MMO Addiction Needs to be Recognized by Clinics Worldwide
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
No, unfortunately we’re not here to talk about the status ailment your paladin suffered from that encounter with the Dark Lord. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games have gotten people hooked to the point where in the term addiction no longer suffices. This is an illness my friend, and a very severe one at that. There are a bunch of symptoms that takes place prior to each stage of the illness. For this theory we have acquired a test subject by the name of Andrew Hernandez.
Andrew Hernandez is a casual gamer; this means that he knows how to play game she knows how to walk away. From here, he will be monitored closely as he undergoes the metamorphosis of a lifetime. To begin with, we introduced Mr. Hernandez to one of the most addictive MMO games to ever hit the shelves, World of Warcraft. Note that upon account creation, our test subject has already been exposed to the virus.
We’ve all been there.
During the first week, Andrews’s transformation started to take place. The first thing about this metamorphosis would be his skipping meals or at least not eating on time. This isn’t really that much of a mystery since unlike other single player games, MMOs cannot be paused. Going AFK on raids would probably get you kicked from a party, making you miss your chance at acquiring better gear. Understandable, but having a game take you away from your NORMAL state of living is definitely considered as abnormal.
Other than the money you pay for premium subscriptions, MMOs have the opportunity to make players spend more for ingame items. Believe it or not, online gold and item dealers earn more than the average managerial pay per year, all because people have become too hooked for their own good.
Looking back, Andrew Hernandez had his share of these transactions, buying gold with real money in order to gain the advantage without any form of grinding. This can also be a disorder as people tend to forget the value of their money for something that can’t be held through physical means.
In other cases, MMO addiction can also bring forth a violent reaction from hardcore players. Here’s a good example [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8hfK3RQs2g]. Judging from this video, violence and splurging isn’t the only thing you can pick up from massive MMO addiction. In this case, the boy even developed his own American accent Insomnia would definitely be one of the biggest problems a gamer would be facing when immersed into these fantasy role-playing games. Some stay up for hours, most of them even stay online for more than 14 hours. FOURTEEN HOURS?! That worse than a full time job. Most people claim that quitting the game would be a breeze, but much like any other drug, it’s bound to be tricky.
People joke about addiction, but it should be recognized.
Upon reaching the second week, Mr. Hernandez was already level 40, which was pretty fast as he stayed up for days trying to reach this benchmark. He also made a lot of friends and was already recruited by a Guild. Once players enter a guild, their online responsibilities increase. From here, scheduled raids and guild activities start to spawn. This was really a big problem as Andrew was living in Asia but was forced to follow PST just so he could raid with his new buddies.
Sleeping is no joke as it allows the body to regenerate after a long days work. In this case, not only was Drew body clock all screwed up, he was also technically staying up late in PST as the game’s dungeons take hours and hours to complete depending on how many times you die in the process.
It’s evident through these examples alone that MMO addiction should be recognized by most clinics as a form of illness or disease. The scary part is that it is eating up a large number of children worldwide, dragging them into the fiery pits of fantasy unaware that their bodies are already starting to deplete.
Over a span of a month, Mr. Andrew Hernandez has developed Insomnia, loss of appetite, headaches (probably brought about by pressure and stress in game), and reckless spending. Some of my friends even acquired Peptic Ulcers just by playing. You can’t deny that playing these games become stressful as you go up a notch. It’s as though they have completely lost their hold over reality and are constantly seeking ways to strengthen their digital selves.
Studies as conducted by Dr. Sherry Turkle also prove that a player’s emotional range develops higher when playing their favorite MMOs. This is done by other modes of exploration such as gender switching and role-playing.
Some also state that MMO addiction takes a toll on the individual’s social well being. I don’t need any form of research to prove this theory as I have gone through this ordeal myself. You could say that one could miss out on a lot of things while locked inside his room playing the same game for more than 14 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The point stated? MMOs are quite frankly one of the most enjoyable games any gamer could get his hands on. The online world, the diverse areas, it’s as though you’re actually there. One thing that’s wrong however is how it treats people and the consequences gained from playing it PROPERLY. Playing it for 3 hours a day isn’t enough! You’ll probably be the lowest character there after a week. They were designed to be this way, and people take the bait pretty well. China took immediate action to control this outbreak, but what about the rest of the world? This illness must be monitored.