Tuesday, January 8, 2013

When Excessive Video Gaming is OK

A Chinese father, surname Feng, disliked that his unemployed son was spending so much time playing computer video games. The son was involved in digital role-playing games -- the kind in which the player takes on the persona of a character and travels about the virtual world performing deeds, undertaking quests, and the like. Virtual death of the persona at the hands of virtual villains (or the claws of virtual dragons) is just the risk you have to be willing to take to play the game. A consolation is that should one's character come to an untimely end, it can be re-constituted by just hitting the reset button.

The elder Mr. Feng hit upon a creative solution for curing his son of his gaming addiction: he retained the professional services of other gamers to use their online personas to repeatedly assassinate his son's online persona. In virtual mafia fashion, this was not personal -- it was just digital family business.

Read the story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20931304

Professor Mark Griffiths, a gambling and addictions expert at Nottingham Trent University in England, told the BBC: "I've come across very excessive players - playing for 10 to 14 hours a day - but for a lot of these people it causes no detrimental problems if they are not employed, aren't in relationships and don't have children."

Truly. One wonders if Prof Griffiths considers solitary persons with no job or family due to excessive gaming to be a detriment?

Then again, I'm not an expert on gambling and addictions, so what do I know.

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