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From the Edge: Editorial

 by Megan Irwin
 published on Thursday, April 13, 2006

Irwin<br>Editor in Chief/issues/arts/696671
Irwin
Editor in Chief
 

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I've been told I have an addictive personality. I disagree, but I do think we all have at least one addiction. Something we think about and obsess over. Something that makes us feel good.

We don't even notice our addictions because they're just part of our daily lives. For example, in Megan's world, sleep is not a regular occurrence. So by default, Sugarfree Red Bull is. I knew most people didn't drink three cans of the stuff a day, but it never dawned on me how dire my situation had become until I lined the wall of my office with cans I've consumed. New visitors to the office will gaze at the wall and turn to me, eyes wide: "Those aren't all yours. Are they?" Yes, they're mine. All 103 of them.

And so goes the life of an addict.

Some addictions carry a heavier stigma than others. If the walls of my office were lined with bottles of Jack Daniels, my visitors would feel more than vague disgust. On the other side of things, if I found energy through obsessive exercise instead of energy drinks, I doubt my visitors would show concern at all.

The people in this week's cover story (Got Game? Page 8) understand well the stigma addiction brings. Their addiction can't kill them, but it's one of the most stigmatized problems around: video game addiction.

Stop calling them nerds. They're actually not. Most of these people are quite normal, except for this addiction that keeps them up for days, lost inside the computer. For some reason, maybe because gamers don't get out much, it's socially acceptable to mock this addiction and make it appear less serious. This makes no sense to me. Would you call a junkie a nerd? Would you give a drunk a wedgie? I hope not.

Unfortunatly, there's little support for this type of problem. Most gamers don't even realize they have one.

I can understand that one too -- the day I quit caffeine is the day you pry that silver and blue can from my cold, dead hand.



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