It's easy to talk about gaming addiction as an abstract concept, but whether or not you think the idea holds a lot of water there are an awful lot of studies and examinations of it that just won't go away. Still, the concept is easy to deny. The human element, however, makes it much more real and that much harder to ignore. Which is why, ultimately, it's probably a good thing for everyone that Kotaku's editor Mike Fahey has written up his story of his EverQuest addiction -- the origin, the escalation, and the recovery of sorts.
Mike describes how the death of his relationship led to him escaping into the video game that increasingly was preferrable to his normal life -- which, in turn, led to him winding up without his car, then without a job, and then ultimately to the point that we could probably see coming, where the game became preferrable to pursuing a romantic relationship. He chronicles the downward slide, followed by the slow crawl back out of being addicted -- but, at the end, he doesn't conclude that EverQuest itself is the problem.
As he himself puts it regarding his addiction: "I hid. I ran from my problems, hiding away in a virtual fantasy world instead of confronting the issues that might have been easily resolved if I had addressed them directly." His story focuses not upon the game, but on his own responses and how they were what was ultimately responsible for what happened and where he wound up. It's an interesting piece for the conclusion alone, and worth reading for anyone with even the slightest stake in the topic of game addiction -- which, for those of us who play MMOs, should really just include all of us.