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Gaming\'s New Drug Culture: Sex, Drugs and Counter-Strike

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August 29, 2006 2:18:27 PM

The use of drugs in gaming has evolved from simple marijuana use in the early days of Atari to the current assortment of illegal narcotics and over-prescribed medications. Welcome to gaming\'s new drug culture.
August 29, 2006 2:30:05 PM

I guess it's good to bring it up every now and then, but this is news?

People have been doing this for at least about a decade.
August 29, 2006 2:30:15 PM

This is my first posting on TG Forumz, and I just had to make it when I saw that they were talking about the drug culture that surrounds gaming.

The facts are that drugs and alcohol are a part of MANY people's lives, not just in the gaming circles, and that is not going to EVER change.

People are just going to have to accept that some people are going to use drugs in order to get a high, and simply treat it when that casual use turns to addiction, if it even ever does.

I have MANY friends who do drugs, ranging from PCP to meth, and most of them have steady jobs, good family lives, and wonderful children. Much of what is blamed on 'drug use' comes from poverty and the over-arching drive of managers and management to get rid of anyone who even 'looks' like they are taking drugs.
Facts are, most people who use drugs are less violent than the population in general, have less confrontations, and have very good lives. It's only when they start using the drugs not for a momentary pleasure, but to blot out disappointments in their lives that you start having problems.

Much of the 'violence' that stems from drugs also comes not from them, but from the prohibitory laws, the same way that alcohol prohibition lead to escalating violence.
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August 29, 2006 4:15:32 PM

There she is again.

"I have not had anyone come in to me that has used them yet, but I am sure they will".

Um...k.


People who use the drugs to enhance play ability ARE ADDICTED. Maybe not to the game itself, but to competition. They will win at all costs. They are doing the same thing for the game that adults later do in the buisness world. How is it no comparable to a wall street guy snorting coke or taking amphetamines to stay "on his game"?

I think it is something that you have to keep an eye on, and it is a problem, but I think this signals more that video games are becoming more of a common factor in peopels lives rather than drugs becoming common in video games.
August 29, 2006 4:54:04 PM

I took Ritalin from the ages of 7-14 and it is a very evil drug. also poeple that use this drug for gaming and such are supid.Ritalin should be banned from anybody using it. i have Adhd and is made me a zombie it is a very evil drug and the goverment should ban it because it does nto help it only makes the kids that use it wrose and the people that use Ritalin it will mess them up for life. i know this for a fact i was on it. my family doctor give it to me and i will never take or use this drug again.
August 29, 2006 5:01:05 PM

I took Ritalin from the ages of 7-14 and it is a very evil drug. also poeple that use this drug for gaming and such are supid.Ritalin should be banned from anybody using it. i have Adhd and is made me a zombie it is a very evil drug and the goverment should ban it because it does nto help it only makes the kids that use it wrose and the people that use Ritalin it will mess them up for life. i know this for a fact i was on it. my family doctor give it to me and i will never take or use this drug again.
August 29, 2006 5:03:32 PM

"All things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial...I will not be mastered by any one thing!"

Paul had enough to say on this subject. How does imbibing in a particular drug (any drug, whether it is legal or illegal) make you a better person? Drugs have particular purposes (medical or otherwise) that can be used to the benefit of people and society in general. Recreational use is where the gray line exists, as to whether it is of benefit or it becomes a problem. Even legal drugs like alcohol have this problem.

I think anyone will agree that when the drug (or addiction) becomes the master is when bad things happen.

IMHO, it is your right to mess up your life any way you want to. I just hope to God you don't end up taking anyone else with you when you go, and I most fervently hope you don't take the life of someone else accidentally and have to live with the consequences afterwards.
August 29, 2006 6:10:15 PM

This is a pointless article. For someone with a Doctorate she would have to be pretty naive to think that this just happening. Drugs are everywhere, they are not going anywhere and the scariest part is that most of the most DANGEROUS ones are Over The Counter. Most drugs released by the FDA contain more side effects than the one cause they were used for in the first place. What the hell is that?! Ritalin, Oxycontin and what not are terrible for you, yet the FDA allows them to be released freely, mainly due to profits and for their shareholders. I'm not pitching a conspiracy theory here but if the pieces fit...
August 29, 2006 6:12:05 PM

Is that a girl or a guy? lol
August 29, 2006 7:11:12 PM

Really, this is embarrasing.

I honestly thought better of you than this Rob. The first page or two of this sounds like nothing more than your standard fearmongering that the antivideo game groups have been pushing for years only with the added spin of throwing drugs into the mix.

Yes the following several pages seem to make the point that this is merely the shared cross section of two subcultures spawning a third, but if that is the case, then this is a nonissue.

The quack from the game clinic seems to be postulating a new problem getting worse based on nothing more than pure conjecture seemingly supported by some isolated incidents and the annecdotal evidence provided in the last two thirds of the article.

On a final note, Ritalin is not evil any more than a rock that was used to bludgeon somone's head open is evil. It is a chemical. The lazy corporate shill psychiatrists/psychologists who go with the pill popping method of behavioral correction and the unethical corporation behind them are the evil ones. They are effectively prescribing cocaine (same family of drugs and roughly as powerful as Ritalin) to children and college students.
August 29, 2006 7:39:09 PM

I had a previous post on the second half of this article, but something went screwey with the site and did not allow me to post through, lets see if this gets through.

