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Expert: 40 Percent of World of Warcraft Players Addicted

Is video game addiction an actual medical condition? Dr. Maressa Orzack, founder of the Computer Addiction Services program at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, says the answer is \"yes\". And she believes that up to 40 percent of the 6 million plus players of the mega-popular MMORPG World of Warcraft are clinically addicted to the game. TwitchGuru talks with one of the foremost experts in the controversial field of video game addiction.
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  1. What makes her an expert on video game play? She's looks 105 years old, that'd make her 90 or so when decent/addicting games came out. I think we basically already had this discussion on the clinic in Europe that was a game re-hab. She calls heavy gaming a "mental disorder". Everybody hear that? We all have mental disorders.
    I hate her explanation of how companies add subtle things and designs the game to be addictive and keep players playing. of course you ol' bag, why WOULDN'T you design it to keep someone playing. You are SUPPOSED to play the game. I'm sure Blizzard doesn't have a lab where they test certain combinations of colors that have a euphoric effect. Arg...some people really are ridiculous. Actually, her idea of putting a warning label of addiction on the case, I bet that would HELP sales, not hurt them.
    Either way, let people do what they like. How is wanting to game all the time any different from wanting to do ANYTHING all the time. Someone who wants to build models will build models. Someone who wants to skateboard, will skateboard. It's just another hobby. The comparison to drugs is ridiculous too. Drugs kill people. If not the user, sometimes the user ends up killing someone else in a car or worse. Games do not kill people. They don't involve crime, illegal activities, or real danger.
    Get a life. Seriously. She should spend her time getting people off of real dangerous, and illegal drugs...Not virtual ones. (sigh) I hate people.
  2. World of Warcraft IS addicting however 40% of the community actual being addicted is another story. I used to be a WOW player, started back in Beta. I couldn't stop playing...my grades dropped, my girlfriend almost broke up with me, lost my job...finally after the release of Naxx I sold my account and finally got rid of the damn game. World of Warcraft was ment to be played with limits or else your stuck in the game forever.
  3. Yeah, I played WOW, but I can't seem to find why its so interesting, maybe its because I can restrict myself, and tell the differents between real life and virtual reality, not like some nuts taking Doom as an excuse for killing people. Hmmm, thats it??!?? We're a bunch of Mentally disordered people, YAHA, I have Mental disorder, time to go get FREE food from the goverment.
  4. Am I a WoW player? Yes.
    Do I play WAY more than I should? Yes.
    Do I find it alot of fun? Yes.

    Am I addictetd? No.

    I am a big gamer and always play new games until I beat it.
    I want to "win".

    With "WoW" you can win and can always progress.
    Hence, I will play it a long long time.
    Eventually I will get a new game and play that too much.

    Do I lose a sense of reality? No.

    I work my tail off at work, makes loads of money, and go home and have fun. If something around the house needs fixing I pay somebody. I bought my wife a laptop so she Y! games will I WOW.

    Life is good.
    I'm going on a cruise without WoW soon and I look forward to it and don't dread missing WoW.

    Just cause you love something and spend too much time does not mean you are addicted. It means you are lucky :>>
  5. Mhe.

    The label thing is funny

    "Play WoW may cause addiction because is very good"


    How about

    "Stop pointing games a source of all problems, it is YOUR foult and no one esle's"


    Is so easy to blame something else in this world rather than the problem itself
  6. The thing she cant distingish is there are a certain type of people who get addicted. Not all people get addicted just a minority.

    Like everything there are people who take things in excess... Drugs, Beer, etc... Its those types of people who might excessively play WoW and other games like it.

    Instead of blaming the game she should find out this:
    Who are attracted to MMO's (Background of the person)?
    Why are they attracted to MMOs?


    Dont blame the game... I hardly think game developers tried to make a game addicting. They tried to make the game world of WoW broad, vast, with tons of stuff to do. Also the many different classes add replayability.
    Its the fault of people who made these fantasies a higher priorty than real life.
  7. Well, looks like that's true intelligence at work for ya!

    "...Orzack says there's little difference between drug use, excessive gambling and heavy game playing..."

    Gimme some crack-cocaine please... for the love of god PLEASE! :wink:

    :idea: Neanderthal say, "...make Thing good, make money for eat food. Not make boring Thing so people not want this Thing. Make goooood product people want, make more money, me think this better way to do..." (and he didn't go to Harvard either!)
  8. I hate stories like these they make no sense and i'll be dammed if they stop making a certian gaming genre because some retards can't control there playing habits. they said it themselves with the example that kid that got addicated was in a bad family at the time and thats why he got addicted. same would be if someone couldn't stop reading books they get too in to them to escape from reality. pretty funny though he got addicted mostly because he had no friends and no life but when he went into the game he felt at home because e was talking to the same type of people.

    There thats my vent

    1f u c4n r34d th1s u r34lly
    n33d t0 g37 l41d
  9. I love how articles about internet addiction always bring on a bunch of forum posts from people saying that they aren't addicted. They play WoW 75+ hours a week, but they can't stop any time they want.

    I agree that it usually takes some extraneous circumstances to cause a person to become fully addicted to a game, but the same can be said for every other addiction.

    That being said, it is not the fault or, in my opinion, the responsibility of the game maker (in this case blizzard) to deal with this. WoW is a game which makes them money by having players keep playing the game, month after month, year after year. This means that they specifically design the game to be addictive. If this is a crime, then somebody sue McDonalds for making people continue eating their food even though they are addicted and it hurts them (actually, I am pretty sure somebody has already done this).

    As for gaming addiction being just like any other hobby, if you played baseball 75 hours a week, lost your job/wife/kids or even just did nothing but play baseball, then yes, you are addicted to baseball and should seek some help. The problem with video games is that this happens much more frequently. Anything can be addictive. The reason for the attention drawn to video games is that it seems to be attracting more 'addicts' than other hobbies.

