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out of the woodwork to comment: “The problem with World of Warcraft is the degree it can impact and create a socially withdrawn figure who may be connecting with people in the game and is largely dropping out of education, social opportunities.”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]