I think it is complete rubbish. I have no idea what friends this guy had that got him in with a bunch of sniffers that like Tub diving, but this was beyond a bunch of techies getting wired on Bawlz or Red bull and playing until the wee hours.

I do not know why he stayed after seeing people sniff coke and pop pills. My ass, and laptop would have been out of there as soon as I saw the little baggies. These guys do NOT represent the mainstream here, or even teh majority of tweaked LANers, they are a bunch of f'd up kids that would rather buzz themselves up in front of a game than find anything else to do.

Putting this almost-fiction right after another "armageddon is coming for our youth" article was a poor play. Guys, split these stories up.
August 29, 2006 8:21:00 PM

Pointless and quite naive article decribing a drug party disguising as a LAN party. The author should have checked out a few LAN parties first and taken some drugs so he knew what he was writing about. Pathetic article, about the quality of something I'd expect to see in the "Sun", "Bild", "Weekly World News" or the like. :roll:

Edit: "she"'s a he..
August 29, 2006 9:56:10 PM

I personally thought the article was just one of those that make you say, "...whats the point?" Because, of course, someone somewhere is going to use drugs and play videogames in conjunction. And, likewise, somewhere, someone is going to play videogames and NOT use drugs. That, of course, doesn't mean that drugs are commonplace at LAN parties. I just hope that people who have never been to any LAN parties and are not experienced on the subject don't get the wrong idea and try to go out and ruin other people's fun. I could see a parent or someone out of the know reading that and going bananas. Yeah, i believe that these people were doping up at a LAN party. But that definately doesn't mean that everyone at every LAN party does it. And that, to me, was a point that the article seemed to be missing.

If this gets the conversation off topic, i will gladly delete it. But i was just wondering, why is there such opposition to the videogaming culture? WHY? i find people blaming the most random things on videogames. My mom for instance, and this may not be a good example, totally flips out whenever i don't hear her call or am a little late responding or something. I know for a fact, that if i were doing ANYTHING other than gaming, for instance, eating broccoli, or doing push-ups or cutting myself; she wouldn't have a problem. and i've noticed similar happenings outside of my own house. why? why are gamers still not accepted?
August 29, 2006 10:07:04 PM

Well, I cant say that I havent smoked some wacky tobaccy and played quake III, but taking meth or coke at a lan party seems a little extreme to me.

Im all for experience enhancing drugs, they are cheeper than a new graphics card after all. But performance enhancing drugs, thats going too far. Especially in the realm of professional gaming.

Am i alone here in my suport for weed and games?
August 29, 2006 10:12:08 PM

Quote:
why? why are gamers still not accepted?


Simply because nothing has replaced it and the generation that was most affected by them growing up has not replaced the generation who was not.

Most adults these days do not think rock and roll is corrupting our youth, most adults these days no longer believe movies and TV are great sins. So will it be when Generations X and Y replace the baby boomers.

Don't worry, your kids will be significantly less shunned by adults when they grow up to be gamers ;-)

Also VR or holodecks or something similar will be the new threat to the American Way or whatever they are trying to preserve.
August 29, 2006 10:28:56 PM

Quote:

Am i alone here in my suport for weed and games?


I understand why you'd smoke up and game, and i have no problem with it. I don't think its a bad thing, i just won't advocate it, either. I just don't really have that much desire to be high and game. And when people like Mr. Dr. Professor Whatshisface, the person that started all of this, hears you say that or sees you smoking up, they flip out. So, whatever. I dont have a problem. Others do.
August 29, 2006 10:59:06 PM

I dont believe for a second that our author was sober during this experience. :oops: 
August 29, 2006 11:14:07 PM

First off, I used to be a pretty heavy gamer. I could easily spend as much time as I could in my room with my minifridge, sink, microwave, and toaster. I carried on this life style for a period of about 6 months, and then changed. I'm still not sure why I changed, but during that period, I hosted LAN parties almost every weekend, with about 10-20 people at each. Not once were drugs ever involved. Ever. I should hope this article does not display LAN parties as the new Woodstock.

I'm not sure why the world doesn't like gamers. I have had that conversation a couple of times and made little progress. Depending how you look at it, it's one of the best hobbies. You don't depend on other people to do it, and the people you do -when you want- are already online. You don't have to leave your room/dwelling/whatever very often. You can stay entertained almost forever - if you have decent games. As far as the money angle, it doesn't cost that much, however if you want, you can spend ALL your money on it and make it even better. I dunno, just rambling here but I may have one or two things to say.
August 29, 2006 11:55:28 PM

Quote:

I have MANY friends who do drugs, ranging from PCP to meth, and most of them have steady jobs, good family lives, and wonderful children. Much of what is blamed on 'drug use' comes from poverty and the over-arching drive of managers and management to get rid of anyone who even 'looks' like they are taking drugs.

Facts are, most people who use drugs are less violent than the population in general, have less confrontations, and have very good lives. It's only when they start using the drugs not for a momentary pleasure, but to blot out disappointments in their lives that you start having problems.

