Monday, November 28, 2011

The Nerd Drug

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games or MMORPGs are destroying the lives of users all around the world. While they seem harmless (and even can be when handled with caution) they have caused gaming addictions that take over many gamers' lives. The typical gamer is a geeky guy who doesn't do well socially and often feels like the underdog in real life. When he is at his computer with his guild, he is on equal footing with everyone else 1. The virtual life becomes more attractive than reality so the gamer spends more and more time online developing his virtual self and becoming more and more addicted. Video game addictions (particularly addictions to MMORPGS) have led to divorces, college dropouts, lost jobs, and even suicides. It is unlikely that the government will be able to regulate video game addictions without violating our rights, so it is up to each individual to maintain a defense against this new drug.


  1. As someone who (weirdly enough considering I'm the fashion-obsessed girl and you're the CS major guy) has spent way more time playing MMORPGs than you have, I have to say: "COME AT ME BRO!" Or rather: I beg to differ with the "MMORPGs are destroying the lives of users" alarmism.

    Yes, MMORPGs are addictive to certain personalities, but many other people play them casually and don't fit your narrow and stereotypical description of the typical MMORPG player. You hint that they can be handled with caution; I believe most players do. It's the people that lose their jobs over it that you hear about, but for each one of those, there are literally millions of other people who are just enjoying a more interactive way to enjoy their free time than, say, watching TV.

    For those that do get a little too sucked into the world, it's still not an entirely bleak picture. I read an article just the other day (somewhere that I can't find now...) that talked about how for many people with Asperger's, MMORPGs have been a crucial part of their social lives. These are people who wouldn't have an easy social outlet before this remarkable technology was developed. Divorces may happen over the game, but I also know married couples who play together and would consider MMORPGs a marriage-strengthener rather than a marriage-ruiner. I guarantee you there are also people out there that have gotten jobs through connections they've made with guildies or whoever in an MMORPG.

    Note: I quit WoW like a year ago because it was cutting into my TV time. MMORPGs are more social, but I feel like TV's more educational and I like learning way more than I like people. But the point is: we all pick our poisons. At least all of us who are huge lazy butts.

  2. Yeah Andrea, now that this has already been graded I can admit that I share your opinion. Not to say that I retract the things that I say, but I agree with you too. I was writing this at the last minute and it's a lot easier to keep it concise if I argue a one sided point. So I apologize for my facade of closed mindedness.