Boston Globe Discovers Video Game Addiction

The Boston Globe has an intriguing question and answer session up with Dr. Jerald Block, who specializes in online video game addiction.

Block, a psychiatrist in Portland, Ore., recently wrote an editorial in the American Journal of Psychiatry arguing that Internet Addiction should become a new diagnostic term.

It's interesting to read his thoughts and them to compare it to the things being said by the psychiatrists I interviewed back in 1999 when I wrote a story about how researchers think that Internet and Sex addiction are very similar. Back then a David Greenfield, director for the Center of Internet Studies, told me that the Internet was addictive and that that particular form of addiction was nearing a national epidemic... yet somehow we survived.

Unlike the Globe's story, my 1999 story has at least one well-known psychology researcher arguing that obsessive use of the internet isn't really about addiction, but curiosity of a new technology.

Block, who has some genuinely interesting ideas, also talks about the tie between school shooters and compulsive computer use, making sure not to say that computers cause violence.

BLOCK: With these shooters, their last act was to turn against their own computers. As a psychiatrist, I think that's relevant.

'Craft Addicts: Do online games trigger a new psychiatric disorder? [Boston Globe]