Industry and academics unite to oppose World Health Organisation’s “gaming disorder”

A number of academics and games industry associations, including the UK’s Ukie and USA’s Entertainment Software Association, have united to oppose World Health Organisation (WHO) plans to define ‘gaming disorder’ as a health condition. The WHO, an arm of the United Nations, intend to create ‘gaming disorder’ with the next revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), their big book o’ physical and mental conditions found in this so-called world. They define the disorder as–and I paraphrase–pissing your life away playing video games. While the ICD doesn’t dictate policy, it lays foundations and would set a worrying precedent. The industry associations and academics say the classification is rash and could itself be harmful.

The WHO say they define gaming disorder as a pattern of behaviour “characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.” This isn’t the odd weekend lost in Skyrim, rather behaviour severe enough “to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning” over at least a year.

The ICD exists to define conditions so countries can share data to build a global picture, tracking and comparing trends and whatnot. The ICD doesn’t classify ‘diseases’ in the pathogenic sense, to be clear, but a broader meaning of what ails you. The latest big revision, ICD-10 from 1992, includes everything from ebola to voyeurism. While the ICD and WHO don’t dictate government policy, they do exist to inform and support decisions. And, obviously, the UN declaring the existence of a “gaming disorder” will fuel moral panic.

Today, a coalition of academics and industry bodies declared their opposition to the draft disorder. On the academic side are people from 34 institutions, largely representing university departments of psychology, sociology, and other social sciences, with a few curve balls like the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute. On the industry side, we have trade associations representing publishers in the UK, United States, Korea, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa, and elsewhere around Europe. Collectively, they think the WHO should slow down.

In a paper due to be published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, the academics don’t deny that some people have problematic behaviour around gaming, and indeed say this warrants further study, but they say the WHO are being too hasty to pathologise it. They say the WHO are leaning on studies which are too few and overall too unfocused and flimsy to clearly define a disorder – it’d simply be bad science. They also believe that rushing to a classification would harm players as well as future study of those gaming problems the WHO are so concerned about.

The paper asks, “is what we call ‘gaming disorder’ merely a coping strategy for those with depression, ADHD or other disorders?” And as it often seems to be, “it would make more sense to explore the underlying causes for this behavior first and be sensitive to the extent to which treating these first-order challenges might resolve the gaming problems.” Which sounds jolly sensible to me.

At times in my life I have certainly played games so much that it caused, as the WHO say, “significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.” That’s because I was suffering from crippling depression I couldn’t resolve, and playing games offered much-wanted comfort and distraction when everything else was overwhelming. The problem wasn’t games, it’s that I was shambling wreck of a human. Thanks, video games, for the fun, comfort, and social contact you gave me during years I would likely have otherwise spent in bed.

The authors point out that many other recognised and relatively common coping behaviours, from exercise to work, aren’t being pathologised in ICD-11. They express concern that this classification may be partially the result of moral panic – and that it might further fuel moral panic.

Only last week, the President of the United States suggested, in a discussion around the mass murder at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, that violence in video games “is really shaping young people’s thoughts”. This in a country which yesterday saw middle-aged and elderly worshippers carrying real rifles and wearing bullet crowns at a church ceremony.

“The continuous flow of flawed and exaggerated media reporting around the assumed harms of gaming should serve as a reminder that whatever we may propose in a clinical setting tends to reach far beyond the setting for which it was originally meant,” the paper says. “The influence of a gaming disorder diagnosis on wider society and its impact on parents and children everywhere is not something we can afford to ignore in our work.”

After the American Psychiatric Association tentatively noted ‘Internet Gaming Disorder’ as a condition to study further in their 2013 update of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the paper claims, research focused narrowly on affirming the DSM definition “rather than dealing with some of the more fundamental questions about the nature of problematic gaming.” In short, if WHO defined a gaming disorder poorly now, it could harm future study that might actually help people.

All this said, though, enough respected people have evidently written in support of the proposed disorder for the WHO to seriously consider it. ICD-11 is still in draft so this could yet be removed or altered, or not.

