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Defining Video Game Addiction

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the one-more-pindle-run dept.

Games 354

1Up has a feature discussing where the line should be drawn when it comes to game addiction. The author speaks to researcher Neils Clark about some of the common characteristics of addiction, and how the high level of immersion in many modern games contributes to the mind's ability to drown out mundane tasks. We've discussed game addiction many times over the past several years. Quoting: "If we're not all dribbling addicts, then why are we playing so much? Clark puts this down to a theory proposed by The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien — primary and secondary worlds. The primary world is our own real life. The secondary is the fictional world: literature, film, videogames, and so on. 'It used to be that the imagery and artistic intent had to be fully available before you could really "find" yourself in a written story,' Clark says. 'Immersion has progressed to the point where entering a world [inside a game] is almost automatic. At the point we're at, playing healthy not only means understanding immersion but [also] recognizing that these secondary worlds are designed to be more fulfilling than the primary. Learning to balance them is its own technology. It's something that humankind is in a process of developing, even if on a subconscious level for most gamers.'"

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What a load of... (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#24836567)

It seems obvious that the only people who think MMORPGs are addictive are the people who haven't played them.

Re:What a load of... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 6 years ago | (#24836627)

There is also a (thankfully) small number who have died from playing:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4137782.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:What a load of... (5, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | about 6 years ago | (#24837193)

Most of the cases I've run into of "death by gaming" boil down to extreme lack of self care. Which is often present in addicts - ie, your typical malnourished junkie - but not in and of itself a sign of addiction. To draw an analogy, it's like how drinking and driving can kill you, but doesn't always indicate alcoholism (or even heavy habitual drinking - there are cases of DUI accidents occurring simply because the individual lacked the experience to judge their own level of intoxication). OTOH, it would be irresponsible to claim a lack of correlation between drunk driving and alcohol dependency - the correlation is there, but you can't assume one equals the other without examining each case in detail first.

A better rule of thumb for determining whether somebody is addicted to something is to ask them if they still enjoy it. Most people don't realize that your average addict has long since passed the stage where they want to quit, but are no longer able to. Your average sex addict doesn't enjoy boinking, your average alcoholic doesn't want to drink anymore, and your average smoker would love to quit (and probably has tried to at least once). This is one of the reasons why intoxicating substance use has a high rate of addiction - the brain chemistry gets literally rewired, to the point where stopping is traumatic. People have died from withdrawal, while others have developed psychosis, suffered from hallucinations, attempted suicide, and generally been miserable as hell.

"Addiction" gets applied far to frequently to abuse or overuse of any kind. Human stupidity and lack of common sense must be given their due, as must simple hedonism and self destructiveness. Real addiction is pathological. It might very well be purely psychological, with no chemical basis (or at least no external chemical basis), but on some level it's become a disease upon the affected person, and often times they'll be the first to admit it. Take the bottle away from a problem drinker, and the problem goes away; take the bottle away from an alcoholic and all hell breaks loose.

So, to get back on topic, I would define a gaming addict as a gamer who continues to play to great excess, despite a desire to quit. Somebody for whom turning it off, taking a break or unplugging is traumatic enough to make them jump right back in.

Re:What a load of... (2)

shermo (1284310) | about 6 years ago | (#24837455)

Or as someone who stands around Orgrimmar all day going "I'm bored".

I, on the other hand, treasue the couple of hours a night I get to play between work and other commitments

Re:What a load of... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837461)

I'll be honest, I love to play games. I used to play CS 1.5 nonstop in Uni, because it was fun. Same with Quake 2 and 3, Diablo 2, Dungeon Master, Planetarion.. Recently I've started playing ET:QW, which I love, because of the different character classes, the achievements system, the fun aspects of tearing around in tanks and APCs etc. Occasionally though, I'll play for a whole evening, trying to find a decent server. Most are full of douches who don't understand that being a Medic means they should be trying to heal people, or who will choose to respawn as the character class that is required for a mission, but who then spend the rest of the map camping on a hill.

Even though I'm not necessarily enjoying myself during this discovery process, I know how good it can be, and I keep on at it, trying to find a good server...Usually, I find one, and then play on it for some time before its overwhelmed with douches...when I quit and look for somewhere else...

Is this addictive behaviour? Or is this just par for the course for a gamer playing a game overwhelmed with douchebags?

Re:What a load of... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24836645)

I'm not sure if addiction is quite the right word in most cases. I think stupidity does. If you are on food stamps and spending most of your time on WOW. You have a problem. And your problem is your own stupidity.

Re:What a load of... (4, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | about 6 years ago | (#24836705)

It seems obvious that the only people who think MMORPGs are addictive are the people who haven't played them.

Alright that's just not true, I've met several MMORPG players who consider themselves addicted and are not happy about the amount of time they've spent on their games.

Personally I never got into the MMORPG thing, but I remember back when I used to MUD there were periods where I definitely exhibited the signs of addiction. That endorphin rush I got when I first logged in for the day is scary in retrospect.

Re:What a load of... (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#24836739)

fun != addiction.

Re:What a load of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24836817)

(fun ^ addiction) != (fun | addiction)

Re:What a load of... (4, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 6 years ago | (#24836863)

If it wasn't fun there wouldn't be a risk of addiction. Nobody ever got addicted to filling out time sheets, for example.

My wife freely admits to being addicted.. she sometimes looks back and wonders where the last 5 years went, tries to stop for a couple of days then back to raiding - she plays 18-20 hours a day, never leaves the house, or even the desk for that matter.. Not a lot you can do about it, except wait for the victim to get their act together and come out of it.

Re:What a load of... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837177)

Sounds like you've got your self a real winner.

Re:What a load of... (3, Insightful)

moniker127 (1290002) | about 6 years ago | (#24837241)

"Nobody ever got addicted to filling out time sheets, for example." I dont know if i'd define it as addiction, but there is obsessive compulsive disorder.

Re:What a load of... (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 6 years ago | (#24837301)

Not a lot you can do about it, except wait for the victim to get their act together and come out of it.

