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Are MMORPG video games an epidemic problem......

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posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 06:13 AM
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I have a friend who is addicted to one of these game's and I find it disturbing .He spends atleast 5-8 hours everyday playing this game for the past 2 year's. In this amount of time he has gained about 20 pound's and is anti social. He used to go to the gym with me and my other buddies 4 times a week, ride dirtbikes had a girlfriend and had an active nightlife. Now I am lucky if he even answer's his phone.


The most disturbing thing happened a few day's ago when he wouldn't even answer his door and we knew he was home. What is it with these games? What suck's people into them to the point that they do nothing but play these games. I've heard of many people who act the same way as my friend. What's the frikn point , in the amount of time he's wasted playing this game he could of gotten so many real life accomplishment's instead of wasting year's upgrading his video game character.

The sad part is that he's 30 year's old. My question is how do these MMORPG companies get people so addicted to pay a monthly fee for year's. Is there some form of mind control?

[edit on 28-7-2007 by Samblak]




posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 07:14 AM
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I too have seen how addictive they can be - especially World of Warcraft, which i believe actually killed at least one person as a direct result of sleep and nutrition deprivation. My friend actually aknowledges their addictive quality and has tried (but failed) to 'quit' several times in the past.

However, i do not believe the games directly use mind control - as other computer games from the same companies would no doubt develop the same addictive patterns. I think it is more likely that the game format itself promotes a primitive form of hypnosis. Remember the pokemon games for Nintendo systems? "Gotta catch 'em all"? i believe it is this basic urge to complete every available aspect of the games that makes them so powerful - creating within the player a feeling of 'need' to always reach just one more level, or complete just one more virtual quest.

Overall, the creator of the first RPG genre computer/console game was really on to something - although it is perfectly possible that modern games utilise tools such as subliminal messaging to increase their addictive effect. Isnt there a watchdog that is supposed to control this type of implant into games? The way they can steal lives so easily frankly makes me



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 07:23 AM
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Hello,

It really boils down to vicariously living and escapism. I have seen many persons who can casually enjoy MMORPGs as a lighthearted source of entertainment. I've seen families and businesses meet up inside MMORPGs to bond and it seemed like they really had fun doing so.

However, like all things in life, the key is moderation. I have also talked to the so-called "hardcore mmo gamer" who games inside a mmo environment for upwards of 40+ hours a week. In my relating with them, I noticed that to them; the reality crafted by the MMO game designers was one that was much more acceptable than the reality they had normally dealt with out here in the real world.

That's the fatal flaw in their logic though, that reality in there has been created for them. In fact it has been hand crafted to immerse and entice, bring mild chills and thrills while making the person feel strong(level system), wealthy(simple economy), popular(NPCs greet them kindly) etc...

Yes inside the MMO, all the world truly is a stage. And it would seem that some forget about our reality or long to get away from it so much that they make a active decision to focus more on the fake reality of the MMO, than they do on their own, true life.

What an ego stroking it must be, for the normally shy and meek person, to enter a land where everyone knows your name, and you are respected and in a minor position of honor. For the person who can take all of it as a lighthearted entertainment experience, no harm done. But for the person so drawn in that they begin to identify more with their vicarious avatar(screen character) than they can with their true self.... the MMO becomes a horrible trap.


Do some reading up on the main offenders. "EverCrack"(everquest) for example, has been in various media stories due to its seemingly high level of addiction. I personally think that it is no more addictive than any other, it was just more visible. Now, years later we have WoW(world of warcraft) which has a higher subscriber base than most anything else in the subscription entertainment world. I'm sure there are tragedies and horror stores to be found surrounding it as well.


I personally played Dark Ages of Camelot, another MMO for several years. I did so casually and with friends and family(cheaper than long distance rates in a way). I never really got into it heavily. It was just a fun "chat engine" for me. But I met many a sad soul in there. Great people, afraid to return to reality for whatever reason.


That's not to say all things are bad with MMORPGs, like everything there is good and bad found inside of it. I have heard and seen of persons meeting up with and making good friends in both the game and in reality due to time spent in the MMO. I also have heard of various persons finding "love" inside the MMO gamespace and fostering that love into a real relationship in the real world.

