game addiction

| 14 Comments

Hi, my name is Liz, and I'm a game-aholic.

It's true. I am incredibly susceptible to the siren song of RPGs, especially those that emphasize exploration and communication rather than battles and agility. Among my various passions have been Zork (the real Zork, the early Zork, the "it is dark, there are grues" Zork) and the rest of the InfoCom games, DragonBane for the Palm, and all of the Pokémon gameboy games. In fact, when we bought my son a GBC for Christmas three years ago (when he was in kindergarten, and caught the Pokémon bug), my husband had to go out two days later and buy me my own, because Lane wasn't getting to play.

It's a classic addict's pattern...once I start a game, I can't stop playing. To "just say no" seems an impossibility. I become immersed in the game. I want to master every task, learn every inch of the terrain, solve every puzzle, learn every cheat code. I can spend hours playing, to the detriment of other things going on around me.

This time around, it's Animal Crossing that's captured me, and dragged me into the abyss. What is it about games like this that I find so seductive? Clearly, this one has some holding power, despite its lousy graphics and clunky interface. Not only are the kids and I fighting over the controller, but a bit of reading online made it clear that plenty of folks have been sucked into this silly virtual world.

When my husband ridiculed the less-than-realistic graphics, it got me to thinking about something Alvy Ray Smith said at Pop!Tech this year. "At Pixar, we have a word for things that are almost human, but not quite: monster." Perhaps that's when games like Pokémon and Animal Crossing work for me...they don't make any pretense at being lifelike. The cartoonish world they offer is unpretentious, uncomplicated, easy to navigate. The rules are clear. The FAQs are online. Unlike my real life, for which I've yet to find a comprehensive FAQ.

14 Comments

Hi, it's always nice when people admit to an interest in games.:) Last year I even installed a Commodore 64 emulator on my machine just so I could play one of my favorite childhood games again: Miner 2049.:-) Low-key graphics, certainly, but that's not necessarily the point. I still understand why I was so fascinated by it when I was 10.

Two words:

Game Neverending

I'll let you know if I come across a FAQ for RealLife (tm), I could use one myself...

Zork huh. Funniest thing happened a few weeks ago, this girl was bored at our apartment so she fired up my old b/w Mac Plus. She found Zork on it, didn't know it was on there. She played it for like 4 hours straight. :-)

I LOVE ZORK! Your blog just made my day! :-D
I used to spend forever and a day sitting in front of our family's first comp playing Zork III. ::rushes to re-download it::
(btw, Zork Grand Inquisitor was, in my opinion, a really good "visual" interpretation of the Zork Empire -- and had some memorable music)

I have a neighbor who has three kids. He has a five-year old boy wants to have a fight with his little sister because he wants to follow a battle scene from his favorite game, Command and Conquer. I see them everyday fighting when I leave my apartment next to them before I go to work. I think this is the result of violent computer games. It increases tension between siblings and creates disunity between family members. Their mother often times complain to me how his little kid would spend tons of time playing in the computer. SO,PLEASE!!!! EVERYBODY, DON'T BE FOOLED BY COMPUTER GAMES! STOP GAME ADDICTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!!

Grace, I know plenty of kids who fight with their siblings regularly...many of whom have never played a video game. In fact, there have been good arguments made for the fact that video games, like fairy tales (and even bible stories) provide a "safe" fantasy outlet for dealing with angry feelings, thereby reducing physical violence.

hi. my name is andy. i'm writing my senior theme on computer game addictions. every net site i have found so far has been incredibly negative. i'm trying to find some "more" positive sources for my theme. could anyone help?

i do have one positive story about computer game addictions. a few years ago my best friend died in a traffic accident. it was totally senseless. the day she died she asked me to go with her, but i said no. when she died i felt like it was my fault for not being there with her. i flipped out totally, i started drinking heavily and using drugs. after i somewhat got my life back on track i couldn't get rid of the guilt. then i started playing a game called DiabloII. it didn't erase my problems but it helped me forget about them for a bit. everytime the guilt would come back after playing the game, it was a little less than the time before. after a while i felt bad but not guilty. ever since then the game has been my way of getting over various addictions, such as stopping chewing tobacco.

computer games give us all a way to escape the pain of every day life for a while. some people have been truly hurt by a game, but not all. far more people have been helped in the way that i was.

AnDY

Sure games are fun, but my friend here, Chloe Jeffers thinks that kids are getting obese by sitting in front of the computer instead of enjoying the fresh air and playing things like sports. However, i on the other hand, do agree that computer games help you to unwind and sometimes forget about life's little mishaps. But you do need to be in control of how much time you spend on playing the game and to not flip out easily! Keep smiling!!!

Howdy. My name is Chloe Jeffers. games are great, but spending too much time on them can lead to problems. People ignore spouses, Family members complain that their loved ones are ditching them and ignoring them for computer games, and Spending too much time in front of the computer results in Eating irregularities, such as skipping meals, Failure to attend to personal hygiene, and Sleep disturbances such as change in sleep pattern.

As a avid gamer for the last fourteen years I could not agree more with Chloe Jeffers.
Games are never a subsitute for life.
They teach you little or nothing (don't be fooled) and what they steal is valuable (your time, all of your time). I still play and collect many games (and many that I collect I never play, much less finish) I've neglected family, friends and duties to 'escape' to play. This is NO life! REAL LIFE is much, much more challenging!

Banning all computer games for teenager? What do you think ?
One of Malaysia's state is taking this action. Reasons for it not so sure, maybe due to violence, addiction or can't control the sexual website. Nevertheless the state have instructed all internet cafes to not have any pc games in their workstation. And for the computer games centres can only allow those above 18 to play pc games. Do you think this decision is right?

Some says banning computer games will increase the chances for the teenager to go for the negative influences eg. drugs, smoking cannabis, sniffing glue, ecstasy pils etc ... you see these days there aren't many places where young people can go. And as you know, video arcade was ban here long time ago.

well i'm doing my research paper on gaming addiction, sorry to bump in but heres my opinion.
Game actually teach you a lot if you(avid-gamer) could just open up ur mind and implement it in real life. If you seek for social acceptance, join a community, work hard and for god sake interact with people just like the way you did it in the game.If you had problems in real life, face it!!dont be a puss. If you're just bored, seek for a goal and try to reach it.Just like our friend Jim said..game is no life!real life is more challenging. In the end, just remember, it's only a game. just a thought chiow

I have to agree with Chloe Jeffers about skipping meals and irregular sleeping patterns. I play Computer games alot probably 12 hours a day perhaps more at times. I dont know how many of you have heard about Everquest (great game IMO) but it gets the best of me, i bet i could be a lot skinnier if i didn't play so much. As for sleeping gaming may be part of my problem because I have sleep apnia. I don't really see it as a huge problem, i mean i enjoy gaming A LOT but im sure that i could enjoy the outside world while im at college a lot more.

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This page contains a single entry published on December 30, 2002 4:44 PM.

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