    I think that classifying 40% of WoW users as addicted is a bit high though (maybe 10%?). The interviewee seems to have pulled that number out of thin air. Of course in her line of work, most of the people she meets will be addicts. More research needs to be done to learn more about this issue.

    Everybody who plays a game like that goes through a period of time (usually no more than a week or 2) where they play the game daily. That is not addiction, it is just finding a new hobby. We all tend to get a little obsessive about a new hobby that we enjoy. But when you keep playing a game every single day for months at a time, this can become unhealthy.
  10. I play Wow, and honestly, I am addicted to a certain degree. However, if WoW were removed, e.g., if my account was closed and I could not reinstall without buying it again, I wouldn't. Also, before WoW was around, I was addicted to Command and Conquer Generals: Zero Hour, and before that it was the KOTOR series of games.

    My point? Parents are the problem--the only reason WoW is successfull is because people pay for it, so should we blame Blizzard because they came up with a SUCCESSFUL game, or should we blame parents/individuals for being irresponsible with their money?

    Also, there is no new disorder--it's the same frikin thing as existing disorders--they call it addiction. Addiction can be with video games, movies, sitcoms, Internet surfing, myspace browsing, cell phones, etc. To say that video game addiction is something new is stupid, it has been around practically since pong!
  11. Posted mine before I saw yours--yes, agree 100% with your post, gm0n3y.
  12. A point that isn't mentioned is that MMO's are also extremely cheap entertainment. Compare the cost of a 2-hour movie, or a night at a bar to a 1-month subscription to an MMO. Many people do not have a lot of disposable income, so I think it's no wonder that people have gravitated towards this form of entertainement due to its cost effective nature.
  13. Her reasoning isn't real off base. It's not like a drug which can lead to a physical addiction. But it can lead to a pyschological (sp.) addiction. I know a lot of folks who daydream or think about computer gaming whether they are online or not. And I do know guys that will blow-off a real life commitment to get one more level, or one more scrim in before logging off. It's habitual since if you're like me, you prefer gaming to other activities like watching television.

    What she doesn't get is that a true addiction becomes your life. I don't think 40% of the WoW players out there completely blow off everything else but the game. It almost seems like she would consider anything an addiction if you showed a "preference" toward a certain repetitive habit. I can't put down a good book or stop watching a movie part way through... guess I have a lot more addictions than just my tobacco habit.

    I remember similar claims about television too...
  14. +
    Quote:
    RW: Then aren't the issues at home more of a problem than the actual games themselves?

    Dr. Orzack: No, I disagree. You can't say that about Blizzard, which structures the games like World of Warcraft to be addictive. They design these MMORPGs to keep people in the game. I do think the problem is tied in with other things like family issues, but the games themselves are inherently addictive. That's ultimately the cause of the problem.

    WTF I don't play wow but i do play counter strike and others since a few month ago anyways.

    It is not the devs fault it is the pepole who play it. They don't desing it to be addictive you insane moronic doctor.

    They desing a good game..Witch are fun Were addicted to fun not game you Hat.


    I Play games I am addicted. I DO NOT want help. I am perfiectly fine with being addicted.

    This "woman" as you call IT *seems more like the devil to me*
    Needs to die.
  15. Quote:
    +RW: Then aren't the issues at home more of a problem than the actual games themselves?

    Dr. Orzack: No, I disagree. You can't say that about Blizzard, which structures the games like World of Warcraft to be addictive. They design these MMORPGs to keep people in the game. I do think the problem is tied in with other things like family issues, but the games themselves are inherently addictive. That's ultimately the cause of the problem.

    WTF I don't play wow but i do play counter strike and others since a few month ago anyways.

    It is not the devs fault it is the pepole who play it. They don't desing it to be addictive you insane moronic doctor.

    They desing a good game..Witch are fun Were addicted to fun not game you Hat.


    I Play games I am addicted. I DO NOT want help. I am perfiectly fine with being addicted.

    This "woman" as you call IT *seems more like the devil to me*
    Needs to die.

    I see the trolls have come out to play...


    Also, I have to disagree about television being in the same category. I don't know of anybody that will blow off important things in their life (work, relationships) to watch "just one more show".

    I think we can all agree that Dr. Orzack goes a little overboard with her assertions about the evils of game addiction. But, I can also understand her viewpoint as she is on the front lines for this sort of thing and as I mentioned above, her view may be a little skewed because of this (as I'm sure are ours).
  16. I’ve no more eloquent way of saying this but … This is just a crock ... I for one am sick and tired of everyone blaming video games, the internet, television, or anything but themselves, on their own, uncontrollable, personal or social issues ... Grand Theft Auto has not caused an epidemic, where you are so absorbed in the game you feel compelled to acquire an AK-47 and go on a shooting spree in your local neighborhood, bust’n a cap’n some bizch’z-n-ho’z… Oh and watch out you just might find a digital booby hidden in that game, god forbid, but that’s a whole other soapbox … Project Gotham Racing, did not entice people to ram their shiny new cars into each other at high speed on the highways across the planet ... Super Mario Brothers did not cause nation wide mass panic from mushroom bashing plumbers ... And MMO's DO NOT cause addiction.

    The ONLY persons whom will be effected by a video game in such a way as to be considered "addicted", are those whom already suffer from addictive or obsessive personality disorders to begin with. Period.

    Yes, video games can contribute to the obsessive or addictive nature of someone that already is obsessive compulsive aka: an addictive personality or worse, obsessive compulsive disorder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OCD) ... Then again so can eating, jogging, reading, sex, breathing, washing your hands, chocolate, swimming, baseball, laughing, cars, cleaning, clothes, music, shoes, working, sleeping, drinking, tanning, shooting or just about anything that will illicit a positive chemical reaction in the brain... They are called endorphins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorphin) and it's what makes you feel good. When, well you're feeling good... Simply put when your brain is exposed to a stimuli that is interpreted as positive, it will release endorphins, thus giving you the feeling of well being. Psychologically, if you suffer from any level of obsessive, addictive or compulsory disorder then yes, you will be more affected by video games than drinking a glass of water. Otherwise, you’ll never even notice.

