siliconwafer writes: "An article in The Economist raises some interesting points about addiction to video games, drawing from psychology and sociology to describe why certain people prefer certain types of games, and why they might become addicted to them. It is suggested that to discourage addiction, game designers could have their games recognize addictive behavior and respond to it by encouraging gamers to take breaks. Do game designers have any responsibility to recognize addictive behavior, or does this responsibility fall solely on the gamer (or the gamer's parents in the case of a minor)?"
A handful of colleagues that do typing-heavy work have an app that reminds them to step back from their keyboards and do hand exercises every so often. If I recall, some game consoles (Wii?) have similar reminders.
Conveniently, the legs need circulation and stretching, the eyes need to refocus in the distance, the stomach needs a small cup of water, the hands and wrists need a break, the back needs stretching and posture improved all about once an hour. Usually I walk to the bathroom even if I don't need to go. I don't feel bad in the least because it only burns a couple minutes while my smoker coworkers seem to light up about ten minutes outta every thirty and the sports-nerds are even worse by spending 25 out of 30 minutes talking about their fantasy leagues and the like.
Its much like serious hiking... counter intuitively, take lots of short water breaks to get further, faster. Slowest way to hike is to be in a hurry. Programming is about the same way.