Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag Addiction

Drama Mamas: Games vs. relationship

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

When leisure activities take priority over responsibilities and relationships, bad things happen. In this week's case, the leisure activities in question are MMOs.
Hello,

I've read your article about Love, marriage and WoW. Unfortunately, I am in a situation that looks alike.

My fiancé and I have been together for 5 years and we've gone through a lot, but we still have issues because of his gaming habits. We both are gamers and it is our main activity, but we don't really play together, which is alright at some point. I mostly play console games and he's into pc games such as Mmos or online games on Steam. I tried to play with him at some point, but it never lasts.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Are MMORPGs addictive? East Carolina University wants to find out

Are MMORPGs addictive East Carolina University wants to find out
Certainly there's a lot of anecdotal evidence that people are addicted to the Internet, and even more specifically, addicted to World of Warcraft. But what leads people to spend 10, 20, or even more hours per week playing WoW? Is the urge to play a very specific addiction, like that of a drug, or is it just an outlet for human beings who harbor an innate tendency towards addiction? The Department of Addiction and Rehabilitation Studies at East Carolina University (the crown jewel of the State of East Carolina's educational system) wants to find out.

Clinical instructor, WoW player, shadow priest, and WoW Insider reader Andrew Byrne is running a study on gaming addiction as part of his Doctoral dissertation. He needs to survey 200 respondents (some kind of Nate Silver nonsense), so if you want to do your good deed for the day, head on over to mmorpgresearchstudy.com and take the questionnaire.

Research participants needed for a study on healthy and unhealthy use of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games like WoW. Your identity will not be collected. If interested, please click on this link: http://www.mmorpgresearchstudy.com/

The survey is a set of 20 questions; completing it takes about five minutes.
Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items

Player documents the two-headed monster of his own WoW addiction

Battling the addictive power of World of Warcraft
The slow, viscous slide into a life consumed by gaming has become a media tale standard, usually including a bleary-eyed shot of the player blinking in the thin light of the computer monitor. Penned by journalists unfamiliar with the enveloping nature of MMOs, these stories skitter across the surface of a passion turned fixation. Without an understanding of the many positive forces of games like World of Warcraft, writers are unable to do more than entwine readers within a Lovecraftian tangle of gaming's most mind-numbing temptations, pushing them back into the light at the end with a complete, triumphant rebuke of the game in question.

The tale of Sevrin's descent into and return from Azeroth takes a different turn. A third-year film production student from the United Kingdom, Sevrin hasn't blocked World of Warcraft from his every thought -- instead, he spent months poring over his experiences to create a documentary of his experience. IRL: In Real Life, a short film featured last week on WoW Moviewatch (watch it again after the break), takes a frank look at how incessant gaming nearly pulled a young man's life off track -- and then provided the fuel for the creative project that's helping him move on.

If anyone could understand this kind of rise and fall, this dance with the glamors that wetly suck players into the virtual vortex, only to spit them out coughing and gasping with a renewed appreciation for life, it's fellow WoW Insider reader Keelhaul, aka The Mogfather, the player who racked up an incredible 1 million gold only to turn around and give it all away. "Brilliant," he commented simply on last week's Moviewatch showing of Sevrin's video. "Change a bit of the storyline and that's me as well." We suspect it's many of us, to some degree. Let's look inside at Sevrin's take.

Read more →

Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

The Lawbringer: This MMO is too addictive! I'm suing!


Welcome to The Lawbringer, WoW.com's weekly guide to the intersection between law and the World of Warcraft. I'm Amy Schley, newly graduated law student and your tour guide through the quirky world of copyrights, contracts and crazy lawsuits.

One of the many joys of going to law school is that you know every lawyer joke known to man, and your friends and family feel a need to inform you of the latest crazy lawsuit. While nothing will ever top Mayo v. Satan and His Staff for sheer silliness (by both plaintiff and judge), a new case making the rounds comes close. Someone is suing an MMORPG for being addictive.

That's right. A Mr. Craig Smallwood, former player of Lineage II, is suing NCsoft for negligently creating an addictive game, for failing to warn him that the game was addictive and for blocking him from the game, causing him to suffer severe withdrawal symptoms that prompted hospitalization and thrice-weekly counseling sessions. More facts and analysis after the break; all information comes from the judge's recent opinion.

Read more →

Filed under: The Lawbringer

15 Minutes of Fame: Psychologist and games researcher John Hopson

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

What keeps gamers hooked on their game of choice? Chances are, it's an element of the gameplay that was teased out with the help of games researcher John Hopson. The experimental psychologist and beta program head for Microsoft Game Studios examines what makes gamers do the things they do and then designs ways to keep them happily doing just that -- most recently, in titles such as Shadow Complex, Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach.

