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View Full Version : Oh, you play games? Let's curb that with some pills!


Torgo
06-15-2007, 09:24 AM
Yee-haw (http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3160324)

Kinda scary, but I honestly think the worst-case scenario as depicted in the final paragraph is pretty far-fetched and alarmist.

As for the notion itself that actual addiction to video games could be a real, identifiable thing... ORLY?

alexb
06-15-2007, 09:56 AM
Gaming addiction? No more than there could be an addiction to sports or art, I wouldn't think. Which is not to say you can't be self destructive in a way that involves video games. We have Korea and China for proof of that. But those sorts of people exist everywhere and if it wasn't a game, it would be something else. This is yet another person who just doesn't get what gaming is about. It is, as we've probably discussed in the past, a largely generational thing. A lot of people misread their kids' behaviors, anyway. For example, the thing that everyone missed with that little whiny jackass in the YTMND is that he was freaking out because having to drop out for bedtime made him look like a major wuss to his guild. It was a humiliation before his peers. It was a social anxiety thing, not really about the game itself at all. Never mind for the moment that the shrill, speaker destroying tantrum that resulted did way more damage.

Trent Dole
06-15-2007, 10:17 AM
You play for TWO HOURS a day son, that's why we're all here to talk to you today...

Kolbe
06-15-2007, 10:25 AM
What about people addicted to books. I know some. Do they need treatement too?

JCDenton
06-15-2007, 10:26 AM
To be honest, I am surprised it has taken this long to get recognition. Classifying who is addicted and who is not might be somewhat sticky, but I think we can all agree that gaming addiction exists.

sraymonds
06-15-2007, 10:28 AM
Snark, it's my anti-drug. And ROMZ.

Kolbe
06-15-2007, 10:28 AM
It does, but people tend to blame it on games, instead of themselves. That's the not-so-cool part.

marcalan
06-15-2007, 11:48 AM
The 1up article is a kind of misleading. I just read the report myself and I found myself agreeing with most of it.

While it does cite research that states that videogames are bad in various psychological and physical ways, it also cites research that shows the positive effects of videogames.

All this is, is a summary on all the various research that is out there and a few recommendations. The biggest are that more research in regards to games. This is true, as there have been many conflicting reports. Also, it calls for various groups, including the ESRB, to take another look at the ratings system, specifically in the E-T range.

Yes, it calls for formal classification of videogame/Internet addiction. Again, this is something that needs to be done.

I guess I don't see what the big deal is.

nadia
06-15-2007, 12:07 PM
Yes, it calls for formal classification of videogame/Internet addiction. Again, this is something that needs to be done.

I can see this turning into the next ADD/ADHD. Are there kids who simply cannot sit still and would lift out of the atmosphere if not for medication? Absolutely. Does the diagnosis apply to every kid who likes to run and play and doesn't respect watery discipline like "Time Out?" No, but kids are being branded with the ADD label left and right, and having pills shoved down their throats because of it.

I'm actually working on a Feature right now for 1UP that fits into this category (so hooray for the timing of this newspost!). Anyone remember the "embarassing video game moments" thread on the old forum? There were some mildly screwed-up stories there about all-night play sessions, fanfic in lieu of actual creative writing projects, endless chatter about Final Fantasy, Mario, name it. I personally remember when I was in grade six, everything was Nintendo.

And you know what, I turned out pretty okay. So did everyone else who shared their stories (I'm assuming, haha). I eventually grew out of my phase; I still love games, but play them on a much more moderate basis. But what if I had been a kid in the here and now? Chances are excellent I would have been diagnosed with "video game addiction". Next stop, Pill City. No thx.

Sporophyte
06-15-2007, 01:31 PM
Hey here's a thought: If your kids play too many video games, try being a parent and setting limits. They don't need drugs, or therapy, or counseling, or a lobotomy, or whatever. Just make them shut the things off. It's ok to have rules, they'll live. Seriously.

ShakeWell
06-15-2007, 01:42 PM
I can see the PSAs now...

DAD: Where did you get this copy of Mega Man 2? Your mother said she found it in your closet.
SON: One of the guys must've-
DAD: Must've what?
SON: Look, Dad-
DAD:Where did you get it? Who taught you to do this?
SON: You, alright? I learned it by watching you!
ANNOUNCER GUY: Parents who play videogames have children who play videogames. A message from the Partnership for a Game-Free America.