Of course the happier and more positive side to MMOs will be less noticeable than the vulgar, antisocial, divorce creating, drug addiction like properties. Why? Simple. Because we all love t read about the sob story, hard luck case, poor them, how sad, how tragic, glad it wasn't me etc..... So that's what the media gives us.

I'm sorry you've been affected by the negative side of MMOs. I'd offer that you could try to have an "intervention" with your friend, or at least try to suggest counseling to him.

Or better yet, buy the game he's playing and go in there and meet him. Talk with him and show him that you can exist in the gamespace, and still come out and exist in reality. Setup times with him in game where you'll say "ok that's enough of this for me bro, I'm headed over so we can hang out." or "Man this was fun, you know what'd be even better? let's go grab a few beers." etc etc whatever it is you do.

I hope you can help him, but that's really not up to me or you, it's up to him.




X



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 07:24 AM
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Yeah it does seem as though there is an "addictiveness" to some of those games. I read recently that there was a husband and wife that lost their kids to child welfare due to neglect. They were to busy playing World of WarCrack to properly take care of their malnourished children. Very sad...


It's true, those games do get you wanting more. It is because they are so dang fun. They are challenging, mentally stimulating, and provide for more than enough "heated action" to keep one adrenalized for long hours on end. It can be easy to pull off an all-nighter playing. Suddenly the sun shines in the basement window and gets you in the eye, you "awake", realize that you forgot to eat supper 12 hours ago and havent taken a pee since before that... Embarrassing as it may be, you decide to do one more mission before getting up to go to the washroom... hehehe...

Not that I am defending your buddy, but you say he is anti social... Well that is subjective perspective there. Technically, I bet he communicates with 4 or 5 times as many people as you do on a regular basis, just not in the physical realm...
Oh yeah, maybe don't be too hard on him just yet about not answering his door for you guys. Sometimes you are in an "important" game agenda directing mission with a priority character in a group with 8 friends who are relying on your game character to succeed in your party duties, and it is impossible to leave for the next 10 minutes of battle. Also, maybe he had his headset on and cranked, not even hearing you guys bang on the door....


MMORPG companies get people "addicted" to their games because they provide people with a non-reality based venue (in their own homes) for stress relief, engaging social contact (again, subjective perspective there), and "on-demand" high adrenaline paced action and adventure.
Of course the achievements of character development keep people coming back as well, chasing the neverending titles of prestige that your character can then "show-off" to all of your online friends.

Now maybe your friend "doesn't have any stress" to warrant endless hours of gametime to destress himself. Again, this could be a perspective thing too, as maybe your friend creates his own "non-real" stresses. i.e. "Dangit, my warrior's sword is not powerful enough! I MUST take down that ogre to get enough gold to buy the right mod for my sword!". So now he is stressed and must play to get gold for his sword. Viscious cycle of playing to destress, getting stressed in doing so, therefore must play to destress... Hehehe...



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 12:16 PM
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He tried getting me into it and I wanted nothing to do with it, the games don't seem fun to me. To be honest he once explained how many hour's he played to get his armor and I told him it's all fake it's not real. In the amount of time he's wasted there he could of mastered a musical instrument and share his skills with real people ,or done many other thing's that consist of something other then sitting in front of a PC for hour's.


Maybe it's just me but I just dont get it, lol. I'll play video games on a rainy day for a few hours but I generally find more constructive things to do that actually amount to something such as working on my 1966 Land Rover or upkeeping my aquarium , riding dirtbike's. Thing's that actually amount to something that you can share and talk about. Maybe it's just modern society but I just don't find it normal for a 30 year old man to play these games for 40 hours a week and there are millions doing it.

Personally I'd be embarassed if someone asked me what I do for fun in my spare time if I told them I play World Of Warcraft. I'd hope they punch me in the face,lol.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 01:53 PM
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I have a friend who is just like this, we used to see eachother all the time and go out to eat and whatnot. Then along came World of Warcraft and the game has become his life ... I will call him or IM him and ask him if he wants to hang out and the answer is "cant", "busy", "WoW raid planned", etc about 90% of the time.

