I know my last blog was only yesterday; though last night I watched a documentary that really made me want to write. So here I am again rambling, though this time actually rambling about a viable argument. You see the programme (Panorama, BBC) was talking about gaming addiction. Is it real? Just who are the people affected? I found myself, now a person selling videogames as well as attempting to make them (with tenacity :P) getting rather engrossed in the programme and wanting to take some kind of responsibility. I mean I love games, I wouldn't be in everyday determined on 3dsmax if I didn't, although after a few hours on Sacred 2 I can put the controller down...So what makes an addict an addict? Just how much is too much?
Yesterday at GAME the main release was World of Warcraft Cataclysm (released last night at 11pm), and I managed to get quite a few pre orders (along with Wii remotes...seriously they LOVE the Wii-motes) though for two of the case studies mentioned in the documentary this was the worst game for fuelling game addiction. Leo, 20 calculates that he's spent 12hrs a day for 2 years on the game, clocking experience to get to level 70. He's lost touch with friends and family and his university work is failing. Also, Joe from Notts. only stopped playing when his dad threw his Xbox 360 out the window after he was expelled from university. Now thousands in dept, he stopped going to lectures and couldn't psychically move from his bed. Finally, Chris' Mother recalls how he started via refusing to go to school, playing the game throughout the night. More scary to this particular story is how when the internet went down he remembers shaking and sweating also becoming violent - anyone else think heroin addict sympts? To be honest when i saw these guys I thought of this video -
Joking aside, if it is this severe what are people doing about it? And is it the gaming industry or the individual who is to blame?
Gaming addiciton is not recognised as a medical condition; and companies believe it is a product of media histeria. Within the documentary Ian Livingstone from Eidos Interactive argued that "People say they are addicted to football or television, they probably have addictive personalities - there is no formal published medical evidence saying games are addictive." Listening to him I did kinda agree - I mean didn't they say the same about dancing and rock'n'roll in the 50s? After all isn't it your choice whether you play the game?
Panorama - BBC 6th Dec 2010