“It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.”
WoW: My Mental Health
I didn’t know that there could be such a thing as video game addiction. Apparently, it is huge. There are treatment centers in many countries, including China which uses shock therapy. Ouch. I don’t want that. I don’t need to add any links, there is a ton of information via a simple Google search.
I am addicted to coffee too. I drink two cups every morning. I watch television too.
(Denial is the first voice of addiction, I bet)
The World Health Organization calls video game addiction a “disorder” and is pretty serious about it. Along with video games this also swings into internet surfing and cell phone usage. So, this is really real.
Oddly, my first concern when reading about this today was if playing video games can lead to earning the label of having a mental health issue as a disorder; could I put added to a data base that wouldn’t allow me to do certain things? Like buying a gun. I don’t want to buy a gun but this idea of a Mental Health Data Base as a tool or even a weapon feels very dangerous to me.
I am positive that if anyone is inserted into a Mental Health Data Base that they are never, never ever, going to be taken off of that list in their lifetimes.
And also, what about Blizzard with their intentional game design that encourages more and more play? The phrase “time spent” has been used by Mr. Watcher as the avenue to important rewards. What the hell! I would have thought that our friendly designers would be aware of mental health issues in gaming and would not deliberately steer the players down that dirty road.
From Wikipedia: Many video games, particularly massively multiplayer online role-playing games and social network and mobile games, rely on a “compulsion loop” or “core loop”, a cycle of activities that involve rewarding the player and driving them to continue through another cycle, retaining them in the game.
Prior to learning all of this stuff, I read all about it this morning, I felt that playing WoW in the morning with a cup of coffee and using flight paths to read the news, e-mails and blogs as something kind of healthy. Engaged with many things on many levels, this would add to my good mental health!
Can doing pvp pet battles make you sick? Okay — that is a silly idea. Of course not.
I can, I think, feel it within myself. After playing a shoot-em-up game that is violent, I have zero urges to actually be violent outside of the game. I enjoy it when we cancel raid night and go read a book. Yes ma’am, I still read books every day. I don’t think that I’m addicted or have a disorder even though I blog on the game. The clues might be there but they don’t all add up to bad stuff.
Like Freud said when asked by his students if his addiction to tobacco was because of a phallic symbol, he said “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”. A game is a game and a rose is a rose is a rose.