World of Warcraft and Video Game Addiction

World of Warcraft, often abbreviated to “WoW” is a fantasy game playable exclusively online, upon payment of a monthly fee ($15).

It was launched by Blizzard in 2004 and it has almost 11 million subscribers worldwide at march 2012 (but had lost nearly 1.8 million players over the previous 12 months).

Mists of Pandaria, the fourth expansion for World of Warcraft, will be released on Tuesday, 25th September.

Crazy for World of Warcraft

Blizzard understand the consumer culture better than any other expert in the field.

Wow is translated into many languages (even Italian now) and it has generated conflicting opinions: who sees it as the best game ever and who believes that there is a strange and depressing obsession with it.

World of Warcraft involves people of all kinds, from teenagers, graduates, parents, but the game points strongly to a target of between 15 and 30 years.

People are consumed by the need to have things, which no one else have in the game, and spend weeks of their lives to a virtual reward only to be able to put it on the screen.

WoW makes you feel addicted and you think youself that may be if you only would play a little more, you could have better rewards.

This is why it’s hard to log off.

World of Warcraft Logo

World of Warcraft Addiction

There are rehabilitation centers opened in U.S.A., in order to help games win their addiction, but according to Time, the “Internet addiction” is a global phenomenon since 1983.

In 2003, Deutsche Welle was doing a report from a summer camp in the seaside town of Boltenhagen, in northern Germany and he reported that one million people are suffering from Internet addiction (IAD, internet addiction disorder).

There are many ways to quit wow (like burning your game box and Cds, for istance), but the truth is that it is not easy at all.

There is also a rehabilitation center in Europe, The Smith & Jones Center, opened in Amsterdam in 2006 and uses the term “compulsive gamer” as opposed to “addicted”.

WoW allows players to abandon their real lifes for hours while they are online and the feeling of having a second life with success is a pleasure and a fun difficult to leave.

The truth is that Real Life is better. For many many reasons.

And this is why you should beat now your World of Warcraft addiction!

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3 Responses to World of Warcraft and Video Game Addiction

  1. Andrew Doan, MD, PhD
    September 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    Video game addiction is not yet an official diagnosis, but I expect it will be in the future. Be careful how you use video games, similar to drugs and alcohol. The video games stimulate the dopamine reward pathways in the brain, similar to drugs and alcohol, and the video games become a digital anti-depressant that people can become addicted to.

    Here is an analogy that will help people see how video games can be an addiction clinically.

    Pathological gambling is considered a medical condition related to lack of impulse control where the individual seeks the dopamine highs of gambling regardless of the social, personal and financial ramifications of the addictive gambling behavior. In the US, there are clinical programs to treat addictive gambling behavior.

    Many video games utilize gambling strategies to reward gamers, for instance, kill boss and receive a random drop. These random drops can be rare items that have real monetary value, sometimes thousands of dollars. Gamers place incredible worth on rare drops in the game as it requires extensive time to acquire these rare items. If video game design is similar to games of chance seen in casinos, then would it not make sense that certain individuals can develop impulse disorders with video games, similar to people who become addicted to gambling?

    I am speaking from personal experience of selling and buying virtual items from games like Diablo on eBay. My Windforce bow was worth about $200 on eBay and when I saw the drop, the excitement and rush from seeing the legendary bow drop after killing the boss was intense and incredible!

    I have experience with this addiction as I am a video game addict in recovery. My story can be found on YouTube “Personal 12-Step Recovery Testimony on Video Game & Internet Addiction – Dr. Andrew Doan” and my lecture on YouTube “Technology, Video Games, Social Media, and Your Children’s Brain”.

    Andrew Doan, MD, PhD

    Author of “Hooked on Games: The Lure & Cost of Video Game and Internet Addiction”

    • admin September 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      Hi Andrew,
      thanks for your comment.
      And thanks for sharing your experience.

      Can you give some tips in order to beat a videogame addiction?

  2. Andrew Doan, MD, PhD
    July 14, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    Hi, here is a video I recorded from one of my talks.The Key to Fighting Video Game and All Addictions: Strong Mind, Body

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