Gaming Addiction Isn’t, Gamers Are Just Really Bored

Posted by | November 26, 2008

The BBC reports that Europe’s gaming addiction clinic has discovered that roughly 90% of their gaming addiction patients aren’t addicted at all, at least in clinical terms. Instead, these gamers, who spend more then four hours a day playing games like World of Warcraft, simply find a sort of escape and social life inside games that overpowers their ability to socialize in the real world. The end result is the same; they disappear into games while their real life crumbles.

Socializing is a skill, and one that must be practiced. Kids and adults who avoid social activities, have few local friends, or have been bullied and picked on in realspace tend to turn toward video games as a life and experience away from the traumas and failure of the real world. With the advent of the internet, this phenomena is becoming more common. Hell, I know more people by their online handles than I do by real names, and I’m a beautiful social butterfly, flitting merrily between flowered gatherings and sipping of the nectar therein. What’s it like for someone who would rather crack their teeth out with a crowbar than spend time outside their cave?

Take a look at the full BBC article and decide where you stand. When is the last time you saw a sun that didn’t involve shaders and particle effects?

2 Comments so far
  1. […] Okay, sure, we all know that one guy who spent so much time off in EverQuest or NetHack that he forgot to go to class, but is that sort of thing epidemic? Deborah Taylor Tate, FCC Commissioner, seems to think so. In a speech on telecom policy and regulation, she mentioned online gaming, and specifically World of Warcraft, as a major reason for college dropouts. She also used the term “gaming addiction,” which we know is just a buzzword. Actual study of troubled gamers shows little evidence of true addiction. […]

  2. Isky
    November 1, 2009 6:15 pm

    The fact that I chose to put in a nick, rather than my real name, when I’m not worried about anonymity should say something.
    I think we need to look at another part of this – living in rural America.
    In 2 miles on my street, there are about 10 houses. Most sit well off the road. With 10 acres separating me from my “neighbors” there isn’t much chance to socialize. At work, I hang out with people when I’m taking a break. I’m social then, but at home… there just aren’t many people. I love my family, but I can’t talk to them every day all the time. We have a limited set of topics we share interest in. That’s mostly video games, amusingly. I can’t talk video games infinitely. I get sick of it.
    So, where does that lead? IRC, and Epilepsy Forum, SharedTalk, and IM.
    I think more people DO call me Isky than RyAnne. It’s been my nickname for about 11 or 12 years now. It came from, of all things, an RPG. You know, a real one, with real people, and no pretty shading in sight. Well, that’s where my RPG interest started – in dark rooms full of pizza, Mountain Dew, and stacks of rulebooks and dice. I can’t say it was exactly reality. Then, I moved on to a live action RPG on IRC. That’s fun, because you don’t have as many people quoting rules. So, I get this nick, and then it spreads, and then I’m Isky even in real life a lot of the time. (I use that because it’s the standard term. I think the internet is real life, too.)
    Then, you know, Winter comes here, and it can lock me inside for a week, going stir crazy. Even snowshoes don’t help when the snow is coming down at more than a foot an hour, and coming down sideways from the wind. It’s suicidal to stray more then a few feet out the front door. What do I turn to? The internet, to chat with friends. And yes, they are friends – real friends. I don’t think it matters that I haven’t met them in person. In fact, I think not seeing the outside lets us meet real people with less preconceptions.
    It’s not really an addiction, but I understand it is. Is it making me lose my social skills? I think it’s actually what taught me them, starting with BBSes years ago. Friends in real life? I only had some because I met them on BBSes first. The rest were merely people I sat with so adults would stop trying to force me to have friends. Being online actually taught me to have a social life.
    Why are the studies usually about the “damage” technology does to our psyche, instead of the advantages? I see there are both, but I don’t see both covered fairly and equally.

Leave a Comment

Name (required)

Email (required)