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 Gaming Addiction, is it real?

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Garen Odias
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PostSubject: Re: Gaming Addiction, is it real?   Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:14 pm

You don't necessarily need an addictive personality to get addicted to something. E.g. its possible to be addicted to chocolate yet enjoy alcohol but manage to monitor it correctly. Gaming can be addictive, but as you have suggested, it is one of those things that does depend on the personality of the person behind it. Someone who is extremely active and outgoing won't find themselves getting addicted to a game because they don't have the time for it, in the same way that people who don't often visit bars ar shops that sell alcohol aren't too likely to become alcoholics. However, someone who finds themselves at home alot may find themselves much more likely to suffer a gaming addiction because of more exposure to it.

So, what I'm trying to say is, addiction is dependent on exposure.

Also, as you said, addiction is a compulsion to do something or behave in a certain way. If someone pays money for a game, they feel a compulsion to play the game because they have spent some of their earnings on it. Again, the level of this compulsion depends on the personality of the individual (and again, exposure, are they the type of person to have alot of free time on their hands in the house?). Some people feel they get their moneys worth out of a game after a playthrough (a few hours, limited exposure) whereas some people feel they have to explore all the content in the game to experience the same sense of gratification (any amount of time above a few hours, much more exposure, more chance for an 'addiction' to manifest, if it is not already present).

This is taken to the next level by MMORPGs', shown by many links of 'Gaming Addiction' to everyones favourite example 'World of Warcraft'. If you are paying monthly for a game, odds are you may feel a compulsion to spend a certain sumber of hours per month playing, to get your moneys worth. Again, this results in (you guessed it) more exposure, which means that an addiction can develop with a persistency that might be absent from a single player game. For example, how many WoW addicts do you hear about on the news and internet? Compare that to the number of, say, Sims addicts. Both are there, but the WoW variety are seemingly more common.


So, in short, in my opinion games can be addictive, but as with all other forms of addiction, its development falls down to the individual at hand and their ability to monitor their behaviour. (So, I'm half agreeing with you Lisara)
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Riley Hawk
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PostSubject: Re: Gaming Addiction, is it real?   Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:42 pm

I agree with you, Garen -- and therefore, also partly with you, Lisara.

I feel that there can be "levels" of addiction, and I also feel that what other people may see as being excessive time spent on an activity is purely perspective.

For instance, my parents ( video game haters! ) would see me spending an average of three hours a day on a video game and they would consider that excessive, even an addiction, because I desired to play that much. However, would I let it interfere with my job? Would I choose to play the game over paying attention to my children? Would I constantly refuse to go out and engage in social activities, just to stay at home and game? No.

However, I have known people who would call off two or more times from their jobs during the week to play the game. I have known people who "take a vacation", but bring their computer with them, and though they are 1,000 miles from home, instead of being out and enjoying the vacation, they would rather hook up to the wireless internet and play the game. I have seen relationships suffer because of excessiveness. Is this technically addiction? Maybe not. I would have to at least deem it traversing the line between a preferred form of entertainment ( much as someone else might spend 2+ hours a night relaxing in front of the TV ) to being harmful to the person. If they don't go to work, they can't pay their bills. If they ignore their partner in order to spend two more hours on the game, their relationship suffers. And so on.

I feel there is always a need for balance, whether that person is single and kid-free, involved with someone who enjoys video games to the same extent, or involved with someone who doesn't, has kids, et cetera. As long as someone has their priorities right, hopefully a game -- or anything else -- won't become an addiction.

And that's how I feel about it! Wink
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Garen Odias
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PostSubject: Re: Gaming Addiction, is it real?   Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:23 am

Just before you read this, I'm not picking apart your post on purpose, I just find it easier to respond to smaller chunks so that my argument makes... well, 'sense'.

Lisara Novar wrote:
1. What I'd like to point out is the fact that there cannot be a 'level' of addiction.

2. To be addicted to something you must be dependent on it, like a drug user is on a drug.

3. the point I am making is that it maybe a large amount or a little, there really is no 'level' of addiction.

4. As to how this ties in to gaming and how it may be addictive is that people may take time off work, may avoid family and so on and others may see it as a problem or even a sign of 'addiction' but at the end of the day it is a choice because the person is not 'dependent' on a game.

5. But when this is taken into the account of a game or gaming a person cannot be dependent on a game no matter there level of exposure due to the fact that a game is not a behavior or a substance.

6. If they spend 20 hours a week on a game does it make them an addict? So if someone plays 20 hours a 2 minutes is that them an addict? If they spend 19 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds, does that mean they're not a addict because of that second? No.

