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90% of Gaming Addiction Patients Not Addicted 333

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-worry-i'm-sure-you're-in-the-other-10% dept.
phorm writes "BBC is carrying an article which states that 90% of visitors to Europe's 'video game addiction clinic' are not, in fact, addicted. The problem is a social one rather than a psychological issue. In other words, the patients have turned to heavy gaming because they felt they didn't fit in elsewhere, or that they fit in better 'in the game' than elsewhere in 'the real world.' This has been discussed before, with arguments ranging from gaming being a good way to socialize, the clinical definition of gaming addiction, and claims than males are wired for video-game addiction."
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90% of Gaming Addiction Patients Not Addicted

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  • addiction? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:11PM (#25894355) Journal

    I just stopped playing ufo: enemy unknown in dosbox, to refresh slashodot.

  • by Abreu (173023) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:12PM (#25894359)

    ...or at least that's what I'll claim if I am ever confronted by my employers about my internet usage logs at work

    • by pitchpipe (708843)

      In other words, the patients have turned to heavy gaming because they felt they didn't fit in elsewhere, or that they fit in better 'in the game' than elsewhere in 'the real world.'

      Que ChongSpeak
      "Hey man, you're not addicted, just 'cuz your smokin' it all the time man doesn't mean you're addicted, you just don't fit in in the real world like all of us, man."

  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:12PM (#25894367) Homepage Journal
    Take your pick.....
    • Ik kan ophouden met wanneer ik wil
    • Je peux stopper quand je veux
    • Ich kann beendigen, wenn ich wünsche
    • Posso rinunciare quando voglio
    • Eu posso parar quando eu quero
    • Puedo parar cuando quiero
    • You forgot one

      Click click pop click pop click

    • Beersh de stoppen de suverde heur fleefum wantum. Bork bork bork!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Thiez (1281866)

      Your Dutch is wrong. You're saying 'I can stop with when I want'.

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:16PM (#25894405)
    Why do people still listen to the media is beyond me. Every single year they come up with something that is either A) addicting and damaging to minds B) corrupting the family/children/society or C) is somehow harmful. Be it rock and roll, cell phones, video games, comic books, etc, the media always comes up with some "studies" to back them up while two months later showing studies that prove just the opposite is true, why haven't people realized that the media has cried wolf far too many times and just tune the crap out?
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by causality (777677) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:23PM (#25894457)

      Why do people still listen to the media is beyond me. Every single year they come up with something that is either A) addicting and damaging to minds B) corrupting the family/children/society or C) is somehow harmful. Be it rock and roll, cell phones, video games, comic books, etc, the media always comes up with some "studies" to back them up while two months later showing studies that prove just the opposite is true, why haven't people realized that the media has cried wolf far too many times and just tune the crap out?

      Because maybe the only real addiction we have is allowing self-appointed "experts" and authorities to do our thinking for us.

      • I really do trust someone like Lancet or any number of medical journals to give me the skinny on a particular topic based on tons of clinical trials and thousands of pages of raw data and meta analyses.

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:28PM (#25894481) Homepage Journal

      The problem is a social one rather than a psychological issue. In other words, the patients have turned to $ADDICTION because they felt they didn't fit in elsewhere,

      Fixed. A good support system is a cure for all but the most virulent psychoses, but there's a lot of money to be made on medicalizing things which are otherwise curable through a support system. Unfortunately, most addicts are given drugs and/or forced to attend $ADDICTION anonymous meetings which do more harm that good: If you were a drunk, would want to do be forced into a smoke-filled room crammed in with other folks who are just as pissed for being there as you are, probably fiending for drinks? Also, the "higher power" thing dosen't work for atheists.

      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Captain Splendid (673276) * <capsplendid@gm3.1415926ail.com minus pi> on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:54PM (#25894715) Homepage Journal
        Also, the "higher power" thing dosen't work for atheists.

        Doesn't really 'work' for the faithful either, but don't tell them! I like them confused.
      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @10:54PM (#25895157)

        What the hell are you talking about?

