A boy in Sweden (the country that wants to sue me for defaming someone by showing screenshots of some things they’d actually said) got together with some friends for a marathon World of Warcraft session and ended up passing out and having seizures.
An internet computer game has been condemned as being as addictive as cocaine after a teenager who played it 24 hours non-stop had convulsions. World of Warcraft has been hugely successful in capturing the imagination of players by drawing them into a virtual universe of battles and quests. However, it is at the centre of a growing problem of computer game addiction. Many players will sit alone in their rooms for hours at a time, immersed in the lives of their fantasy character creations – or Avatars.
Some 11milion around the globe play World of Warcraft – making it the world’s most successful ‘MMORPG’ – massively multi-player online role-playing game. However, a report from Sweden’s Youth Care Foundation describes it as ‘the most dangerous game on the market’. The report’s author Sven Rollenhagen said: ‘There is not a single case of game addiction that we have worked with in which World of Warcraft has not played a part. It is the crack cocaine of the computer game world. Some will play it till they drop.’
The Swedish National Institute of Public Health has backed the report, adding: ‘Computer game addiction is becoming more widespread across the world.’ The warning comes after a Swedish boy of 15 collapsed after playing it for for 24 hours earlier this month. Hospital doctors diagnosed an epileptic-type seizure brought on by sleep deprivation, lack of food, and too long a stretch of concentrated game playing. He has made a full recovery.
That’s straight from an article in the Daily Mail about World of Warcraft. The headline? World Of Warcraft ‘more addictive than crack cocaine’ as teenager suffers convulsions after 24-hour-long game. Okay lets have another look at that headline. The headline has the words More Addictive Than Crack Cocaine in quotes, giving the deliberate impression that someone has said that. As you can see from their own story, it was compared to crack cocaine but no-one said it was more addictive.
All things considered, the article paints a pretty demonic picture of World of Warcraft, doesn’t it, almost making you think the game was designed simply to make kids ill. Unfortunately the article was designed to give just that impression. Shock journalism at it’s worst. Let’s find a target and blame it for all humanities problems, and the Daily Mail has been targeting videogames for a while now. You can tell simply by the things they left out of the article. Like the reaction from the father of the boy who played for so long. Other stories had been run about this situation in other publications which included his reaction, so the only reason I can see for the Daily Mail leaving it out is that it didn’t fit with the “World of Warcraft is evil” point of view they were trying to sell.
The kind of dedication that leads a 15-year-old Swedish boy to play the game until he goes into convulsions and passes out. That’s exactly what a teen in Laholm, Sweden did this past weekend, after getting together with six friends for a marathon gaming session. The boy is expected to make a full recovery but his father said he plans on limiting the amount of time his son is allowed to play computer games. His father also warned other patents about the dangers of their sons extended game playing. They also think the boys need to reduce the amount of time they play and will themselves be more vigilant, he said.
What’s that you say? A parent accepting responsibility for his child playing too long on a video game? Rightly so? The paper obviously doesn’t know what they’re talking about and is just trying to sell more copies with their warped worldview capitalizing on the society of fear we live in? Yeah, I thought so too.