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Video games cited as factor in divorces

Andrew Wooden
Video games cited as factor in divorces

The site looked at divorces filed by women using its service from January to April 2011. In cases that claimed unreasonable behaviour, 15 per cent of wives said that gaming addiction was part of the problem

One example was Jessica Ellis (pictured) from London, who married husband Michael in 2008. In 2009 Jessica noticed that his hobby suddenly worsened. She said: "He was addicted to World of Warcraft but played other games now and then. When it became serious he was playing up to eight hours a day and I threatened to leave.

"He then stopped playing World of Warcraft for a while and started playing Call of Duty instead, but the amount he was playing just gradually increased until I could not take it any more.

"It got so bad that he even organised to play on the day of our second wedding anniversary. I was constantly trying to get him to cut back but he didn't think he had a problem or was doing anything wrong until I told him I wanted to leave but by that time it was too late."

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Ryan G Van Cleave, author of Unplugged: My Journey Into the Dark World of Video Game Addiction, felt one issue was the disconnect between gamers and people who don't play. He commented: "A lot of the problem spouses encounter with video game addiction is that the non-gamer doesn't appreciate that it's an addiction. This means it's not a choice to spend so much time in the virtual environment versus time with the spouse and family. It's a compulsion.

"Trying to explain video game addiction to a non-addict is a lot like trying to explain to a fish what it's like to drive a car.

"The reality is that with the proper professional support, a video game addict, like any other addict, can overcome the addiction."

 

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