Two recent cases prove it’s no joke to play ‘Diablo III’ for 40 hours straight
By Chris ScullinPosted Aug 15, 2012
Drug addiction, alcohol addiction and gambling addiction are all serious problems that usually require the help of a professional to overcome. They are disorders that are often perceived as incredibly dangerous and sometimes life-threatening. They are serious topics that regularly have severe consequences.
On the other hand, when discussing the issue of video game addiction, the tone of the conversation is often light-hearted, as if the condition is more of a joke than a serious addiction. However, I am here to tell you that this is most definitely not the case.
Some of the more obvious negative effects of video game addiction include obesity, a lack of exercise and a lack of desire for face-to-face social interaction. However, some of the less recognized effects include increased aggression, a lack of motivation and even life-threatening dehydration.
As video games have become more violent, critics have suggested that they are leading those who play them to engage in more violent behavior. However, many studies have found this allegation to be completely false, concluding that video game violence does not lead to increased real-life violence.
What does lead to increased aggression, however, is increase competitiveness. A recent study found that the more competitive a game is, the more aggressive a person’s behavior is likely to be after they spend time playing the game. And in the days of XBOX Live and the PlayStation Network, where you can play games against real-life people at any time of day, gaming in general has definitely become more competitive.
Video games are also clearly capable of brainwashing a person. My evidence for this comes from the story of 15-year old Tyler Rigsby from Columbus. He made national news last week after collapsing from severe dehydration following a four-day-long “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” gaming session. He was rushed to the hospital and revived.
His mother reported that he only left his room to use the bathroom or grab a snack, but his overindulgence in the game clearly caused him to forget that he needed something to drink as well.
As bad as this is, it isn’t the worst report of somebody becoming too enthralled in a video game. Last month an 18-year-old boy died in a Taiwan Internet Café after playing “Diablo III” for 40 hours straight.
I’ve seen many a roommate destroy their GPA in pursuit of their 10th prestige in “Call of Duty” or by trying to win it all in “FIFA World Cup.” I’ve seen just as many turn down an invitation to a restaurant or bar because they were too busy climbing up and down buildings in search of their next target in “Assassin’s Creed.”
Don’t get me wrong; video games are full of perks. They are capable of teaching the player problem-solving skills as well as developing hand-eye coordination. They are a great time waster when you have 20 minutes or so to kill. Video games can also be a great stress reliever. However, a problem can arise when the game itself becomes the actual cause of the stress rather than a way to relieve it.
My purpose in writing this article is not to suggest that we all stop playing video games. Rather, what I am hoping is that people recognize that video game addiction is no laughing matter. It’s truly a serious disorder that could require professional treatment to cure.
While not all video game addicts will require treatment to kick the habit, the same could be said about alcoholics, cigarette smokers and cocaine addicts. However, those who do receive treatment are more likely to return to being functioning members of society.