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Gaming Can Be Good for You

My husband and I recently acquired a high cool-quotient when we bought a Nintendo Wii. Our nephews and younger friends are in awe. The Wii is still hard to find and when he stumbled on one at a Big Box store, my husband didn't even hesitate to buy it. Our rationale was it would get us off the couch and out from behind computer screens. The game software that comes with the console includes bowling, baseball, tennis, golf and boxing. You use the controller/remote as you would the sports equipment - swinging the tennis racket, etc. I actually was sore and stiff after my first foray into bowling.

We've all heard about the evils of virtual gaming. I wrote a cautionary post, Is Second Life the Ultimate Cyber Addiction? about the addictive potential of online gaming. I still believe that any activity that interferes with your normal life functioning is unhealthy, but it's also a matter of degree. As a response to a regular Second Life player who criticized my post for admonishing something I hadn't tried, I signed on to Second Life to give it a try. Unfortunately, some software incompatibility has prevented me from playing. But in looking into the site again, I found an interesting article, "Big Avatar on Campus." In the video, QUEST's Community Science blog producer Sheraz Sadiq visits Second Life to check out a virtual classroom on San Jose State University's Second Life campus. To reproduce the actual campus, the university purchased "real estate" from Second Life. This is distance learning taken to the next level. Sadiq interviews a professor in the School of Library & Information Science who hasn't taught a class in a physical classroom for six years. Sadiq's avatar joins the students' avatars in the virtual classroom. Amazing!

In researching the positive benefits of casual gaming, I was directed to some research by Aimee O. Jacobs of Frank PR, a London marketing and PR firm. One their clients is PopCaps, the leading developer and publisher of casual games. In a survey of over 7,000 white collar workers who play casual games, they found that nearly a quarter (24%) play casual games at work.

Even more surprisingly is that 35% of CEO’s and Senior Executives also play…at work!

Of those who play at work, the results showed that:

  • 1 in 7 (14%) has played casual
    video games during a business meeting or conference call.

  • With a massive two thirds (65%)
    claiming to do so at least once a month!

  • 61% play during lunch or on other
    official breaks.

  • 52% play during the workday, when
    they need a short break.

  • 79% play at work several times a
    week or more.

  • 53% play at work at least once a

The main reason for playing at work was the belief that casual games offer physical or mental health benefits (79%). Even the CEO’s and Senior Executives are in agreement, showing that over half (48%) of respondents who occupy a Senior or Supervisory role are actually encouraging mental breaks during the workday.

Now, all bosses and coworkers might not agree that hearing you cheer yourself on in a virtual game at work is a productive use of company time. But again, the key is moderation - not playing games to the exclusion of your work.

So I will keep working on my Nintendo Wii bowling average. So far, my highest game is a 248. Believe me, I've never bowled that well in REAL life!


  1. I was with a boyfriend at the time..we lived together and was very happyI started to more and more play second life and never ever got off ...I was up all night and maybe slept 2 hours cause i wanted to get right back upand play the game...but there was NO telling me I was addicted I was not going to hear it at all...Then my BF started to see I was so in to my computer and I was completely ignoring him..and we started to fight every day...and it just got worse cause i would never get off the computer... Then Oh what happens...Mr in second life makes me feel all better and i fall in lovecause he gave me at the time what my real life BF never could cause I was to busy playing SL... And the next thing i know I am getting a bus ticket to my SL BF...and I am moving 800 miles to be with him...O.o Well that was 3 months of crazy and you never know some oneYOU NEVER KNOW SOME ONE....Truely on the internet.... So When I woke up one day and said oh my god ...WTF are you doing.... I Called my ever loving always forgiveing BF...Who welcomed me back homeunder one term...There is to be no computer in the house and I was ready thento give up online gaming... I went back home he took my face in his hands and said I love you and I forgive you...oh and one thing we have been together nine years and he is nowmy husband who i love every day for saving my life and getting me off the computer Play long enough I dont care what game it is....Your addicted...Step back and ask your self Do you want to be cured of your online addictionThen your not ready and keep on playing cause oneday you maybe able to see in your real lifewhat your online addiction is doing to you... Please dont do what i did...dont let it take every thing awaybefore you relize it has taken all from you Job...Husband....Wife.....Kids.....A real life with friends...doing things in Real life.... I am ready to say Hi my name is Constance and I am a online gaming addict....

    In all thy ways trust him

  2. Constance:

    Thank you so much for posting a comment.

    I'm so impressed with your journey and you willingness to share your experience!

    I don't know if you also read my post about Second Life,

    but your story fits right in with other folks who have shared their stories.

    I wish you continued success in your recovery!


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