Well, not really, but when I found out that I could be a rock star in the privacy of my own living room while playing ZZ Top and Deep Purple, I was hooked. My brother didn’t really like that his 23-year-old sister was not more amused with things like books and socially interacting with people. Eventually I got bored, though.
I’m a pretty lame example, but I might go as far as to say that some people are actually addicted to video games. Like extreme gambling and drug use, daily life activities can take a back seat to the thrill of rolling the die just once more, getting one more hit or getting to the next level on World of Warcraft.
The American Psychiatric Association says no, extreme gaming isn’t an addiction, but I could probably name someone, or someone who knows someone that has missed school occasionally or gotten out of work, or not showered for an entire day because the mission is to finish the game. I can see how it’s appealing though… The ability to stop or restart a game whenever you want? To be another person for a while and alter your own reality?
Recently, Europe’s first rehab center dedicated to video game ‘addiction’ opened, set in the canals of Amsterdam in a 16th century townhouse. Countless tales of kids and adults dying from heart failure for playing too long and committing suicide are out there.
So…extreme gaming: addiction or vice?