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 ADD and the modern Gamer

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Posts : 40
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Join date : 2009-10-14
Age : 36
Location : Massachusetts

PostADD and the modern Gamer

ADD (or ADHD) has become as much a common phrase in the gaming community as AFK, LFG and BRB BIO. But the question that I have to ask is: Should it? If a gamer can sit there and play the same game for hours on end, does he/she really have a deficient attention span? I’ve seen a person diagnosed with ADHD wait around for over an hour while a 40 person raid group is organized and then successfully played through a 5+ hour raid with only minimal bathroom breaks and plenty of sugar running through their body. Now I’m no doctor, but I think that diagnosis may have been incorrect.

Don’t get me wrong. Some people do truly have ADHD and this is a serious problem. But just because you are boring, doesn’t mean the person you are talking to has ADHD. It’s just means you are boring. Right now I am playing roughly 7 different games: City of Heroes, Champions Online, NHL10, Dragon Quest VIII, Dead Space, GammaWorld (where I GM), and I’m currently writing a backstory for my next Pathfinder character for when we start back up. Oh and I’m currently planning a wedding, shopping around for a house, and work full time at a hospital. I do not play every single one of these games every day (Gammaworld is only once every two weeks), but if I get some free time late at night or early morning, it often becomes gaming time. My mother has claimed since I was a child that I have ADD, but she never had me tested. I am very thankful for this because I have seen the side effects of Ritalin and thanks, but I’m all set.

Now if you notice, most of these games are video games. I believe this is why gamers are often times told they have ADD. New games come out all the time, and let’s be serious, a lot of them don’t have a ton of content so can be finished in a day or two. Then it’s time for many to move on to a new game. This is not ADD; this is a byproduct of the instant gratification society that we live in. When the next installment for a gaming series is already in production when the previous one arrives at the stores, is it really a wonder that replay value has declined? I am one of the few that is happy still playing NHL10 because there really isn’t that much difference between that and 11 and 12, other than the names of the players, or what teams they are on. That to me isn’t worth $60, especially when trying to save for a wedding. $60 is food for approximately…. 3 whole people at the reception. Now this is not a new development in the gaming industry. Going all the way back to the 1980’s and the original NES, you can see the trend already developing. On September 1st, 1988, Nintendo released Super Mario Brothers 2 and then released Super Mario Brothers 3 on October 23rd, 1988. That’s less than two months! And companies wonder why, less than a quarter century later, gamers expect new games every time they turn around.

When I was a child, my mother told me that I could be “anything I wanted to be”; just like I’m sure many other people were told. I think I took this to heart a little too much. I currently have 34 different alts on City of Heroes, and only one max level character. There are just too many archetypes with too many primary powers and too many secondary powers and too many story arcs to do it all with one character. Because of this, it took me over 6 years to get my first, and only, level 50 character. With World of Warcraft, on the other hand, it took me a substantially smaller amount of time to hit max level (and then hit it again, and again, and again) mainly because there are far less choices. This is probably the reason that I still play CoH, and no longer play WoW.

So the next time you jump to the conclusion that someone has ADD, maybe you should hold off on the diagnosis until you get to know them a little better. Maybe they just want to experience everything that life has to offer. Maybe they want to try out new and different things. Maybe they aren’t that happy in life and want to escape to a world where they get to slay dragons or shoot Nazis. Maybe they just find you boring. Either way, the person you are talking to probably doesn’t even realize, or care, that you have labeled them, so why should you?
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ADD and the modern Gamer :: Comments

Re: ADD and the modern Gamer
Post on Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:18 pm by Boose
These days people are way too quick to diagnose kids with all types of issues. From 1990 to 2005 it was ADD - every single kid who couldn't sit still for a half hour automatically had it. Show me an adult who can sit in a chair for a half hour listening to someone drone on about something they don't care about, without their mind wandering and their foot bouncing. Just be glad that your kid has energy instead of sitting lethargically in front of the TV for hours on end!

Now the diagnosis of every kid seems to be depression. A school in northern Mass. just implemented "No Homework Wednesday" because their kids are just too stressed, and a study showed that over half of their elementary students were showing signs of depression. Are you kidding?! If you're going to ask a kid if he likes school and doing homework of course they're going to say no.

Overall, I think that the parents are just looking for an excuse to shove a pill down their kid's throat so that they can blame some faceless mental disorder on their problems instead of their crappy parenting.
Re: ADD and the modern Gamer
Post on Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:01 am by Shade
My younger cousin went through something similar. He was a happy fun-loving kid who just loved being a kid. He'd watch TV, play games, play in the yard, all that jazz. He was diagnosed (incorrectly in my opinion) with ADD and put on drugs that completely changed him. He had no energy anymore and seemed almost lethargic. What his parents never told the doctor was that if you put a Harry Potter book in his hands, he would sit there all day and read it cover to cover without ever once putting the book down. Instead they focused on the fact that he would flip through TV channels trying to find something to watch, or that he never played a video game from start to finish like he could do with a book. And when he got bored with either one of those things, he wanted to run around outside or play with his toys with his imaginary friends. So "obviously", he must have ADD.

I honestly believe that if you look at the way I behaved as a child with today's perspective, I'd probably be diagnosed with ADD too. And that's a scary thought.
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