Book- Cyber Sober

Cyber Sober

A Caregiver’s Guide to Video Gaming Addiction

Written by Elaine Uskoski

Exploring the mind of a video gaming addict, Elaine’s second book guides the reader through the journey of her son’s addictive disorder and recovery. The story unfolds along the nine signs of gaming disorder and the five stages of addiction, weaving toward the recovery stage, including candid and insightful interviews with her son, Jake.

Elaine calls upon the advice of experts to support her message that there is no easy way to survive video gaming addiction or any other addiction’s withdrawal and recovery. It takes a lot of time, patience, Herculean strength, and enormous support from others, including family, friends, and professional therapy. But it is possible to detox from this compulsion. It is possible to reach the stage of recovery. And it is worth moving through the pain to arrive at the other side, more fully alive.

The most important book you’ll read about gaming addiction

Since the pandemic hit, my son (now 15 years old) became addicted to gaming. At first, I didn’t recognize the signs: I thought he was just a regular teenage boy enjoying online gaming. Slowly, I started to realize he had become socially isolated, not caring about his hygiene, gaming at all hours and losing interest in school and anything else other than being online. I realized then that we had a serious problem on our hands: gaming addiction.

Even though the WHO has declared gaming addiction as a real mental health disorder, there are few resources or help available when I started searching. I was at a loss as to what to do and where to go to save my son. I am still at a loss, to be honest. My son doesn’t recognize he has a problem.

Fortunately, I found this book by Elaine Uskoski.

It is an incredible and comprehensive resource. Ms Uskoski has covered all of the steps of addiction, and how it relates to gaming (tolerance, loss of interest, etc) in each informative chapter, but the way she writes is so relatable. I continue to be impressed with how open and honest she is in sharing her struggle with her son. But – the best part is: her son Jake. He is courageous in sharing what he was going through, his struggles, his anxiety and depression – and WHY he became addicted to gaming. That’s the most important part in understanding gaming addiction — the reason behind the addiction.

Thank you Elaine for writing this book. I am grateful that you and your son had the courage, fortitude and compassion to write such an open and honest book about gaming addiction. I am hopeful that I can battle as successfully as you have – to save my son.

Sarah Taylor

Amazon Review

Video game addiction is a real condition that is only recently starting to be recognized as real and serious. Elaine & Jake’s story of addiction and recovery is one everybody should read. Jake is extremely candid about his experience getting addicted to video games and about the recovery process, which Elaine documents with no holds barred. Through relapses and recovery, and without the resources other behavioral addictions have, Elaine coaches her son from the brink of death back to a healthy, productive life. Along the way, she also interviews mental health experts and video game addiction specialists. But she is not anti-gaming; like any hobby, it just can be over-indulged, and that’s what she is trying to educate people about. She also touches on how the ratings system in North America isn’t as sufficient as it should be, the dangers of loot-boxes and microtransactions, and how the recovery and treatment industry is growing in the wake of official international recognition of the disease. I highly recommend anybody who knows a gamer read this. It could save a life.

Jed Shaffer

Gamer Parent Strategy Guide Podcast

Best Resource for Parents Whose Kids are Struggling with Gaming

I am a therapist who is a certified gaming disorder clinician and would recommend this book to any parent whose child is struggling with gaming. We need to take this disorder seriously and Elaine shares her firsthand experience of how she was able to help her son.

Shannon Husk

Amazon Review

Thought-provoking, emotionally moving, informative and triumphant, Uskoski’s guide explains the shocking world of Video Gaming Addiction through the lens of a mother and her heroic efforts to save her son from his harmful addiction.

Cindy Rescorl


Raw, heartbreaking, and heart-warming. this story takes you on a roller coaster of emotions into and out of the depths of gaming.

Michelle Nogueira

Addiction Problem Gambling and Technology Overuse Counselor, Homewood Health Centre