    Hi my name is Jason, I’m 33 years old and yes, I love my video games, I have about a hundred or so in my home currently, 40-50 XBOX, the rest in PC games. Yes, I have O.C.D. but I keep it in check. Yes, I have a wonderful well paying job, beautiful home, 2 new shiny cars, a wonderful wife, great dogs, lots of friends. My wife understands that video gaming is very important to me, I understand that there is a time for gaming and a time for social activities. Well, Dr. Quack-quack Le’Orzack … I guess I’m cured, so STFU and focus on the root of the issue, bizch..


    /rant:off

    Peace,
    Jason
  17. Well I play WoW like 20 hours a week and while I used to play a lot more when I had more time on my hands, I'm probably someone that this "expert" (who has probably never played a video game) would say is definately addicted. But wait... I still skip out playing to hang out with friends instead and havn't had any real life problems because of playing...

    I would say if you play to the point where you can't do things in real life instead, then you at least have a problem, although it's certainly not a physical dependency like you can get from drugs or cigarettes or whatever.

    While it's true to say that its possible to have a video game problem if you can't get out of the world and go do real stuff, but if you play for fun and are able to function as a normal human being as well, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. For myself and the majority of subscribers, wow is just a great thing to do with your free time that is extremely enjoyable.
  18. People who don't play video games shouldn't be allowed to say its an addiction, since they have no idea if it is or not.

    I don't play WOW, havent even tried it but I have played various other mmorpg's and I can say one thing, I get into the game for like 2 days and then get bored from taking 1 minute to kill a monster and killing that same monster 50 times to reach the next lvl. Basically all u do is watch your character hack at the enemy monster, feels like forever and at specific intervals using special moves. So boring.

    For other games like CS I get bored as well, sure it feels good when u kill someone but eventually it gets repetitive. Same applies for warcraft 3 and DOTA.

    For every game I get addicted to it the first time I play but eventually I will get bored of it (usually a time period of 2 days to a month), how can any game be classified as an addiction if you eventually get bored of it. Gambling addiction = never get bored.

    Why do ppl like her don't understand the reason new games always come out, its not just for the improved graphics, its because ppl get bored of the old games and want to move on to something new.
  19. Big game fan here, still I think she has a point, ok so maybe 40% is a lot, still. I'm goin in my second year of my study psychology, but I am also a big game fan as I said. There are people with a predisposition to become addicted to something, anything, this can be drugs, alcohol, gambling, and well apparently she believes games can become addictive too. Doesn't mean it's the fault of the game (or it's developpers), with alcoholics we don't blame the existence of beer as 'the' problem, it's the combo of receptive people and well addictive stuff. Doesn't mean beer should be forbidden, neither does it mean it's a bad thing when you drink (non-problematic). Point here is gaming is not the problem the problem is problematic gaming. Like drinking beer is not a problem, only problem drinkers have a problem, because it consumes too much of their lives.

    And your not an addict when you can't stop watching a movie or something, usually the problematic behavior needs to be present during a certain period (not meaning hours, more like weeks or longer) to become a problem, and it needs to disrupt your normal daily life.

    And as for the scary 'mental disorder' label, well it's just that, a label. Nothing more and nothing less. It's just a name for something that exists, that didn't exist. Compare it with a gambling addiction. No physical addiction, but there is a psychological addiction. I'm sure it'll be the talk of the town, but it'll blow over and eventually we will accept it just as a gambling addiction exists. Doesn't mean you can't have fun at the casino does it :wink:

    And then about the warning on the box. Why should it be a bad thing? There are warnings on the cigarettes I buy, warning on the alcohol I buy, but that doesn't stop me from using them. Cause drinking aint a problem for me. (ok I won't deny I can't stop smoking :oops: , but that's my choice) But what if i just recovered from my alcohol addiction and someone invited me to go to the casino, I might just not go, because that's an addictive game, and in this case I would know to watch out for that. But I might just run in to a MMORPG and slip into it. Wouldn't it be nice if I was warned? The label isn't targeted at healty consumers. They just ignore it anyway.

    And there IS a difference between a hobby that consumes time and an addiction that consumes time. A hobby doesn't cause problematic behavior, an addiction does just that. I think it's everyone's own responsibility to decide when you think something is getting out of hand.

    Oh, and about that chemical thing, it aint endorphines that make you feel happy and repeat behavior, that would be dopamine. Specifically in the nucleus accumbens in the brain, for your reference; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucleus_accumbens That's the chemical released after diner, after sex. It's also the chemical almost all drugs work on; pleasure on the tap. It's also the chemical released during gaming. And therefore the reason sex after gaming aint that interesting. It's a substance that makes us repeat behavior that made us feel good, so normally we would repeat looking for food and having sex, so we live on and reproduce. But as the world has changed other things also elicit this chemical to be released, hence again our responsibility to enjoy but not get lost in it.

    Well I'll be getting back into Oblivion now, just for a while, really!! :wink:
  20. Quote:
    Is video game addiction an actual medical condition? Dr. Maressa Orzack, founder of the Computer Addiction Services program at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, says the answer is \"yes\". And she believes that up to 40 percent of the 6 million plus players of the mega-popular MMORPG World of Warcraft are clinically addicted to the game. TwitchGuru talks with one of the foremost experts in the controversial field of video game addiction.


    Great article Rob, terrific, actually.

    I am yet to buy WoW. Its taken every ounce of mental strength not to, (slight over embellishment, but close to the mark :lol: ).

