Is WoW Addicting

In discussions regarding the online phenomenon known as World of Warcraft (WoW), one controversial question has surfaced; does the game cause it’s players to become addicted? On the one hand, some think that–with proper self-control—the game is not addicting at all. On the other hand, some, like myself, contend that the game is extremely addicting due to a number of factors associated with MMORPG’s.

According to testimonies from experienced WoW players, it is no secret that the game can mimic the effects like that of a powerful drug. One player claimed that, “[he doesn’t] enjoy it, but [he] still play[s] it” and he doesn’t even know why (Sottek 1). Hundreds of WoW players have opened up about their experiences with the game in the last few years, however, it might not be enough to prove the notion that WoW is addictive. Luckily, in an article written by Brian D. (Ng, M.S.) and Peter Wiemer-Hastings (Ph D.) of DePaul University, the authors discuss their take on a collection of evidence to assert the notion that MMORPG’s can be extremely addictive and can result in a number of negative externalities for those who are addicted. Unfortunately, the authors never reference “WoW” directly by name, however they do point to evidence pertaining to games that are nearly identical in their natures’, such as “Diablo II” and “Everquest” (98).

Like the authors, I believe that a massive component that makes MMORPG’s like WoW so addictive is the social and competitive aspects that make players have to physically be present in the game to enjoy their rewards. Similarly, authors Christopher S. Peters, (M.A and L.) Alvin Malesky, Jr., (Ph.D.), decided to try to prove the connection between MMORPGs and negative externalities using a survey of WoW players and looking at trends in the data. What they found was that there was a correlation between the two, in other words, the more time the player spent on the game (sometimes 8 hours a day), the more negative externalities happened in their lives. (481)

Though Blizzard and other MMORPG developers don’t explicitly say that their players need to play an obscenely unhealthy amount of time in order to stay relevant in the game, it is obvious that WoW and games like it have extremely addictive properties that force its player base to continuously play in order not fall behin

Work Cited:

Sottek, T.C. “If ‘World of Warcraft’ Is a Drug, Blizzard Is a Cruel Drug Dealer.” The Verge, The Verge, 26 Sept. 2014, www.theverge.com/2014/9/26/6849317/if-world-of-warcraft-is-a-drug-blizzard-is-a-cruel-drug-dealer.

Peters, Christopher S., and L. Alvin Malesky Jr. “Problematic usage among highly-engaged players of massively multiplayer online role-playing games.” CyberPsychology & Behavior 11, no. 4 (2008): 481-484.

Ng, Brian D., and Peter Wiemer-Hastings. “Addiction to massively multiplayer online role-playing games.” Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine 2 (2004): 97-101.

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