gamer that has access to online games spend a average of
3 hours per week playing online and another 5.4 hours playing
offline , for a total average of 8.4 hours a week. This
is a considerable investment of time playing video games.
However, although not very common, there are a number of
video gamers that have a severe addiction to their hobby
and spend much more than 8.4 hours a week on video games.
The severity of their addiction creates an unhealthy lifestyle
with a sole focus on playing video games. The end result
hampers productivity in workers and students, creates isolation
(which is further discussed under its own heading), and
in general becoming an individual that is frowned upon and
disliked by society. This is why most workplaces ban computer
gaming on their computers; it kills productivity and therefore
is a waste of money. In the rare occasion that they take
a break from video gaming these gamers will tend to feel
uncomfortable; many show signs of irritation or depression.
On the other hand, once the gamers start playing again,
they feel a sense of power and euphoria. Because of this,
addicted gamers will spend increasing amounts of time playing,
to the point that they cannot stop themselves, playing in
secret and lying to others to conceal their addiction.
Some say that video gamers become addicts for one of two
reasons: a primary addiction, where the gamer is addicted
to the machine and the games itself, and a secondary addiction,
where the gamer plays as a form of escapism. Thus, addicts
can be classified accordingly into these two types.
An actual, documented case of addiction describes a 12 year-old
boy that had a habit of spending 4-5 hours daily at the
video game arcade. Since the arcade charges a set fee for
each round of game, a daily session would cost the boy 30
to 50 American dollars; too much money for him to afford.
Consequently, the boy had to steal to sustain this lifestyle.
Other chronic gamers will give up food, clothes, and other
social activities in order to gather money to play video
A study from the Digital Games Research Association has
explored the explanation of why gamers can get addicted
to games. This study focused on gamers that played the massively
multiplayer online game EverQuest, which has been dubbed
by many as “Evercrack”, in reference to the
addictive nature of the game. This is because they're comparing
the game to the drug “crack”, which forces its
users to be addicted. Although the study focuses on this
game, almost all of the findings can be applied to other
games too. The study concluded that many of these gamers
are excessively playing EverQuest because the simulated
world in the game is constantly changing and they do not
want to miss out on anything in this simulated world when
they are away from the game. Therefore, they will play EverQuest
as much as possible. Gamers also have a feeling of obligation
to be regularly online to socialize and play together with
other gamers. In addition, they are also captivated with
winning more points in the games, which usually unlocks
great rewards that can symbolize their success in the game,
particularly in online games where other players can see
your accomplishments. Gamers also spend increasing amount
of time gaming in an “escalating effect” akin
to drugs. This effect occurs because gamers will eventually
become accustomed to the sense of enjoyment provided by
a game and so the gamer would need to play for longer and
longer hours to achieve the same enjoyable sensations. This
effect become a loop; the more a gamer plays, the more a
gamer needs to play to feel pleasured. But perhaps the most
addicting aspect of a video game is that most games increase
in difficultly as the gamer progresses through the game
and master the skills of playing the game; thus, a gamer
is never bored and the game is always an attractive challenge
waiting to be defeated.
A 21 year
old gamer, Sean Woolley, committed suicide after playing
the game EverQuest for 36 hours non-stop. His mother blamed
the video game as the cause of the suicide and sued the
owners, Sony Online Entertainment. Her goal was to open
up his game account for investigation and to have warning
labels put on the games, warning other gamers of the addictiveness.
24 year old Kim Kyung Jae collapsed after playing computer
games for 86 hours in a single stretch at a 24-hour “PC
Baang”, a business that is operated like an internet
cafe for games. As a result of incidents like this, the
South Korean government has turned from promoting the use
of technology and the Internet to devoting its attention
to address Internet addiction, which includes online gaming.
For example, the government has put funds into creating
the Center for Internet Addiction and Prevention and Counselling
(CIPC) as online games such as Starcraft, Lineage, and Ragnarok.
a result of over 600,000 players, which is a great number,
playing Ragnarok in Thailand the country has viewed the
game as a problem. As of July 15, 2003, the Ministry of
Technology in Thailand has imposed a curfew that blocks
game servers for the massively multiplayer online role-playing
game between 10pm and 6am.
many parents complained that their children were out for
day on end many playing video games. Because of this, Chinese
authorities have shut down almost 2000 Internet cafes after
inspecting almost 60,000 of them in an attempt to stop the
Germany, a camp has been set up to help children cure their
addiction for computers and video gaming. At the camp, campers
are allowed only 30 minutes of computer usage a day, and
are encouraged to spend more time on outdoor activities
than video gaming. After attending the camp, a child was
quoted as saying “My friend had no time for me, I
think I was probably a computer addict.”
government has impose a very strict law which states electronic
games with “electronic mechanisms and software cannot
operate anywhere in Greece”. This means that video
games and Internet cafes are not allowed. The law was created
to curb video gaming and the associated gambling; breaking
it results in very severe punishment of fines ranging from
5000 to 75000 euros and even imprisonment.
mostly in the province of British Columbia, have bylaws
that regulate the operation of amusement centres, including
computer-gaming cafes. This bylaws state that the operation
of such amusement centres is not allowed between 1am to
6am on weeknights and 2am to 6am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Currently, there are fines of $100 CDN for violations; punishments
do not get anymore severe. Therefore, some computer-gaming
centres prefer to break this restriction and stay open all
night after discovering that there are actually enough gamers
that pay to play at night to offset the fines.