Is WoW Addicting?

World of Warcraft is one of the most additive games to ever exist, according to its own players. There are blog posts and articles from players about how immersed they are in the game and what keeps them coming back for more. One of these reasons is the social aspect of the game that hooks players. There is a sense of comradery in the server you play, and often there are stories about how you can find people from all ages gathered in one place often striving for the same goals, from late night raids to PvP in arenas. In addition, there is the sheer scale of content that WoW offers to its players. There is always that next quest, that next win in arena, that next dungeon that can be run. Each of these keeps players on and, with no definite end that would require one to start the game over, there is always opportunity and incentive to get on the to participate in the world. All these contribute towards many of the game’s players saying that they are addicted to WoW. This seeming addiction, however, contrasts with what has come from studies and interviews conducted with the players. For 40% of the players in Oggins’s and Sammis’s study (2012) self-reported being addicted to the game, only 6% actually scored to be high risk on a video game addiction scale. In addition, two other studies separately found that have players of MMOs, about 8% in adults, have symptoms of problematic use of video games. The common tend of a much larger self-reported addiction than what is found by using other methods is not exclusive to WoW players, but across all MMOs. One explanation that was found by Oggins and Sammis was that the use of highly stringent criteria leads to there number of players who show problematic signs being lower. So really in the question of if WoW is addictive, the answer depends on how you would ask. The researchers don’t seem to think so, with the data that they found pointing towards every few players being truly addicted to their game. The players one the other hand, seem to think that the game is at least somewhat addictive in nature, yet many of them don’t seem to find the hours that are put into their respective games..


Cypra, O. (2005). Why do people play in virtual worlds? An empirical study of online role play games and their users. Retrieved from http://www.mmorpg-research.dehttp://www.mmorpg-research.dehttp://www.mmorpg-research.dehttp://www.mmorpg-research.de

Oggins, J., & Sammis, J. (2012). Notions of video game addiction and their relation to self-reported addiction among players of World of Warcraft. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 10(2), 210-230.

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