Thinking Out Loud

November 7, 2008

Tough Love Gone Wrong: Video Game Addiction

Filed under: addiction, parenting — Tags: , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:25 pm

brandon-crispWhen 15-year old Brandon Crisp’s father, Steve, took away Brandon’s XBox, on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in October,  it was simply the frustration of a parent exasperated with his son’s video game addiction.   Now, the family prepares to bury Brandon’s body.   Read the Toronto Star story here.

In other media, John Oakley responds to those who will criticize the parent’s use of what is sometimes called “tough love” writing an opinion article in The Globe and Mail:

Anyone in a position to criticize a parent for resorting to this form of suasion must be leading a charmed existence, or not have kids of their own.

Elsewhere, a technology magazine provides more details about the game Brandon was playing, noting:

The Center for Online Addiction estimates that between 5% and 10% of the population suffers from some form of Internet addiction. It defines the condition as “any online-related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one’s work environment.”

And the largest consumer electronics chain in Canada, Future Shop, has curtailed the promotion of a new video game releasing this week out of respect for the family.

Update: Saturday November 8th:  Listen to a 22 minute interview with Brandon’s father recorded LAST Saturday, while Brandon was still hoped to be alive; recorded from The Drew Marshall Show.

If you took the time to read the Toronto Star article, what is your reaction?  The question goes beyond, “Did the parents do the right or wrong thing?”  The issue is the larger issue of video game addiction among youth.


  1. I don’t fault the parents – sometimes removal of something like that video game is the only tool we have left. How tragic, though!

    Comment by Jim — November 7, 2008 @ 9:10 pm

  2. Tough to live through the loss of a child. I have watched my mother do it and its not easy. Unfortunately that a child so young was allowed to cultivate an addiction to a video game, when all the parents had to do was not buy it in the first place.

    Comment by TitforTat — November 8, 2008 @ 12:31 am

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