Can obsessive behaviours involving electronic community be considered an addiction, and the community itself an 'addictive substance?'
November 7, 2003 10:21 AM   Subscribe

At the recent Digital Games Research Conference held at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands, Florence Chee and Richard Smith presented a paper on Everquest and its implications for addiction policy. Here's the full text and a decent summary here.
posted by Ufez Jones (5 comments total)
I am doing research on this topic at the University of Lerhbridge as we speak. Thanks for the link.
posted by Quartermass at 10:35 AM on November 7, 2003

Hah, games addicting? n00bs.
posted by thanotopsis at 10:55 AM on November 7, 2003

All the best drugs these days are electronic. I would give up a lot of creature comforts before I'd lose either my Internet connection or my PlayStation.
posted by SealWyf at 11:17 AM on November 7, 2003

I remember when I was a kid I spent a lot of time on the computer, my parents thought I was addicted. I didn't really play games but I did code. A lot. At the same time my parents would sit in front of the television and watch sitcoms, dramas and finally the news before going to bed. This to me seemed just as much an addiction, and with the exception of the news, you didn't even get anything out of it. So I learned to program, first in BASIC, then in 9900 and 6510 assembler and eventually in C, C++, FORTRAN etc.

The (rapidly dying due to lack of players) MUD I run has had people who were honestly addicted. People flunked out of university, screwed up relationships or got fired from jobs. That's addiction, I'll agree. But I don't think you can quantify addiction by saying "more than X hours per week of that activity is a sign of addiction" without either being two-faced and ignoring a lot of other things that qualify as addictions or labeling a lot of other activities as addictive.

A lot of it has to do with peoples perceptions. Spending hours and hours doing something you understand can't be addictive. Spending hours and hours doing something you don't really comprehend, like those geeks playing that game, can be.
posted by substrate at 11:35 AM on November 7, 2003

All the best drugs these days are electronic.

Truer words I have not seen this year.
posted by signal at 12:08 PM on November 7, 2003

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