US doctor says being addicted to MMOs is more shameful than 'x-rated' material addiction.
Addiction to MMOs can be a very serious thing, but on the other hand some doctors tend to take it a little bit too far. It's the same with the whole debate about video games turning people into violent beings. That couldn't be further from the truth if you ask me. I've played all kind of games since I was a little kid, everything from Doom, Command & Conquerer, Quake, Crysis, Bioshock, Age of Conan.. the list goes on. Point is, I'm still the same person. I do not run around the streets with an axe, nor do I try to kill people in class and/or school.
There's usually other more serious underlying issues that are a big part of the problem. Perhaps a player wants to escape the real world and do so with the MMO they play. I've done this myself, (changing from the "videogames being violent" debate to "MMO addiction" again) -- escaping reality by playing MMOs too much. While I might have been somewhat 'addicted', it was never hard for me to stop. I know of those who really can't stop playing (as in, won't admit they are addicted) and being addicted to games is very real (be it MMOs or something else). I also think it's easier to get addicted to MMOs due to the social aspects of most of them..
..You tend to build up a network of so-called friends and you usually join a guild where you get to know people and play together. All of a sudden, this "game" becomes more and to some it might be the only social aspect in their life. Yes, some of you might think "sad", but let's face it, we're not all having a perfect life, or even close to one.
The doctor in question, Dr Jerald Block spoke of Internet addiction and several of the cases he had to deal with - The Boston Glove.
Dr Jerald Block said The computer gamers tend to be harder to treat. People feel a lot of shame around computer games. Whereas, it's socially acceptable to have a porn problem.
This is interesting, I don't see how it's any more social acceptable to have a "porn problem" as he put it. Actually, to be frank I would be much more embarrassed if I was addicted to porn instead of World of Warcraft. But hey, that's me.
Eleven million play World of Warcraft - It's not strange that people get addicted. It's the same with using social network sites like Facebook. There was an article I read a couple of days ago that went over how some employees threatened to quit their jobs if Facebook was blocked at their office. WoW is a "social" game, if you want it to be. There's tons to do together with other people, across the whole wide world. Online.
Now, going back to what I was briefly mentioning, me having played MMOs to escape reality? Well, that's something I did many many years ago by playing EverQuest and later Lineage 2. I got to know a lot of nice people -- many whom I've since met in real-life and keep in touch with regulary. So I can totally see how it can become addictive, it's just a matter of waking up and realizing you need to balance your life and not just play, play and play. Real life will catch up with you eventually!
Dr Block also said As a society we understand that porn is something people do, and you can see a psychiatrist and get treated for it. But gaming is hard to describe to anyone else.
So these people can't explain their situation to friends. In fact, it's hard to give you an example of what my clients talk about, because gaming is enormously complicated.
It shouldn't be too hard to explain the reason why you play an MMO for example. At least not if it's for the social aspect and the feeling that you achieve something, when you feel that you're not doing too well in the real world. Both those points are major reasons I believe people get addicted to MMOs, they can do things in the fantasy world that they can only dream of in the real one. And no, I'm not talking about killing dragons per se. I mainly refer to the fact that they can lead a guild or group with 4 other people (hell, 39 other people if they want to and raid) and socialize, kill stuff together and have in general a pretty good time.
Like the Southpark WoW comedy, "Make Love, Not Warcraft", Stan's dad explain to a co-worker how he's a might warrior in WoW and just a regular worker in real-life.
What are your thoughts on gaming addiction dear reader? Especially MMOs, but it goes for any game. Like I previously said, MMO addiction is probably more common than being addicted to other games.