        Yes, a good support system is VERY important for just about every psychological disorder or problem, but it is not a cure-all and and it not guarantee.

        If you admit that our psychology derives from brain (and body) workings and that internal states and behaviors are affected by chemical changes, then it stands to reason that many psychological problems may be due to, say, certain brain circuitry being more prone to fire and/or some abnormality or otherwise undesirable neurotransmitter activity.

        Too many people assume, "make them think positive thoughts, the problem will fix itself" and don't realize that the negative thoughts are a product of biological function and may be due to the chemical or neural activity.

        Drugs are usually not meant to be taken alone without treatment. They're supposed to be given along with therapy, often some form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. They're also given to help improve the quality of life in the short term during therapy.

        As for $ADDICTION Anonymous meetings, it is a well-known fact that recovery pretty much requires that the person actually be motivated to recover. Additionally, people being treated for addictions, usually in rehab, are usually told to avoid anything addicting; people in rehab often cannot even eat chocolate or drink coffee. AA is not the only addiction support group people can join; if a judge sentences someone to AA specifically he's an idiot.

        I suspect you're thinking of Penn & Teller's Bullshit! episode here. While they do make some good arguments, I don't think their point was more to the arbitrary nature of the 12-step programs and not the actual support groups themselves. Silly things like recognizing a higher power and other stuff, that's nonsense, but providing motivations for recovery, goalposts that they can look forward to--basically rewards--does help work.

        But, even past all this, sometimes drugs really are necessary. No single treatment is ever a true guarantee.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Also, the "higher power" thing dosen't work for atheists.

        Sure it does, but then they have to stop calling themselves atheists. Its like saying fire doesn't work for gasoline, just because if it works there isn't any gasoline left.

    • Because many people don't know how to approach a media report with skepticism.
    • Why do people still listen to the media is beyond me.

      Well, media which is wrong even most of the time is still more accurate than ignorance.

      It's also in reality easier to tell what's crap and what's important. Professional pundits making predictions about anything, "doctors" talking about new societal diseases, economists making predictions, celebrity news, "human interest stories" that don't involve actual suffering... that's purely for entertainment purposes, or should be.

    • Considering that this same old bullshift has been trotted around going back all the way to when novels were invented, you can't blame the media for it (they didn't exist yet!). And yes, at first, reading fiction (of any kind) was considered lowbrow; this is why Gulliver's Travels was presented as if it were a travelogue. This has been going around for so long, about every new society-changing technology that ever came along, that you can't blame the media. They're just a mirror -- even if, more often tha
  • uh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vexorian (959249) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:17PM (#25894417)

    The problem is a social one rather than a psychological issue. In other words, the patients have turned to heavy gaming because they felt they didn't fit in elsewhere

    So, is this saying that they are not addicted or that they are addicted because of social issues?

    • So, is this saying that they are not addicted or that they are addicted because of social issues?

      Basically, they aren't addicted because of video games they just enjoy playing them.

    • Re:uh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by blueg3 (192743) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:28PM (#25894487)

      If there's no physical or psychological dependence, they're not addicted. Turning to games for social reasons doesn't constitute addiction.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DrgnDancer (137700)

      The simple answer is that there is a clinical and non-clinical definition of the word "addicted". If I observe a person playing WoW 12-16 hours a day, I might say that person is addicted to the game. From a non-clinical standpoint I am correct. They feel compelled to play the game all of the time, regardless of the reason for their choice (because all of their friends are there, because they feel like they fit in there, or because of some true, clinical, addiction) they are displaying what a laymen would

  • by El Puerco Loco (31491) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:25PM (#25894459)

    the addiction industry is out of control in this country. somebody ought to stage an intervention.

    • by Eudial (590661)

      the addiction industry is out of control in this country. somebody ought to stage an intervention.

      I predict that the intervention intervention industry will emerge in the near future, and escalate into a point where intervention intervention interventions are necessary.

  • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:25PM (#25894463) Journal

    One reason...It use to be that these people could join a club and usually a "geeky" one: A Chess club, a remote control aircraft club, a rocketry club, a science club, an electronics club. These kinds of organisations are disappearing and the activities are being labelled as dangerous or complete social death to get involved in, leaving a void which is being filled with idle gaming.

    • by teh moges (875080) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:55PM (#25894719) Homepage
      +1 Insightful if I had mod points.

      Another contributing factor is, I have to say, laziness. It is much easier to stay at home, connect the Xbox to the net and play a game, then it was even 5 years ago to organize for all your mates to come around to play Perfect Dark multiplayer in the same room.

      People often ignore the benefits of the social interaction, and this causes problems long term, as its hard to switch 'back' once you have isolated yourself even a little from your community.
    • Are those organizations disappearing and videogames are merely filling the void? Or are the potential members of those clubs spending they're time playing videogames and don't want to get involved?
    • by Aladrin (926209) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @10:19PM (#25894877)

      You seem to be claiming that the disappearance of these clubs is causing kids to be gamers. I think it's exactly the opposite: Video games are causing kids not to be interested in those clubs, so they disappear due to lack of interest.

      I -love- math and science, but if you give me the choice between hanging out with a bunch of kids that are interested in math or playing video games, the choice is obvious.

      In addition, I can get all the info I need from the internet. I no longer have to deal with people or libraries or anything. Kids have the exact same access that I do, so it's not surprising that the smart ones choose to get their information fast and accurate, instead of wasting time. (Yes, information on the net is still far more accurate than talking to schoolkids about it.)

      • by syousef (465911)

        I -love- math and science, but if you give me the choice between hanging out with a bunch of kids that are interested in math or playing video games, the choice is obvious.

        Then, with respect, you don't love math and science. For me I'd opt for a mix, because I do love math and science, and because video games are limited and eventually bore me to tears where the universe is full of infinite variety.

        You can't blame the games for your own laziness and/or lack of passion.

      • I'm not surprised that hobby clubs are dying. As you say, face-to-face was the best way to acquire knowledge prior to the Internet Age. But now it seems like an extraordinary waste of time - invest three hours with people you barely know to maybe get the same information you can now find with two minutes on Google. If your goal is to learn about and discuss your hobby then the Internet truly blows away the hobby club.

        But, as some of us realize, face-to-face meeting is still valuable for other reasons. Y

    • That's very true. But gaming is not "idle". With the internet, gaming is often the greatest means by which geeks build their own particular type of social networks and otherwise can interact with people. They can find other people with the same interests with them online. Games like World of Warcraft don't (necessarily) make people socially isolated--they are actually the way a particular person may socialize! Too often we view a particular solution to some underlying symptom or problem as the problem

      • by syousef (465911)

        Games like World of Warcraft don't (necessarily) make people socially isolated--they are actually the way a particular person may socialize!

        It's not the same as face to face social contact, and it does not require the same skills or provide the same rewards. Body language isn't learnt on WoW. (Guestures by your avatar do NOT count). You don't learn to control your posture, your emotion, where your eyes look when you're talking to someone etc.

        Online gaming and making friends that way is great, but it's not a

  • Males? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:33PM (#25894521)

    Yeah, I'll say. I just got done having a three hour bitch fest yesterday with a friend of mine who's BF is 'addicted' to World of Warcraft. She doesn't have a lot of experience with boys (much more with girls -- no comments on this please!), and I've had to mother her a bit on why a boy can sink twenty or more hours a week into a video game and says it "helps me relax and challenges me", but afterwords can't come up with anything better to do than "go bowling" ("where"? "Umm... I'm sure there's one around somewhere"), or "go for a walk".

    I tried my best to explain how men are so much more visually oriented than girls, but it's a hard concept to really explain. It's not that they're addicted to video games, it's just that the game provides more visual action than the real world so they're more strongly attracted to it. Girls read books, boys watch movies--Boys play video games, girls play board games, that kind of thing. They really are wired different and it's damn frustrating.

