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
"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.'"