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video game addiction?


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#1 siamii   Members   -  Reputation: 102

Posted 28 December 2012 - 04:20 PM

Has anyone who works in the game industry had suffered from video game addiction?

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#2 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3705

Posted 28 December 2012 - 04:25 PM

Never, I can stop whenever I want to.


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#3 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5770

Posted 28 December 2012 - 05:27 PM

The American Psychiatric Association doesn't consider video game addiction to be a valid diagnosis at this point, a lot of research suggest that those playing video games excessivly have other problems, often some type of social anxiety disorder (An estimated 7% of the population suffer from it to some degree) and excessive time spent playing video games is usually just a symptom. (It is one of the most interesting solitary activites one can engage in these days).

Edited by SimonForsman, 28 December 2012 - 05:59 PM.

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#4 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2052

Posted 28 December 2012 - 05:33 PM

Never.

 

We game developers never got addicted to any video games!



#5 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18874

Posted 28 December 2012 - 05:48 PM

Has anyone who works in the game industry had suffered from video game addiction?

There are two parts: First, what is "video game addiction", and the second is how prevalent is it?

As was pointed out above there is no formal textbook definition of video game addiction.

If you change "video game addiction" into an unhealthy compulsion to play video games, due to whatever combination of causes you want, you are looking at a single-digit percentage of the population. It might even be a tenth of a percent of the population, I don't know, and I don't think we'll have an answer unless there is a textbook definition.

Over all the years of game development, across all game development industry, you are looking at around a million or so individuals.

A 0.1 percentage of a 7-digit population is going to be a significant number of people.


Seeing as many of those 'addicted' people are more likely to be in fields like QA, and there are both high numbers of people and a high turnover rate in QA, I'd take it as a statistical certainty no matter how you define "video game addiction."
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#6 Shaquil   Members   -  Reputation: 815

Posted 28 December 2012 - 06:29 PM

Unfortunately the term "addiction" has been watered down through use in everyday conversation. We describe Facebook and iPhone games as "addictive" with no negative connotation implied. But the truth is, an addiction is a very serious condition, usually in which you experience physical or severe mental/emotional anguish when you go an extended period without whatever it is you're addicted to. Under that definition, as frob said above, you're talking about a very small percentage of the population. And the truth is, if you were addicted to anything, it's likely your life would bare much more serious signs of it than "I'd rather play Halo than go out and play tag." You'd probably have much larger social issues that prevent you from holding a job for too long in any field, let alone the highly competitive games industry.

 

So, I'd be as bold as to guess that the number of industry personalities who are "addicted" to games is very close to 0, if not 0.


Edited by Shaquil, 28 December 2012 - 06:29 PM.


#7 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3205

Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:23 PM

If anything, playing games generally inspire me to go work on my own stuff, honestly, i've found it harder and harder these days to even stay intrested in a game more than a couple of hours.
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#8 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12240

Posted 29 December 2012 - 05:53 AM

13 years ago:

 

Hello.

 

My name is L. Spiro and I’m a Starsiege: Tribes-aholic.

*audience appalls*

The term “addiction” has many variants and degrees, but mine fits them all to their deepest of meanings.  In fact my addiction was such that there was no way to deny it no matter how hard one tried to strictly define it.

I stopped doing my homework.  In 11th grade only 50% of my classes were F’s.

I had special privileges that allowed me to advance to 12th grade even despite this but things just got worse.  In 12th grade I literally got completely straight F’s in every single class, including art.  In fact I literally got a 0% in art ironically due to rules that I had set the previous year as a member of student council (a member of which my grades no longer allowed me to be in 12th grade).  2 years prior I had taken 1st place in an American national chess tournament and was captain of our school’s chess team, yet this year I was not even allowed to play thanks to my grades.

On a Thursday I became sick and decided I didn’t know how soon I would get well so I had better get in as much Starsiege: Tribes time as I could.  I was sick Friday and continued playing, knowing that in any case I still had the whole weekend to play.  I played Starsiege: Tribes for 52 hours straight, taking breaks only between map loads to answer nature’s call and to get drinks of water (but no food).

I dropped out at the middle of 12th grade.