    I was fanatical over Baldurs Gate and thank the Gods I didn't have the same addiction to Neverwinter Nights (didnt enjoy the scope of the game); but WoW has always looked super appealing to me and when you're close to 30 years of age, working 10 hour days and trying to maintain a lifestyle that's healthy and happy, the last thing you need is a game that will burn months, not hours, away from your personal time.

    I'm going to buy the game soon and enjoy it but not before I put strict time limitations down for myself. Sound silly? "Time limitations" might read as such but when you're a huge fan of the genre then its not unreasonable to be realistic about what you should and should not be doing as an adult--or teen--leading a productive life. We have to do it at work--put in time limits to achieve business goals etc--and home should be no different if you want a life worth living.

    Again, fascinating article, Rob.
  21. Well I must say that I disagree with the good doctor on a couple things. . .I think lack of willpower and/or restraint has a lot to do with it. In my opinion there are too many people that play and are NOT addicted to say that the game is specificly designed to lure you into addictive habbits but a lack of willpower or restraint plays no part.

    I unfortunately happen to know a little something about addiction, as much of my family is or was at one point striving to break some sort of addiction, be it cigarettes, drugs or alcohol. Not one of them has managed to break their habbits without somewhere along the way acknowledging that they had a problem that started, and could end, with them, with their own choice.

    Seeking help and striving to understand the problem is all well and good, but I really think that people focusing on the product rather than the person is a bit of a mistake.

    Just my thoughts.
  22. I guarantee that nearly every poster here has a different definition about what an addiction is; some would say "2 hours a night is too much!" whereas I say that's 2 hours of crap reality television that I'm not watching that you probably are.

    Another season of Big Brother just finished here in Australia. If you want to meet some pathetic people you should speak to the Big Brother addicts.

    75+ hrs per week is a bit excessive though...
  23. parents should limit time on their kids gaming wise, mmo or not, and be more involved in them. maybe the kids are fustrated because their parents jus yell at them to get off the comp or console and do something else without understanding that its a type of entertainment that was brought along with the info age. anyways at least she isnt going, "sue all the game companies"

    although self restraint is something everyone needs
  24. To who's post I'm replying, do not feel targeted as my response is a general one to many that have responded.

    First: to all people that are responding "I'm playing it and I'm not addicted so there's nothing wrong with the game", you are missing the point (completely). Not everyone is addicted to alcohol either. Addiction is about percentages, only part of the population is susceptible to certain types of addiction. If a significant part of a population is getting addicted to this kind of thing then it becomes a public health issue, regardless whether you are susceptible to it or not.

    In addition to that, addicts are notorious deniers of their own state of well being, so stating "I'm doing fine, so the game is fine" are useless in discussions like these.

    Although the (possible) addiction is not induced by actually injecting chemicals into your body/bloodstream (like alcohol, drugs, nicotine etc), there may very well be a physical component to it: like enhanced production of certain endorphines in your brain due to playing games or gambling. I have no scientific evidence that points to this being the case, but it would not hurt to investigate this aspect. It might provide an explanation why some people are more susceptible to such addictions than others, it does not change the problem itself (it might affect the treatment).

    Having said that: I would like to see more information on how this figure of 40% of addicted WoW players came about. As we are talking probabilities and public health issues, I think it is extremely important that people do not start shouting random numbers without some backing of statistical study or research, because this will get the discussion on the wrong footing from the start.

    We don't need another Prohibition (this time focused on games) on our hands. Next to being a flourishing industry, the gaming industry also provides a number of technological advancements that are invaluable to other areas of application (like education, just to name an example) and therefore we need a careful balancing between the good and the bad aspects of gaming. We do not stand to win anything by a witch hunt on computer gamers, but if gamers and the gaming industry (continue to) refuse to discuss issues like game addiction in an open way (receptive to people who bring valuable (preferably scientific) facts on the table, or pose interesting hypotheses that warrant (scientific) investigation) that is exactly what might happen.
  25. Quote:
    ...dopamine. Specifically in the nucleus accumbens in the brain, for your reference. That's the chemical released after diner, after sex. It's also the chemical almost all drugs work on; pleasure on the tap. It's also the chemical released during gaming. And therefore the reason sex after gaming aint that interesting.


    Hahaha you and all your physcological mumbo jumbo are wrong because I LOVE SEX AFTER GAMING (warcraft included). I also enjoy sex after dinner or after a movie or after other sex so it must be something other than the dopamine.
  26. Quote:
    whereas I say that's 2 hours of crap reality television that I'm not watching that you probably are.

    Another season of Big Brother just finished here in Australia. If you want to meet some pathetic people you should speak to the Big Brother addicts


    As a fellow Aussie...*Hi mate*... I couldnt agree more with your above message.
  27. Thanks for weighing in BigMac. You make an excellet point about being susceptible to addiction without necessarily succumbing to it.

    As for the 40 percent, it did seem high to me too (Dr. Orzack came up with that figure based on recent research and studies from other experts and groups and also based the figure on her own experiences at the Computer Addiction Services clinic). I'm as skeptical of game addiction myself. But how many times have we talked with MMORPGs players that said "I was playing way too much and had to quit"? How many times have we all used the word "addictive" when referring to a really good game? All I'm saying is, it makes you wonder. There's no medical test, per se, for game addiction so I'm sure this will remain a hotly debated issue for quite some time.

    Finally, a lot of people on the forum have stated that Dr. Orzack isn't qualified to determine whether or no games are addictive because she's never played games. Well, first, I don't know if that's true; she may indeed have played many games. I'll have to ask her about that in our next conversation. Second, if she hasn't played video games before, then I suppose she's no different than the people claiming games aren't addictive when they have no medical background and have never studied or treated addiction.
  28. One thing that I think needs to be mentioned is the fact that it may not be the gaming portion of MMORPGs that people are getting addicted to. The very nature of MMORPGs is that they are a social game, played with others and often requires one person to team up with others in order to battle the challenges of the game. The last time I checked, we all needed social contact in order to lead healthly lives, but we don't call hanging out with friends an addiction.

