Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Keeping Your Chin Up

Is it just me, or does it seem like everyone is being diagnosed with depression at the moment? Understandable with the current economic climate I suppose. I've been lucky enough to escape being stricken by the depression bug, but it does make me curious about the link between WoW and this dehabilitating illness. Are people depressed because they play WoW, or do they play WoW because they are depressed? It's an age-old chicken v. egg condundrum.

Researchers at Northwestern University, Illinois found that 21% of gamers who played Everquest II infrequently were depressed, but with those who admitted to playing "all the time" the depressed total went up to 30% (source LA Times 2009). Not a massive difference, but I think you'll agree it's significant.

My personal view is that the depression came before the gaming, and that MMORPGs provide a sense of escapism for those suffering from depression, a sense of power, of control and of achievement that may be lacking in their real life. But I'm really interested to hear other people's thoughts on this! Do you know WoW addicts (former or current) who suffer from clinical depression? Do you think the game is to blame?

When you finally come full circle with that whole "sense of achievement" thing and stop feeling rewarded by the next ding or the next piece of gear, that's when real life rewards start to regain their meaning. It's taken me a while to feel that again, but I'm really pleased with how my little fledgling homemade jewellery business is going. This is the kind of stuff I make:

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