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Virtual Addiction: The Hidden Dangers of Online Gaming

The author had a friend who suffered from an addiction to online gaming, which inspired her to research the topic and write this article.


Can Online Gaming Be Dangerous?

You wake up groggy. The clock next to your bed reads 7:04 am. You were only able to sleep for 3 hours since you went to bed at 4 am. You’re scheduled to go in to work at 8:30 am. Since you have about an hour before going in, you rush over to your computer and start playing EverQuest. It’s now 8:01 am; you’re making so much progress, killing characters and gathering objects that you decide you really would rather game then go to work.

You call your boss and tell him that you woke up very sick this morning. “Again?” he asks, “One more sick day from you, and I’m going to have to let you go!” You go back to your computer and continue to play. A glance at the clock on your computer desk brings you back to reality. It is now 2:38 pm. Oops. What meant to be an hour or two of gaming has yet again turned into another binge. This is the life of an online video game addict.

Addictions to Internet games, particularly massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), have emerged as a threat to public health—a new epidemic. Although they pose no direct physical danger, they take a toll on the mental well-being of players. This disease is as equally debilitating as an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Consequently, addictions to these games have ruined lives as they disrupt family life, distract students, and compromise jobs.

Although some video games provide benefits to society, when used as a tool to engage children in the classroom or train soldiers on urban warfare, the positive impact of these programs is negated as soon as one considers the potential damages. Proper use of games requires the responsibility of gamers and marketers.

Software developers should reveal the potential dangers associated with the games, like how the games have a possible addictive nature. Perhaps these programs need to have labels that warn of possible health consequences. The labels would be similar to the labels that law requires tobacco companies to place on their cigarettes. Public awareness should encourage members of society to be aware of the personal consequences of excessive gaming.

Tony Lamont Bragg

Dramatic examples of the gaming danger include the tragic death of a nine-month-old child. In 2001, Tony Lamont Bragg placed his son in a closet so he could play the game Everquest. His priority was his game, and when he finally thought to check on his son after 24 hours, he found him lifeless. Today, Bragg is serving a 15-year term in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter. [i]

Shawn Woolley

In 2002, 21-year-old Shawn Woolley committed suicide while in front of his computer. He did not leave a suicide note; rather, online game EverQuest remained on the screen. While admitting that her son had other psychiatric problems that may have led to his suicide, his mother, Elizabeth Woolley, still blamed the game for enhancing her son’s other mental problems.

At the end of his life, Shawn Woolley continually clocked over 12 hours a day on his computer. Woolly attempted to sue game developer Sony Online for neglecting to place warning labels on their games. [ii] Since her son’s death in 2002, Wooly has founded and maintained a website, Online Gamers Anonymous, http://www.olganon.org, where gaming addicts and their friends and family can find support.

Other Incidences of Addiction-Related Death

Another suicide includes the death of a 13-year-old. In 2004, Zhang Xiaoyi died after he jumped off of a 24-story building, re-enacting a scene from the online game World of Warcraft.[iii] In 2005, a 28-year-old South Korean man died of heart failure after playing the game StarCraft for 50 straight hours in a gaming café. His only breaks were to use the bathroom and take quick naps. [iv] An addicted gamer in Shanghai was convicted of murder after killing another gamer who borrowed and then sold a virtual object within an online role-playing game (RPG). [v]

These cases represent the perils of extreme addiction to online gaming; however, there are dangers that are not as obvious. There are many records/instances of divorce, job loss, and failed academics.

This addiction seems to be most prevalent in adolescent boys. A study conducted by the Psychology department at Iowa State University suggested that gaming addiction is a larger problem with male adolescents. The study also reported that addicted adolescents were more likely to display aggressive behavior and do poorly in school. [vi] These trends highlight the negative impact these programs have on society.

What Causes Gaming Addiction?

It is estimated that nearly 4 out of every 10 adults play video games [vii]. Why is it that some people can play games and not become addicted, while others feel the need to play for excessive amounts of time? Not everyone is at risk for addiction to video games. Addictions can be triggered by both psychological and physiological reasons.

