By Ryan G. Van Cleave
HCI, $14.95, 323 pages

Unplugged – My Journey into the Dark World of Video Game Addiction by Ryan G. Van Cleave, Ph.D. is the honest portrayal of a man given over to the addiction of video games. His rendering is not just a few weeks or even months of playing Doom but of years of many addictions in graphic detail and how it overtook every aspect of his life. This book reads like a thriller novel you can’t put down, only it is Ryan’s life; opened for all to read and judge.

“You know you’re a serious World of Warcraft player when the game starts interfering with your life. You know you’re an adict when your life starts interfering with the game”.

It’s heartbreaking, yet compelling. He admits he didn’t want to open up and be as vulnerable as he is, but if he doesn’t do it, who will be the spokesperson for video game addicts? Emotionally charged, personally experienced and researched, this book will change the way you view addicts, kids playing videos and compulsive behaviors all around. Van Cleave shares his story, confessing we won’t like him when it’s done, but I found myself a kindred spirit cheering him on to win this battle, not only for him and his family but for all who struggle with living inside the game. Author Q & A and Resources included.

Reviewed by M. Chris Johnson,