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astro
03-01-2010, 06:11 PM
Huge time wasting, academic failure and life destroying problem with his gaming addiction.

Internet explorer settings, wireless router restrictions? What are my options.

Any way to do this that won't be subject to his Warcraft buddies telling him how to get around it?

garygnu
03-01-2010, 06:16 PM
Assuming you want to leave the internet connection available, uninstall the programs and periodically check to see that they're not re-installed. Also, keep an eye on him.

Duckster
03-01-2010, 06:17 PM
In all honesty and directness? Remove the network cable/network card if computer use is still needed to do homework. If homework requires Internet access, too bad. He can use the computer at school.

Think of this as an addiction on his part. Think your response to his addiction as intervention/tough love.

Palooka
03-01-2010, 06:22 PM
Install Ubuntu.

astro
03-01-2010, 06:29 PM
Assuming you want to leave the internet connection available, uninstall the programs and periodically check to see that they're not re-installed. Also, keep an eye on him.

He lives with his mother not me, and she is not willing to do anything re monitoring this. All I can do is tweak his PC.

astro
03-01-2010, 06:30 PM
In all honesty and directness? Remove the network cable/network card if computer use is still needed to do homework. If homework requires Internet access, too bad. He can use the computer at school.

Think of this as an addiction on his part. Think your response to his addiction as intervention/tough love.

Ethernet port is on the motherboard, non removable and he needs net connection for emailing assignments.

Harmonious Discord
03-01-2010, 06:32 PM
World of Warcraft Parental Control F.A.Q. (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/faq/parental-control-faq-small.html)

I think you will find something like the above is available for Diablo also.

MatthewGerlach
03-01-2010, 06:40 PM
If you've got Windows Vista you can create an Administrative account and set up Parent Control, in which you dictate when and for how long he can use the internet and which programs are and aren't restricted. (I don't know if you can do this on Windows XP or any other operating system).

Chronos
03-01-2010, 07:03 PM
Is uninstalling the programs and taking away the installation discs too obvious?

furryman
03-01-2010, 07:17 PM
Unless the mother is willing to intervene I'd say your out of luck.

Simplicio
03-01-2010, 07:20 PM
Is uninstalling the programs and taking away the installation discs too obvious?

I doubt Diablo has any meaningful DRM, so he could just borrow friends disks and re-install. But if its a more modern OS, you could manage his permissions to keep him from being able to reinstall anything instead of just taking the disks.

Obsidian
03-01-2010, 07:25 PM
I don't know anything about Diablo, but WoW requires a credit card, doesn't it? Can't you cancel the account? (Or is his mother paying for it?)

Lobohan
03-01-2010, 07:26 PM
Pull his graphics card and use the onboard if available or the shittiest card you can find. I'm assuming he doesn't have a couple hundred to drop on a better card.

ZipperJJ
03-01-2010, 07:26 PM
Aren't those pay games? How is he paying for his access?

Palooka
03-01-2010, 07:32 PM
Neither is a subscription game and both are so graphically undemanding that the previous two suggestions are likely ineffective.

I'm pretty sure the OP is talking about Warcraft III instead of World of Warcraft.

Sage Rat
03-01-2010, 07:32 PM
The solution that I think most families use is to station the computer in a public place.

astro
03-01-2010, 07:52 PM
Neither is a subscription game and both are so graphically undemanding that the previous two suggestions are likely ineffective.

I'm pretty sure the OP is talking about Warcraft III instead of World of Warcraft.

It's World of Warcraft. He wheedles and begs the money off his sister to let him use her debit card.

Really Not All That Bright
03-01-2010, 07:52 PM
I don't know anything about Diablo, but WoW requires a credit card, doesn't it? Can't you cancel the account? (Or is his mother paying for it?)
I'm pretty sure you can buy prepaid cards for WoW at places like GameStop.

astro
03-01-2010, 07:54 PM
Pull his graphics card and use the onboard if available or the shittiest card you can find. I'm assuming he doesn't have a couple hundred to drop on a better card.

Tht's how we went from WOW and and Nvidia 8800 to Diablo using onboard video. He just went back to the old school Diablo that would play on his machine (and was free) when I pulled the video card.

