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Role Playing (Games)

One in Nine MMOG Players Addicted? 111

Posted by Zonk
from the guys-remember-that-sun-thing dept.
Gamespot is running a piece looking at a UK study which may indicate serious addiction problems among a large number of Massively Multiplayer gamers. The study, conducted at Nottingham Trent, showed that almost 12% of a 7,000 person study group showed symptoms of serious addiction, as laid down by the World Health Organization. From the article: "The survey was filled in by a self-selected sample comprising mainly of males with an average age of 21, and was concerned principally with the potential for addiction to online gaming. [Director of the International Gaming Research Unit Mark] Griffiths said, 'I'm sure if we'd done this survey looking at non-online players, looking at gamers that play on stand-alone systems, my guess is that the prevalence of addiction-like symptoms would have been much less prevalent.' According to Griffiths, the problem with online games is there will never be a point where the player has battled the final boss, tied up the story, and can turn the computer off with a feeling of satisfaction."
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One In Nine MMOG Players Addicted?

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  • Just after one more ding...
    • It's not an addiction. It's just something I have to do all the time.
      • by Somatic (888514) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @02:52AM (#17046192) Journal
        Seriously. If you want to look at the "symptoms", being an MMOG addict is more like joining a cult: you've got all these new friends, you've got to learn all these new things... instead of knowing verse 3.14, you need to know the cleric's level 44 spells. OMFG, you don't have Celestial Healing? [att.ne.jp]

        But in our cult, you get to kill dragons, not wait for a judgement day that just never seems to come (next year maybe!). Yes, you lose touch with family like a real cult-- guildies will even scorn you for leaving for family time ("WTF, you're logging? Come on, we've been planning this raid all week. We need your DPS, dude.").

        In our cult, we don't go door to door spouting crazy nonsense that would get our asses kicked if people didn't feel so bad for us. We stay indoors, like good crazy people should.

        And like a real cult, the other members may feel real sadness and loss when you have to "disconnect". "What do you mean FlowerGirl quit cause of RL issues? But she... but she... she was our recruitment officer, and she laughed at my jokes :("

        • by ajs (35943)
          Cults are, of course, ill defined. In general, the term simply refers to any organization based on a set of religious beliefs that the members hold in common, and usually having associated rituals. Since there is nothing im MMOGs which can be considered a religious belief (though religious fiction is introduced, there is no sense that I have ever gotten that there is any difficulty discerning the in-game story from reality... in fact, the lack of suspension of disbelief is often a problem), I don't really s
  • by teflaime (738532) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:11PM (#17039784)
    Just because I quit my job to play WoW, that doesn't mean a thing...Besides, I'm moving to China.
  • can't RTFA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thansal (999464) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:14PM (#17039810)
    Gamespot seems dead to me, so instead:

    yes, ofcourse we show "symptoms" of addiction, my question is what does the WHO say about the number of these symptoms that we need to show before we are clasified as addicted, and howmany people showed those signs.

    Meh, can't say more with out TFA beign up
  • Now, that is what I call addictive.

    Isn't it like 1 in 9 drinkers who are alcoholics too?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Endo13 (1000782)
      Yes I've played Oblivion. Maybe it could become addictive if it were an online game with no clear end. But I seriously doubt Oblivion will ever incite players to spend thousands of hours (and up to 100+ hours a week for weeks on end) playing at the expense of family, work, sleep, and other essential things. That's the kind of behavior brought on by MMOs such as EQ and WoW that causes people to call them addictive. I myself just quit WoW after spending about 2000 hours in the game over the last 15 months - a
      • by QuantumG (50515)
        Yeah, there is that much gameplay in Oblivion too, and without the annoyance of other players.
        • by Endo13 (1000782)
          Oh, I'm sure you could spend that much time in it, just like you could in any other video game. But I highly doubt most people will, as there's very little incentive. I'm guessing you could probably do every quest and see pretty much all there is to see in 500 hours or less. But anyhow, show me your XFire profile (as well as those of at least three friends) with 1,500+ hours of Oblivion and then maybe I'll believe that people actually spend enough time at it to become addicted.
          • by QuantumG (50515)
            Whatever man, I have no desire to convince you of anything. I have a friend who plays Oblivion just to look at the beautiful graphics. He'll take his horse up a mountain to a waterfall and sit under a tree and watch the sunset.
            • by Kheng (1000729)
              I wasn't really that impressed by the graphics of Oblivion. It was overly hyped :(
              • by QuantumG (50515)
                depends very much on your graphics hardware.. but Halflife 2 looked better I think. Still, not exactly a natural environment, so you can't fairly compare the two.

