Saturday, March 1, 2008

An Interesting Theory...

So today I stumbled upon this thread, and I tend to see similar discussions of that sort every so often. Essentially, WoW addiction becoming a problem with one ignoring real life responsibilities, time with a significant other, etc. I see these threads, I see players in guild sometimes get "wife aggro" etc, and combined with my own experiences and I can't help but feel that the problem, or at least the majority of it is *not* the neglect of any sort of responsibility, or spending less time with your significant other, but rather *why* you aren't, and in many cases, even when you do "take care of your shit" it's a problem.

Imagine some random guy who is labeled by his significant other as a "WoW addict" were to drop WoW and go join a local bowling league, or and spend the same *exact* amount of time away from their responsibilities. I guarantee 90% of the time hey'd get less flak about it. The issue isn't necessarily that responsibilities are being shirked, or that they're not spending time with their significant others, but rather that they're spending time with a "silly game"

It seems like the label of "addiction" is being thrown around a little too liberally by people who just lack a fundamental respect for certain hobbies, IE gaming, simply because they either don't understand it or reject it as it's not socially sanctioned as a "proper" hobby.

Personally? I'm single. Rather happily. But even I get crap from friends for "wasting my time" with WoW when all they're doing is playing
some X-box game or going to get drunk and play poker. Now don't get me wrong- addiction is a very real problem- but it just seems like like much of the anger/frustration surrounding PC gaming "addiction" labeling stems not from neglecting ones life, but rather the ignorance of the accuser. PC gaming does tend to be a little more complex and difficult to "get" at a glance like many console games, or even a sport or other hobby, so it's quite easy to develop angst towards these games that one might not understand.

Is ignorance the driving force that makes people in your life take issue with your gaming hobbies? I think so.

(As an aside I fully admit being addicted to the computer. Not to any specific game, chat program, forum, email, or anything really, but I am addicted to the sum of the parts of the experience of being on the computer. Being able to communicate, play games, do school work, listen to music, shop, learn, etc. I am very much addicted to that but I think most of us are and just aren't willing to admit it...Plus what with the advent of AIM/myspace/etc being on the computer so much is quickly becoming, or already is, an acceptable addiction of sorts)


Fusoya said...

I'm addicted to love

Hakawne said...

I've decided I'm going to come out there, Draele, and try... 'things.'

Proteus said...

WoW is almost never the core problem...just a symptom. When someone plays 12+ hours a day, calls in sick so often to play they get fired, and literally neglect all responsibilities in life, they need to see a therapist. People like that are into extreme escapism. If it wasn't WoW, it'd be something else.

It's also hard for real life that is almost never built on a meritocracy to compete with WoW which is a consistent stream of rewards for X amount of time spent. People do things to feel rewarded. Often times (especially in tech jobs), people do hard work and get no real rewards from it. After a while you realize you can do the absolute minimum or excel and you still get the same reward. WoW can be a sort of 'solution' for people that have a hard time coping with no getting promotions, raises, rewards, friends, etc in real life. As far as I see it, it's more of a critique on modern society than WoW.

Leiah said...

Don't know what to say. I play wow more than most, yet I still manage to balance it between a full time IT professional job, and a year long relationship with my girlfriend.

It's all about time management and knowing your priorities. Then again, I always choose my girlfriend over wow, given the choice, because I love her. Maybe this bitch in your post you linked wasn't getting any attention because, well, she's a bitch, or unattractive, etc. There's probably a reason he didn't want to spend time with her. Just a thought.