[Editorial] Video Game Addiction: An Elaborate Lie?

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#1
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?
 

BigBob

Registered Member
#2
I'll start with the not so important questions.

I am a gamer, and I play a good bit through out the week, except on Saturdays and Sundays, because those are my football days (Oh no, can I be a football addict?! :p). I consider myself a middle to heavy gamer, but that's only because I can't find a job right now and have a lot of free time, but that's not saying when I had a job I didn't play a lot. If I didn't have to work till 3 in the afternoon on some days, I stayed up till 5 or 6 in the morning playing online.

Now to the important stuff.

My thoughts on video game addiction is this.. people who act as if video games are their plug for life support are just a little ridiculous. Why? Look at the video you posted. Birth is one of those things some people only get to expierence once in a life time. This guy thought it was more important to go play World of Warcraft then be by his girlfriends said when she gave birth to his kid?

Video games can ruin relationships in some instances. I think there was another True Life, or it might've just been something else on MTV where this guy played video games 90% of his day and him and his girlfriend ended up spliting up because he ignored her and said on the show "video games are more important then her".

Saying video game addiction is or isn't real is really hard to explain for me. To me, a real addiction is to a drug, like cocaine, weed or alcohol.

All signs point to, at least in the videos you've posted, that it is an addiction.. but do these people go into withdraw whenever they can't get a game in like a heroin addict who can't find someone to sell them a stamp? Do video games mess with you while you're playing like alcohol and weed messes with your body (this is excluding those people who have health problems that some video games post health warnings before they start)?

Of course some people are going to be like drugs and alcohol have no comparison to video games, but IMO if you're going to try and classify video game addiction as a real addiction, then you're going to have to put them in the same category.

So to answer the last question, no, I don't believe it should be added to the DSM.
 

Mihael_langley

Formerly "Maikeru"
#3
Video games can ruin relationships in some instances. I think there was another True Life, or it might've just been something else on MTV where this guy played video games 90% of his day and him and his girlfriend ended up spliting up because he ignored her and said on the show "video games are more important then her".

.

Wasnt the guy who made an youtube video saying that it would be his last one, and telling viewers not to neglect their lifes because of some hobby?

I believe that anything that we enjoy doing can turn into an addiction if we let it.

I play everyday, at least 3 hours, much more during my day offs, its something i can say i have some level of addiction to, i find myself needing it when i spend some time without.

However it doesn't affect me that much socialy, and i have days of the week when i dedicate myself exclusively to my friends and family.
 

BigBob

Registered Member
#4
Wasnt the guy who made an youtube video saying that it would be his last one, and telling viewers not to neglect their lifes because of some hobby?
Which video are you talking about? I wasn't talking about any video Cons posted.

If it really is an addiction though, he wouldn't be able to say I'm done, I'm not doing it anymore. My best friend quit smoking weed.. about 5 times. I real addiction is something you can't just say I quit and be done with it.
 

Mihael_langley

Formerly "Maikeru"
#5
This one:
Video: Video Game Addict Loses Wife & Son Over His Addiction | PerezStart

The video was removed by the author though, you can still read the story:

A recent video uploaded onto YouTube has raised concern on video games and those addicted to them. YouTube user lukemorse1 recorded a video informing people that because of his addiction to gaming, his wife and son have left him.
According to lukemorse1’s YouTube channel profile, his collection seemed very complete ranging from older, classic consoles such as the Atari 2600, all the way up to the current generation. He also uploaded gameplay footage of games running on their original systems, as well as life in Japan.
In his video, he claims the reason for his wife and son leaving him was due to the fact that he grossly neglected them while he spent his time with his hobby. He also states the reason for him making his final video was to teach those of us who might be following his track to learn from his mistakes. Time management is key when it comes to video games. I personally would love to play video games all day and night, but I have other priorities that I know need to be taken care of before I can enjoy myself.
We here at PerezStart wish nothing but the best to lukemorse1. We also would like to acknowledge him for teaching the gaming community a valuable lesson: “People will always be around. Make sure you put a lot more priority on people than you do things, because in the end… I mean.. what do you have? A bunch of stuff that doesn’t really mean anything.”
 

BigBob

Registered Member
#6
Now that's just ridiculous.

The dude didn't have his priorities straight, and I think that's all "video game addiction" is. If it's so important for you to play video games instead of taking care of your family, then you deserve the pain when they leave you.