A mum who wishes to remain anonymous, shares her story.
Lately I have been tossing and turning, and having restless nights. Some nights, I would creep around the house, on high alert and stressing about missed chances and wrong decisions.
Sometimes, I would even leave the house past midnight to walk around the neighbourhood. It was a matter of capture or release, fight or run, victory or defeat… and no, these were not real life situations.
It all started harmlessly with my 10-year-old son, Kyrian*. Like many kids of his generation, he grew up playing digital games on smartphones and tablets.
My hubby and I made it a point to inculcate a love of the outdoors by bringing him out on sporting activities and day trips, but would also reward him with digital game downloads whenever he did well at school.
I blame my hubby for what happened next. In a bid to help me relate to Kyrian’s obsession with these new-fangled games, he introduced me to some of the more popular online gaming apps.
At first, I was hesitant and irritated, being neither knowledgeable nor interested. Most of the time, I simply watched my hubby playing, and even when I got to try, I was really all thumbs. “It’s okay, dear,” my husband would say, “women are not good at gaming anyway.”
It was meant to be comforting, but it somehow sparked off a stronger interest in these games.
On my own, I started catching on to a few of the more popular games, and spent my leisure hours trying them out – during lunch hour, on the trips to and from work, while doing the laundry; I even found them interesting and fun!
Related: Avoiding gadget addiction
Then came a game which was so popular, you cannot go out without encountering someone playing it.
This game involved catching little ‘pocket monsters’ everywhere, growing your collection, and levelling them up, and finally fighting others to see whose monsters are stronger in various locations.
Needless to say, I was hooked. I could not stop playing it from the moment I downloaded it.