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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen's Taste for Steamy Novels Doesn't Sit Well With Mother

DEAR ABBY: I am 22 and in college. I have been dating "Andy" for two years. He is also a college student and somewhat of an introvert.

Two years ago, Andy's parents gave him a video game for Christmas. There is a monthly payment to play it. Well, Andy got hooked. He has spent thousands of hours on this game. When he crawls out of bed in the morning, the first thing he does is go to his computer to "check things." He plays many hours a day.

It was OK in the beginning. I thought that I'd rather see him at home playing games than out getting into trouble with some other girl, but it has gone too far. Andy is 21 and he needs to get a job. His parents have told him so, over and over. But all his energy gets devoted to the game, and very little into looking for employment or even being social.

Many people have expressed their frustration with his gaming so much, but to no avail. Should I talk to Andy's parents about how bad it has become and suggest that maybe they stop paying for it? By continuing to do so they are only enabling him. Or should I let them figure it out on their own? -- WORRIED SICK IN SANTA BARBARA

DEAR WORRIED SICK: By all means you should bring this to the attention of Andy's parents. It appears their son has become addicted to the "rush" he gets from playing the video game, and he may need professional intervention to overcome it.