A Simple Approach to Living With Less

Video Game Detox Update: Interview with My Two Sons

It’s been just over a week since our family started a Video Game Detox Experiment. We’re going 30 days without any kinds of video games at home.

I think it’s going great! Honestly, I expected a lot more whining and complaining but there hasn’t been any of that. On the second day of the experiment, my nine-year-old did ask if we could make one of those construction paper chains to count down the days to when they could have games again.

We’ve been purposefully doing more activities together like playing card games and visiting our local state park. For the most part though, we’ve just focused on being together and talking about things we never made as much time for before.

I thought it might be nice to hear directly from my boys and see how they felt about the no video game experience. They got a big kick out of being interviewed and I think you’ll appreciate their perspective better than mine for this update. So here we go:

Interview with Hunter – age 11

What do you think about our experiment of no video games?

The days last longer. If you play games all day, the time goes by faster and you don’t realize what time it is. I mean that as a good thing. You remember things better. Like you can remember you played outside and had fun but when you play games, the days just run together. Like you forget what day it is and what time it is. One time I even missed dinner because I didn’t realize what time it was and didn’t come when I was called.

Do you miss video games?

I sorta miss games but not really.

What has been your favorite part of having no video games?

Family time has been my favorite part. It’s way better than hibernating downstairs. You can spend time with your family and not miss all the fun. After this I’ll probably lay off games and try to play outside more. I will not play in the middle of the night again either.

What has been your favorite part of family time?

Watching shows, spending time talking to each other, playing Uno,  and playing with my brother and sister.

What has been your least favorite part of the experiment?

I don’t get to talk to my friends online, but I can see them at church.


Interview with Connor – age 9

What do you think about our experiment of no video games?

It is going awesome! I’m thinking about doing it an extra week.

Do you miss video games?

No. I guess I miss one game. I missed it some in the beginning, but not as much now. I might not like no games forever, but I am fine with the 30 days of no games.

What has been your favorite part of having no video games?

Spending time with my family!!

What has been your favorite part of family time?

Mainly everything! Watching TV with the family, having coffee time together, going out to eat, and going to the state park. I also really like playing outside more with my brother and sister.

What has been your least favorite part of the experiment?

Uhhh, I don’t know if I have a least favorite part. It hasn’t been bad at all.

So there you have it. Pretty good results so far, I think. I’ll be sure to follow up with another update as we get closer to the end of the experiment. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask.

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Article originally published on 10/11/2011

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  1. How great!!!! We have two boys, so I’m dreading when they get to the video game age (they are only 17M & 3yrs). I love how both boys enjoy more family time. It’s funny because kids never tell their parents these things unless asked about it. I’m curious to see what happens when they get the games back . Can’t wait for more updates!!

    • Faith Janes says

      Hi Megyn,

      I’m not really sure how we’ll handle the game situation when the experiment is over. I’m certainly in no hurry for the month to be up. 🙂

      Like dealing with all our clutter after I found minimalism and I wish we hadn’t accumulated so much stuff, I wish we hadn’t let the video game situation out of hand. In a perfect world, I would not have had games in our house at all. So I’m curious too how it will go too and I’ll keep you posted.

  2. Hey Faith~
    I commend you for doing the detox at your house! Last June-we did that for 30 days since it was the start of Summer and my boys were just getting out of school. I said–“I want you to PLAY!! (not video games-but actually creatively PLAY)” and they DID. for the whole month. They were outside, they were inside, played legos, board games…and my hubby actually caught the three boys having a “meeting” in their room. The meeting was to make a list of “things we can do”–which we found hilarious.

    As of now, they are allowed NO video game time during the school week. Friday-after all homework is done-they are allowed their game time. A set amount. They refer to Friday as “Game Day”. LOL Oh–and if there is any “trouble” during the week, we take away “minutes.” It seems to have been working for us. And they have to have game time DONE by Sunday at 5–before dinner. 🙂

    I will admit it takes a lot for us to stay on TOP of it, but it is good–really good–when we ARE on top of it!


    • Faith Janes says

      We tried the “no games during the week” too but they were game zombies on the weekend if we let them. Then we tried it back with games during the week as a motivator to finish school. It certainly did that but then they never thought of doing anything else. Even within any limits we tried it just seemed like games came as their first choice.

      It never started where I hated games just because I think they’re silly and a big waste of time, it just bugged me that it was their entire focus all the time. They would pass on playing outside or playing with family because they wanted to play games instead. When their game time would be up they would fuss and act depressed.

      When we hit the first Saturday of our experiment I expected more pushback about no games. I overheard Connor say to Hunter, “Aww, we don’t get to play games today.” Hunter replied, “Who cares?! We get to have fun with our parents!” Now THAT is awesome to me!

      Thanks so much for commenting! 🙂

  3. Wow I’m so glad that you were able to help your children learn things about video games that I myself did not learn until my mid 20’s and then only after seeing others destroyed by them. Your son Hunter’s response stood out to me the most in how he described the day lasting longer without video games and that he remembers having fun. That is the same in my experience as it sums up the mind numbing effect that video games has on oneself in how they draw one in and keep one occupied. Yet quite honestly looking back at all the games that I played I can not honestly say that I enjoyed myself most of the time. In many ways video games can all too easily not only become digital clutter but mental clutter and time clutter in a very nasty form which can literally suck the passion and enjoyment of life out of those that it catches within its clutches.

  4. I hate to say it, but these sound like the answers kids would give their mom. I tend to wonder what they are telling their friends about this experiment.

    I may have a slightly different perspective because I’m a gamer and a dad. My daughter is 5, and we play video games together. Our game time is limited and we spend much more time doing non-video game activities. I’ve noticed the time-suck of many of the popular games on the market, especially the mutiplayer with online components (like most shooters) and the open world games. I’ve become more selective with the types of games I buy so that I can experience the entertainment potential, while not getting sucked into a game that never ends. I found that has helped me cut back on the time I spend playing games, and the games I do play are more enjoyable. There’s not really any advice in this paragraph, it’s just more of me sharing my experience.

  5. Pure Rad! Tell those kids I said nice work, video games uncontrolled rob people of their life hope they stick to no or little gaming in future days!


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