Ill admit it, I am big on gaming but I at least set aside specific time for that so that I can go to school, work, hangout, spend time with my family, etc. On top of that I hate Sci fi/Fantasy games like WoW so I have never been able to understand the attraction. I perfer Real Time Strategy games like the Cossacks/American Conquest series, Joint Task Force, Blitzkrieg, etc or realistic First Person Shooters like ArmA or Joint Operations. I also like The Sims and have practically every Sims ever made including all expansion packs for the origional and The Sims 2 yet I am still nowhere near as bad as my friend that I speak of, oddly enough none of my other friends are that bad either with having a game be their life.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 02:24 PM
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Yes, I realize where you're coming from. As I said it was like a gimmicky chat application IMHO.


My thoughts on getting you in the game was so you could relate to him on his level seeing as you seem to care for him.


Yeah there are *much* better ways for a grown man to spend 40 hours a week. Heck I could spend that much time(in addition to work) just maintaining my house, and me and the wife's car/truck. Much less the time I want to spend doing actual fun things.


But I'm in the game industry too, so I realize that many people do really gain
satisfaction from those games and the "time sinks" that produce rewards for the player. Yeah I think there's better rewards to be found in real life, and I don't know that dealing with stress by dropping out of society and giving yourself over to a game realm is the best and most healthy decision you can make.... but whatever makes you happy, right?



X



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 02:36 PM
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...smh...they're just video games. I know they're not addictive because i've played many of them. Including everquest and world of warcraft.

i can see how one would get sucked into a game, because it happened to me, but i wouldnt go as far to call my self addicted to it.

if someone seriously thinks they are addicted to a game i think the problem lies somewhere else in there personality, being addicted to a computer game is just a shell



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 02:37 PM
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Originally posted by Xatnys

Yeah I think there's better rewards to be found in real life, and I don't know that dealing with stress by dropping out of society and giving yourself over to a game realm is the best and most healthy decision you can make.... but whatever makes you happy, right?


I agree with you. I played a online game for 2 years and now only play it during winter months. I would rather have a virtual life then a real one. I can come here and not think about bills, money and other problems. Reality for me sux, some days are harder then others, but just knowing I can escape it for a short time keeps me going.

I have 2 teen boys who I keep close to home for their own safety. My 23 year old is a fine young man in college to become a teacher. They are die-hard gamers but well adjusted too.

I think gaming is harder on the friends and family then on the gamer.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 04:07 PM
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******************************************
...smh...they're just video games. I know they're not addictive because i've played many of them. Including everquest and world of warcraft.
*****************************************************

That's a fairly narrow view. No offense intended to you 'course. However, thinking that because YOU did not experience any adverse effects from a certain game(or almost anything else in life), nobody else might be adversely affected is just plain flawed.

Not everyone has traveled the road you have traveled, what one person finds comfort in you may find repugnant. That doesn't make your opinion or experience any more or less real than theirs, does it?


No indeed, there are people who have trouble with leaving the game space, be it caused by an addictive personality or whatever, they do exist.

Like our friend Rhain, or the OP's friend. They're out there. Filling a void with something. We all do it with something, we just happen to be talking about gaming right now.

Hope I've helped expand your view to include people other than you.


X







****************************************************
I played a online game for 2 years and now only play it during winter months. I would rather have a virtual life then a real one. I can come here and not think about bills, money and other problems. Reality for me sux, some days are harder then others, but just knowing I can escape it for a short time keeps me going.

I have 2 teen boys who I keep close to home for their own safety. My 23 year old is a fine young man in college to become a teacher. They are die-hard gamers but well adjusted too.

I think gaming is harder on the friends and family then on the gamer.

****************************************************

Hey Rhain,

I truly understand where you're coming from. Reality does indeed suck for us all, but just remember it's only a frame of mind. I wanted to tell you that since you are able to limit your play to only a specific season, you are really in pretty good shape in my opinion. You could be much worse off. And hey, when life gets you down, realize that in many ways you are luckier than other people. Look to the things you have for strength. Your kids, the posessions you do have, the friends and family you have the job you have(or at least the salary from it
) and try to stay positive. It's what I try to do, maybe it'll help you out.