Much of the 'violence' that stems from drugs also comes not from them, but from the prohibitory laws, the same way that alcohol prohibition lead to escalating violence.


wow! let me see the meth head that has a steady job, good families, and wonderful children. maybe it is all caused by poverty but why are these people pore? maybe cause they are spending their money on meth? not a good use of money when you cant feed your children.

i have met some meth heads and i must say that they will hurt you for no other reason than to get more meth. so dont tell me that most people are less violent who use drugs.

when people get momentary pleasure over and over and over again it becomes a "dissapointment in their lives" when they dont have that pleasure.

meth is an evil drug. dont try to play it that it isnt.
August 30, 2006 12:00:11 AM

Quote:
I had a previous post on the second half of this article, but something went screwey with the site and did not allow me to post through, lets see if this gets through.

I think it is complete rubbish. I have no idea what friends this guy had that got him in with a bunch of sniffers that like Tub diving, but this was beyond a bunch of techies getting wired on Bawlz or Red bull and playing until the wee hours.

I do not know why he stayed after seeing people sniff coke and pop pills. My ass, and laptop would have been out of there as soon as I saw the little baggies. These guys do NOT represent the mainstream here, or even teh majority of tweaked LANers, they are a bunch of f'd up kids that would rather buzz themselves up in front of a game than find anything else to do.

Putting this almost-fiction right after another "armageddon is coming for our youth" article was a poor play. Guys, split these stories up.


100% agree. this article is trash. how the man quotes these people as if they are experts. they are druggies and play video games. nothing more
August 30, 2006 1:38:10 AM

Remember the more over the top it is the story is the more it is considered "news worthy". Us regular old fart laners who drink mountain dew and eat pizza are boring. Imagine what that article "old fart laners" would look like but yes I agree these crazy drug lans I am certain are the exception and not the rule.
August 30, 2006 1:47:24 AM

Wow what a lode of crap this is the cheeseist lowest that tom's has ever gone.
How irresponsible! game addicts?!!! give me a break! most games require hand eye reflexes drugs only slow that down period! Parents that tell their kids say no to drugs then put those same kids on drugs are really lame. I am tired of this BS. Strangestranger right you know nothing! This article does not belong on this web site!. I am done with people with letters after their name spouting off about that which they know nothing! This woman is just lame,game addiction!!! No disclaimer can justify this really bad really harmful disinformation. Tom's you are on the edge!!
August 30, 2006 2:11:48 AM

Ugh! I just finished reading this repugnant tripe! So this writer went to a drug party (where they happened to be playing vid games) got high, spent too much money on coke and decieded to explote the scene to pay for his party bill and wrote this 'high' at points it is sooo hard to follow. What evidence does this present that all vid parties/players are doing drugs?!!!! Tom's stop this before it is too late!! Please!! I am sure that the authors/distributers of 'Counter Strike' will not be happy that you are associating them with the 'New" drug culture!! God, I think I liked it better when you started kissing Intels butt with Dual Core! Oh! wait no that not true that is really lame too! I mean have you seen the orgasmic ads from Intel quoting the slight increase Intel now has for such a short time over AMD. AMD has been kicking Intels butt at much lower clock speeds!! So when AMD comes out with 65 tech and a new mem controller, uh oh there it goes again, AMD way out in Front. OH, I am sorry, did you go out and buy a new mother board for Intel and get left at the alter again!!!!
August 30, 2006 5:22:51 AM

Quote:
The use of drugs in gaming has evolved from simple marijuana use in the early days of Atari to the current assortment of illegal narcotics and over-prescribed medications. Welcome to gaming\'s new drug culture.


More particular:

Quote:
"Marijuana is still the prime example when it comes to video games," Orzack says. "I haven't had any of my patients tell me about [Ritalin and amphetamines] yet, but I won't be surprised when someone does."


On this occasion, I strongly believe this article to be sensationalistic and erroneous in its presentation of the "facts". I also think its excessively subjective in its tone and content.
August 30, 2006 11:35:29 AM

I can't say that i liked this article, but i think it's interesting.

This article only covers some extreme (by my opinon) "gamers" or better to say people that play games. This is good to know and it is good to peek into this world.

But from another side to somebody/someone this article can be "introduction" to drugs because now they know what to use and what to mix. And if they want loooong and “good sex” then take sextasy. :twisted:

I'm strong believer that drugs should stay illegal and not propagated in any way (and this article in a way propagates use of drugs). This article also can be used as “evidence” why games are bad and why some father/mother won’t allow his kid to go to LAN party.

Anyway thanks for this insight info.
August 30, 2006 12:41:22 PM

Alrighty kids, how's life? Now, I can't speak for Rob's part of the article (the first bit), but the second part is all me. Now, this idea of a drug party where they happened to be playing video games – depending on whom you spoke to there, it was the other way around.

I've been following the feedback to this story across the internet, and quite a lot of it has been people recounting similar stories – either at LAN parties, or smaller social groupings – and so I would say that this is not a new, nor an isolated thing. Indeed, I've known that long since before we wrote this – the question for me always was, why is nobody else covering it?

I can't answer to that… but I can tell you that this culture exists – for some it's doing drugs and playing games, for others it's playing games and doing drugs. And the drugs vary – just like some drink Bud and others Corrs, some use Ritalin, others use coke, some use a bit of everything… anyone who has been to a big weekend LAN like this will tell you that there are different strokes even among perfectly sober gamers. Some are there to play, others to play casually and hang out. From my experiences, the likes of the coke heads I describe in that story are of the latter, but it was a good, heady mix.

