Dr. Orzack: I think there needs to be warning labels on MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, similar to warning labels on cigarettes. People should know that these games are potentially harmful. I'm sure the game industry will be up in arms over it, but that's what I'd like to see happen. I don't think we have a right to make Blizzard or other game companies change their products, but that may be what this comes to, down the road.
When I was in graduate school, there was an undergraduate in my building that almost flunked out of school because he played these kinds of games all day long. He missed a final, convinced the teacher to give him a make up exam, and then missed THAT - all because he was up all night playing WoW style video games.
This shouldn't be anything new. People have been addicted to games since their inception. They were addicted to Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Super Mario Bros., and the list goes on and on. To single out WoW is a feeble argument.
I don't argue that video games can be addicting, but putting warning labels on seems a tad silly.
WoW requires addictive attention for certain aspects of it. There are areas of the games (end game level 60 raids, highest ranks for the PvP honor system) that are unattainable with a healthy amount of playing.
In an arms race, if you are competing against someone else who will play 20 hours a day, you have to play 21 in order to win.
Nothing new here, right? Like It's False says, any game can be addictive. And the moment you throw the competitive nature of people in there you get what Guru says, people wanna play 21 hrs if they know it gives them an edge over those that play 20.
I see it on Avatar (cheap plug, www.outland.org) the Mud I play (for 11+ years, talk about addiction) We were down (ISP issues) the past two days and while I was able to shrug, and go do some other stuff I know of people who checked if it was back up every ten minutes. And didn't think that was obsessive in any way.
Originally posted by Guru ZimWoW requires addictive attention for certain aspects of it. There are areas of the games (end game level 60 raids, highest ranks for the PvP honor system) that are unattainable with a healthy amount of playing.
Don't forget that not only are those raids unattainable without an unhealthy investment, but those raids can last upwards of 3 hours and often require guild involvement to complete. Which of course means that when you do decide to stop playing the game, that also means you have to quit your guild, which can also be a strong motivating factor for keeping people involved. Any game can be addictive, but no one is going to care if I stop saving the princess in Super Mario Bros and reclaim my life. But there's the whole social aspect to MMO's, which makes quitting the game akin to leaving your friends, that will often keep people playing and 'addicted' long after the game stopped being fun.
You believe me, don't you? Please believe what I just said...
Aiyo, I play WoW, I know a lot of people that play WoW- yeah, its an addictive game by nature (i.e. the whole 21 vs 20 hrs example) but, in kids' case its up to the parents to watch how much the kids play and in older players cases its up to us to have personal responsibility;
I play WoW too much, like anyone that has a higher-lvl char, but I wont miss work, college, a date etc. for it; thats an important line to keep if you play these games.
In a lot of ways you do develop a sort of social responsibility to your guild and online friends, but its crucial that MMORPG players understand that real life events are more important now and based on impact on the future in one's life.
For Example: If your guild kicks you out for poor attendance on raids (and in any case you should be able to inform them of when you cant make it) no biggie- you rejoin the next time you log, or you join another guild.
On the other hand; you fail a college course for poor attendance (playing WoW)...then as you might hear in Wow: gg nubcake u fail at life kthxbai!!!!!111!!oneone!! Pwnd.
"...He eats what he wants, and if he wants to eat Rey Mysterio- he will!" -JBL on Mark Henry
Not surprised...several years ago I started playing Ultima Online (Second Age) on a community-run free server, and I was completely hooked. This was partially because, for the first time, I had like half a dozen friends in the game as well. It's a lot more fun if you have people you actually know playing (as opposed to the faceless voices called "friends" you have on your XBox Live or AIM list or whatever).
I'd spend countless hours every day at it. UO was even more wide-open than WoW so it was pretty ridiculous for a while. I took a year off between high school and college so it's pretty much all I did for like 3 months.
Eventually I realized (along with my friends) that we needed to knock it off because it was getting pretty pathetic. Rather than try to "quit," knowing that we could come back if we got the urge, we did something to get banned from the server. It was more than worth it. Haven't played an MMORPG since.
Well I don't know about other places, but I've seen casinos and some lottery games have a little note about how gambling addiction is a potentially harmful thing and if you think you or someone you know may have a problem here is a number to call. It wouldn't hurt if games voluntarily had something like that in their internal paperwork or up on the website. I just think it is silly to force them to do something that is a personal responsibility issue. I mean junk food companies shouldn't be able to drop 30 calories off of a 500 calorie per serving product and then market it as "healthy", but people shouldn't be able to sue the company over getting fat from eating cookies either. If you are playing in a fantasy world, it may be more appealing than real life... duh.
Now if you'll excuse me I must go eat oreos and level my character.
Which is why I like City of Heroes -- it's a lot friendlier to the casual player than WoW, from what I see. There is some content that requires you to park your butt in front of the computer for 3+ hours, but it (like PvP) is purely optional. You can get all the way to level 50 without trying any of that stuff.
I've occasionally thought of trying out WoW, but my finances -- and time -- can't support two MMORPGs.
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