top of page

Teenage Video Game Addiction

Many of us fondly remember going to an arcade to play games or begging our parents for the latest Nintendo or Sega console. We would learn some cheat codes and challenge our friends to get the best high score. Most game systems weren’t portable, and you could only play with other people if they were in the room with you. The graphics were horrible, but we had fun anyway.

Video games have come a long way from what they used to be. Today’s games are far more intricate and alluring. You can play with other people if they’re in the room, but you can also play with strangers on the other side of the world. Even if the game you love is on a console at home, there’s still a fun game on your cell phone that you can play while you’re out.

Today’s teens use video games as a tool for distraction, fun, and connection. They can create new characters and design the character to look and act the way they want. They can play with a headset and talk to other online players in real-time. If their character doesn’t have all the features that they want, they can spend money and buy those features. Then when they go to school, they can talk with their friends about everything that happened in the game.

When you look at how encompassing the world of video games can be, it’s easy to see how teenage video game addiction forms. Video game addiction is just as strong as other behavioral addictions. Teens come to rely on the games for a sense of fulfillment.

Just as with other addictions, video game addiction should be taken seriously and addressed early. Some teens respond well to intervention at home, and others do better at a residential therapeutic treatment center.

How can parents address teenage video game addiction?

Your teen might have a video game addiction if video games are negatively impacting their life. Some negative impacts are experienced on a personal level, and others are more relational.


Personal impact: Your son is sleepy at school because he stays up late playing video games.

Relationship impact: Your son loses his temper when you tell him to turn off the games, and it hurts your relationship with each other.

Some common signs of teenage video game addiction include: