Video game addiction has become a hotbed issue in the gaming and technology sectors. People spend days playing their favorite games, oftentimes leading to addiction. In the most extreme circumstances, players have even reported to such an extreme that they die from video game overdose. For example, a 24 year old gamer died after playing 19 straight hours of the popular multiplayer online game World of Warcraft ( Story can be found here). News stories like this happen every once in a while, reminding the general population of the issues that arise when video game graphics, playability, and complexity continually increase, gamers tend to spend more and more time on their consoles.
Even tv shows like South Park have shed light on this issue, noting how obsessive gamers can become over online gaming in the episode “Make Love Not Warcraft”. The real problem here is among the younger children, who are growing up in a generation where its okay to play hours upon hours of games, neglecting outside responsibilities and real world interaction. This has the potential for long-term health problems as well as becoming a societal issue, where the social skills and work ethic one gains from everyday interactions is slowly falling by the wayside.
Online gaming is not only prevalent in the U.S., but also in countries like Vietnam, where users even play online as a career, performing tasks for other users on the game network. This has created virtual economies, with a small percentage of users paying significant sums of cash to create betters players and do anything to gain an advantage over their peers.
This new online world, where communities are growing and people are spending substantial amounts of their time, will continue to grow in the future. How far society plunges into online gaming will determine the social and productivity implications for the outside world.