I thought part of being an addiction is that you don't get out of it unless "something" happens. Most of the destructive ones it's crashing hard or running out of money or something like that - if they're just compulsive say like compulsive washers they can practicly ruin the rest of their lifes, and yours too if you wait around for it to change. I don't mean to be an insensitive clod and it's your life, but I'd fight or bail. Five years... what's to say it's not five more? Ten? You want to grow old like that? And if she comes about, expect it to be nasty either as in cracking up and for you to pick up the pieces or flipping out with OMG all she's been missing. Then again maybe you're enjoying it with a part time wife, but I doubt it...

Re:What a load of... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24837403)

Most non chemical addictions aren't really addictions but simply obsessive behavior. After a time people get bored, that is why we aren't all playing space invaders on our 2600. Most people who play WoW or any other video game have a goal of some kind, be it to get to the highest level, to have all the greatest weapons and armor, to join a certain guild, etc. Once that goal is met and the player experiences it, usually they don't care much for the game anymore.

Re:What a load of... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837495)

.. Not a lot you can do about it, except wait for the victim to get their act together and come out of it.

You sir are an enabler. You most likely provide the power, the subscription, the food and probably don't care as long as she puts out every so often. If you've watched _any_ of the tv shows featuring the morbidly and often house bound obese, you usually find a loved one or close friend who is enabling them to get that overweight. If you're stuck in your house or even a chair/bed, some one has to bring you the food.

As long as you just put up with it and enable her to just sit around the house playing all day, she will so STOP it. Stop putting up with it and force the issue, is she truely satisfied with the state of her life being tied to the game?

I know I wasn't while I was addicted to a MUD for over a year.

Re:What a load of... (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 6 years ago | (#24837499)

You can pull the plug.

Or if you can't stand the resulting fight get her hooked on cocaine or something, that will take her mind off it ... not much worse than letter her play 18-20 hours a day for years on end ...

Re:What a load of... (1)

grumbel (592662) | about 6 years ago | (#24837501)

If it wasn't fun there wouldn't be a risk of addiction.

Depends on how one defines 'fun'. MMORPGs are kind of similar to the fun you can have sitting for hours in front of the TV just zapping around randomly, it sure makes the time pass, but its a very different kind of fun then playing a good single player game or watching a good movie.

Not Just MMOs (4, Interesting)

saxoholic (992773) | about 6 years ago | (#24836757)

While I'm sure we all first think of those people who can't tear themselves away from wow, MMOs aren't the only culprit. As a teen, my friend and I definitely spent more time than we should playing fpses and rtses. We would probably play 4 - 6 hours a day, to the point where my friend's school work suffered. I would definitely consider myself addicted. You're still in a second world, be it one of trebuchet's and woad raders, or .44s and rocket launchers. (but, for the love of god, please don't let that world be second life). There are definitely high school students who suffer, like my friend did, because of an addiction to video games. They're fulfilling, and parents might not know how to deal with it since it's a newer problem.

Re:What a load of... (5, Interesting)

Brigade (974884) | about 6 years ago | (#24836877)

I refuse to play MMORPGs any longer. To be honest, I think that they encourage and reward "addiction." I refused to play MMORPGs .. until FFXI. As a Final Fantasy nut (I've played and finished every US-Released version of every FF game on the console it was released on) .. I wanted to skip it .. but thought .. "eh .. what the hell." MMORPGs require a high level of investment in order to produce rewards. Oh .. I have to grind for 5-6 hours a day to level, and then I get a sub-job, but in order to level my main job I have to grind levels for my sub-job, and I have to quest/craft for equipment to level the main job, or camp NMs, etc. etc. Plus, they're social: you're making friends, a virtual lifestyle, that is SO much more rewarding (discrete/measurable awards at that), and appealing than the Real World. I literally spent 6 months in game. That's actively playing the game, logged in, leveling, crafting, etc. Not sitting idle on 'bazaar' or anything of that nature. The only times that I was logged in and not holding a controller or typing on the keyboard was when I was in the kitchen whipping something up, or (maybe) outside having a cigarette (but still eyes on the TV). That was over a calendar period of 9 months. I spent 2/3rds of my life for the better part of a year plugged in to that game, sacrificing school, social life, and the only reason why I didn't explode was I barely ate enough to keep me alive. 'Addiction' can be a very abused term, however, in the case of MMORPGs, that's a lot of what drives them. You need to be 'addicted' in order to be successful. The worst part is, I managed to keep my character well-equipped, and leveled up, and I never managed to make it to level 75 RDM. Burned out @ 73. Even had most all of the other jobs leveled up (every job to 10, lot of jobs to 20/25, and NIN, WHM, BLM, DRK, SMN all up to 40). Finally stepped back and said "Can't do this anymore." Lot of my (then) non-gaming friends didn't understand, then started playing WoW. I still get hassled about not playing WoW with them (and now Age of Conan), but I know I have a problem and like any other addict (be it alcohol, or drugs), I know better than to tempt fate, because it will just suck me right back in. The difference is, "normal" games have an END, and a "save state." I can mess with Gears, or Dead Rising, or almost any other game for a few hours, maybe even upwards of 16-20. I can knock Halo out 24 hours after launch, and it's done. It's finished. Or play through a 6-hour session of Blue Dragon and walk away, come back later. MMORPGs are persisting, you're missing out when you're not plugged in, and on top of that, they do NOT end.

Re:What a load of... (3, Interesting)

Brigade (974884) | about 6 years ago | (#24836901)

Here's the line-broken version of that rant, because I screwed up and can't find the 'edit' button.

I refuse to play MMORPGs any longer. To be honest, I think that they encourage and reward "addiction." I refused to play MMORPGs .. until FFXI. As a Final Fantasy nut (I've played and finished every US-Released version of every FF game on the console it was released on) .. I wanted to skip it .. but thought .. "eh .. what the hell."

