Thursday, January 8, 2009

Are you Addicted??

Most of you know I am a high school computer science and math teacher.  I am looking to bring my classes into Second Life on the Teen Grid and have been working with a core group of teachers in my school to bring this project to fruition by September.  

Anyway - the educators List-Serve to which I subscribe has had an interesting thread over the past couple of weeks on gaming addictions, and specifically Second Life addictions.  The two sides of the argument are that either it is addicting, as it consumes an increasing amount of your time here, frequently has negative impacts on your real life, and is difficult to leave (see also impossible - i liken it to Hotel California)  OR  it is not an addiction, as the time spent here is (for educators/builders/scriptors/scientists/?) for productive purposes even if it means being so focused that you forget to eat or sleep.  Needing to log in upon wakening didn't seem to count as a "problem behavior".

So, Tribe members, I would REALLY like to hear what you have to say about this.  Please comment with your thoughts and experiences regarding this, if you are willing to share that.  

This ought to be interesting!


jeff schein a.k.a Jeffglenn Beck said...

I think that if one leads a happy and productive FIRST life there will be no problem with SL addiction. I love SL and the friends I have made, and my ability to have a deadhead community like in the good old days. In Real Life, I love my girlfriend, spend a lot of quality time with her, I am very busy with school and other endeavors and always makes sure the my FIRST life comes FIRST. This enables me to have fun in SL and not take it too seriously and not NEED to spend what I would consider to be too mcuh time in there. Many addictions share a common bond. I partake in various substances, yet I can go days, weeks, months even without partaking. That goes for substances(which shall remain nameless) which many people consider to be highly addictive. Why am I able to do this? Because they are not the only things that give me joy in life, and far from it. The same with SL. My RL is so enjoyable, so full of love and companionship, creativity and purpose that I am able to treat SL for what it is...a SECOND life, not a FIRST. And I believe that this is the key. Just my two cents. Hop I haven't offended anyone or made them feel as if I am marginalizing a problem they may be experiencing.

Lugna Melnik said...

I do agree that Second Life is addicting; however, it really all depends on what the individual uses it for as to whether it's a healthy or detrimental activity. Second Life simply *is* and it's really up to ourselves to decide what to make of it.

My hope in this "debate" (notice the quotes) that a judgment call is not made on those that use Second Life for recreational purposes. I think this would be a much better world to live in if we all decided not to make value judgments on another person as a result of them making their own decision.

The reason why I put quotes around "debate," is due to the lack of magnitude. It certainly doesn't rank with abortion, capital punishment or marijuana legalization; it is simply an MMORPG that people use in different ways.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It all depends on whats with you" However, my experience of SL has been really painful, it became a strong addiction, and harmful to my marriage, and I had to leave. I fell "in love" in there, and was happily married and 10,000 tears later, have tried to forget it. SL friends in general, seemed like a group of very unwell people, a lot of alcoholism I discovered, and now I'd prefer my RL friends and life. Sorry to report bad news, hope to not see you in world. If you find me there, it's a weakness in me, leftover deadhead party girl, that indeed it's time to move on from...there are far better things to do.

Uncle Solomon said...

ONCE AGAIN people are attaching addictiveness (a behavior) to an OBJECT. SL is a TOOL like a computer or hammer or a shot of whiskey. If a PERSON has a personality that is prone to addictions, then they will tend to spend more time in SL than a well-adjusted individual.

I LOVE SL but lately RL (real life) has been very demanding of my time, and I have paid my rent on my house in Gouda for the last five weeks, and yet haven't been online more than ten minutes all during that time. I miss my friends in SL, but it it just a PASTIME for me, and not a LIFESTYLE! If I ran a business in SL that my RL depended on, then that would be a different scenario.

For the record, this is coming from AN ALCOHOLIC! I had an addictive personality at one time, but I have been in recovery for over 25 years and haven't had a drink since 1983. If SL was all that 'addictive' in itself, I probably wouldn't be able to drag myself away from my terminal.


Niagra Pfalz said...

SL is addicting because, like most other addictive substances and behaviors, it is mentally stimulating. This can be a problem because the high of SL is so easy to access. The key, as with anything addictive, from chocolate to heroin, is to be aware of oneself and one's limits. My guess is that most young adults are not.

iggy Kamala said...

Yay! Yamis! I am addicted!! But is it a newbie addiction or will it continue? Who can say.. The only RL loss is television which I watch too much of anyway. I have missed somes meals because of it. Hehe! I do like to login when I get off work as see what friends are logged and see what live music is happenin'. Pop by the lot as do a little meet and greet! In the end though, its just good fun. Ask me more when ya' see next! Yay! Now I know you have a blog!

bronsen mornington said...

I have been on one year, spent several hundred USD on LL. It has been at various times a mode of introspection for inner growth, an escape from physical and emotional pain, a chat room with friends, and always a learning tool. RL has never offered me the intellectual and emotional stimulation SL has, in such a safe and non-demanding way. Yes, I spend several hours a day in SL, and it has helped me grow in such a way that RL becomes much more fun. Strangely, as I become more adept in SL, the less I feel the need to be online. A balance is being achieved. At first it was a borderline addiction, complete with sleep deprivation, now it is more a place to meet friends and while away a few hours. Now if only the sun would shine this summer, I will be with my friends naked on the beach picnicking and having a few beers. Some things SL just can never build, like a warm kiss, a cold drink, a soft wind in the forest, the soft warmth of a friend, her body and voice, well, you get the real addiction is not SL.

zooey said...

hi yamis! addiction. i know a lot about it and i would say that i have been addicted to the feelings i've derived from being in sl. let's say if you tried to take it away from me, just like a drug, i'd be jonesing! majorly. not so much anymore. my addictive behavior with sl was a symptom and not the problem - i've dealt with my problems and am enjoying life all the more for my experiences :) finding balance. thanks for writing :)