Competitive, Social Aspects Make Video Games Addictive

No shortage of horror stories about fun-seekers-turned-junkies
By Laila Weir,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2008 7:23 PM CDT
Competitive, Social Aspects Make Video Games Addictive
A gamer plays at a video game expo.   (Getty Images)

The American Medical Association may not yet rank video gaming as addictive, but players who call World of Warcraft “World of Warcrack” know the score, writes Kristin Kalning on But what is it that drives obsessed players to neglect their jobs, their health and even their kids? Competing and socializing, says a therapist who treats Internet and computer addiction.

The urge kicks in when players feel they’re “competing against other people” and “really want to receive the admiration that comes with achieving a high status in the game,” said the therapist, who called many gamers in therapy “bored and lonely.” One gamer said he was addicted to “trying to be the best,” but quit when his work suffered and he got out of shape. (Read more video games stories.)

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