Video Game Addiction Test
Posted on 12 July 2011.
Posted on 11 July 2011.
MMO stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing game. The most popular of these complex video games being World of Warcraft. Players develop virtual characters, interact with one another, cooperate, implement strategies. World of Warcraft alone is a more than $2 billion dollar industry! So you can imagine, even if you have never played, just how sophisticated and compelling an experience they must be creating for their players.
A unique aspect of an MMO game is that the game goes on, no matter what, whether you are playing or not because at any given moment, thousands or players are playing. There is no beginning or end. When a player is not playing, he is “missing” the action and falling behind other players that continue or play more frequently. The incentive or need to log in as many hours as possible is built in to the concept of the MMO game.
The unique set of characteristics of these games adds up to an experience that can be highly habit forming, if not downright addictive. Of course not all players get hooked, and for some it is a healthy hobby but for countless players, games like World of Warcraft of become a highly significant part of their life to the point that life can actually revolve around playing the game and the line between real life and gaming gets blurred.
It is not uncommon for players to spend a few hours daily playing, making it a routine part of their day. Many players have been known to lose days of sleep and anecdotal tales abound of gamers showing many major symptoms of addiction. Gamers have lost jobs, failed school, alienated friends, suffered physical symptoms of lack of sleep and nutrition, all due to their obsession and drive to log in as many hours as possible playing their chosen video game.
So what do you do if your son or daughter has started to play an MMO game on the Internet? First of all, of course playing in and of itself is not bad. These games offer a rich and interesting entertainment experience. But how can you make sure you do not play a part in enabling their compulsion to play?
Here are some tips to avoid enabling someone’s gaming from turning to addiction:
1. Try to understand why your child is playing and if it is a healthy experience or if it is fulfilling a void, like a lack of friendships. Observe how much time the child spends playing, when they play, how they are acting before, during and after. Be aware of the role the game is playing in their life by simply paying attention and talking about the experience with them, without being judgmental.
2. Don’t take over their responsibilities to enable them to spend more time playing. For example, if they lose their after school job or don’t work, and should be, don’t provide them with spending money — don’t change your reasonable expectations.
3. Don’t schedule meals to meet their gaming needs. Don’t bring them meals to their room so that they can keep playing, even if they refuse to take a break.
4. Don’t pick up the slack in household chores — if they should clean their room and don’t, don’t do it for them. If they forgot to do homework and need last minute help, allow them to deal with the consequences themselves.
5. If the consequences for their behavior start adding up and the child does not recognize the problem or seek your guidance, approach them at a calm moment and express your concerns.
This is not about punishment or showing anger or disappointment. You need to avoid making the habit too comfortable so that the child or teen will recognize, on their own, that they are giving something up in order to maintain their gaming habit.