MMORPGs require a high level of investment in order to produce rewards. Oh .. I have to grind for 5-6 hours a day to level, and then I get a sub-job, but in order to level my main job I have to grind levels for my sub-job, and I have to quest/craft for equipment to level the main job, or camp NMs, etc. etc.

Plus, they're social: you're making friends, a virtual lifestyle, that is SO much more rewarding (discrete/measurable awards at that), and appealing than the Real World.

I literally spent 6 months in game. That's actively playing the game, logged in, leveling, crafting, etc. Not sitting idle on 'bazaar' or anything of that nature. The only times that I was logged in and not holding a controller or typing on the keyboard was when I was in the kitchen whipping something up, or (maybe) outside having a cigarette (but still eyes on the TV). That was over a calendar period of 9 months.

I spent 2/3rds of my life for the better part of a year plugged in to that game, sacrificing school, social life, and the only reason why I didn't explode was I barely ate enough to keep me alive. 'Addiction' can be a very abused term, however, in the case of MMORPGs, that's a lot of what drives them. You need to be 'addicted' in order to be successful.

The worst part is, I managed to keep my character well-equipped, and leveled up, and I never managed to make it to level 75 RDM. Burned out @ 73. Even had most all of the other jobs leveled up (every job to 10, lot of jobs to 20/25, and NIN, WHM, BLM, DRK, SMN all up to 40). Finally stepped back and said "Can't do this anymore."

A lot of my (then) non-gaming friends didn't understand, then started playing WoW. I still get hassled about not playing WoW with them (and now Age of Conan), but I know I have a problem and like any other addict (be it alcohol, or drugs), I know better than to tempt fate, because it will just suck me right back in.

The difference is, "normal" games have an END, and a "save state." I can mess with Gears, or Dead Rising, or almost any other game for a few hours, maybe even upwards of 16-20. I can knock Halo out 24 hours after launch, and it's done. It's finished. Or play through a 6-hour session of Blue Dragon and walk away, come back later. MMORPGs are persisting, you're missing out when you're not plugged in, and on top of that, they do NOT end.

Re:What a load of... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 6 years ago | (#24837057)

You're so lucky you got out in 6 months. Coping with someone at 5 years plus is really touch. They played FFXI too.. and had 3 level 75 characters before defecting to Wow (where they have 5 level 70 characters and another 2 on the way).

In a way it's not entirely the games.. some people just seem to find it hard to prioritise properly.. if gambling could be done for $10 a month they'd be addicted to that too... probably alchohol too for the same reasons. Getting out is realizing that although 'X makes me happy' and 'more of X makes me more happy' sometimes 'lots and lots of X makes me miserable' is true.

Re:What a load of... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24837121)

The difference is, "normal" games have an END, and a "save state." I can mess with Gears, or Dead Rising, or almost any other game for a few hours, maybe even upwards of 16-20. I can knock Halo out 24 hours after launch, and it's done. It's finished. Or play through a 6-hour session of Blue Dragon and walk away, come back later. MMORPGs are persisting, you're missing out when you're not plugged in, and on top of that, they do NOT end.

The fact that MMORPGs have no end is by far the largest advantage to them. For example, a dedicated player can complete the storyline of most "normal" games in a weekend. After that the game gets shoved in a box or possibly resold and the gamer feels like he or she wasted $50. On the other hand, a MMORPG will always be new and changing. The $100 you spent on an MMORPG will last you ~2 years, compare that with 2-3 months casually playing a normal game.

A lot of people like that an MMORPG has no ending, with most games you feel cheated at the end because eventually a sub-par sequel comes out and you spend another $50 relearning the game and eventually beat it and then get the third game, etc.

Re:What a load of... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#24837087)

For fuck sake. If someone spent 6 months of their life building a boat, no-one would say they were addicted to boat building.

You're just diluting the meaning of the word. Go take up heroin - then you're qualified to talk about addiction.

Re:What a load of... (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 6 years ago | (#24837233)

I know heroin addicts who later became addicted to Everquest, after cleaning up from heroin.

Re:What a load of... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24837345)

Its common nature to switch out one activity for another. Be it more or less healthy. For example people who used to drink or smoke might replace drinking alcohol with drinking a soda and people who smoke might replace that with eating. There are people who stopped watching TV 5 hours a day to take up flying RC airplanes, some who replaced the time reading magazines with reading the bible. It only makes sense to replace one activity for another.

Re:What a load of... (2, Insightful)

tempestdata (457317) | about 6 years ago | (#24837369)

at the end of 6 months, that person would have a boat.

All a gamer has at the end of six months is a little character that a corporation says you have and that you must keep feeding $15 each month to keep alive for you.

Re:What a load of... (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | about 6 years ago | (#24836811)

It seems obvious that the only people who think MMORPGs are addictive are the people who haven't played them.

At the very least, myself and the other 33,261 people who have posted on this website disagree with you.

http://www.wowdetox.com/ [wowdetox.com]

Re:What a load of... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24837365)

So what do you say that being addicted to MMORPGs is like? What do you count as "addicted"? Because I'm sure that you can replace MMORPGs with any other activity (studying, reading, sleeping, work) and count it as an addiction. MMORPGs are no more addictive than any other thing you can do.

your assuming it's an addiction (4, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | about 6 years ago | (#24836575)

addiction is an over used term these days, and it vastly over simplifies why some people spend their life in front of a video game.

Re:your assuming it's an addiction (1)

religious freak (1005821) | about 6 years ago | (#24836771)

Exactly. Addiction isn't defined as how MUCH you do a certain thing, but the consequences doing that action have on your life.

You could be a perfectly normal person if you like to play WoW 60 hours a week, as long as you can keep a job, actually carry a conversation, and move forward in your real life.

Re:your assuming it's an addiction (2, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | about 6 years ago | (#24836801)

So despite nicotine being an enormously addictive substance, those millions of people who smoke cigarettes constantly and can't quit even though they want to but still manage to carry on normal lives aren't actually addicted?

