Gaming . . . Addiction or Pass Time?

It seems in this day and age, video games are simply a part of life. Online games have become more and more popular as now we have options such as online games unblocked for school. In a world that revolves around computers, it really isn’t that surprising. More and more people are finding themselves sucked into the world of online games. Often, I find myself asking, is gaming addictive? When do you cross that fine line between pass time to addiction?

The MMORPG game known as World of Warcraft is currently one of the major online games right now. I shamefully admit that I was one of the many that got sucked up into this game. My husband sat me down at the computer one day and “made” me play the game . . . Next thing I knew he was buying me my own computer so he could play beside me instead of having to fight with me over the computer. Not only did he drag me into the “gaming world, but” I also manage to get several of my friends and my brother into the game.

When people think of “gamers” they think of teenage boys sitting in their parent’s basement but that’s not always the case. Perhaps we should start picturing thirty-something, married, fathers and mothers. A lot of people that play the games are indeed adults. Video games are no longer the toys of children but those of the older generations as well.

I remember when I first started playing, I was shocked to find out that there were quite a few people playing the game that were older than me (the ripe old age of 26). When talking with other gamers I’ve learned, more often than not, they don’t simply play to play. Somewhere along the way, online games have simply become the place to socialize.

As a writer and a college student, I find myself sitting at my computer a lot. If I’m not changing a diaper, cooking, or cleaning, I’m usually at my computer typing something out. Of course, while at my computer I have to log onto every possible messenger I have. This included the large online chatbox known as World of Warcraft.

If you’re not careful, it’s so easy to get sucked into games such as these. It really was amazing to see so many of the same people almost all the time. I often asked them if they slept at all (I stopped sleeping when I had twins). I was shocked at how many people admitted to going straight to the computer and logging on the game the minute they wake up . . . “Just to see what’s going on.” Many people told me that the video game is their social life. I also heard, “There’s just nothing else to do,” a lot of the time.

I remember watching a clip about a mother’s trouble with her gaming addicted son. All this boy did was play video games all day. He even dropped out of high school because it was cutting into his gaming time. I don’t know about anyone else but I for one would drag my son kicking and screaming to school if need be . . . After selling the computer.

If not for me, I believe my husband could easily become one of those gamer addicts. Sometimes he grumbles a bit when I drag him from a game, “forcing” him to come with me and the kids to the park. But . . . then again, he grumbles at me about taking out the trash too.

Video games are a fun pass time but that’s what they should remain . . . A pass time. When you find yourself thinking more about a game than the people around you, you really should step back and analyze the effect it’s having on your life. In a world where games, cell phones, emails, and instant messages are so much a part of our lives . . . We need to hang on to real human contact. Go out with friends, play with your children, cuddle with your significant other, and turn off the video game.