Psychologically, there are numerous causes of online video gaming addiction. Those who fit into the group of video game addicts often have similar characteristics, including depression, elevated stress levels, social anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem, and excessive boredom. Massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGS) are the ideal playground for people who suffer from poor self-esteem. Addicted gamers come to find the “game world” a place to create a new identity, a place to find friends anonymously, and more sadly, a place where they can fit in. [viii]

The physiological addiction to video gaming has been compared to that of drug or alcohol addiction. A study conducted by Cherité University Medicine Berlin tested 15 men in the same age group who admitted that gaming had taken over their lives. The men were tested by a “drug memory” test, which is used to show how images trigger cravings in drug addicts. Neutral images are shown to the drug addicts and result in no response. After the neutral images are shown, trigger images, such as a building where a drug had been taken, are presented to the drug addicts. After viewing the trigger images, drug addicts experience cravings for drug use.

In the video gaming addiction study, the same test was administered to the group of 15 gamers, but instead of using images that could trigger drug cravings, images were displayed from their favorite computer games. The men experienced cravings, as did the drug addicts, and experienced feelings of desperation to play the games. [ix] A scientific theory of addiction is that a person can become addicted to any activity that brings pleasure.

Dopamine, a “feel good receptor” chemical in the brain, increases during times of pleasure. Pleasure, for video game addicts, comes in the form of gaming. Dopamine levels are at their highest in a game addict’s brain during time spent gaming. Sabine Grüsser, of the Cherité University Medicine Berlin, says, “It’s the same mechanism in all addicts.” Grüsser also claims that gaming eventually becomes the only activity in a gamer’s life that can increase dopamine levels and is a physiological explanation for the addiction. [x]

Game design plays an enormous factor in online video gaming addiction. Game developers hire psychologists to create gameplay aspects to keep their games addictive. With a $10-15 monthly subscription fee, online game companies want to keep their subscribers as engrossed in the game as possible.

The first aspect of game design that creates an addicting experience is personal time investment. Players become too attached to their virtual personas after spending 30-40 hours per week, guiding the character through perils and triumphs. Abstaining from gaming can then become difficult; all of the previous time invested into gameplay may seem a waste.

“Leveling up” of characters is another addictive aspect. It becomes increasingly difficult to gain points, skills, and items, the more time that is spent in the game. It may take only 10-15 minutes to “level-up” a character the first time, but by level 25, gamers can spend 20+ hours just to gain one level. Some areas in games such as World of Warcraft have “timesinks.” These locations within the game require many hours in one area to move on to the next quest, reward, or level.

An additional addictive aspect of game design is the social interaction between players. Many quests and adventures in MMORPGs need to be completed with the assistance of other players. Players are made to be felt inclusive and important by their gaming peers and then feel the need to further participate. [xi]

What Symptoms and Consequences Do Online Gaming Addicts Experience?

Online video game addicts experience a vast amount of symptoms, some more harmful than others, but all are a tragic effect of excessive gaming. Some symptoms of video game addiction include the inability to predict the amount of time spent gaming and spending over 3-4 hours a day playing online games. Addicts may experience a sense of euphoria while playing and can experience desperation, depression, or other intense feelings when unable to play. Not participating in social activities, calling into work sick, missing class, lying to friends and family to conceal gaming, and neglecting relationships to play games, are serious symptoms of video gaming addiction. [xii]

Many consequences stem from an addiction to video games. Physically, health problems can occur, including carpal tunnel syndrome, eye strain, neck and back strain, seizures, headaches, insomnia, weight gain, weight loss, and lack of sex drive.

Game addicts normally neglect daily tasks such as personal hygiene. One case of addiction involved a man that wore adult diapers, so he wouldn’t have to break away from his game.[xiii] Socially, many families and relationships have been destroyed because of the addiction of a person in the relationship. The website GamerWidow.com was created to offer support to women, and even men, who have “lost” loved ones to the world of online video gaming.

Psychologically, some experts say that video games can cause desensitization to violence, which can lead to displays of violent behavior. Financially, effects of addiction can include job loss, because of missed days of work, serious financial debt due to spending money on monthly gaming fees or gaming equipment, and even Bankruptcy.[xiv]

What Are the Treatment Options?

Numerous treatment centers are starting to develop programs that treat video game addicts. In the United States, Boston McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School have clinics that are purely devoted to computer addiction. [xv] Spanning the globe, many other countries, especially Asia, where video gaming is prevalent within the culture, have opened up treatment centers for computer addiction.

Support can also be obtained through the Online Gamers Anonymous Website, http://www.olganon.org, where virtual meetings in chat rooms, similar to those of Alcoholics Anonymous, take place. The Online Gamers Anonymous website has adapted the 12-step plan, used by Alcoholics Anonymous, to a 12-step plan for video game addicts. The site also offers tips on how addicts can quit and where they can find counseling offline.