Re:your assuming it's an addiction (3, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#24836825)

ask wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

The term "addiction" is used in many contexts to describe an obsession, compulsion, or excessive physical dependence, such as: drug addiction, alcoholism, compulsive overeating, problem gambling, computer addiction, etc.

In medical terminology, addiction is a state in which the body relies on a substance for normal functioning and develops physical dependence, as in drug addiction. When the drug or substance on which someone is dependent is suddenly removed, it will cause withdrawal, a characteristic set of signs and symptoms. Addiction is generally associated with increased drug tolerance. In physiological terms, addiction is not necessarily associated with substance abuse since this form of addiction can result from using medication as prescribed by a doctor.

However, common usage of the term addiction has spread to include psychological dependence. In this context, the term is used in drug addiction and substance abuse problems, but also refers to behaviours that are not generally recognised by the medical community as problems of addiction, such as compulsive overeating.

The term addiction is also sometimes applied to compulsions that are not substance-related, such as problem gambling and computer addiction. In these kinds of common usuages, the term addiction is used to describe a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences to the individual's health, mental state or social life.

Re:your assuming it's an addiction (1)

Thousand (1351647) | about 6 years ago | (#24836841)

60 hours of WoW a week won't give you lung cancer.

Re:your assuming it's an addiction (3, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | about 6 years ago | (#24836891)

Addiction has nothing to do with negative medical consequences if you continue. It's perfectly possible to be addicted to something otherwise harmless. And anyway, the lack of exercise that 60 hours/week of WoW implies will kill you just as dead.

Re:your assuming it's an addiction (3, Interesting)

shermo (1284310) | about 6 years ago | (#24837493)

Actually, I used to be a semi-professional athlete. I clocked up a hell of a lot of hours of WoW, since there's not much else to do once you've done your ~4 hours of training a day.

It was certainly healthier than the excessive drinking that plenty of other athletes spend their spare time on.

Re:your assuming it's an addiction (2, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 6 years ago | (#24836897)

No but unemployment, no social life and a health problems due to the lack of exercise might cause you a few problems.

Re:your assuming it's an addiction (1)

e2d2 (115622) | about 6 years ago | (#24837485)

But smoking does effect them. It may hurt them. They don't carry on "normal lives" in the sense that they may get cancer or emphysema, etc.

I don't think "addiction", in the vague sense that something dominates your life, becomes an issue until it harms you. But that's just my opinion. Arguing the meaning of the word itself is kind of pointless. We all know what people mean when they say "addiction", they mean that it somehow is hurting your life.

Re:your assuming it's an addiction (1)

pgillan (1043668) | about 6 years ago | (#24836997)

I personally define addiction as "continuing to do something despite negative consequences." It's not an addiction unless you know you need to stop, and find that you can't. Many gamers see that their relationships, their jobs, even their health is impacted by this, but continue to play anyway. As far as I'm concerned, that's an addiction.

Re:your assuming it's an addiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837245)

Some would also argue that denial is stage one.

Re:your assuming it's an addiction (3, Informative)

pizzach (1011925) | about 6 years ago | (#24836833)

The summary is horrible, but that is expected on slashdot. Riiiiight? The first two paragraphs of TFA pretty much sums it up and pretty much parallels what you had said.

In 2005, Lee Seung Seop of South Korea died after playing StarCraft for 50 hours. In 2007, Xu Yan of northeastern China died after playing various online games for 7 days. Just six months later, an unidentified 30-year-old in Guangzhou province died after playing in an Internet café for three straight days. Addiction to videogames: It's happening to them, and it could be happening to you, too!

Well, OK, not really. Game addiction is a term that's thrown around pretty liberally these days. Horror stories of people spending their entire lives in front of World of WarCraft are even making it to the TV news. But for most of us, gaming's just a hobby -- even if it's a hobby that we tend to take rather seriously. The line between hobby and habit is a blurry one, though, and it's not easily understood. When it comes to doing something you enjoy, how much is too much?

Re:your assuming it's an addiction (1)

PPH (736903) | about 6 years ago | (#24837013)

addiction is an over used term these days

We seem to be addicted to it's use.

WoWA (1)

eggman9713 (714915) | about 6 years ago | (#24836601)

How long is it now before we have WoWA (World of Warcraft Anonymous)?

GOATSE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837109)

http://goatse.cz/ [goatse.cz]
You WoW nerds love it!

I'm addicted to... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24836605)

I'm addicted to marijuana, pussy, porn, video games, the internets, jacking off, pounding real pussy, and any drug that sounds fun.

I'm an addict and life is good cuz I make fat cash all fucking day.

Geek Addict 4 Life

Re:I'm addicted to... (1)

ThatFunkyMunki (908716) | about 6 years ago | (#24836895)

Hell yes, geek addicts represent!

I'd come up with a thoughtful reply (2, Funny)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | about 6 years ago | (#24836607)

but I have a number of auctions to check on in Ironforge and a bunch of mining to do. That Jewelcrafting skill won't level on its own you know!

Pussy Nazi Sez (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24836611)

No pussy for YOU!

I wouldn't say I have an addiction (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | about 6 years ago | (#24836631)

I can, have and currently am going without most of the games I like. Whether or not I get immersed in a game is entirely down to whether or not I want to be immersed in it; assuming, of course, the game is good enough to get immersed in in the first place. I can spend hours or even months playing Civ 4 or Medieval II: Total War if I let myself get immersed. I don't enjoy them if I'm distracted by something else. I've sunk just as much time into Morrowind and Oblivion, and when Fallout 3 finally gets here, people will only see me at meal times, if they're lucky (or unlucky, depending on perspective). I never have been able to get into online games, even when I want to.

Television is addictive (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24836651)

Most of our parents are addicted to television; I don't see any hysteria or treatment programs for them. In fact politicians and advertisers actively exploit that addiction.

Some argue that refined sugar is addictive, too, and most Westerners are in fact addicted.

Re:Television is addictive (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 6 years ago | (#24836935)

No they're not. They don't give up their lives to sit in front of the TV. They go to work, cook dinner, talk to each other.. normal things.. like non-addicted people do.

