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The Fine Line Between Game Enthusiast And Addict

David Webb is a core gamer - an enthusiast who has a passion for story-driven role-playing games. He's also a person who knows how completely those games can take over his life. He lost a girlfriend, in part, to excessive playing of World of Warcraft (Buy | Search) and when a compelling single-player game is released, he goes on self-described "bender" sessions - lasting 12 hours or more.

"My solution has been abstinence, to a large degree," says Webb (not his real name). "I don't generally grant myself a single-player game unless it's reported to have a short playtime - and multiplayer games have to be jump-in, jump-out, like a first person shooter. On rare occasion I'll buy an role-playing game, but then it's pizza boxes and soda bottles until I finish. I genuinely feel like an alcoholic with it."

For some video game enthusiasts, finding a way to keep their hobbies from overtaking other aspects of their lives isn't an easy thing to accomplish. And the reasons, according to one doctor, have nothing to do with a lack of impulse control.

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