Judge Judy learns about World of Warcraft and how excessive play causes problems in relationships.

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

Tens of thousands of women are complaining on World of Warcraft widows websites about husbands who are mesmerized in front of their computers, many playing 25-35 hours and more weekly. A friend of mine is a marriage counselor who states excessive video game playing is an increasing problem observed in troubled marriages. Wives wished that they were a keyboard and mouse because computers receive the most attention from their husbands.

It is reported that about 15% of the divorce filings citing “unreasonable behavior” are due to excessive video game playing in the United Kingdom.[1] It is arguable that video game addiction is unlikely to be the only factor resulting in broken marriages. On the other hand, it is likely that there are multiple factors contributing to deterioration of marriages, and excessive video game playing may be a mechanism for escape of real life martial problems. Similar to how people use other types of addictions for escape, the video game addict uses video games to escape real life.

In the following Judge Judy video clip, a woman shares her frustration about her ex-boyfriend who played World of Warcraft and did not seek employment, which was likely a manifestation of excessive play.


[1] GamePolitics.com, “Eurogamer Digs Into Divorce Online Video Game Claims”, May 31, 2011. http://www.gamepolitics.com/2011/05/31/eurogamer-digs-divorce-online-video-game-claims Accessed June 21, 2011.

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