Game Widow

When Wendy's husband, a video game designer, continued playing computer games for long hours, even after work, she took matters into her own hands, literally. To find out the attraction, Wendy started playing the games herself.


"When I first married my husband, he was playing every night from the time he got home from work, until long after I had gone to bed.  So I started researching the video game industry and the ‘game widow' phenomenon so I could figure out how to deal with that."


Soon after, Wendy authored the book Game Widow. "I wrote this book, because I wish I'd had this book at the beginning of my relationship."


Because of her immersed involvement in the gaming industry, Dr. Phil acknowledges that Wendy's opinion may not be the most objective, though nonetheless, gives merit to her belief that video games are not to blame for their addictive nature.


"I don't think video games are made to be addictive on purpose. I think that was an unintentional side effect that occurred from people trying to make a really fun game. But about 10 to 20 percent of players are going to have problems because they have existing problems in their life that they're trying to fill in, and video games fills that void," she explains.


"So, you say it's not the games and not the game players?" asks Dr. Phil.


"The games were actually created for healthy individuals," Wendy confirms. "The game designers who make them are healthy, and so they imagine that the players who are playing them have the same amount of self-control that they do."


[AD]"But we have examples of really healthy, vibrant, productive people who come to the game and wind up getting sucked into it beyond reason," points out Dr. Phil.


"Absolutely, because what you find online is so much better than what you find in real life, it's so compelling," Wendy agrees.


Everyone agrees, however the previous guest Liz explains that because you can't compare the euphoria of the fantasy world with real life, virtual fantasy worlds are made to get people in there and keep them there, because when you compare real life to a fantasy, the real world can seem boring.