The Chinese government plans to impose limits on how much time a person can spend playing an online game. The plan is to limit online gaming to three consecutive hours at a time; gamers would not have any incentive to play more than three hours. [xvi] Since the United States of America is not a communistic country, game restrictions like China’s will not happen. One plausible solution to curb video game addiction in the United States is the mandatory placing of warning labels on games. The labels would be similar to those of tobacco products and would list physical as well as mental health risks associated with excessive gaming.

Another solution would be a moral and ethical choice on the part of online game companies such as Blizzard, who developed the online games World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft or, Sony Online Entertainment, who created the MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies. While game developers have the opportunity to limit how many hours gamers can spend playing their games, the industry enjoys a profit of over $1 billion per year. Monthly subscription fees for online games are anywhere from $10-$15 per month, and the monthly income is the primary reason why the games are addictive in design.

The most realistic solution to combat gaming addiction is to raise public awareness on the topic. A nationwide campaign via television, radio, and internet that would alert parents, children, teenagers, and adults to the hazards of excessive gaming would prove useful. Parents should be encouraged to involve their children in other activities like team sports or the arts. Many children can fall prey to addiction because there are not interesting activities to participate in.

With rehab centers opening up across the world, the up and coming epidemic of online video gaming addiction is spreading fast. “Vaccines” need to be administered to the public before gaming addiction takes an even larger toll on our society.

Works Cited

[i] Obsessed EverQuest Fan Found Guilty of Manslaughter


[ii] “JS Online: Death of a Game Addict.”, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


[iii] Game Maker Sued Over Child's Death, Iain Thomson


[iv] “Asia Tackles Online Game Addiction”. Reuters

< http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9340038/>

[v] “Asia Tackles Online Game Addiction”.

[vi] “Video Game Addiction Among Adolescents: Associations with Academic Performance and Aggression”


[vii]“ 4 out of 10 Americans Play Video Games, According to Poll”, Michael Hoffman, Dailytech.com


[viii] “JS Online: Death of a Game Addict.”, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

[ix] “Gaming Fanatics Show Hallmarks of Drug Addiction”, Alison Motluk, NewScientist.com


[x] “Gaming Fanatics Show Hallmarks of Drug Addiction”, Alison Motluk

[xi] “Understanding MMORPG Addiction”, Nicholas Yee, NickYee.com


[xii] “Addiction?”, Online Gamers Anonymous


The New Addiction


[xiv] Effects listed were gathered from various accounts of addiction found on the Online Gamers Anonymous forum.


[xv] “Study: Video Game Use Leads To Addiction”, Click2Houston.com


[xvi] “China Imposes Online Gaming Curbs”, BBC



random on September 24, 2018:

I'm seeing so many fortnite adds on this page though lmao

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on July 25, 2012:

Does anyone know where I can get some Timberlands?

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on August 10, 2011:

"The Chinese government plans to impose limits of how much time a person can spend playing an online game."

They also limit the number of children a couple can have.

Nana on March 14, 2011:

if they are addicted, they can just look for jobs in the video gaming industry ... seriously! if you have an addiction, make it work 4 u

Jerico on February 17, 2011:

I laughed at this at first, i was caught off-guard that someone would actually blame video-gaming as an addiction. I mean, it IS an addiction but it is also a sedative for violence in some, its an escape from suicide for others. but there will always be the select few who cannot handle responsibility in gaming and being mature. i clock about 4-6 hours a day gaming when i am not working or maintaining my home with my step father; i may be but a young 17-year-old but i also see the world for what it is. this is a dual-edged blade you're playing with, games inspire people and creation among many other things. An issue is trolls and ragers who get on and put people down and actually CAUSE some suicidal attempts or thoughts because people sometimes get on to escape that and find it in their only haven. unfortunately i don't have time to continue my point of view but you do have some points, SOME people don't need to be gamers for they cannot handle it along with a healthy life. but it does encourage intelligence and awareness of reality on the flipside. due to games i was valedictorian and the best fighter my MMA squad and Krav Maga teacher ever had, the multi tasking abilities and visual attention span, my hand eye coordination among other hundreds of benefits gained through playing were far outweighing the loss of time. it all depends on the player, like anything; if you use it wrong...it'll hurt you.

