Last week I wrote a post about Robert Nozick book “Anarchy, State and Utopia.” I used the game “War of Warcraft” to illustrate how people contrary to Nozick’s theory would jump at the chance to enter this machine. This got me thinking about the un-bachelor party I went to a few weeks ago. We all ended up getting into a debate about this game. The conversation started when one of the more socially awkward guys brought up the game. He started explaining his character and how he is part of something called a guild. If there is one thing that will clear the room quickly it is talking about your fantasy football team, or anything regarding “World of WarCraft.” The other guys at the party were ripping on him for playing this game, but they were doing it in a sly way.

This guy is the brother in-law of the person who throws this yearly party. I always feel responsible for taking care of him because I know what it is like to be socially awkward. I quickly changed the subject a bit and instead of discussing his guild I went into how addictive this game and others can be. This has become such a problem they have built treatment centers to help people quit playing MMORPG’s, on-line shooters, and Madden. The topic changed a bit when someone brought up how a guy is suing the makers of “World of WarCraft” because he became addicted to it. He was unable to stop and was so pulled into the game he lost his job, house, and family His case is; there should have been sign on the package warning people of how addictive this game can be. I believe he will win this case and win big; others disagreed with me.

I have felt, and seen the withdrawal symptoms from not being able to play video games. I have also seen how they can stunt your progress in life. My video game addiction is Madden. I get so into the franchise mode I end up feeling like I really own this football team (or that could be a psychosis symptom.) Madden will call to me every second of the day. My mind becomes consumed with my next game, or what kind of off season moves will I make. I will get irritable if I am unable to get lost into this fantasy world. I did buy the newest installment, but I do not play very much. The games I do play are just as intense as getting high. I will only play once or twice in a two-week period. I am immediately consumed with wanting to play another game. It is really hard for me to walk away. This compulsion to consistently play almost destroyed my relationship.

My son is a huge Call of Duty gamer, and plays online with his friends all the time. He chooses to do this any chance he gets. Last year his grades slipped and he was grounded from video games until his grades improved. This entire time he was crabby, irritable, and restless. He seemed to slip into a minor depression and the first week without them seemed to be the worst. He would spend his free time watching other people play this game on YouTube. I could not believe the effects this was having on him. His withdrawals seemed almost as worse than anything I had experienced. I think it is the on-line factor which seems to cause a greater feeling of longing. Playing on-line seems to create a realism factor you cannot find by playing against the computer.

My younger brother is a huge World of WarCraft player. He is twenty years old and does nothing but play this game morning noon and night. He started playing this game when it first came out and has accomplished nothing since. He is an intelligent person, but chose not to go to college. The thing that blows me away more than anything else is he has never had a job. He still lives with his mom and shows no signs of ever doing anything with his life besides playing this game. I have heard of people spending tens of thousands of dollars to purchase characters from other people. This concept just blows my mind, and is a perfect example of addictive behavior.

It will not be long before Nozick’s concept of the experience machine becomes a reality. My entire life has been spent playing video games. I have seen how they have evolved over the years. It is getting to the point where they have done all they can do with these systems. The only logical step up is virtual reality. Once this concept becomes a reality you will find many more people losing their house, job, and families. I think this guy will win and win big. I am guessing the settlement will be in the multi-million dollar range. The stupid thing is everyone knows this game is addictive, and he should have recognized his addiction prior to losing everything. This settlement will open up the doors to multiple lawsuits with every Tom Dick and Harry trying to cash in.

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Comments
  1. johanna says:

    I agree with you. Scary, very scary. I have held off on an xbox 360 and this post reminded me why. The kids want it for christmas but I’ll say no again.

  2. johanna says:

    Ha, Ha, I guess you did. But I won’t tell.

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