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Main article: "Video game addiction

"Video game addiction is a known issue around the world. Incidence and severity grew in the 2000s, with the advent of broadband technology, games allowing for the creation of avatars, 'second life' games, and MMORPGs ("massive multiplayer online role playing games). World of Warcraft has the largest MMORPG community on-line and there have been a number of studies about the addictive qualities of the game. Addicts of the game range from children to mature adults. A well-known example is Ryan van Cleave, a university professor whose life declined as he became involved in online gaming.[114] Andrew Doan, MD, PhD, a physician with a research background in neuroscience, battled his own addictions with video games, investing over 20,000 hours of playing games over a period of nine years.[115]

Online gaming addiction may be considered in terms of "B.F. Skinner's theory of "operant conditioning, which claims that the frequency of a given behaviour is directly linked to rewarding and punishment of that behavior. If a behaviour is rewarded, it is more likely to be repeated. If it is punished, it becomes suppressed.[116]

Orzack, a clinical psychologist at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts claims that 40 percent of World of Warcraft (WoW) players are addicted. Orzack says that the best way to optimize the desired behaviour in the subject is to provide rewards for correct behaviour, and then adjust the number of times the subject is required to exhibit that behaviour before a reward is provided. For instance, if a rat must press a bar to receive food, then it will press faster and more often if it doesn't know how many times it needs to press the bar. An equivalent in "World of Warcraft would be purple (epic) "loot drops.[117] Players in World of Warcraft will often spend weeks hunting for a special item which is based on a chance system, sometimes with only a 0.01% chance of it being dropped by a slain monster. The rarity of the item and difficulty of acquiring the item gives the player a status amongst their peers once they obtain the item.

"Online Gamers Anonymous, an American non-profit organization formed in 2002, is a twelve-step, self-help, support and recovery organization for gamers and their loved ones who are suffering from the adverse effects of addictive computer gaming. It offers resources such as discussion forums, online chat meetings, Skype meetings and links to other resources.[118] Internet and Technology Addicts Anonymous (ITAA) founded in 2009, is a 12-step program supporting users coping with digital distractions.

Jim Rossignol, a finance journalist who reports on Internet gaming has described how he overcame his own addiction, and channeled his compulsion into a desirable direction as a reporter of Internet gaming and gaming culture.[119]

Communication addiction disorder (compulsive talking)[edit]

Communication addiction disorder

Communication addiction disorder (CAD) is a supposed behavioral disorder related to the necessity of being in constant communication with other people, even when there is no practical necessity for such communication. CAD had been linked to Internet addiction.[120] Users become addicted to the social elements of the Internet, such as Facebook and YouTube. Users become addicted to one-on-one or group communication in the form of social support, relationships and entertainment. However interference with these activities can result in conflict and guilt. This kind of addiction is called social network addiction.

Social network addiction is a dependence of people by connection, updating and control of their and their friends social network page.[121] The correlation between the social network use and a decreasing of offline social relationships is a complex issue, depending not only from the time spent on them but also from the motivation in using them.[122] For some people in fact, the only important thing is to have a lot of friends in the network regardless if they are offline or only virtual; this is particularly true for teenagers as a reinforcement of egos.[123][124] Sometimes teenagers use social networks to show their idealized image to the others.[125] They generally start using social networks to improve face-to-face relationships. However, some of them use these tools as a showcase creating an idealized image to be accepted by groups and to reach a big number of friends. They spend a reduced time for face-to-face relationships, passing instead at least six hours per day on social networks.[122] However, other studies claim that people are using social networks to communicate their real personality and not to promote their idealized identity.[126]

Virtual reality addiction[edit]

Virtual reality addiction

Virtual reality addiction is an addiction to the use of virtual reality or virtual, immersive environments. Currently, interactive virtual media (such as social networks) are referred to as virtual reality,[127] whereas future virtual reality refers to computer-simulated, immersive environments or worlds. Experts warn about the dangers of virtual reality, and compare the use of virtual reality (both in its current and future form) to the use of drugs, bringing with these comparisons the concern that, like drugs, users could possibly become addicted to virtual reality.["citation needed]

See also[edit]


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