    In the article itself the boy that Dr. Orzack was doing a case study on said, "I also asked what he expected to find each time he turned on the game, and his answer was a sense of belonging." He did not say he simply felt compelled to play to beat levels or that it made him feel empowered. He felt like he belonged there just as one might feel like they belong to a grouping of friends.

    Honestly, I play World of Warcraft and if it weren't for my friends on that game I would have quit long ago. I haven't because I honestly enjoy spending time with the people I have met in game. We have even had guild functions outside of the game like get-togethers. If they all lived closer and we did not have to use WoW to communicate but could go out to the movies or something I am sure most of us would.

    I believe that this Dr. Orzack is doing nothing more than making a generalization based on what friends & family complain about - and that she hasn't really explored the topic much more than that. After all, if she had further explored, she would have been able to compare WoW to something such as chatting & e-mail - where as shown in the movie "You've Got Mail", people run home just to check their mail. If she is goign to do a movie on addictions, why not target the internet or e-mail also? Why? Oh that's right. It's easier to pick the behaviors of the younger members of society out and claim that they are addictive & wrong moreso than those of the general population.
  29. For the record I've played WoW since it was in beta and I think I've averaged about 20 hours a week since it was released. I do not let it get in the way of life - I'm married and have responcibilites, and come on... happy hour is happy hour after all. :)

    I'm not convinced that our friend Dr. Orzack isn't out to make a quick buck. I'm not doubting that people can get addicted to games and 75+ hours a week is a touch on the high side, but if someone needs to escape from their family because they can't handle it then there are other problems that need to be solved. Games shouldn't be blamed for this kind of thing.

    I'm thinking its safe to say that the 40% number was pulled out of thin air. My educated guess would be somewhere in the single digits (maybe 10%), which is still a good number of people. I think its easy to confuse those that enjoy gaming with those that are addicted to it especially for those that have never touch a good MMORPG (such as our friend the doctor).
  30. I was interested by what Dr. Orzack said about video game addiction not being recognised by most health insurance companies.
    If this were to be recognized as a legitimate disorder, and a treatment of sorts became widely available, how long will it be before we're asked if we play video games when we apply for health insurance?
    Will owning a console and enjoying games mean we have to pay higher health insurance premiums?

    Although I think there may be issues with people becoming too involved with their chosen game(s), I think labeling it generically "Video Game Addiction" will only result in further prejudice and censorship.

    I'm an Australian, and although we have very tolerant cencorship and ratings laws in reguards to film, music and the arts, we have a general lack of understanding when it comes to games and gamers, and as such, we don't even have an Adult rating when it comes to releasing games. (MA 15+ being the highest possible rating for a video game released in Australia). Most recently, this resulted in Reservoir Dogs not getting a rating, and therefore banned from being sold, rented, demonstrated or displayed.

    Take this lack of understanding, which isn't limited to my own country, and start throwing the term "Video Game Addiction" around in the media, and it won't take long for games to become the scape goat for everything deemed abnormal in a society. Again.

    Remember when parents would automatically jump to the conclusion their kids were on drugs if they had any concerns about them?
    Well, video games, and gamers, are the next generic excuse.
  31. I am a pretty heavy gamer, but luckily I usually get bored with games too quickly to become addicted to them. I played WoW with my gf for like 6 hours a day untilw e both hit level 40. Then we decided it was boring and quit it. Now we have decided not to become involved in any more MMORPGs. For everyone here saying, "Its not the developers fault, you need to control yourself," I strongly disagree with you. As some other people mentioned, Blizzard developed this game to waste people's time. They could have easily made epic armor and everything else more easily achievable, but the way they implemented it you have to spend weeks if not months playing the game to achieve it. Someone else mentioned the monthly fees, this is where most MMORPGs make their money, so of course it is in Blizzards best interest to keep paying this monthly fee. Of course to keep people in they have to keep people playing, so they designed the game to keep people playing for several months.

    Also, I think part of social interaction is actually meeting with people face to face, so you have a real face to associate with the person, instead of associating them with some fake toon in a game. I have friends who are still addicted to RO(ragnarok), they have been spending a ton of their time on it for a very long time. Part of the reason it becomes hard to let go is because you end up putting so much time into your character that it feels bad to just stop playing them.

    However, I beleive you can play games easily without becoming addicted, and relating games to drugs is just stupid. A lot of drug addictions are physical, while if gaming were to be called and addiction it would be totally psychological. Someone playing games 2-3 hours a night is more of just a hobby than an addiction, especially if they can skip days without playing anything. I think it becomes an addiction when they start neglecting important things in their life(friends, family, work/school) to play games instead. If you're constantly blowing off your friends irl to play WoW I think its fair to say you're addicted to it in some degree.
  32. First of all, please realize that none of us can use their personal experience as a reference to prove someone else's statistical information to be wrong. You'll have to do better than that.

    Quote:

    I believe that this Dr. Orzack is doing nothing more than making a generalization based on what friends & family complain about - and that she hasn't really explored the topic much more than that.

    We're talking about a medical doctor here that is treating patients in a clinic specifically targeted at people addicted to computer games. I don't think she's just making generalizations, she is talking about research and day to day practice she has at the clinic. The foundation on which she calls a 40% addiction rate in WoW, is missing from the article and it would
    be nice to get additional information on it.

    One thing I am pretty sure about is that she will be able to determine whether someone has all the common characteristics of being addicted or not.

    Quote:

    Honestly, I play World of Warcraft and if it weren't for my friends on that game I would have quit long ago. I haven't because I honestly enjoy spending time with the people I have met in game.