                And we're still waiting for Spore.
                • by Kheng (1000729)
                  I think any RPG more concerned about Graphics then Gameplay has got their priorities mixed up :)
            • by steveo777 (183629)
              He takes a horse mount to sit under a waterfall and admire the environment? Where the hell does he live?! Why doesn't he go outside? Even if you live in NYC it's only a few hours to Niagara Falls or a national park. Go sit under a real waterfall and admire real nature (not recommended to sit under Niagara). Even if it's been invaded by human beings it's still better than sitting in an apartment staring at a screen.

              I don't want to insult your friend, but the real thing is far better.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Borg453b (746808)
      I was wowed by its beautiful graphics, and visually-sensory based immersive world.. but I quickly found that i cared nothing for the characters around me and my own character, unlike the baldurs gate series which i am revisiting. Just read the dialogues in the first game - we hardly ever get that level of writing in games. Mostly, crpgs are dumbed down for the broad market and the mtv attention-span.

      My addition also lies in interesting narration. A discourse i feel part of - with characters i can relate
      • by QuantumG (50515)
        Yes, you're right. Some of the story safety restrictions in Oblivion piss me off. I tell a guy he's without honor, he tells me to go away or he'll kick my ass, can I challenge him to a duel? no. Can I start hacking into him? sure, but he won't die, he'll only go "unconcious" because he's needed for another quest. Gah. But, like all games, you have to accept the limitations of the media.
  • by Keebler71 (520908) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:20PM (#17039924) Journal
    also... 8 in 9 MMO players are liars.
  • One addiction is as bad as another. The suggestion that people who play bingo are less "addicted" than people who play "wow" is simply wrong.

    Many people just seem to have a natural propensity towards addiction. For many, this is easily controlled by substituting one stimulus for another. For some however, the desire to continue with a specific behaviour is overwhelming, and not easily supplanted.

    This can be said of smoking / drinking / golfing / driving / mmorpg'ing / etc.

    Identifying an addiction in someone
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      The suggestion that people who play bingo are less "addicted" than people who play "wow" is simply wrong.

      Yeah, the difference is that bingo is only in session at certain times, but you can log into WoW anytime, so people addicted to bingo display their symptoms less often.

      I work in a casino with bingo and we definitely have diehards who would rather miss a family occasion (if any of them even lived near family - lots of our players retired in the general area) than miss bingo. They show up with their

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Fozzyuw (950608)
      This can be said of smoking / drinking / golfing / driving / mmorpg'ing / etc.

      / sex

      Line starts over here --->

  • I was (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cauchy (61097) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:24PM (#17039976)
    I had to quit playing WoW because that's all I did with my free time. I was in a serious raiding guild, and filling out my tier 2 set and getting ready for Naxx was all I seemed to care about. One morning, I woke up from a dream about killing Onyxia, and I decided that was too much. I got out of bed, deleted the WoW from my hard drive, and canceled my account. My wife was pleased as punch. But now, everything in my life seems so much duller now. I have taken to playing ATITD since it is too boring to become an obsession. Perhaps I should take up heroin? *shrugs* But, I do have to say that unlike many addictions, WoW was fun until the end. But, I no longer think WoW == RL.
    • Re:I was (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:31PM (#17040090) Journal
      Sure, you played the hell out of it. I myself played the hell out of WoW, and may again at some point in the future, but my life got in the way.

      If you stop, cold turkey, you're not addicted. I love games, I love MMO's...I've played a dozen. I stay up all hours, I play hardcore.

