Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wow addiction blog targets gamers

Perhaps you came across this ad while on your Facebook page: It is a silhouetted image of World of Warcraft races against a dark background and the caption ominously reads: Addicted to Wow? Get help. Wowaholics Anonymous. "Quit Wow addiction. Win at Life"

It left me puzzled, who were these hucksters plugging an anti-wow page on the most popular social networking site on the internet? I had to investigate. The link leads to a blog called Wowaholics Anonymous replete with testimonials from people allegedly devastated by their Wow addictions and their all consuming need to play. There is very little identification on the site.

The About Us reads: "Wowaholics Anonymous is a community who shares their experience, strength and hope with each other. " so is this blog put together by a religious anti-video game group? Or is it the work of anti-gaming fanatics?

A tiny link at the bottom indicates it's actually sponsored by Inspire Center, a group based out of UNC that treats people for mental illnesses such as depression, ADHD, bipolar syndrome and anxiety. Are they kidding? Are these people really equating video game playing with these serious conditions? Apparently so. It would be insulting were it not so ridiculous. I have never believed in people who attribute the ills of society to playing a video game. I've played Wow before, it isn't crack cocaine like extremists make it out to be. Yes, it is very engaging and I suppose some people can use it to escape out of their daily problems, but the same can be said about television or movies and other forms of mass entertainment and no one is trying to ban them, well not yet at least.

Furthermore there are articles linked to this site, one of which is entitled "Should Doctors treat Wow addiction?" which implies that it is a serious problem which doctors should waste their time on. However, it goes on to state:

At its 2007 annual meeting, the American Medical Association rejected a proposal to classify video game addiction as a mental disorder in the DSM IV, which is used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental disorders. “There is nothing here to suggest that this is a complex physiological disease state akin to alcoholism or other substance abuse disorders, and it doesn’t get to have the word addiction attached to it,” said Dr. Stuart of Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Way to go wow addiction blog. Way to cite evidence to dispute the very point you are trying to make!

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