    Just spending time with friends (it being online or offline) is not unhealthy at all and that is not claimed to be unhealthy. Real addiction is different. If your personal relationship with your family/household members start to break down, if your job performance is going down the drain, just because you rather hang out with your (online) friends, then yes, there is something wrong with you. That is what we're talking about here, and it's not happening to everybody, it's happening to a certain fraction of the population that plays WoW.


    Quote:
    If they all lived closer and we did not have to use WoW to communicate but could go out to the movies or something I am sure most of us would.

    I think you should give that a try. I've been there and done that, chances are that the majority of those people you would not have been acquainted with offline. Not that that is a bad thing per se, but you should not over romantisize the "personal" relationships that people have in the game.


    Quote:
    if she had further explored, she would have been able to compare WoW to something such as chatting & e-mail - where as shown in the movie "You've Got Mail", people run home just to check their mail. If she is goign to do a movie on addictions, why not target the internet or e-mail also? Why? Oh that's right. It's easier to pick the behaviors of the younger members of society out and claim that they are addictive & wrong moreso than those of the general population.


    There is also quite a group of people out there that is addicted to (anonymous) chatrooms and stuf, I'm sure of it. Remarkable enough, I think the younger generation is using MSN and chat services quite differently, mainly to maintain relationships closely (in time and distance) with people they already know offline. This is also from personal experience and observation so I'm not claiming any statistical relevance (as if my personal experiences would reflect the average world out there).

    Just because people can also be addicted to chatrooms or alcohol, that does not mean there could not be issues with the game itself, although as you describe it, it should be possible to differentiate between people that have a social relation to the game, and people that are addicted to the gameplay itself (the leveling up, the fighting and the guild activities).
  33. Quote:
    Finally, a lot of people on the forum have stated that Dr. Orzack isn't qualified to determine whether or no games are addictive because she's never played games. Well, first, I don't know if that's true; she may indeed have played many games. I'll have to ask her about that in our next conversation. Second, if she hasn't played video games before, then I suppose she's no different than the people claiming games aren't addictive when they have no medical background and have never studied or treated addiction.

    Very good point Rob.

    I used to be a major WoW player, but it got to the point where I would rather play WoW than hang out with friends or talk to my girlfriend or spend time with my family. And I was only playing 2 hours a day on average. Compared to what many people that I know play, that's not a whole lot. I had to ask myself "In 5 years what will I have to show for this?" and after that I quickly lost interest in playing WoW. At the end of the day, video games are just something that you do for fun that really don't offer you (or anyone else) any benefit. TV is similar in some regards, except I find that when I'm watching TV I'm actually watching with my family or with friends and so we talk and just have fun hanging out (and no that's not the same as spending time with your online "friends").

    MMORPGs and WoW specifically are without a doubt addictive. Still though, being addicted to video games isn't the same thing as being addicted to drugs, alcohol, or gambling -just because you are addicted to video games doesn't mean you are going to go and smoke pot or gamble your house away. However, the symptoms are almost exactly the same. That's what Dr. Orzack was saying.

    All in all, video games are not bad. I mean come on, they're extremely fun! Addictions to games can not be blamed on the makers of the games. People need to be responsible and use self restraint and parents need to limit the amount of time their kids are allowed to play video games.

    Online gaming addictions I think ARE a problem today and I imagine that it'll only get worse. But, like most anything, when used in moderation there is nothing wrong with video games, online or not!
  34. Quote:
    All in all, video games are not bad. I mean come on, they're extremely fun! Addictions to games can not be blamed on the makers of the games. People need to be responsible and use self restraint and parents need to limit the amount of time their kids are allowed to play video games.


    That is just too easy. It is like not blaming tobacco companies for adding substances to tobacco that makes the nicotine more effectively absorbed in the bloodstream. If (and it is still a big if in my book) WoW is really as addictive that 40% of the playing population is actually addicted to it, then I think the makers do have a responsibility to look at the game and make it less addictive.
  35. LAME! This doctor has no credit with me. There is a huge generational gap going on here. Seems people who grew up in the pre-tv days have a hard time understanding gaming, much the same way they had a hard time understanding TV. Lets not blame the game makers when troubled kids who dont get any attention from mommy and daddy seek refuge in a virtual world. Lets start holding parents responsible. Lets go hold all the beer makers in the world accountable for the millions of alcoholics, and the fast food producers for causing food disorders..give me a break.

    Now enough of this nonsense and lets all get back to playing WoW!!!
  36. I think it's pretty unanimous everyone thinks it's ridiculous to compare excessive playing of MMORPG's to alcohol or drug addictions... I know tons of people who go home from work and watch TV all night, so why is going home and playing a MMORPG all night any worse? IMOP playing the MMORPG is more constructive because you are socializing with other people and using your brain to make decisions not just sitting lifeless watching a screen...
  37. While I can't provide any scientific evidence in support of either side of this argument, I can use personal insight to try and explain my stance on the situation. I know that I am addicted to cigarettes. I have seen a steady increase in the amount that I smoke, and also how frequently I am feeling the urge to smoke. I used to deny that I was addicted, constantly stating I can put it down at any time. That was not the case, I was addicted long ago. Nobody disputes the fact that cigarettes are addictive and harmful. Warning labels are required because of this.