      I went through a period between contracting jobs after WoW came out where I played 60+ hours a week, and that lasted all the way up to the day I started the next job, then dropped to maybe 8 hours a week. I kinda wished I could play more, but I had other things I had to do.

      So what would this study say about me? That I was super addicted one day, and not the next? Addiction doesn't WORK that way. It's just stupid. These studies vary so wildly in their results, I can't help but think that they're completely full of it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Endo13 (1000782)
        >So what would this study say about me? That I was super addicted one day, and not the next? Addiction doesn't WORK that way.

        You're right. Addiction doesn't work that way. You're not one of the "1 in 9" that the study found addicted to MMOs. People who get addicted to MMOs will actually experience withdrawal symptoms if they do quit cold turkey. Perhaps one of the best ways to tell if you're addicted yourself is to consider what you think about when you're NOT playing. If the game is all you can think ab
        • Re:I was (Score:5, Insightful)

          by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:45PM (#17040326) Journal
          I don't consider "wanting" to do something other than work to be a sign of addiction...Now if I blew off work in order to play/drink/smoke, then hell yes, addiction.

          Addictions aren't manageable, by definition. They take over all aspects of your life. Just because you blow off a social function so you can play a game, that means nothing. It's when you blow off something that actually matters, whose blowing off has stark consequences, that you need to think about addiction.
          • by RsG (809189)

            Addictions aren't manageable, by definition. They take over all aspects of your life.

            Just a minor quibble with your argument - there are such things as high functioning addicts. Typically in such a case the person is able to pull themselves together enough of the time to function more or less like a normal person, but they are unable to quit. I've known at least one high functioning alcoholic (who later hit a downward spiral, but the alcoholism went back before that). I'd say that such cases show addicti

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Jurrasic (940901)
              Agree. I know a certain opiate addict who has not only maintained his addiction at a (relatively) steady level for several years, but has in that time moved up from an entry level job into operations management and successfully raised two children and kept his wife completely oblivious to his habit. Addiction is not nearly as cut and dry as some would think.
          • by GWBasic (900357)

            Addictions aren't manageable, by definition. They take over all aspects of your life. Just because you blow off a social function so you can play a game, that means nothing. It's when you blow off something that actually matters, whose blowing off has stark consequences, that you need to think about addiction.

            ... I disagree. I remember when my High School Psych teacher was talking about addiction, she described the "Weekend Alcoholic". If I remember correctly, the weekend alcoholic usually has a decent j

        • by drinkypoo (153816)
          But the OP said that everything in their life seems duller in their post-WoW existence. That seems like a withdrawal symptom to me.
          • by Cauchy (61097)
            Call it what you will. It was all I thought about. I left work, and I would rush home to play. I rearranged everything in my life to be able to raid with my guild. At work, I have to fight the urge to fire up WoW for just a few minutes. I quit cold turkey, but I had no other choice. If it isn't addiction, I don't know what it is---I couldn't have just played 8 hours a week if I wanted to. It was all or nothing.

            And, I had and am having withdrawal symptoms, but they do get better. I'm not bored all th
            • by lazyl (619939)
              If you can quit cold turkey then it's not addiction. Prior to deciding to quit you wanted to play. All those hours you logged and time you spent was time you wanted to spend. That's obsession, not addiction. Addiction is when you can't stop even when you want to. The moment you decided that you didn't want to play, you stopped. That's not addiction.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          I was in much the same position after I graduated college but before getting a job. Yes, I exhibited enough symptoms that I could have been diagnosed as being addicted to a MMO. I had full control over my ability to play or not; but interestingly enough, unless you make the decision to stop, that ability is irrelevant when it comes to diagnosing addiction.

          Up until I cut back my play time (I got a job), I was, technically, addicted. After getting a job, the presence of another time-consuming activity in m
        • If the game is all you can think about, and you find yourself irritated that you're unable to play because you're "tied down" by things like social functions, work, sleeping, etc you're probably addicted.

