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Alex
September 27th, 2006, 03:36 AM
I'm starting this thread as I'm currently thinking about starting a therapy centre for gamin addicts.
I know for a certainty that alot of people are addicted to games, especially online games like world of warcraft, everquest, final fantasy etc. By addicted I don't mean the people that play for 1, 2 or even 3 hours a day. I'm talking about people who play so much that it affects their way of living and interacting with other people.

The game addiction is in my opinion an overlooked problem since not alot of people take it seriously and think that it's just a lack of self dicipline. In a way they are right but what differs between an alcoholist and a normal consumer of alcohol if not a certain degree of selfdicipline. However, selfdicipline is only a small part of a bigger problem. We know for a fact that alcoholism is a disease (not mental, but physical) and it is my belief that gaming addiction is also a disease (if you want a more developed explanation behind my theory feel free to send me a pm).

So what can centres like the one i'm planning to start do to help addicted people. Well for one thing it can offer support, not only for the addicted but also for his/her friends and family.
Therapist specializing within addiction therapy will be available. Reasearch will be conducted in an attempt to ascertain the mechanisms behind the eventual disease etc...

So my questions to you are:

Do you know anyone that is addicted to gaming (maybe yourself)?

What would you like to do to help that person?

Do you have a story of your own, how you overcame your own addiction or how you helped a friend overcome theirs?

Feel free to post all your thoughts on gaming addiction here...

kahnovitch
September 27th, 2006, 09:58 AM
Okay I'll bite.

I'm probably addicted to a particular game which tends to eat up 90% of my time at home.

The best way to deal with it is basically total avoidance of my computer as I'll say to myself "play for a couple of hours and then go out to/shops/pay bills/have a life, etc"

Come midnight everything's shut and I end up eating noodles cooked in stock cubes coz there's no other source of food in the house!

I tend to go to my GF's as her PC is too low spec to handle the particular game and I make much better use of my time there.

The game in question is the Rome Total War/ Barbarian Invasion/Alexander collection.

I have several games pending with several factions in several eras. :o

Alex
September 27th, 2006, 10:18 AM
Kahnovitch, I'm guessing alot of people are like you in that sense (myself included=). I also tell myself I'll go run some errands after this particular Wc3 match or Dota game and 3 hours later i'm sitting there eating microwaved lasagna. I only thank the lord that my other addictions are stronger (girlfriend and playing soccer) otherwise I'd be using up all my spare time in front of the computer.

However I have many friends that are single and do not share my passion of sports and they enter a really bad circle as I see it... They spend all their free time in front of the computer playing games (no physical exercise what so ever) and as we all know lot's of game time often means lot's of junk food. This means that not only are they not meeting other people they are slowly (but most certainly) lessening their chances of finding girlfriends/boyfriends since they are gaining weight and loosing social skills that others take for granted.

My theory is that everyone that enjoys gaming is more or less addicted to it but it is when the addiction starts to make your everyday choices for you that you know you need to change. For example, if you have planned to go to work/do laundry/make dinner/pay the bills but you repeatedly avoid these things in order to play you might have a harmful addiction.... Repeatedly is the key word there, since we have probably all skipped dinner, laundry or whatever in order to play at one time or another=)

Blackadder
September 27th, 2006, 10:56 AM
Okay I'll bite.

I'm probably addicted to a particular game which tends to eat up 90% of my time at home.

The best way to deal with it is basically total avoidance of my computer as I'll say to myself "play for a couple of hours and then go out to/shops/pay bills/have a life, etc"

Come midnight everything's shut and I end up eating noodles cooked in stock cubes coz there's no other source of food in the house!

I tend to go to my GF's as her PC is too low spec to handle the particular game and I make much better use of my time there.

The game in question is the Rome Total War/ Barbarian Invasion/Alexander collection.

I have several games pending with several factions in several eras. :o

Woah! I thought it was only me who was really addicted to Rome Total war :o

kahnovitch
September 27th, 2006, 12:56 PM
However I have many friends that are single and do not share my passion of sports and they enter a really bad circle as I see it.

I am lucky in the sense that I've been in a steady relationship for 5 years now, and I rarely use the PC when I'm with my GF.
I at least prioritise her over it!

I think that computer games can become a substitute for reality with people that maybe have low confidence or social skills.
Games like "The Sims" I find particularly worrying as they essentially simulate life itself, only you can customise it to a virtual fantasy world with a virtual girlfriend/wife/family etc.
And when you can download mods and celebrity skins like Jessica Alba or Adriana Lima, or whoever is the current "hot babe" of the moment to be your virtual GF I think it only compounds the situation.


Woah! I thought it was only me who was really addicted to Rome Total war :o

Rome TW is only this game that I do find incredibly addictive as I'm sure any tactical/strategy fan can appreciate.

A friend of mine (who is already married luckily!) has just gotten into Medieval TW and has ordered Rome.

I told him (jokingly) to kiss his wife and family goodbye as he won't be seeing much of them!

God help us both when Medieval 2 hits the shops.

Blackadder
September 27th, 2006, 01:27 PM
Yeah Im especially afraid of that one too! MTW 2 is what Ive been waiting for ever since I heard about it.

I also bought RTW the day it was released, and Ive played it more or less till this day, and Im still playing it as I said..

And this was just special because Im highly interested in the age of Rome. Medieval times too of course, so also very.. scared of this game. Scared of what it can do to my social life. Second thought, perhaps the game is better than my social life? :p

saintjon
September 27th, 2006, 03:12 PM
I think I might be, but with the job I have now it is probably the most social thing I can do, since some of my friends are on DDO as well.

Rome: Total War is amazing and if it weren't for ddo I'd be playing it tons.

milamber_reborn
September 27th, 2006, 06:58 PM
I'm addicted to Football Manager. I'm trying to set a half-hour limit once or twice a day but there's so much to do and I end up screwing my eyes up and waisting hours. Fun game, but not worth the downsides.

kater
September 28th, 2006, 05:53 AM
I used to be addicted to Counter-Strike, the ability to lose hours and hours of your life on it are incredible. At uni I could spend six or seven hours at a session easy, but I've noticed I don't play computer games anywhere near as much anymore. I've had Just Cause for best part of a week and haven't even opened it yet.

Tarn
September 28th, 2006, 07:35 AM
I've had Just Cause for best part of a week and haven't even opened it yet.

It looks fairly awful, so that's probably a good thing. ;)


As for the topic at hand - thankfully I've never suffered from being addicted to anything, really, having somehow avoided the usual traps such as smoking etc entirely.

However, I played World of Warcraft for a year-or-so (only a couple of hours every other day, roughly), and while my playing time wasn't particularly unhealthy or unsociable, I did find it remarkably difficult to 'quit' it. I stopped playing for a few months, then started again, then finally quit properly in February of this year.

Interestingly, ever since then I've had occasional urges to reinstall it and start playing again, despite my first-hand knowledge that the game is actually a bit rubbish once you hit level 40 onwards. There's definitely a temptation there which I find rather fascinating - it's the only time I've ever experienced that kind of pull to something.

So far I've resisted. ;)

People that get addicted to computer games are quite possibly the type of person that will always get addicted to something, so you could argue that being addicted to computer games is the lesser of evils. At least computer games give your brain a little bit of a work-out and don't pro-actively destroy your health (other than through physical inactivity, of course). I think if I had to choose something to be addicted to, I'd go for games over most other things.