What is Game Addiction anyways? To some, the definition is akin to pornography: "I know it when I see it." But since I realize I have a problem, it seems prudent to define game addiction in a more concise manner.
Here's one take:
Symptoms of game addiction include falling behind in school and work and basically deferring everything else in your life so you can play, she said. Compulsive playing tends to mask underlying problems such as depression, anger and low self-esteem, said Orzack, who said she was once hooked on computer solitaire. -Wired
I can see that in me.
*Falling behind in school? Check. I basically failed my classes this Spring term at college
to play WoW.
*Deferring everything else in your life so you can play? Check. I had a girlfriend before WoW for about 2 years. When I really got into WoW after January I often chose playing over seeing her. She didn't like it. We broke up. During the most intense times, I would forget to eat at normal times, delay taking a shower, and isolate myself from the rest of the world. It was bad.
*Masking underlying problems? That seems fairly reasonable. However I don't really dare to self-diagnose myself with "depression, anger, and low self-esteem." I mean I see elements of such, but a true analysis of such is probably best left to a professional :)
And another take on why we play video games:
I think a lot of people play games because 1) they're bored and 2) they hate their lives and want to escape. Try to have a fun, happy life with lots of activities and friends and stuff. -Reuben
*Do I hate my life? Well.....not really. But I sure do like the escape factor. Why? What am I escaping? I think I have a lot of anxiety in my life about what I'm going to do with myself. I worry immensely over how what I do in college will affect my possibilities of graduate school, getting a job, hating said job, having a mid-life crisis, and saving the world and doing good things about it somewhere in between. And since I completely disagree with the way that the US Government is going via President Bush, I feel a good deal of depression in that sense as to the direction of our country.
I think I am stressing too much and as a result feel the need for some kind of relief. Or escape, if you prefer.
*"Try to have a fun, happy life with lots of activities and friends and stuff": Duh? I think we're all striving for a fun and happy life. Hell, you can use that sentence to describe my life in WoW. The dungeons were fun until the 50th time doing them. As a priest, I got asked to zillions of activities with others. I made "friends" with other people ingame, some of which I still have a ton of respect for.
I don't know, maybe it's because I'm unsatisfied with the friends I have in real life. I have had trouble finding someone I can really connect with intellectually and emotionally. I think it's because I'm kind of a weird guy. Most males are just not that sensitive and finding another guy like that is unusual, I suppose. To exacerbate the problem, I had become dependent on my ex-girlfriend for emotional support and intellectual interest. When we broke up, I didn't really have much left in the vacuum. Under non-gaming circumstances, I would simply suffer for a bit and (I suppose) make new friends and/or strengthen existing relationships. But instead I simply substituted the game in...argh.
I suppose I'm also dissatisfied with my activities in real life. But this is easier than the friend part. I've been consciously working on it. Last week I rode my bike about 14 miles up and downhill. It sure was killer at the time but I'm proud I did it. I'm planning some kind of camping trip locally and hope to go shooting with an old high school buddy and got an informal golf lesson from another old friend. Walked the Balboa pier today, I enjoy the class I'm taking
*immensely* and got some quality studying done at the library.
My point being that I'm not sure *why* I have this natural pull towards video games. Perhaps it is just a character flaw, being pre-disposed to computer game addiction. If so, that's bad because then rationally I should keep myself faaar away from this gaming habit I get so much joy out of...sigh