Addiction to WOW?

In her book “My Life as a Night Elf Priest”, Barney Nardi asks the question if video games are addictive. Since video game addiction is not considered by the American Medical Association as a real addiction, “problematic use” seems to be a better term. The playing of WOW has certainly turned people into passionate game players to a point where it affected kids grades in school, interfered with work, and even interfered with peoples lives in general as we see in the article below.

But, Nardi gives examples of people like the person above who suddenly realized that they have to drop the game in order to get their life back. Not only that, but she shows how the people they are playing with tell them how they will miss them but that they are doing the right thing. So, if you can pull away, is this really an addiction?



3 thoughts on “Addiction to WOW?”

  1. It’s possible to pull away from many forms of addiction. Although I don’t think a WoW “addiction” is nearly as serious as some form of chemical addiction, it still has the potential to feel like an addiction. I use to play the hell out of WoW, I never saw a problem with it, I wasn’t doing anything wrong, but looking back on it now, I had a problem. I always looked drowsy, my eyes were always shot, I wasn’t eating healthy, I wasn’t getting a lot of exercise, I no longer wanted to hang out with people, the list kind of goes on. It’s pathetic, but It was basically as real as any other addiction. A co worker of my dad at the time actually ended up getting a divorce because of WoW. That’s obviously and extreme case, but it wasn’t necessarily unheard of. Some people were casual about WoW, which is what I believe Nardi was stressing. On the flip side there were people who were not… a lot of them.

  2. WIth any type of medium that takes up a lot of time and energy and mental stimulus, the possibility of addiction is always there. I think kitchawan put it best when he realized there was a problem and he needed to stop, thats always the first step or indication that there may be a problem, and of course with any addiction there is always a way to break that unhealthy connection. Anything is addictive if given enough attention.

  3. I think video game addiction comes back to personal identity. If a person participates in a game long enough they’ll the game will begin to be a part of a person’s identity, to the point that they won’t know how to function properly without the game. This is especially true of WoW for all the reasons we’ve touched on. WoW gives players a sense of community, purpose, and friendship. The game gives a near complete sense of social integration, to the point that a person’s social identity could become irretrievably attached to who they are in the game. That is, a person who is addicted to the game will feel socially incomplete without the game.
    This strikes me as similar in nature to marijuana addiction to marijuana or an unhealthy attachment to another person. In these cases it is not so much that the person is physically addicted (though there is an element of this in marijuana addiction); rather the person has spent so much time high or with an another individual, that their personal identity has become wrapped up in who they are high, or who they are to the other individual. In other words, their normal functioning has become dependent on these vices, and as such they cannot function normally without these things.
    The same thing can be true of video games, and WoW in particular. A person can come to need video games to function normally, because of the gameplay has come to define who that person is socially. I would think that whether or not a person has the strength to pull themselves out of this sort of addiction has to do with how satisfying their regular life is; the more satisfying a person’s life becomes the less they need to escape into fantasy.

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