A lonely elf wants to meet

Early June, half past twelve a.m. Kiev time. World of Warcraft, Moonglade EU server, Ironforge dwarf capital.

In the general chat sounds the announcement: "a new dating site for those who play World of Warcraft. Chat explodes with replicas, apparently teenagers, such as "get a life", "make love not Warcraft" and similar sarcastic remarks to the one who pushes the topic. I write a private message to this guy. It turns out that this is really a dating site for those who are lonely and play WoW. We got to talking. "There are twenty single mothers in our guild. I'm single myself and I have a daughter." This Swede was in his forties, a former extreme athlete, now retired for health reasons, though "the newspapers still write about him. By his own admission he has in his life "only a daughter and WoW. A resource organized to help myself and those who have the same problem.

And the problem is not only that it is difficult to find a couple. There are also stereotypes about those who play World of Warcraft and other computer (and not just online) games. Non-players perceive gamers as slightly abnormal, who actually do not have a life.

I will not argue, game addiction (addiction to games) - a phenomenon objectively existing. The question is: how much of a problem is it? Long time ago I asked a psychologist I knew, who is considered abnormal in terms of psychology? The answer was simple - everyone has deviations, but 1) if these deviations make a person dangerous to society or 2) society becomes dangerous to a person by not accepting him/her, then this really becomes pathological.

In connection with point 2, I recall an article I read recently about gambling addiction, where it was said that there are so-called "socially acceptable addictions. For example, when a person works 15-16 hours a day, he is called 'hardworking', although you could call him a 'workaholic' and ask what his wife thinks about it. Workaholism "is a good thing" as understood by society (especially this citizen's immediate superiors). As one player said if a hundred million people went home and played WoW and a million watched the news on TV, they would be considered addicts and judged as sick people.

Most people see computer games as infantilism and a waste of time. At the same time, when half the country enthusiastically sticks by the TV, watching a stupid series about some Katya Pushkareva or the adventures of the gangster gang - this is considered the norm of life. Although in fact, online requires a lot more brain strain than reflexive poking at the remote control.

On-line worlds are a relatively new kind of entertainment, which by and large in the casual (regular) gamer does not consume any more time than watching the news and TV shows for other "normal" people.

Who knows what will be online in ten years. In any case, there are already families where joint immersion in virtuality is a real alternative, which they prefer to passive sitting in front of the TV.