Monday, July 09, 2007

Addiction to Games

You can't live without it....everything pales in comparison to getting your next fix...well, at least that's what some people are saying. No, we're not talking about drugs or alcohol...homepage producer Amy Spear investigates recent claims that gaming can be addictive. Amy asks what makes gaming appealing to so many people? Is it the status you achieve or the social aspects? Is it the content, the graphics or is it merely something to do? Perhaps it's more the chance to escape from reality and live an entirely different life where you're a warrior saving the world from ultimate destruction...or maybe that's just Amy!

To answer these questions Amy speaks with IT Sales & Service Professional Tom Wilding, and games expert Chris S. Johnson from the University of Technology in Sydney.

Games technology is now the fastest growing segment of the entertainment industry. The world of mass multi-player online gaming is changing the way we interact with other people, the way we kick back and have fun, and even the way we view our world. Over the past few weeks it's been brought to our attention that some doctors are calling for gaming addiction to be classified as a psychiatric disease. While the medical and games industries have both expressed the need for more research into the area, there can be no denying the seriousness of the claims. And with 40million gamers world wide this is one issue that can't be put on the back burner.

Chris S. Johnson reckons humans find anything addictive. He says "games are addictive in as much as they present people with challenges. They're an active form of entertainment as against, say TV". Chris agrees games can be addictive but adds he doesn't believe games are any more addictive then other things like TV.

Tom Wilding works with computers and is a keen gamer himself. Tom likes the social aspect of multi-player gaming which allows people to meet and interact with likeminded people.

Ever changing, always growing and undeniably appealing, there's no doubt that games technology is set to become even more a part of our lives. But do we need to take action to cerb unhealthy use? When is too much really too much? The calls to identify gaming addiction as a serious illness are there. How far will it go?

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