Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

September 17, 2009 -

A Swedish youth advocate, who earlier this year likened World of Warcraft addictiveness to crack cocaine, is the recipient of a profile piece in an online news site in which he claims game addiction is a problem of “pandemic proportions.”

The article goes on to note that, in light of its WOW/cocaine correlation, the Youth Care Foundation and Sven Rollenhagen have been “flooded with inquires from across the globe looking for more information about how to address the problem.” The requests prompted the group to translate their materials into English and to create the Centre of Computer Game Addiction.

Rollenhagen added:

These are smart guys, highly intelligent, capable of being anything – doctors, engineers, whatever. But they find themselves tempted by computer games and end up just wasting time in front of a screen.


Comments

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

As someone who as a child was told he was smart enough to be "anything" like those mentioned in the article.

Just because someone CAN doesn't mean they WANT or would LIKE to enter those career fields. I don't like math even though I am good at it, science never interested me much either, and gore and blood is difficult for me to deal with.

I could have gone to school and been a lawyer, doctor, engineer, scientist, etc. Instead I chose to become a game designer. God forbid people be able to live their lives the way they choose.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

"And here we see the epidemic of agenda-driven, badly-researched statements from would-be-experts, likening media forms they have never experienced to mind-altering drugs which they, too, never have experienced...

This is proven through reviewing their horribly flawed arguments, which in turn exposes a pre-determined mindset that is out to prove nothing more than mere opinion..."

I can use big words, too. :D

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

You could be a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer....once the market for jobs comes back.

And I'd like to point out that one cannot dabble in cocaine. One can dabble with World of Warcraft. Cocaine is gauranteed to get you buzzed out of your mind. World of Warcraft may not appeal to you even after playing it.

And video games should not be singled out for addiction. If anything, it's addiction to entertainment. I've seen people addicted to TV, books, Football and other sports. Hell, there's even people addicted to faith because of the high it gives them.

Won't someone please think of the children?

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

Because all the time I spent infront of a screen learning social, problem solving, and critical thinking skills were certainly wasted. The letters of reccomendation that I've gotten from mmo's I've volunteered with and helped me get into the college program of my choice were very little in comparison to all the wasted hours I could have spent watching T.V. or smoking pot with my buddies.

I totally see their point now and frankly, I'm disappointed with myself.

-I apologize-

-I apologize-

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

They just have a new buzzword now: 'Pandemic' and have to find new ways to use it!

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

I'm no doctor, but it seems like if someone is gaming THAT much, there is an underlying problem outside of the game itself causing the individual to crave something that provides constant positive re-enforcement (which games tend to do very well). Perhaps it could be depression or the feeling of being inferior to everyone else they know (in real life) whereby they could rise about it in the digital world as the "hero" and "saviour".

Unfortunately, too many people seem to mistake the game as a "cause" instead of an "effect" when that is not always the case. It's probably no different than a depressed person locking themselves in a small room and constantly going through their stamp/coin/etc collections day and night.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

Pandemic (from Greek πᾶν pan "all" + δῆμος demos "people"): noun: an epidemic of infectious disease that is spreading through human populations across a large region."

It sickens me when supposed health professionals use dramatic wording to describe what they feel is a situation beyond their control.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

Not just health pros, even gamers:

"I've lost a lot of good men to WoW and......you know the few of us that are remaining, we kinda refer to it as the plague. Some of 'em come back eventually but...you know they're not the same...I mean....they usually just end up sprayin and prayin..."

                                                              -FPS Doug, from Pure Pwnage..

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

Well, uh, Pure Pwnage is a parody of the gamer stereotype so...yeah. 

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

Well, loss of FPS skill IS a plague, didn't you know? It can be incurred through WoW or excessive RPG play, and it IS a serious issue. D:

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

If these people weren't tempted by video games, then it would be something else, like alcohol or gambling.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

Not sure if I even want to read that report as Im sure it'll be full of bias information.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

I will post again the comments made by Keith Bakker, someone who actually runs a game addiction clinic:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7746471.stm

It's easy to point a finger at what people do to get away from their problems, and say, 'That's the problem', but the truth of the matter is that if you take that form of escape away from them, they will simply find another form of escape. The real challenge is finding out why people feel the need to retreat into a virtual world in the first place.

The only things MMO's etc have in common with Crack Cocaine are that they are often used by people with problems to escape for a time from the problems they have, but, that is where the similarity abruptly, and totally ends. To liken computer games to Crack is nothing more than pathetic sensationalism and attention whoring. You could say, in a similar vein that D&D, Television or going to a Football game are like Crack if you are going to use that definition.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

You beat me to the BBC article.

