Growing numbers of stories in the press speak about gamers who play for extended periods of time and suffer for it, some even dying apparently as a result of too much video gaming. Is online gaming hazardous, even addictive as some claim? Keep reading to learn the latest news about this disturbing phenomenon.
Many of us have stayed up late more than once playing our favorite computer or online games. And some of us have even heard complaints from our families and significant others about the amount of time we spend playing online games rather than with them. Maybe a few of us have even wished we could sneak in a game while we were at work. But is this really a problem?
It might be. Psychologists and scientific researchers are beginning to recognize online gaming addiction as a growing phenomenon. News stories are bringing creating a growing awareness of the problem, and some gaming companies are even facing lawsuits from bereaved parents.
Online gaming addiction seems to be most widespread in Asia; at least, many of the more extreme news stories about it have been coming out of South Korea. It is no wonder, with about 30 percent of the population registered in online games. The country also has the world’s highest per-capita rate of broadband connectivity, at 70 percent. Those who don’t have broadband themselves can play online games such as World of Warcraft at any of the country’s highly popular Internet cafes, which typically charge the equivalent of US$1.00 an hour for computer time.
On top of all this, South Korea hosts the annual World Cyber Games. Indeed, professional gamers in that country can make more than $100,000 a year. In this kind of environment, it is easy for anyone who might be susceptible to become addicted. But this begs the question: is online gaming really an addiction?
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