John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Idiot: World of Warcraft Is the “Crack Cocaine of the Computer Game World”

wowparkThe American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one to two hours of online gaming per day, so warnings that obsessive gaming might be detrimental to one’s health are not without some merit (it’s sunlight, not display light that’s been shown to increase melatonin and serotonin levels). But the suggestion that World of Warcraft is the cocaine of the gaming world and its players by extension, a legion of slathering crackheads, well, that’s going a bit far, isn’t it?

Not according to Sweden’s Youth Care Foundation, which has just finished a report that pegs WoW as the single most dangerous game on the market and the one with the highest risk of addiction. “There is not a single case of game addiction that we have worked with in which World of Warcraft has not played a part,” hyperbolized the report’s author, Sven Rollenhagen. “It is the crack cocaine of the computer game world. Some will play it till they drop.”

And indeed, some will. Last year, a 15-year-old Swedish boy did just that after a 20-hour marathon. But it seems a bit heavy handed to tar WoW for the incident. It’s not as if the boy suffered a temporary state of full-blown paranoid psychosis or ended up in a red-light district tricking for game time. He passed out. Had his dealersparents stepped in, the incident might never have occurred. WoW does offer a pretty robust set of parental controls.