In the News...Computer-Gaming Dependency

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In the News...Computer-Gaming Dependency

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The medical community is taking addiction to the fastest growing form of electronic game in the world—the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG)—seriously. Dr. Maressa Hecht Orzack, a clinical psychologist and director of the Computer Addiction Study Center at McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass., hopes that computer gaming addiction, which affects millions of people, will soon be added to the official list of compulsive disorders. The Smith & Jones addiction consultancy in the Netherlands is comparing MMO (massively multiplayer online) withdrawal to drug addiction. Other experts are comparing the similarities in the brain’s chemical reaction to computer gaming to that of compulsive gambling (“Massively Addictive,” www.videogames.yahoo.com, July 13, 2007). Dr. Orzack relates symptoms that might indicate a gaming problem: ignoring friends, avoiding or being late for work and deteriorating family relationships. Activities that take precedence over our responsibilities to God, our family and friends are not in accordance with God’s will for our lives. Sixty hours a week of computer gaming time qualifies as a job, not a hobby.

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