Red Hedgehog
06-15-2007, 01:51 PM
If I found my child playing Mega Man 2, I'd lavish them with praise and affection. Well OK, I'd prefer if it were Ninja Gaiden, but I plan to be a harsh parent.

marcalan
06-15-2007, 01:55 PM
Let me clear something up real quick: I'm not talking about kids. Parents have control over what their kids play and for how long. If a parent want to let a child play WoW for a few hours a night that's fine.

Many of us play videogames at least two hours a day. That is not what would be called an addiction. We can turn the game off and go do something else.

What the report is talking about, and the part that I firmly agree with, is that person who, for example, plays World of Warcraft as much as possible and when they are not, their either grumpy and/or withdrawn from normal society.

Peach
06-15-2007, 01:57 PM
While I agree that people can play video games compulsively, I don't think that prescribing medication - which seems to be common assumption, or at least the common joke - is the cure, nor will it be suggested as such. I'm interested in hearing the suggested treatment for actual addiction, and not just methods of preventing it.

Also, anyone know if there are classifications for addictions to other types of media?

marcalan
06-15-2007, 02:03 PM
While I agree that people can play video games compulsively, I don't think that prescribing medication - which seems to be common assumption, or at least the common joke - is the cure, nor will it be suggested as such. I'm interested in hearing the suggested treatment for actual addiction, and not just methods of preventing it.

Also, anyone know if there are classifications for addictions to other types of media?

Much like a gambling addiction or pathological lying, the only treatment is therapy, one on one or with a group.

There is no wonder drug that cures such things. Just lots of therapy as to why they indulge in that behavior.

Sanagi
06-15-2007, 04:44 PM
Oh, you wacky out of touch older generation, first you ruin the world, then you call us crazy for wanting to escape from it.

Armored Robo Zaza Gabor
06-15-2007, 05:29 PM
Maybe video game addiction is like gambling addiction. For example, gamblers have low levels of norepinephrine and when gambling their body produces said chemical and it becomes an addiction, just like drug addiction. norepinephrine is produced when people are under excitement and stress, like when playing a difficult and exciting video game. Maybe people addicted to video games have low levels of a similar chemical.

And I would recommend going to a psychiatrist if you are playing too much games and forgetting about important things like study, family and work.

More info at: http://www.addictionrecov.org/addicgam.htm


Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

locit
06-15-2007, 06:28 PM
I can see this turning into the next ADD/ADHD. Are there kids who simply cannot sit still and would lift out of the atmosphere if not for medication? Absolutely. Does the diagnosis apply to every kid who likes to run and play and doesn't respect watery discipline like "Time Out?" No, but kids are being branded with the ADD label left and right, and having pills shoved down their throats because of it.

Funny you should bring that up, as I read an article a little while back about games (specially designed ones, mind) being used to help kids with ADD/ADHD focus. If only they could have come up with them a decade sooner I might not be the drug addled concentration machine I am today!

But I kid.

I really was diagnosed with ADD (maybe ADHD, I wasn't really paying attention), but even when I did start taking medication for it I still played games just as much as ever. Probably more, as I got my homework done much quicker. Obviously that's not the issue here, but I just always thought it was pretty funny.

Kupek
06-15-2007, 07:24 PM
But what if I had been a kid in the here and now? Chances are excellent I would have been diagnosed with "video game addiction". Next stop, Pill City. No thx.
Wild speculation.

nadia
06-15-2007, 08:48 PM
What's wild about it?

Calorie Mate
06-15-2007, 09:58 PM
I love your wild ways, nadia.

Savathun
06-15-2007, 09:59 PM
You just need a few pills, then it'll just be perfectly calm, polite speculation.

alexb
06-15-2007, 11:42 PM
This is all going to look extremely stupid in 20 years. I'm just waiting for our generation's Mazes and Monsters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazes_and_Monsters).

Loki
06-16-2007, 01:31 AM
I think I read the novel that the movie was based on. Way back in middle school when I was desperate for anything related to Role Playing Games.

I'd love to see a modernized version of it where the troubled young teens reenact Mario and jump on each others heads with squirt guns tied to their backs.

nadia
06-16-2007, 09:19 AM
I love your wild ways, nadia.

No man or message board can tame me.

alexb
06-16-2007, 10:22 AM
They have a pill for that, you know.

nadia
06-16-2007, 11:00 AM
I'll spit it out in defiance! ... unless you wrap it up in a bit of cheese or hamburger.

ShakeWell
06-17-2007, 12:16 AM
What about a cheeseburger? I bet I could get you to swallow a whole bottle full!

