Video Games & Your Kids

Hilarie Cash, PhD and Kim McDaniel, MA

The Book

Video Games & Your Kids: How Parents Stay in Control
Hilarie Cash and Kim McDaniel
Trade Paper, 191 pages
Published by Issues Press
Publication date: 2008
ISBN: 9781930461055

Video Games & Your Kids is for parents who are worried that their children may be spending too much time playing video games. Based on research and the authors’ clinical experience, the book explains what gaming addiction is, how much gaming is too much, and the affects gaming has on the body and brain. The authors give gaming advice on each stage of life; birth-2 years, ages 2-6, elementary school years, adolescence, and adult children still living at home. Where there is a problem, the authors provide parents with tools that will help the parents successfully set appropriate limits for their children. It also explains the need to consult with professionals and use the process of formal interventions when the addiction is so severe that the parents are no longer able to manage the situation.... (Buy the paperback) (Buy the e-book)


Hilarie Cash, PhD has been a psychotherapist since 1981. When she moved to Seattle with her family in 1993, she developed and interest in the emerging problem of internet addiction, co-founding Internet/Computer Addiction Services in 1998. Her son's love of video games, and the clients she saw, convinced her of the profoundly addictive nature of this form of entertainment. She provides individual, family, and group therapy to game addicts, as well as writing and lecturing on the subject. Contact Hilarie Cash at Internet / Computer Addiction Services.
Kim McDaniel is a devoted parent and wife and has been a professional counselor for the past nineteen years. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a BA degree in psychology from California State University, Northridge and a MA degree from Pepperdine University. She has provided clinical services to children and adolescents at several residential and hospital facilities. Presently, Mrs. McDaniel's practice is focused on providing psychological services to families, adolescents, and children. Contact Kim McDaniel at Family Counseling and Wellness Services.

The Book

Book Reviews

There are links to more book reviews under the community tab.

Obsession with video games has risen to the level of addiction worthy of possible listing as a psychological disorder, according to psychotherapists Cash and McDaniel. They explore the addictive nature of many games and offer assessment tools for parents to determine if the games are presenting a danger to their children. They examine research on the physiological effects of too much gaming, particularly for younger children, as well as negative effects on academic and social skills. Drawing on vignettes from their own practice, they look at various development stages and how children are affected by excessive video-game playing, from console games to group online games and social networks. Each chapter ends with practical advice for parents on setting limits. The final chapter is aimed at families in need of intervention beyond the book. Whether parents think games represent as extreme a danger as do Cash and McDaniel, who cite action taken by the Chinese and Korean governments to curb gaming, they will appreciate the information, including a glossary of computer-game terminology.
--Vanessa Bush - BOOKLIST

This much-needed book provides both information and an action plan for families affected by video game worries. For others, it should serve as a large red flag signaling the importance of awareness and prevention of an insidious sickness among our children.
— Jane M. Healy
Educational Psychologist
Author of Failure to Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children’s Minds and What We Can Do About It

This book is a tool that every parent should have when rearing children in modern society; helpful and insightful, amazingly practical, and completely indispensable. Thank you for writing this, everyone should read it even if they’re not concerned about video game addiction; this is distilled parenting at its best.
— Aaron
Recovering video game addict

Finally a very overdue book about a serious, emerging problem of computer addiction and the effect of computer use on children and youth. It is a comprehensive source book, well written, easy to follow, in the context of child development that every parent and concerned person should read.
— Katarina Cernozubov-Dogman, PhD
Founder of the Unicorn Program.

It’s about time someone wrote a real, easy to read, honest book about the risks of video gaming, a problem that’s not going away. It’s a spot on look at something so common it scares me.
— Jay Parker
Author of Sex and Love Addiction: My Journey from Shame to Grace

In our “Information Age” it is all too easy to make provocative statements about video games and the Internet without backing them up with knowledge and experience. Hilarie Cash and Kim McDaniel provide both knowledge and experience in their timely book, Video Games & Your Kids: How Parents Stay in Control. Based on their knowledge and experiences as psychotherapists, they share vital signs and guidelines gleaned from adolescents, teens, and adults, who, for a variety of reasons, became functionally addicted to playing video games.
Video Games & Your Kids can help parents realize they are not improving their children’s lives by allowing them unlimited access to video games. Signs of addiction, along with effective tools for dealing with children who are displaying unhealthy behaviors are included, but just as importantly, why video games and the Internet can be so addictive is also explained. It is my belief that video games and the Internet have extremely useful roles to play in education and society, but their dark side and limitations must also be understood. This book provides an important part of that education.
— Ruth Fruland, Ph.D., Education
Human Interface Technology Laboratory



Community Forum

Links to Interviews

Video Games and Your Kids: An Interview with Kim McDaniel
Carrie Lauth

Carrie: I am joined this week by Kim McDaniel, coauthor of Video Games and Your Kids: How Parents Stay in Control. First I have to say that I think the book is fantastic. It should be required reading.

Kim: Thank you.

C: It’s a wonderful book. As we were chatting before, this is a topic that I feel strongly about. I’m so glad that you and Hilary Cash, with whom you wrote the book, put this information together in one easy volume so that parents can look at the research, and look at the science and the data, and make good choices about video games and their kids. read more...

Links to Book Reviews

Video Games and Your Kids: A Review
Carrie Lauth

Like many parents, I'm concerned about my kids not spending too much time in front of a screen. Whether that screen is television, computer, or video games matters little. One reason for this is because I have seen how screen time interferes with other, more important activities. Activities like reading, spending time with family, helping around the house, even daydreaming. read more...

Self Assessment
You can use this assessment to check whether you are addicted to video games.

Parental Assessment
This assessment can be used by parents to decide whether video games are a problem for their children.

Please feel free to use the information on this page in stories and links to the book or the authors.

Author information and high resolution pictures

Press releases

Media questions

High resolution book cover