194: The Five Habits of Highly Addicted Gamers

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DayDay8421:
I knew I had passed into the dreaded addict category when a dream I had about a school reunion turned into capture the flag!

That is freaking epic xD

SmugFrog:

BigBoote66:
Good lord, what a terrible article - worst I've ever read on this site. You can include me in the growing list of readers who think this guy doesn't know what he's talking about. The list would be accurately titled, "5 things that some people do, some times, that can be associated with gaming, but maybe not."

Dean, do you even play games? That was my first thought while reading this. Generally the only time I see people twitch uncontrollably is when they're INEXPERIENCED at a game (i.e., my parents, or little kids).

I doubt you'll even come back to read this, and I would be very surprised if you even post anything - aside from just writing up another article.

Posted by Dean Sherwin on February 28, 2009 at 5:59pm
Hey guys, I'm working on an article for the Escapist and would love it if you guys could throw me a couple of ideas. I have over half of it done at this stage. Its about weird gaming. For example, people who turn the controler when they turn the racing car in a game or people who have odd habits such as unloading a clip of bullets into their defeated enemies corpse. If anyone has any other weird antics please let me know!!! ;)

What really kills me is that you had trouble coming up with just FIVE habits. So much trouble coming up with them that you had to ASK ON ANOTHER FORUM FOR SOME INPUT!

At 5:56pm on March 8, 2009, Dean Sherwin said
Cool
I'm starting to branch more into the area of games journalisim...and just gettong the writing more on track to make a decent living out of it..like building a home office (nearly done!!) ... DO you write in any other genres??

You MIGHT be hanging out with a few hardcore gamers on the site which you posted these things (not that you're ever going to come back and read this, right?), but you really need to find other places if you want to discuss things about games with GAMERS.

Look, I don't mind if you want to get into journalism and you think gaming is a good area to jump into. Before you go throwing up your 2 cents on a subject just to create an article, perhaps you should hang out with more gamers. If you do play, you are OBVIOUSLY not a hardcore gamer. I would've had more respect for you if you had created a topic in the forums and then just based the article off of that input - then at least you would have listed some of the things that hardcore gamers actually do.

WOW! Bravo SmugFrog! Great find! I can't believe it, but this confirms my suspicions. Look at this link where he asks for help writing it: http://videogamesjournos.ning.com/forum/topics/article-help-weird-gaming

The second post: "What about the suicide gamer? The guy who plays one too many deathmatch rounds and starts looking for creative ways for his character to die?"

He actually got that from a random guy on the forums! AMAZING! Your first article for a magazine and you don't even bother to do your own research? FAIL!

I agree 100% with what hectorlamergame is saying about addiction, and with everyone else who says that the 5 signs in this article are only signs of immersion and creativity as well, but is gaming addiction really a problem? Does anyone really know for sure if they're even addicted in the first place? and even if they are, is it a problem? I don't know of any story of people that are addicted to videogames and haven't been able to pull themselves out of the hole. I've always found stories on gaming addiction fascinating, and on shows like dr. phil, it's just plain funny because I'm not even sure that there is even such a thing as being addicted to videogames besides a tick or something like shouting at the final boss, IF that even counts

UltraBlumpkin:
http://videogamesjournos.ning.com/forum/topics/article-help-weird-gaming

Thanks - I was hoping someone would read all of that. My only wish is that I could move it up to the top or change the title of this article to something else. What's really sad is apparently he isn't even checking the comments being made about his article.

Dean, I don't understand why you would jump fully into a field that doesn't seem to be a big part of your life. I mean, it wasn't your style of writing that bothered me; I thought that everything actually came out alright. It just seems like you would want to write about something that interests you - and not in the casual "oh look my friends are playing a new game I'll write about it" interest. Do you play games? How many games do you play a year? What are your favorite games? I have so many questions, but I don't think I'm going to get any answers. :( I really feel cheated that you just open the door, throw in a bomb, and then run off possibly being smug about the whole thing.

