From Nintendo to PlayStation to xbox, we live in a world where gaming is it's own sport. It's a competitive addiction, one which some people can't sifter the line between reality and virtual existence.
Living in a time where technology is pretty much one of the most prevalent parts of our society, it's hard to break away from the thought of hardly using media at all. But what happens when we go from daily use to obsession? Video games are a perfect example of society's inability to just live a normal life and can cause us to become overly dependent on different mediums. I recently have been discussing one of the most popular video games "Halo", with several friends of mine who are big fans of it. Some of the responses I've received are almost scary. People will stay up until the wee hours of the morning specifically because they cannot bring themselves to shut off the game. "One more level" becomes 3 more and the vicious cycle continues.
I have witnessed similar situations involving online poker playing. You no longer have to go to the casino, you can bring it right to your own computer. This is when online gaming can become very dangerous. People stop leaving there houses and remain indoors for hours on end because they are obsessed with the idea of winning or beating out other players. Even if money isn't involved, the gaming can still get out of control very easily.
People who get too emotionally involved with their video games are at high risk of losing connection to the outside world. Getting so wrapped up in a virtual world, they can begin to feel as though they are truly the character their playing. Of course some people don't get that attached to the thought of "being" the character but in some cases just can't seem to shut off their game system.
It's a pretty crazy situation when you think about it. I personally can't imagine getting so addicted to a game that I'd rather stay in all night meeting people on the web who are totally enthrawled with a world that doesn't exsist. It's a pretty scary thought that some really dont want to cross out of a made up world back into the real one.