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7-28-2010 @ 11:04AM
Most of us that have played WoW as a raider know of someone who claims to have "lost" their kid, or boyfriend, or spouse to the game. Both this article and the Cracked one speak well to the mind tricks involved in rewarding players of games, but avoid talking about the creepy ways real life fails as a game.Tobold's recent Real Life review pretty much nails most of it.http://tobolds.blogspot.com/2010/07/real-life-review.htmlBut even he fails to tackle the biggest issues head on. Power disparities between the highest-ranked players and like 95% of the rest of the player population. Also the exchange of crafting and inventing gameplay for more degrading "service-based" roleplaying.So, when recently asked by a dad what he could do about his son's addiction, I had a rather caustic response, "Well, maybe you should be asking how to make real life better than a video game."It's a matter of context. If you are a crafter/inventor type character, but find yourself constantly wtfpwnd by hedge fund managers making millions while destroying the economy in which your skills would otherwise flourish, Real Life suddenly looks a lot less fun. So you can either choose to opt out and eject yourself from the game, or just be lazy and sardonic while Rome burns.This behavior is, unfortunately, hardwired into human nature and neurobiology, as history has repeatedly proven. Hopefully, biotechnology will offer up some new pleasure centers of the brain in the next century, so maybe we will have an opportunity to be free of megalomaniacs addicted to being "richer" than the rest of us. In the meantime, I'm sure we can print enough dollar bills to pollinate all the crops after the bees are gone.Seriously, if you have to ask why your kid is addicted to something, you fail at parenting.
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