Videogame Addiction Warning: It Could be You!

You might think something as innocuous the American Library Association’s third annual National Gaming Day, held this past Saturday, might be beyond the scope of criticism, but when you have an agenda (and a book) to push, logic, perhaps, goes out the window.

Psychology Today is hosting a column by Ryan Van Cleave, author of Unplugged; My Journey Into the Dark World of Video Game Addiction and the man behind the Video Game Addiction Awareness Week (VGAAW) website.

In his column, Van Cleave takes a chapter out of Iowa State researcher Douglas Gentile’s play book, writing, “…to encourage video game playing without discussing video game addiction is like announcing the pleasures of drinking wine without discussing hangovers and alcoholism.”

Van Cleave goes on to recount a variety of tales of videogame addiction, before stating:

Video game addiction is a future that’s available to anyone no matter their race, socio-economic status, or age. That’s not to say that everyone who plays will become addicted, but without good role models to show what a healthy relationship to virtual environments looks like, it’s easy to slip so far into the digital rabbit hole that once you realize it’s too far, it’s too late.

The author notes that he does support public libraries and urged National Gaming Day attendees to stick to board games.

If attendees did want to play a videogame, be careful! Van Cleave warned:

If you want to play video games there too, go ahead. Just understand that, statistically speaking, everyone knows at least one person who’s either a video game addict or is well on that path.

If you can’t locate that person, it might well be you.

Van Cleave’s column was supposed to appear in a “very respectable newspaper,” but a “big-time snafu” relegated it to an appearance on the Psychology Today website.

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13 comments

  1. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    I do support public libraries, and I also value fun. So go ahead and visit your local participating library on National Gaming Day. They’ll have plenty of board games on hand–I recommend Sorry, The Settlers of Catan, and Hullabaloo. I also recommend checking out a few books with more words than pictures. If you want to play video games there too, go ahead. Just understand that, statistically speaking, everyone knows at least one person who’s either a video game addict or is well on that path.

    What an arrogant prick. Can´t believe someone with a PHD can be that ignorant.

     

    ———————————————————— My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

  2. 0
    HarmlessBunny says:

    It is shocking how someone can write such drivel and expect to be considered reputable and respected. Your comment of blatant uninformed fear mongering is probably the best description for this.

    ———

    James Fletcher, member of ECA Canada

  3. 0
    Avalongod says:

    Read the article.  Wow, talk about your blatant uninformed fear mongering.  I’m not saying it’s not worth discussing pathological gaming at all, but just *wow*.

  4. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Apparently, intelligence goes out the window along with logic.

    IMHO, that "big time snafu" was that nobody’s heard of this worthless turd and that "very respectable newspaper" didn’t want his column.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.


    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  5. 0
    Neeneko says:

    I think as a general rule, if libraries and librarians are your opponents…. you need to do some serious reconsideration of your position.  This holds esp true if you are plugging a book.

  6. 0
    HarmlessBunny says:

    Van Cleave’s column was supposed to appear in a “very respectable newspaper,” but a “big-time snafu” relegated it to an appearance on the Psychology Today website.

    Sure it was. I am also going to get Knighted by the Queen on Tuesday, and the Prime Minister of Canada is going to write me a cheque for a $1,000,000 for saving Edmonton in MDK2… (sarcasim mode deactivated)

    Video game addiction is a future that’s available to anyone no matter their race, socio-economic status, or age. That’s not to say that everyone who plays will become addicted, but without good role models to show what a healthy relationship to virtual environments looks like, it’s easy to slip so far into the digital rabbit hole that once you realize it’s too far, it’s too late.

    Where is your research and proof? Does a Videogame make you chemically dependant with severe withdrawl symptoms when you no longer play? Or is it a psychological ‘addiction’ due to social problems? If it is the latter it is not addiction but a person filling their social needs with a game. Not ideal of course, but one can simply stop (Myself for example I used to play WoW for hours on end. I quit after 2 years of playing. No withdrawl symptoms, no inclination to play it again).

    So far it seems like a paniced rant, from someone with little to no credibility, about the dangers of music, comic books, printed media, (insert new social media of the day)

    ———

    James Fletcher, member of ECA Canada

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