan in place to do it. It should have specific objectives and specific dates. If circumstances change (beyond his control) he must come up with a recovery plan – with action items he is to take and a new schedule for taking them.

    If this is unacceptable to him, then you’re right again. Set a reasonable, near-term schedule for him to be out of the house.

    The real world ain’t easy and it ain’t fair – but it’s the only world we’ve got and we’ve got to live in it.

    Tough love – by far the best you can do for him.

  12. great advice.
    I like the blog.

    I sometimes worry I am addicted to a facebook game, mafia wars.
    No Mummy to look after me ( well, not right here anyway)

    I must pull myself together and stop playing the damn game!

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