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