    I often find myself wishing for video games that helped build social skills for these kind of boys -- the ones that are awkward and introverted in public, but if you can get them to open up they're nice teddy bears. I don't think they'd want to play it though, unless it involved blowing up or shooting something. :( Like The Sims -- awesome game, but the only people I know who play it are other girls! Am I hoping for too much here? Is there some way to use some visual medium to help boys crawl out of their shell?

    • Re:Males? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Yosho (135835) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @10:03PM (#25894781) Homepage

      Yeah, I'll say. I just got done having a three hour bitch fest yesterday with a friend of mine who's BF is 'addicted' to World of Warcraft. She doesn't have a lot of experience with boys (much more with girls -- no comments on this please!), and I've had to mother her a bit on why a boy can sink twenty or more hours a week into a video game and says it "helps me relax and challenges me", but afterwords can't come up with anything better to do than "go bowling" ("where"? "Umm... I'm sure there's one around somewhere"), or "go for a walk".

      This may be a silly question, but -- she may have spent three hours bitching to you about it, but has she spent that much time talking to him about it? Nothing is going to change unless he wants to change, and that will not happen unless he understands and accepts that there is a problem.

      As a guy, one of the largest frustrations I've had with many (but not all, fortunately) girls is that when something is upsetting them they won't just tell me about it. They might make it obvious that they're upset about something in general, but me being unable to guess exactly what is apparently just another failure on my part. Casually saying something like, "Oh, I wish you'd spend less time playing WoW" doesn't count -- his internal reaction will be "Ok, I'll log off fifteen minutes early today," then he'll shrug and move on.

      If the amount of time he spends playing WoW is a serious problem, he needs to be told plainly that it is a serious problem. If he accepts that it's a problem, he can fix it, but otherwise his girlfriend will either have to just accept it or leave him. She's only going to make herself more frustrated if she thinks that he'll change if she just waits long enough.

      • Re:Males? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @10:58PM (#25895175)

        his may be a silly question, but -- she may have spent three hours bitching to you about it, but has she spent that much time talking to him about it?

        Dammit, this wasn't supposed to be about my friend, but whether games can help boys develop social skills--instead of providing an escape from socially awkward situations. And yes, she has.

        Casually saying something like, "Oh, I wish you'd spend less time playing WoW" doesn't count -- his internal reaction will be "Ok, I'll log off fifteen minutes early today," then he'll shrug and move on.

        girlspeak translation: Get off the damn computer and pay attention to me when I'm around. It's damn rude to have someone over and then leave them to entertain themselves so you can go play a video game. Homework or a few minutes of e-mail, not a big deal... Wasting four hours on a video game because you need to "relax"... It gives a clear message: I'm not wanted. And when it's my boyfriend doing that, then it's elevate to not only aren't I wanted, but that I'm less attractive than a hunk of circuits and plastic. So yeah, most girls are going to be rightly pissed about that!

        If he accepts that it's a problem, he can fix it, but otherwise his girlfriend will either have to just accept it or leave him.

        And yet they wonder why we call it an addiction...

        • Re:Males? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Yosho (135835) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:46PM (#25895511) Homepage

          girlspeak translation: Get off the damn computer and pay attention to me when I'm around. It's damn rude to have someone over and then leave them to entertain themselves so you can go play a video game. Homework or a few minutes of e-mail, not a big deal... Wasting four hours on a video game because you need to "relax"... It gives a clear message: I'm not wanted. And when it's my boyfriend doing that, then it's elevate to not only aren't I wanted, but that I'm less attractive than a hunk of circuits and plastic. So yeah, most girls are going to be rightly pissed about that!

          Sorry, I didn't mean to sound as though I was defending the guy -- just trying to provide some insight as to why he (and many other guys) behave that way. Most guys simply do not understand "girlspeak," and, unless you've found one of the rare ones who does, expecting him to figure it out is just an exercise in frustration.

          And yet they wonder why we call it an addiction...