Oh and I'm sure your kids will develop just fine, games 'n all. I love the game industry, it's my lifeblood and I hope it will be for my whole career. I have been a gamer for most of my life, heck it propelled me into my current work.



X



True for everything: Moderation, Moderation, Moderation.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 05:26 PM
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I think MMORPGs are dangerous for some, but as a serious gamer myself (i am addicted to World of Warcraft... now serving over 8 million accounts) I have been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, still go to gym, and still go out to the bars at night and pick up chicks...

There are some nights i dont hang out with friends and i play the game, but its a balance i chose for myself because i enjoy playing the game. I have met a lot of cool people on it, and carried on convos just as i do here on ATS.

Other nights i actually play with my real life friends, and thats kinda like hanging out to. instead of picking up chicks that night, we slay dragons (w00t w00t) lol

But there was a point of time when i played to much, skipped school, and gained weight. But i recovered and found a healthy in between spot.

I suppose it all depends on each individual person.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 06:58 PM
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This topic has been covered many times in the past and tbh I see the reasons behind the addiction and I know from personal experience that it does get out of hand. As I current member of the game World of Warcraft or "WoW" I once got sucked into it and it consumed my life. Beginning from April of 2006 ("Account Created: April 9, 2006 7:38 PM PDT" to be exact) to this date I have logged about 60-70 days of ingame playtime spread throughout all of my characters.. Just think about..... 2 months of sitting behind a computer playing a game in about a year 1/2. The reason why people become so addicted to these games is the desire to upgrade their gear, advance in level, kill big bosses in 25+ man raid instances, or to grind PvP for a certain title or reward. I would play at least 4 hours a day if not more. I even recall playing for 23 hours straight when I first started. I was addicted for a while.. I gained about 20 lbs and barely even saw my friends anymore. I would skip out on family festivities to just finish this dungeon.. it was always "10 more minutes" or "1 more try". It really became out of hand when I started getting mad and would have my night ruined because my mom wouldn't let me raid. I now limit myself on the time I play and now get maybe 1 hour or 2 hours a day if not that I wont be on anymore. I just recently canceled my account but it is still playable until the next billing cycle comes along. I had fun while playing but it was just too much of a grind.. it literally never ended. To the op: Try to get your friend to cancel his account and show him that he can have fun without the game. By the sound of it he has shut out all other games from his life and only plays this mmo. Gaming is awesome but it can become out of hand which seems to be the situation at hand. Show your friend this thread and maybe he will understand what we are all saying here. As for me.. since my lack of playing has existed I have been going to gym almost everyday and I am feeling better than ever. You can still play video games and be happy but to only do that everyday in your free time (when you aren't working or at school) is really not worth the loss. If the game is consuming his life like that help him look for something fun that he can be more casual on and doesn't require a constant grind to be the best.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 07:45 PM
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Xatnys

i see what you're saying and i agree with you

but does the problem lie in the game or a persons addictive behavior

they chose, more or less, to get addicted to a video game

not sure if i'm making cents but those are my 2 sense



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 08:04 PM
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I used to play, but quit because of how much time I was spending. I won't ever play one of these games again. I found this research article using pubmed. (pubmed.com if you want to look for yourself) The article covers two motives for playing. One is that people find playing satisfying. The other is that when one is not playing it causes them grief and so they are more likely to play to relieve the stress associated with not playing. There are a lot more articles on this topic, and it seems researchers are starting to take a valid interest in online gaming addiction. It seems that the brain can actually become addicted to these games just like any drug (depending on the type of personality). If you confront your friends expect them to act just like they would if you told them to stop drinking or smoking.


