Online Text Games: Online Game Addictions - Part One
By Lorna Cowie
My name is Lorna and I am addicted to online text games. I wrote this article to inform all of you about the addiction issues and to give a few aids in trying to beat it, and to bring you back to the real life without losing something you enjoy altogether.
To some people this topic will be laughable, but too many times we are faced with the scandal of someone having flashed up on the news, having died from playing an online role playing game too long. Of course that is an extreme scenario, but your life can still suffer in other ways if you are addicted to what you are doing. Believe it or not, online role playing game companies really don't want you to die; though perhaps they are slightly smug if you become addicted as that obviously means they are doing something right, no?
Enjoying yourself in a text game means that you will put more time into playing it, perhaps spending money to better your text game characters as you progress through your text game adventures. This is good for a text game company as the more you enjoy, the more you spend and even spread the word about an awesome text game you are playing... but there are limits on what you should be giving up to get your fix.
Here comes some science. Now, I don't usually like science, but this is quite interesting. Being addicted to video games, computer use and computer role playing games (like text games) has not get been given a formal diagnosis as an addiction - something about lack of evidence - yet hundreds and thousands of us are suffering with this dire need to return to our gaming worlds. So what do we do?
Well, recognising you have a text game addiction is one of the first steps to solving it. No one needs a psych degree to understand that (and I don't have one anyway). I fully suggest to you that if you feel you have a serious, life-altering addiction to any text game then to see further and professional help solving it. I am no professional, but I have had (and still have) an addiction to some games like Achaea and World of Warcraft. For some, it can ruin their life. Let's not let that happen to you, eh?
Step One: Figuring out you are addicted.
There is no hard and fast rule for determining whether you are officially addicted to role playing games or text games. Many people will do their own odd things, but there are more common reactions. One of the major signs is when a player becomes more interested in the text game they are playing than their outside game lives. This can mean losing interest in socialising with friends, not answering the phone or replying to texts, and so on to more harmful behaviors like students not turning up for lectures or taking days off work (or even simply not turning up to work).
Did you know the recommended time limit that you should allow yourself on any computer or text game is two hours per day? I certainly didn't. Heck, I can't even manage to eat five fruit or vegetables a day, yet two hours seems like nothing compared to how long I normally spend on text games.
Addicted text game players may also not notice the loss of other things from remembering when they last ate (of they remember at all) to missing meals or eating a significantly higher diet of junk food which can lead to unhealthy weight loss or gain. Personal hygiene can sometimes go down the drain, as there seems to become less and less time to do such mundane things as wash or shave.
The one I have found most common in text game addiction, especially in myself, is the altering of sleep patterns. I have never really had a good one; always being a night bird and usually ending up in bed by 1:00am anyway, but now I see myself hitting the sack at 4-5:00am. I have questioned myself on this many times and I have several answers; I am addicted to caffeine, and also the majority of the text game players (and my friends who play text games with me) are in the USA, thus leading me to adjust to their time zone norms.
This is not healthy and I have noticed the effects. I am tired more often even though I have eight hours sleep from when I eventually pass out. I actually look rather awful when I wake up. I have never been a stunning beauty in the mornings, but now the black circles under my eyes actually look like my beloved man has beaten me in my sleep and I hardly ever see daylight! Yes, this certainly has to stop!
Now that you have realised you have a text game addiction, you is one step closer to fighting against it. Just like drugs, smoking and alcohol it is very much possible that you will never get over it, but there are ways to overcome it - or at least minimize the negative effects.
In step two of this series, I will talk through the first steps of taking control over the text game, instead of it controlling you. Stay tuned (and sane!)
Find out why text games are good enough to become so addictive in the first place with some of the top tier roleplaying text games on the market today - just remember to eat, sleep and perform other essential life functions as well!
Lorna Cowie is a text game enthusiast and currently plays games from Iron Realms Entertainment.
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