This was a normal LAN party in which the effects were amplified by the taking of drugs. It is not an isolated thing, and I think that we'll be hearing more about it.

And no, we're not anti-gamer – we're gamers. I have the scars from Jack T to prove it.
August 30, 2006 12:51:57 PM

Im still quite new to this forum but still, I had to comment having seen both sides of the track (actual railroad).

Growing up i knew a lot of these people doing drugs. These crack heads and even hanged out with youth whose sniffed glue as a cheap high.

Granted i never did try those things because of the pity felt for their plight and disgust i felt at seeing these dope heads throwing their life away. And i kept thinking that when i grow up that i would leave this all behind me and be in a place where people knew that drugs were bad and didnt do this crap.

So now here i am got my degree, pretty much set. Wife and kids, living far away from -that- side. And what have i found out is that idiots here take much more drugs than that other side because they have much more money to spend it on.

But they hide it, and hide it very very well. And the stuff they do i thought they only do in the movies but much much worse when your standing right in front of it.

So whats the point. simple.
some people do drugs doesnt matter if its illegal or perscription.
some people game (and we are growing quite rapidly thats why we get noticed)
And apparently a lot of people like to multi-task.
But that doesnt mean that one is exclusive to the other.
(I hope that what im thinking and what is written is the same.
english is not my native tongue)
August 30, 2006 2:26:47 PM

Thats all well and good Aaron, but consider how this article comes off.

Seriously it screams reactionary antigamer propoganda.

Sure, it is good to be aware that this subculture exists and may eventually effect how professional leagues handle admissions and such, but you need to be more careful about how you present such information.

And yes, I would assume this to be moderately widespread, but FAR from the majority. I've been to several LAN parties myself and never once was there widespread drug abuse. In fact only one I've been to even had any notable quantity of alcohol, and even then most of the party was sober.

Also the title implies (or actually outright states) that this is new and gaming is linked to it when in fact there is nothing new about it and gaming is merely coincident to it.

I know you can be a more responsible journalist than this. Be more careful with such hot topics.
August 30, 2006 2:34:52 PM

Be more careful? By censoring myself? Or making it look good? From the first word of my part of the article to the last I recounted what I saw at this, one of many such LAN parties. I didn't judge, I didn't impart an opinion and it's up to you to decide if this is good or bad. I intend to follow this up with that more thoughtful "Do games make people drug addicts?" (I don't think so… in fact, I think that's a stupid question… what made people addicts before gaming? Erm, the drugs maybe? But more on that to follow) But that article is very much a simple recounting of a tale.
August 30, 2006 3:30:24 PM

Let me put this a different way then.

The first part (not your part) of the article comes off as reactionary antigamer propoganda and the title (which is probably also not your doing) supports that.

The inclusion of your significantly better written portion as a part of the same article makes it seem like a clumsy agreement with the part you did not write.

Perhaps it is not your writing that you need to be more careful of, but what you are associating your writing with.

It seems to me that most of the complaints about this article are more leveled at the part that Rob wrote and in part, how that reflected on your addition.
August 30, 2006 4:02:16 PM

I have been playing games for years and have never heard of a Drug LAN... lol Most of these guys that are hardcore gamers drink Mountain Dew or energy drinks... I might have seen a guy smoke weed once, but he was far from being a good addicted gamer...
August 30, 2006 5:57:19 PM

Quote:
Be more careful? By censoring myself? Or making it look good? From the first word of my part of the article to the last I recounted what I saw at this, one of many such LAN parties. I didn't judge, I didn't impart an opinion and it's up to you to decide if this is good or bad. I intend to follow this up with that more thoughtful "Do games make people drug addicts?" (I don't think so… in fact, I think that's a stupid question… what made people addicts before gaming? Erm, the drugs maybe? But more on that to follow) But that article is very much a simple recounting of a tale.


Quoting yourself:

"Welcome to the modern LAN party. The culmination of nearly 50 years of youthful drug use and almost 30 years of video gaming, this is the natural co-evolution of two of the Western worlds most popular recreational activities for the young and virile. "

For a simple recounting, isn't this quite a bold assumption? Since when the use of drugs and video-game are "co-evolutioning"? It sounds to me like a lot anti-gamer propaganda.

And sorry, but I totally disagree with you, but I've been playing games for almost 20 years, been to a lot of lan parties and never seen anybody do drugs on them. But I've seen people do drugs in music concerts, high society parties, sport events, bars and night clubs. The problem ain't drugs being used in lan parties, the problem is much deeper: drugs are a part of our society, and no matter where or when, there'll be people using them.

If you want to write about drugs, why not write an article on Baseball athlets that do publicly use enhancement drugs (and, for a shocking news, are allowed by the Major League) or that american soldiers use drugs on the battlefield so that they can endure the battle and don't loose their guts and run away from combats.

One question for you tough, how many parties of this kind (with different people) have you been? I myself wouldn't write such an article saying that this is becoming common place before going to a few of them.

PS - Drug users are feeble minded people that needs help.

