Saturday, May 27, 2006

Online Gaming Addiction

"Moon Sung Hoon, a 31-year-old Web page designer who spends about five hours a day inside PC baangs (rooms), said he paid $800 in an online auction last year for a virtual sword.

But doctors cite a growing toll on Korean family life. M.H. Kim, a 37-year-old homemaker in Seoul, forced her 14-year-old son into treatment at a private clinic two months ago. The boy had slipped deeper and deeper into his computer games as he entered junior high school."

Online gaming addiction has reached epic proportions in South Korea, where 10 people died in 2005 from gaming related causes. Ten percent of those from 9-39 are borderline addicts, and while things aren't getting any better, at least the country has realized this national health problem and hospitals and care centers have responded by focusing upon this, the latest addiction. As a longtime video game devotee I can understand the attraction, as well as the addiction, but I was most likely too old and had too much real work on my hands to waste time on a path to such a jones. Combining the siren call of the online experience itself with the sheer pleasure of being a virtual master of the universe is apparently a difficult thing to just say no to.

We' don't have such a problem here, and won't, at least not for a while. 75% of South Koreans have high-speed internet access compared to about 33% of the U.S., but when it becomes cheaper and/or our more liberal state governments force the issue of providing free access to the underprivileged, then stand by to stand by.

Interesting article and worth a look see

No comments: