Feature

Help! Xbox has kidnapped my sons

My teenage sons have been abducted, said Stephen Moore, and I want them back. Before last summer, they were normal, sports-loving adolescents. But then my two boys discovered video-game systems such as Xbox and Wii and online war games involving multiple

Stephen MooreThe Wall Street Journal

My teenage sons have been abducted, said Stephen Moore, and I want them back. Before last summer, they were normal, sports-loving adolescents. But then my two boys discovered video-game systems such as Xbox and Wii and online war games involving multiple players such as World of Warcraft. In a matter of weeks, they were addicted, spending five or six hours at a time in front of a computer screen, blasting enemy war machines, killing virtual crooks, and withdrawing ever deeper into fantasy worlds. Their muscles have begun “to atrophy right before our very eyes”; even their skin has become pale “from lack of sunlight.” When I tried to curtail their gaming, “they ranted and raved and cursed and even threw things, almost as if demons had taken possession of them.” I’m not the only parent who’s concerned. Our neighbor’s 12-year-old is so hooked on video games that he’s stopped taking bathroom breaks, “with unfortunate results.’’ Other parents report children who aren’t taking showers, eating, or sleeping. “Computer games are the new crack cocaine,” and I wish I’d never let one in the house. “A mind really is a terrible thing to waste.’’

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