Punoqllads
03-01-2010, 07:58 PM
Diablo II requires the game CD to be present to start. Take away the CD, poof, "No Diablo for you!" even if the game is installed. Note that there are two versions of the game, the base version and the expansion version. He's probably playing the expansion, which means the game CD would be "Diablo II: Lord of Destruction". This won't help if he has friends willing to loan him their CD, though, but that would mean that they couldn't play the game, then.

But for any technological solution there is a technological workaround. And with a sufficiently motivated user, a workaround will eventually be found. The best long-term solutions are social solutions, such as to placing the computer in a public area that is easily viewable from different parts of the house.

As for World of Warcraft, you could get in contact with his guild, and ask them for help. If there are responsible folks in the guild, they could provide additional social pressure on him, too.

lazybratsche
03-01-2010, 08:23 PM
Diablo II requires the game CD to be present to start. Take away the CD, poof, "No Diablo for you!" even if the game is installed. Note that there are two versions of the game, the base version and the expansion version. He's probably playing the expansion, which means the game CD would be "Diablo II: Lord of Destruction". This won't help if he has friends willing to loan him their CD, though, but that would mean that they couldn't play the game, then.

If he's just playing single player, this won't stop anything. It's trivial to find cracks or patches that allow play without the CD. I think taking the CD will prevent online play, but I'm not sure...

ETA: There's also really not much you can do, software-wise, that will hold up without some amount of supervision. You can't keep the computer secure and locked down if he has physical access. And, at least at first, he'll direct all of the time and cleverness he's currently using for gaming on how to get around your restrictions. I know I did when I was in his place many years ago...

Dag Otto
03-01-2010, 08:25 PM
Or just take the damn computer away from him.


edited to add: Of course, this assumes cooperation from mom. Doesn't sound likely.

BigT
03-01-2010, 08:26 PM
You are not going to be able to cripple the computer enough to stop something as low system requirements as Diablo.

It sounds like your main problem is online play, right? Others will have to back me up on this, but wouldn't restricting access to battle.net work? I believe the modern version requires all data to run through that server, rather than connecting the players directly like it used to.

If so, you ought to be able to block port 1119 (http://us.battle.net/faq/index.html) and/or the IP address of battle.net (12.129.242.40) in the firewall.* Heck, if you've got the administrator accounts locked down, you could probably add that IP to the hosts file.

*Most routers I've seen now have built-in firewalls. I don't know about cable modems, but most DSL modems are now also routers.

ETA: You can definitely get around any CD requirements. (Yes, and even get online.) I don't think I've ever let a game require me to insert the CD. It defeats the purpose of having a hard drive.

Harmonious Discord
03-01-2010, 08:36 PM
That's what the WOW solution was. Setting the parent controls for battle.net. Maybe it's only possible for the WOW accounts, but I think there is a good possibility it's any game played on battle.net

Harmonious Discord
03-01-2010, 08:41 PM
I see that battle net accounts don't require a paid fee, so I'm guessing he could just set up a new one.

MannyL
03-01-2010, 10:17 PM
How much access do you have to the computer? I'm thinking
Install Windows Steady State http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/sharedaccess/default.mspx and have him save his documents to a flash drive. This will cause him to have to reinstall all software that you don't have installed and if you edit the hosts file to redirect the site you log in for diablo at to 127.0.0.1 he won't be able to get one.

Vihaga
03-01-2010, 10:19 PM
I see that battle net accounts don't require a paid fee, so I'm guessing he could just set up a new one.

The battle.net account that's linked to his WoW account is the one you want, but you'll have to get the username and password from him. Of course, he can always change the email account associated with it.

If he has an authenticator attached to his WoW account, you can always take that. That keeps him out of everything unless he has it.

/edit: Everything meaning both his WoW and battle.net accounts, so he can't change anything in account management (ie. parental controls) without it.

Duckster
03-01-2010, 10:47 PM
Unless the mother is willing to intervene I'd say your out of luck.

This. It appears he runs circles around his mother and he scams cash from sister. So your "fight" isn't with him as much as it's with his enablers. Plus he sounds bright enough to try almost anything to keep playing on the computer.

The computer is only a symptom. Unless his mother (and sister) stop the enabling, it appears your uphill battle is steeper than you realize.