          No, that's a sign of obsession. Obsession can be bad, it can even be a part of addiction, but it isn't addiction. Obsession can also be something that you're just a lot more intersted in than whatever else you are doing. Did I think about WoW almost constantly when I was playing it the most? Yes. But s
          • by Endo13 (1000782)
            Perhaps you didn't quite read what I wrote. I know lots of people use the term "all you can think about" very loosely, but I actually meant it exactly the way it sounds. When something is all you can think about, you literally can't focus your thoughts on anything else. You also missed the point rest of my statement as well it seems. For most people work, social activities and sleep make up most of their life. So basically what I was saying is if you can't think about anything but the game and you become ir
            • by Chris Burke (6130)
              Perhaps you didn't quite read what I wrote. I know lots of people use the term "all you can think about" very loosely, but I actually meant it exactly the way it sounds. When something is all you can think about, you literally can't focus your thoughts on anything else.

              You're right, I didn't realize you meant it literally. In which case what you're describing is a very small number of people who literally can't focus on anything else. You're only describing a tiny portion of real addicts!

              For most people w
      • I think a lot of smokers and alcoholics would disagree with you.

        Sometimes cold turkey is the only way to quit if you are addicted.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Evangelion (2145)

      Eh, I pretty much had the same thing. Except the triggering event was a bunch of Guild Drama(tm) that made me realize that the people I'm raiding with... really don't give a shit about me, beyond my Dark Iron gear, Quel'Serrar and raid attendance. Deleted everything, tossed the non-bound stuff and cash to one of the few decent people in the guild, and haven't looked back.

      I tried the ATITD thing for a weekend, before I realized how monumentally boring it is. Yes, I want to click 3000 times to make bricks
    • ...Ultima Online! I was plenty addicted to this at school. I only got a few hours sleep a night, and had decided that my "leisure time" was until 10 or 11pm, and school work could be done afterwards. I was often in a sleep-deprived haze, where just seeing a bird in real life would make me want to chase it, kill it and use the feathers to make arrows. Those were the days... the thrill, the excitement, being chased by bastard PKers with huge lag, later becoming an inept bastard PKer myself. I only stopped whe
    • by Kheng (1000729)
      I remember back when i was playing, i dreamt of winning Might Shoulders. Racked up about 130 days of play time in 1 year, 7/8 Tier 2, Sulf hammer etc, but one day about 6 months ago I just decided to quit. Too much damn eDrama.
    • by nih (411096)
      i dunno what you were talking about, but can i what you were smoking?
  • I don't think there is a chemical substance driving the MMO market (other than caffeine) so I have a hard time calling it addiction.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by abscr (645403)
      A big cause of cigarette addiction is psychological. People can get through two weeks (after which, most of the physical dependency is gone) and still pick it up again because of the pyschological factors.

      Just because it's not physical addiction doesn't mean it's not an addiction; they are just weak-willed.
  • by lewp (95638)
    I'll be back to discuss this very serious topic ... after Naxx!
  • by BMonger (68213) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:28PM (#17040050)
    I know for some people it's not the fact that there is "no end" but rather they enjoy the online friendships they create and log in just to talk to their online friends. I know I've logged in just to ask a friend how their surgery went, if they had their baby yet, how their day at work was, etc and not even step foot out of the main city area.

    Some people just use MMO's as a glorified chat client too with leveling as a side part of it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ben there... (946946)

      "According to Griffiths, the problem with online games is there will never be a point where the player has battled the final boss, tied up the story, and can turn the computer off with a feeling of satisfaction."

      I agree that the quote doesn't tell the whole story. Online games are more addictive because they're less boring than playing the AI. They also fulfill a social need. I know I like playing an FPS after work occasionally because I get to chat with generally like-minded people (and shooting people is

  • I'm just glad I had the foresight several years ago to recognize this MMORPG phenomenon as a potential problem. I am a gamer, and I have the tendency to finish what I started (I won't really want to put a game down until I've seen it all the way to the end). When I was first introduced to the concept of Everquest and being able to play online (with many other people) in a massive (and growing) environment, I was intrigued. The 'Ever' part of its title does indicate a problem that the article points out: it
  • ... the other 8 are hopelessly addicted.
  • Some people are gil-sellers that pad their income by playing MMOs. So some obsessive playing could be considered a second job.