PS - Sports are much more popular than gaming and a lot more virile.
August 30, 2006 7:17:05 PM

Quote:
i don't abide any drugs whatsoever. i don't smoke, drink or do drugs. hell i even drink re-caffinated tea.

why can't people just enjoy games for what they are. if you don't get enough enjoyment out of games alone do another activity to fill in that gap. don't just use drugs as they are not a permanent solution.


FTW!

I also do not subscribe to drugs or alcohol. Do like caffeine though. ;) 

I actually liked the article. It was strange, kinda scary that those things happen. I did not realize that stuff went on as none of the LANs or geek gamers I know have it. (naive I know) Still probably more the exception than the rule.
August 30, 2006 7:24:35 PM

good point. Maybe it is a rich community or an inner-city thing? Or maybe it is a bunch of gaming hillbillys in the backcountry? ;) 


EDIT:
just thought of this! it could be a secret russian mafia underground drug-LAN held in yugoslavia and aimed at training future terror-drones in the fine art of corrupting western youth. Ya, that's it. 8O
August 30, 2006 7:43:30 PM

Quote:

For a simple recounting, isn't this quite a bold assumption? Since when the use of drugs and video-game are "co-evolutioning"? It sounds to me like a lot anti-gamer propaganda.

Not particularly - it's something I see before my eyes, not something I'm assuming. And guys have been getting high whilst gaming since the days of Atari.

Quote:

And sorry, but I totally disagree with you, but I've been playing games for almost 20 years, been to a lot of lan parties and never seen anybody do drugs on them. But I've seen people do drugs in music concerts, high society parties, sport events, bars and night clubs. The problem ain't drugs being used in lan parties, the problem is much deeper: drugs are a part of our society, and no matter where or when, there'll be people using them.

I never made a point like that for you to disagree with me about - alright, so you've never been to a LAN party involving drugs, and I never once said there's a problem with drugs being used at LAN parties. I said there's drugs being used at LAN parties. Period. End of point. Read my essay and I don't judge these people one way or another. I'm not saying "I think dope is harmless", nor am I saying "I think dope is a scourge." That was a report, not an editorial.

Quote:

One question for you tough, how many parties of this kind (with different people) have you been? I myself wouldn't write such an article saying that this is becoming common place before going to a few of them.

Quite a few. This article is not us rushing to report something that's entirely new - myself and Rob Wright had been discussing doing it since we began collaborating on TwitchGuru a year ago. This is something that hasn't been reported on, not something that's new.

Quote:
does anyone actually know where this lan game took place. its just it doesn't say. perhaps this sort of thing is more common in one area over another.

In my experience, I've found it transcends social classes. Wherever you find gamers, so to speak. Some of the people were from the posh parts of town, others from the less posh parts of town. They're gamers, same as you and me, transcending social borders in common interest.
August 30, 2006 7:52:05 PM

:lol:  :lol:  :lol: 

it's aluminum foil. (works better than tin) and you really should wear one too to be safe, you never know when they will switch from read to write!


They're everywhere you know... ;) 
August 30, 2006 8:19:18 PM

They are. :wink:
August 30, 2006 8:21:59 PM

Find somebody on acid and tell them all that :wink:
August 30, 2006 8:58:46 PM

:lol:  that would be awesome 8)
August 31, 2006 12:21:28 AM

Ladies and Gentlemen! Please resist the impulse to be sucked in by this article! Like any good tabloid “journalist”, he makes regular use of generalizations, opinion, and lurid details of sex, drugs and rock and roll (substitute “video gaming” for rock and roll, this is the 21st century, we need new villains) to at first insinuate the apocalypse and then leave you looking for the next chapter.

Rash generalization #1:

“Welcome to the modern LAN party. “

Using “the” as opposed to “a” indicates this is the norm, not the exception.

Rash generalization #2. Here’s the set up:

“This was a gathering of your average 16-to-30-year-old diligent students and tax-paying citizens, for a LAN party that just happened to involve the consumption of copious quantities of drugs.”

Since when do “average” 16 to whatever year olds engage in behavior like what he’s about to describe? Where is this the “average”.

The Major Contradiction:

“Running under and through this atmosphere of geeky amity was something else though, something completely different. For me, this entire weekend, this entire LAN, would have a taste to it unlike anything I had ever experienced before. For me it would be, and always will be, characterized by and associated with the sound of sniffing.”

We have now gone from this being “the modern LAN” to something “unlike anything I had ever experienced before.”

Lurid details to entice or frighten #1:

"See, I told you that you have to understand! We're not doing these things because we play video games, we smoke hash and take Ritalin because those are things we do anyway. We play games anyways, so why the hell not combine them?”

Yet this guys statement refutes the indication there is some sort of connection between gaming and drugs and that the “modern LAN” is the culmination of that connection. There is no subculture here.

Lurid details to entice or frighten #2:

‘You know you're in trouble when your gaming is interrupted by a scream of "come on you fuckers, who's first?" Things generally go south from there if, when you turn around, you find a completely naked man with a giant erection standing in the middle of the room, beckoning for someone to come over and sit on his lap.’

Both these statements are useless drivel added to elicit excitement or fear, depending on your particular opinion of either drugs or gaming.

Rash generalization #3 (see #1):

“This was the end of the modern LAN party.”

