Online Gaming - About Online Gaming !!

About Online Gaming

Since the 1990’s a number of computer, video and online games have been developed. Some of these are what we call RPG’s (Role Playing Games). Of these some are relatively small and have a small number of players. Others are what are MMP (for Massive Multi Player) on line games, in which people play with other people around the world. There can be thousands of people involved in these games, in what make up a virtual world. Some of the more popular ones are called World of Warcraft, Everquest (popularly called at times Evercrack), Guildscape, Eve, and Runescape, and lately, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

The basis of the MMP’s are that people take on roles or characters, there are levels, and themes, and a social structure. People can form alliances, have means to communicate, can form guilds, clans, unions, etc, and so become part of the larger social structure in this world. They develop their characters, their skills, win points, and can win notoriety and fame. Within the game, they can develop power and influence.

On line games can become very compelling. For some people they become an addiction—a strong compulsion to use the game which has become out of their control. Partly this is due to the nature of the games themselves. There is the pull of “more,” --towards winning points, character development, and the admiration and support of the groups or culture. If the game is always on, then it can become difficult to leave because one “loses contact” with the groups, the game, the responsibilities, etc. that they have entered into. It is an enticement and an excitement. It is exciting to develop strategies in which one can win over others, aspects of the game, or the world. On line games allow players to disassociate from the “real” world around them, not only from friends, families, and work, but also from stress, hurt, and other psychological or physical pain.
Risk Factors for Addictions:

There are no easy answers as to why some people become addicted to gaming ,and others do not. However, there are certain risk factors which will increase the likelihood of an addiction occurring. Even without the risk factors, some people will still develop an addition. Risk factors include:

History of other addictions
Large amounts of unstructured time
Family history of addictions
History of physical or sexual abuse
Other recent or distant traumatic incidents which have not been dealt with.
Poor social skills, loneliness, or social isolation
Feelings of powerlessness and ineffectiveness
Stress in the family or at work for which the player can find no effective way to handle or resolve.

An addiction to Online Gaming is similar in many ways to other what are called process addictions, such as sex addictions, gambling addictions, compulsive shopping, and others. ( Drug and alcohol are considered “ingestive addictions,” because one has to take something to attain the high.) People do not generally become addicted to the process addictions overnight. There is an addictive process that occurs during which an activity starts off as fun, a diversion, and interesting, and then gradually takes over someone’s life.

A gaming history can start with video games, or console computer games such as Play station, Wii, and Nintendo, and move on from there into the more complicated RPG’s or MMP games. Or they may start with MMPs Any one of these can become addictive in themselves. A note of caution, however about these and any games---the vast majority of people use them, and do NOT become addicted.

However they start, Gamers gradually become more involved with the game, and deeply involved with the gaming culture. Little by little, people spend more and more time as they gaining proficiency, more complicated roles, clans or guilds or other groups. It takes more to get the psychological hit, and finally they are involved in gaming until they “can’t” choose to stop.

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