Almost nothing will tear hardcore online gamers away from the screen when they're in the midst of a game. In fact, the problem of "gaming addiction" is so severe that there are even addiction camps for people who just can't unplug.
But one father in China decided to take a different approach to helping his son kick the habit, according to the Kotaku East blog: he hired virtual hitmen to attack and kill his son's avatar every time he logged on to play.
Mr. Feng, a Chinese resident, has a 23-year-old son who has played online games regularly since high school and now considers himself a master of Chinese online role playing games.
As a result, his father says, the young man had terrible grades in school and couldn't land a job. And when he did find work at a software development company, he quit after less than three months.
In a bid to encourage his son to get serious about finding work, his father sought out some players in the game who were more skilled than his son, and hired them to kill his character every time he logged in.
The idea was that the younger Feng would get bored if he was killed almost immediately every time he logged on, and eventually give up on gaming altogether.
It's unclear how his father managed to contact the players he sent after his son, but they seem to have done a good job: Feng's son says he got sick of being killed each time he tried to play.
But he didn't just accept his fate. Instead, he told his father that he's not addicted to gaming - he just hasn't found any work that he likes so far.
"I can play or I can not play, it doesn't bother me. I'm not looking for any job - I want to take some time to find one that suits me," he was quoted as saying.
Feng says he was "relieved" by his son's response. But it's not clear whether he's called off the assassins, or if his son has actually started looking for a job.
BBC News spoke to World of Warcraft expert Olivia Grace about the story, and she said she wasn't so sure regular assassinations would keep a player away from online games, since the etiquette is a little different from the real world.
"Being killed by someone happens all the time," she said. "People are just like that online."
What do you think about Feng's approach? Would you send assassins after your child's video game character if his or her grades were suffering? Let us know in the poll below.
Poll: Are Video Game Assassins A Good Parenting Tool?