Again, is Mr. McKenna stating that this is the “typical” LAN party in our times?

Ominous statement #1 for effect only:

“Or perhaps it was a new beginning, I wasn't sure.”

Ominous statement #2 for effect only:

Will drugs like Ritalin and other prescription medications make their way from small, home-based LAN parties to major events like LAN ETS in Montreal?

Rash generalization #4:

“Even drug addled geeks tend to keep to themselves, pay the rent, clean up and generally stay out of society's way on the general understanding that it stays out of theirs.”

I’m not sure what the following is supposed to be. Justification for gaming, for gaming with drugs, for gaming with drugs causing aberrant behavior?

“What had we achieved? Certainly nothing in the material sense, but life had been made bearable for another while. The dull struggle of day to day work had paid off, and everyone was happy and contented until the next time. Going into work as a drone to stack shelves in the cereal aisle wouldn't seem so bleak a prospect with this experience to look back upon, and to look forward to again.”

Oh come on! So in order to make life bearable for the "average" gamer, they have to bake their brains each weekend? You simply achieved a new low in commenting on social behavior.

The following “conclusion” makes no point.

“The mixing of the drugs culture and the gaming culture is not that surprising, whether you think about it as an outsider, as one who has experienced either in isolation, or someone who has done both at once. Love it or loathe it, for many it is a perfectly natural evolution. "When you're high," I had been told at the beginning of our adventure, "reality becomes a game, and the game becomes a reality."

Since when did a self-destructive addictive behavior like drug abuse become a part of societal "evolution"?

As an unbiased “simple recounting of a tale” as Mr. McKenna has called it in the forums, this piece fails miserably. As an example of his writing to include with his application to work at the “Sun” or “Weekly World News”, it’s a slam dunk he’ll get the offer!

The fifties had Elvis, the 60’s had hippies, the 70’s had disco and so on. Each generation needs a villain that will corrupt youth and doom the future and gaming is the latest target. Mr. Mckenna obviously has no issue with gaming, he indicates he doesn’t overindulge in drugs but seems to want to create some sort of subculture from both that he shows fear of in his article yet in the end seems to be perfectly comfortable with.

This piece was written, as is any good piece of yellow journalism, to elicit an emotional response from the reader. To that I say “Well Done”!

Here's my opinion:

Sure, drugs of any nature (prescription, illegal, natural, home-made) and those that use/abuse them have been around as a subculture for years uncounted (not likely the majority).

Gaming has been around for many years, and is a hobby of many. And yes, it too can be abused/addictive. (again, not likely the majority).

To indicate that the combination of drug abuse and gaming is a practice of a majority or even significant part of the gaming community in our society is just fear mongering for the sake of getting your "recounting" read by both sides of both debates (drugs and gaming).

It's nothing more than tripe. Stick to game reviews. Your writing is provocative, which is a GOOD thing. Don't let it get sophistic.
August 31, 2006 1:49:48 AM

thank you sir for being clear headed enough to attack the written text with examples of contradictions and statments contradicted by comments he made in foums.

you did a fabulous job and i thank you.

bump this forever

Quote:
Ladies and Gentlemen! Please resist the impulse to be sucked in by this article! Like any good tabloid “journalist”, he makes regular use of generalizations, opinion, and lurid details of sex, drugs and rock and roll (substitute “video gaming” for rock and roll, this is the 21st century, we need new villains) to at first insinuate the apocalypse and then leave you looking for the next chapter.

Rash generalization #1:

“Welcome to the modern LAN party. “

Using “the” as opposed to “a” indicates this is the norm, not the exception.

Rash generalization #2. Here’s the set up:

“This was a gathering of your average 16-to-30-year-old diligent students and tax-paying citizens, for a LAN party that just happened to involve the consumption of copious quantities of drugs.”

Since when do “average” 16 to whatever year olds engage in behavior like what he’s about to describe? Where is this the “average”.

The Major Contradiction:

“Running under and through this atmosphere of geeky amity was something else though, something completely different. For me, this entire weekend, this entire LAN, would have a taste to it unlike anything I had ever experienced before. For me it would be, and always will be, characterized by and associated with the sound of sniffing.”

We have now gone from this being “the modern LAN” to something “unlike anything I had ever experienced before.”

Lurid details to entice or frighten #1:

"See, I told you that you have to understand! We're not doing these things because we play video games, we smoke hash and take Ritalin because those are things we do anyway. We play games anyways, so why the hell not combine them?”

Yet this guys statement refutes the indication there is some sort of connection between gaming and drugs and that the “modern LAN” is the culmination of that connection. There is no subculture here.

Lurid details to entice or frighten #2:

‘You know you're in trouble when your gaming is interrupted by a scream of "come on you fuckers, who's first?" Things generally go south from there if, when you turn around, you find a completely naked man with a giant erection standing in the middle of the room, beckoning for someone to come over and sit on his lap.’

Both these statements are useless drivel added to elicit excitement or fear, depending on your particular opinion of either drugs or gaming.

Rash generalization #3 (see #1):

“This was the end of the modern LAN party.”

Again, is Mr. McKenna stating that this is the “typical” LAN party in our times?

Ominous statement #1 for effect only:

“Or perhaps it was a new beginning, I wasn't sure.”