-Jerico Demetri

DAS on January 14, 2011:

all ihave to say is where are the parents when all this is going down. most kids are not going to be able to shell out the 50 buck for a new game so where dose the blame fall. i am a gamer and 26.there are games out there that i wouldn't play because its too graphic. you don't need telivision to teach kids about sex drugs and murder anymore its imbeded in the games that our moronic parents buy for bratty kids. although people killing them selfs over a game is horificly tragic the parents need to pull there heads out of there asses and start giving a shit about what there children are into. children are our future not a anoying accident that can be silenced with a cool new game. those parents should be beaten in public.

Aaric on December 25, 2010:

Coming from a video game addict with a big imingination. I believe a large chunk of video game addicts are the kind of people who get treated cruely and unfair and come to realize that there's nothing special or magical in the world like you see in movies and video games help take your mind entirely off the boring and unfair world and be able to do what you can't usually do.

Zeevah on October 02, 2010:

I play sometimes between 9-12 hours a day,,1 or 2 hours of sleep at best,,,cant stop though need to do something about it soon.

Boo_Boo361 on September 23, 2010:

I agree with you that this can be very problematic,

One thing you may have missed out (I skim read some) is the fact that some may be in a bad social situation or their friends may be emigrating.

Overall, a very good article and was very useful in providing me with some details to quote in my A level ICT coursework so thanks :)

Paul on August 11, 2010:

The truth is that people have to cope with their mortality and the banalities of their existence, and we all do this in a number of ways, and each way is no different than the last; people with biases decide otherwise. With that being said, the problem is never the drug, rather, it’s always the person using the drug.

Anyways, what I find funnier than your alarmist tripe, are the people who react to the terrifying specter of… VIDEO GAME ADDICTION! BoooOOOOoOOooooo!

I thought we were supposed to learn from World War II, people.

peacefulparadox on June 27, 2010:

Very informative article and I agree with the use of warning labels. Some of the stories of game addition are scary. There is a documentary film called Life2.0 about addition to the Second Life game -- well maybe it is not a just game, but a virtual world.

barb2082 from Amsterdam/Chicago on October 21, 2009:

I agree with a lot you say, but the theory that creating a second online personality usually is a result of low self esteem, inadequate social skills and participating in these online events compensates for that lack is only partially true.

Social interaction, in Second Life, World of Warcraft or another virtual environment can also be a testing ground to learn and adept new social skills. Learning to cope with rejection, learning how to make contacts, and in short how to cope in real life are the other side of the coin

DREAM ON on September 16, 2009:

good informative hub. Like anything else you have to realize this is only one part of your life.The real life is going to work and living away from the computer and occasionally have fun and play the games.

bakerthelo from Las Vegas on September 16, 2009:

I greatly agree with this, mostly because i am addicted to video games. I don't see much a problem with it because I go to work for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, but alotta people think I spend too much time playing my 360. I want to get x-box live, but after i had thought about it i realized it would consume even more of my time and eventually have an effect on how i work. I've also experienced the effects of online addiction thourh a couple of friends i had in high school being a ddicted to WoW. They would actually have set appointments or "guild meetings" in the game that they would plan their day around, i love video games, but come on, doesn't it take away from the fun? Anyway, i liked your opinion and found it well informed.

Suecron on September 14, 2009:

Ya, i have seen a cousin of mine playing WoW throughout the night and day. I wouldn't recommend doing that.

Youniverse World from USA, New York on September 04, 2009:

for me online games are not dangerous :D

mirandalloyd from Alaska on July 11, 2009:

Very informative article. But the fact remains that the majority of people who become obsessed with video games often have previous existing conditions that the game compounds on. I myself play World of Warcraft casually on a free server. Do I understand the line between fantasy and reality? Yes. Would I throw my whole life into the game? No. It is a hobby, and I keep it at that.

In the case of adolescents, I can see how it can become very addicting. Adolescence is a very awkward time, and kids at school can be extremely cruel to those they deem different than themselves. In these online games, they find friends and people who find them fun to have around, with no preconceived notions of who they are. It's like moving to another school entirely--they can start all over.

As for the gaming companies, they are first and foremost a business. Of course they want to ensure that people play their games and pay the subscription fee. If they didn't, they'd lose business. It's the same blame game that was played back in the 80s-early 90s with Dungeons &amp; Dragons (in fact my mother was accused of getting "too involved in the game", but left my father due to entirely different reasons. It was an easy excuse on his part due to the prevalence of this kind of behavior).

