Problematic video gaming not only affects the gamer, but also causes a ripple effect that impacts their family and others who care about him or her. Their gaming can become the source of conflicts and arguments. Those close to the gamer may feel helpless when it comes to the power that video games seemingly have over the gamer. They may also have concerns about behavioural or mood changes they have noticed in the gamer, or that their gaming is having a detrimental effect on the gamer’s job, studies or social life.
Family members and partners can be an important driver and source of support to help those with gaming problems take control over their gaming and motivate him or her to seek help. How you talk to the gamer about your concerns can be very important in relation to effecting a change in behaviour.
As a family member or partner of someone with a video game addiction, you have the right to specialist treatment. You must first obtain a referral from your general practitioner or NAV.
As a family member or friend, it can often be helpful to talk to someone who is in the same situation as you. Spillavhengighet Norge is an organisation for video game and gambling addicts as well as their closest relatives/next of kin. Spillavhengighet Norge organises regular network meetings across Norway for family members and partners of gaming/gambling addicts. They also have a contact hotline where you can talk to someone who is going through the same experience.
Their helpline is a service aimed at the gaming/gambling addict as well as their family or partner. Family members/partners can also make an anonymous call to 800 800 40 for advice or visit pages with information specifically written for them.
Spillkontroll.no offers a web-based course for family members/partners of gambling addicts. Most of the topics will likely also be relevant for family members and partners of those with problematic gaming habits. The course teaches you how to talk about gaming, how to help the gamer and how family members and partners can also look after themselves.