MMORPG Update: China's new laws imposing time restrictions on games.
Everyone is calling online gaming an addiction, which I guess in a sense it is; this is why I tend to avoid most computer games as I could quite happily play for hours and never get any work done. The only time I'm allowed to play a game is when I've finished a major piece of work. Then I get the Gamecube out and, if I'm very very lucky, I can play the latest Zelda (next one postponed until April :-( ) or I go to Game and buy a game and bring it back within the 10 day moneyback guarantee period; within that period I play for a week solid, saving the world from whatever danger threatens it. These games, though, are not MMORPGs, so when its over its over and I can return to reality.
Anyhow, I'm concerned about the necessity to place restrictions on games while not imposing restrictions on other legal and addictive substances, i.e. alcohol (although maybe there are restrictions in China, I don't know much about it). Surely the world is much safer with a lot of people sat in a cafe battling eachother than with a lot of drunkards smashing things to bits. I say safer though in a physical sense; not that the apathy of millions of teenagers when it comes to (so-called) reality isn't itself a problem. But then isn't the reality of the game a reality in itself? That is something I need to think about more....
I have no doubt that playing such games is fun; I'm sure it's more fun to have to battle lots of monsters to get money and items than doing my job and going to Tescos. But rather than play them now I'm waiting for my retirement. At least it's something to look forward to. By the time I'm 70 I hope we'll have suits that we can wear and plug into mass player systems. We can, as gods, run about our virtual worlds; a better option, I think, than drinking tea with the ungrateful kids who visit every so often and going to the local bingo club once a week.