World of Warcraft is the largest pay to play video game in the world with more than 11 million players. A good percentage of those players log on for a few hours each week and enjoy the time they spend with men and women from around the world. However, there are some players who start to become addicted to the game, in the same way that gamblers or drinkers become addicted to their vices. It’s a proven and thoroughly researched psychological issue and one that should be taken seriously when it develops.
The Signs of a Gaming Addiction
The tell tale sign of any addiction is when it starts to negatively affect other aspects of your life. When it comes to gaming, this can manifest in a number of ways. The most obvious is that it can take you away from your family and friends. Time spent on the Internet, involved in a fantasy world is time not spent participating in normal, healthy relationships.
Another common way that games like World of Warcraft can impact your life is through your work or school. Many players do not get enough sleep or put off reports or homework that needs to be completed to stay ahead of their workload. As a result, their careers or education suffer adversely from the game.
Yet another way that gaming can have a negative impact on someone’s life is through diet and exercise. The lack of regular exercise that tends to go along with long hours at a computer can lead to a slew of health problems. Constant snacking and the lack of normal, healthy meals can also result from excessive gaming.
The Truth About Gaming Addiction
The truth about gaming addiction is that it doesn’t need to be a problem for anyone who knows how to effectively manage their time and ensure they spend as much of it off the computer as they do on it. This goes doubly so for parents of children who play World of Warcraft or other online games. Setting a schedule, monitoring computer time and ensuring no adverse signs start to appear that could point to game addiction are important steps to take.
What to Do When Enough is Enough
If someone reaches the point where they know they are playing too much of an online game, it is important that they step back and take stock of their lives. In some cases, it is important that someone else steps in to help do this. This might mean they are spending more than 8 hours a day on the game, or that they are skipping work or school to play. Other signs might be real world cash being spent on in-game items, absence from family and social events, or a hostile demeanor that results from lack of exercise or outside stimulation.
World of Warcraft and the wide assortment of other MMORPGs on the market are all highly exciting, entertaining options for a modern, social lifestyle. However, like anything fun, they need to be enjoyed in moderation. If you can do that, you will find that there is a lot to be gained from the epic adventures in Azeroth and beyond.