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Can Video Games Help the Children of Addicts to Heal?

Video games have been accused of turning kids into technology addicts and contributing to the development of behavioral issues – and they’ve also been credited with helping kids to learn their math facts, spelling words, and master language skills. Now, a new video game called Papa y Yo may be able to help the children of addicts process and deal with some of the emotional issues that come up when a parent is living with an active addiction.

The Goal of Papa y Yo

Based upon the childhood experiences of the creator, the game’s primary goal is to help kids who are struggling with the adult issues they see their caregivers facing. Addiction is hard for adults; it can be devastating to kids. Fear of instability, loss of a parent, and an inability to trust based on the choices made by parents under the influence, children of addicts often struggle with:

  • Behavioral issues
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Their own drug abuse and addiction issues
  • Problems at school

The game hopes to mitigate some of those issues by providing an outlet to work through emotional problems.

The Game

The hero of the game is a boy named Quico. He and his buddy Monster live in a bright fantasy land. But Monster often eats too many frogs and causes problems for Quico. Destructive and confusing, Quico is faced with the task of dealing with the fallout of Monster’s choices while keeping himself safe. He has to handle the memories of Monster’s bad behavior as well as the damage long after the event has passed.

The Creator

Vander Caballero is the creator of Papa y Yo. He says that the game is based on his childhood in South America, and the experiences he had with a father who was addicted to alcohol and drugs. His hope is that the game will speak to kids of addicts.

Says Caballero: “The only way you can create empathy in video games is through interaction. I want players to feel what I felt as a kid and the only way I could achieve that was by creating game mechanics that let you interact and develop relationships as you play.”

Helping Your Child Heal

If you are a parent and you are struggling with addiction, the best gift you can give your child is your own recovery. Contact us at The Orchid today to learn more about our woman-centered treatment programs and get started today.

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