Rigamarole
03-01-2010, 10:56 PM
The fact is that if he's smart enough, there's not much you can do to limit his play (while continuing to allow him use of a PC with a 'net connection) that he can't get around. I say this as someone who has formerly had major MMO addiction issues.

You really have to look at the root of the problem. Game addiction is real and not particularly easy to overcome.

Fastidiots
03-01-2010, 11:05 PM
he'll direct all of the time and cleverness he's currently using for gaming on how to get around your restrictions. I know I did when I was in his place many years ago...You're S.O.L. with his mother unwilling to help. He'll find work arounds to anything you do to his hardware, and if you delete his account or characters he'll just go to a gaming cafe and play there. All deleted characters/disabled accounts can be restored by the WoW staff upon request.

Depending on what kind of guild he's in, they MIGHT be sympathetic to your cause, and they might hate your guts for invading their realm. Deleting characters/accounts might be devestating enough to warrant some introspection, or might just galvanized his resolve, or provide another challenge.

Gaming addiction is a funny thing. Beyond treating his body poorly, and ignoring school, there are worse addictions. It's a lifestyle you work yourself into, though by no means am I saying this isn't destructive or a serious issue, perhaps you'll find more success in trying to focus his energy in a creative way with gaming.

It's a tough one! Best of luck to you.

Mr. Excellent
03-01-2010, 11:10 PM
Heh. I don't know about "addiction" - but I played a lot of computer games in high school, to the extent that it wrecked my grades pretty thoroughly. Failed senior physics, D in senior english, and so on. (Oddly enough, I played a lot of Diablo too. Is it wrong to be pleased that modern slackers are appreciating the classics?)

I know it stinks - but honestly, as the other posters have said, there's not a lot to be done without at least Mom's cooperation in controlling the PC - and even then, it'll be tricky, unless you're at least as computer-savvy as your kid. (When I was having problems, my parents tried taking the PC power cord. That worked for about a day - then I grabbed a power cord from the computer lab at my high school, and used that whenever my parents stepped out and took their cord with them.)

I'm skeptical about the "addiction" label that gets thrown around for this sort of thing - is your kid just bored? That was my problem - and for what it's worth, it turned out all right. I ended up going to a no-name college - but I took classes I was very interested in, graduated summa cum laude, and went to a top-tier law school thereafter. I'm now a respectable government lawyer with a good chance at becoming a slightly less-respectable but much more fun nonprofit lawyer. :D

My point is: It's important to try and get your kid to do his work. But if he really does screw up high school - and he will, if he's determined - all is not lost.

RandomLetters
03-02-2010, 08:14 AM
Seriously consider the install Ubuntu (or some other flavor of Linux) suggested by Palooka. It will be perfectly adequate for him to do his school work on; I doubt any school work would be complex enough to run into any compatibility issues with OpenOffice vs Microsoft Office file formats, and Firefox on Linux is pretty much the same as Firefox on Windows. And just set up his user account as unable to install programs, so he can't try and get Diablo running with WINE.

Omar Little
03-02-2010, 08:24 AM
Doesn't NetNanny allow you to block those types of programs?

CandidGamera
03-02-2010, 08:26 AM
The latest patch for Diablo II allows you to play without the CD.

If you were running Windows 7, you can actually specifically lock certain programs for certain users..

Your best bet is the network level intervention, if you can find a way to make it stick. Editing the hosts file, blocking firewall ports - but it has to be done in a way he can't just undo it.

Mr. Excellent
03-02-2010, 08:54 AM
Seriously consider the install Ubuntu (or some other flavor of Linux) suggested by Palooka. It will be perfectly adequate for him to do his school work on; I doubt any school work would be complex enough to run into any compatibility issues with OpenOffice vs Microsoft Office file formats, and Firefox on Linux is pretty much the same as Firefox on Windows. And just set up his user account as unable to install programs, so he can't try and get Diablo running with WINE.

This sounds like it would work. :) Take care, though, to backup your kid's homework first.

minor7flat5
03-02-2010, 09:01 AM
I simply throttle all access to the Internet for my kids down to an hour or two a day by using two networks—one for me and one for them.

