Some researcher has figured out what the rest of us already know: around half of the people playing World of Warcraft are hopeless addicts. Yep, she figures about 40% of the people playing that game have clinical signs of addiction, and I don’t doubt it. Every day for the last year, the conversation in the lunch room here at work has been exactly the same: a group of WoW addicts sits around doing nothing but talking about the game. No, I’m not making this up. Maybe I’ll take a recording of it with my Clie sometime to share it with you.
Now, I like games as much as the next guy. I even played World of Warcraft for over a year and really enjoyed it. What I can’t see, however, is letting any figment of fantasy dominate your waking hours. It’s a game. It’s just for entertainment. It cannot and should not dominate your free time and conversations. You shouldn’t be going home on your lunch break to play it. I can’t make this kind of stuff up. The fanboys and what they become is my main deterrent to reactivating my account. I can’t see how anyone with a house and family could find 20 hours a week to play a game.
This isn’t really isolated either. There are over 6 million people playing World of Warcraft. If 40% of them are addicted, that makes for 2.4 million addicts of a single game. This isn’t even taking into account any other game out there. (Ask any fan of the Civilization series about the “just one more turn” syndrome.) While entertainment is a Good Thing(TM), allowing it to dominate your life is a Bad Thing(TM).