We Are Teesside
Games like JDC's Mir are popular online
Lost in a computer game
18 months ago, Graham's stepson was introduced to an online computer game. Now, he says, the 22 year old is spending up to 70 hours on it at a time and is putting his family in fear of his health.
Since getting hooked on the online game Mir, says Graham, his stepson has lost access to his daughter, is losing weight and had his benefits cut, because he has missed appointments, so reluctant is he to leave the game.
Speaking on BBC Tees' breakfast show, Graham told John Foster, "It's more important than him eating. It's more important than getting a wash, or a shower. He's just let himself go."
Graham's stepson is now living with his sister and her husband and Graham says the addiction, and the family's attempts to address it have driven a wedge between the siblings, particularly. "We've lost him," he says.
Andrew Marshall is a marital therapist and works for relationship counselling charity Relate. He says, "It is exactly the same as any drug of any description. At the moment, the American Institute of Psychology is in the process of actually putting categorisations in place to say what exactly is involved with computer game addiction, but this is clearly an addiction."
There is no suggestion that JDC Gaming, who run Mir, have done anything wrong. There is no law against inventing a game people enjoy playing, but Graham has told BBC Tees that, until his stepson can leave the game behind, no one in the family can get through to him.
last updated: 15/11/2008 at 11:39