          Oh, I certainly don't wonder. I'm sure Blizzard has hired psychologists to figure out the optimal effort:reward ratio to keep people playing as long as possible. MMORPGs are designed to be addictive by people who understand in great detail how addictions work; that's why telling somebody to stop playing is about as effective as telling an alcoholic to stop drinking.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          girlspeak translation: Get off the damn computer and pay attention to me when I'm around. It's damn rude to have someone over and then leave them to entertain themselves so you can go play a video game. Homework or a few minutes of e-mail, not a big deal... Wasting four hours on a video game because you need to "relax"... It gives a clear message: I'm not wanted. And when it's my boyfriend doing that, then it's elevate to not only aren't I wanted, but that I'm less attractive than a hunk of circuits and plastic. So yeah, most girls are going to be rightly pissed about that!

          See the thing is, unless she _actually_ gets pissed at him instead of saying "I wish you spend less time on wow", he won't know. You can't expect every guy to completely understand every word that she says, it just doesn't work that way. She needs to explain it to him in more frank terms, not wishy-washy words

        • Re:Males? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker AT gnu DOT org> on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @06:05AM (#25897545) Homepage

          girlspeak translation: ...

          Thank you.

          I'm intrigued by your ideas, and wish to purchase your latest edition of your femaleish-maleish dictionary ;)

          I'm hoping you tell or have told you boyfriend what you just told us here on slashdot.

          And to all the girls, here's how guys communicate: we (almost) always interpret what is said in the most straightforward, say-what-you-mean nothing-between-the-lines way. When I say I have a headache, it's because my head hurts (dammit), not because I sad I didn't get the promotion.

          Successful communication requires one or more parties to move out of their comfort zone. It's probably for the best if both do: guys need to read between the lines a bit more, and girls need to tell the guys when and how to read between the lines.

          But speaking as a guy, understanding girls isn't made easier by the fact that "I have a headache" sometimes means "my head hurts; end of news bulletin" and sometimes means "I refuse to have sex with you due to something you did within the last month that I won't tell you about" and sometimes "my head hurts really badly; please give me an aspirin and a really big hug."

          If you talk to guys the guy way, and tell them flat out what you want, they'll either agree straight away [who doesn't want to hug and comfort their hurting girlfriend?], or at least the two of you will know that you both know that there's an issue to be addressed and what it is. In the latter case, you at least have an easier time talking about solutions than if only one party knows what the problem is.

        • Re:Males? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfr ... t ['om.' in gap]> on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @06:37AM (#25897671) Homepage Journal

          Homework or a few minutes of e-mail, not a big deal... Wasting four hours on a video game because you need to "relax"... It gives a clear message: I'm not wanted. And when it's my boyfriend doing that, then it's elevate to not only aren't I wanted, but that I'm less attractive than a hunk of circuits and plastic.

          Yes I think that is indeed the plain truth, and people fool themselves into thinking that they either automatically deserve to be wanted by their designated *friend, or more importantly that they should desire to be wanted. The reality is that most people hook up with boyfriends or girlfriends for two reasons.

          1) Sex

          But, the plain fact of the matter is that after a few months, the novelty of sex will wear off. Now, this can be replaced by a long term emotional bond formed over the past few months of intimate contact, but only if that bond was formed. If it wasn't, then there really is no reason for people to stay together except for our other important reason.

          2) Social pressures.

          Many people in dead end relationships stay there for one primary reason. It is more painful and socially unacceptable for them to have no partner than it is to have a poor partner. The pressure, internal and external, for an adult of "marriageable" age to at least be dating is real and present. I have seen people remain in miserable relationships that are well past their sell by date, and the only reason is that they have, in the colloquial, "settled". The (minor) risk of ending up alone for ever or even for a short period of time is regarded as too frightening to justify leaving a gangrenous union.

          The single best lampooning of this behavior can be seen in the South Park episode where Satan is paralyzed with indecision [wikipedia.org] because he cannot decide which boyfriend to settle on. His dilemma is resolved by consulting God, who reveals that his dilemma was a false one because he never actually needed to settle for anyone at all. The Lord of Darkness rediscovered his happiness by simply leaving relationships that were never going to work out.

