I am a university student. I apply myself, but I’m addicted to video games and because of that I failed an important exam. I need some emotional support or advice to help me get over my addiction. I want to be successful, but this bad habit won’t let me. What pricks my conscience is that I lie to my father telling him that I’m doing very well. At times I want to tell him the truth, but I can’t take the chance, so I’m left feeling guilty.

Dear Friend,

Your conscience is doing its job. It is waving the warning flags that say, “Danger Ahead,” so that you will stop and take time to consider your options.

It may seem to you now that there are no good options. You have already failed the exam and you have already lied to your father. So you feel that you are backed into a corner with no place to go.

The first step out of the corner is to understand how serious this addiction is. Please find Case 653 and consider what it says about addiction to video games. In the counsel I refer to the chemicals in your brain that are working to make it impossible for you to control your impulses when you are gaming.

Since your brain is working against you, it is too difficult to control the amount of time that you spend gaming. Furthermore, you have already discovered that you can’t be successful in school while being addicted to gaming.

Therefore, if you truly want to be successful, your only option is to give up gaming. That means getting rid of the hardware and software that you have, and erasing your online gaming profiles. And it means telling your gamer friends that you are taking a gaming break until you finish your education. You may even have to find new friends who spend their time in other activities besides gaming.

Do you have the determination to resist your impulses and develop other hobbies? You can substitute some of your time in physical activity, such as playing ball or refining tricks on a skateboard. We believe it is important to fill your time and your mind with other physical activities because it’s not healthy to study all the time.

What we are suggesting will not be easy. In fact, it might be the most difficult thing that you have ever done.

One of King Solomon’s proverbs says that wise people see danger and avoid it, while foolish people see the same danger and continue to move toward it.1 Will you be wise or foolish? Will you continue to move toward the danger, or will you take the necessary steps to move away from it as quickly as you can? Your future depends on how you respond.

We wish you well,

1Pr 27:12