If you do come back Dean, I'd like for you to look at something. I clicked the photos link at the top of your gamejournos page - I thought it would be a link to your photos, but it was for the site overall. What I found was that unlike your bio of auto hobby stuff, or books, or film... These other guys love video games! Check out this guy, Greg Wilcox:

http://videogamesjournos.ning.com/photo/ps2xboxplus-1?context=latest

The first statement on his profile says: "Well, I've been playing video games for 37 years..." 37 years Dean! That's a lot of game playing. Make friends with that dude!

Also, you should check out Winda Benedetti on MSNBC. Though MSNBC is the last place I go to for gaming news, I love reading her articles about gaming. Her writing has a certain feel that really leads me to believe she IS a gamer.

So... *sigh* Shakes fist in the air. I just wish you would come back and discuss some things with us. I'll stop ranting now.

Disgustingly ignorant and disrespectful excuse for an article.

The author should be both ashamed, and fired.

Now unsubscribing from Escapist emails and deleting my account here.

Seriously. F*** this s***.

On a side note, robinkom who has posted on the second page of comments, writing that "people with gaming addictions are pathetic", should also have his account banned for being an horribly shallow, narrow minded individual.

SmugFrog:

So... *sigh* Shakes fist in the air. I just wish you would come back and discuss some things with us. I'll stop ranting now.

I think we scared him off, or The Escapist sent an e-mail saying, "Thanks for your article, but we won't be needing your or your forum friends services any longer."

Hehehe!

I keep checking his profile on his blog hoping to see an update about this article. He posted on 21 Feb:

The article will be published in 194 next month.
I'll be back to fill you guys in ;)

But his most recent post was:

Reply by Dean Sherwin 17 hours ago
How does one go about writing for Games Radar?

Argh! No Dean! No! That's a BAD Dean! How can you avoid any comments about the article you posted here and run off to another site?

Haha, the face twitching is quite true in my case. I've heard people tell me I tend to scrunch my nose when I'm deeply concentrated.

Also, I'm not addicted, I can quit anytime I want! But I just don't want to, is all.

This one had me going for a while. It was sounding incredibly preachy until the end.

The controller movements go away pretty early, I find. Except that Sony was trying to bring them back for awhile there with the PS3 motion sensors. The facial movements though -- yea. You'll be really concentrating on something and someone will mention that your eye is flickering or something and it'll take you right out of the experience.

UltraBlumpkin:

SmugFrog:

BigBoote66:
Good lord, what a terrible article - worst I've ever read on this site. You can include me in the growing list of readers who think this guy doesn't know what he's talking about. The list would be accurately titled, "5 things that some people do, some times, that can be associated with gaming, but maybe not."

Dean, do you even play games? That was my first thought while reading this. Generally the only time I see people twitch uncontrollably is when they're INEXPERIENCED at a game (i.e., my parents, or little kids).

I doubt you'll even come back to read this, and I would be very surprised if you even post anything - aside from just writing up another article.

Posted by Dean Sherwin on February 28, 2009 at 5:59pm
Hey guys, I'm working on an article for the Escapist and would love it if you guys could throw me a couple of ideas. I have over half of it done at this stage. Its about weird gaming. For example, people who turn the controler when they turn the racing car in a game or people who have odd habits such as unloading a clip of bullets into their defeated enemies corpse. If anyone has any other weird antics please let me know!!! ;)

What really kills me is that you had trouble coming up with just FIVE habits. So much trouble coming up with them that you had to ASK ON ANOTHER FORUM FOR SOME INPUT!

At 5:56pm on March 8, 2009, Dean Sherwin said
Cool
I'm starting to branch more into the area of games journalisim...and just gettong the writing more on track to make a decent living out of it..like building a home office (nearly done!!) ... DO you write in any other genres??

You MIGHT be hanging out with a few hardcore gamers on the site which you posted these things (not that you're ever going to come back and read this, right?), but you really need to find other places if you want to discuss things about games with GAMERS.

Look, I don't mind if you want to get into journalism and you think gaming is a good area to jump into. Before you go throwing up your 2 cents on a subject just to create an article, perhaps you should hang out with more gamers. If you do play, you are OBVIOUSLY not a hardcore gamer. I would've had more respect for you if you had created a topic in the forums and then just based the article off of that input - then at least you would have listed some of the things that hardcore gamers actually do.

