Addicted to games

Here’s a slightly FUDdy article about the addictiveness of multiplayer videogames, like Everquest. Notable for the coinage of “heroinware,” to describe addictive software. Another good, related coinage that never caught on is “terminal cancer” — the illness associated with an inability to put the computer away (from a fantastic SF short story by David Kirkpatrick called “The Effects of Terminal Cancer on Potential Astronauts,” in the first Tesseracts anthology)

“I had one young man who was trying to get on Social Security disability for agoraphobia,” he said. “He didn’t have a mental disorder; he just didn’t want to leave ‘EverQuest’ or instant messaging.”

Some have suggested that warning labels be placed on “EverQuest,” which has more than 400,000 paying subscribers. Scott McDaniel, vice president of marketing for “EverQuest” publisher Sony Online Entertainment, said the company relies on players to employ good judgment.

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