 

 

 

My addiction…

 

…was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Starsiege: Tribes had a scripting language and full mod capabilities.

I had already been programming for 3 years prior to that game, but was nowhere near the level I needed to be in order to make 3D results and actually play my own game, let alone to have massive groups of others play them.

I started with just making maps, and when I later ended up playing my own maps with 30 other people it was extremely motivational.  If you have ever had that happen you know how it feels.  Compare that to doing English homework.  I am sorry but there is an obvious difference not only in motivation but in developmental growth.  My capacity for English did not need further development back then.  My capacity for designing and programming games did.

 

That game is the single most influential aspect of my current life.  It allowed me to explore all of the aspects of game creation that interested me, and at such a young age I learned that breaking away from the mold (ignoring homework in favor of pursuing my motivation, regardless of the consequences of my grades, status as student council, ability to play chess, etc.) actually works out more often than you think.

 

A perfect analogy is that trying to be a millionaire is difficult because most people are all going through the standard and safe system of self-development, but that is not what you do when you want to become a millionaire.  If it was then we would almost all be millionaires.  In fact, if you want to be a millionaire, you have to break the mold somewhere.  The only hard part is knowing where and how.

 

 

So yes, I was addicted to games at some point.  And that addiction opened my eyes to my future.

I simply would not be where I am today without having had it.  I learned more about game creation from it than I would have at school.  I learned practical skills that I employ today.

And I learned to take risks that would later cause me to take a huge risk in leaving America and traveling the world with just a few dimes to my name.  That is because I learned, “It always works out.”

 

 

L. Spiro


Edited by L. Spiro, 29 December 2012 - 05:54 AM.

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#9 Xanather   Members   -  Reputation: 703

Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:07 AM

Interesting post L Spiro smile.png. I just finished school... I probably am less attached to games than say 2/3 years ago. Used to play that game "WoW" alot lol


Edited by Xanather, 29 December 2012 - 09:12 AM.


#10 zedz   Members   -  Reputation: 291

Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:04 PM

when I was younger yes ~12-15 yrs old

the last game I brought was halo 1 back in the early 2000s.

I cant think of the last game I played for more than 5 minutes, I think it might of been angry birds when it came out I tried it for 10 minutes but couldnt see the interest at all



#11 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3518

Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:18 PM

I know the opposite of Spiro's story... one of my good friends from High School who was otherwise brilliant (Salutatorian, etc), managed to squander a full scholarship thanks to Geometry Wars and now lives in the house next to his parents house, which I guess is an upgrade from a basement. He's slowly sorting his life out now, but he's still stuck in our home town.

 

But he was on top of the leader boards!!! Whoooo


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#12 Magdev   Members   -  Reputation: 197

Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:44 PM

I was really addicted to videogames in elementary school. I remember constantly pulling all-nighters on school nights to play Gunbound, Maplestory, Ragnarok Online, and Dark Ages. It was really unhealthy. I remember staying up for so long without leaving my chair, that when I went outside to check the mail I felt all woozy and confused from the light.

It pretty much continued all the way until high school. It wasn't as extreme, but I always had mediocre grades as a result. It's not all bad though, being on my computer as much as I possibly could opened me up to all types of genres of games, the indie game industry, and some forums which slowly brought me towards wanting to be a game developer.

I've been focused on working on my games so much lately, that I've only played a few of hours of videogames over the entirety of December. It feels pretty nice staying on track and productive.

#13 Shaquil   Members   -  Reputation: 815

Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:39 PM

13 years ago:

 

Hello.

 

My name is L. Spiro and I’m a Starsiege: Tribes-aholic.

*audience appalls*

The term “addiction” has many variants and degrees, but mine fits them all to their deepest of meanings.  In fact my addiction was such that there was no way to deny it no matter how hard one tried to strictly define it.

I stopped doing my homework.  In 11th grade only 50% of my classes were F’s.

I had special privileges that allowed me to advance to 12th grade even despite this but things just got worse.  In 12th grade I literally got completely straight F’s in every single class, including art.  In fact I literally got a 0% in art ironically due to rules that I had set the previous year as a member of student council (a member of which my grades no longer allowed me to be in 12th grade).  2 years prior I had taken 1st place in an American national chess tournament and was captain of our school’s chess team, yet this year I was not even allowed to play thanks to my grades.

