Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Is game addiction real? Share your story here.

Today I published the first in a continuing series about guild dynamics and game addiction in the World of Warcraft. I've got five parts of it drafted now, with interviews scheduled with the TavernCast folks this weekend.

Eloysius has been incredibly helpful here, speaking with me for long blocks of time, sharing intimate details about what he went though and what he learned during his experiment.

And here's where I get to make a distinction between old journalism and new journalism. Old journalism was a one-way street. Columnists handed down their opinions and the context of the issue was restricted to the column itself.

That's not true anymore, and I want to cast a wide net. Most of the quotes and observations I use in my series are taken from the June 2nd episode of TavernCast After Hours. I wish I could just transcribe that episode and run it in print, but paper and ink cost money, and the typical print reader wouldn't care enough to justify it.

But you're not reading this in print, you're reading on the net, where the page goes on forever and the bits roam free. I'm spreading this series out over five weeks, but you don't have to wait for it. Just download the podcasts and hear the story straight from the people who lived it.

Don't wait for my opinions, jump into the comments section and present your own. The TavernCast forums are on fire with…fond farwells and gentle goodwill.

I'm looking for a place where people rip into Eloysius and company for leaving, but I can't seem to find it. Surely there's some gamer blowback out there somewhere.

The good news is, gamers are not blind or stupid. Most people know when they're walking the line between healthy play and destructive behavior. They know the problem exists, they're just not sure what to do about it.

We all know people who've gone too far, and we know people who've quit cold turkey. I think without a strong social incentive, most people will eventually get bored with the game and drift to other activities.

I hope we all can benefit from this discussion about game addiction and guild culture, and I hope you won't hesitate to tell your own story.

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Written by Michael B. Duff

October 19, 2007 at 13:12

Posted in Games, Warcraft

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