This is a much more thoughtful post for 2006 New Year than the usual Happy New Year message. But Happy New Year, anyways!
I'm not in any way against the recreational aspect of videogaming. I believe recreational gaming can sometimes relieve stress and be fun for the participants; however, if it is not done properly, one can easily be overindulged. Sometimes the overindulgence can be cured, but over half of the overindulgence results in addiction. I must, therefore, voice out my concern for the well-being of our next generations.
Videogaming has become a world-wide phenomena, from the simple, childish gameplay and early learning tools to a more exhaustive handheld videogames (i.e. GameBoy, Nintendo DS, etc.), gaming console (i.e. XBOX 360, Sony Playstation 2, etc.), PC games and the ultimate God of gaming, the online videogames and the Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (abbreviated MMORPG). Very electronics shops you went, very giant retailer chain stores you step on inevitably has a section of the store dedicated for videogames. We're constantly been bombarded by the videogaming phenomena.
From a very young age, we expose our children to the early learning tools, in the form of a videogame. When they grow older we buy gaming console for them, thinking it may bring joy and fun to their daily lives, and in return they may become more obedient to the already over-burdened parents. Only later on, do we realize what is happening and how videogame has altered much of their characteristics in a bad way. By the time we try to stop them, it may already be too late for some.
When they are at an adolescence age or approaching being an young adult, they become more independent and start buying things for themselves. We supply them with monthly allowances and, unknowingly, they buy videogames to play in an online realm of fantasy games, where they meet strangers and together they conquer the dungeons and dens of the unreal world. There they become unaware of what they've become and spend more time to achieve a false sense of belonging. Slowly and slowly they submerge deeper and deeper into the abyss. When they realize what they've become, they first deny what they've become and tried relentlessly to overcome the addiction. Without any progresses, they finally confess. But for some it may have already been too late and some physical and psychological treatments are a must.
This ongoing trend of online addiction doesn't just happen in an overly populated area, such as China, or a massive online culture, such as many of the Asian countries, including South Korea, Japan, etc. The online addiction also hits North America and many of the European countries.
With a world-wide online gaming audience ever increasing, this amazing growth nonetheless indirectly spawns many negative consequences, such as feud over online property, death from overplaying exhaustion, and a price inflation of the online virtual properties and the illegal farming and selling of online properties. Don't think that because you own a gaming console these don't apply to you and you're immuned to the gaming addiction. The next generation of gaming console will all have built-in online interactive features installed (such as XBOX 360), with many games online capable. It is then, together with the online PC games, that the gamers will truly submerge themselves into the lavish world online gaming.
This is something that every parents and individuals should be aware of so to prevent our next generation from falling into the same trap. So, is videogaming addiction decimating our next generation? There're more to come!