I wonder how much of this rashness is down to the long timescale the WHO work on. The last main ICD revision was in 1992, when video games were still quite new. Over the past 26 years, an entire generation of adults have grown up with games in our culture. The WHO’s gaming disorder wouldn’t have been possible at this scale in 1992, so it seems new. And if they don’t start tracking the perceived problem now, they’ll miss years of data. But they do seem to be over-keen and over-reaching.

“We agree that there are some people whose play of video games is related to life problems,” they academics say. “We believe that understanding this population and the nature and severity of the problems they experience should be a focus area for future research. However, moving from research construct to formal disorder requires a much stronger evidence base than we currently have.”


  1. Gryz says:


    There is no “PLAY GAMES” in there yet.
    No doubt that once authority is old enough to have played some games themselves in their youth, they might add “PLAY GAMES” to “WATCH TV”. It’s not that different.

    • Babymech says:


    • Gothnak says:

      ‘Bread & Circus’ of Roman times has become ‘Mcdonalds/KFC and Premiership Football/Eastenders/X Factor’.

      Concentrate on eating and vacuous TV and don’t worry about the laws and decisions we are making.

    • theallmightybob says:

      TV is far less interactive. rarely in any TV program do you make a choice more complicated then change the channel. Video games can at least get more of your brain moving, maybe that scares some people.

    • Cloak says:

      I love you.

    • skeletortoise says:

      Do you have a blog where I can get more of this kind of deep and original thinking?

      • Gryz says:

        Of course not.
        The lines I quoted come from an old movie, called “They Live (1988)”. You might wanna watch it.

        If you do, don’t read this, as it contains spoilers. link to I’m not sure this movie is any good. But I do think it is a classic. And worth watching.

        • April March says:

          It’s kind of funny that when you’re trying to send a message that boils down to ‘think for yourself and don’t listen mindlessly to what people tell you to do’ you managed to let the joke fly so high over your head.

    • TrenchFoot says:

      Find a copy of Slavoj Zizek’s “A Pervert’s Guide to Ideology” to see his take on They Live. It’s funny and insightful. Like, “why does he have to nearly beat his friend to death in order to get him to wear the ideology-revealing glasses?” Because we are more comfortable with the illusions.

  2. geldonyetich says:

    Does this mean I can earn social security for loving gaming? But I kid.

    Honestly, I could see compulsive gaming being in the same general neighborhood as compulsive gambling, but a whole lot less harmful due to not being as financially devastating.

    It impairs socialization to spend all day every day playing games, sure. But, on the other hand, socialization is not without a potential for peer-pressure induced harm, so I’d say compulsive gaming is a valid enough life choice provided you can still make time to earn your keep.

    As for gun control, that’s a whole other ugly barrel of fish. People look at it as impeding their freedom because, technically, it is. But another technical reality is you shouldn’t need a weapon capable of fighting a war around unless you plan to be in one. Thanks to the constant fear mongering of conservative media, we’re getting pushed ever further in that direction as the easily-influenced flock to the safety of being heavily armed like moths to a flame. To make matters worse, we’ve learned that Putin has deliberately invested considerable espionage efforts to help push us in that direction, I wish I could say that was a tinhat theory, but we’re talking straight up FBI findings as officially reported.

    Troubled times. This whole blasted fiasco of out of control political polarization and rabid gerrymandering is really threatening to impugn on my gaming time.

    • automatic says:

      USA’s economy was boosted thanks to WW2. It’s no mystery why the weapon industry keeps such tight relations to the government. Gun enthusiasts are just like any other type of consumers. They are given stuff they really don’t need just to keep the industry rolling. They’d sell guns for kids if they could. As a matter of fact, they do.

      • geldonyetich says:

        I don’t think there’s a whole lot of politicans who believe war boosts the economy anymore. The last few we had did pretty much the opposite.

        That said, I agree with most of your point here. It’s all about the money. The gun lobby can afford to install politicians, and that pays dividends in terms of support for their industry. Said politicians don’t really give a damn about whether or not you have a gun, that’s just the lip service that was bought and paid for, but they sure like being in office.

        • automatic says:

          WW2 was what started this culture. I don’t know if the budget charts I’ve seen are accurate but they show USA spends more than half of it in military, close to 1 trillion dollars. Is that the kind of money a government that doesn’t support wars spends? Maybe you’re right and they don’t really want wars. But then where all the production from this invesment on weapon industry will go? That’s my point. They go to consumers from this industry.