    But given how much actual legal tender rookie and would-be gil-sellers make, I'd say that only drops the figure to 1 out of 8.5 addicted.
  • That eight in nine are bored to death with MMOG after playing for two months?
  • by mattwarden (699984) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:39PM (#17040206) Homepage
    4 in 7 journalists addicted to putting meaningless statistics in headlines?
  • by Morgaine (4316) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:40PM (#17040222)
    These "gaming addiction" studies are getting annoying.

    Addictions that involve the taking of a substance are one thing. Quite a different thing are pseudo-addictions that are merely "addictions to enjoyment" without any artificial chemical agent.

    We are ALL "addicted" (in a sense) to enjoyment or pleasure or happiness or whatever turns us on --- we are always trying to maximize these things, at the expense of those that we do not enjoy. "Addiction" to our pleasures is the normal human condition.

    The alleged "gaming addict" is just a gaming enthusiast who takes his or her gaming enjoyment to an extreme, but that doesn't make it a medical condition unless you are eager to find medical conditions in everything.
    • by Tainek (912325)
      Addiction is when we have a Psycological addiction to somthing

      I can balance my enjoyment with paying the bills, seeing the girlfreind, ect, and addict cant, why?

      because he has lost his sense of self control, he cannot bring himself away without withdrawl symptoms

      Its all in the balance, you are an addict when you cannot maintain the balance, and put yourself in harms way (such as losing your job home and wife)

    • by bill_kress (99356)
      Pot is not known to be physically addictive, but you get addicted to the "Fun" and the mindset. Many addictions are that way--gambling, exercise, etc.

      As I had it explained to me once--mental addictions are actually physical addictions to chemicals your brain creates when it's happy or wants to be happy (Dopamine), and this is the mechanism of most (all?) addictive drugs as well--they manipulate your dopamine receptors.

      That said, I'm getting sick of people using any sort of addiction as an excuse.

      How many r
    • I'm sure there are some people who are addicted in the classical sense as they go through withdrawl when they stop playing, play so much that it destroys their life, etc. However it seems anyone who plays lots of games is considered an addict by these peopel. I'm sure in their book I was a World of Warcraft addict. I played with a raid guild so I played about 4-5 hours a night, at least 4 nights a week. Now notice I said played, so what happened? Some lengthy treatment program to beak an addiction? No, I go
    • by rackhamh (217889)
      The alleged "gaming addict" is just a gaming enthusiast who takes his or her gaming enjoyment to an extreme, but that doesn't make it a medical condition unless you are eager to find medical conditions in everything.

      Unless you think that the part of us that gets addicted to gaming is somehow dictated by something other than biological processes, gaming addiction clearly is a medical condition. In fact, you'll find many studies to confirm that just about every form of addiction has a similar impact on neuro
  • What is an addict? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jaeph (710098) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:41PM (#17040240)
    This all goes back to using vague terms to label people as "bad".

    I can't see the article, so I'll ask: do they have specifics? Are we simply judging by the amount of time? If so, who are we to judge how people spend their time?

    Or are they basing it on real things, like losing jobs, flunking schools, etc? If 1 in 9 wow players have either lost a job or flunked out of school in the past year, that's a pretty ugly stat.

    -Jeff
  • According to Griffiths, the problem with online games is there will never be a point where the player has battled the final boss, tied up the story, and can turn the computer off with a feeling of satisfaction.