Ominous statement #2 for effect only:

Will drugs like Ritalin and other prescription medications make their way from small, home-based LAN parties to major events like LAN ETS in Montreal?

Rash generalization #4:

“Even drug addled geeks tend to keep to themselves, pay the rent, clean up and generally stay out of society's way on the general understanding that it stays out of theirs.”

I’m not sure what the following is supposed to be. Justification for gaming, for gaming with drugs, for gaming with drugs causing aberrant behavior?

“What had we achieved? Certainly nothing in the material sense, but life had been made bearable for another while. The dull struggle of day to day work had paid off, and everyone was happy and contented until the next time. Going into work as a drone to stack shelves in the cereal aisle wouldn't seem so bleak a prospect with this experience to look back upon, and to look forward to again.”

Oh come on! So in order to make life bearable for the "average" gamer, they have to bake their brains each weekend? You simply achieved a new low in commenting on social behavior.

The following “conclusion” makes no point.

“The mixing of the drugs culture and the gaming culture is not that surprising, whether you think about it as an outsider, as one who has experienced either in isolation, or someone who has done both at once. Love it or loathe it, for many it is a perfectly natural evolution. "When you're high," I had been told at the beginning of our adventure, "reality becomes a game, and the game becomes a reality."

Since when did a self-destructive addictive behavior like drug abuse become a part of societal "evolution"?

As an unbiased “simple recounting of a tale” as Mr. McKenna has called it in the forums, this piece fails miserably. As an example of his writing to include with his application to work at the “Sun” or “Weekly World News”, it’s a slam dunk he’ll get the offer!

The fifties had Elvis, the 60’s had hippies, the 70’s had disco and so on. Each generation needs a villain that will corrupt youth and doom the future and gaming is the latest target. Mr. Mckenna obviously has no issue with gaming, he indicates he doesn’t overindulge in drugs but seems to want to create some sort of subculture from both that he shows fear of in his article yet in the end seems to be perfectly comfortable with.

This piece was written, as is any good piece of yellow journalism, to elicit an emotional response from the reader. To that I say “Well Done”!

Here's my opinion:

Sure, drugs of any nature (prescription, illegal, natural, home-made) and those that use/abuse them have been around as a subculture for years uncounted (not likely the majority).

Gaming has been around for many years, and is a hobby of many. And yes, it too can be abused/addictive. (again, not likely the majority).

To indicate that the combination of drug abuse and gaming is a practice of a majority or even significant part of the gaming community in our society is just fear mongering for the sake of getting your "recounting" read by both sides of both debates (drugs and gaming).

It's nothing more than tripe. Stick to game reviews. Your writing is provocative, which is a GOOD thing. Don't let it get sophistic.
August 31, 2006 3:55:17 AM

I'm with Lance. I can't make my argument as well as he but I agree it was a bad article intimating that this was a standard rather than an exception. If it had been written from the perspective of "check this crazy shit out" it would have been amusing and informative but instead... just scary from a tech site.

It's about time there were some voluntary surveys on some of the online games (WoW, Steam, CoH/CoV, etc) to start getting real numbers on these issues so we as a gaming community can use facts to argue against the Jack Thompson / Hillary Clinton / Dr Orzacks of the world.

Some advice - if people ask you to complete an anonymous survey know that your opinion drags the perception of mainstream closer to yourself so it's in your best interests to do them rather than a 45yo spinster from the bible belt. My love goes out to all the ladies in the belt - Peace. 8)
August 31, 2006 9:30:09 AM

Ohh snore. So I'm an anti-gamer tabloid journalist now? Well hot damn, thank you for informing me! I'll just go and burn my Grand Theft Auto discs now that I've had this revelation… sheesh.

This is a report on something which has been going unreported for quite some time. The idea is to start a debate… stuffing your fingers in your ears and going "LALALALALA!!!!" doesn't make it go away, just like the anti-gamers you don't like do the same when presented with arguments to say that gaming does not, in fact, turn us all into murderers.

Taking an intransigent position in life just means you're not going to go anywhere. Rather than having a jolly wobbler, how about we ask some pertinent questions?

For example, just how widespread is this? I've been following the feedback to sites and forums which have linked this story, and the reaction has been pretty much down the middle – on the one hand, people are saying "Well duh", and on the other it's "What the f**k?"

I'd like to see this researched scientifically, see how big this culture really is. I know it's not small, but I don't know how big it is – and the reaction I've seen proves this. But it has gone unreported, and so the left hand doesn't know what the right one is doing. I want to report this, I want to investigate this, I want to see the negatives and the positives. One of my favourite bands is Pink Floyd, who wrote some of their best music on and for drugs (Dark Side of the Moon is the most famous one, but listen to their early Sid stuff…)

On the other hand, the original front man of Floyd blew his brains up on drugs. A positive and a negative to using drugs – you accept both at the same time. I don't think drugs are good in gaming, nor do I think they're bad – I want to look into it further, and I'll give you my opinion on that when I'm good and ready. For now we simply have to say that it exists, so that it can be researched further.
August 31, 2006 10:09:16 AM

Hi there, guys !