    I'm not trying to argue that WoW, or any other MMORPG for that matter, is harmful, but I truly believe that they are addictive. I have seen the same evolutionary pattern in WoW that I have with my smoking addiction. It started out small, and gradually grew more intense as the addiction blossomed. I feel the same craving for WoW that I do when I haven't had a cigarette for over an hour. To me, the two are one in the same. I know that arguments like this, well so in so must be true because it is similar to this, do not stand up to intense scrutiny. However, my cravings and actions are so exact for both that it is hard to deny. Just my opinion, take it as you will.
  38. A definition I got for addiction:
    "A term referring to compulsive drug use, psychological dependence, and continuing use despite harm. Addiction is frequently and incorrectly equated with physical dependence and withdrawal. Physical dependence, not addiction, is an expected result of opioid use."
    Note: HARM, last time I checked being "addicted to games does not cause harm to someone. Losing a job, a girlfriend, and what-not is not harm.
    Now, the definition I found for obsession:
    "An unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone."
    Now that fits more of the description of what she is calling the "addiction" to games. Let's see, obese people are obsessed with food and some gamers are obsessed with a certain game. Now, I don't see people claiming obese people are addicted to food, so how do the same characteristics not apply to those gamers? It's like calling the guy who works on his car everyday, goes to car shows, drag races, and what-not, addicted. I call that obsession. Everyone has an obsession. You can be obsessed with staying fit for crying out loud! (and it does fit the description of unhealthy as to be mentally preoccupied with the way you look/feel) It always seems that there are some people that always want to take a stab at video games.
  39. Does this woman think she discovered something new?

    Gaming addiction has existed for as long as there have been games.

    Computer gaming addiction was around for years before this out-of-touch "psychologist" first started looking at it 11 years ago.

    The problem is that parents need to teach something that has been waning for decades in the modern world, especially more so since "excuse diseases" like ADHD and "excuse/crutch drugs" like Ritalin have appeared: self discipline.

    Of course, it's hard to teach something you never learned, which is the case with most of the clueless parents around today. Perhaps becoming a parent should require proper training and a license, like driving does? Perhaps making video games should, too.
  40. A definition I got for addiction:
    "A term referring to compulsive drug use, psychological dependence, and continuing use despite harm. Addiction is frequently and incorrectly equated with physical dependence and withdrawal. Physical dependence, not addiction, is an expected result of opioid use."
    Note: HARM, last time I checked being "addicted to games does not cause harm to someone. Losing a job, a girlfriend, and what-not is not harm.
    Now, the definition I found for obsession:
    "An unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone."
    Now that fits more of the description of what she is calling the "addiction" to games. Let's see, obese people are obsessed with food and some gamers are obsessed with a certain game. Now, I don't see people claiming obese people are addicted to food, so how do the same characteristics not apply to those gamers? It's like calling the guy who works on his car everyday, goes to car shows, drag races, and what-not, addicted. I call that obsession. Everyone has an obsession. You can be obsessed with staying fit for crying out loud! (and it does fit the description of unhealthy as to be mentally preoccupied with the way you look/feel) It always seems that there are some people that always want to take a stab at video games.
  41. Do the gaming addicts experience classic withdrawl symptoms whilst not playing? Would the gaming addicts resort to devious crimes to support their addiction like a heroin junkie?

    Id like to know (although I can also estimate, Dr.) how many of those "40% addicted" are under 18 and / or living rent free with parents. Id estimate 97% of all "gaming addicts" are, in fact are able to spend excessive time on gaming because they have very little in the order of financial obligation.The good doctor herself expressed that it isnt not the game(s), per sey, rather the way the game plays out and underlying home problems / personaility traits; basicly, if the person in question poseses an addictive personality.

    Gaming isnt the needle that ensures your immeadiate obediance, forgoing the want or desire for anything else besides your 'fix'. Line up a handful of gaming addicts and have them converse with real addicts, people that are hooked on meth, crack, or heroin. Have them debate the highs and lows of their shared burden. Gaming addiction is a fabrication. "Gaming Overindulgance" is a better definition.
  42. OK, this is a difficult one, but I think everyone here is starting to see both sides.

    Games are addictive. You defer other responsibilities, ignore friends, and in the case of MMORPG's, actually SPEND MONEY to play them. (In some extreme examples ala EQ and UO, people would also go online to buy items, one case where a Korean boy KILLED another because someone not only did not give a lent virtual item back, but sold it for real cash and did not give him the money!)

    But the dispute comes in when you try to discern HOW addictive and why.

    There are a couple of things. One would be escapism. Games like Oblivion are immersive and take you to a fantastic world where you can go do things you never would be able to in the real world. Quite an attraction.

    Games like FEAR take you into a world that gets your heart pounding and looking for the same excitement you get from a classic action/horror flik.

    Games like UT give you that same adrenal rush (I actually started sweating on some matches even when I was not physically warm!), but had the added aspect of social interaction (the one thing that kept UT99 around so long, as well as games like Quake and CS and their various sequels....)

    Finally you get the ones that ARE the most addictive in that they combine certain aspects of all of them. The immersion/escapism of a new world. The social context of talking to other people that are of similar enough mindset that they will GLADLY stay with you (social acceptance) AND a bit of adrenal response.

    Do I think it is a dopamine response addiction? Maybe, but I do not think any study would be conclusive in proving or disproving that.

    I think the primary is social interaction. Without it, many of these games would be just like Baldurs Gate, NWN, Thief, and others that had an ENDING. Ones that only had computer people rather than real people playing computers. Big dif.


    As for this woman, I think she is right on when it comes to the addiction being SIMILAR to gambling, but she must be careful of a few things before she starts making statements like these:

    First, differentiate the response. Their own example of a kid who went in to escape from the troubles of his world is similar to gambling and alcoholism, but it differers in that he is looking for a better world, not to shut it off or short circuit his perception of it. He needs more than a shot, or a "ding ding ding" you win to isolate himself from his pain.

    Second is, don't throw around numbers. I think she probably gave a rough estimate of the number of people that display addictive behavior, not who can be classified as addicts. Difference being? One who gets ripped on weekends, but can still go to work during the week, does not drive drunk, etc etc. Does he show some signs of overindulgence? Yes, but would you classify him as an alcoholic? I wouldn't.

