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)?"
I think it's a foregone conclusion that some people can & do become addicted to videogames.
I am not so sure. Yes there are people who use video games excessively, but is that really addiction or is it some other underlying issue like depression? I used to have problems with seasonal affective disorder (now I just take Vitamin D pills in the winter) and would crawl into my cave and play video games for long periods. So I think it's hard to tell if the video games are causing someone to withdraw from society and normal activities, or if they're more of a coping mechanism for someone with other problems.
On the other hand, I think we have all experienced the "one more turn" or "one more level" effect, and not logged off when we should have and ended up staying up till 3 in the morning the night before work/school. That reward feedback of completing something, leveling up or researching that next civilization advance (Civ used to hit me pretty hard) is, as I understand it, similar how addiction to alcohol or cigarettes or gambling work.
It's entirely possible that both kinds of people exist -- addicts and those to use games to deal with depression. If so, that might lead to a perception that addiction is more common than it is.
That reward feedback of completing something, leveling up or researching that next civilization advance (Civ used to hit me pretty hard) is, as I understand it, similar how addiction to alcohol or cigarettes or gambling work.
I agree, but I find it strange that this type if article always looks at games only. Any hobby, taken to excess, has the potential to be detrimental to someones health, career, relationship, etc. If someone spends an entire weekend reading a book cover to cover, hurts themselves while they're out skiing or is a zombie at work because they were up until 4am finishing a woodworking project, society tends to congratulate these people on their hard work and dedication. If the same results are due to wanting to see how the latest Final Fantasy ends or from finishing off your scale replica of the Death Star in Minecraft, suddenly it's a serious mental disorder that must be prevented/treated.
That's just because "normal" people's priorities are screwed up. If you finished a scale replica of the Death Star in Minecraft, I would definitely congratulate you for your hard work and dedication! :-)