Increasing number of people all over the world
are victims of computer game obsessions or addiction to Internet
chat rooms. The problem is much more serious than the media would
have us to think. They are inclined to emphasize the positive side
of computer games – that they are very entertaining –
something almost no one would deny. Journalists are right to point
out that they can also help people develop skills, such as concentration
and problem-solving. Unfortunately, however, for between six to
ten per cent of users, games and Internet chat lines become a problem.
They spend hours of their time sitting at their computers –
in the worst cases users will play games non-stop for whole weekends.
Sooner or later this begins to jeopardize their professional and
personal lives, and even their physical health.
There are two main reasons that people become addicted to computer
games. The first is what is termed `avoidance`: in this case the
person is trying to ignore other problems, such as marital strife
or financial trouble. Like drug addicts, they try to create a world
free from stress, pain and worry. A second reason is fantasy: the
person escapes, or gains self-esteem, by adopting online personalities.
They can be an airline pilot one minute, and fifteen minutes later
the director of a company, or a warrior.