Calgary man honoured for work helping video game addicts’ mental health
After being hooked on video games for 10 years, a Calgary man made it his mission to help others unplug and get back to reality.
Cam Adair started ‘Game Quitters’, a website that provides resources for people struggling with video game addiction, after his problem gaming nearly cost him his life.
The initiative has been a complete success, with nearly 50,000 people sharing their stories to help each other manage.
Adair says at the height of his addiction, he was playing 16 hours a day, had dropped out of high school and even faked having a job.
“I would actually catch the bus back home; sneak in though my window and go to sleep.”
Adair said that on the night he planned to end his life, he appealed to his father for help and that’s when he turned his life around.
He offers a formal program on his website for a nominal fee, but he also provides free advice for people who need it.
“Is it affecting your grades? Is it affecting your ability to perform your job?” Adair says.
Lying about playing video games and stealing to pay for more games are also clear warning signs.
“We hear from a lot of parents who say, ‘we just found out that our 15-year-old son has been spending our money, using our credit cards, to buy in-app purchases or improve their character in a game.’”
Adair has now been recognized for his work helping those with video game addictions by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
In a poll last year, CAMH found that 12 percent of children from Grades 7 to 12 have admitted to having video game problems.
Adair says the award from CAMH is for his parents.
“I put them through a lot when I was younger,” he says. “Without their support, I wouldn’t be here today.”
For more information on Adair’s Game Quitters, you can visit his website.
(With files from Brad MacLeod)