After looking over their website and faq, I am not at all convinced that they've done their research properly. A single computer game played by anyone works exactly as it's programmed to, how a single individual interprets or consume the game is a different matter. Their focus is too much on the computer games and not so much on the individual.

Their use of the word 'pandemic' is as you say pathetic sensationalism. No actual numbers or any kind of data to speak of undermines their argument. And speaking of data, have a look at this well-prepared document from Keith Bakker's addiction clinic. Pay attention to chapter 3.

http://www.smithandjones.nl/images/fck/File/Pwned%20by%20the%20Internet.pdf

 

http://vgresearcher.wordpress.com/

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

I know I've said this before but I'll say it again.

My father used to be addicted to online chess, so much so that after a small amount of time, you'd have to repeat yourself before he'd realize someone in the same room was talking to him (to be fair to my Dad, my brother and I wouldn't play him because he was too good and chess requires a lot of concentration so that might explain the repeating part).

He's cut back dramatically though.

With the spread in sales of games I wouldn't be surprised if there was a big spread in addiction but it seems like it's just the next thing for people to invest way too much time doing.

WOW isn't nicknamed warcrack for nothing but to actually compare it to crack? Come on your're not putting any substance into your body so it probably isn't THAT bad (look at me trying to sound like I know something about addictions).
----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

The big questin would be, is it a spread in addiction or a shift in addiction.  Do games create addicts out of people who would not normally be, or do they appeal to people with addictive personalities that, if not for the games, would have found something else to obsess over instead.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

The latter.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

I've heard of Evercrack but I have never, ever heard or seen anyone refer to WoW as Warcrack, at least until now.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

I'm sorry but the frustration from reading this article is keeping Me from coming up with an intelligent response.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

Frankly, it seems to me that trying to find something easy to blame is like Crack Cocaine to some people. Especially when such blame just happens to be used to promote his organisation.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

If WoW is like crack, then I guess if I ever tried crack, I would use it for about a month, and then get completely bored of it.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

Nope, if WoW is like crack, your body will develop a physical dependency, and a withdraw from WoW will directly upset the chemical balance from your brain ;)

And that's why drugs can't be compared to mentally addicting acitivities such as playing video games.

Physical addictions completely break down the healthy system of chemical responses that your brain is set to, and re-builds it around the new chemicals that you introduced to your body. 

Mental addictions, though more widespread, are not caused from introducing foreign substances into your body. Your brain still uses chemicals naturally present in your body, so a withdrawal isn't physically harmful to you.

GameSnooper

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

wasnt there something about gaming helping doctors be better at macroscopic surgery or something?

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

Wow, someone is desperate to stay relevant...

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

"Stay" relevant?  It's a bit hard to "stay" something the guy never was in the first place.

"Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson'll justify it in the end." - nightwng2000

"Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson'll justify it in the end." - nightwng2000

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

This is too stupid to even comment on.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

So is stupidty but I don't see anyone doing anything about that.....


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

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Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

A person is smart, people are idiotic sheep that will panic at the drop of a hat.

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

That's because stuipid people are the majority. That this guy is taken seriously is case in point.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

 I've wasted more of my life in front of a TV than in front of a videogame.

 

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

I agree.  If videogames are a pandemic, TV-watching must be an uber-pandemic.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

How old are you? (For purely curiosity-satisfying reasons)

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

And what are the would-be "doctors, engineers, whatever" supposed to do in their free time?  Go outside? Play sports? Bar hopping? Watch the college/professional sports game of the evening? Watch reality television? Various home improvement projects?  Family time?

All are valid activities...I suppose, but none of that makes people any better at practicing medicine or engineering.  Unless Mr. Sven Rollenhagen wants us to hit the books and study study study.

Re: Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

They are supposed to be "studying" for those respective rolls, but they are not saying they can not have a pass time...

They are not saying that MMO's, gaming and such are not a valid pass time (though i would not be surprised if they did *eyeroll*)... The point that is being made is that game "addicition" is NOT just gaming as a pass time, it's gaming to an extreme amount, including when you shouldn't... gaming when you should be studying; gaming instead of going to school/class; gaming to the point that you are sacrifising your life... essentially gaming INSTEAD of becoming Doctors, Engineers or whatever... they have the POTENIAL to be those things, but they are squandering it playing games... they are allowing vidoe games to get in the way of their education.

 

thuogh he is still smoking something to be comparing WoW to cocaine...

 
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