Straight Talk Advice


Health and real-life accomplishments usurped by video games

Dear Straight Talk: I was excited to have my 14-year-old brother in high school with me, but he’s completely changed. Our single dad bought a computer and game console for our study and refuses to set rules on it. My brother has become…


Dad wants to motivate college-dropout son

Dear Straight Talk: My son dropped out of college last year, his sophomore year. He partied hearty and flunked out. After six challenging months at home, he has a restaurant job and lives with roommates where mostly just drinking, video…


Cost of virtual violence Part II

Dear Readers: Last week, “Curious Reader” asked if mass shootings are the price of society’s insatiable appetite for media violence. A furious defense ensued from the male panelists (see our column JAN 8), who pointed…


Imagine there’s no violence. I wonder if you can.

Dear Straight Talk: This generation is not just born and bred on the Internet, but on an insatiable diet of violence in movies, video games and rap. The other thing uniquely part of their world are mass shootings. If these shootings were…

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Safe schools — panel weighs in with solutions

Dear Readers: The best ‘in-school’ solution I know to make schools places where kids are welcomed by their peers, versus places of harm, is the “Safe School Ambassadors” program. The program works with human nature:…


Parents clueless about brother’s gaming addiction

Dear Straight Talk: I'm 17, writing about my brother, 16. I believe my parents are allowing him to socially retard himself with video games. If he gets good grades and does his chores, they feel he can spend his time how he likes.…

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World of Warcraft is ‘meth’ of video games

DEAR STRAIGHT TALK: Since seventh grade, our 17-year-old son has been entrenched in the video game, World of Warcraft. On school days, he plays 4 hours a day, on non-school…


Former gaming addict says it was like being “dead”

Dear Readers: Two weeks ago I printed letters in defense of video gaming. Today the other side has the floor.


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Readers rise up in defense of video games

Dear Readers: Last week’s column on video games stimulated a rash of mail—many in defense of video games. Stay tuned for the other side of the story.


Video games really do fry the brain

Dear Straight Talk: Our son, “Greg”, is 16 and things started out innocently enough with an X-box for his birthday two years ago. At first he played an hour or two a day three or four…

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