Dong Nguyen, the 29-year-old Veitnamese indie creator of the popular mobile game Flappy Bird, said that he removed the game from both Google Play for Android and iTunes for iOS devices because he was deeply concerned that the game was too addictive. There has been plenty of speculation that Nguyen pulled the game because of legal threats from Nintendo (for using art similar to art found in the Super Mario Bros. series of games) or because he couldn't handle the pressure, but it turns out that - he claims at least - he had a lot of concerns about people playing his game too much.
A documentary about the ill effects of online game addiction in South Korea made its debut this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival. According to the festival's official website (as reported on by GameSpot), the documentary explores South Korea's online gaming culture as it follows the story of a couple whose three-month-old daughter died of malnutrition while they were allegedly playing the massively multiplayer online game, Prius Online.
I'm not sure if this Telegraph article on game addiction is supposed to be some kind of Onion-esque comedy bit, but it sure reads like one. In it the author offers five tips for beating your game addiction.
Putting aside that fact that game addiction (and Internet addiction for that matter) is not a real recognized addiction like gambling is by mental health professionals around the world, the article offers such wonderful tips as:
1) Time Yourself.
New research from the University of Missouri suggests that massively multiplayer online games can serve as a source for what is commonly referred to as "problematic video gaming." While gaming addiction is not a recognized addiction by the global mental health professional community, that hasn't stopped researchers and some mental health professionals from trying to identify and treat it.
When Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate came out a few months ago, I played it like a man obsessed! The minute I came home from work I would fire up the game and play it for hours on end. There was no time to eat, I dutifully sat in front of my TV and hunted monsters until I had to go to bed. The next day I would do it all again.
A recent episode of Katie Couric's syndicated talk show offers a pretty one-sided look at video game addiction, asking the question in the title: "Are Video Games to Blame for Violent Crimes?" Couric does mention that she asked the Entertainment Software Association to participate in the show or comment on its contents, but they did not respond to the request...
Dr. Daniel King, from the University of Adelaide's (Adelaide, South Australia) psychology department says that the definition of video game addiction has yet to be defined because of the model that most researchers have used - namely borrowing from the framework of gambling addiction. He believes that treatments of the addiction to games could be improved if a "standard definition of video game addiction was adopted."
Michael Langlois, a licensed Psychotherapist, speaker, defender of video games, and author of the book "Reset: Video Games & Psychotherapy," will be hosting an interesting one-man panel at PAX East called "Rethinking Game Addiction."
Ultimately the discussion is meant to challenge the mainstream thinking on game addiction and to explore the mental health benefits of playing video games - even violent ones. From the description at the Pax East web site:
According to a report from Xinhuanet (as reported on by Shanghaiist), the Chinese government is developing its own set of criteria for early diagnosis of online game addiction in young people. Chinese authorities announced plans on Sunday to develop "China-specific criteria" for diagnosing and treating online gaming addiction in minors.
Big Fish Games has launched the first real-money gambling game in the United Kingdom through a partnership with Betable. The Big Fish Casino U.K. app lets players gamble for fun or make best with real cash via a new slot machine title. The game uses technology from Betable, a company hoping to take advantage of even more social mobile games in the future by enabling online gambling options.
CBS Cleveland News is reporting that 15-year-old Tyler Rigby has been hospitalized after a 4-day gaming marathon left him severely dehydrated. Reportedly, the Columbus teen locked himself in his room to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. According to his mother, he emerged for the occasional potty and snack break.
States across the Union are passing or debating laws that will make online gambling legal, either for their entire state, or – as is the case being discussed in New Jersey, presently – just in certain cities/areas. These legislative changes may represent a shifting in the ideals of voters, but the impetus is most certainly tax revenue and perceived job creation.
Twenty-one-year-old Aymen Korbi of Wallington, England, was convicted in Croydon Crown Court on Tuesday for stabbing his wife. The charges stem from a November 2011 domestic dispute which ended with Korbi stabbing his 21-year-old wife Aida in the back with a shard of glass from a broken mirror. During the trial she told the court that she had packed a bag and intended to leave with their 18-month-old daughter, but Korbi attacked her before she could leave the residence. She said he broke her cell phone, smashed a bedroom mirror and attacked her with a shard of glass.
Birmingham resident Twana Bond-Jones has written a play called "Game Over" that deals with gaming and how it interferes with relationships. The first run of the play will take place April 21 at the Carver Theatre ( 1631 Fourth Ave. North) in Birmingham, Alabama at 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Tickets cost $22 and are available at the box office and online.
A new study from Charité University Medicine in Berlin has made a connection between the time a person spends playing a game with enlarged reward centers in the brain. The study published in Translational Psychiatry conducted test on casual (less frequent) and hardcore (frequent) players, and came to the conclusion that hardcore players had larger reward centers within the left ventral striatum than those who played games less frequently. Researchers also noted that even when players failed in a game, they still experienced stimulation.
Amazon has a product page up for the hardcover edition of Ryan G. Van Cleave's newest book on game addiction, "You Know You're a Video Game Addict If..." You may remember Van Cleave from his first book, "Unplugged: My Journey into the Dark World of Video Game Addiction," which detailed has extreme addiction to World of Warcraft. It's a cautionary tale, for sure.
