World of Warcrack

January 7, 2011
By Poseidon BRONZE, Uniontown, Ohio
Poseidon BRONZE, Uniontown, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

December 27, 2004. Chinese Zhang Xiaoya, 13-years old, jumps off of a building and commits suicide after playing World of Warcraft for 36 hours. He wrote a note, saying that he would join the heroes that he worshiped in the afterlife. Video games have proven to have a profound affect on those who play them, especially teens, who are going through major physical and hormonal changes. World of Warcraft is very addicting, and has proven to be able to kill.

10 million people play World of Warcraft. At $15 a month, or the international equivalent, Blizzard Entertainment is making a killing from their now 7-year-old game. But is a profit worth the damage it is causing to families all over the world? Apparently so, because World of Warcraft has mechanics built in to encourage addiction in its players. Built in rewards, giving players items or powers after they play for an extended amount of time, are one of many problems. Another is the character creation system. Being able to be anyone; however beautiful or skinny as you want to be, can be a great amount of power to an adolescent.

Being somebody, anybody you want to be isn't the greatest perk. You also get unimaginable powers, to be invisible or to be able to turn into a bear. Along with a new persona, a player also creates friends in the form of guild or teams. People are forced to play with them, and they create bonds that people in their lives can't compare to. Nobody in their family has ever helped them kill a Night Elf or an Orc, have they?

Because of the threat of addiction and the lawsuits that follow (the parents of Zhang sought to sue Blizzard Entertainment for $12,500, but were denied by Chinese courts), Blizzard Entertainment creates parental controls, which limit play time to whatever the parents desire. Not only time is limited, but it can also limit it to only weekends or only after school on school days, but all day on weekends. But for the addicted, it is simple to get around parental controls. Full on rehab can be tricky; especially you would be going against what the player wants to do. It is extremely difficult, but it is not impossible.

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