It's the escape fantasy, the need to identify with something far more interesting than a "normal, boring" life. The book nerd and the computer nerd are one and the same. I'm not saying that video game addiction isn't real, or that games like this need to be stopped once and for all. Both extremes are a little too unrealistic. I do opt for awareness, but pushing for Blizzard and Sony to do this is a bit silly. They do already include warnings about carpal tunnel and other injuries in the booklets that come with the games: "For every hour of play, it's recommended that you take a one-hour break in between."

To affix Surgeon General's Warnings is the equivalent of McDonald's being pushed to put addiction warnings on their food, or making the warnings on packages of cigarettes bigger.

As Denis Leary put it, "You could put them in a black pack, with a skull and crossbones on the front, called Tumors, and people would be lining up to get them anyway".

mwaky on July 10, 2009:

nice hub very informative and its really true!

Volty on June 29, 2009:

Nice hub. Brought back memories :(

wrthofnino on June 10, 2009:

Wow, this article hits so close to home... I blog about this type of thing all the time over at my page http://wrathofnino.wordpress.comI am a recovering Wowaholic (yes, video games ARE an addiction), played for 2 years and almost lost my job, family and wife over my obsession. It was all I could think about, it dominated every waking moment of my conscious, (and unconscious at night) mind. After years of emotional neglect, my family had finally had enough... I was grossly overweight, unhealthy, and a pain to deal with on a daily basis. I quit one night after things had finally hit rock bottom... gave away all my stuff, said goodbye to my online "friends" and signed off... been 8 months now and I am so happy! I have lost over 90lbs, my health is back and my relationship with my wife and daughter has never been stronger.Yes, online gaming addiction DOES exist... still don't believe me, check out this website too http://www.wowdetox.com... sad testimony to something so devastating and so misunderstood.

katyzzz from Sydney, Australia on June 05, 2009:

tHESE ARE such avoidable tragedies, how very sad, creating awareness is a great think to do

girly_girl09 (author) from United States on May 31, 2009:

@embarassed - I really don't think you have anything to embarassed about. This can happen to anyone. I hope you check out http://www.olganon.org and join the forums there. They will point you in the right direction and it is free. You'll get lots of support from people who have been through/are going through the same thing. Thanks for reading and posting your comment.

embarrassed on May 31, 2009:

I myself have fallen victim to virtual worlds gained over 100 lbs and lost my job shouldn't there have been warnings as to the kind of addiction these things can cause and if so could you possibly sue he company i just want to go back to normal but i don't have the funds for therapy and he dr. it would take to kick it ?

Choke Frantic from Newcastle, Australia on May 08, 2009:

Thanks for the heads-up. Games can be very addiciting and I'm glad I was able to break mine in order to concentrate on my schoolwork. Good hub.

aurrorra from Houston on May 07, 2009:

It is amazing to me to see some people, like my Dad, become so completely addicted that his entire life fell apart around him, while other people play however many hours they planned to and then quit. I suppose the biggest issue is that people don't realize how MMORGPGs can truly ruin some people's lives, and yes there needs to be awareness of this. I am not totally against them, my boyfriend plays, but he does other things too. May be we just have to try to find other things in life that can make the addicted happy so that their lives can become better balanced.

shibashake on May 07, 2009:

"Any activity that takes someone away from the responsibilities of life, should be monitored closely because it can become an addiction. Anything can be addicting, exercise, dieting, the internet, anything."

I think that this is a very good point.

MMORPGs like all of these other activities, have many good points, even though it may also be misused. I think part of the public awareness should be those positive points as well as the dangers. It is unfortunate that MMORPGs are frequently painted in a purely negative way without discussion of its more positive aspects, of which there are also many.

I am not disagreeing with you that sometimes there is misuse, but most of the time there are many positives that go unremarked by the media at large. I feel that a more balanced view will be of greater help in dealing with the related issues.

Just my 2 cents - and now I'm getting off my soapbox and going off to play WOW ;-)

girly_girl09 (author) from United States on May 06, 2009:

shibashake, thanks for reading. Yes this article highlights extreme cases, however I do know someone who was greatly affected by gaming addiction. I watched his life change completely; basically like that of a drug or alcohol addict. The symptoms were so similar, it can be a VERY serious problem. Trust me. Gaming addiction ruins friendships, relationships, marriages and causes people to drop out of school and perform poorly at work.