          • Slinkusss says:

            You guys are both right, in so far as the US war industry is big money, but the wars don’t prop up the economy so much as they prop up or boost one sector, that being the ‘defense’ sector, i.e. the research, development and manufacture of war machines/tools/weapons. And they can’t have Americans going all politically conscientious and asking why they are invading all these peasants all the time, so they maintain a culture of weapons within the country so as to soften the populace’s stance on warmongering. To an American who owns an assault rifle for fun, it’s much easier to justify both, invading a developing country for whatever reason, as well as militarization of the police force.

      • wislander says:

        I actually own a kid-size gun, the one I learned to shoot with, though it belonged to my grandfather and it’s not much good for anything other than target shooting.

    • 4Valhal says:

      Complains about Russian interference in the society of the USA but then also calls for banning of guns in same post. #seemslegit

      • geldonyetich says:

        See what I mean? Here’s a guy who thinks if foreign meddling with your politics is a problem, the solution is to get a gun to fight off them dirty invaders.

        It’s not that simple. Assuming Putin slips a cog and invades, and somehow nuclear annihilation doesn’t happen, you’re asserting having an assault weapon will protect you and yours. However, the reality is that a world power will have training and logistical support that would render any civilian militia more or less powerless. Your gun is pretty good at killing fellow civilians, but that’s about it.

        Ergo, my leaning towards a ban (which I didn’t) is meaningless in this situation. Anything you’ve been told otherwise is a sales pitch. Enjoy your worthless boomstick and its relevant paraphinalia, sucker.

        But that’s American politics right now. The corrupt grow fat under the easy task of misleading the common plebian while the harm of this endeavor simply pools about and threatens to overflow. Perhaps it is not so different in any country.

        • Cederic says:

          “Your gun is pretty good at killing fellow civilians, but that’s about it.”

          The impressive documentary Red Dawn demonstrates how wrong you are.

          (or you could look at Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and indeed large chunks of the rest of Africa for examples of low grade weaponry preventing peaceful governance)

    • MrUnimport says:

      >so I’d say compulsive gaming is a valid enough life choice provided you can still make time to earn your keep.

      That’s assuming it is in fact a life choice and not something people stumble into as a form of escapism. How many ex-MMO players have you heard bemoaning the dozens, hundreds, thousands of hours they’ve invested into a system of no meaning to anyone outside it? I have a friend who complains about not being able to get any of his time spent in Overwatch back.

      I think it’s not quite true to say that people spend time in video games primarily because they’re having fun. Plenty of people, myself included, find ourselves continuing to play well past the point of fun and well into what most would characterize as ‘work’. Reward systems exert a curious hold over us, and the sooner we recognize this, I think, the better.

  3. Gothnak says:

    I remember Cancer Research doing a set of adverts complaining about kids playing computer games and that they should go outside instead. I pay them by direct debit each month, and work in the games industry, so sent them an angry email asking them why gaming is worse than:

    Watching TV,
    Reading a Book,
    Using Social Media.

    They sent me a reply apologising and said they weren’t going to use those adverts anymore.

    By all means tell kids to go outside and get more exercise, but stop demonising gaming above everything else.

    As far as a gaming disorder goes, i do think some parents let their kids play far too much, meaning when it comes time to stop, the kids just wont. However, not having kids myself, that’s something to be dealt with by each parent as with watching TV, using social media, eating sweets, whatever, just bring your kid up with things in moderation.

  4. kud13 says:

    APA revises it’s own DSM more frequently then WHO. Incidentally, APA is also looking into caffeine addiction and it’s on the same level as “internet gaming”.

    There’s good reasons there’s pushback against expanding criteria for psych disabilities- one of them being because once the scientific community makes these definitions and they enter medical lexicon, people can claim government support and benefits based on having these disorders.

    This is all going to be obscuring the ongoing “are loot boxes gambling” debacle, I’m sure.

    But psych studies aren’t going anywhere, especially in North America, where 1st year psych students get extra course marks for participating in studies designed by upper-years.

    • April March says:

      Frankly, I think caffeine addiction is scary. I see the way people behave about coffee and I think about cocaine users in the late 19th century, only drinking from a cup that says “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my cocaine!” (Actually, I’ll put that into my bin of ideas for a steam/cyberpunk story about internet culture in Victorian England.)