On a Thursday I became sick and decided I didn’t know how soon I would get well so I had better get in as much Starsiege: Tribes time as I could.  I was sick Friday and continued playing, knowing that in any case I still had the whole weekend to play.  I played Starsiege: Tribes for 52 hours straight, taking breaks only between map loads to answer nature’s call and to get drinks of water (but no food).

I dropped out at the middle of 12th grade.

 

 

 

My addiction…

 

…was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Starsiege: Tribes had a scripting language and full mod capabilities.

I had already been programming for 3 years prior to that game, but was nowhere near the level I needed to be in order to make 3D results and actually play my own game, let alone to have massive groups of others play them.

I started with just making maps, and when I later ended up playing my own maps with 30 other people it was extremely motivational.  If you have ever had that happen you know how it feels.  Compare that to doing English homework.  I am sorry but there is an obvious difference not only in motivation but in developmental growth.  My capacity for English did not need further development back then.  My capacity for designing and programming games did.

 

That game is the single most influential aspect of my current life.  It allowed me to explore all of the aspects of game creation that interested me, and at such a young age I learned that breaking away from the mold (ignoring homework in favor of pursuing my motivation, regardless of the consequences of my grades, status as student council, ability to play chess, etc.) actually works out more often than you think.

 

A perfect analogy is that trying to be a millionaire is difficult because most people are all going through the standard and safe system of self-development, but that is not what you do when you want to become a millionaire.  If it was then we would almost all be millionaires.  In fact, if you want to be a millionaire, you have to break the mold somewhere.  The only hard part is knowing where and how.

 

 

So yes, I was addicted to games at some point.  And that addiction opened my eyes to my future.

I simply would not be where I am today without having had it.  I learned more about game creation from it than I would have at school.  I learned practical skills that I employ today.

And I learned to take risks that would later cause me to take a huge risk in leaving America and traveling the world with just a few dimes to my name.  That is because I learned, “It always works out.”

 

 

L. Spiro

 

Wow. That was a great read. I hope we see more posts like this haha.



#14 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12240

Posted 30 December 2012 - 04:38 AM

I have to point out also that addiction that is just an addiction is never a good thing.

I was addicted to a game that allowed me to grow in valuable ways which would later end up being applicable to my life as a game programmer.

 

Another friend of mine had the same special privileges in school as I had had and he even managed to graduate with high marks whereas I had managed only to drop out.

We later worked together at the Wichita Greyhound Park (a dog track) and he was rising in the ranks even faster than I was.

 

Until EverQuest.

It started with him just calling in sick a few times.  Then more.

Then one day he came in to report that he was quitting his job in order to spend more time playing EverQuest.  It was the stupidest thing we had ever heard but we couldn’t change his mind.

After 1 month of doing nothing but staying home and playing that game, showing no effort of finding a new job, his parents gave him the ultimatum: 1 week to find a job or get out.

1 week later he was living in his car parked outside my friend’s apartment.

For whatever reason he managed to get luckier than he deserved.  Another friend’s parents “adopted” him.  Even while living in their basement for the next 4 years he never attempted to find a job and only played that game.  Somehow they put up with that.

He currently works at a liquor store in Wichita.

 

I somehow doubt that as a child he said, “When I grow up, I want to live in this same rotten town and make minimum wage at a liquor store!”

 

 

Addictions can go both ways.  They aren’t necessarily bad, but choose them wisely.

 

 

L. Spiro


It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
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#15 Shippou   Members   -  Reputation: 1323

Posted 30 December 2012 - 06:35 AM

For me - some games are really "interesting" for a while, and than become very boring.

Did any one ever read the different stories about Second Life "addicts" that completely shut down their real lives ... just to play ?

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#16 Shaquil   Members   -  Reputation: 815

Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:33 AM

For me - some games are really "interesting" for a while, and than become very boring.

Did any one ever read the different stories about Second Life "addicts" that completely shut down their real lives ... just to play ?

 

Yeah but, you know, it's just a desire to get away from the problems of actual life and go to a world where you have more of a say in the things that matter, like appearance, social standing, and achieving our goals. When people get addicted to games like that, or like L. Spiro's friend, it's really not that the game itself is the problem, or that the person is just making a stupid decision. It's honestly that the person finds so little satisfaction in other things, that once they found this game that lets them forget about all of that, they had no reason to go back to real life. They'd rather milk out as much time as possible playing the game now than force themselves to also live life at the same time.

 

The same thing was happening to me my freshman year of college, before I started programming. I was an English major who hated English classes. I was a writer who hated his own writing. When Fallout New Vegas came out, I took the 2 hour walk to and from Gamestop to go get it, and then spent the next week devouring that game, spending 8 hours a day every day. I missed midterms, papers, and of course classes. I was not addicted, I just wanted to get away from such a boring, unfulfilling life. Now I'm one of the top two students at my University's CS program. It's not because I'm special. I just happened to find my "real-life" thing, like L. Spiro did. Had I not found programming, I'd be on the streets somewhere, dropped out by now.



#17 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 8158

Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:34 AM

Well, I'm the polar opposite then. I used to play lots and lots of video games when I was younger, then when I turned 17, I sort of just grew out of them. I can't really play them anymore for any length of time, they just bore me after a few minutes of playing. But I have lots of problems at the moment, so it might just be a temporary side-effect. That said, I love programming, and I agree too that I don't know where I would be if I hadn't picked up that skill. Probably low-pay cashier in some supermarket, I guess. I'm not good at much else.


The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

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#18 Chad Smith   Members   -  Reputation: 1041

Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:24 AM

I used to play video games a lot before I started programming.  Then while playing a game I asked myself "I wonder his this stuff is done! I want to create something that people will talk about like this game!"  So I looked up Game Development on the internet and got interested in programming.

 

Ever since I got serious into programming and decided that's what I wanted to study and do with my life I haven't just sat down to try and finish every game I play.  Do I still like games?  Yes.  Do I still play them?  Of course.  Do I play them as much as I used to? Nope.  Every time I start playing a game I usually get more motivation to program so I can usually only play for a couple minutes.  Mostly because I find myself saying "I wonder how they created this" for different aspects of the game.

 

It's funny actually.  Because people who know that I am a game programmer automatically assume that I must be good at video games and play them all the time.  It's actually quite the opposite.  I'm pretty mediocre at video games now (do have my few select genres that I call my specialty)  and my friends play them a lot more than I do.  I'd say it'd be the game designers and QA Testers that play the most games.  I know that's how it is with the person I'm working with right now to design our game.  She's the lead designer and is the one that actually plays more games than I do, plus more genres than I do.



#19 siamii   Members   -  Reputation: 102

Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:30 PM

If you like games so much that some people might say you are addicted, would you make a good game designer in the industry and have a happy life? Or should you rather avoid games because you might be addicted and do something else?

#20 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12240

Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:01 AM

Being addicted to games is completely unrelated to being a good game designer.  In fact I would hesitate before hiring an addict for fear of the possibility that said person can’t see the forest for the trees.  An addict trying to design a game similar to that of his or her obsession is likely to borrow too many ideas from said game and likely to be unwilling to listen to input from others.

 

It also suggests a lack of responsibility.

 

Being an addict does not show devotion.  There is no reason to assume if a person is addicted to a playing game then he or she would be just as addicted to actually making a game, and even if said person does want to make games, he or she may be heavily less motivated to make games outside of his or her genre.

 

 

As was mentioned many times, there are many forms of addiction and they can have different pros and cons.  It sounds as though you are trying to get justification for your own addiction from us, and without knowing anything about your addiction I would follow a rule of thumb: If you have to ask, the answer is No.

 

 

People fit for the industry never need to ask if they are fit for the industry.  If you are, it is in your blood and you know it.  If you have to ask, it is not in your blood, and you would not make a good fit in the industry.

 

 

L. Spiro


It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
L. Spiro Engine: http://lspiroengine.com
L. Spiro Engine Forums: http://lspiroengine.com/forums




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