Are you a slave to MMORPG Addiction?
What Is MMO Addiction
"Hang it all LegolosxX, I'm only another 13,211 Infuriated Minstrel Pelts off getting my new epic chest LOL!"
As ludicrous as it may sound to many, the time-consuming routines associated with many MMO's today, can be incredibly addicting. But it is not this factor alone that lures the hapless (or should I say eager) nihilists before the selection screen of their alter-egos. There are a great many factors which can lead to a psychological dependancy which is startlingly hard to break. Trust me, I know!
What is MMO addiction? It's hours upon hours of mind-numbing routine, occasionally highlighted by the advent of socially driven events. It is the prizing of temporary and illusionary goals. When the fun, adventure and wonder fade to grey, and all you are left with is the grind.
MMO's can be fun!
These faces of an MMO are what you might label the contributors to addiction. What separate the "casuals from the hardcore".
- The Grind or "12,119 to go!" Rewards and prizes granted to those how deliver quantity over quality. The grind conjures images of selfless hours spent achieving a goal. Event hardcore gamers profess to hate it, yet it remains a prevalent and key characteristic to many MMO titles. Grinding is often viewed as the single most pronounced attribute of "Korean" MMO's.
- PvP or "Served!": In order to truly flourish in an MMO some people choose and relish in the PvP path. PvP stands for Player versus Player. The fun and exciting pastime of slaying other human players rather than the fairly predictable AI (artificial intelligence) monsters. PvP goes hand in hand with grinding. In order to truly flourish in PvP one must gear up. Meaning countless hours of more mind-numbing action in order to be suitably attired. Not all MMO's revolve around grinding for gear, which makes casual playing much more accessible.
- Progression or "My, my, look at the dexterity on that one!": Something Hubbers can understand *smiles*. Growing, expanding, adsense, fans, hubscores. You revel in the constant growth of figures and statistics.
- Community or "Log on Vent or you aint coming": Cyber-friendships are a large part in contributing to your /played (played time). The advent of guild structures and titles, coupled with the introduction of third party VoIP programs ensures that the game expands into something entirely different. I know a lot of people who play MMO's because of "friends they know online"
Funny and Sad at the same time
The problem is that the threat of addiction is both overstated and understated. The reporting of cases where people have died because they sat before their PC for days,makes the majority of people roll their eyes, and dissociate completely. Which is true. Even most "hardcore gamers" have enough sense to know when to eat, and take off the nappy.
But the reality is that MMO addiction is far more settle and affects many parts of your life.
- Social Isolation
- Lack of exercise (health in general)
- Waste of resources
A strong attachment to an MMO can indubitably insinuate itself into all of these categories. Putting of nights-out of events and substituting them for raids and pvp (for instance).
In a capitalistic society, where time is often equal to money, what could you say of someone that spends nearly a third of his day in front of a computer reaping phantomatic rewards. It's quite simply a waste of resources. Had I dedicated half the time to my job or simply building a fun portfolio of articles on hubpages, I'd be a notch further on in the game of life (har-har).
It has to be said, that MMO's are fun, and usually amazingly well put together. There is no reason why I wouldn't pick one up again, if (and it's a big if), many of the concerns abocve were addressed.
But many people have niether the will nor the inclination to set-aside their pixelated love-affairs.
After all, here I am on Hubpages :P