Kupek
06-19-2007, 09:31 AM
What's wild about it?
What's not wild about it? You're jumping from videogame addiction being officialy recognized by the AMA, to assuming that now you'd be medicated for exhibiting typical childhood behavior. People can become addicted to anything that pushes the right buttons in their brain. Porn, gambling, food and yes, videogames. They're not using it to describe the kid who wakes up at 6 am every Saturday to play his favorite game. They're using it to describe the person who plays videogames to the point that they exhibit all of the classical signs of addiction. That type of behavior deserves official recognition. And that recognition is not a threat to you.

I've seen people on this board and elsewhere assume the worst from this news item. It's the same knee-jerk, irrational reaction I see when people blame videogames for a variety of ills.

nadia
06-19-2007, 09:41 AM
I'm not paranoid, but neither am I full of hope that a parent will be able to tell the difference between a kid who likes games and a Warcraft junkie. "Junior's playing way too much Nintendo," they say. "Let's take him to a head doctor." Which, as a matter of fact, happened to my husband when he was a boy.

Things can go two ways here. Junior might get a smart psychiatrist who says there's nothing to worry about, and kids are kids. Or he might get an alarmist by-the-book psychiatrist who says it's Pill Time. I would have more confidence in this whole situation if "typical childhood behaviours" weren't medicated in 40-50% of kids these days. As you said yourself, games are blamed for a lot of problems.

Kupek
06-19-2007, 10:07 AM
Where do you get this 40-50% figure from? Cite studies, not your own perception. I read and listen to people complain about how overmedicated children are, but all they produce are anecdotes. If you haven't read a study that looked into the issue, then you're going on prejudice. For every anecdote you can produce about someone who was overmedicated, I can cite a story from my mother. She was a teacher for emotionally disabled kids. Some of them really do need to be on medication, and some of their parents who were in complete denial about it. Personally, I find it likely that a significant percentage of kids are misdiagnosed, but I also suspect that people think it's a bigger problem than it really is. But that's my own perception. I won't pretend I know this for certain. All I ask is that everyone else do the same.

People can get addicted to videogames. The AMA needs to officialy recognize it. I get the impression that you agree this much should happen. So I can not understand the knee-jerk reaction to it.

nadia
06-19-2007, 10:25 AM
Where do you get this 40-50% figure from? Cite studies, not your own perception.

Okay. (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070609.wdrugs09/BNStory/National/home)

Granted, this is a study on kids in Crown care, which I should have specified earlier, but you're right, I got lazy. The first half of the article deals with kids who have pre-established mental problems, but it also presents the undeniable fact more "normal" kids are being put on medication as a quick fix. Not 40-50%, but a rising number nonetheless.

People can get addicted to videogames. The AMA needs to officialy recognize it. I get the impression that you agree this much should happen. So I can not understand the knee-jerk reaction to it.

Sure, people can diagnose videogame addiction all they want. I don't have much problem with the diagnosis itself, if that's the impression you get. I'm worried about who will be diagnosed with it, and how.

Yes, people get addicted to porn and gambling, but you generally don't see that kind of behaviour from kids (hopefully), so such addictions don't take up front headlines every day. But everything's different when it comes time to Think of the Children. I'm just predicting many parents will suddenly dub themselves amateur psychologists and go to town, since gaming is a regularly observed activity among kids, and kids aren't always good with moderation.

Sporophyte
06-19-2007, 10:34 AM
Let's also not forget that we live in a world where more and more people tell their doctors what medications they want/need instead of the other way around. Why do you think there are so many perscription drug commericials on television?

nadia
06-19-2007, 10:37 AM
It's illegal to advertise prescription drugs on Canadian television, thankfully. Those commercials creep me out when I visit the States.

That, and the ultra-commercial "COME TO OUR HOSPITAL, WE WON'T KILL YOU LIKE THAT OTHER HOSPITAL!!!!" billboards lining city highways.

marcalan
06-19-2007, 11:17 AM
Heh, if they were sent to one of the psychiatrists that we have at the hospital I work at, there would be no worries about them being dubbed addicted.

Of course, this guy logged 504 hours into WoW within a 4 month period, so he may not be the best to ask.

nadia
06-19-2007, 11:31 AM
Of course, this guy logged 504 hours into WoW within a 4 month period, so he may not be the best to ask.

Holy crap. Did he ever get a chance to go to the washroom? D:

See, I don't have a problem with the label itself. If you play WoW instead of working, excercising and keeping yourself clean, yes, you are addicted. I just don't want to see the diagnosis abused.

alexb
06-19-2007, 01:30 PM
I just have an intense distrust of mind regulating drugs in general.