World of Warcraft: 1; Moderation: 0

By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

A 15 year old Swedish boy collapsed after playing World of Warcraft (following the release of the new expansion pack) for 24 hours straight. He likely had an epileptic seizure. Doctors said that “his system had been weakened by lack of sleep, lack of food and over-concentration.”

The boy’s father told the media that he now plans to limit his son’s computer time.

… somehow it seems like that thought might have occurred to him earlier, like when the kid was sitting at a computer for 24 hours straight without eating or sleeping.

Of course, this is just something else to perpetuate the whole videogames-are-bad thing, and psychologists are already coming out of the woodwork to comment: “The problem with World of Warcraft is the degree it can impact and create a socially withdrawn figure who may be connecting with people in the game and is largely dropping out of education, social opportunities.”

It seems to me that the problem with MMORPGs isn’t a problem with MMORPGs at all, but a small subset of the people who play them. Gaming is like anything else; it’s healthiest in moderation. And there are millions of people playing WoW that do so without sacrificing their health or their social lives. Just like there are people playing Grand Theft Auto who have never harbored a thought of shooting someone in the head. You don’t have to hit level 80 in a day to enjoy the game (in fact, I’d argue that hitting level 80 in a day is a sure fire way not to enjoy the game).  After all, gaming can even be good for you if you’re smart about it.

Just remember: when playing long sessions of WoW, be sure to take breaks to sleep, eat… and feed the cat.

[Image Source: flickr]

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11 Responses to World of Warcraft: 1; Moderation: 0

  1. i’ve never really understood the fixation with games like this and Everquest. There were semi-friends of mine who didn’t graduate highschool because they preferred to sit at home playing EQ, CounterStrike, and smoke weed ALL day….

    Now I consider myself a hardcore gamer…i have a 300GB hard drive dedicated to game installs, and it’s only got 5gb free. I’ve been hooked on Oblivion, i’ve played MUDs like Materia Magica, and i love shooters like Crysis and HL2, but i’ve NEVER wanted to play WoW in the least. Even Fallout3 can barely hold my attention for longer than 2 hours. Do I have “gaming ADD”? perhaps…maybe it’s because I have a job and important hobbies outside of sitting on the PC. And i recognize that nothing constructive will come from my leveling-up 20 times in a week.

  2. i’ve never really understood the fixation with games like this and Everquest. There were semi-friends of mine who didn’t graduate highschool because they preferred to sit at home playing EQ, CounterStrike, and smoke weed ALL day….

    Now I consider myself a hardcore gamer…i have a 300GB hard drive dedicated to game installs, and it’s only got 5gb free. I’ve been hooked on Oblivion, i’ve played MUDs like Materia Magica, and i love shooters like Crysis and HL2, but i’ve NEVER wanted to play WoW in the least. Even Fallout3 can barely hold my attention for longer than 2 hours. Do I have “gaming ADD”? perhaps…maybe it’s because I have a job and important hobbies outside of sitting on the PC. And i recognize that nothing constructive will come from my leveling-up 20 times in a week.

  3. i've never really understood the fixation with games like this and Everquest. There were semi-friends of mine who didn't graduate highschool because they preferred to sit at home playing EQ, CounterStrike, and smoke weed ALL day….

    Now I consider myself a hardcore gamer…i have a 300GB hard drive dedicated to game installs, and it's only got 5gb free. I've been hooked on Oblivion, i've played MUDs like Materia Magica, and i love shooters like Crysis and HL2, but i've NEVER wanted to play WoW in the least. Even Fallout3 can barely hold my attention for longer than 2 hours. Do I have "gaming ADD"? perhaps…maybe it's because I have a job and important hobbies outside of sitting on the PC. And i recognize that nothing constructive will come from my leveling-up 20 times in a week.

  4. I don’t think it was wrong of the father to assume his 15 year old son was capable of looking after himself.

    To be fair, he should be applauded for coming away from this and recognising he needs to moderate his son’s usage. I was expecting the article to be about his suit against Blizzard :D

  5. I don't think it was wrong of the father to assume his 15 year old son was capable of looking after himself.

    To be fair, he should be applauded for coming away from this and recognising he needs to moderate his son's usage. I was expecting the article to be about his suit against Blizzard :D

  6. Although I agree that parents shouldn’t have to keep watch on their children all the time, especially if they’re teenagers, there’s definitely no excuse to not noticing a child’s behaviour towards necessities like eating, going to the bathroom, or even an hour of exercise per day. I was kind of like that kid too, always in my room and never going anywhere or talking to anyone, let alone my dad… but I was actually smart enough to realize that I was inside too much and would take walks often or ride my bike.

    Enjoying a game is one thing, but putting it above everything else is just silly. My friend’s husband seems to play WoW all day when he’s not at college, and when his child needs to go to the restroom or my friend needs him to take out the trash- simple things- he always says “In a minute” or “after this round” and then forgets because he’s more focused on his game than his life. I just can’t understand that.

  7. Although I agree that parents shouldn't have to keep watch on their children all the time, especially if they're teenagers, there's definitely no excuse to not noticing a child's behaviour towards necessities like eating, going to the bathroom, or even an hour of exercise per day. I was kind of like that kid too, always in my room and never going anywhere or talking to anyone, let alone my dad… but I was actually smart enough to realize that I was inside too much and would take walks often or ride my bike.

    Enjoying a game is one thing, but putting it above everything else is just silly. My friend's husband seems to play WoW all day when he's not at college, and when his child needs to go to the restroom or my friend needs him to take out the trash- simple things- he always says "In a minute" or "after this round" and then forgets because he's more focused on his game than his life. I just can't understand that.