Ugly Scientist Says: Blame Blizzard

Apparently, Doctor Orzack here with her crazy Space: 1999 backdrop is a specialist in addiction treatment. Specifically, she treats video game addiction. What she says must be right. She’s an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.

RW: Then aren’t the issues at home more of a problem than the actual games themselves?

Dr. Orzack: No, I disagree. You can’t say that about Blizzard, which structures the games like World of Warcraft to be addictive. They design these MMORPGs to keep people in the game. I do think the problem is tied in with other things like family issues, but the games themselves are inherently addictive. That’s ultimately the cause of the problem.

Maybe it’s the Harvard, Illinois Medical School, on the site of the old closed down Motorola plant. Certified by a guy named Jerry that fixes muscle cars out of his garage. They save time in surgery classes by glossing over the whole “sterile surgical field” thing.

More at TwitchGuru.

4 Comments so far

  1. Donald (AKA Dreadmoon) (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 8:16 am

    Just a couple of thoughts:

    “Orzack: Well, let’s take World of Warcraft as an example. Let’s say there are around 6 million subscribers for the game. I’d say that 40 percent of the players are addicted.”

    Interesting fact, specially when there is no hard evidence to it.

    “RW: What about self control and willpower? Should players take some responsibility for their heavy play?

    Dr. Orzack: This isn’t about willpower or restraint. These games are very elaborately designed to ease you in gently, entice you, and keep you there.”

    Following this logic, we should be sueing atutomakers for allowing cars run over the sped-limit. WE should be sueing credit cards for giving credit to compulsive buyers.. and so on. It’s nice to know that the individual is no accountable for his/her decision.

    “Dr. Orzack: I think there needs to be warning labels on MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, similar to warning labels on cigarettes. People should know that these games are potentially harmful.”

    And while we are puting this label in the WoW box, let’s not forget to label knives and forks (because you could stick one in your eye, if you are not warned).

    OK, or maybe, just maybe I can try to control myself while playing in the same way I don’t drink to much, smoke too much, watch tv too much… or maybe not, let’s give that responsibility to someone else.

    Disclaimer: read this at your discretion, contents in this post may be harmful to you in a way that we have not predicted so far.

  2. phoenix (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 9:26 am

    Didn’t we establish in other threads that plenty of MMOs have warning labels telling people to remember their real lives and get outside?

    ::Shrug:: I don’t want to belittle video game addiction-any hobby or habit can become an addition, but the solution is to treat the addiction and help educate people to the benefits of taking all things in moderation. Warning labels aren’t going to do a damned thing. We’ve seen how well warning labels worked with cigarettes and alcohol, haven’t we?

    In the end, Orzack might be blaming Blizzard for enticing people to their game, but she’s guilty of the same behavior- scaring people and spreading FUD in order to make sure that her role and profession are secure. Pulling numbers out of your ass doesn’t make you qualified to speak about addiction treatment. Conducting actual studies and experimental research does. I’ll listen when she manages to gather up the nerve to be a scientist and not a pundit.

  3. Sabocat (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 10:01 am

    In my opinion the only serious part of addiction research that relates to WoW is the Compulsion of Hordeing
    collecting seemingly useless items, such as spider eyes, rapter fangs, raging beast blood, bottles or pieces of garbage
    unable to throw these same things away

    Appearently the Alliance doesn’t suffer from this.

  4. Macy (unregistered) on August 11th, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

    One of the tips on the loading screen states: “Remember, all things in moderation. Even World of Warcraft”

    Is that warning enough for Orzack?

    Geez. If WoW is better than your Real Life, then fix your Real Life.

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