What makes video games 'addictive'?

Are video games addictive?

The American Medical Association isn't ready to rank this substance-free habit in the same category with, say, compulsive gambling. But you've surely heard the horror stories - and some of them are pretty horrible.

There's that guy who played "StarCraft" to death in South Korea. There's that Reno couple that neglected their kids in favor of "Dungeons & Dragons Online." The gamer culture acknowledges the addictive nature of these games (dubbing "World of Warcraft" "World of Warcrack"), even though the shrink world doesn't yet.

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Clinton5143858d ago (Edited 3858d ago )

The ability to have control over an entertainment form is addicting in itself. It's easy to do and it's not physically demanding.

I wouldn't rank it as an illness though. Just like many other mis-classified "addictions", it's the fault of the user and not genetics or some other hoaky reason.

jadenkorri3858d ago

then we also can rule tv shows are addicting, i know people who sit in front of the tv all the time.. also some can't miss a show like Big Brother, they never miss an episode, too me thats the same as an addict who needs his next my opinion its not an addiction... I play alot of games and i mean ALOT, but i still pay my rent and pay for my food...okay there was that one month when i used my food money for games...but i leaned a lesson lol...the hard way...people say im addicted but addicted people put all there money into there addiction, i don't, cause if i did, well im not gonna have power to feed my addiction or let alone a roof over my head...

v1c1ous3858d ago

yes anything, when taken in excess, is bad for you.

however, and again i stress this that i've witnessed it personally, videogames can be "specially" harmfully addictive when taken to extreme.

i love videogames, but i am mature enough to notice that since it's not as visually harmful as someone drunk of their ass from alcohol, or falling apart from drugs, it doesn't get the attention it might need from professional institutions.

I do NOT agree with the "blame violence on videogames" view since violence is subjective to more than just one medium having an effect on a person. BUT an addiction can come from only one medium. be it knitting or mountain biking. but the difference is that videogames are more easily accesible than those things.

i know many people will hit me disagrees. but i ask you this before you hit that neg rep button. how many times did you stop eating/going to the bathroom and hold it in for another round? skipped homework? class? meeting someone? spent all day playing when you had something else to attend to? i am NOT saying "go out and have a life" i am talking about real situations, not online insults.

could you do the same things for other things. would you skip work to plant a garden? heck, to even organize your game collection? and i don't mean everyday, i mean once in a while.

just because we don't hear about a videogamers anonymous, doesn't mean we don't need one. i know some people who threw away their lives because they were hooked on videogames, and even became suicidal. but just because YOU have the strength to turn it off, others don't. and those are the people that need help.

jinn3858d ago

it can be educational used for exercise for the hands, and a great social activity

v1c1ous3858d ago (Edited 3858d ago )

you have to know 2 kinds of addicts.

there are the "i don't care about anything, i just want the next hit" addicts who don't think about the consequences.

then there's the "i want to quit, but i can't" addicts.

every videogamer thinks all the vg horror stories involve the first type, and that it all depends on the person and they should quit on their own.

but many addicted gamers are the second type. they know their addiction is hurting them emotionally/mentally/socially/ physically, but they can't stop. they want to quit, but the urge for the next hit of adrenaline makes them unable to quit on their own.

this is the type of gamer addict i wish our industry concentrated on. anything can be an addiction, but don't shove to the side videogame addiction.

we always complain about how we want the media/everyone to take our medium of choice seriously, but how are we going to do that when we can't even take a serious subject such as addiction in our medium seriously?

and i'm not making a case for the institutions cause i work for them (i don't), it's because i've lived it. I've gone down the drain, and without the help of my family, i would have done something stupid. it's a horrible feeling when you know something you love to do affects everything around you, but you do it anyways and feel horrible afterwards. with help, i have been able to control and moderate my addiction to healthy levels.

and i tell you it's real. it's really real. consider yourself lucky if you can mock this, i just wish you didn't go through what i've seen, what i have witnessed. both personally and as a friend to others who have fallen to this and other addictions.

Jinxstar3858d ago (Edited 3858d ago )

I agree but at the same time you kinda make it out worse then it is in a lot of ways... I played World of Warcrack for 2 years. It lost appeal to me... Thats it. I had a great job, Many girlfriends and lots of friends whom I even met in game that went and got drunk with me... Socializing in game can be good but... There are those who can't control themselves many a times... So long as you have your priorities and keep them excessive gaming is fine imho. If you say "I will not suffer any health issues due to gaming except maybe carpel tunnel and I will be a good worker and a good father" or whatever your personal goals may be and you stick to them then your good. Honestly WoW offers many many many hours of entertainment for cheap... Which in a lot of ways can be better then spending 100$ a night at bars and clubs. Depending on how you look at it. You feel challenged and a sense of accomplishment when you and 24 other people take down a boss you have been working on for a long time.

Still I think its a case by case bases as opposed to Crack which isn't really a case by case. There are people with self control and those without but of all the vices someone can have this day and age I think this is the least harmful...

Good thought out post too bro. Game on!

Edit: personal note. Sorry for what you went through. Glad your good now bro!

DevonTheDude5353858d ago

It's human nature, everyone is addicted to something whether is be good or bad for society and the individual. Many are addicted to a wide array of addictions; to social networking, TV, others the internet, and some cross country running.

Might as well come out with Heroin Hero

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