Monthly Archives: June 2006
Since posting on the state of video game addiction and it’s rehab centers, I found this link via Gameology.org showing the dark side of addiction.
My daughter started playing this mmorpg – Rose Online, geared towards pre/teens (7 day or 35hour free trial). The graphics are adorable, as you play slight anime children who fight jelly beans, flowers and pumpkins (so far that is). You can play the usual gamut of classes (fighter, caster, healer and vendor). But what I like the most about it, is that although there are quite a number players, given their age range, there is little online in terms of out of game, third party information sites – which makes the exploration of the game a little more fun (in my opinion – a little more frustrating in my daughter’s).
What I find interesting is that she enjoys the rpg game, but is not interested in communicating with the other players. Surely age and shyness has something to do with it, but the odd thing is (imo) is that she is not really interested in playing single player rpg’s that would give her the play she likes without the hassle of other players. Back to the playing alone together theory I suppose.
Some show withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking and sweating, when they look at a computer.
I wonder where the rehab centers for ex-athletic children are. The ones who undoubtedly suffer from a decrease in strength due to the diminished quantity of excercise. I remember when I was doing yoga and working out weekly, if I missed a week let alone two, my muscles felt cramped and I had an increased desire to stretch. Yes – I am stretching the point a little far, but I cannot imagine anyone going into the shakes from not playing a good stretch of WoW. Distraction thinking about missing out on the ‘haps’ in the game maybe – but the shakes?
And I wonder what constitutes “addiction” if you don’t have the symptons? Is it purely defined by “I used to play alot and now I don’t want to?” or must it be accompanied by physical symptons. “I’m sorry sir, you arent REALLY addicted to video games – you don’t exhibit enough of the symptons to fall into that category”.
The article gives a (ludicrous) example of a guy who played games and smoked pot. Thinking he had a drug problem, went to drug rehab. But alas! Silly man! Twas not the drugs!!! it was the video games:
Hyke van der Heijden, 28, a graduate of the Amsterdam program, started playing video games 20 years ago. By the time he was in college he was gaming about 14 hours a day and using drugs to play longer.
“For me, one joint would never be enough, or five minutes of gaming would never be enough,” he said. “I would just keep going until I crashed out.”
Van der Heijden first went to Smith & Jones for drug addiction in October 2005, but realized the gaming was the real problem. Since undergoing treatment, he has distanced himself from his smoking and gaming friends. He says he has been drug-and game-free for eight months.
“We have kids who don’t know how to communicate with people face-to-face because they’ve spent the last three years talking to somebody in Korea through a computer,” Bakker said. “Their social network has completely disappeared.”
When I think about it, I am startled at how it makes so much sense. That when we are young, we buy functional furniture (usually low to mid price, with a short life span). There is no symbolic order in the furniture. The pieces don’t mean anything except their function. As people grow up, marry and have children, there is often a tendency to move towards furniture that moves beyond its function, becoming both a functional and symbolic artefact.
I am trying to think through my work on identity in mmo’s with this… the difference between symbolic and functional order. At what stage is the symbolic element implemented? How does materiality or the virtuality of material alter the potential symbolism? functionalism? Is it relevant at all? Or is it just a really interesting thought project that Baudrillard is taking me on?
This is not always a bad thing. It opens the lines of communication into other people’s point of views. But at other times, it can get frustrating when it seems like someone just isn’t getting the point of what was intended in the original post. Instead of it being a space of open give and take of pov’s, it turns into a ‘I am right’ kind of posting session, without regard to the potential idea that it wasn’t quite the point. When I see this happening on threads, a little high pitched voice creeps into the back of my head reminiscent of my mother’s voice telling me that we only hear what we want to hear.