The market value for MMO games in the West alone hit $1bn for the first time in 2006*– that was before the global financial crisis. It is predicted that by next year the industry will generate $1.5 bn in consumer spending and this will continue to grow. So it’s no wonder that we’re hearing a lot more now about “MMO addiction” and its intricacies.
Being a 21st century ‘commodity’, however, video games and the addictions that sometimes come with them are largely ignored. Warned a report commissioned for top guild Ensidia: (When) people are addicted to video games that that doesn’t mean that they’re just, to put it bluntly, screwed. Despite the grim news—perhaps many to even mention, MMO games particularly World of Warcraft are still in the hands of an increasingly responsible players.
It’s not all dire.
Games are outpacing all other forms of entertainment in viewership. With this rising sense of obligation and prestige to both investors and buyers I doubt companies like Activision-Blizzard, Sony and NCsoft will just snub this big issue—and it is now.
The continued emphasis on moderation by in-game guilds like Ensidia (and other fansites like ours), and self-control and accountability by numerous raid leaders and GMs on raids, guild management and raiding times are all, to me, exemplary. And to top it all, these are all unpaid, selfless tasks by in-game players themselves.
* Available in PDF at www.researchandmarkets.co.uk/
—— Violence and WoW ——
The case of 27 year old player James Swan who threatened to kill his mother after being told to quiet down.
—— Addiction or Cultural Phenomena ——
A short (well-done :)) documentary, made from the gamers’ point of view, about how playing World of Warcraft has affected their lives and how they see it fit in with modern society. (9.5 mins)