Here's the whole story, with pretty pictures. (http://paperjammed.com/2009/06/02/banish-the-kids-to-their-own-network/)

(By the way, this is what I needed the DD-WRT for that astro was asking about in another thread).

shiftless
03-02-2010, 09:22 AM
Install a Norton product and turn the setting all the way up so that the computer just drags all the time. Happened to me inadvertantly.

Not a great solution but it sort of helped me and my son when he was overdoing the WoW in college. First you need to know the username/password on the account. We shared the account for a while so that was easy for me. With that in hand you can at least monitor how much time he is on and, if memory serves, he will be disconnnected if (when) you log in. Maybe his mom would be interested in some statistics about how many DAYS total playing time he has.

The word "addiction" is perfectly apt for someone who spends huge amounts of time every day playing computer games. I say that as an addict who has played computer games for close to 30 years. WoW is the crack cocaine of games.

Anne Neville
03-02-2010, 09:31 AM
Have you tried talking to him and getting him to understand why you want him to play less?

lazybratsche
03-02-2010, 09:57 AM
Here's the problem with all of the solutions everyone has mentioned so far: given enough time and cleverness, the kid will be able to get around anything.

Try to throttle his connection via the router? That can probably be circumvented in all sorts of ways, but ultimately if he's in the room with the hardware and nobody is supervising, he can just hit the "reset to factory defaults button".

Try to install ubuntu? He'll just install windows along side it, either in a new partition, or if he's really desperate on a second hard drive he scrounges from somewhere else. He can even hide that hard drive when you're around. Same goes for just about anything you do to control or lock down the operating system.

My parents, many years ago, tried to place a BIOS password, so my computer wouldn't boot up without them entering a password. Well, that can be reset as well -- all I needed to do was open the computer up and take out the battery (or use the reset jumper, I forget which) to change the BIOS back to default settings. He can always do something like that, unless you padlock the computer shut (and lock away all the tools, and hope he doesn't spend his newly freed up time learning to lockpick...)

If he's as stubborn as I was, he won't give up when you put a little obstacle in front of him. Basically this escalation will only be a temporary deterrence to him, and then you'll have to resort to something more severe. Any technical solution will be useless without cooperation and supervision from his mother.

But he may be amenable to reason. I was, to an extent. In my case, I was usually bored with a class -- either didn't care about the topic, or I thought I knew it well enough that homework wasn't teaching me anything and was therefore a waste of time.

minor7flat5
03-02-2010, 10:03 AM
Try to throttle his connection via the router? That can probably be circumvented in all sorts of ways, but ultimately if he's in the room with the hardware and nobody is supervising, he can just hit the "reset to factory defaults button". Two points on this.

1) the router and cable modem can be stashed in an inaccessible place (it's in our bedroom) or locked in a cabinet.
2) they can't hide their tracks; if the router were reset, I would know.

If they are at the point where they brazenly reset the router without concern of detection then there is a more fundamental problem.

Ferret Herder
03-02-2010, 10:05 AM
Two points on this.

1) the router and cable modem can be stashed in an inaccessible place (it's in our bedroom) or locked in a cabinet.
2) they can't hide their tracks; if the router were reset, I would know.

If they are at the point where they brazenly reset the router without concern of detection then there is a more fundamental problem.
Yeah, but if the mom doesn't care and the kid lives at her house, this isn't of any help in the long run. astro is looking for something that hopefully he has some level of control over and will be extremely hard to undo/get around.

Duckster
03-02-2010, 10:09 AM
Doesn't NetNanny allow you to block those types of programs?

These types of programs are a joke. Any tech savvy kid can get around them. He can download the latest workaround from a different computer and apply it on the home computer. More importantly, who decides what is banned and what is not? Many of these so called "parental control' programs have their own political/social/morals/religious agenda implemented by the application owner, and offer no configuration changes by the license purchaser.

lazybratsche
03-02-2010, 10:15 AM
Two points on this.

1) the router and cable modem can be stashed in an inaccessible place (it's in our bedroom) or locked in a cabinet.
2) they can't hide their tracks; if the router were reset, I would know.

If they are at the point where they brazenly reset the router without concern of detection then there is a more fundamental problem.