          Returning to the original point, you are correct. Someone's boyfriend spending four hours a night on video game does mean that that they are not wanted, and the incorrect conclusion is to attempt to "salvage" a relationship that is almost certainly doomed anyway. As the saying goes, there are plenty of other fish in the sea and in any case, sometimes fish is not worth the the sacrifices to the rest of your diet!

          Move on. Loneliness is temporary. But misery lasts 'till death does you part.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by D Ninja (825055)

          girlspeak translation: Get off the damn computer and pay attention to me when I'm around. It's damn rude to have someone over and then leave them to entertain themselves so you can go play a video game. Homework or a few minutes of e-mail, not a big deal... Wasting four hours on a video game because you need to "relax"... It gives a clear message: I'm not wanted. And when it's my boyfriend doing that, then it's elevate to not only aren't I wanted, but that I'm less attractive than a hunk of circuits and plastic. So yeah, most girls are going to be rightly pissed about that!

          So quit inviting yourself over when I want to come home from work and want to spend a couple hours relaxing. I'll start resenting you if you do that.

          Despite popular belief, girls can be just as selfish as guys can be. You two need to strike a balance. (And, by that, I mean a REAL balance. Not a "do what the girl wants" balance.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RuBLed (995686)
      I'd try to be serious here. XD (because this could work)

      Quest - Reward system. People (and males) do tend to work their ass off if it rewards them in the end. That is why any start of a relationship is the most "activity-filled" moments. But as time goes by, doing monotonous things for almost nothing doesn't interest as much.

      That is where the Reward system kicks in. If one wants to do something, the other one must also benefit or be rewarded in one way or another (which he/she likes). It could be in a
      • by dhall (1252)

        I believe this youtube video epitomizes your concept.

        "World of Wifecraft".

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVhwwFHGEFI [youtube.com]

        Turning real life into a reward/achievement system. I know it's cliche to say that humans prefer the skinner box treatment. It is a concept that is constantly reinforced in everyday discussion, to the point where geek/gamer-dom take pride in the stereotype.

    • Re:Males? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @10:18PM (#25894869)
      Pro-tip: If you do not want people commenting on irrelevant information, don't provide. That said, if she's unhappy with him, I'm available. *wink**wink*
    • by Renraku (518261)

      "Is there some way to use some visual medium to help boys crawl out of their shell?"

      From an evolutionary stand point, this makes a lot of sense. The men were the strong, agile, good-reflexed ones that traditionally hunted and took care of the general defense of the town. They need vision in order to do these things. And reflexes. Doing something that requires both is like that satisfaction you get when the key turns in the lock.

      We won't get into the mate-selection part of the process.

    • by ozamosi (615254)

      There's something wrong with nerds: they spend all their time whining in forums like this that they can't get a girlfriend (or for the less articulate among us: "booobies!!!!1"), but when they do get a girlfriend, they're too busy being online to pay them any attention.

      (The times I refused to have sex because I was busy configuring Postfix and things like that aren't among my proudest moments)

      And just because I know how annoying it is when people get all hooked up on a minor point, instead of commenting on

  • Nerds not addicts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by camg188 (932324) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:34PM (#25894533)

    turned to heavy gaming because they felt they didn't fit in elsewhere

    So 90% were nerds, not addicts.

  • Define: addiction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WarJolt (990309) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:41PM (#25894611)

    to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively. ie. addicted to gambling

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/addicted [merriam-webster.com]

    Most people devote a great deal of their time socializing and thus become comfortable socializing. It's part of normal human development. We are social creatures. I tend to think that addiction starts when it causes problems in your life.

    The problem is few have studied the long term impact of not learning how to socialize with someone without a LCD screen and a Internet connection. I could potentially see problems arising because not learning how to socialize only makes someone feel even more alienated.

    Can you see the potential downward spiral that could apply to this situation that is typically reserved for drug abuse?

    • I tend to think that addiction starts when it causes problems in your life.

      Then video games are very rarely, if ever, addicting. Some people socialize in different ways, some people prefer to talk to people over the phone rather than in person, some people are the total opposite, still others prefer using text messages and e-mail. Just look at letters, today's video game and social network based society is nothing more than an extension of letters and telephones.