All that, and he's a WoW player to the core. "I mostly play in the two semi-official Microsoft WoW guilds, and lately I've been a hardcore player in a casual's body," he notes. "My wife and I had our first child a few months ago, so we've both dropped raiding and have been levelling alts instead since that doesn't require a fixed schedule. So far, we're both up to 5 level 80s apiece. :)" We thought it was time to turn the tables on Hopson, a loyal reader and occasional commenter at WoW.com, and ask him for his perspectives on WoW from the inside out.

Read more →

Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Jace Hall tackles media coverage of WoW addiction

Jace Hall is well-known for his comedy videos, but apparently he can also be a pretty serious dude when he wants to be. In a recent blog entry, the internet funnyman talks about a recent piece on "internet addiction" by CNN personality Campbell Brown.

Addiction is a tough topic, and WoW is an easy sell as a scapegoat. Like any activity you love, if you feel passionately about it, you should fight for its proper representation. Jace certainly is.

His stance on addiction:
"It is my opinion that human beings are capable of creating destructive relationships and associations with almost anything. Seeking pleasure and avoiding pain is a fundamental trait of the human condition. This trait can occasionally direct people toward the use of escapism. Sometimes this can be a necessary mode of survival and very healthy – other times is can lead to counterproductive personal and social behavior.

What that means is that, YES, someone can get so involved in watching movies, or reading books, or tweaking their myspace page, or surfing, or playing games, or swimming or drinking, or using drugs, or having sex, or ANYTHING THAT THEY FIND USEFUL TO ESCAPE WITH, that they actually begin to ignore other important aspects of their lives and it becomes a real problem."
Hall laments that news organizations and personalities seem eager to paint activities they're unfamiliar with or don't understand, like WoW, as unique and dangerous forces in addiction then countless other activities. Among those with addictive personalities or social difficulties, any activity can become addictive, and this particular report, he says, is pure fear-mongering "based ultimately on conjecture."

My personal opinion on these matters is that it's difficult to pin "WoW addiction" on any particular source, and that usually, like Jace says in his article, there are circumstances that extend far outside of the game that can cause these problems.

Filed under: News items

WoW, Casually: A spring invitation to students who raid


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. This week we invite raiders who are in school to join us and try out being a casual.

Because our esteemed editor-in-chief was on NPR's "On Point" last week, I gave it a listen. As expected, the show took a few calls from people who are completely incapable of balancing their work and playtime -- people whose lives were "ruined by WoW." There was also the person who said that "you can't do anything without 24 other people," which we know is absolutely not the case. And the one that really caught my attention: the psychologist who gets panicked calls every spring from parents whose teens are playing so much WoW that they aren't going to pass.

It fascinates me that this is seasonal and also so last-minute. Additionally, I am curious as to whether there are other activities that get in the way during the spring that psychologists also get frantic calls about. I remember it being so hard to focus in the spring while in school -- even in a climate that doesn't have seasons. Summer is looming on the horizon with vacation, new opportunities and huge life changes. We're just looking for distractions at that time. For graduating students, it's called senioritis and it's been called that long before we had computers in our homes to play games. Regardless, it's an issue. But rather than risk screwing up opportunities for the rest of your life just to keep up with your raiding, it's time to give being casual a try. Here's why and how.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

Boozing 27 year-old chokes mom over WoW

This is a sordid story, no matter how you slice it. In short, an adult male violently attacked his family when he was asked to stop his loud drinking and WoW gaming session so the children in the same room with him could sleep. Because of the violent nature of the events, I am putting the details after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Teen runs away to meet older WoW soulmate [Updated]

Before we delve into this story, I just want to say that everything turned out alright. No Canadian laws were broken. No authority figures taking advantage of underage people in their care. The teenager is home safe and his online lover is allowed to return home whenever she likes. Here are the facts:
  • A 16 year old boy in Ontario had an online affair with a 42 year old mother of four in Texas.
  • They met in WoW, but much of the affair took place in MSN chat.
  • The parents knew of the relationship for over a year.
  • The boy told the woman that he was 20.
  • The consenting age in Ontario, Canada is 16.
  • The boy had a history of addiction to WoW, had seen a counselor and was given computer privileges again as a reward for good behavior.
  • She came to visit him for the Christmas holidays and asked him to meet her in a hotel.
  • He asked his parents for permission. They said no.
  • He snuck out at 2 am and went to her anyway.
  • The parents and local authorities made a plea to the public for his safe return.
  • The boy and woman were spotted together in public two days later and brought in.
  • Again, the boy is home safe and the woman is not being charged with anything in Canada.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items

Study: Singapore teens play 27 hours a week


The topic of addiction comes up pretty often when you're talking about World of Warcraft -- as Dr. Hilarie Cash told us, this is exactly the kind of game that brings out addictive tendencies in people who already have them. They've dealt with it in Sweden and elsewhere in the world before, and the most recent place to step up and face the problem is Singapore. This article talks about a three-year study that reveals some interesting facts about how and why Singaporean primary and secondary school students play their MMOs. The average amount of playtime per week, according to the study, is 27 hours. That's over a day of playtime per week.