Cyberpsychol Behav. 2006 Jun;9(3):317-24.
Psychological motives and online games addiction: a test of flow theory and humanistic needs theory for Taiwanese adolescents.Wan CS, Chiou WB.
General Education Center, Kaohsiung Hospitality College, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Obviously, the negative impact of online games has received much attention as well as having become a popular research topic. This research explored, from flow theory and humanistic needs theory, the psychological motivations of Taiwanese adolescents who are addicted to online games. The purpose of Study 1 was to investigate the relationship between players' flow state and their online games addiction. The results indicated that flow state was negatively correlated with addictive inclination and it was not a significant predictor for players' subsequent additive inclination. Findings also revealed that the addicts' flow state was significantly lower than the nonaddicts. Thus, flow state might not be the key psychological mechanism of players' addiction. In Study 2, the results showed that the psychological needs of players of online games were close to the two-factor theory which depicts satisfaction and dissatisfaction dimensions. Addicted players' need-gratification was similar to the feature of dissatisfactory factor. That is, the absence of playing online games is more likely to generate sense of dissatisfaction; the addicts' compulsive use of online games seems to stem from the relief of dissatisfaction rather than the pursuit of satisfaction. In contrast, online games tend to provide the nonaddicts with a sense of satisfaction rather than a sense of dissatisfaction.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 08:19 PM
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Phantom,

Yeah you didn't really get that across to me the first time, but I think I see what you're saying now.


Yeah if you ask me, I'd say that the fault itself stems from the person. No way around it, the person does indeed make a direct choice to 1. Purchase Game 2. Subscribe 3. Enter Game Space 4. Remain there beyond the average time of play.

But then we get into other more convoluted things regarding what actually triggers that effect in some but not all, and can it be fought by the industry. I have no answers for any of that heh heh.

To speak positively for the MMO industry for a moment: You as a WoW player(I think) no doubt have seen the loading screen that says you should take a break from play after X amount of time. I've also seen similar points expressed in the various MMO manuals(around the office). So I think that is a step in the right direction to try and combat this addiction.

Could they do more? Probably. But it's worth noting that they're taking these steps independent of any forced political pressure.

Which don't even get me started on the politicians and their moves to link violence to violent video games. It really drives me nuts that they make such strong statements when most scientific evidence either states the opposite of their stance, or has been shown to be "not realistically simulating the intended actions(violent behavior)". But that's off topic so I digress.



Glad we had this talk
Your "cents" now make sense to me.




**********************************************************
Lathargic

That's great to hear man. You sound like you're overcoming the situation you were in. And to be honest with you it sounds like it was pretty bad.


Keep it up and keep doing great man.




X



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 08:41 PM
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Originally posted by The Phantom
Xatnys

i see what you're saying and i agree with you

but does the problem lie in the game or a persons addictive behavior

they chose, more or less, to get addicted to a video game

not sure if i'm making cents but those are my 2 sense

My opinion also, theyd probably be addicted to tv, if they didnt have the game. Or to something else. They need help, or a change of lifestyle. I love video games, but would never get addicted.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 09:56 PM
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_Phoenix_

exactly.

its a possibility.. and i might be going out on a limb here but maybe, just maybe some people would get caught up in things that are far worse then a video game. maybe a few are actually thankful for being addicted to a game rather a hardcore drug which they believe they might actually become addicted to...if they didnt have the game.....

[edit on 28-7-2007 by The Phantom]



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 10:08 PM
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Has anybody else seen that episode of South Park where Cartman and the rest of the crew are addicted to World of Warcraft?

It's frickin' hilarious.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 10:13 PM
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I've never touched Everquest or World of Warcraft in my life for multiple reasons.

1. I don't like anything that has a monthly/yearly/whatever fee. I don't like it when you have to pay constantly over time. I like upfront costs. And I know as I go out on my own after some years I'm going to have to deal with that, so I want to limit it as best I can.

2. I don't like medieval/fantasy themed games. I like modern/guns/etc or sometimes sci-fi. And most MMORPGs are like that. There is only one game that I make an exception with and its not an MMORPG so it doesn't matter.

Anyway the only game I play remotely close to anything like that is Second Life, which despite what the name suggests, is a lot less life absorbing and demanding. There are no quests or anything its all run on good `ol Capitalism. You got the money you can buy it. Not only that if your good you can make real life money on the game.

But I know a person who plays World of Warcraft there is such a thing as a casual gamer. My friend is not addicted to it.

So yeah thats what I have to add.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 10:16 PM
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Me and my girlfriend both played world of warcraft, it is addictive, but unless you have no life at all it gets boring when your character its about level 20. it really does get boring, how anyone can get totally addicted i do not know. i'd much rather go to the pub and socialize with real 3D people.



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