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Posts with tag mental-health

Aussie blogger brings Movember mental health series to WoW blog

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.

Pitched battle in a frantic Battleground feels a little like Armageddon if you're on the wrong side of the wave. Depression can feel the same way to those struggling in its iron coils. Winding together entertaining and informative posts about both is popular blogger Gnomeaggedon, whose WoW blog (which has been tackling PvP topics since the summer of 2008) is working through a special month-long series on depression and mental health for the mustachioed Movember men's health movement.

You wouldn't think someone who's struggled with depression himself and mental health issues in his immediate family would be a big fan of the emotional highs and lows of Battlegrounds. It's one of the questions Gnomeaggedon toys with regularly: "Kind of related to your interview with Lady Erinia -- is depression caused by excessive video gaming, or is video gaming 'self-medication' for depression? I know in my case, my depression began when I was a child. I had no idea, and things like that weren't discussed in my family -- so treatment came 20 years 'late.' And where WoW was an escape from the difficulties of life (as alcohol, etc., had been in the past), most people assumed I had a (stereotypical) problem with gaming."

With a backlog of years' worth of posts about being a gnome mage, the PvP lifestyle, and scattered plugs for the awareness of mental health issues, Gnomeaggedon has left an indelible imprint in the WoW blogosphere. We had a cozy email conversation with the Aussie player to explore his enthusiastic support for Movember, how many fellow WoW players -- people you play with every day -- are likely to be touched in some way by mental health issues, and how "cleansing the debuff" of mental illness can make such a difference in people's lives.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

15 Minutes of Fame: Tanking with a panic button

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

It's always fun to indulge in WoW talk with fellow players, but our favorite interviews for 15 Minutes of Fame happen with people for whom WoW opens doors – whether as fun and frothy as indulging another hobby by crafting a replica of Booty Bay entirely out of Legos or as meaningful as being able to game in a non-threatening, non-judgmental atmosphere among like-minded friends.

This week's featured player exemplifies the power of WoW to energize and empower people's lives. MMOs can make wonderful outlets for disabled players, who find online camaraderie and 24-hour access amenable to their unique needs. Kalzedhan Hurenfal of Feathermoon-A US not only games "around" his limitations but in fact focuses his crosshairs dead on them: he's a tank with a diagnosed panic disorder.

Kalzedhan suffers from a handful of debilitating mental disorders that keep him socially paralyzed, homebound and unable to function in a productive work environment. Yet through WoW, Kalzedhan not only has been able to re-engage in relationships and personal achievements – he does it in the hotseat as a tanking Warrior.

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Filed under: Features, Raiding, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Dr. Phil confronts WoW players

Yes, Oprah's psychologist (actually, I heard just the other day on Wait Wait that Dr. Phil was originally hired as a jury consultant on Oprah's beef slander case) has turned his mustachioed and Texas-accented attention to MMO gamers, and it's the usual rundown: someone's been playing the game way too much, and it's time for Dr. Phil to draw out the stereotype to anyone who finds a little fun in the online world of Azeroth.

To be fair, I haven't seen the show itself, so maybe Phil does admit that millions of people around the world play these games in their free time, and that the vast majority of them have paying jobs, lead healthy lives and have happy relationships. But he doesn't feature any of those on his website -- instead, he's got the story of lives ruined over and over again because folks without self control took their game too far. And all the usual TV culprits are there -- flash cuts of chaotic keyboard and controller pressing, blurred video, and pictures of pasty gamers playing late into the night while the rest of their lives go ignored. Worried that you might be addicted? Dr. Phil's also got a "gaming behavior audit" that will let you know, in just ten questions, whether you're an addict or not. Here's a helpful question: do you feel you play online games to deal with anxiety or depression in your life? If so, you may have anxiety or depression in your life! Thanks, Dr. Phil!

In all seriousness, sure, it's possible to play these games too much, and if you're playing the game even after you've lost a job or sacrificed a relationship, it's time to get help (or even better, just unplug the computer). But it would be nice to see a healthy gamer on these shows once in a while -- there's definitely plenty of them around, too.

[via BlizzPlanet]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor

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