Every few months, it seems we see an article talking about the worries of some group of psychologists about how some technology is addictive. It's been going on for years. There have been claims about email addiction, web addiction, online porn addiction, video game addiction, internet addiction, and mobile phones or other gadget addictions. The latest is a bit more specific, talking about how people are addicted to online fantasy games like World of Warcraft. However, once again, they offer no proof, and other studies have found no physical dependency on video games. Part of the problem is that all of these stories seem to mix cause and effect. In almost every case of these "technology" addictions, the more you look at it, it sounds like the person had a more serious mental problem, such as depression or a real addiction, such as to drugs or alcohol -- and that played itself out by having them immerse themselves in the technology. In fact, the article starts out by pointing to one case where that's exactly what doctors said with someone who committed suicide while playing EverQuest (he was depressed) -- and then flip it to say that doctors today are taking the issue of fantasy game addictions more seriously, though they don't say why. What's changed to indicate that it really is these video games that are the problem, rather than depression or loneliness or some other issue that's leading people to seek comfort in these games? It's easy to just blame the game, but if it's not the real root of the problem, focusing in on that as the addiction is only going to lead to more trouble for the individuals later on when they seek some other solution to their real issues.
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