If the most headlines about addictive precursors to frightening outcomes determined our concerns about an addiction, video games would be number one on our hit list.

News Item (August 14, 2017): "Mother of Charlottesville Attack Suspect Previously Accused Son of Beating, Threatening Her, Over Video Game"

Years before a 20-year-old Ohio man allegedly rammed his car into a panicked crowd of activists in Charlottesville, it was his disabled mother who was terrified. James Alex Fields Jr. was barely a teenager in 2010 when his mother — who uses a wheelchair — locked herself in a bathroom, called 911 and said her son had struck her head and put his hands over her mouth when she told him to stop playing a video game, according to police records.

News Item (November, 2013): "Chilling Look at Newtown Killer, But No 'Why'"

(Adam Lanza, the Newtown shoolchildren mass murderer) spent the final months of his life mostly alone in his bedroom. His windows were covered with black trash bags. He was preoccupied with violent video games . . . .  Mr. Lanza refused to speak even to his mother, communicating with her only by email, even though their bedrooms shared the same floor of their house. . . .

Mr. Lanza, 20, could not connect with people but obsessed over “Dance Dance Revolution,” an interactive video game he played in the lobby of a nearby movie theater, spending as long as 10 hours at a time trying to follow dance routines as they flashed on the screen.

News Item (May, 2013):  DSM-5 rejects inclusion of video games in its list of "behavioral" addictions.

News Item (April, 2012): "Anders Breivik (Norwegian child mass murderer) 'trained' for shooting attacks by playing Call of Duty"

The court also heard that Breivik took what he called a "sabbatical" for a year between the summers of 2006 and 2007, which he devoted to playing another game, World of Warcraft (WoW), "hardcore" full time. He admitted he spent up to 16 hours every day that year playing from his bedroom in his mother's Oslo flat.

But he insisted WoW had nothing to do with the attacks he carried out last year, leaving 77 dead.

He said: "Some people like to play golf, some like to sail, I played WoW. It had nothing to do with 22 July. It's not a world you are engulfed by. It's simply a hobby."

* * * *

Gamer girl wrote:

Video games are a hobby. Most people have a healthy relationship to video games. Mr. Lanza's pre-occupation with ddr was not the problem, his non-functioning lifestyle and isolation was.

My response:

Exactly.  Would you say the same things about alcohol and drugs?  What they share with video games is being an extremely powerful resort for people like those you describe.

Gamer girl:

Not everybody who plays video games will end up a recluse with trash
bags on their windows without human contact. If that were the case, most of my generation would be doing that instead of traveling or working regular jobs.

Me:

Not everybody who drinks or takes drugs will end up a recluse with trash bags on their windows without human contact. If that were the case, most of my generation would be doing that instead of traveling or working regular jobs.

Gamer girl:

Drinking and drug use are not comparable to video games. Sure, there are a lot of drunk streamers or drugged out video gamers, but the big difference is the mere act of playing video games is a non-toxic, non-physically addictive hobby that can either be casually relaxing or competitive. Alcohol and drugs are toxic and physically addictive activities.

Me:

Are you aware that the American Psychiatric Manual, DSM-5, calls only one thing addictive -- gambling?

Shouldn't you be picketing outside APA headquarters in DC because those stupid psychiatrists made such a monumental error, rather than belaboring my little blogpost?

Do you think porn can be addictive, you know, like video games, where a person becomes completely emerged in this repetitive experience to the exclusion of all else with disastrous consequences?

Kw explains that what might seem like gaming addiction is, well, read up:

Ive been in a few treatment centers for addiction and met a few game addicts myself. What stood out that they almost all abused alcohol/weed etc. While they were gaming. And there were in almost all cases a psychologicall illness lingering.not to minimize their problems. All they talk about is games in some cases. And i think that it can be mentally addictive for sensitive people. But i dont see it as an unhealthy addictive item. I think its similar to something like workaholism or so.

I note:

Kw, Adam Lanza and Anders Breivik didn't abuse drugs or alcohol.

My popularity never wanes!  Anonymous wrote:

So people who do only sports all day are addicted to sports? Should we put sports on same place as drugs and alcohol? Your logic is terrible....another 60+ senior who never touched a game trying to tell us how bad games are.

Responsible for all violence in the world even thought they exist for very
short time.

Congratulations you look like a fool.

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