  5. Gunrun says:

    Yall should retire that stock image, what is she even playing? It looks like a racing game but she has a joystick. Also it’s been like 15 years since I used a CRT but being that close wasn’t good for your eyes from what I recall.

  6. NeuroNiky says:

    “That’s because I was suffering from crippling depression I couldn’t resolve, and playing games offered much-wanted comfort and distraction when everything else was overwhelming. The problem wasn’t games, it’s that I was shambling wreck of a human. Thanks, video games, for the fun, comfort, and social contact you gave me during years I would likely have otherwise spent in bed.”

    This. So much this. I couldn’t have writed this any better.

    • Moth Bones says:

      Absolutely. Thank you for that, Alice. Such a good writer.

      Games can actually be helpful for people who can’t get out too much due to physical or mental disabilities, and playing games with others online can throw up unexpected possibilities. My LOTRO kinship was the first place I came out as trans, as I figured rejection would be less crushing than from ‘real life’ friends; happily, they were great.

      I think gambling addiction is a separate thing because of the specific triggers people have to deal with e.g. actively avoiding arcades. Does playing games fire up the same pleasure centres as drink/drugs or gambling? I’m not sure (do please tell me if science has established this).

    • Bobby says:

      Yeah seriously, WoW no doubt saved my life in my early 20s. There are far more destructive things to lose a few years to. Gaming continues to help me cope with day to day life 10 years later. I’m now happily married to a fellow gamer, have a steady full time job and have a much better handle on things!

      Thanks games! To an outsider it looked as though the gaming was the problem of course.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      You could have if you used wrote or written instead of writed

      *Runs for the door*

  7. automatic says:

    Compulsion can have a lot of different objects. It really doesn’t matter if it’s games or Netflix. I think they should rather focus research on specific games and try to understand addiction mechanisms. I’d study the effects of Blizzards skinner boxes and similar stuff that keeps players hooked even when they are not enjoying that activity anymore rather than just blaming gaming generally.

    • kud13 says:

      Which is probably why APA came up with “internet gaming disorder” –hell, I never played MMOs in their heyday (both due to being anti-social, and because the idea of paying subscription fees for a game seemed ludicrous), but in my early Uni years, among students WoW was explicitly described as an “addiction”. And that was a popular sentiment.

      WHO’s definition is most likely an over-broad definition, which is precisely why you need further research. Lots of further research.

      • dr.denton says:

        Which is ironic, because in the early years of WoW, when talk about “addiction” was so prominent, most reward mechanics that were supposed to keep you hooked were so rough and unrefined, that quite frankly, they didn’t work for me at all.
        (Sorry for this sentence. Must be a German thing, we like them long and complicated)

        I just didn’t see why I should invest all this time for pretty much a 95,68% chance of NOTHING. Instead I played the solo content, took my time exploring and leveling up and never once felt like I was in some sort of treadmill.

        Now that game mechanics, both core and meta, have been optimised to a point where there seems to be hardly any room for improvement, and small wins can be had on a regular basis, I feel the term “addiction” may be justified for me.

    • Premium User Badge

      MajorLag says:

      I don’t get where people think this is “blaming gaming”. Read the description, they’re specifically calling out addiction here, a compulsion to game so strong that pretty much everything else in life is neglected. Don’t tell me this doesn’t happen, I’ve seen it too often.

      And you know what? A lot of the industry really needs to be looked at in this context. They are putting a lot of effort into making their product as addictive as possible to extract maximum profit. That’s not kosher any more than adding heroine to your product would be.

  8. biggergun says:

    While I’m obviously against Jack Thompson-style stuff, I won’t deny that for me personally gaming was an addiction for a really long time. The Skinner box reward loop is implented in many games by design, and it is something that you can absolutely get addicted to, especially if you have nothing better to do with your life (but that’s how most addictions go). It’s not meth or even pot, obv, but things like eating disorders are comparable (again, in my experience, yours may vary).

    • April March says:

      I agree. My problem with this ruling isn’t so much ‘bah, no one is addicted to games, this is angry old man talk!’ but rather ‘Is gaming addiction, an obviously real thing that does exist, specific enough that it should get its own private listing? What differenciates it from someone who watches TV all day, marathons comfort series on Netflix, spends all day on social media, etc?’

  9. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    Alice, not only are you the best news reporter and commentator in gaming, but you but a lot of actual journalistic institutions to shame with your insight, fairness, and sincerity.

  10. PanFaceSpoonFeet says:

    To be fair… I have that. Today, having been out of work for two months I have a chance to submit a proposal to a company. 70% of the day was spent playing games. Hopefully I’ll get it finished tonight. It’s about 2 hours solid work. I’ll probably be up til about 3am.
    Further… I need to learn a couple new JavaScripty things. Of the time I intended spending on those on the past month, I reckon 90% of that was spent playing games instead.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      Oh, I don’t think there’s any question that gaming addiction exists. The big questions are, is it psychologically and sociologically distinct from other forms of addiction? Are people uniquely susceptible to it relative to other addictions? Is the treatment different? And to what degree is the addiction compensating for other problems that exist rather than the problem in and of itself?

    • khamul says:

      I know how you feel. It’s very hard to imagine success, when your experiences are dominated by failure.

      And how do you find the energy to act, if you can’t imagine the action being successful?

      Games are a place you can go where you *can* succeed. They’re fair – or at least, consistent in their unfairness. They don’t contain the prejudices that are the main thing stopping us from succeeding in the real world.

    • LTK says:

      I wonder whether ‘games addiction’ has any merit to it, because like you, I have shit I should be doing, but I don’t do it. I’ve always gamed a lot in the past and coasted through all of my education while doing it, but now my game time is reduced to a fraction of what it used to be. Still, my rate of getting-shit-done is abysmal, because I’ve found other stuff to occupy myself with. So if you’re like me, maybe the problem isn’t the games, but the chronic lack of self-discipline.

  11. 4Valhal says:

    Humanity has been gaming in one form or another since we gained sentience. From fighting for sport and fun to gambling. Watching sports on TV or betting on which gladiator gets their head chopped off. We just have evolved another form of entertainment.

  12. JarinArenos says:

    We need to define Firearm Obsession Disorder

  13. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I appreciate the inclusion of both minecraft and WoW screenshots.

    Also, I agree that while addition to gaming can certainly exist on its own, it’s largely symptomatic of other problems… and can even be helpful in its way.

  14. Cloak says:

    So I guess if I didn’t play with my games all day and my penis instead. Then I’d have a penis disorder? These labels so are confusing.

    People playing video games, so what? It’s not like they’re shooting up heroine or something. Working sucks and some of us are not in a spot we can’t get out of due to being a sh*thole deep state oppressing us.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Serrit says:

    They define the disorder as–and I paraphrase–pissing your life away playing video games.

    Oof, they’ve got my number. I’d best stay away from the GP for a while in case they try to “cure” me of this lifestyle choice “disorder”.

  16. Gorm13 says:

    Well, I guess ‘gaming disorder’ fits right in with their existing ‘reading disorder’ and ‘TV-watching disorder’.

    Of course this would be a terrible idea if those didn’t exist, but it’s not like anyone thinks that playing games is that much more problematic than these other activities.

  17. drucifer says:

    Second-hand smoke is harmless too.

  18. doglikesparky says:

    I think there is some truth in this ‘gaming disorder’ shenanigans, writing as a 49 year old who has definitely pissed his life away playing video games. My atrophied leg muscles and growing social anxiety are a testament to that. Sometimes I wish I’d just got into heroin, or, y’know, lead a creative and productive real life among real humans out in the real world. I’m actually surprised I haven’t died from DVT yet.

  19. Captain Narol says:

    The WHO is right and we all know it in the deep of our minds, even those who refuse to aknowledge it.

    Games can be addictive, it’s a clear fact, and we need to be careful about the place they take in our lives.

    For example, I should be sleeping now instead of playing and reading game-related websites, and I am sleep-deprived which is not good for my health.

  20. fish99 says:

    I feel there’s a big difference between choosing gaming as your way of wasting time that would be otherwise wasted on some other activity, and being so addicted that you literally don’t care about anything else (which is what the WHO is talking about).