    While this may be true to some extent, I myself (and, I am sure, other players as well) DO feel a good deal of satisfaction whilst playing an online game, such as WoW. One could argue that a good MMORPG can and will create a feeling of satisfaction upon attaining important in-game goals, and draw
    • Griffiths: "It's addictive because there is no end"
      You: "Well did you ever consider it's addictive precisely BECAUSE there is no end? Frankly, I don't think you have."
      Griffiths: "WTF? lern2read -_-; "
  • Sensationalist! (Score:4, Informative)

    by tbannist (230135) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:43PM (#17040278)
    While I can't read the article probably because it was slashdotted, the quote above looks like typical media exageration. If you want a study on "addiction" to MMO's to be taken seriously, you might want to classify it on several different levels:

    1) Destructiveness of the addiction
    2) Severity of Withdrawal
    3) Prevalence of addiction in general

    Saying 11% of player are addicted to MMOs means nothing without quantifying what you consider "addiction". It's also meaningless without considering the side effects of addiction. 100% of people are "addicted" to oxygen, but that's not a very useful claim since there's no quantifyable affect of that "addiction". The severity of the withdrawal is important to consider, because a destructive addiction that is very hard to drop is more dangerous than one that is easily quit, like MMOs. Lastly, before you go all hog wild about how 11% of MMO players are addicted, I'd like to some useful background material like how many bingo players are addicted to bingo, how many musicians are addicted to music, how many quilters are addicted to quilting, and how many hockey players are addicted to hockey. After all are they amateur atheletes or are they just addicts waiting for their next exercise fix?

    Many people have a tendency to invest a lot of time in individual pursuits for a while, whether it be atheletics, school, work, sex, or TV. The question with these studies is always going to be are the people addicted, or just enjoying themselves and socializing with friends online?
    • by AWhistler (597388)
      These are very good examples of what I meant when I asked before...

      When does an "addiction" become just a new way of life?
  • WoW vet here... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:44PM (#17040306) Homepage
    I was in the closed beta and open beta. I remember having LAN parties that summer with some other friends who were in the closed and open as well...plainsrunning, the kodo stomp bug, the whole bit... FANTASTICALLY wonderful time. Then release day. Each of us got a copy. For that entire weekend, it was all we did.

    Time goes by.

    I've created a multitude of chars, I have made hundreds of in-game friends, I have made hundreds of in-game enemies...I have hosted and been hosted at many many RP events...I have laughed with excitment at finally getting that drop, and cried when a good friend in my main's guild died. I have quit for 2 weeks, only to return to it. I have quit for two months, only to return to it. I have been at the point of playing only 8 hours a week. I have been at the point of playing 8 hours a day (with a full time job and a family mind you)

    I have experienced every angle and part of WoW. About 6 months ago, I slowly weened myself away from it. I had realized I had missed out on a large volume of games as a result of WoW. I am as we speak going through all the amazing xbox ps2 and gamecube games that I missed...even a dreamcast game or two that I never got around to finishing.

    I do not regret a single minute spent playing WoW. Some of my most fond and cherished gaming memories (and even a couple in-general life memories) came as a result of my WoW addiction...an addiction which I shall never be over nor one that I ever wish to be free from. There is not a single day that I do not think about playing it again.

    Some day, I will double-click on that icon again. Some day, I will thrust myself back into that amazing and fantastic world. Some day, the extensions of my concious and soul shall live again.

    Until that day arrives, keep a space around the campfire for me. I have a hilarious story involving a kodo, a troll, and a dwarf's kid sister.
    • by rukkyg (1028078)
      Some day, I will double-click on that icon again. Some day, I will thrust myself back into that amazing and fantastic world. Some day, the extensions of my concious and soul shall live again.
      You mean you don't have it on your quick launch?
  • Article (Score:2, Informative)

    by Daemonstar (84116)
    Seems like the host is hosed; however, I did find an interesting article on WebMD about gaming addiction found here [webmd.com].

    An interesting note FTA:

    According to the Center for On-Line Addiction, warning signs for video game addiction include:

    * Playing for increasing amounts of time
    * Thinking about gaming during other activities
    * Gaming to escape from real-life problems, anxiety, or depression
    * Lying to friends and family to conceal gaming
    * Feeling irritable when trying to cut down on

    • by dbIII (701233)
      Lying to friends and family to conceal gaming

      Sprung! Last night I told a friend who called that I would just take something off the heat - put down the phone, went back to the PC, backed out of the middle of a camp full of nasties then logged off before I returned to the phone.