Which is enough to stop your kids, since you live with them, but if the mom isn't willing to put her foot down and prevent this there's little the OP can do remotely.

ETA: Though with a router with dd-wrt, the OP can set it up so he can administer it remotely. Will the factory reset button change back to the default firmware once it's been flashed with dd-wrt or something similar? I'm not sure, I use dd-wrt but don't have to deal with any cat and mouse games like this...

minor7flat5
03-02-2010, 10:35 AM
Ferret Herder and lazybratsche—Point taken. Once someone has unbridled access to the hardware, all bets are off.

needscoffee
03-02-2010, 11:22 AM
These types of programs are a joke. Any tech savvy kid can get around them. He can download the latest workaround from a different computer and apply it on the home computer. More importantly, who decides what is banned and what is not? Many of these so called "parental control' programs have their own political/social/morals/religious agenda implemented by the application owner, and offer no configuration changes by the license purchaser.There are workarounds for the more common netnanny programs, but there are MANY that are extremely difficult to get around. Many don't show up in the task manager or processes running, and without knowing what the program is, you can't get a workaround. These programs are designed for corporate as well as home use and are not the trivial netnannies you're used to hearing about. There is a whole world of this type of spy/controlware that goes far beyond blocking kids' access to online websites.

Punoqllads
03-02-2010, 11:40 AM
Seriously consider the install Ubuntu (or some other flavor of Linux) suggested by Palooka. It will be perfectly adequate for him to do his school work on; I doubt any school work would be complex enough to run into any compatibility issues with OpenOffice vs Microsoft Office file formats, and Firefox on Linux is pretty much the same as Firefox on Windows. And just set up his user account as unable to install programs, so he can't try and get Diablo running with WINE.
All his son has to do is do a web search on how to boot up a Linux box in single-user mode and he'll have full privileges.

purplehorseshoe
03-02-2010, 12:00 PM
Agreeing with Duckster ... the computer games aren't the problem. They're the symptom of a problem. Methinks the WoW stuff can't even begin to be resolved until the OP and the kid's mother can communicate and be on the same page about goals and priorities.

Whether or not that's possible, I don't know. But I do know that's where this needs to start.

beowulff
03-02-2010, 12:02 PM
There are workarounds for the more common netnanny programs, but there are MANY that are extremely difficult to get around. Many don't show up in the task manager or processes running, and without knowing what the program is, you can't get a workaround. These programs are designed for corporate as well as home use and are not the trivial netnannies you're used to hearing about. There is a whole world of this type of spy/controlware that goes far beyond blocking kids' access to online websites.

Not many will survive a wipe and re-install.

ChrisBooth12
03-02-2010, 01:17 PM
Take away the discs and uninstall the program take away his admin rights problem solved its a simple solution

Stoid
03-02-2010, 01:32 PM
I don't have a solution, I just wanted to encourage you to not in any way whatsoever give up on it. I have had close, personal contact with online gaming destroying lives, very literally. Don't count on it stopping by itself, don't count on consequences stopping it.

If he's got a noticeable problem now, then you have to address it seriously and aggressively now if you care about your son's future.

elbows
03-02-2010, 02:27 PM
Until Mom gets on board, and sister, with thinking it's a problem, you'll only be making it worse, whatever you do. It's going to manifest as you wanting control, to them.

If you're right, bide your time, they'll come around when he won't bathe and gets tossed from school.

If you don't present a united front, you're each just screwing the kid up more. Tread carefully.

dracoi
03-02-2010, 02:30 PM
I'm kind of in the same boat as Stoid. Don't give up on trying to solve this.

I let my brother live in my house for a couple of years and he had this problem big-time. He once quit a job because they wouldn't let him hang up in the middle of a support call with a customer at the exact instant his shift ended - he had to finish the call first. Well, he wasn't going to put up with anything that might make him late for guild events on WoW, so he quit.

Eventually, three whole weeks passed in which he didn't speak a single word to me... and then spoke only when he stormed out of his room to cuss at me for using the microwave, which he believed slowed down his connection to the Internet. I asked him to move out after that and, unfortunately, have not heard from him since. WoW addicts may not end up in emergency rooms like meth users, but they sure mess up their lives to the same degree.