Game addicts do none of these things. I'm sure TV addicts exist but don't trivialise the term by confusing it with normal behaviour.

Re:Television is addictive (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24837045)

So wait... somehow the person who gets home at 6:00 and watches TV almost endlessly until 12:00 for 6 hours a day 5 days a week and for about 7 hours on the weekends for a total of 44 hours a week watching TV isn't addicted but yet if you told someone that you played WoW for 40 hours a week somehow you have to be some slob who never exercises and has no social life and is addicted to it.

Re:Television is addictive (2, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 6 years ago | (#24837101)

If they hold down a job and remember to eat and have the occasional friend over they're not really addicted are they?

A game addict (or a TV addict) will generally be unemployed simply because leaving the house to work will be less important to them than playing/watching. Or eating. Or anything for that matter. Addiction takes over your life.

Trying to describe people who watch excessive amounts of TV as addicts just because that's what they do in the evenings doesn't work. Same for Wow players or anyone else. That doesn't mean that addiction doesn't exist - it's real and it's painful to watch people go through it.

Re:Television is addictive (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24837161)

Trying to describe people who watch excessive amounts of TV as addicts just because that's what they do in the evenings doesn't work. Same for Wow players or anyone else. That doesn't mean that addiction doesn't exist - it's real and it's painful to watch people go through it.

So unless you forget to eat and you don't have a job you aren't addicted? In this case MMORPGs are totally not addicting there have been what? 20 documented cases of someone forgetting to eat because of it? And as for a job you could argue that skipping a day of work to do *insert activity here* means that you are addicted to it.

Re:Television is addictive (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 6 years ago | (#24837433)

Smokers hold down a job, and remember to eat. Are they not addicted?

Re:Television is addictive (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#24837391)

Ya know, back before the tv became a fixture in our lives, people used to talk to their kids at the dinner table.

Crazy shit, I know.

Re:Television is addictive (1)

e2d2 (115622) | about 6 years ago | (#24837519)

Ah the good old days. And then the talkies came and Vaudeville was dead. Wait, how far back are we talking?

Re:Television is addictive (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 6 years ago | (#24837123)

Most of our parents are addicted to television; I don't see any hysteria or treatment programs for them. In fact politicians and advertisers actively exploit that addiction.

For 60 years many people, including politicians, have been criticizing how much TV American citizens watch. There are entire institutes dedicated to studying the problem.

Some argue that refined sugar is addictive, too, and most Westerners are in fact addicted.

Wouldn't overly surprise me. I cut refined sugar out of my diet a year ago and it definitely was a great move. It changes the entire way I taste things, for the better.

Nerds are very "in touch" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24836687)

These are the real issues that face millions of people, and will surely affect the election.

Have people forgotten how to think? (1)

CodyRazor (1108681) | about 6 years ago | (#24836693)

"If we're not all dribbling addicts, then why are we playing so much?"

Because videogames are designed to be fun and enjoyable so we play them a lot. How fucking simple can you be?

I dont see anyone running around looking to label people who watch a lot of tv as addicts. I'm not sure what being a "researcher" entails but it seems like he was never taught the definition and requirements of something to be an addiction.

Re:Have people forgotten how to think? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#24837203)

I dont see anyone running around looking to label people who watch a lot of tv as addicts.

Bwahahaha.. I guess you're showing your age then.

so, uh.. (1)

Rellik66 (596729) | about 6 years ago | (#24836717)

Where's my Holodeck, dammit!

Yea Its addictive.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24836721)

MMORPG's Are addictive. I seen the damage its done. For a majority of people certainly gamers who have learned to control there online time it isnt a problem , agreed. But for those who have stood by and watched Kids go unfed till way to late at night, Having the TV or DVD's parent the children while a partner spends the entire weekend online until its become to much and it wasnt the marriage you signed up for...

Well "Widows Of Warcraft"... its a joke for some people and a reality for others.... or did you think someone made up the term EverCrack because it wasnt addictive...

There are people that Suffer from addictions, gambling, alcohol, Cigarettes some chemical addictions of the body, some mental addictions of the mind. Those people prone to or a tendency for access compulsive behavior often fall into the metal category.

Never before has such a "wide net" been thrown, MMORPG are cheap compared to Cigarettes, available 24/7 in your own home (as opposed to gambling other than online...) and gives you an escapism thats better than the real world...

Anything in excess is a problem, and this problem is sooo easy to get hooked on.

Re:Yea Its addictive.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837079)

MMORPG are cheap compared to Cigarettes

Actually, cigarettes can be quite economical if not smoked excessively (under, say, half pack a day) because they are very effective appetite suppressants. A handful or two of cigarettes can easily save you several dollars on food. (And you'll maintain that girlish figure.)

Re:Yea Its addictive.... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24837435)

MMORPG's Are addictive. I seen the damage its done. For a majority of people certainly gamers who have learned to control there online time it isnt a problem

Books Are addictive. I seen the damage its done. For a majority of people certainly gamers who have learned to control there reading time it isnt a problem

School is addictive. I seen the damage its done. For a majority of people certainly gamers who have learned to control there studying time it isnt a problem

Notice the pattern? MMORPGs are not addictive. Sure, some people might be obsessed with it, but not addictive.

Videogames are not addictive. (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | about 6 years ago | (#24836791)

They just aren't, they might be an activity that people get passionate about, obsessive about but they are not addictive. Any obsessive behaviour is labelled as addictive and it is just plain wrong.

Re:Videogames are not addictive. (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 6 years ago | (#24836955)

How utterly clueless can you be? Of course they're addictive. Just because the majority control it doesn't mean they're not.

Re:Videogames are not addictive. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24837275)

So wait, what do you define as addictive?

Because if video games are addictive then I have a long list of other things that are addictive too

Football
Books
Soccer
TV
School

Etc. Sure, some people obsessively play video games, some people obsessively study schoolwork, some people obsessively read, some people obsessively play sports. Yet I wouldn't call school, reading, nor sports addictive. But I suppose because video games are the new thing to be paranoid about, they are addictive, much as how comic books and rock and roll was going to turn the US into a bunch of Satan worshiping anarchists....