    Also I feel like getting an addiction/ailment classified leads to more study and more discussion and is generally a good thing. It’s not about blaming gaming, it’s about whether there’s a small subset of gamers that actually do need help.

  21. Servicemaster says:

    One could see this game industry reaction as evidence that there are gaming addictions out there. I’ve floated the idea around every now and then, mostly as a joke, to my socialite friends that I’m addicted to gaming and I think there needs to be a distinction as there is with any form of art or entertainment.

    And that is: Do you work for your hobby or does your hobby work for you?

    If you’re behind the cart, pushing alone and getting no where then I’m sorry, you’re addicted to gaming. I’m talking to you, kid with piss jugs stacked up in the corner or you, guy who hasn’t bathed nor saw sunlight in months.

    People have died overgaming in cafes. This is real, as much as I hate to admit it. Another distinction is that of gaming vs gambling. Some people do make profits off of gambling though it’s rare, it’s still an incredible feeling to have with friends.

    We should acknowledge gaming addiction so that we might heal it as soon as possible rather than mock it for offending our hobby that takes most of the seconds, minutes, hours and days out of our lives.

    Sidenote: This also goes in line with gaming used as propaganda. Imagine someone who loathes the 2nd amendment and yet knows the inner workings of firearms all because he was able to play so. many. goddamn. military and fantasy shooters. Sometimes it can be a fun addiction where the game works for you like Rocket League (I’m incredibly certain my trashcan shots have improved thanks to 1500+ hours knocking around that damn digital ball). Point is we should take this allegation seriously as an overzealous reaction solidifies their notes and research.

  22. TheSplund says:

    I like the paraphrase ‘pissing yourlife away gaming’ but isn’t that actually more enjoyable than pissing a life away working for WHO and coming up with these disorders? Life is fundamentally about birth/death, some procreation in-between, and the rest should really incorporate as much enjoyment as one can feasibly pack in, in whatever manner that takes, or what point is there to our futile existences? Ok, I do spend more time in the countryside than I do gaming but is that actually any better for my mental well-being and getting from point a (cradle) to point b (grave)?

  23. bill says:

    I would define “Gaming Disorder” as follows:

    Not having any time to play games due to spending too much time working and looking after kids, and then having no energy to actually play a game after all that and pissing what’s left of your life away watching netflix dramas.

    That said, creating a classification to allow academics/governments in different countries to compare data reliably doesn’t seem quite into pitchfork territory yet.

    • Garthside says:

      The problem is how often public policy is made (worldwide). They’ll not consider latest twelve research papers that invalidates previous four hundred ones that might state (or not) that “there might be a problem and we need to further study it”. They’ll just use the highest numer to push what they want to push so it will show there is a problem that government have to heroically fight with. People concerned just worry that some next step will be to require FDA approval for games being released and we’ll get what we have in pharmacy right now. Good-bye indie games!

  24. Eleriel says:

    I’d wake up at around 11… then lay in bed disassociating for an hour.

    I get up, turn on the computer, by the time I get back to the computer it’s already booted up and autostarted World of Warcraft.

    “Should I shower today?” I ponder. “Maybe later, let’s do some dailies first.” I proceed to play for 13 and a half hours straight. no shower was taken. I made hotdogs or hamburgers for dinner. I drank a lot of pepsi. I didn’t go outside. not even to check the mail. I’d really only shower if I needed to leave the house for some reason. I’d go to the store twice per week, and really only when the food or pepsi was out.

    I really only stopped playing WoW when my guild disbanded due to drama. but games like Warframe got me again later, with the added problem of getting me to spend money too.

    is it probable that I was just really depressed? sure. but I functioned pretty damn alright at school or at my job before I came into contact with WoW. Also, because it was a game, I didn’t connect the dots that it was a depression. and neither did the psychologist I met later on (“you just need to put the games down and go outside” – literal advice from a ‘professional’. Also said I was delusional for calling people I had only talked with online my friends.)

    Anyway. You can call gaming a coping mechanism. but, they’re also designed to keep you playing for as long as possible. meaning they become an echo-chamber of behaviour. A game with a beginning, middle and end will push you to end it eventually, at which point you can go outside with at least a small feeling of having accomplished something… but an MMO never ends. it just continues to drag you in.

    I’m rambling, though. So… later.

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