Japanese Housewives, Online Gaming Addicts

A small percentage of Japanese housewives lose themselves in torrid love affairs. An even tinier percentage become heavily addicted to online games, a new book claims.

Writer Yuki Ishikawa tells the story of nine online gaming housewives in her book, Netoge Haijo. "Netoge" means "online games" while "haijo" means "wrecked women". One 37-year-old woman interviewed for the book talks how she spends her entire day in pajamas (like me!) and doesn't even bother closing the bathroom door when she sits on the throne (how embarrassing!).

"I made love to this guy (whom she had dated in an online game) on the first day I met him in real life," says another 41-year-old online gaming housewife about a real-life grinding experience. "But actually, I instinctively had a feeling of disgust."

The book's angle appears to be that online gaming has made these women spend more time playing that doing household chores.

"Online games are cleverly devised, apparently causing children to miss school or isolate themselves from society," says Ishikawa, who signed up for eight online games for the book. Apparently, they didn't not capture her interest. "I want to continue to follow such issues."

Netoge Haijo is published by the same publisher that put out Netoge Haijin by journalist Osamu Ashizaki in May 2009. Hardly a Japan-only trend, the book explored the dangers of online gaming "invalids". The term "netoge haijin" has appeared in various "news" reports. This new book seems to be an attempt to capitalize on the trend.

Dangers of online gaming? For housewives? In Japan? The number of housewives that are addicted to online gaming is so incredibly small compared to, say, those who are addicted to pachinko.

Writer shocked at revelations of housewives addicted to online games [Mainichi]