Is World of Warcraft Addicting?

World of Warcraft has a very large and active community, and many of the people who play the game tend to look to this community for social support. According to Longman, O’Connor, and Obst (2009), this social support can have both positive and negative impacts on one’s psychology. Those who receive social support from both within the game and from the real world tend to show less negative psychological affects, whereas those who receive nearly all of their support from online show far more negative psychological affects. According to Ng and Wiemer-Hastings (2005), this form of online addiction shares many of the symptoms of substance addiction, like failing school and family/relationship problems. One example of this comes from an article from The Guardian by Tamara Lush (2011), where a previous World of Warcraft Addict named Ryan van Cleave talks about how his “life began to fall apart” because of his addiction. So although World of Warcraft can be addicting, whether or not you fall prey to this is heavily impacted by your social situation in real life, and is not strictly a consequence of the game itself.


Longman, H., O’Connor, E., & Obst, P. (2009). The Effect of Social Support Derived from World of Warcraft on Negative Psychological Symptoms. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(5), 563–566.

“Lush, T., & A. (2011, August 29). At war with World of Warcraft: An addict tells his story. Retrieved from

Ng, B. D., & Wiemer-Hastings, P. (2005). Addiction to the Internet and Online Gaming. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 8(2), 110–113.

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