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I hearby propose....

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Jan. 17th, 2006 | 12:10 am
Theme of the Day: annoyedannoyed

I don't rant very often. It's been almost three months since I've ranted.

But I now have a high horse I need to get on.

I just read an article in MacLean's Magazine (a news magazine for any non-canucks out there) about the disintergration of marriages and families because of gaming.

Now, being a slight fan of the gaming myself there are two possible positions I can argue on this. And anyone who knows me knows that I am a proponent of "Video games don't kill people, idiotic parents who don't explain reality to their kids have the children who kill people."

But this new topic has riled me up. Why. Because it's so true.

The article interviewed several women on the break up of their families and marriages because games like Everquest and World of Warcraft(hence refered to as W.O.W Crack) have been sucking the life out of normally productive males.

For GOD'S SAKE PEOPLE it's just a game. But there are entire lives being wasted on these games. People are dedicating 12 hours/day and sometimes ENTIRE weekends to "level up" on these games. In the meantime, women(and I will say in some cases men, because I'm sure there are women guilty of this) are losing their partners. Children are growing up not knowing their fathers because these men have no time to spend with them because they would rather level up.

There are now on-line support groups for these people, who are posting such sad things as "Do you notice you drink more?" and "I had to cut the breaker to get my husband to pay attention to me, so I could tell him I was leaving." There was one woman who informed the reporter that her husband hit her so hard she fell back on the floor after cutting the breaker so he would finally acknowledge her.

Out of curiosity I trolled a yahoo.com group of such women, now calling themselves gamerwidows. It's a sad world people. One woman left her husband after he REFUSED to attend the birth of his son because if he quit W.O.W crack at that moment he would lose his entire weekend of leveling up.

Dear Lord what is this world coming to?

I think China is on the right track. People are only allowed three hours of on-line gaming per day. If they play longer, people start losing points. Now, this riles against my libertarian leanings, but I agree to some extent that this on-line gaming has to be monitored. The idea of being fined points for over-use of the game works for me. It's not a monetary fine, but can be just as damaging to the psyche. Anything that fucks with the mind.....

A small part of me wants a good ol' fashioned book burning with hymns and a southern preacher setting fire to my soul with words of eternal damnation for those who play such games.

Instead of books, we'd be burning W.O.W crack and similar MMORPG's.

Right about now I would be calling for a boycott of MMORPG's, but I have gamer friends who DO INDEED play these games in moderation, and besides, not having these games is a violation of the consumers' right to consume. But I think that the corporations who create these games, like Bizarre Inc., need to take a hand in moderating the use of the game. It IS an addiciton that psychologists and counselors have acknowledged to be just as detrimental to society as gambling. It's ruining lives, not just those of the gamers but of the loved ones around them.

If they have to put warnings outside of the box for content, they should put a page in the front of the instruction manual that contains numbers for national counseling lines and recommended play time. I don't think we have to force it upon them, but would that not be the reasonable thing to do?

The company still gets to make its money. Like tabacco.


Meh...I should get some sleep...and gear myself up for some election rants.

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from: cacophonoushell
date: Jan. 17th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC)

Of course companies exist to sell themselves, and their game is as addictive a product as any physically-addictive substance. Everyone knows that any physical withdrawal symptoms from pot smoking are generally psychosomatic, but it's the physical behaviour, not to mention social/antisocial and psychological behaviour, that keeps people addicted. Gaming is akin to gambling in that sense - your friends do/not do it, your family, etc. It may have started as a harmless getaway until it began to hold your attention. Addictions and the accompanying greed and arrested development are part and parcel of a larger problem with the psyche, whether it's smoking, gambling, drinking, drugging, working, sex or gaming.

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