Why are you here defending your hobby? I'm quite curious. *I* was a gaming addict. I bet that I had as much game time as any of you in EQ, and other games.
And I realized I DID have a problem; and for each person that admits it, there are a ton of people who won't.
Now, I can understand if you are trying to argue that the game ITSELF is addictive. Certainly, it isnt the same thing as smoking tobacco, drinking, or taking cocaine. (Although studies have shown that a rise of the naturally occuring chemical, Dropamine (I think its called) rises with addiction, and this has been seen to occur in people involved in purely mental addictice activities, including video gaming, as studies have shown).
Playing a computer game in and of itself is harmless. That I won't argue. But, some activities DO lend itself to being more addictive than others.
In the end, it certainly is true that its the responsibility of the behavior lies first and foremost at the door of the gamer in question. But one must ask: we don't see these stories about games like Diablo 2, or Baldur's Gate (or nowhere near as extensively, at least).
The very nature of online games such as Everquest lends themselves to being addictive to a far greater extent than otherwise. They aren't just a fun game, but incredibly interactive with other people as well, and allowing you to feel immersed in an entire world, whereas with a solo game its nowhere near as possible.
I have no problem with people playing Everquest, who are still taking care of the rest of their lives. The problem is, there is a surprisingly high number of people who are doing the reverse.
Anyway; so to return to my original question: why are you here to defend the hobby? Frankly, who cares? Why do you care? We aren't heading to the game boards telling you how evil you are, or deluded, or whathaveyou. We are here to support each other in fixing our addictions.
And this isn't a public forum for debate. We NEVER CLAIMED it was. This is a forum for support, and talking about our addictions, and our climbing out of it. So, I really don't understand why the rest of you even care to come here and argue - if you disagree, why not just blow us off and go play your games?
I just don't understand the level of defensiveness that has people coming here to defend a hobby, when we are generally keeping to ourselves, with some rare exceptions.