WOW! Bravo SmugFrog! Great find! I can't believe it, but this confirms my suspicions. Look at this link where he asks for help writing it: http://videogamesjournos.ning.com/forum/topics/article-help-weird-gaming

The second post: "What about the suicide gamer? The guy who plays one too many deathmatch rounds and starts looking for creative ways for his character to die?"

He actually got that from a random guy on the forums! AMAZING! Your first article for a magazine and you don't even bother to do your own research? FAIL!

You can't help wonder if they were just dicking with him feeding him false info for a laugh. Who here wouldn't do that?

i dont really see those 5 points,

though i've been playing for quite a while (and even working on getting into the game industry itself) there are some other symptoms i could describe than those:

1. Recognising certain gaming elements in the real world, like visualising a parcour over some small buildings and a drainpipe (after playing a lot of mirrors edge)

2. Getting into the lore of the game, reading about it, talking about it and just discovering more and more things that are not so obviously stated in the game but are actually part of the story. Portal has a lot of this.

3. seeing your free time as "time spent in game X" or "time not spent in game X"

4. getting so immersed into a game that after playing a (story heavy) game for a day, you continue to play the game in your dreams (only becomming aware of it after waking up)

5. Trying to live more "efficient" in order to maximize the amount of free time

When I play a game with a mute protagonist I talk to the other characters like I am him

How are these points supposed to determine someone's addiction to games? These points demonstrate a lot of dedication and immersion in a game, but I thought gaming addiction was about all the responsibilities one fails to perform because he/she is too busy playing games.

I'm not really sure what gaming habits have to do with addiction. It's not how you play, it's how long you play and whether you have the willpower to put the controller down or stop playing altogether.

Make sure you have the style of writing very clear to the reader early on so they don't mistake a joke for a serious statement. If this is a serious article though ...

UltraBlumpkin:
So the "5 Habits" you seem to identify are:

1. Intense Concentration
2. Talking to the game/AI
3. Modding/Altering the game
4. "Emergent Gameplay" - which I would call "creativity"
5. Suicide Gamers - limited to games where this is possible

I don't know what your experience is with video games, but I would guess you don't know any gaming addicts. I know "Top X" lists are all the rave in magazines these days, but this seems like a rather unfounded list for something that is so easily diagnosed. Let me give you a few ideas of what "Gaming Addiction" is really about:

1. The person stops caring about the real world around them, and chooses to live vicariously through a virtual one. (The next 4 fall into this general category, but I think this sums up the beginning of the addiction)
2. The game(s) take precedence over the person's real needs, such as eating, exercising and general hygiene. This is why South Park depicts a fat, unkempt loser eating cheetos.
3. The game(s) become more important than the person's job, family and friends.
4. The person develops reasons or excuses as to why he/she can spend so much time playing the game(s). They say "Oh I just gotta finish this one level" or "I just gotta get this achievement", and the task takes them hours, if not days to complete.
5. When the person becomes immersed in the game(s) while not playing it.

These might sound like a drug addicts habits, but that's because addictions always trend toward the same ends. These are very real issues, one's I've had to deal with personally to some extent, and with others around me. Regardless of the circumstances the point remains the same, when you become enveloped in a specific substance/world/state of mind, it will become all that matters.

wow you managed to point the true 5 habits a highly addicted gamer developes without having to write an utterly ....... article filled with hot air.

the article writer seems to get his 'experience' from other advice articles.


without realising that its satire.... ;D

I always had a hard time defining addictive playing.
I mean a few years ago I spent almost all of my awake hours playing the same game. I went to school, I had my three or for meals of food a day. But I lost interest in other things. That's not to say I had a hard time stopping myself. I always went to sleep at reasonable hours, never skipped class or anything else of real importance.

Unlike people who are addicted to nicotine or something else I could just decide not to turn on my computer for a week or two and not feel any anxiety. Still after the break I'd be back gaming full time.

Was I an addict or not? I don't know.

I can't check any of the article boxes for addictive behavior.
And I can only check the first box in Ultras list, but to be honest I've always had a hard time valuing things in life.

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