Re:Videogames are not addictive. (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 6 years ago | (#24837033)

Except that's not accurate either. People do get addicted to sex and exercise and by your definition that's an obsession. Problem is that people who are hooked on those things have been known to go through withdrawal symptoms and to be unable to stop doing them.

Or how about gambling, I mean clearly nobody loses huge sums of money gambling day after day after day because they can't leave the tables. I mean people don't ever skip personal care and gamble the rest of their lives away at a black jack table.

In this case, it's a rather moot point whether it's an obsession or an addiction. When a person can't leave the game to bathe, eat, work or possibly have sex that's a serious problem regardless of what label you put on it.

Re:Videogames are not addictive. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24837317)

Problem is that people who are hooked on those things have been known to go through withdrawal symptoms and to be unable to stop doing them.

That is still an obsession. If you take away a 3 year old's blanket that they carry with them everywhere you might see the same symptoms. But honestly, (hopefully) no one thinks that a 3 year old is addicted to the blanket. It is simply a habit, or perhaps an obsession. Not an addiction.

Re:Videogames are not addictive. (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | about 6 years ago | (#24837359)

In this case, it's a rather moot point whether it's an obsession or an addiction. When a person can't leave the game to bathe, eat, work or possibly have sex that's a serious problem regardless of what label you put on it.

That is escapism and is a symptom of other larger problems. Escapists are trying to be distracted by real world problems. If it wasn't videogames it would be television or stamp collecting or disco dancing. It still is not addiction.

I am a smoker, I also was a long time wow player, wow was easy to give up I just had to be tired of it. I got sick of it, and stopped. Cigarettes on the other hand I was sick and tired of those long ago. Yet I still have to smoke. Being a proper addict gives you perspective on addiction.

Re:Videogames are not addictive. (5, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 6 years ago | (#24837331)

The standard for addiction is when people give up on healthy developmental goals, understood however makes sense for that person, and opts instead for the addictive behavior or substance.

In other words, when you start to lose thing that matter to you, but carry on with the addictive behavior, that's addiction.

I have seen marriages dissolve because people played MMOs instead of spending time with their family. I've known people who have failed out of college and graduate school, because they became obsessed with MMOs. I play MMOs myself, and I can see it at work. The "secondary world" aspect misses the main addictive element of MMOs - which moves it from obsession to addiction. That's the reward structure: you can play and predictably get rewards.

One can be obsessed with Tolkien or Star Trek, in that the secondary world becomes more important than the real one. Since films, books and television don't offer an ongoing, unclosed reward structure that works to the extent that you put time into the activity, those obsessions don't become addictions.

That's why I think it makes sense to call MMO's addictive. They are always there - they never "satisfy" but promise the next reward, and then the next, and then the next. There is a social reinforcement element to it (which is an aspect of other addictions as well - alcoholism can certainly have a social aspect to it.)

The research observed that while people were playing, they identified the relationships with other players in-game as meaningful, but when they stopped playing, they ceased to describe it as such. To me, that is a lot like a heavy drinker's "bar friendships" - when they stop drinking, those friendships mean a lot less.

The defensiveness by gamers when confronted with this sort of analysis is depressingly predictable, as well.

Re:Videogames are not addictive. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24837465)

That's the reward structure: you can play and predictably get rewards. One can be obsessed with Tolkien or Star Trek, in that the secondary world becomes more important than the real one. Since films, books and television don't offer an ongoing, unclosed reward structure that works to the extent that you put time into the activity, those obsessions don't become addictions.

You just described the US market for any copyrighted work. Of course you play and get rewards, if you played and got nothing people wouldn't play it Blizzard want your monthly dues, so clearly they want you to keep playing it. And guess what authors do the same thing if you are obsessed about *insert book here* that ends in a cliffhanger you will probably buy the next book that comes out in the series and you are rewarded with the ending of the book.

fuzzy area (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 6 years ago | (#24836827)

I play DDR for like an hour or more almost every day. People might call that addicted or obsessive or whatever but that shouldn't even count. That's the only exercise I get :P And puzzle games make you smarter or whatever so where do you draw the line between video game and mental/physical exercise? No matter how you define it ignorant, old people should shut up about it.

Re:fuzzy area (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837049)

And puzzle games make you smarter or whatever

Smarter... or whatever.

Please, please, please play some puzzle games before you post again.

The Line (1)

Moggyboy (949119) | about 6 years ago | (#24836859)

I think the line is simple - if you start lying to friends and family about your activities when you've been gaming, or making excuses to get out of social occasions just to play games, you're an addict.

Re:The Line (1)

joshua_e (1293652) | about 6 years ago | (#24837051)

I made a rule that I can never turn down a social activity for a game. It doesn't prevent me from getting stuck playing a game every possible moment for a few weeks, but it does force me to take some breaks and see there's other stuff going on.

It depends on your definition of addiction. (5, Insightful)

AmericanPegasus (1099265) | about 6 years ago | (#24836861)

If you draw the line where the only way to get addicted is to chemically alter your brain (alcohol, tobacco, hard drugs, etc) then sure, there is no way to become addicted to video games. But if you believe that someone can become addicted to an activity that stimulated pleasure release in the brain (gambling, sex, shopping) then you have to make an entry for video games too.

Me? I believe that it's possible to become 'addicted' to video games, but the actual cases are probably so small that it shouldn't receive any more attention than gambling.

No, in all likelyhood labels like 'addicted to video games' are the previous generations ways of trying to understand our modern entertainment cycle. I'm sure their parents were worried they were 'addicted to comic books' or 'rock music'. I just cry a little cry for little Johnny who's mom will take away his Xbox 360 because she's afraid of him being 'addicted'. Parents need to stop guarding their children like pets and teach them to make smart decisions so that when Johnny is 20 and moves out (we're being optimistic here folks), he won't turn into an obsessed World of Warcraft fiend because he can finally access everything his parents never taught him how to deal with on his own.

