The perils of covering game addiction
Gamers will argue almost endlessly over which games are the best, which ones were most important, what the proper way to play is... but one thing we almost universally agree on is that we are not addicted. We all know the arguments -- the guy who plays sixteen hours a day in his parents' basement would have acted like that anyway, it's just a game, he doesn't have a substance addiction. Why even bring it up?
Neils Clark, author of Game Addiction, wrote up a post about ten fallacies in addressing game addiction. The point of the piece, rather than concluding whether or not it's worth discussing, is to point out the ways in which many of the arguments on both sides are inherently flawed. The first point, for instance, is taking on the oft-quoted stance that "well, games aren't drugs" by laying out the many kinds of repeated behaviors that psychologists already recognize as potential addictions and treat accordingly.
MMORPGs, more than perhaps any other genre, are usually replete with tales of utter addicts and non-stop players. The article is worth reading if you care even the slightest bit about the topic, because it reminds us that the elephant is not a part of the furniture. It's an elephant, and it's the sort of thing that needs to be addressed -- especially as the genre expands its appeal and its user base.
[ via GamePolitics ]
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