One of the things I did while he was with me was to change the settings on our network's router so that network access was flat out disabled from midnight to 8 am. He bought a laptop around the same time, and I have little doubt that he just went out and leeched off of unsecured networks in the neighborhood. But at least my wife and I could get some sleep.

I even had him working for me for a while and discovered that he had some kind of web-based portal that would still let him play WoW without installing anything. Maybe my understanding is wrong on that, but that's what it looked like on the monitoring software I use at my office.

So there really is not anything the OP can do that will be effective for very long. With the concerted help of the mother and sister, they'd still be fighting a very difficult battle.

Kearsen
03-02-2010, 02:44 PM
http://davidwallphoto.com/images/%7B21662474-DC88-4557-8BD1-81A72C3EED60%7D.JPG

I find this solution, most feasible.

Anne Neville
03-02-2010, 02:46 PM
So there really is not anything the OP can do that will be effective for very long. With the concerted help of the mother and sister, they'd still be fighting a very difficult battle.

If someone is addicted to alcohol or drugs, it's well-known that you can't get them to quit unless they acknowledge that they have a problem and want to quit.

Stoid
03-02-2010, 06:38 PM
If someone is addicted to alcohol or drugs, it's well-known that you can't get them to quit unless they acknowledge that they have a problem and want to quit.

That's precisely the point, and right on the money.

It can function exactly like every other addiction you've ever heard of. It can take over a person's life to the point where absolutely nothing matters except the fix of playing. Dracoi's experience with his brother is not at all unusual.

And in the same way as other addictions, it has to be addressed in a very serious and major way...intervention, treatment, etc. The person who is heading down that rode needs to be dealt with the same way you deal with an alcoholic.

Treat it seriously, because it is serious.

Portzilla
03-02-2010, 08:01 PM
It creeps me out that there is no answer for this aside from cutting off the internets.

garygnu
03-02-2010, 08:15 PM
It creeps me out that there is no answer for this aside from cutting off the internets.
If not for the kid living with an ambivalent parent, there are plenty of workable options. They take upkeep and monitoring to stay ahead of the game, but they're there. The wrench thrown in here is the distance.

minor7flat5
03-03-2010, 06:41 AM
It creeps me out that there is no answer for this aside from cutting off the internets.The analogy of driving a car comes to mind.

You can come up with all kinds of incentives, rules, devices, legal threats, and so on in order to make sure someone doesn't drive while drunk, but at the end of the day, the only real way to guarantee that they don't drive their car would be to put a boot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_clamp) on it.

For example, if someone has an ignition interlock in their car, they have a buddy breathe into it.

Not a perfect analogy, but enough to show that there are other situations in life where the only real way to prevent doing something is to cut off access.

Perhaps the reason why we don't have to lock up the car of everyone who has had a drink is because the legal and social repercussions of drunk driving are far more onerous than what one faces when they sneak onto the Internet to play WoW.

Random Design
03-03-2010, 07:22 AM
Not the nicest approach, but what about wrecking save-game files? If you can do it 'anonymously' he might just give up on his own out of frustration.

Anne Neville
03-03-2010, 08:23 AM
The analogy of driving a car comes to mind.

You can come up with all kinds of incentives, rules, devices, legal threats, and so on in order to make sure someone doesn't drive while drunk, but at the end of the day, the only real way to guarantee that they don't drive their car would be to put a boot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_clamp) on it.

For example, if someone has an ignition interlock in their car, they have a buddy breathe into it.

An ignition interlock might work for somebody who doesn't want to drive drunk. But if the person thinks it's OK to drive drunk and the ignition interlock is an overreaction or an infringement of their rights, then they'll find ways around the ignition interlock.

I suspect the same applies here. If astro's son knows he has a problem with online gaming and wants to quit doing it, uninstalling the game (or some other technological solution) might work to help bolster his willpower. If he thinks the amount of time he spends playing is fine and astro is overreacting, he'll find ways around a technological solution. It won't work for the same reason that pouring out all the alcoholic beverages in the house won't work to stop an alcoholic from drinking, or throwing out all the cigarettes in the house won't work to make a smoker quit.

If curing an addiction were that simple, addiction wouldn't be nearly the problem it is. There wouldn't be all the 12-step and other programs for treating addiction that there are.

