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drhqnril avatar 7:54 PM on 09.23.2007  (server time)
Computer games addiction

Recently I was at a medical conference when someone gave a talk about computer game addiction. For those of you that wonder what a medical conference is like imaging to Tokyo games show, except the booth babes are pharmaceutical reps and they donít wear bikinis.
I went to a talk about the American Psychiatric Association discussions on include computer game addiction as diagnostic category in the DSMV (A big book of diseases).
At first I thought it was a joke and I sat giggling in the back row like a little schoolgirl with my friends. We all joked about how much DotA we play as we toyed with our shiny new Viagra pens. Then they showed pictures of postal 2 to get a rise from the crowd. The lecture was shamefully outdated.
After that, they started talking patients. That was when I realised they werenít kidding. There is a proportion of people that become full blown addicts to computer games. This is to the detriment of their social life/job/family/finances. There is a line to cross, like everything. Most of us will have some form of balance. But some of us donít. I donít want to tell people to look at themselves and ask whether you have a problem or not. To be honest I have no social life/job/family or finances outside of the Sims. I mean, its not like Iím going to play three days straight until drop dead from exhaustion.
But it did make me think.

So here for your benefit Iíve added the modified CAGE questionnaire. CAGE is a series of questions designed for screening Ďat riskí alcoholics. There was a study which showed that Ďyesí to more than 2 CAGE questions gives you have a greater than 76% chance of becoming or being an alcoholic.
These modified questions are for screening at risk computer game players.
I donít know about you, but Iím screwed.

ē Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your playing?
ē Have people Annoyed you by criticizing how much you play?
ē Have you ever felt Guilty about playing games when you should be doing other things?
ē Have you ever felt you needed to play first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) before you could properly focus on the day?

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