I logged into this site this evening to see a news bit here linking to an article on video game addiction in a New Jersey paper, which in part described "the most severe case" that psychologist Edward Merski had ever seen. The game involved in that case was EverQuest, and the article said Merski helped the boy and his family get a grip earlier this year.
I wonder if it was EQ1 or EQ2. "EverQuest" means the first game to me, but I have run into many people for whom it means the newer game. If it was EQ1, that seems really odd to me; I could see it happening maybe 5 years ago, but now? That would be weird. And why use "the most severe" case as an illustration instead of a "typical" case? Oh, yeah... Some guy with social issues and low grade depression isn't as sensational as a violent kid.
Anyway, the point I am trying to get to is why does it always seem to be EverQuest, when you read these stories? I've seen a couple of things citing the addiction potential of World of Warcraft, but this particular article didn't mention even one other game by name, even when referencing MMORPGs more generally. ("The AMA report said excessive video gaming was most common among massive, multiple online role-playing games such as EverQuest, an ongoing fantasy game.") One would have thought World of Warcraft would have at least gotten an "or" mention in that reference. While readers of the Star-Ledger may not have heard of EQ before, there is a good chance at least some of them know someone who plays World of Warcraft.
In an earlier blog entry, I had wondered why it seems that EQ and WoW get a lot of negative press while Second Life seems to get a pass... when it isn't mentioned in connection with kiddie porn and "virtual terrorism"... If I suddenly have time to do research, I think I might go out and look for news bits across the web and see if there's evidence for that, or if everything gets bad press all around. I'd be interested to see how many of these articles I can turn up from local papers and radio stations across the US and maybe across the world.
Go, go, gadget Google!