It's the same as dad's who are sexually overprotective of their daughters, just as it's the same as parents who teach their kids that tobacco and drugs are bad-evil-horrible without giving them reasoning to justify that position, etc.

Teach kids to make smart decisions if you want them to be truly well off.

Re:It depends on your definition of addiction. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24837083)

I just cry a little cry for little Johnny who's mom will take away his Xbox 360 because she's afraid of him being 'addicted'. Parents need to stop guarding their children like pets and teach them to make smart decisions so that when Johnny is 20 and moves out (we're being optimistic here folks), he won't turn into an obsessed World of Warcraft fiend because he can finally access everything his parents never taught him how to deal with on his own.

Exactly. Whats the best way to keep kids off of sweets? Either A) forbid them to ever have them so they binge sweets while at school or at a friends house or B) Let them eat all the candy they can get over a weekend and watch how they get a stomach ache and don't eat that much candy again.

Re:It depends on your definition of addiction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837187)

It's the same as dad's [sic] who are sexually overprotective of their daughters...

You stay away from my daughter, you insensitive clod!

Re:It depends on your definition of addiction. (3, Insightful)

Ygorl (688307) | about 6 years ago | (#24837289)

Things like alcohol, tobacco, addictive drugs in general, gambling, sex, shopping, and video games - all these things *DO* chemically alter your brain! Not because they add external chemicals to your brain (though some of them obviously do) but because they stimulate the release of neurotransmitters. All the activities I mentioned (and, as far as I know, anything that can be addictive) can activate reward centers in the brain. This can lead to addiction - your brain grows used to the release of these neurotransmitters, in their absence you crave their presence, etc... While video games obviously don't inject chemicals into the body, they can stimulate the release of, for example, dopamine in the ventral tegmental area. Just because it comes from within your body doesn't mean it can't get you addicted. Yes, I play video games. Yes, I'm a neuroscientist. No, this isn't my specific field, so don't take anything I say as particularly authoritative - I may well have gotten some things wrong.

Re:It depends on your definition of addiction. (4, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 6 years ago | (#24837309)

Why not consult the DSM-IV for an actual definition of addiction, as arrived at by thousands of doctors interviewing millions of people and researching the topic? It's amazing to me that people who consider themselves experts in one area (technology) refuse to see that other disciplines have put in as much work figuring out their corner of the world.

Consider the following points from aforementioned diagnostic manual. These relate more directly to substance abuse but it's the same reward centers in the brain that are being stimulated:
1. TOLERANCE
2. WITHDRAWAL
3. LARGE AMOUNTS OVER A LONG PERIOD
4. UNSUCCESSFUL EFFORTS TO CUT DOWN
5. TIME SPENT IN OBTAINING THE SUBSTANCE REPLACES
      SOCIAL, OCCUPATIONAL OR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
6. CONTINUED USE DESPITE ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES

Just because someone spends a lot of time gaming doesn't mean he is addicted. But especially note #6. That one alone is a key component of addiction.

Personally, I'm fine with lots of people playing lots of video games. It just means that the gyms, trails and museums are that much less crowded.

hmm (1)

boast (1227952) | about 6 years ago | (#24836921)

ha! FPSers get shootings, while MMO losers get hermits

Blur the line. (4, Interesting)

The Living Fractal (162153) | about 6 years ago | (#24836927)

I find the Primary and Secondary worlds thing fascinating. Even more so, I find it fascinating that as humankind advances there will probably be a merger of the two. For instance, if you've read Alastair Reynolds' The Prefectyou probably know what I mean. In this story a huge community of habitats orbit a central planet. This community is called the Glitterband. Within it, each habitat is different. And I don't mean different in that one is painted grey and the other is blue. Every habitat has an abstraction core, which when combined with the right wetware and advanced technology in the citizens bodies allows them to live in virtually any sort of environment they please. Similar to being able to queue up anything on the Holodeck, even including changing your basic body type, or having no body and being a floating wisp of energy, or whatever you can imagine.

The cool part here, to me, is that this was originally a Secondary world as taken from Tolkein's theory. But for these people their Secondary world has become integrated with a democracy and a community of other Secondary worlds, all of which participate in this democracy (if they choose to). So in effect, their Secondary and Primary worlds have merged, and if they want... for good.

This is where I see games starting to take hold of this possibility of a merger. You can almost pay for your bills by playing WoW, if you choose to sell gold. What am I say, almost. People do. Lots of them. They literally live off of WoW. I'd even wager that for some of them their Primary world is WoW and their Secondary world is having to feed themselves and sleep, because they probably don't do much else outside of WoW.

No, things aren't nearly to the point where I'd say there can be a true merger. But when it happens, are you going to call these people addicts? What if they are richer, happier, and live longer than you? At what point does it stop being an addiction to WoW, and become YOUR addiction to the 'old ways'?

Just food for thought..

Hikikomoris? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#24836991)

This reminds me of the anime "Welcome to the NHK", where the protagonist is a "hikikomori", a socially-incapable person who never leaves his appartment. In one of the episodes, he joins a MMORPG which leads him to the idea of getting rich through gold farming. The result was frightening, to say the least. [youtube.com]

(BTW, I really recommend this series, it might give us an insight of what's happening with MMORPG addiction, at least in japan)

Re:Hikikomoris? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24837293)

Haven't you already realized that media (and even geek/Japanese media such as anime) tend to over dramatize things?

I took a small break (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837037)

First they said it was an internet addiction. I said fine, I can quit anytime and I did!

No longer did I spend my days browsing slashdot or engaged in chat rooms hour after hour. Instead, i turned my attention to porn!

Gone were the way of those vile constructs and replaced with something healthy. One day, I'm told I'm addicted to porn! Nay said I and turned my attention away from the fleshy delights!

Now, my marathon sessions of gaming are called into question!

It looks like all I have left is alcohol and television. I don't believe those will be very addictive at all.

