Using Extra Computers to Help Kids with Video Game Addictions - TechAddiction

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Make use of that extra computer.

As the percentage of homes with more than one computer increases, this allows for new interventions with regard to fighting internet and computer addiction.

When it comes time to purchase a new system, you may be tempted to throw out (please recycle properly) or sell your old computer. However, there are advantages to having more than one computer - especially for setting limits for online time and for maintaining a clear line between "work" and "play".

The tendency to get distracted by more interesting online diversions (gaming, chatting, email, shopping, videos, music, etc. etc. etc.) when sitting down at the computer to work is probably something that most users are familiar with. Even though you may only need 30 minutes to write that (rather unpleasant) report or paper, it could take hours or days if you are repeatedly pulled from your task by your favorite applications, games, or websites which are all just a click away.

If you have the resources (i.e., more than one computer) consider turning one (usually the older one) into a bare-bones machine for work or school only. Uninstall all games - do you really need Call of Duty or WoW on a computer you use for school or work? Remove all "entertainment" bookmarks and applications (yes, this includes FaceBook). Set up filters blocking access to your favorite websites. Basically, you want to be left with a computer which allows you to get your work or research done…and nothing else. This is now your Productivity Computer. When you have work to do, this is the computer you will be using.

On your newer computer you can still access your favorite websites, apps, and games (in moderation of course), and this is now your Entertainment Computer.

This two-system setup works particularly well for children / teens in combination with a parent-enforced daily limit for computer use not related to schoolwork. For example, if a parent has set a one hour limit per weeknight on the Entertainment Computer, this still allows the child to use the Productivity Computer as necessary for schoolwork (even if this occasionally means several hours per night for larger assignments). The advantage is twofold:
1) The parent no longer has to worry that the child is secretly gaming or chatting when he / she is supposed to be working
2) The child will be less distracted and accomplish more when actually working

NOTE: If you follow this advice for your family, make sure to set yourself as an administrator on the Productive Computer so that your child does not covertly install all those old games and applications…

For the most effective step-by-step guide to beating computer game addiction, you can now download How To Help Children Addicted To Video Game - A Guide For Parents.

Good luck & healthy tech use.

PS: There is much more to overcoming video game or internet addiction than just this one tip. Visit the Information Centre for dozens of articles on computer and video game addiction.

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