Addiction to Gaming

Many facets of addicting gaming elements plague the world of gaming and there are many theories that analyze this trend in today’s societies. Gaming can be separated into multiple genres, each with their own addictive qualities. For instance, the addiction factor in World of Warcraft is the creation of an alternate reality with it’s own social interactions. The alternate reality featured in this MMORPG has spawned an entire community and culture with many participants often preferring interactions through a digital frame as compared to a real life experience. This departure from the reality to the comforting embrace of the digital is detrimental to modern day society.

In Philip Zimbardo’s “The demise of guys?” he mentions the science behind the oversaturation of digital media in our modern world. Zimbardo believes that we are entering a new era, with a “…new fear of intimacy. Intimacy means physical, emotional connection with somebody else.” This can very evidently be seen in our cell phone addiction, where upon entering a restaurant some people bury their faces in their phones, hungry for new digital media.

Mobile games and their addictive qualities aren’t as often tackled as a problem as compared with more “hardcore” games like World of Warcraft. Games on a mobile platform often have a different addictive quality as compared to the reality/alternate concept model. For mobile games, their addiction lies in a different type of social gratification. Candy Crush, one of the most addictive games on a mobile platform, follows the concept of hedonic adaptation and gambler’s fallacy. In Anthony Carboni’s video regarding the addictive qualities of Candy Crush, he states that Candy Crush uses hedonic adaptation to appeal to a gamer’s desire to win, while the gambler’s fallacy falsely appeals to a gamers skill. These two concepts combined created one of the most addictive games on the mobile market.

The combination of a fear of intimacy with the self gratification available from games like Candy Crush, often create quiet dinner settings, where diners are often absorbed in their own successes rather than try to create new ones with other people. In this matter, additive games like World of Warcraft definitely proves to be a better overall environment for gamers. World of Warcraft, gives the player a sense of community and social interaction, albeit a digital one, while games like Candy Crush breeds the idea that internal and self gratification is more appealing. Although more research is focused on the addictive qualities in MMORPG games, a bigger danger lies with the games that promote isolation.

To prevent this isolated social concept idea, it is a good idea to have dinner tables be mobile free zones, where the first one to touch their phones have to pay the bill. It’s sad to say it saves me a lot of money.

http://www.ted.com/talks/zimchallenge/transcript#t-62984

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7 thoughts on “Addiction to Gaming”

  1. Any type of addiction has a cause. Just like drugs or gambling gaming has a reason. Some might want to get lost from their daily worries and problems and want to shoot peoples heads off, while other might want to feel better about themselves and play some Mario kart or such. However, when it becomes and addiction, there must be several thing we look at. Why are they so addicted, whats the root of it all? Maybe their real life isn’t going as they wished and a fictitious world is much more enticing. Or even worse, maybe a serial killer lies behind those dilated pupils, just waiting for a reason to snap, make their real world, a real live Grand theft auto 5! Sounds scary, but sadly, nowadays, anything is possible. Thats why we should all limit our gameplay and go out. Not saying that we are all addicted nor that we are closet serial killers, but rather enforcing the appreciation of mother nature. We should all just quit playing them and appreciate and become one with our planet before its gone. It will be gone soon, very soon.

    1. I agree with your point that our society needs to venture outdoors more instead of being glued to the screen, but you have to realize that video games for a lot of people serve as an outlet for emotions and stress. I believe that this outlet is what people get addicted to. Imagine playing a game where you aren’t yourself, an open world environment where you can do anything you want with little to no consequences. How can you not get addicted to that. This type of addiction doesn’t necessarily correlate with the violence in the game, but rather the freedom of being able to do anything without consequences.

      I do agree with your last point though. We need to venture outside more. My roommate for instance, stays inside with the curtains shut all day playing League of Legends. There was a point where he hadn’t left he apartment for a week straight.

    2. I would have to disagree with this. Gaming is a new art, similarly to how movies and television once were. When somebody dedicates their time to criticism of film or artwork, they are heralded and respected as intelligent critics. While a gamer who becomes enveloped in his world is considered an addict? What is the difference? Why does a gamer need to have an unfulfilled life to enjoy staying indoors and playing video games all day long?

      This is a new art form that is still developing. Many people are interested in it to the degree that the outside has become boring to them. That sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Maybe they will get bored of gaming at some point, and then they will go outside again. But until then, everybody is allowed to have their preferences– and just as you seem to love spending time outside, some other people love spending time inside a virtual world. Neither of these preferences are superior to the other, because they are only preferences.

  2. The only thing that I do not agree about with your post is “Candy Crush breeds the idea that internal and self-gratification is more appealing”. I actually have thought about the logic of candy crush and life (Please do not ask me why lol). Yes, we try to look out for ourselves by tackling obstacles and feeling gratification when we succeed a level, but there will be many times in our lives that we will need to ask someone for help. Even thought our pride will be in the way, we will still need someone to help up to succeed to our next step in life. This is just like Candy Crush. We can try to tackle every level, but we may run out of lives or need extra moves. Eventually, you will have to ask for help. It may take longer than you’ve expected it or wanted it to take, but you will finally get the help that you will need to advance to the next level.

    1. I’m assuming you’re talking about the lives feature of candy crush? In that example, the other people are merely enabling us to continue our addiction habits, they’re basically enabling you and giving you the okay to be a social introvert. I have to make the connection between the lives feature in candy crush and a drug addict running out of drugs and asking for money. The “help” in Candy Crush does have others participate in achieving gratification, but only in the slightest way. The other people are basically just enabling you to achieve this gratification, a correlation can be drawn between a drug addict, begging for drug money and my friends begging me for lives to continue their gaming habits.

  3. There are so many people who shove their faces into their cellphones during public events such as restaurants or museums, even if they’re with someone they really care about. I think that people allow their cellphones to become such a daily part of their lives, especially with those who work in a business such as a relator or a lawyer. With that, they can’t find the time to leave their work at the office and tend to continue their work outside on their days off because this daily routine has become something of a strong addiction. This addiction is scary because it can ruin many relationships, leaving the person with nothing but a virtual lifestyle. I think people become so uncomfortable in the silence that can come that they hide behind their cellphones. Just like on a date or with family, when a silent moment arises, people tend to go onto their phones much more as something of a safe haven.

    1. This is one of the main points that I focused on, I’ve definitely been guilty of looking at my phone while doing something else. Heck, I was just at Bonefish Grill with a friend and we were both had moments that we regressed back into our cell phones. I think with the advent of smartphones that our society has become far more digital than we expect. Imagine going on a date with someone that has google glass, the entire time they have your profile open on the screen. How anonymous can the internet keep us if we can just google someone based on a picture or a name?

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