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Exploring Gaming Addiction

Posted Aug 02, 2007 by Jon Wood

Exploring Gaming Addiction

Video Game Addiction is something that we're hearing more about these days. While the AMA still has yet to recognize it as a disorder, there are plenty of anecdotal instances of the problem. While the issue isn't limited to MMORPGs, the stories you hear often center around our genre. Whether it's someone playing WoW and failing out of school, or a couple that neglects their baby over Dungeons and Dragons Online, MMOs seem to be at the heart of this debate. Today, Staff Writer AJ Glasser takes her own look at the issue.

We've all heard the horror stories: a guy in Korea plays Lineage for 50 hours straight and dies of a heart attack; a couple in Reno, Nevada pleads guilty to child neglect, claiming that Dungeons & Dragons prevented them from feeding their children; a 17-year-old EverQuest fan hangs himself after being grounded from his computer. And nearly everybody has a friend of a friend who World of Warcrafted themselves right out of college.

"All I did was play WoW," says Jake , a former freshmen of English Lit major at UC Davis. "I didn't go to class. I didn't take my finals. I even forgot to eat."

Extreme or not, these are the examples people point to when they talk about video game addiction. Technically, video game addiction is not a real addiction, or even a disorder, until the American Medical Association (AMA) or the American Psychiatric Association (APA) says it is. Without official classification, game addiction cannot be diagnosed, treated, or its severity measured in a standardized way. This, however, has not stopped treatment centers from springing up across the globe to treat gaming addicts.

Read the whole article here.

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