+1. Well said Atomic.
Games really are quite symptomatic more than anything. Even those of us who play games less often often do so to catch up on something we miss, be it social interaction, the feeling of success, the ability to do things where failure isn't lasting, sometimes it's even just the desire for a colourful screen and deep story when we feel what we're going through in life just isn't that grand.
Best thing to do is to AVOID this kind of situation entirely, by ensuring that you (and those you care about) have a strong sense of purpose and confidence. Your friends need to know that if they are ever in trouble, you'll be right behind them. Never make it about how bad the game is; make it about how much they _can_ do (though if their self-esteem IS low, you may need to start with baby-steps -> low-risk high-reward RL situations etc).
People tend to take the path of least resistance. That's exactly what's going on here. But when people realise that a short-term investment in Real Life can have huge dividends down the track, that's when awesomeness begins.