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World of Warren

Tuesday, Jun. 7, 2011

Warren is an Orc. In fact, he's a level-60 Orc, a feat he has achieved by playing a lot of World of Warcraft. He belongs to a successful guild, whose members he considers friends. He spent last summer at home playing about eight hours a day--basically until his parents nagged him to come to dinner.

Now that he's in college, there's no one to nag him, and he devotes every minute he can to WoW. He usually manages to go to class, but he's behind on his homework, and there are days he doesn't get around to showering.

At the beginning of the term, his suitemates invited him to join them at various activities, but now they pretty much avoid him. Warren sometimes thinks his gaming is out of hand, but nothing seems as interesting as WoW and the people he's met playing it.

Does Warren need to join the real world now that he's in college? Should his suitemates push him to do so?


Here are some resources that might be useful:

Are Video Games Good or Bad for Teens?

WoW Detox

A Framework for Ethical Decision Making



Photo by Rebecca Pollard available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial License.

Comments Comments

Deepti Shenoy said on Jun 7, 2011
Warren's missing the point of college by sitting in his dorm room and playing video games all day. College is about trying new things. As far as Warren's concerned, however, it seems to be an extension of high school. He isn't doing anything different from last summer, when he played World of Warcraft all day long. The hours upon end of gaming are leaving him with no time to try out the different activities that are an integral part of college (and more generally, of life). Apart from barely managing to attend class, he doesn't seem to be taking too much interest in academics either, which means he probably isn't getting the knowledge and experience he's going to need when he graduates and enters the workforce. He may as well not be in college. He could just as well play at home, and save his parents the money they are spending on a college education that isn't, I would guess, coming cheap. Warren should definitely grow up, get out of his dorm room, and do something other than playing WoW. That being said, Warren's suitemates are not his parents. They tried, in the first few weeks, to include him. Since he clearly isn't responding to their repeated attempts to draw him out, it's no longer their problem. Warren needs to take on responsibility for his own life and pull himself away from the games. - Like - 1 person likes this.
Cameron Tow said on Jun 8, 2011
I don't like these online games. In fact, they scare me. I knew kids like Warren in high school who devoted all their time to WoW, and they basically fell off the face of the earth. The game is so strongly addictive that people lose the desire and ability to interact with others in person. Eight hours a day? That's a full time job! And he is paying to do it! It may be fun, but once it starts becoming more important than showering, his priorities need to be reevaluated. I understand that for some, WoW is more than a game, and that real friendships can be formed. I've even heard of marriages between players who met in the game. I don't want to be too harsh on something I've never tried. Still WoW can't provide the range of relationships you need to have a normal, healthy life. Warren's suitemates have no responsibility to force Warren into social activities, but a gentle nudge once and again would probably be nice. It is excruciatingly difficult to pull someone out of a WoW coma; if Warren really wants to do it, he will probably have to do it himself. - Like
Cesar Fletes said on Jun 8, 2011
If he is able to balance this addiction i think it is fine by all means. There are many teenagers out there addicted to way more other things that are negative in our society. If you see, this article states that his suitmates would invite him to "activities" and we all know that means getting piss drunk at a frat house or apartment and some how waking up in your suite/dorm with different clothes on because you puked on the clothes you wore last night. I don't think playing World of Warcraft playing for 8 hours is an issue. Let the man be, as always, this addiction will be broken because hey, something happens in the game, or we get bored of it. He will get through it/over it but let him play. Playing will make him the person that he is. Although, if he does not get his grades up, go to class, then i suggest seeking psychological help. He needs to balance his school. Priorities are first. - Like - 1 person likes this.
Miriam Schulman said on Jun 9, 2011
As the parent of someone who played WoW seriously, I have a lot of experience with the question, "How much is too much?" My views have been modified by my son, who challenged my notions about valuable ways to spend time. Initially, I thought WoW was a waste of time, but I realize that every new medium has been met with similar skepticism. When novels emerged in the 18th century, the intellectual elite regarded them as lowbrow and trivial; now we study them as great literature. Computer games may be the 21st century equivalent--a new form of entertainment that can add dimensions to "the good life." That being said, Warren's gaming is still in the "too much" category. Not showering is giveaway. As I would tell a kid who spent all his time reading Shakespeare, a person needs a rounded life, with some physical activity, some learning, and some friends. If Warren is lucky, his suitemates will ask him to join them again, and this time, he ought to say yes. - Like
David DeCosse said on Jun 10, 2011
It's obvious that Warren is wasting his time. That's a quick way to sum up what's wrong about playing video games for eight hours a day in college while you fall behind in your work. He's wasting an opportunity to develop himself through the academic and social challenges of campus life. He's taking up a spot in college from someone else who could embark on such self-development. He's probably hogging university bandwidth in order to play the video game. And let's not get into what his parents must think about their hard-earned dollars paying for him to go to college&to play video games! But that's Warren. And his use of video games needs to be distinguished from video games in themselves. The fact is that most video games have a moral logic: Some battle between good and evil usually frames the narrative of each game. Sometimes, of course, the battle is stark and even perverse. But sometimes the moral logic is more subtle, a narrative with twists and turns that defies crude categories and provides a compelling moral lesson. In fact, I'll offer this hypothesis. The more self-enclosed, brittle, and stark the games are, the more they seduce people like Warren to disappear into their virtual world. But the more subtle and complex the games are  the more they reflect the real world  the more these games invite players in and then push players back out  to roommates, classes, and life. - Like
Ben Chinoy said on Jun 11, 2011
Warren has a serious problem that he needs to tackle before it is too late. He has become so addicted to World of Warcraft (WOW) that he is blind to his addiction. It encompasses who he is. Warren needs to join the real world before WOW takes away his entire life. By playing WOW for hours everyday, he prevents himself from creating a support system of friends who care about him and could potentially help him with his addiction. On top of this, Warren is in college, and his parents cant force him to stop playing. Warren needs to take responsibility for his actions once and for all and completely stop playing WOW. While this may seem like a drastic move, Warren needs to consider his future and his health. By looking at a screen for eight hours everyday, and isolating himself from the real world, Warren has stopped learning how to relate to others and dug himself into a grave. However, If he joined different clubs or started working out for example, he would be able to become involved in something much more mentally stimulating and start making friends. This would ultimately make him happier, and he would learn the importance of friends. In fact, if he made an effort to hang out with his suitemates more, he would start enjoying college as he meets more people through them and starts to have more exciting experiences. His suitemates should push him to stop playing because it will benefit not only Warren in the long run but also them because they would gain a friend. One way for them to do this would be to invite Warren to meals. He has to eat and if he had an opportunity to eat with his suitemates they could bond and develop a friendship, which could lead to him spending more time with them and less time playing games. At the meal, the suitemates could invite him to attend a particular club meeting with them, so he would not feel intimated to go. With a little initiative, and some support, Warren can conquer his addiction. - Like - 5 people like this.
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Tags: addiction, video games