      Can you see the potential downward spiral that could apply to this situation that is typically reserved for drug abuse?

      No, no more than the invention of the US postal service and telephones have made us be addicted to them.

  • tangent (Score:5, Funny)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [erauqssemitelcric]> on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:52PM (#25894695) Homepage Journal

    is it possible to be a sex addict?

    aren't we all sex addicts?

    isn't this the only way to ensure the survival of our species?

    show me a roomful of intelligent, platonic, perfectly personality matched non sex addicted couples, and i'l show you the extinction of homo sapiens in 1.4 generations

    show me a roomful of sex addicted drunk raving idiots, and i'll show you 6 billion homo sapiens in a couple thousand generations

    • Re:tangent (Score:4, Informative)

      by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @10:31PM (#25894971)
      Wouldn't take nearly that long. Modern humans have only existed for 10,000 generations, and were nearly wiped to extinction (to possibly as few as 1,000 breeding pairs) only 3,500 generations ago. Compare 20th century population growth to prior centuries. A roomful (say 10 breeding pairs) could reach 6 billion in less than a hundred generations easily, given sufficient available resources.
    • by jwiegley (520444)
      Are you presenting this as proof by example?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by w0mprat (1317953)
      Your dead right. Addiction as a problem is really a manifestation of a fault in the system which also gives us our drive to survive and succeed.

      Like most human behaviors, it's a useful trait 90% of the time. 10% of time when it gets out of hand, you can consider it an illness requiring remedy.

      This is why tagging the term addiction on any problem for an individual brings up all kinds of issues. Genuine addiction is very neurological/chemical, other examples may be inaccurately labeled addiction but the
      • by vux984 (928602)

        Ok so, kids who spend alot of time playing 'WoW' because they don't fit in socially, whats the problem? They'll probably learn some social skills in the game, whereas if they remain marooned in real life they will just become socially isolated as a lot of these kids do.

        I doubt they'll learn social skills in WoW.

        WoW, despite being "massively multiplayer" isn't a terribly social game. One of the reasons it became as popular as it did is that people who played previous mmorpgs generally had to be a LOT more so

    • I know you are making a joke, but let's be serious for a second.

      Is it possible to be a food addict?

      Aren't we all food addicts?

      Isn't this something we all need to ensure our survival until we spread our genes?

      And yet we know what food addiction is, it's called gluttony, and it's pretty common in the US these days.

      Not all people are sex addicts. Having sex every day is just a healthy sex life. Having sex to the point that you neglect your health, take unnecessary risks, put yourself or others in harms way,

  • by Silentknyght (1042778) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @10:19PM (#25894873)
    I played World of Warcraft (heavily, until I got married). I played Diablo (I & II, pretty heavily). I played Counter Strike for hours on end, very competitively. Two-three years ago, I would classify myself as a hardcore gamer. That said... I cannot deny the striking similarities between these games and slot machines. The addiction similarities between these games and gambling addition, particularly slot machines, is strong.

    Some (admittedly anecdotal) evidence. Don't tell me you never did these things, too:
    * "farmed" mobs/bosses/instances/etc in WoW for a random, rare drop.
    * loaded and reloaded the barbarian highlands level in diablo II umpteen times to farm for random, rare, drops
    * got feelings of joy at the sight of one color triggered at a particular point in the game

    All these things seem like more "pulls" on the slot machine, waiting for the lights and sounds to let you know you won. Is there potential for gambiling-addition-like issues in videogames? Yes. Am I terribly concerned and am I going to stop gaming? No.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by socrplayr813 (1372733)

      I definitely agree that there is a parallel with slots/gambling/whatever. I think it's something that more people need to acknowledge. Games are great way to entertain/challenge yourself, but there is a point where they need to be turned off. Now, I'm not saying that people shouldn't play games or that these people are necessarily addicts, but the internet should not replace all social interaction.

      We need to keep in mind that a good number of these people have turned to games as a way to escape from a fe

    • Anything highly rewarding can be addicting.

  • Alcohol (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dohzer (867770)
    I don't have an alcohol addiction, I just feel like I fit in better when I'm drunk. So that means I'm not addicted, right?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by John Hasler (414242)

      Right. You're just a drunkard.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Vegeta99 (219501)

      You're not an alcoholic if you don't go to meetings, you're a drunk.

      If you're in university, you're not an alcoholic even if you go to meetings, you're a student.

  • As someone I trust quite a bit has said before, when it's a social/personality problem there isn't much that can be done.

    But once you call it a disease or an addiction, then it's something to be managed with an hour or two a week at $400 on someone's insurance for the rest of their life.

    This is one reason why there are so many new "addictions" out there.

  • So, 10% actually ARE addicted to video games?

    Sounds like video games are DANGEROUS and should be HEAVILY REGULATED as a schedule 1 drug like Marijuana.

  • I don't know how many gamers out there share the same feeling as me, but I don't game to get away from the real world, or that I am addicted, or for other stupid reasons.

    It's sad to game! I game because it's the cheapest form of entertainment. From the days of the QEMM, a fixed money you spent on a box will last you god know how many hours.

    I have a decent job now, and I still game a lot. Not because I am addicted. If I can spend a weekend on a boat, or in the garage tuning my Skyline GTR, or even just a

  • It is beyond my comprehension why people must insist on debating levels and context of addiction. The reality is, someone has a habit, which they feel is damaging their life in some way. Why is it necessary to spend so much time "defining" addiction. I drink too much coffee. Whether I drink it because it tastes good, makes me high, mentally or physically, I'm addicted to it. Why is necessary for endless studies to continually make assertions on the redefinition of addiction.

    Sure, go after the root
    • > The reality is, someone has a habit, which they feel is damaging their life in some way.
      > Why is it necessary to spend so much time "defining" addiction.

      Because once you define an addiction you can build an industry around it.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:13PM (#25895257) Homepage Journal
    where should they have fit in ?

    working 7 to 19.00 every day, in a thankless job that demands way more than it pays ?

    or, they should have fit in sleazy bar corners, wasting their life away with sluts (male or female) ?

    or, they should become career bitches (male or female) and waste their life away in that manner ?

    or they should have fit in with a family. but then again, they have to create a family first, and creating a family has SO much overhead and effort in these days that you can maybe compare it to swimming across english channel.

    or, they should have fit in with the immense crowds that are sedating their brain through football spectatorship, or in front of dumb tv shows each night ?

    or maybe they could have fit in with their peers, who are entertaining themselves with the MODERN entertainment form that is called gaming ? you know, fitting in WITH YOUR PEERS, as countless generations in the history of mankind has done ?

    well. they are just doing that. i think a lot of people, but especially 'experts' need to shut their traps about it, and get to accept this as a normal stage of human civilization.
  • I know it sounds silly, but could it be because the video game addicts (and I still believe they are a very small minority of gamers) do not seek rehabilitation, and gamers who seek rehabilitation already have more "will" to stop gaming and therefore are not, strictly clinically-speaking, addicts?

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:27PM (#25895347)
    As an experiement re-read TFA substituting the terms for "games" "gamer" etc to "sports" "sports fan". Try it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Praxx (918463)

      Ninety per cent of the young people who seek treatment for compulsive sports watching are not addicted.

      So says Keith Bakker the founder and head of Europe's first and only clinic to treat sports watching addicts.

      The Smith & Jones Centre in Amsterdam has treated hundreds of young sports fans since the clinic opened in 2006.

      But the clinic is changing its treatment as it realises that compulsive sports watching is a social rather than a psychological problem.

      Using traditional abstinence-based treatmen

  • Golf is worse (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @01:56AM (#25896277) Homepage

    If you want to see addiction, visit a golf course.

    It's a real problem. Successful executives have been lost to golf addiction [thesandtrap.com]. Forbes Magazine once commented that more executives have been lost to golf than alcohol. There are people who skip work to play golf. It's not a joke. [badgolfer.com]

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