A sad story from Sky News (by way of The Escapist) details how the dead body of a man in a New Taipei city, China cyber cafe went unnoticed for a full nine hours. The man, who was playing an undisclosed online game, died on Tuesday night according to local reports. The cyber cafe had 30 customers that night, some of which sat next to him, and didn't notice that he was no longer alive.
According to a new study conducted by the Institute for Special Populations Research in New York, some types of games are more addictive than others and have the potential to create "problem gaming" habits in a small percentage of gamers. While the mental health community is not quite ready to make the leap of faith it takes to proclaim that video game addiction is a real mental disorder like gambling and drug addiction, studies like this one are certainly trying to establish causation.
Psychiatrist Philip Tam believes internet addiction should be classified as a disorder. The Sydney, Australia based psychiatrist and some Australian parents think that internet addiction and online game addiction need to be officially classified as addictions so that children can be treated for the so-called disorders.
Researchers at the Charité University Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in Berlin, Germany, found that gamers who play "frequently" have greater left striatal gray matter volume compared with those that are considered to be moderate gamers. Researchers say that these findings show the importance of "striatal volume and activity in shaping preference of skills for video gaming."
Young men love Angry Birds and they are willing to lay out the cash to get the full experience - according to a new survey from Ask Your Target Market, a "do-it-yourself" online market research firm. According to the results, men between the age of 18 and 24 are most likely to pay for the full version of Angry Birds. Age aside, men are 35 percent more likely to pay for the game after downloading the free version and 76 percent more likely to buy the game than a female over the age of 25.
A Carlisle, Pennsylvania, lawyer blamed his addiction to video games for sloppy legal work that inevitably resulted in a three-year suspension of his ability to practice law in the state. 43-year-old attorney Mathew Eshelman claimed that he immersed himself in video games to fight job stress and problems at home.
Divorce Online, a website dedicated to getting rid of that dead weight in your marriage, claims that 15 percent of the divorces it has handled can be attributed to spouses that are addicted to online games such as world of Warcraft and Call of Duty.
According to a press release issued by Divorce Online, an examination of 200 unreasonable behavior petitions filed by women using its service between January - April of this year found that 15 percent complained that their husbands were happier playing video games than they were paying attention to them. They called their "gaming addiction" an unreasonable behavior that lead to the divorce they were seeking.
The release also offers comments from one disgruntled 21-year-old wife from London named Jessica Ellis, 24, who married husband Michael in 2008.
It looks like teens in South Korea won't be able to play online games all night long anymore. South Korea's legislation and judiciary committee has unanimously passed a motion to move forward with a law that prevents children under 15 from playing online games between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. Dubbed the "Cinderella law," the new edict now heads to a vote before South Korea's full national assembly.
Critics of the law argue that that banning late night play affects only a small portion of players, who will probably move their play-time or use a borrowed or pirated registration ID. Others note that the law doesn't go far enough because it doesn't take into account for offline PC games and console games.
As part of an annual BBC project where school kids get to produce their own news reports, William (last name not provided) from Tendring Technology College in Essex decided to research video game addiction. What did his research entail? Interviews with:
-His school guidance counselor: “It’s estimated that 3/5 of all under sixteens actually have some sort of addiction to a gaming machine.”
-A classmate: “[I play video games] usually six or seven [hours per day] because there’s so much to do. That’s what average people do... It’s not like thirty or forty years ago when people used to play outside.”
-And his mom: “[Game addiction] does effect family life, yes, because it is a struggle to get you out of your room.”
A bizarre series of photographs show just what Korean children have to go through in specialized military training camps designed to help them kick the habit of gaming. These gaming addiction boot camps (judging by the 15 photos) show some strange exercises such as young boys rubbing snow on their bare bodies, lying on their backs in the mud with their feet in the air, standing in the snow with gas masks and camouflage uniforms, standing outside in the cold with bare upper bodies yelling, lying bare-chested in the snow, and many other cruel and unusual situations.
Where is Amnesty International or other rights groups? Are children not afforded the same rights as prisoners everywhere else around the world?
A Herald-Tribune article details the odd work situation that Ryan Van Cleave finds himself in since writing his book, "Unplugged: My Journey Into the Dark World of Video Game Addiction." The topic of his book, game addiction, does not sit well with some faculty and students at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla., where he teaches English and writing, because the school has close ties with the field of video game development.
The article describes him as somewhat heretical, because the school teaches computer animation, comparing him to a Hershey employee warning consumers not to eat chocolate.
A 19 year old South Korean boy died after playing a game for more than 12 hours, according to a Daily News report (citing a Korean Times report). According to the report, a young man identified only by the surname "Moon" arrived at "PC Bang," an Internet cafe in the city of Ulsan, at around 2 a.m. on Dec. 27. He spent eight hours playing an "online action game" then went home to have a meal. Moon returned to PC Bang at 10:30 a.m. and resumed playing the game. At around 12:00 he collapsed and was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors were unable to save him.