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AMA pushes for video game addiction as diagnosable disorder


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Yes, but the general public won't be so happy to hear this. Gaming already has a bad name due to certain school-shootings, WoW, and game-related deaths.

After hearing that gaming might actually become an addiction, gamers will be considered to be even more of "outsiders".

Well, i am overreacting a bit, but the bottom line is that this might turn out negatively for gamers.

I don't think you're overreacting,since the general public seems to get a hard on when something negative happens that involves video games.

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Indeed, A friend of mine (24y/o) fakes being sick, so he can miss work and do some raids on WoW, plays for hours on end (on his days off, that is all he does (around 12+hrs)), hes car broke down around 2+ years ago and hasnt repaired it back cuz of WoW, at work all he talks about is WoW, his entire life is centered around WoW.

I can positively say that hes addicted.

I have a friend like this, and yes, at times it can seem like he's "addicted" to WoW (although I'm not sure I know what the word means anymore after glancing over this thread).

These two things helped him downgrade from addiction to hobby:

1) Teach him how to play another strategy game with just as many options. For example: Magic: The Gathering, Starcraft, Command & Conquer, etc. Great wastes of time and money, and hopefully he'll switch his budget over to the new game or pick his WoW months. It's also helpful to learn this new game with him, so it'll be more important to him.

2) Remind him that no matter how good he gets at WoW, he probably won't win money. Then point him to a gaming community like Halo 2, Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike, or Super Smash Bros. Melee, which are (comparably) easier to learn and tougher to master (opinion).

Note: Where exactly is the enjoyment factor in WoW? If leveling up is not a thrill for me, is there even a game to be had? I personally prefer zero-sum competitive games because they are just as stimulating (as far as combat strategy) and there's so much less information!

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I don't quite have a psychological background, but I've had discussions about this with my wife (a sociology major and psych minor). I think that those who the public would label "addicted" fall into two categories: those who cannot stop playing, even if they try, and those who choose not to stop playing.

I don't think the latter case is an addiction at all, even if the person choosing to play a game puts his or her gaming interest over family, friends, romantic interest, or other hobbies. Are they making poor choices? Probably, but it's their choice to do so. If anything, such people need to learn about balance and responsibility, not be deprogrammed from an addiction. Unless the AMA plans on labelling poor moral choices as a psychological disorder, I'd argue this is a non-issue.

On the other hand, I don't think that someone choosing to play games instead of do things they *don't like* is an addiction either. Again, it may be a poor choice or dodging responsibilities, but as a friend said, "It's not an addiction if I'm playing World of Warcraft instead of talking to my family; they drive me nuts and I can't stand them, so I do other things because I don't want to be around them".

Obviously, there's a scale here, and no one is going to get into an addicted state or develop a dependence on a game or show withdrawl symptoms without passing through the "poor choice" phase. For example, if someone has gotten their first WoW character to level 5 and have already become unable to stop playing, there's likely more going on than just video gaming; they probably have some other mental disorder or imbalance. Assuming this isn't the case, it takes at least a little bit of time playing to develop a strong interest in a game, and probably a lot more to get you to choose to put the game before other things that you like, and both of these states must be passed through before a person becomes unable to stop playing.

I think there are two things needed. The AMA should clearly define the difference between a video game addiction and choosing to play video games to avoid other responsibilities. The first is a video game-related problem and, I suspect, happens to a very small portion of gamers (not something like 75% of all WoW players, like some American psychologist claimed in an article I read about a year ago). The second is a problem too, but is a problem with responsibility. If someone wasn't using video games to avoid their family or chores, they'd find something else, be it TV, reading, exercise, socializing, and so on. In one case, the dependency on video games must be broken; in the other, the person needs to learn to accept responsibility and find balance in life.

gamklr: The enjoyment in WoW is in teamwork and the social aspects. Levelling up is a means to an end and, if done right, isn't that bad, especially if you find a levelling buddy and play good music. WoW's strengths are the fact that the levelling is much shorter than in other MMOs, the PVP game (admittedly not better than most other MMOs, particularly Guild Wars, but still fun especially if you're competing with or against friends) and the PvE and Raiding game (whether you're a hardcore raider or just casually do instances, the group dynamic makes all the difference). I play WoW because I like interacting with other people. If I spent my "hobby" time working on music or playing offline games, I'd socialize with my wife a fair bit and that would be all. If you don't like WoW, fine, but there are plenty of good reasons to enjoy it.

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