Imagine this; you wake up as a mystical being with supernatural powers on a quest to save the world. Your only purpose in life is to destroy and conquer your opponents and ultimately the world. With only a sword and a spell to cast, you set upon this magical journey where you will endure countless battles to achieve your goal. This might seem farfetched but to some of you, but this is what most online games are about. For some teenagers this is their life, where the consequences being; losing sleep, friends, family and lacking any real direction in life.
They have been so absorbed into this epidemic of online gaming that as well as affecting their own lives, they’re also having a negative influence on people around them. Even I have had experience in this somewhat “addiction”. I was playing some online game once, but it was not until I had looked out the window and had realised that I had spent the whole night playing, not to mention only having 10 minutes until school had started – I knew that I too was a victim of this “epidemic”. Games today revolve around playing with other people online.
Whether that mean playing an Xbox 360, or something downloaded on the computer, young people today are hooked on online games. Given the opportunity, the average person today forms habits as often as possible. Sometimes these habits exceed casual attention, and become addictions to which devotion is required. Smoking, drinking, etc. , are all considered common addictions. But what is not really noticed is addictions that involve buttons, a mouse, and a screen. it is almost certain that there is a major addiction of games across the country.
That still doesn’t cover why though. According to the researchers at the University of Rochester and Immersyve Inc. , extremely active game-players play for more than fun. The play for the freedom, the rewards from advancing in the game, and the connection of playing with other people. With a different spin on the same answer, Dr. Brody, head of the media committee at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, says that addicts seek a way to escape reality, and to immerse themselves into a fantasy world where they can put on a whole new persona.
This gives the players a world where they can be anyone that they want to be. A world where they can forget the reality that waits away from the screen. People who are addicted to games are widely accused of having no life. It seems that things are quite the contrary. People who play online games in an excessive amount have more in their game life then any normal person would ever experience. While the emotions that come with the success or failure in the game or some what more misted than they would be in a real life experience, it is still there.
Those who are addicted tend to have gaming as a high priority in life and as a result they begin to revolve everything in life around games. They will stay in the house and become anti-social. Because of this many of us have began to use online resources such as Facebook, MySpace and msn to keep in contact with our friends. One of the most famous and addicting online game is World Of Warcraft, which is more commonly known as “WOW”. With 11. million subscriptions wow is the largest massive multi player game and I can guarantee that there are a few of you in this room who have played WOW before. There was an unfortunate case last month where a young girl nicknamed “Snowly” died after playing the online game “World of Warcraft”. She had been playing for several continuous days during the national holiday. Prior to Snowly’s death, the girl was said to be preparing for a rather difficult part of the game (namely, to kill the Black Dragon Prince).
Snowly was sleep deprived and probably was not considering her health. She had told her friends that she felt very tired, but no one knew that it would have led to her death. A large online funeral was held for Snowly one week after her death. This might seem funny to most of you but this was a death of a young girl is not laughing matter. Although 4. 5 million gamers paid respect to her death online, on the actual virtual world, would any of these players have learnt a lesson? It is highly doubtful that all these players would take Snowly’s death as a sign to stop playing.
Given this information, addiction to games loses some of its propaganda. It is no more than people who smoke or drink to alleviate some of the feelings that come with every day life, or to relive some of the stress that drama and crisis brings into the feelings of the average person. On another note, addiction to games can get out of hand just like an addiction to alcohol that drives someone to stay in a constant state of drunkenness. Whether or not the addiction gets as far as that is not the fault of the game, but the person playing it.
One of the solutions could be as simple as disconnecting the internet. I know my parents often do and I’m sure yours would too. We all know this does not solve the problem it only prevents us playing for a few days or a week. There is so many other ways a teenager could access the internet from a internet cafi?? or simply a friends house. The only real way to prevent obsessive online gaming is to find and maintain a balanced life with leisure activities as well vigilant control over the amount of time we spend at our computers.
There has even been gaming centers and hotlines set up to help with this on growing addiction. Online gaming will continue to be a major part of our modern lives. This is a result of our own contribution to the growing popularity of these online games. Every new game released brings with it another new set of addicts, and this will continue if we don’t have the balance and control required of us. Let the story of poor little snowly’s addiciton be a lesson learnt for us. Would you want to follow in these footsteps?