7. But either way what I'd like to point out is that because you cannot be dependent on a game, you cannot become addicted.

1. I personally disagree. Although the touchings of 'addiction' on this are debateable at best, I feel that it is scalable. For example (not really the best, but its what I came up with) a smoker might only feel the need for one or two ciggarettes a day, but still feel the need for them, and in some cases show signs of withdrawal even from this small amount if not used. On the other hand, you have people who smoke box after box, who need no real further explanation.

2. Yes, I agree with this. While it may seem tame in comparison, gaming can often be depended upon, in the form of entertainment. Some people can develop what I call 'singular personalities', where they will only abide by one thing to indulge their needs. For example, some people will only eat one type of food (it happens), will only find one particular 'type' of person attractive (Say, a brunette would be good, but never a blonde or redhead, ever), or even to the extreme that they will only find one form of media entertaining (like... GAMING! Very Happy), all these to the point where they cannot stand alternatives and so find themselves dependant on their 'preference' (for lack of better word). These may sound like mere choices, and often are, but in many cases it is very much a psychological issue (like giving someone a food to eat that isn't their 'preference' may make them throw up). (This explanation probably leaves 'Addiction' at a shaky level at best, but alas, I'm poor at explaining things. What I'm trying to say is, Gaming can be viewed as an addiction due to a select reliance on it to fulfill the human needs of entertainment above all other forms. Kind of. G'ah >.<).

3. To this I'll go back to my first point. Addiction is something that is developed, no one is born with a reliance on alcohol. However, to satisfy the 'craving' some people need more of their 'substance' than others to make do, which I feel makes a differing level of addiction.

4. Again, it might be that, due to the amount of their life they have invested in gaming, they may not find any/many other forms of entertainment is enjoyable, because they have had so much personal exposure to that form of media. You can lead a horse to water, but...

5. A desire to play games is a developed mindset, and so I would place it under 'behavior'. As I have already said, a person may play games so much (large exposure) that they feel it is 'their' form of entertainment and so find the presented alternatives less appealing.

6. This suggests that there may or may not be a sudden line after which you are 'addicted'. You have said yourself that you feel that there are no 'levels' of addiction, but by the same token you seem to be suggesting that there is no 'line' to be drawn by which you are an addict, or not an addict. How does that work if you also cannot put a scale on the theory of addiction? I personally feel that someone who feels the need to play games for 10 hours a week is not at the same level of addiction as someone who feels the need to play for 30 hours a week. (That is not an attack, just an observation, and if I got your point wrong, please do correct me).

7. And to sum up my points. I personally believe you can be addicted to gaming because it is a developed preference mindset, and as such is a 'behavior'.
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PostSubject: Re: Gaming Addiction, is it real?   Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:10 am

There is too much to quote, ahh!

Okay, just a couple of things in defending my viewpoint and again, to agree with Garen:

I still feel there are "levels" of addiction; Garen summed it up nicely, I think, so I won't rehash that.

Though it may not be a substance -- again, prone to agree with Garen about behavior -- I feel that whether it is an hour a day or six hours a day, if you place your desire ( or "need" ) to game above other obvious real-life priorities, such as your job, your family, or your own health, then it has become harmful to you.

How is it harmful? Well, just as a person knows that smoking five packs of cigarettes a day is damaging their lungs, or drinking a bottle of Grey Goose every night is destroying their liver, they still do it, because they have developed that addiction that drives them to want those things. Gaming could be very similar, albeit in slightly different ways. Although you know spending big chunks of time is hurting your relationship, saddening or angering your partner, you do it anyway; though your child is begging you to take him to the park, you tell him to go watch TV because you're busy gaming; you called off work because you only got three hours of sleep because you couldn't make yourself log out and go to bed at a decent hour, and now you can't pay your electric bill; hell, some people even forget to eat during their 6-hour gaming binges.

I will put myself into the debate: while I was in high school, I played massive amounts of EQ. I would stay up until two or three in the morning playing because I didn't want to quit the game after six hours, but then I suffered in school because I was so tired I couldn't hardly pay attention. That would border on, or even BE, addiction to me. However, if it was a Friday night and I didn't have to worry about waking up for school the next morning and had no other obligations -- such as a job to go to or a spouse that wanted me awake before noon -- then staying up until the wee hours of the morning playing a video game would be okay, because there was nothing else that it affected.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that whether or not someone could be said to be "addicted" to a game depends much on their personal situation and how their amount of gaming affects other aspects of their life, but in the end, I still feel it can be an addiction, under the behavior column ( good point Garen! )
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