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 Video Games, A virtual Drug? 
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Sir Robsworth of Beeches.

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Post Video Games, A virtual Drug?
I've been wrapping up my Game Theory essay these last few days before submission. Its entitled:
"Why Immersion compels completionists to collect items within Animal Crossing, with the additional help from semiotics and Interactive Simulation."

I was reading through and got to the section regarding Animal Crossing as "an additcive simulation". Here I've discussed and explored Animal Crossing likening the actions of paying large sums of in-game and real-world currency for items and NPCs to that of drug addiction. I compare the two in the sense that the player may strongly desire to complete a collection or have a specific character, as much as drug addict may equally desire if not more the substance to which they're addicted.

I'm aware that this is an extreme comparison, however there is evidence liking violent actions to video game addiction.

Bowman R.P. talks about "Computer Catatonia" a term created by Nilles (1982), as an addiction that
Quote:
"seemingly increases in intensity with the level of game sophistication"
and goes on to say that in one particular case a child burnt down a property to prevent his family from moving away from a nearby arcade.

Quote:
In one case a Griffin, Georgia, court decision banned a teenage boy from playing video games for 10 years. The youth had set fire to a house to prevent his family moving away from a nearby video game arcade.


Bowman goes on to explain that anther concern is that:
Quote:
"Computer games, like television, are attracting people away from activities judged to be more productive (e.g., reading, writing - and even football)"



However in recent years research and studies have shown indications that video games can improve hand eye coordination help manage depression. Bridges also currently being made with the use of motion control and accessories like the Wii Fit board and Xbox Kinect to bridge the gap between video gaming and physical activity.

So lets discuss:

1. Are video games a form of virtual addictive drug that causes us to become distanced from others and even reality?

2. Is the bridge between inactive video gaming and physical activity necessary?

Article:
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/42868594?uid=3738032&uid=2134&uid=2493374803&uid=2493374793&uid=2&uid=70&uid=3&uid=60&sid=21106608001143

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Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:24 pm
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Post Re: Video Games, A virtual Drug?
I'll have to move this over to Serious Discussion in just a moment.

This is a topic that is interesting to me, but has too many variables to really say one thing over another. The variable of the individual is hard at work here. For example, did the child who burnt his house have any outstanding mental issues? Cases of video game incited violence are few and far between - far fewer than violence incited over other things, including drugs since you wish to make the comparison.

Is video game addiction akin to drug addiction? They are both addictions, and like any addictions, they share similarities. Another popular addiction type is porn addiction. Even food addictions. All types of addictions are hard to kick because of the mental pleasure gained from the activities, and the desire to do said activities when one is not currently doing so.

But I feel that that's where the similarities end between drug and video game addiction, purely because - as far as I know - the chemical changes to the brain in drug addiction is far more severe to the point that it can change a person's entire behavioral pattern to a vastly more extreme extent than video games. I'm speaking on average. As said, the individual variable is what throws in a difficult wrench.

As for video games causing violence, I stick to my original comment. In general there is no - to my knowledge - significant increase in violence, especially not caused by violent video games. Certain individuals are more impressionable than others, yes, but generally even small children understand that games do not equal reality. The argument I hear is that violent video games desensitize people. Well, what about violent films? Or violent plays? None of them have changed the violence pattern of humankind significantly. People who have no outstanding mental issues can distinguish fiction from reality.

As your example stated, the boy burnt his home because they were moving away from an arcade - a *location* he enjoyed because of its games. He didn't burn the house because he was taught by a violent game to burn houses.

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Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:36 pm
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