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					JOUR 2310-506              March 3                         News 2

    Millions of people log onto the Internet daily to enjoy an

increasingly popular pastime – video games.

    Video games, in particular mass multiplayer online role-

playing games, abbreviated MMORPG, have become popular. Some

question whether they are addictive, while others embrace them

as a form of social interactivity.

    Beth Tereno said she is an avid video game player who began

playing before 1990 on the original Nintendo console.

    "Nah. I go long periods of time without playing anything,

really,” Tereno said. “Sometimes I binge in ridiculous ways that

are probably less than healthy and constructive uses of my time,

but then I leave it sit for long stretches.”

    According to the National Institute on Media and the

Family’s Web site, video games are a serious hazard for some

young people who are at risk of becoming addicted.

    The institute’s Web site claims that most kids and families

enjoy video games healthily. For others, video games can take

away from vital activities such as spending time with friends,

doing schoolwork, sleeping, and even eating.

    The Web site’s information is based on a study conducted by

Douglas Gentile, an assistant professor of developmental

psychology at Iowa State University. Gentile’s studies revealed
eight percent of video game players showed pathological patterns

of play.

    Gentile’s study also identified signs of video game

pathological play, such as double the amount of time playing,

trouble paying attention, and poor grades in school.

    Gentile distinguished between the terms addiction, a term

he avoids due its definition in psychology, and pathological

play, which is a deviation from social normalcy, in his study.

    Blizzard, the makers of “World of Warcraft,” a MMORPG,

claims, on the game’s Web site, it had 11.5 million players as

of Dec. 23, 2008.

    “World of Warcraft” has collected criticism since its

release from Web sites such as WoW Detox, which allows people to

post stories about trying to quit “World of Warcraft.”

    Christopher Davis, a senior English major from Lubbock,

said he has been playing video games for 20 years, including

“World of Warcraft” (WoW) and other MMORPGs.

    “Video games are a substitute, or another form of, social

interaction,” Davis said. “You spend $15 to play “WoW” a month.

Two drinks with friends at a bar is the same amount. You could

easily spend double, or triple, going to bars. And it’s pretty

much the same thing. You’re just spending time with friends.”

    Spencer Davis, a freshman psychology major from Lubbock,

said he also plays MMORPGs.
    “Games aren’t addicting,” Spencer Davis said while rubbing

the bridge of his nose with a sigh. “An addiction is a

dependency on a substance. A game isn’t inherently addicting –

there’s nothing about it that implies dependency.”

    Spencer Davis said the more immersive a game is, the

better; the best games are those that draw the player in for

long periods for a deeper experience.

      Tereno, who has played video games over the Internet,

said she believes the social interactions games supply is not

less healthy than speaking to someone in person.

    “I've made friends through the Internet, and I've brought

them into my real life by meeting them in person,” Tereno said.

“I don't think meeting people through a game is a significantly

different shared common interest than any other on the

Internet."



On the Web:

http://www.mediafamily.org/facts/facts_gameaddiction.shtml

http://www.drdouglas.org/page_resources_articles_2009gab.html

http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/

http://www.wowdetox.com/
                         Service Journalism

                            Video Games

    - Douglas Gentile’s entire study can be found at

       http://www.drdouglas.org/page_resources_articles_2009gab.

       html

    - A list of signs for video game addiction include: time

       out of school is spent playing games or on the computer;

       sleeping during class; not keeping up with assignments;

       bad grades, and lying about video game use.

    - To learn more about video game addiction and how to avoid

       it, visit http://www.mediafamily.org/vga/index.shtml

http://www.mediafamily.org/vga/index.shtml

    - “World of Warcraft” is the largest mass multiplayer

       online role-playing game.

    - A list of mass multiplayer online role-playing games can

       be found at http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm

    - “World of Warcraft” has generated $400 million globally.

http://www.mmorpg.com/
Author: Robert Arnold



Sources:

Christopher Davis; cs.davis@ttu.edu

Spencer Davis; patchouliknowledge@live.com

Evan Gray; evangry@yahoo.com

Beth Tereno; beth.tereno@gmail.com



Research:

http://www.drdouglas.org/page_resources_articles_2009gab.html

http://www.mediafamily.org/vga/index.shtml

http://www.mmorpg.com/

http://www.wow.com/search/2/?q=subscribers&sort=<$sort>

http://www.wowdetox.com/



Peer Reviews:

Chisholm Allen

Andrew Hudson

				
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