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World of Warcraft Slays Two BYU Students

A group of armored warriors gets ambushed by axe-wielding orcs. Fortunately, however, after the computer carnage is over…it’s just a computer game and no one goes home hurt. Or maybe that’s what it seems like.

At first glance, World of Warcraft is a colorful world with thousands of online players exploring, leveling-up, trading goods, and participating in dungeon raids. Even if you’re not into video games, the strange fantastical landscapes might catch your eye.

I remember meeting my roommate two years ago. He was sitting behind his computer with a headset, journeying with his comrades through a lava-filled cave. We chatted superficially while he played. He was a really cool guy and seemed completely normal at first.

Days passed, however, and I realized that my roommate spent all his time playing this game. He wasn’t taking any classes and wasn’t working. He played the minute he awoke until he was physically exhausted and forced (by his human frailty) to go to bed. He seldom took showers and ate mostly cold cereal for all his meals, all while playing. This continued until the semester was over.

Now I have new roommates in a new place. But the story doesn’t end here. One of my new roommates is a World of Warcraft guru (aka, addict). He too —without exaggeration— puts in eight-to-ten hour days of playing! From Monday to Sunday, the moment he awakes he fires up his computer and enters the matrix. From what I understand, inside this world of ‘ones and zeros’ he dominates with power unmatched —inside he is as Achilles or Hercules. Outside, however, he is a hygienically challenged, cereal eating, one-class taking, jobless, single gamer.

This fifteen-dollar-a-month matrix ravaged the real character of two BYU students. Don’t get sucked in. Believe me, ‘For the Horde’ really means ‘For the Herd’.

Media Addiction - Alcoholism for the new age

When I worked at BYU's mental health clinic (the Taylor building on 9th East), media addiction was becoming an ever-growing problem. It manifested in a variety of ways-- Halo, WoW, Facebook/Myspace, general Internet addiction, TiVo addiction, etc.-- but it was becoming a serious enough problem that several curriculum changes were contemplated in order to deal with it.

Now, for something REALLY scary, and where addiction can eventually lead--
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=3&art_id=qw103415130387B262&set_id=1
http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/09/17/internet.death.ap/index.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,165296,00.html

There are "sweatshops" (I use the term loosely) in India, China, and Kora that are devoted simply to levelling up characters in RPGs and selling them on eBay. For them, it's a job, which I don't begrudge... too much. However, guys who spend 10 hours a day on it.. you really ought to recommend they seek help, or inform their parents.

Or, if you get really bothered byit, borrow a big magnet from the Benson building and leave it on his computer.

Seen it....scary

I've had a couple experiences with this kind of thing, first was in 1999 in my freshman dorm, before MMOs really made a splash, but young men who, for the first time, had no one telling them what to do, would spend hours on starcraft, warcraft, worms, and other games, all through the Local Area Network playing with their friends in the dorm. I saw many a friend fail out of school or lose scholarships because of his addiction to video gaming.

Next came in 2001, I had a roommate who played "Everquest." He too seemed normal at first-meeting, but then revealed that he was skipping classes and work to play the online game. He went through swells of resistance though, once even bundling everything up and throwing it in the dumpster swearing never to play again. 2 weeks later he had bought a fresh copy and re-installed it on his comp. He too had trouble with girls, whether caused by the game or as a catalyst for driving him into the game I'm not sure.

Anyway, it's a real problem, and I avoid playing those kinds of games like the plague. Ironically though, my current job involves making an MMO for kids. It's kind of a secret operation though because we're trying to leverage kids' affinity for this kind of game to teach them balance in their lives and encourage them to get offline and spend time with friends and family instead of letting the internet dominate their lives. It's an educational site that uses the MMO appeal to teach. Check it out if you like: www.woogiworld.com

What do you think? Can this powerful addictive medium be used for good, or are we fooling ourselves in our endeavor? I know many people think that if they ignore the problem, or get rid of the Internet in their homes, they're doing a favor for their kids, but I wonder if the snowball is too big to avoid and we should teach kids proper use and responsibility.

Either way these kinds of addictions are starting earlier and earlier because of the availability of the Internet in more and more homes, its use in school, and because of its newness, a lot of people don't realize the dangers involved.

Woogi, eh?

My roommate works one Woogiworld...Nate?

true dat

Lots of collage students have their addictions, alcohol,drugs, whatever but here at byu I would say its World of WarCraft. Sad but funny. Luckily I think most girls don't have that problem. But I have had many classes with guys who sit in the row in front of me clicking away in their World of Warcraft realm. Its kind of funny.

I am a recovering MMO addict.

I am a recovering MMO addict. I have never had problems with girls despite being really ugly, I must have a lot of stat points in charisma :D . The thing about MMO's to me is it simulated a lot of the camaraderie and brother hood I used to get from Football or Martial Arts ect.. The thing is it wasn't real, it wasn't healthy and it just kept sucking up more and more of my time. I think these types of games suck in the most hardworking minds and drain them like a vaimpire. Just remember, WOW.. not even once!

Not as bad as you think

I play WoW and it isn't as bad as people make it out to be. I mean, "all things in moderation", right? i have played many online games, and have gotten into them, but i still have a life and friends. I have also seen roommates go and watch each episode of The Office, all four seasons, for three or four days straight. My point is, that you just have to know how to say 'when' or else anything will envelop your life.

Agreed.

I definitely have to agree with Leotendo. Online computer games are just like any other past-time; you need to exercise control and moderation. In fact, I've even had a friend who worked out over two hours every day of the week before. Most people wouldn't look at that with a critical eye, since it's more 'socially acceptable', but he spent just as much time ignoring things such as personal relationships as anyone addicted to games would. I think perhaps that online games, like the World of Warcraft or Everquest, get particular attention on college campuses because of how easy it is to spend time on them relative to other activities.

That said, I think the title of this "article" was confusing. I expected students who had starved to death, or killed one another reenacting a scene from their game. Instead, this seems like more of a personal aversion to the practice from the author's perspective, which is far less interesting and far less informative.

Steroids and the World of Warcraft

It is true that the game is not harmful if done in moderation. However, 'most' people I know that play World of Warcraft spend far too much time... moreover, the game, as I have seen, is very addictive.

Concerning the guy who worked out for 2 hours per day. First, for a WOW player, 2 hours per day is the bare minimum. Second, spending time in the gym strengthens your body and provides you with health.

I don't think that WOW and the gym can be compared....maybe only on the level of muscled steroid addicts.

I Know World of Warcraft Addicts Too!

The article by goodsight is pretty funny. But its true! As far as World of Warcraft is concerned, it IS addicting. I know some people that use so much time playing it everyday. So I agree that the game is big waste of time. I mean, come on, get a life people. Games are fun, but 20 - 80 hours a week...sheeeshhhh.