Any activity that takes someone away from the responsibilities of life, should be monitored closely because it can become an addiction. Anything can be addicting, exercise, dieting, the internet, anything.

My thesis absolutely did not suggest that gaming should be regulated. Not at all. I'm saying that public awareness should be made about this very important issue; it can happen to anyone and the results are very sad.

There's a lot more to life to explore out there and my friend missed out on a lot of it because he was sitting in front of his computer all day. It completely changed him; his academics and job, not to mention relationships suffered.

shibashake on May 06, 2009:

Very interesting hub.

I think that there are some dangers to MMORPGs, but there are also many positives. MMORPGs can help to encourage leadership skills, they give people a sense of accomplishment, they can help people with confidence issues, they help shy people to socialize, they help with communication and persuasion, they encourage cooperation, and I could go on and on.

Personally, I think the pros of MMORPGs far outweigh the cons.

As with anything, there will be people who misuse it and there will also be some outliers. The cases that you mention are sensational, but extremely rare - and that is why they got so much publicity in the media. MMORPGs started being really popular over 10 years ago, and since then there have been hundreds of millions of people playing it all over the world, and there are only a handful of extreme cases.

I have played EverQuest, Final Fantasy Online and WOW. At times I have even logged &gt;80 hours per week. Sometimes, I also logged &gt;80 hours per week at work. When I started HubPages I probably also logged &gt;80 hours per week on HubPages related activities. If MMORPGs should be regulated, then perhaps HubPages should be as well. What abot FaceBook and Twitter? What about IM and the Internet in general?

quit smoking info on May 06, 2009:

i was once really found of gaming ,sometimes even keeping till late nights but eventually really got bored ,I guess thats what saved me from being addicted

Erick Smart on May 06, 2009:

It is scary just how addicting these games are. I love a puzzle and solving a problem and do not like to stop mid-way through to my goal. This has led to some long nights of games and every evening situations. Luckily I know I have to keep my job and still eat.

girly_girl09 (author) from United States on April 30, 2009:

There are people who easily spend 60-80 hours a week playing. I occasionally spend 80-100 hours of WORKING during the peak time of points in my career; I couldn't IMAGINE playing video games, or doing anything else for that much time each week. If I remember correctly, I've read in several places that gaming over 20 hours a week is considered an addiction, but I still think that's a lot and it can vary from person to person.

Basically, if it is hindering your work, social life, health, relationships, etc....you have a problem!

Sounds like you have a good method in place for enjoying the occasional video game.

badcompany99 on April 30, 2009:

Its not just that, they sit also with the headphones and mics and its like they are in the game. For some I fear like your hub they are, I enjoy playing Tiger Woods golf myself but like here I set aside certain time and log off. Ok tonight is my chill out night so I will mess about for a few hours but being on a computer game longer than your working week is just so wrong and unhealthy.

girly_girl09 (author) from United States on April 30, 2009:

Thanks for reading. It is frightening as to how people can spend 8 and even more hours a day playing video games. It's really sad and awareness is really important.

badcompany99 on April 30, 2009:

I know a few guys that spend like 8 hours after work playing Call of Duty, it becomes their life. Great hub GG and if I must say so your best to date that I have read, hope it hits the top page.

girly_girl09 (author) from United States on April 30, 2009:

You're very welcome for the information. It's definitely a good idea to keep a tabs on things as it's really easy to get out of control. If it could happen to my friend, it could happen to anyone. There are lots of other resources too, such as http://www.olganon.org/ . Family members, loved ones and friends, as well as gamers who are concerned about playing too much can find a wonderful community there.

tdarby on April 30, 2009:

It is incredible how addicting these games can be. I find myself sometimes playing too much and that is just 1/2 hour or so every couple of days. Crazy stuff. Thanks for your hub.

girly_girl09 (author) from United States on April 29, 2009:

I think that's why it's so hard for people to quit. My friend played like 60 hours a week, simply building a virtual character. That's a lot of time spent and it has got to be hard to "throw away" all the time spent leveling up.

GeneriqueMedia from Earth on April 29, 2009:

Well done. RPG's can be crack. I think it's mostly due to people idolizing that which they've virtually created. These people only need to be hugged and told we love them for who they really are. =D

I love MMORPGs but after getting a bit obsessed with WoW I decided to quit cold turkey. I've played a few other ones since, but I'm just not much for that style of gaming anymore.


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