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[Opinion] Game Addiction

Posted August. 10, 2005 03:11,   


Various kinds of addictions are taking place these days. Mankind’s chronic addictions include gambling, alcohol, and drugs while new kinds include addiction to sex, shopping, work, and working out. Addiction, in medical terms, means drug addiction, in which withdrawal symptoms occur with a lower-than-average concentration of drug within a person’s body. The scope of addiction is expanding as society changes. For example, workaholicism or addiction to work, is said to be suffered by most of Korea’s middle-aged, and is different from drug addiction because it reflects a psychological desire to survive in the fierce competition.

Any addiction is determined to exist depending on the degree of obsession and dependency. There are conflicting opinions over addiction to games which generates so many “addicts” these days. To the hawks who argue that game websites should be immediately cracked down on due to high addiction tendency, doves advocate “many positive aspects” of playing games. Meanwhile, there are moderates who argue that as cyberspace is a virtual space newly created for mankind, it is never belated to conclude it later on.

It is heard that a person in his 20s died of a heart attack after playing online games for more than 50 hours at an internet café. These days not a day goes by without hearing quarrels at home between children and their parents: “Stop playing games!” versus “Just a little more, please.” College graduates without a job, so involved in games day and night, may anger and hurt their parents deep inside their heart.

A research finding revealed that those easily becoming lonely or those who find it tough to adapt to new environments are likely to be addicts. The higher the number of addicts, the higher the severity of social disconnection. PCs cannot be taken out just because game addiction is horrifying. It is a top priority to recover mutual interest of each other, be it at home or society. A light addiction as in workaholicism may rather be a merit. It would be possible to change addiction to some positive value such as passion and professionalism. It reminds me of our ancestors’ wisdom of moderation, seeking not too much nor too little.

Hong Chan-sik, Editorial writer, chansik@donga.com