Online addiction a growing problem – gameshogun™ Since 2003

Another article! This time from the US.

As a freshman at the University of North Texas, Daniel Folmer would sometimes play video games for 12 hours straight. He stopped going out with friends. He sank into academic probation.

When his girlfriend came over, he stayed in his virtual world. Then she told him something that jolted him back to reality.

“She just waited for me to look at her, or acknowledge her, or hug her or whatever, and she said she fell asleep waiting,” he said. “I looked in the mirror, and I did not like who I was becoming.”

Follow up:

Though one thing I want to give a clarification:

And experts say what starts as a harmless pastime can become an escape from reality – an emotional coping mechanism – that turns into an addiction.

Online gaming was and still is originally to “escape from reality”. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The problem here is with that fact that the new generation of online gamers lack self-control, self-discipline, and a clear separation of their “real-lives” from their “virtual lives”.

Is online gaming really that bad for the people? Are we just turning a blind eye on the reality of things?

Donny Behne, a Wylie, Texas, middle-school teacher who plays video games 15 to 20 hours a week, said his game playing skyrocketed during his stressful first year of teaching. He said his game of choice, World of Warcraft, helped “save his sanity” but took up every spare minute.

“I would come home from work, drop my stuff on the floor and sit in front of the computer until it was time to go to sleep,” he said.

World of Warcraft’s intricate virtual society was sheer relief, he said. The alternative – channel surfing in front of the TV and mulling what went wrong that day – would have driven him crazy, he said.

But he never missed a day of work, he said, and did not lose much sleep because of gaming.

That’s not the only testimony. Just like in my post before – You Play World of Warcraft? You’re Hired! – top companies are hiring gamers to lead and revolutionized their companies. So really, it all comes down to the gamer’s self-control, self-discipline, and self-realization of his own “real-life” vs his “virtual life”. Of course let us not forget the different factors our environment, family, and peers contribute to make us go deeper to “escaping reality”.

This is no laughing matter and this is no fiction – it is happening, not just in the developed countries but in third-world countries as well like here in the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand to name a few. This is making my decision to help in this issue stronger, for sure, activists will use these articles to fight for the implementation of controls for online gaming, after all, “health” is the best tool to get heard in this case.

Read the rest of the US article here.

Next: On Gaming Addiction;
Previous: Anti-Obsession Regulations.

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