Being a parent sucks and you don't even need to have children to know it. Parents are blasted, hung, burned at the stake, and publicly executed everyday for anything they do that can be construed as even slightly wrong or out of order. Suffice to say, a lot of parents are very paranoid when it comes to doing things the right way today and whenever the media spouts off about anything dangerous to children, parents must subscribe or face severe scrutiny. It's been comic books, Harry Potter and devil worship, rap music, horror films, Marilyn Mansion, and Pokemon cards that apparently glorified gambling. The newest scapegoat to hit the table in the last few years is video gaming. As with all scapegoats, it has become a popular source of blame since gaming companies have been reporting revenue numbers that make even Warren Buffet weep. The new, hip phrase for this "epidemic" as the likes of Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama have suggested, is "Video game addiction". So what is this all about and is it all really a lie? First we must explore what an addiction is. According to Wikipedia, "The term "addiction" is used in many contexts to describe an obsession, compulsion, or excessive psychological dependence." Not all addictions are to substances, as we know. In this case, people are arguing for a proper definition for video game addiction, even a proposed entry to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (which did not get accepted). I've always been of the mindset that because one can become psychologically dependent on something that offers them a reward of sorts, that you can basically argue anything can be addictive. Should we start treating people 'addicted' to the outdoors? Under the current structure, gaming can be described as addicting. It's well known that people have died in numerous countries from over-gaming, or playing for too long. People have even attacked and killed over games as well (see the disturbing case of Daniel Petric). However, this addictive behavior often translates in media speak to fear mongering about the danger of gaming. The mere fact that people can get addicted (such as the numerous infamous Warcraft addict stories and other extreme cases like this guy). The previous link goes to an episode of the talk show "Tyra" and you can tell by her response that the very fact that it's a video game bothers her. People have started to move away from this worry about gaming as if it is some sort of taboo or strange activity thanks to mainstream success of games like Halo 3, Call of Duty 4 and the Madden series. (More to come) What are your thoughts on "video game addiction"? Is it real? Should it be added to the DSM? Are you a gamer? How much do you play each week? Do you consider yourself a light, middle or heavy gamer in terms of time spent?