World of Warcraft = Gaming addiction?

This is one along the lines of what Bryan covers on Infocult. CNET News is reporting on a story from Sweden’s The Local in which a member of The Youth Care Foundation talks about gaming addiction. Sven Rollenhagen says that the foundation has not seen a single case of gaming addiction that did not involve the World of Warcraft.

Why did this story catch my attention? Well, I play World of Warcraft. You can see some links in my sidebar to my guild site and some research sites. You also see my character’s most recent achievements. If you came to my office you would see three World of Warcraft action figures and a FigurePrint of my character. I have been playing for a little over two years and I spend at least 12-15 hours a week playing. So I wonder if I am addicted?

At one point I think I may have been headed that way. When I first started raiding I would watch the clock like a hawk to make sure we made it home before raid start. I would arrange outings around my raid schedule. Then my wife asked me just what was more important, the game or my family? It was at that point that I left my guild, a very hard thing for me to do (I still miss Eyrie, Rylos, Ethel, Nyk, Andalia, Gimlibob and the rest of Swift Hand of Justice). I joined Bloodforged because they seemed like a great group of people (and it turned out they are even more awesome than I first thought) and their raid schedule fit my real life schedule. The game no loger dictates my schedule. If I can’t make it to a raid then I can’t make it. But I can certainly understand becoming addicted to WoW. I’m not so sure I would call it the “crack cocaine” of gaming. I think it is more like smoking for most players.