    Well, that is about all I can say on it. Just keep one thing in mind, the more of a hostile reaction articles and arguments like this get, the more attention they get. Sometimes it is best not to ignore, but also not to start lighting fireworks next to something you really do not think warrants the attention it is being given.
  43. Quote:
    That is just too easy. It is like not blaming tobacco companies for adding substances to tobacco that makes the nicotine more effectively absorbed in the bloodstream. If (and it is still a big if in my book) WoW is really as addictive that 40% of the playing population is actually addicted to it, then I think the makers do have a responsibility to look at the game and make it less addictive.


    Why? Now you're entering the argument for implementing controls on private companies. Perhaps in some cases controls do need to exist, but where is the line drawn and who draws that line? If marketing proves that making Warcraft or any video game a certain way will make more money, then why should the company not follow through? Similar arguments exist for adding preservatives and flavors to juice drinks, chocolate, chips, even putting lemonade in vodka drinks to make them more appealing and thus more likely to be bought. This isn't how the item originally tastes, but golly, it sure tastes better now! How about using more beautiful models for clothing, in porn, on TV shows? It is all for sales, and if our society tends towards these changes, why is that the fault of the company? We should congratulate them for finding out what we like, and having a great year in sales.

    If a company is adding things insidiously then by all means, measures should be taken. Such was the case with cigarette companies and many food companies before responsible labeling. But in terms of video games the product is up front and available for scrutiny. It is the fault of the ESRB and parents if proper ratings and decisions are not made about the content of the game. Usually this is because these people don't take the time to actually play and analyze the game.

    Companies don't create addicts. They don't alter personalities. They only feed off of a desire that already existed in the first place. While this may not appear moral, it is all part and parcel with a free market. And isn't capitalism what this country is all about?
  44. oops twice posted...
  45. Quote:
    All in all, video games are not bad. I mean come on, they're extremely fun! Addictions to games can not be blamed on the makers of the games. People need to be responsible and use self restraint and parents need to limit the amount of time their kids are allowed to play video games.


    That is just too easy. It is like not blaming tobacco companies for adding substances to tobacco that makes the nicotine more effectively absorbed in the bloodstream. If (and it is still a big if in my book) WoW is really as addictive that 40% of the playing population is actually addicted to it, then I think the makers do have a responsibility to look at the game and make it less addictive.

    I kinda see what you're saying here. It's a thin line I think. I suppose it's best to say that blame cannot be placed solely on the company, but that they have certainly promoted this behavior. To say that they have a responsibility to look make the game less addictive is a hard one too. You're saying they should make games that are fun, but not TOO fun? From a business perspective, that doesn't make any sense.

    I don't fully agree with the comparison to the tobacco companies. There are a whole lot more benefits to gaming than there are to smoking. Trying to make smoking more addictive certainly puts the company more to blame, but trying to make your games more enjoyable and have more content isn't quite the same thing.

    Ultimately it's the consumers who start gaming and get addicted. Just like it's the consumer who started smoking and is now addicted. This doesn't mean that the companies aren't to blame at all...it just means that there is a shared responsibility (that I say leans toward the consumers, at least for gaming).

    Edit: I just noticed that the post above me said similar things, so sorry for any repeats.
  46. Ok, first of all, World of Warcraft is a great game. What addictions does this doctor have? Is she addicted to picking on gamers? Is she addicted to other people's addictions. My point is that everyone has their "poison". Everyone has a certain element in their life that they enjoy applying time into. Whether the element is sex, food, games, pencil collection, building toy trains, pets (etc...) matters relatively little. Is the good doctor going to cure us all of our "addictions". Then, what are we to do? Walk around in an existence with relatively little contentment for our own living habits? Why take away a piece of what makes you happy? Who gave you that right / ability? Perhaps you doctor, need to seek some professional help...
  47. Quote:
    ...dopamine. Specifically in the nucleus accumbens in the brain, for your reference. That's the chemical released after diner, after sex. It's also the chemical almost all drugs work on; pleasure on the tap. It's also the chemical released during gaming. And therefore the reason sex after gaming aint that interesting.


    Hahaha you and all your physcological mumbo jumbo are wrong because I LOVE SEX AFTER GAMING (warcraft included). I also enjoy sex after dinner or after a movie or after other sex so it must be something other than the dopamine.

    First: it is no psychological mumbo jumbo, it is scientific fact: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucleus_accumbens . I can give you more references of scientific books if you want. So it's not my opinion, I am just refering to scientific evidence.

    Second: things aren't black and white, it's not like every single human being experiences this, this means most people experience this (most meaning statistically significant to be meaningfull)

    And about the endorphines. Endorphine is a name that actually exists of two names merged together: endogenous morphines. Endogenous means 'made by the body' in this case. This is because they first discovered morphine and later discovered the body makes similar substances of his own, so literly it means 'morphine made by the body'. As the name implies endorphine has similar properties as morphine.
  48. Quote:
    ...dopamine. Specifically in the nucleus accumbens in the brain, for your reference. That's the chemical released after diner, after sex. It's also the chemical almost all drugs work on; pleasure on the tap. It's also the chemical released during gaming. And therefore the reason sex after gaming aint that interesting.


    Hahaha you and all your physcological mumbo jumbo are wrong because I LOVE SEX AFTER GAMING (warcraft included). I also enjoy sex after dinner or after a movie or after other sex so it must be something other than the dopamine.

    First: it is no psychological mumbo jumbo, it is scientific fact: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucleus_accumbens . I can give you more references of scientific books if you want. So it's not my opinion, I am just refering to scientific evidence.

    Second: things aren't black and white, it's not like every single human being experiences this, this means most people experience this (most meaning statistically significant to be meaningfull)

    And about the endorphines. Endorphine is a name that actually exists of two names merged together: endogenous morphines. Endogenous means 'made by the body' in this case. This is because they first discovered morphine and later discovered the body makes similar substances of his own, so literly it means 'morphine made by the body'. As the name implies endorphine has similar properties as morphine.
  49. Hmm, that's interesting.
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