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
"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.
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:
"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?