I found this article, “My Favorite “Adventure Time” Episode, and Game Addiction,” very interesting because the writer describes his experience in feeling addicted to WoW. He also incorporates an episode of Adventure Time where the main character, Finn, becomes addicted to a never ending game. This just so happens to be the benefitting factor that helps him in coping and feeling less depressed about his recent break-up. While he is so invested in this game, his friend, Jake, is realizing that he is too consumed in this game and he may never get out of it. It takes seeing his future self for Finn to understand how consumed he is in the game. Also, this writer shows a clip from The Big Bang Theory where Penny’s friend is trying to help her come back into the real world again. She is missing work and important things in reality by being addicted to WoW. He even mentions that Penny is so comfortable escaping her troubles by playing these games that the happiness she gets from achieving goals in videogames is preventing her from living her real life.
An interesting quote from the article that grabbed my attention was:
That’s how I feel people on the outside view game addiction. Some sort of hilarious thing to be made fun of, which instantly reduces normal people to utter slobs, and makes them irritable and crazy because they’re too into a game. That clip pays lip service to the actual problem, instead of representing it. It makes sense, because on the outside, that is how it looks. Here’s the thing though, this sort of game addiction doesn’t happen because “the game is so fun,” or anything like that, it happens because people who feel bad about themselves, or their life, or just how something has gone recently, have found something which can make the pain go away for a little while. It’s the same reason people get addicted to alcohol, or heroin, or any number of other pain relievers like that. And, let me be clear, game “addiction” is not something as serious and dangerous as heroin addiction or alcoholism, I’m not trying to say that it is. The point that I am trying to make is that these games can become an escape for people who feel bad about something.
This action can be the same to obesity for the people who eat for comfort. Some people form addictions because it is a way to momentarily escape from the real world that causes them to feel angry, depressed, or unworthy. This allows people, as McGonigal mentions many times, to feel happiness by reaching goals successfully in games. This allows them to escape from their real world troubles and focus on achievable goals that create a feeling of comfort. As Nardi mentions in her chapter on addiction, the ability to make friends can increase this addiction, as some people become comfortable in meeting people at home rather than going out publically. The article’s author mentions that a reason why his addiction to WoW isn’t something he’d regret is because he has made lifelong friendships by playing these games that he may not have made otherwise. While playing WoW, you’re achieving the goal of creating friendships that those who are not so sociable may not have without the virtual world. The “problematic use,” as Nardi suggests, is the addiction that arises when you drop all other activities for games such as WoW. While it can help make new relationships, this game can damage long term relationships if the player becomes too attached.
Hopefully you will all find this article insightful and relatable to our current novel.