Still, while that seems high (and remember, it's just an average according to this study, which apparently isn't done until the end of the year), I like the government's take at the end of the article: regulating it, either by attacking the games or putting unenforceable rules on the Internet, just won't work. If these kids are playing too much (and generally the rule is that if your life is suffering, you're playing too much -- it's hard to believe that a kid going to school can play for 27 hours a week and still have time to do homework and sleep as they need to), then it's their and their parents' responsibility to get educated and fix it. Lots of people play MMOs, but it's up to those who do it unhealthily to get help for themselves.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items

Player stories on the official site


Blizzard asked for real-life stories from players a little while ago, and now they've posted a pretty big collection of them over on the official site (this page was around last year, but they've added many stories since then). As Bornakk says, these are personal accounts from players of how playing the game with others has helped them grow relationships in real-life. I'm not sure what exactly the point of posting these is (maybe Blizzard wants to stave off some of that negative media reporting about the game and addiction to it), but then again, if you dive into a few of these, you can see that they don't really need a point -- they're really interesting (and in some cases pretty heartwarming) stories about how players are using this game to enrich real-life relationships.

They're still accepting more stories as well, so if you've got a good tale of some WoW-sharing in real-life, hit them up over on the submission page and put yours in the mix. Hopefully Blizzard will figure out a way to get these out into the real world -- harsh stories about addiction are so easy for the media to jump on, but great stories like these are the real reasons we all play this game.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Leveling

[1.Local]: In which He-Man and Eddie get pwned


Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Sometimes it's the smallest details that people grow attached to. Take, for instance, this note that came in on the news tip line from a dejected reader named Brian. Brian and his compatriots are lamenting a dearly departed Battlemaster - one who seemed strangely reminiscent of a certain Eternian prince.

Subject: Adam Eternum is MISSING

Some time around patch 3.2, all the Battlemasters in Shattrath were changed. Gone is Adam Eternum, with his smashing magical loincloth and Gnome sidekick.

Instead we have, as a royally ticked-off guildie puts it (after having downed several stiff drinks in despair), "Shome Draenei hussy ... hic!"


My guild here on Ysera, at least, has gone into mourning.

Oh where, oh where has Prince Adam has gone? Find out what else readers have been mourning or celebrating this week - plus peek at an internal WoW.com team e-mail in which Hunter columnist Eddie Carrington gets soundly pwned - after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, [1.Local]

Addiction therapists trying to help addicted in the game

Britain's Telegraph newspaper has news about addiction therapists joining the game themselves, specifically to find and seek out players who might meet the definition of addicted to World of Warcraft. They're actually looking for official Blizzard support, too. I'm not sure how much help you can actually provide by chatting with a player in the game ("Hello, it looks like you've been online for the last 16 hours, are you addicted?"), but they want to do it.

Dr. Richard Graham wants to launch a program by the end of the year that includes some in-game outreach, and even he agrees that it'll be tough sell. Then again, maybe the guy just wants to play some WoW for free:

"While a psychiatrist may excel in what they do in the real world, they're probably not going to be very good at playing
World of Warcraft. We may have to work at that if we are going to get through to those who play this game for hours at end."

Right. "Work.".

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Breakfast topic: Your priority list

We got an email from a reader concerned with the amount of time he spends playing WoW. It seems to be negatively impacting his school and social lives. Most of us manage to balance out WoW time with our real life obligations, but there is a strong possibility that addiction can set in. I cannot stress enough the importance of balance.

I think that one of the keys to keeping both your WoW life and your real life balanced is by identifying your priority list. Every once in a while do a reality check and make sure you're keeping it in line. For me WoW sits somewhere between work and sleep (then again, I've never slept much). My guildies know that I will not be on on Friday nights, that's "sister time." I do play WoW when I'm on work trips, but I never go anywhere particularly exciting.

Read more →

Filed under: Tips, Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics, Forums

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events

Event Date
Hallow's End 10/18 - 11/1
Day of the Dead 11/1 - 11/3
Darkmoon Faire 11/2 - 11/9
BlizzCon 2014 11/7 - 11/8

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories