Internet & Video Game Addiction

American Journal of Psychiatry Link

Via: Ars Technica’s Add Internet addiction to psychiatric disorders, says doctor

My favorite bit (link inside linked page!):

“In that study, fMRI scans that can examine activity in specific brain regions while subjects carry out tasks were used to examine activation profiles in the brains of subjects playing a video game, and many of the same pathways involved in drug dependence and addiction were activated, at least in the male subjects.”

I know a lot of women who anecdotally knew this without the fMRI data. My own addiction? A sweet, sweet game called Myth, which allowed one to play relatively well over dialup. Plus, surly dwarves with bombs.

  • Marshall

    Man, I remember Myth. I never played it online, but spent a good part of 4 months trying to get past one level (7?, 8?) before packing it in. I think that game was the one that cured me of all games — I got to a certain frustration level and gave up. On all of them.

    Addictive-personality that I am, it was a good thing, With the state of gaming as it is now, I could’ve wound up as a complete shut-in..

  • shaunacon

    Not surprising at all…

    My husband and I have this friend who has spent 3 entire years of his life playing Final Fantasy.

    Although, I am one to talk. I’m sure I have spent far more time then that on the Internet in general.

  • jon deal

    Myth was awesome. I also *loved* the Marathon series, also by Bungie (before they got swallowed whole by MSFT).

    Diablo II: Lord of Destruction was my cross to bear for a while.

  • jessica

    I’m hooked on Scrabulous and World Conquest (takeoffs on Scrabble and Risk, both on Facebook).

    I am also amused by reading about internet addiction on the internet.

    Bitter, bitter irony.

  • ravenpen

    Sweet, sweet Myth.

    Oh the countless hours I lost to that game and its glorious sequel Myth II: Soulblighter.

    I was so sad to see the community for that game disappear. Though it’s possible to play it under OS X using an updated application file, it’s hard to find an old-fashioned, unmodified match online anymore.

    I suppose it’s for the best, but I still really miss it sometimes.

  • di

    I am addicted to a MUD. I can’t believe how easy it is to get sucked into the vortex of gaming addiction.

  • GoGo

    Ha. I got Nintendo-itus back in the day, like way back. My thumbs were locked and I had to stop playing video games for a minute. Yeah, its addictive…not sure what that says about me since I am a woman…but I haven’t played in years, so perhaps it wears off on women.

  • shaunacon

    Speaking of video games, this could be cool…

    Video Games Live

  • brent

    Clan Pants!

  • ChristinaTE

    My husband is a major gamer. We have all three of the new gen console systems in our living room and a huge collection of games to go with them. On the negative side it’s an expensive and time consuming hobby, on the positive at least he’s not playing World of Warcraft 24/7 like some people and he’s always willing to turn the game off if I want us to do something together. Plus Rockband and Guitar Hero are really fun to play together. Have you guys tried those yet?

    Also we went to Video Games Live for the first time in December and even we felt like it was too nerdy. Pretty funny though. :)

  • lionemom

    The big addiction in games these days is the MMOPRG world – including Everquest (also known as “EverCRACK”), Asheron’s Call (smaller but great world!), Dark Age Of Camelot (aka DAOC), World of Warcraft (aka World of War-CRACK), D&D Online, and Lord Of The Rings Online (aka LOTRO). I have many friends who play these games and a few who actually work for one of the companies that makes them. Console games, PC versions of console games, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, feh! I may like some of those games, you may like some of those games. But the REAL addictive games are the online RPGs. They suck people in and make them think they have lives and friends and personalities. There are even people who sell virtual property (for REAL MONEY) for use in these games when they are leaving a game or retiring a character.


  • Candy

    Oh if i only had back the hours I, a 40something year old woman, lost playing Terris, Everquest and World of Warcraft. It’s not just for men, boys.

  • creative-type dad

    I get addicted to those online games and then have to cut them off cold turkey.

    WoW (Warcraft) is banned from my house. I’m now onto Pirates Online, which will probably have to come to and end soon…

  • Mike

    Heh, yeah, WoW can be pretty bad. I think of it as a continual LAN party. Now days, if i’m even on, it’s to rack up the online cash for payback and/or B.S. with fellow gamers runnin’ through a dungeon, just for fun.

    What i’m wondering is, how does T.V. stack up? 😀 It’s about to be as nearly as bad, though it’s lacking of interaction probably keeps it within safe levels. Set time durations also probably help.