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Video Game Play and Addiction: A Guide for Parents [Paperback]

Kourosh Dini
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

April 1 2008
Video games are a powerful and growing force in our society, and children are spending more and more time planted in front of the television or computer. But as parents, you may be worried about how they affect your children. When does play become problematic? How does video gaming fit into the general community?

Containing a wealth of information, this valuable primer answers these and other questions related to video games. Kourosh Dini, MD, a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist and gamer, has researched video gaming and presents a balanced and intelligent discussion on its advantages and disadvantages from a psychological standpoint. This primer will help parents to:

  • Gain an understanding of the allure of video games
  • See how video games can provide positive growth
  • Learn what to consider in assessing for addiction or problematic play
  • Understand the draw of community and social networking within game worlds
  • Consider the future of society and video games
Targeted to parents who want to know what's safe and what isn't for their children, Video Game Play and Addiction contains the information you need to help you navigate the twenty-first-century world of video games.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read For Parents of Gamers Jan. 29 2009
Format:Paperback
This book impressed me from the moment I cracked the cover and began reading. Kourosh Dini has written the most comprehensive, wide-view truth about game play and addiction book that I have read to-date.

In no way is this book stuffy or full of statistics and scientific mumbo-jumbo; instead, Dini uses a common-sense approach to the topic, but he does not limit his discussion solely to children who are addicted to video games. He begins by talking about the positive aspects of gaming, and why humans like to game - to learn and to enjoy the aspects of play in our lives. Play and Addiction gets extra points from me because the author discusses the fact that our school systems are very outdated and no longer meet the needs of our tech-savvy children.

Parents are also encouraged to be an active part of their child's game play - observe, participate - learn and play together. I think that this is a very important section of the book, because as parents in a high-achievement oriented business world, time to play and connect with our children can often become a lower priority. One of the biggest benefits of following Dini's suggestions is that we remain able to converse with our children, to know who they are, what they are doing, and why they like to play the games they do.

Dini freely admits that the possibility of addiction is always on the horizon, but he also encourages parents to look beyond the end-resulting addiction or obsession and investigate the underlying causes. In other words, seek professional assistance if necessary, but don't just blame video games if your child is having emotional difficulties which inevitably led to the addictive levels of play.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended For Parents, Teachers, Developers Jan. 29 2009
By T. Quiring - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book impressed me from the moment I cracked the cover and began reading. Kourosh Dini has written the most comprehensive, wide-view truth about game play and addiction book that I have read to-date.

In no way is this book stuffy or full of statistics and scientific mumbo-jumbo; instead, Dini uses a common-sense approach to the topic, but he does not limit his discussion solely to children who are addicted to video games. He begins by talking about the positive aspects of gaming, and why humans like to game - to learn and to enjoy the aspects of play in our lives. Play and Addiction gets extra points from me because the author discusses the fact that our school systems are very outdated and no longer meet the needs of our tech-savvy children.

Parents are also encouraged to be an active part of their child's game play - observe, participate - learn and play together. I think that this is a very important section of the book, because as parents in a high-achievement oriented business world, time to play and connect with our children can often become a lower priority. One of the biggest benefits of following Dini's suggestions is that we remain able to converse with our children, to know who they are, what they are doing, and why they like to play the games they do.

Dini freely admits that the possibility of addiction is always on the horizon, but he also encourages parents to look beyond the end-resulting addiction or obsession and investigate the underlying causes. In other words, seek professional assistance if necessary, but don't just blame video games if your child is having emotional difficulties which inevitably led to the addictive levels of play. His approach to investigating these problems reminds us that as parents, we are have a responsibility to our children to assist them however we can to make their way through each level of life.

The author has successfully intertwined his past and present as a gamer, a parent and a psychiatrist to compose a book which in my opinion, should be read by parents of gamers, teachers, game developers and even those who oppose video games. At only 151 pages including footnotes and bibliography, Video Game Play and Addiction can be easily read over the space of a few hours (I've read it twice), and Dini's writing style flows easily from one topic to the next, making for a very good read. He also offers a wealth of sources and resources for further investigation by parents on the topics he has covered in his book - again, suggesting that a parent be pro-active when it comes to their children and games.

As I've said above, I highly recommend this book to parents, teachers, game designers and even game opponents. I may even lend this book to my own Mother to have a read-through - after all, it's my parents' fault that I'm a gamer; they're the ones who brought home the Atari 2600 all those years ago. Oddly enough, I play games for many of the same reasons which Dini addressed in the first few chapters of his book, so I believe I can truthfully say that the author knows of that which he writes.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must-have not only for parents but also public library collections, in today's video game saturated culture March 17 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Gamer and expert psychologist Kourosh Dini presents Video Game Play and Addiction: A Guide for Parents, a no-nonsense primer accessible to readers everywhere who may or may not be familiar with the diversity of video games, their allure, and the positive benefits of playing them as well as the negative consequences of obsessive addiction or problematic play. Chapters discuss how video games can further a child's education (one example is Dance Dance Revolution, a physical activity game that has actually been used in school Phy. Ed. programs), and how to discern problematic or addictive play from normal gaming (there isn't any one magic litmus test - one must consider a vast host of questions such as "Does your child feel preoccupied while gaming to the point that she cannot concentrate on other tasks?"). Perhaps most intriguing is an unbiased discussion of violence in video games that presents the results of multiple studies made about the phenomenon. "The general consensus is that most players game without an increase in violent acts. The literature suggests that, in the case of pathology, a player brings some problems to the game while the game may influence the shape of the problems that arise... In my own clinical experience, those who have the most difficulty with games causing either violent or addictive behavior, tend to have many of the same problems that set the stage for other addictions: family troubles, difficulties in regulating emotions, poor self-esteem, etc. More often, the detriment I find with patients has not been violence but rather the decreased time spent with school, friends, or family as a result of playing games." An absolute must-have not only for parents but also public library collections, in today's video game saturated culture.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Bare Basics April 9 2013
By Trixie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is good for parents/adults who know absolutely nothing about video/computer games, but not much more. There were some things I liked about this book but I found most of the information obvious, and I consider myself to know very little about video games.

What I liked about this book was how it presented benefits and good things about video games first. I feel that can comfort parents more than just jumping into the negatives. It also had the basics of the video game rating system so a parent can tell whether a game is appropriate, and signs of addiction. However, I think there were more things about this book I disliked than liked. First of all, this is REALLY just the bare minimum of information on video games. Like I said, I only know a few facts about video games, and this taught me nothing new. Along with that, this book is pathetically short. What they don't mention on the site is that great deal of the "166 pages" is bibliography. There is literally a bibliography after EVERY single chapter. Also, the sections on addiction in this book was almost solely based on World of Warcraft and similar games, which are mainly played by adults and teens, not young children. There was not much information on addiction to other sorts of video games, or the addiction of young children.

So this is a short, basics book that's good for adults who know literally NOTHING about video games, and want reassurance and some minor education on what their kids are into. But if you want more in depth information about the effects of video games on children or addiction, look elsewhere. Needless to say, I'm going to be looking for a book with better info.
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative. March 27 2014
By Robert F. Shortlidge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Purchased this book as a reference for a school project. It provided details and facts I couldn't just look up online.
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