The Philosophy of Online Game Addiction

As online gaming becomes more and more popular around the world there comes more and more talk of ‘online gaming addiction’.

In some cases, parents ignore and neglect there children to the point where
the child dies of starvation or dehydration. In other cases, young people
actually kill themselves or they kill a relative because they have been
denied access to their favorite online game. In one case that I remember,
a young boy was denied use of his Xbox by his father. The boy was so upset
that he decided to run away from home. He packed his knapsack, (his father
actually helped thinking the boy would be back in a few hours), got on his
bicycle and rode off. Later he had trouble with his bike, so he just walked
off into the woods. His body was found a week later. He died from the cold
weather. And all for a game?

In S. Korea, 17 million people play online games, that’s one-third of the
population. In China, the internet cafes cater to about 20 million users
every day!

Several countries have passed new laws curbing the hours of operation of
internet cafes. China, requires special software in each game that penalizes 
players if they play too long. Other countries have opened boot camps for
addiction recovery and some have started special therapy retreats to ween
players off of the gaming-addiction.

But what is the root cause of these addictions?

My understanding is that almost all of the players that are addicted are 
playing in virtual worlds. Fantasy worlds. Make-believe worlds. That
alone should give us a solid clue; these people are just not happy with
their everyday experience of reality. In other words, for them reality sucks.

Now a psychologist would object to what I just said. He would say that
‘play’ is a natural activity for everyone, even adults. (He got that from
Freud). Okay, but play doesn’t necessarily mean two hours in Second Life 
or killing monsters in World of Warcraft every day. Play can mean singing 
a song with your family. Doing a crossword puzzle. Dancing. Watching a
movie. Listening to some music. There are thousands of methods of play 
that do not include mentally drifting off into a another world while 
ignoring THIS world for hours and in some extreme cases for days.

So, why are so many people unhappy with their current reality? You might
say, well reality is not always easy. It’s complex. Finances, relationships,
family, school, work, the boss, co-workers, pressures, and stress. Yes, I
am asking why do we have all that?

I will tell you why. There is a void in every human being, an emptiness, 
there is something missing and therefore, the problems of everyday life
become all there is; nothing else, so we escape. The void is spiritual
in nature, but not religious in any way, shape, or form. What we are missing
is a connection to our Source, or whatever name you want to give it.

When we make that connection, we find there’s no reason to escape.

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