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)?"
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! :-)