Ton’s of different reasons could apply. It could be an online game where others are counting on him to “do his part” in the game. He could be trying not to let someone down. It is a social contract when you join group games like that. Many games like that also have penalties for withdrawing mid-game. It could lead to his getting banned from play.
There is also a ton of dopamine and endorphin release going on during gaming. The challenge and reward cycle is massive in gaming. Playing can literally make a kid feel better about themselves. Joy, acceptance, and self-worth are enormous triggers for people.
Let me drop another creepy fact. The chemicals it causes to go into overdrive in our bodies are the same chemicals that sexual contact and drug use releases. Not in precisely the same quantity though. It does, hopefully, give us some perspective when our kids don’t want to shut the game down. It has a powerful draw.
The following is a link over to a site with some recent studies, that also have a “gaming life” plan to help turn other things your kids need to get done into more of a risk/reward activity similar to games.
There is also a fantastic woman named, Jane McGonigal, who at one point in adult life was bedridden and depressed beyond belief. To get going, she turned life into an MMORPG.
This has done several Ted Talk’s, including one talking about her using the SuperBetter Game to help her reengage with the world. The game is available in app stores with the same name as her book chronicling the adventure in her life. All of her work is easy to find by searching the internet for “Superbetter.” I highly recommend you as a parent looking into the book if your kid is annoying you by their gaming habit. For you to read not your kid. It can give you a great perspective into your kid’s life and why gaming may not be as evil as we often want to think. It made a ton of stuff make more sense to me, and I used it in some of my life coaching and Parent coaching sessions.
She also has a newer book named “Reality is Broken.” I have not read this one as of the typing of this post. I hear great things about it.
The link below will jump you to her book on Amazon:
This link will guide you to her Ted Talk about Superbetter, where you can also find links to her blog and the download of the Superbetter game. There are other talks she has given there too.
You, my dear friend, have walked into a dark cave located in a mountain. As the 8bit colors glowed and the simple music hummed, an old man told you, “It is dangerous to go alone. Take this!” Handing you a sword, that begins your journey for the tri-force in the decade spanning legend that is Zelda.
There are few quests as essential and as difficult as helping a kid to understand their lives and guiding them in a way that helps them learn independence while keeping them safe. You walked into a cave, you have received a weapon of knowledge, it’s not nearly as dangerous when you aren’t alone.
There is a lot of wisdom to be found in a multitude of counsel. You are doing things, right!