  • It seems to me like there are all sorts of studies talking about how X% of people are addicted to this, or Y% of people are addicted to that. it also doesn't surprise me that there is some amount of addictive behavior exhibited by MMO players.
    Articles like this always seem to oversimplify addiction though. A lot of the articles on gaming and information addiction seem to just go for the "OMG Technology is Teh Bad!!!eleventyone111!" fear mongering luddite angle, but other times it seems like people are ju
  • i got WOW when it first came out, and I played it non-stop for a year. I lived in that game. I would come from work at 6pm and stay in the game till 3am the next morning. I would eat at the computer and rush back to the game anytime I was away for even a minute. These online games are incredibly destructive to social life and most likely to health as well. it was a year of life wasted and the only thing that broke my addiction was a realization that i would never finish my degree if I didnt stop. Now some p
    • by elsrik (1033576)
      Most anything is addictive; Cheetos, speed, adrenaline, sex, video games, money, power, fame, and MMORPGS.

      As with any endulgence, the user must be self aware at all times. MMORPGs violate this rule by blurring the line. Not even mentioning RP server drama. Some people opt to play online games to spend casual time with RL friends without the stipulations and problems of traffic, non driving bozos, smoky bars, or loud obnoxious music. I will definitely agree that an addictive personality needs to ration or
      • by Susceptor (559115)
        thats why I said that my statement applied to people who were in my position. You make a good point that addiction is a very flexible term, and that the media overuses it and its strong negative connotations. And the truth is that people can and do get addicted to just about anything. If you think about it, we are all addicted to food, the fact that we would die if we weren't addicted is a minor point, the thing that always gets pointed out is the abuse of food (overeating) and the problems it creates. if I
  • According to Griffiths, the problem with online games is there will never be a point where the player has battled the final boss, tied up the story, and can turn the computer off with a feeling of satisfaction.
    While that is somewhat correct, isn't the insidious feature of most MMORPG's the continuous low level satisfiers? Instead of being addicted to the need to "finish" something, players are addicted to the constant high of accomplishment due to the "ding" factor?
  • According to Griffiths, the problem with online games is there will never be a point where the player has battled the final boss, tied up the story, and can turn the computer off with a feeling of satisfaction.

    Oh, is that why? Is it really? You mean the lack of an end is somehow enticing for people? It compells them to play indefinately? What you're saying is that something without an end never ends? Well I suppose that makes sense.. Thank you. Thank you for your brilliant insight into why things tha
  • Not really a problem for me or any other Eve players I know, simply because there is no sense of level building by EXP like in other RPGs; you train skills, and the skills train until they're done whether you log in or not. Also, they keep your character / property intact for a very long time if you cancel the account (I once went over 6mo. without internet and still had all my stuff when I came back). Taking a break is no problem...set a long skill to train and forget about it. The only penalty for not
  • Hi. It's nice to meet you all. I am an addict... I have thankfully been able to resist WoW (I only played in the Stress Test at the cost of my Summer Assignments)... but with WAR and Dragon Age coming out... I'm doomed. Both will (hopefully) have the extra zing that WoW doesn't... or I mean, hopefully i'll be able to resi... must... play... *hack*... *slash*... *hack*... *slash*...
  • by DeadboltX (751907) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @06:50PM (#17042118)
    I think that most of the allure to MMOs is that you are playing with other real people, of course if you compare MMO results to an offline game there is going to be a staggering difference.

    Why do people get "addicted" to MMOs? I think it is because of the interaction with other people. Someone joins a guild, they play with other people frequently, they become friends with people in their guild. Now they aren't just playing a video game, they are playing a video game WITH FRIENDS.

    I play MMOs quite a bit and played World of Warcraft for over a year. When my RL friends stopped playing the game became boring to me because I was no longer playing with friends. I might have a looser type of addiction to MMOs as I can't wait for the next one to come out so that I can play it with my friends. I also tend to quit MMOs maybe a month or 2 after my friends stop playing because I do befriend some of my guildmates. I find myself logging onto the game and checking my friends list; if no one is on then I quit the game, if someone is on then I talk to them and play.

