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my life as a night elf priest

WoW- The concept of Addiction.

In this Anthropological account of the much loved game WoW, Nardi talks about addiction and the misconceptions associated with it. I have played WoW, for a short period of time and I never really enjoyed it. My friends who introduced me to this game, would play religiously. Just like Nardi states in the book, gamers like to use the word addiction, not because they are addicted to it, but because they want to express their attachment and love for the game. My friends are not addicts, they do like to use phrases like, “I got no sleep last night, was so hooked on WoW,” or ” I am so addicted to this game,” but as Nardi states in his books, the self regulate and evaluate themselves. I do understand that playing a game 24/7, and not wanting to do anything else, is harmful, but can we put playing accesive amounts of gaming in the same category as drug or alcohol addiction? When one puts in WoW on the web, one can see streams of articles from news reports to blogs, where this game is deemed dangerous for its “addicting qualities.” News articles are especially vicious as the make the gamers seem like they are not capable of doing anything ‘normal’ or participate in daily routines ( also putting a very unflattering photo of the said gamer). All this hyped media coverage makes it hard for WoW or other gamers to escape from this negative stereotypes, being placed in the same category as people addicted to drugs or other harmful substances. The media should stop being biased and acknowledge the fact that there are many WoW gamers out there who know how to play and live a ‘normal’ life at the same time.



6 thoughts on “WoW- The concept of Addiction.

  1. I agree with you that the media does sometimes blow things out of proportion. But the general public isn’t interested in bland news, so stories often have a little kick added to them. However, I do believe games can be addicting. For example, the professor McGonigal references that played the primitive game brick day in and day out for months. He stopped doing research and other regular and scholarly activities and focused solely on his newfound pleasure. Could this not be considered an addiction? After he was finished playing incessantly, he stopped playing all together.

    An addiction to drugs is quite similar. The addict is hooked on the instant pleasures he or she obtains from their drug of choice. The feeling is so immediate and easy to attain that the person comes back again and again without even realizing it is taking over their life. It begins affecting their health and social aspects of their life as they ignore everything else to get their fix. Of course, this is very rare with videogames and not nearly as harmful as drug or alcohol abuse, but in my opinion, it’s in the same category.

    Posted by sccrdude540 | June 6, 2013, 4:37 pm
    • I do agree that there are some cases out there where video games can be classified as an addiction, but its unfair to categorise all gamers as addicts, especially WoW gamers. Unlike taking drugs which affect ones health in drastic forms, an ‘addiction’ to gaming is not as prevalent as addiction to a drug might be.

      Posted by aditipre | June 10, 2013, 10:09 am
  2. I think this is an interesting point, especially when considered in light of other activities. If I spend, say, six hours reading a book I’m super ‘hooked’ on, will really anyone say I’m addicted to reading? I could’ve spent that six hours cleaning, or going to the gym, or hanging out with friends but I forgo that so I can read. What about people who watch TV all night? Or people who…love to do just about anything else? There is a cultural taboo around video games where they seem to be of a wholly separate category. Rather than being seen as an activity, hobby, or media they are a dangerous drug. Are they addictive? Probably for some people. People also can get dangerously addicted to working out or eating, but how often do people rage against all gym-goers simply because very small minority take their working out too far. I find it supremely interesting that our society has placed video games in a category all their own, thereby anointing them as a dangerous Other.

    Posted by emmajani | June 7, 2013, 5:47 pm
  3. I like the points bring brought up about addiction of many different kinds. Who is one to say that somebody cannot get addicted to anything? There are people that go to the gym for hours on end and eat healthy all the time. They may forfeit socialization in the process but they are looked up upon because it is healthy for their body. Media usually says more bad about video games than good, which seems to be why too much video games is seen as an addiction. People see the violence in video games and claim it is bad, allowing there to be an addiction. There is violence in wrestling but people that devote their lives to the spot are not seen as addicts because it is healthy for there body. What people fail to see about video games is that many of them can be healthy for the mind on an intellectual level. The media definitely seems to have a say on what things can be addictive and what cannot. In all reality, everything single thing in this world has enough people that use it all the time for it to be addictive. The only difference is the media does not talk negatively about those things all the time.

    Posted by jamesste | June 7, 2013, 7:37 pm
  4. One point that Nardiu does make about addiction is the fact that it is latent in the people that get addicted to the game and the addiction comes out in the form of gaming. I tend to disagree with you on the fact that it is not comparable to a drug addiction. I believe it is on the same level. I have known people with serious addictions and the results are the same as people that are addicted to gaming. Their worlds become reliant on the thing they are addicted to and other aspects of life fall to the wayside. In the end, the life of the person becomes grossly insane. Nardi did some interviews and one really stood out to me. On page one hundred and twenty seven a thirteen year old girl describes her addiction WOW and her life in general. It is very depressing to think of how this girl life has turned out and how drugs and alcohol are present all around her. The game seemed like a way out for her but it drew her further into a world that she cannot escape. “And I really want to get better with my life it’s just the game is so fun and really hard to quit”. (Nardi 127) The game has not only taken ahold of her but she discusses how it has led to her drinking to the point of passing out on the keyboard.

    Posted by wjcasey | June 9, 2013, 11:02 am
  5. I agree with most of the posts above in saying that yes, some video games can be addicting in one sense or another, but most aren’t that serious. As a gamer, I have had several that I really enjoyed playing, so much so that other non-essential tasks were placed on the back burner until I had beaten the game, or that addictive feeling wears off. And while that may seem like the behavior of an addict, couldn’t it also just be someone doing what they enjoy? I feel it was very well put in a comment above where someone asked if you considered a recreational bodybuilder an addict because he or she spent less time socializing or doing other things. I feel the real problem isn’t in doing something you like often. The activity becomes a problem when it takes over your life. When the bodybuilder started skipping work to go to the gym, or sacrifices time with their family and sleeping time to the point where it damaged relationships and the ability to do other tasks essential to living, that’s when it it becomes a problem. If the people who are addicted to WOW don’t mind sacrificing a little sleep, and can still function, I don’t see the problem. It’s when WOW becomes the priority over more important things like working and eating that can cause this game, or any activity really, to become dangerous.

    Posted by nrfico | June 18, 2013, 4:16 pm

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