Online gaming and addiction

Some recent posts from Lisa Galarneau and discussion in Terranova, here and in this one which considers childrens’ MMOs. I’ve been thinking about this a little since my daughter got her Tamagotchi – and started visiting the (non-multiplayer) online ‘Tamagotchi Town’. She’s had the thing for a month and already seems to have forgotten what life was like before then.

I also finally got round to logging in to WoW – which I’ve avoided before as I know I don’t have the time to play it and because I know that I sometimes have difficulty controlling my own use of games once I get started – RPGs in particular, let alone MMO ones. One weekend later, and I’ve successfully proven to myself that I daren’t subscribe. I don’t want to turn into Cartman in that episode of Southpark.

3 thoughts on “Online gaming and addiction

  1. Tony Forster

    Now level 47 in WoW and still not (much) addicted. I spent more late nights on Sim City than I have with WoW. In talking about the few people who exhibit “addictive” behaviour its important to separate cause and effect. Do people who are having trouble connecting in RL use virtual worlds like WoW to fill a void or does WoW playing cause RL disengagement? I suggest the former.

    There are many positives for WoW, team skills, problem solving etc. Playing is also a good way for parents and teachers to connect with kids.

    Frostmane server, WoW

  2. Daniel Livingstone

    Hi Tony,

    I think it may actually be a bit of both – and it probably depends to a fair degree on the individual. With family and friends, I don’t think I have a particular problem connecting IRL, but can see how I could quite (un)happily retreat into WoW.

    I can’t disagree with you on the positives – but the evidence for the negatives is there too. Finding the balance is very important.

    For myself, I think I do have a habit of playing a game obsessively when I get involved, and find switching them off difficult. The main reason I didn’t do more 16 hour stints of Civilisation when I was a student was that I didn’t have my own computer – and only had access when my flatmate was out.

  3. overklokan

    for many games are way out of real life misery and failure … instead of fihting those, they go and play games, than think of themself as successful if reaching lvl 100 … illusions!


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