    Other people, the people you would consider hardcore addicts, might not have many RL friends so the people in their guilds become good friends, maybe even best friends and talking nearly every day. These people will continue to play as long as their internet friends are playing and if their internet friends are in the same low-friend-count situation then they will keep playing which leads to a group of people whose playing habits become dependent of each other. Since one person will only quit if the other quits, and visa versa, no one ever quits. Perhaps when an unforeseen event occurs, such as a person losing internet access or their computer breaking, then one person is forced to stop playing and the dependent counterpart person decides to stop playing because his friend is no longer playing.

    I don't buy into this B.S. about the game making addicts because you can "never beat the last boss" and never truly win the game. These people are addicted, yes, but not to the game. They are addicted to something that the game can give them: a friend, fame, or anonymity.
    • I don't buy into this B.S. about the game making addicts because you can "never beat the last boss" and never truly win the game. These people are addicted, yes, but not to the game.

      There are lots of people who pour incredible amounts of time into MMOs doing solitary activities like crafting or harvesting. It's not just the community, it's maxing out your character and draining it of all its content. I had friends who would play SNES RPGs for 100+ hours until they had beaten it in every way possible with
    • by Scarblac (122480)
      With other games, you may feel guilty when you play too much; with online games, you feel guilty when you aren't playing with your guild members. Eek.
  • by hurfy (735314)
    Who has time to play MMORPGs anymore, I can't seem to get out of this Slashdot website......

  • This is a problem with anything that focuses on winning, rather than doing good work.

    Winning is inherently inefficient in an economic sense. The inputs required increase until resources are saturated, rather than stopping at the point of maximum cost-effectiveness. This has serious financial implications in a marketing-oriented culture. Classical economic theory is predicated on the assumption that the cost of production dominates the cost of goods. But, in fact, there are many goods where marketing

  • I would have thought it would be 8/9, not 1/9. I mean, come on, the whole business model of an MMORPG is to generate sustained income. Total Profit = Total Number People Playing * (Purchase price + Average Months Subscribed * Monthly Revenue) Multiply addictiveness and you multiply profit. And what do you get out of it, really? Thousands of hours of your life down the tubes, with time that could have been spent on your other responsibilities such as family, teaching yourself useful skills, or time to ref
    • by dbIII (701233)
      If you look at WoW you have the flight sequences where you can go away from the computer and do other stuff without getting pounded by anything. The maintainance shedules make it so I can't play every night anyway. If your character dies becuase you leave the PC to take a phone call it is no huge deal and not a big effort to get back there later or come back in the graveyard. The Auction House works in such a way that it is usually worth not logging back on again until after your auction has finished and
    • by pregister (443318)
      No kidding they are.

      If we could only get the actual opium dens open again.

      I would so rock at pvp if I could play in an opi...pass the cheetos.
  • I mean, gosh, if I asked 7,000 people who spent hundreds of hours following NASCAR every year, do you think I might find similar symptoms? Would these folks be afflicted with "NASCAR addiction"?

    Or, what if we asked the same thing of teens wrt to talking/keeping in touch with friends...? Would they be suffering from the dreaded "social addiction disorder"?

    Warning signs of hype, not news:

    1. Self-selected sample. Bias is inherent in the dataset, therefore very little can be said about the dataset.

    2. Survey res
  • So, not one person playing MMOs these days spent any time online gaming before there WERE MMOs? I feel old. I recall, fondly, the days when half of my online compatriots disappeared for weeks on end after being booted out of college for spending too much time online chatting, playing -text based- roleplaying games, -freeform- on chats such as Alamak [alamak.com] and The Keep [nexxushost.net]. Hell, I barely graduated high school thanks to my own idiocy: spending night after night up developing characters, cohesing storylines, sketching
  • Damn liberals are never happy. For years now they have been complaining that too many of us Brits have been going to the pubs too often and drinking too much. Now that we are staying home and playing games on the Internet we are still addicted and going to hell in a handbasket.

    Personally, I think they should set up Internet stations in the pubs. What a combo that would be.
  • -Reserved till after I down Ragnaros-

The only problem with being a man of leisure is that you can never stop and take a rest.

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