Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Has anyone seen this site?  Link.  There's over 2000 pages of that there.  Truly amazing.


Endymion said...

Holy S#!t. Please excuse my language but just . . . Holy S#!t. I had no idea.

I suspect that many of these people have addictive personalities anyway (I think most people do to some extent, me included), but this stuff seems to exploit the "reward pathways" better than MacDonalds and crack combined.

There must be some sociological/psychological studies out there on this WoW phenomenon. I'll look when I get the chance.

All I can say is, I'm NEVER letting my kids play WoW. My daughter currently plays Wizard101, but she does it with her friends from school (mostly). I'll need to show this to my wife and have some serious discussions about even this, though.

Andrew (better known as Drew) said...

Fascinating. And WotC wants to move D&D to an all-online model because...?

Makes ya think, eh?

Daddy Grognard said...

Hmmm..I have always had a visceral and hostile feeling towards WoW and this kind of backs it up.

I think that the real problem with WoW and indeed many MMORPGs is that the player is on their own, with no checks and balances from other players and DMs. At least with D&D, you have other people there to clock the first signs of the obsessive, addictive behaviour and offer to help if they can. The player who sits alone in their room night after night, completely detached from reality needs help but how are they going to get it? I'd rather that Junior Grognard played D&D with me and/or friends rather than sat at the computer doing this sort of stuff. I'm with Endymion on this one.

Mind you, how long till we see the Chick Tract on WoW? Evil Debbie needs to move with the times, eh?

Anonymous said...

Some people need help because they drink too much, too often. Some people won't stop smoking. Others spend most of their time playing WoW. They're weak-willed people with addictions. No one's forcing them to install and play. I'd be a bit quicker to judge the gamers instead of the game.

bubbagump said...

You do have a point, Mr. Gone, however I do believe that the producers of potentially habit-forming/addictive products have at least some responsibility to help limit the amount of damage their products cause.

Further, it is necessary to recognize the habit-forming/addictive nature of such products in order to control such damage. How many died of lung disease before we realized that smoking was dangerous? Thousands? Millions? And how many have been saved because we finally recognized the danger? Merely realizing that such a danger exists is not the same as "judging" the product.

And still further, while those who succumb to dangerous habits and addictions do bear some responsibility they cannot be simply dismissed by judging them "weak-willed". Many did not realize the danger they were in until it was too late, and I daresay that being susceptible to addiction is a "human" trait and not merely a weakness of certain individuals. Granted, some are more susceptible than others, but everyone is susceptible to some extent.

I do not consider the statements contained in this blog or its associated comments as a "judgement" on WoW OR its players. Rather, it is a simple recognition that such games can be more addictive than previously thought, and that (as with so many things) one must be aware of the potential dangers before partaking of them.

Rob Kuntz said...

I agree reinvertedly with Mr. Gone. (Btw: Nice moniker, as it's always nice to be never where you actually are...) :)

I agree with the fact that some people can have addictions.

I also see that the purveyors of such addictive materials have addictions as well: Greed mostly. We could talk on end about the whole subject. Phyllis and Fred are addicted to crepes; Ralph loves too much pumpkin pie, they are getting obese and having multiple dysfunctional reactions, weak ankles included. Ted likes too much golf and is running around claiming he's actually Arnold Palmer's twin... Okay is there a dividing line somewhere? When someone dies in front of their screen of dehydration and starvation? When Poe drank himself to death, when the prohibitionists smacked husbands over their besotted heads because they themselves were addicted to rolling pins as bludgeoning weapons? I really have to make light of such intertwined postulations--such as CA Smith does here: http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/88/the-great-god-awto --or else I'd shed a tear and worry for becoming addicted to crying... :(

Anonymous said...

Everyone has a vice. And because we have them, someone will provide them. Games, beers, eats, etc. I'm in no way defending these companies, I'm just saying that no one's forcing these gamers, eaters, drinkers, etc. to do what they do. We've now known for years that yes, smoking can lead to all sorts of nasty problems. But people still continue to start.

And what about the fella who killed himself over Everquest? Or at least that's what the claim was. That was a big thing throughout high schools and colleges. I even wrote a paper in college about the effects of cross-gender gaming, with references to the EQ incident.

So, I would put the blame totally on the gamer who's addicted and won't stop playing.

redbeard said...

There are such things as addictive processes that are just as controlling as physical addictions. This is widely accepted in the medical and psychiatric community.

From personal experience, I think that the games are designed to take advantage of process addictions. You don't hear of people being addicted to Quake or Counterstrike in the same fashion that you do for WoW and Everquest. The MMORPG process involves repetitive actions that give micro-rewards leading to greater rewards. Think of the caged rat that will continue to hit the lever that releases cocaine instead of the levers for food or water and you will have an idea of how this works. For an addict, watching your 'xp' bar go up releases a bit of endorphin in your brain.

That said, not everyone is affected in the same way by these games. Different individuals have different endorphin receptors in their brains and or they have previous mental/emotional problems that make them vulnerable. But it is not simply a matter of 'choosing to destroy your life'.

I don't want to oversell the lack of control one has over an addiction. But unless one has fought such a compunction, you really don't know what an addict goes through.

Malcadon said...

I'm not all that surprised. Their is a reason fans call these games "time sink", "EverCrack", or "World of Warcrack!"

I could never figure out how folks get so addicted to these games? I remember playing home console "RPGs" years ago (Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, and such), and after a while they get really, really boring! All you do is run around, killing vermin after vermin for the sake of a few EXP and to save up enough pocket change to save up for that next-best sword, to replace that sword you spent a month saving up for! It ever $#@&ing ends!!! For a game, that is a lot of work. If I wanted to spend my free time "grinding," I would get a second job - at least I would be payed to do so!

To be fair, I have met a gamer or two with an addiction to D&D. If they had it their way, they would game until they drop! As nice as table-top RPGs are, I find the game more enjoyable when the GM has time to write up a good adventure, and for the players to take in the last game, while waiting with anticipation for the next. I guess its something lost on most people these days - all the best things in life, are worth waiting for.

Rob Kuntz said...

@Malcodon. Fine words. Quality over quantity is a good path.