[MUD-Dev] Death of a game addict

quzah quzah at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 13 18:56:51 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: "David Kennerly" <kallisti at tahoesnow.com>

> Statistics in Suicide The article claims some cause, leaping out
> to state there was already a correlation, which it didn't present
> evidence of.  How many EverQuest customers commited suicide?  No
> doubt most suicides didn't make the papers artificial selection
> process for survival-of-the-infectious.  If EverQuest had an
> _average_ of 300,000 subscribers from Mar 1999 to Mar 2002, then
> over 100 suicides from Mar 1999 to Mar 2002 qualify it as higher
> than the US average of 10.6 per 100,000 in 1997 ("In Harm's Way:
> Suicide in America"
> http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/harmaway.cfm).
> The addict was playing just minutes before his suicide.  However
> he was already spending 50% of his time in the game (12 hours).
> Therefore, it's not unreasonable for him to have been randomly
> playing.  Basically, there's a 50% chance that he would be playing
> or not playing at the time he killed himself.
> I'm not skilled in suicides or statistics.  I'd like to hear a
> better opinion.

I haven't read this whole thread, so these points have probably been
made already:

  1) Assuming your statistic is accurate, think about it: Sample the
  population of 300,000 people. From any sample of that many people,
  SOME ONE is going to kill themselves. So we can hardly blame it on
  a game.

  2) I can't stand people that say "get out and go do something, you
  shouldn't just sit there and play a game all day. It's unhealthy."

    No, it's actually not. Not everyone on earth is an outgoing
    person.  This being the case, it's likely that spending that
    much time in the game socializing is as mentally healthy me
    going off to the local tavern and hanging out there for hours a
    day socializing. It's actually probably MORE healthy, because
    I'm not a smoker and this avoids the second hand smoke ;)

    I could either hide at home watching TV and not socialize with
    anyone, or I could sit in a game and chat with people as we run
    around killing things.

    Hell, the only game I really play any more is "Delta Force 3".
    I know a *TON* of people by sight/name there that I give a shout
    out to when we're online killing eachother. While I don't know
    their names (John, Joe, BillyBob), I do know their 'name' as it
    relates to the game, and we're always social as we blast away.

    Is this less mentally healthy than if I were to go hang out at a
    pup? Sure, I may see Chuck-the-guy-that-always-plays-pool, or
    Bill-the-guy-that-always-eats-peanuts, and pass the time with a
    handfull of people. But that's the thing: In game, I know far
    more people than I'd see at the local wattering hole, and far
    far more people from other parts of the world.
  3) Finally, of course he was online right before he killed his
  self. He was probably saying good bye. Anyeone ever consider that? 
  He plays there 12 hours a day, he damn sure knows some people. If
  you knew you'd never see them again and they were the only
  "friends" you had on earth, why wouldn't you say goodbye?

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