Even if you did manage to find a technological solution that kept him from playing online games, it wouldn't work any more if he decided to move out and live on his own or with roommates who weren't interested in controlling his gaming. We've all seen people whose parents wouldn't let them have something at home who go crazy indulging in it when they move out.

The problem won't go away when he graduates from high school, or moves out on his own. He'll still be your son when he's not living with you or his mother. You'll still care if he's wrecking his life with online gaming. But you won't be able to use a technological solution to keep him from doing it any more.

Anne Neville
03-03-2010, 02:07 PM
He lives with his mother not me, and she is not willing to do anything re monitoring this. All I can do is tweak his PC.

Why not? Does she not think this is a problem, does she not want to confront him, do you and she have a disagreement about parenting style, does she feel her computer skills aren't up to the job, what?

Even if this isn't an addiction (IMO, gaming addiction is real, not everybody who plays any video game has it, I am not qualified to diagnose it in anybody, much less somebody I've never met), you'll have to get him on board with quitting or cutting down the time he spends playing video games. If you don't, he'll find a way around whatever restriction you try to put on it, and he'll resent you.

Even if you did succeed in getting a technological fix for this problem, that doesn't mean he's automatically going to spend the time he used to spend playing video games doing homework or other things you want him to do. He could just find another way to goof off.

tacoloco
03-03-2010, 03:25 PM
I'm wondering if OP and the Mom are even on the same page regarding the kid's game playing.

Anne Neville
03-03-2010, 03:53 PM
I'm wondering if OP and the Mom are even on the same page regarding the kid's game playing.

I'm wondering that, too.

My parents would certainly have complained about the amount of time I spent playing video games in high school. But I managed to keep quite decent grades (I had a 3.6something GPA when I graduated). I played video games instead of going out at night, but I'm an introvert, and I'd rather play video games at home than go out.

Could I have done even better in school and taken more challenging classes? Probably. Would I have done that if I hadn't been allowed to play video games? Almost certainly not.

My parents eventually realized, after hearing about some friends of mine getting pregnant, that there were worse things than having a kid who plays video games after school and who doesn't dress or do her hair the way they would have liked. Our relationship got a whole lot better after they realized that I could have been a lot worse (and I realized they could have been a lot worse as parents, too).

YogSothoth
03-03-2010, 07:05 PM
Download a virus onto his computer.

Or make a high level character on the same server as him, then follow him around and kill him.

caymus28
03-03-2010, 08:34 PM
Log in to his account and sell all of his stuff. Or give it away. It might discourage him...

ToeJam
03-03-2010, 08:53 PM
Log in to his account and sell all of his stuff. Or give it away. It might discourage him...

My God... the Horror... the horror....
That's just going TOO FAR!

astro
03-03-2010, 08:56 PM
Why not? Does she not think this is a problem, does she not want to confront him, do you and she have a disagreement about parenting style, does she feel her computer skills aren't up to the job, what?

Even if this isn't an addiction (IMO, gaming addiction is real, not everybody who plays any video game has it, I am not qualified to diagnose it in anybody, much less somebody I've never met), you'll have to get him on board with quitting or cutting down the time he spends playing video games. If you don't, he'll find a way around whatever restriction you try to put on it, and he'll resent you.

Even if you did succeed in getting a technological fix for this problem, that doesn't mean he's automatically going to spend the time he used to spend playing video games doing homework or other things you want him to do. He could just find another way to goof off.

He's in his third semester of community college (and on academic probation). He's 6'5" and 19 years old. and way too big for her to fight or physically coerce, and he will throw a furious tantrum if forced off the PC in mid game so she ignores him. She is utterly non-proactive regarding anything to do with with my son's or daughter's academics and has been that way since they were in grade school. He stays up till 5 in the morning playing and skips many of his classes they next day. We've had innumerable family conferences where I've laid out the problem, and he acknowledges he has a serious problem, but the instant my car hits the curb leaving her house he's back at it.

In looking at the responses here it seems the real solution is to simply let him fail. I'm tired of beating my head against the wall.This has been going on for years.

needscoffee
03-04-2010, 02:16 AM
Wow, that's a tough situation for them and you. Good luck.