At first, I must say that this was really one of the best articles I've read recently, and most funny :) ... Well, I may tell you... I have much to say to this topic. I do a lot of gaming, and I did more in the past .. I've experienced what could be called a game addiction...yeah, it was UNreal tournament... and it was a horrible thing...then, I do a lot of drugs.. I've experienced what could be caled marijuana addiction (a rather controversial term...) and recently, I'd say it straight - some meth addiction, cause I come from Slovakia, and, along with Czech republic - we are the countries where methamphetamine use is really a common thing. I am glad that I've recovered from these addictions. I have a bunch of friends I've been doing LAN parties with for a long time... and the parties evolved from absolutely sober-type, to a current state of always-stoned ones..and I got many experinces with intoxicated gaming. Recently I've played CS on speed, and it really works...you are much more concentrated, and have enhanced reflexes...on the other hand, your judgement is rather impaired, so you make bad decisions time to time, and that has a negative impat on the gameplay also.... We do gaming just for fun, we enjoy competing each other, and we all enjoy doing drugs.. and these LAN parties are the events we're all looking forward to.. I could write many many pages about this topic...
and..I think that's so called "pro gaming" is as sick as drug addiction[/quote]
August 31, 2006 11:26:06 AM

I agree with Lance that you sir in this article is pertaining that this is the norm in LAN parties and that is just wrong. I think this is just a small percentage of the gaming community if ever or just the concequence of the exploding popularity of gaming now including those that do drugs.

But I also believe that we have to do something about this, to disregard this events, which i believe to be true, as fearmongering then sweeping this aside is just stupid.

What can we do to educate the non-gaming public that gaming and drug use is not ??exclusive?? to each other. Maybe take steps to ensure that drugs dont enter to our culture.

I know its stupid but i fear this senario:
Cops bust in a drug den find a video game console and conclude;
"that's why their doing drugs, they're playing video games!!"

Stupid i know, but ??stupider?? things have been said by those "smart" people.

Lets put it another way:
They are already linking video gaming to violence do we as a community really want to add drug abuse to that.
August 31, 2006 3:54:43 PM

I actually suspect it is more regionalized. Unless I am mistaken Aaron is Brittish. Perhaps this sort of thing is significantly more widespread and accepted there than in the US for instance.

As I said earlier, I don't doubt that this sort of behavior occurs, but I've never seen it happen. To imply that it is anything but a small minority of the gaming public seems absurd from my perspective, but if I lived in the UK perhaps my experiences, and therefore perception, would be different.

Or perhaps I am just more careful about the type of people I hang out with and therefore have simply never been invited to such a baccanal. Not that I would accept.
September 1, 2006 12:56:12 AM

i was reading back over this discussion, and this question just popped into my mind:

"who is this article written for?"

i don't understand WHO this could possibly be meant for... i picture THG's demographic consisting of tech-savvy gamers/nerds/LANers/whatever. So, when this article comes around, who is it talking to? are gamers supposed to read this and go, "oh, jeeze, i'm never going to a lan party again!" or are they supposed to go, "oops. yeah. that article is about me." Is it directed to we, the gamers? or are other people, like people out of the loop, supposed to read this and get the completely wrong idea about us? i came to THG to brush up on the current tech, and saw this title. "sex, drugs, and counter-strike." i thought it was pretty funny, so i read the article. but....why? why am i reading about core 2 duo in one article and this crock in the next? this article just seems kinda outta place. lost, maybe. perhaps it should crawl back to wherever it came from, too. along with you meth-head gamers.
September 1, 2006 2:41:53 AM

I'm gonna have to agree with the ant-eater on this one.

LordAardvark is right, who is this article aimed at exactly?

I really don't have much to add to his post beyond my agreement.
September 1, 2006 9:12:48 AM

I have to repeat that this is a TwitchGuru article. Ok, so no big difference on THG UK (mmmuuuaaahhhaaa, and all that… UK readers will get it…), but people can recognise the different type of article – TwitchGuru is not Tom's Hardware Guide in content. It's about the culture surrounding our generation, not the nuts and bolts which drives it. We just hope that the THG audience will like both – or at least some of you. For the rest, well all the usual THG content is still there, so enjoy.

As for whom this article is aimed at, it is not aimed at sending a message to anyone. It is aimed at reporting this to everyone. Make up your own mind about it, you don't need (or certainly want) me to do it for you.
September 2, 2006 3:31:21 PM

I enjoyed the article and thought there were some interesting observations. It was an article based on “participant observation” and so it’s necessary to be careful about generalizations, which I believe the author was. Several times he says he would like to see formal research of the subject. One of the things I found most interesting was the perception of drugs among gamers and most likely people in general. The first category were gamers who did not do drugs but rather relied on high doses of caffeine and high energy drinks, not sure if all the “energy” from these drinks are from caffeine or include other stimulatents. A second category is those people doing coke, meth, and other stimulants that either require a prescription or are illegal and these folks are generally considered to be drug users. Certainly this is a valid classification based on general social perceptions but what was not mentioned was the fact that a stimulant is a stimulant, i.e., they have essentially the same affect on the body and people take them for the same reason, i.e., to be stimulated. From a performance enhancing view, what is the difference, other than some of these stimulants are more powerful than others. The other thing I often wonder about is whether those people that use the legal stimulants but get righteous about the use of illegal drugs, would use what are today illegal stimulants if they were legal.
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