Game Addiction... (It's Serious This Time)

>> Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I saw an article on Yahoo! the other day talking about how people are addicted to video games. As you can imagine, it struck a cord in my head, because frankly I know I am one. In the article, it told a story about people who's hooked on an world-famous MMORPG called World of Warcraft. Those who are addicted to the game invest the majority of their time in the fantasy world and start ignoring their real life responsibilities. They start ignoring their social life and friends, get to work late and their family life is also affected by it. Some people would miss important events in their life just to play the game, some guy turned down a scholarship from an university, some turned down jobs and others got divorced. And all I can think of is that World of Warcraft must be a great game.

Of course, gaming addiction wasn't a new concept for me, I have heard enough stories to know what video games can do to a person. Somebody died from a heart attack playing Biohazard (Resident Evil for US), people taking sick leave for the release of Dragon Quest, but to officially calling it a disease is a new and harsh concept for me. Someone is literally trying to come out with a set of diagnosis on Wikipedia which I find myself having multiple symptoms. I talk about playing games on my blog, I'm obsessively thinking about events and details, I played it longer than I intend to, I give up social events just so I can play and I get to work late sometimes because I was playing games and yes, I dreamt about it too.

From a related article on BBC, it actually shows that others are profiting from this addiction. Clinics are building in China to combat this new found addiction. People are spending too much time from the Internet and video games taht they have to build hospitals just to make them stop. Teenagers, particularly are all over the net and ignoring their school work. Grades are slipping and parents are worried. (Hey, at least the kids are losing weight...) As I'm pondering about my gaming habits and whether I should get World of Warcraft or not, I gave up maxing up my Disgaea 2's characters and went to the video store and got myself a copy of Bully. At least it is not an RPG... So I don't have to spend all my next 100 hours leveling up. It is really the fault of the game developers to develop a game that requires so much time to make everything better, of course having a compulsive personality helps too... But if I can manage to get myself addicted to it in a level like those kids in China, maybe I'll be able to lose some weights.

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