I would comment on this.... (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 6 years ago | (#24837333)

But then I remembered I promised my S.O. she could change the password on my slashdot account so I could take an enforced break from it.

It's been nice knowin' y'all.

What part of the game is the addiction? (3, Insightful)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | about 6 years ago | (#24837075)

Considering computer games are essentially a simulated world what component of the game is the addiction? And wouldn't that component be the addiction not the game itself?

Some games allow gambling within the game for example. If someone gambles in the game obsessively isn't that a gambling addiction rather than an addiction to the game?
What about item hording that many MMORPG players suffer from? Isn't that obsessive compulsive disorder rather than game addiction?
And the people who compulsively dress up as Furries and Cyber in Second Life. Isn't that just sex addiction?

Re:What part of the game is the addiction? (2, Interesting)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 6 years ago | (#24837411)

People cybering and such in Second Life is only sex addiction if it is an activity people continue to engage in even when it threatens things they value. In other words, if it screws up your marriage and you continue to engage in it, yes, it's (part of a) sex addiction.

I think there's a lot of resistance to the idea that anything that's not a chemical being "addictive." But that's kind of an artificial mind/body distinction at play. What makes chemicals addictive, after all, is the patterns of responses in the human brain to exposure to them over the long term. Other cognitive activities also create neuro-chemical responses (after all, I can increase your production of adrenaline just by scaring the hell out of you, but the act of scaring the hell out of you isn't, itself, chemical.) MMOs are a suite of activities and environments which frequently enough lend themselves to an addictive response, and I think they do it through a socially-reinforced system of semi-predictable rewards.

i can define video game addiction in two words: (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 6 years ago | (#24837225)

"civilization iv"

it's the only game i ever played where i would blink once, and it wuld be 6 am, blink again, and it would 6 pm. i had to bend and break the disc in order to have a life

"just one more turn" always turns into 500 more turns

that's some serious video crack right there that game

fey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837305)

If you want to reclaim some time, avoid reading and listening to the endless pablum produced by paid babblers and online mental jerk-off forums.

Game addiction not degenerative... (2, Insightful)

James Lewis (641198) | about 6 years ago | (#24837323)

One problem with comparing game addiction to substance abuse is that substance abuse only gets more addictive with time. Games are the opposite. The more you play games the more you see the same game over and over and its immersion becomes weaker and weaker. Pretty soon it's boring. Not to mention games won't kill you.

Withdrawal (1)

Refenestrator (1060918) | about 6 years ago | (#24837343)

You can measure any kind of addiction by the withdrawal symptoms.

just stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837373)

Look, there's only two things in life that are addictive: Sex, and drugs (including alcohol, but not including weed). Video games are fun, MMOs are also fun, but I could stop playing videogames (or smoking weed) cold turkey, I could _not_ quit smoking ciggarettes, or having sex cold turkey. ANyone who claims to be addicted to video games is simply weak-willed, or needs an excuse for their worthlessness.

we all live in a fantasy world, sort of (2, Insightful)

shadowofwind (1209890) | about 6 years ago | (#24837407)

The so-called 'primary' world is already secondary. People live and aspire in a mental world where success tends to be productive of survival in the primary world. For example, the objects you see are all secondary cartoon representations of primary things. There are frequencies of light in the primary world, which are represented by different colors in the secondary world, but there is no color in the primary world. Similar things can be said about many or most of people's beliefs about the 'real' world.

The secondary world is of course strongly related to the primary one. If this were not so, it would be eliminated by natural selection. Many of the other secondary worlds, as discussed here, will change or disappear eventually for the same reason.

Just an observation.

The Line (0, Troll)

CautionaryX (1061226) | about 6 years ago | (#24837413)

If you haven't had sex in 4 months (2 months if your over 25), sit at home in mom's basement, and/or haven't taken a shower in 3 weeks -- I've got news for you:

YOUR ADDICTED

It is all about behavior (1)

Q-Hack! (37846) | about 6 years ago | (#24837439)

In the Military we are taught how to recognize various forms of addiction among the younger troops. It doesn't really matter what the addiction is, and we can't punish the addiction. What we can do is punish the behavior that stems from someone who is addicted. I have had to do administrative action on several individuals now who continually showed up late for work or fell asleep on duty. All because they stayed up late every night playing WoW. Couldn't state that in the report though. Whether you call it an obsession or an addiction, if it affects your daily routine, its a problem.

Personal Experience (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837473)

It's possible to get addicted to video games, but the term is also often misused. Rather than trying to define it, I'll just share a personal experience.

In high school I played Star Craft and Diablo II to death. I would get angry if something went wrong in the game, to the point where it would affect my interaction with other people in my real life. If I didn't get to play for 4 hours a night, I would also get antsy, angry, and I was unable to focus on anything. Mind you, I still did well in high school and was able to get into an engineering program at U of T after all was said in done. I was addicted, it caused problems in my life, but everything ended up OK.

Recently I had my laptop at a friend's place. Their brother, who (I think) is heavily addicted to games, borrowed my laptop to play Mass Effect. After two hours, I asked for the laptop back. The brother respectfully handed it back, but became extremely anxious and irritated. He then asked his parents to buy him the game, and when they didn't agree, he became extremely angry. This kid is not spoiled, mind you. His entire personality changed, and it was like a window into the past seeing my behavior at that age. He also does well in school and is a well mannered kid (except for this time).

I guess I can say that you can be successful and still be addicted to things that affect you negatively. It may not be an outright addiction, but if it affects your personality and how you interact with others, it's a problem none the less.

Addiction.... (3, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about 6 years ago | (#24837505)

There's something I do that takes up a huge part of my waking life. It involves sitting in front of a computer for long stretches, doing things that, while they differ from day to day in the details, are pretty repetitive in the long run. I don't particularly like to be doing this. Yet when I couldn't do this for a time, I got anxious. Further withdrawal symptoms would have included depression, malnutrition, the loss of my house, my bank accounts, other assets, and eventually, perhaps death. Yet no one thinks I'm addicted to this activity... because it's "WORK".
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