Skip to main content

"StarCraft" and "Warcraft" maker's take on gaming addiction

John D. Sutter, CNN
Professional
Professional "StarCraft II" player MarineKing competes at the World Cyber Games.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Blizzard: "It's never our intent for our players to play our games to the exclusion of other activities"
  • The maker of "StarCraft II" isues statement to CNN on gaming addiction
  • "Games are meant to be a source of entertainment," the company says
  • Company says its games are enjoyable "with minimal time commitments"

(CNN) -- Blizzard Entertainment, maker of "World of Warcraft" and "StarCraft II," has been blamed by some for creating games that are so addictive people can't turn away.

On a recent trip to South Korea, CNN met with people who have been in treatment centers for gaming addiction who said they played some of the company's most popular games at the exclusion of other activities -- foregoing sleeping and eating to keep playing.

In extreme cases, people in South Korea have died after playing online games for days on end without stopping for rest, according to news reports.

Psychologists disagree about the merits of gaming and Internet addiction; the United States has called for more study of the topic and does not currently list Internet addiction as an official disorder on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Open Mic: South Koreans take on gaming
South Korea gaming: Skill or addiction?
The school where learning is a game

Blizzard Entertainment issued the following statement to CNN concerning allegations that its games promote addictive behavior. Among the highlights: The company says it's games can be enjoyed "with minimal time commitments," and it says "it's never our intent for our players to play our games to the exclusion of other activities."

Take a look at the full statement and let us know what you think in the comments:

"Games are meant to be a source of entertainment, and as with movies, books, sports, and music, we recognize that different people participate for different durations. With any form of entertainment, we feel it's important to exercise personal responsibility and be mindful of outside obligations. It's never our intent for our players to play our games to the exclusion of other activities. We also feel that a person's day-to-day life should take precedence over any form of entertainment and that it's ultimately up to the individual game player or his or her parent or guardian to determine how long he or she should spend playing any game. It's important to note that players are able to jump into our games and accomplish appreciable and fulfilling goals, such as competing in matches, completing quests or matches, purchasing or selling equipment for their characters, hunting monsters, and socializing with friends, in a short amount of time, making our games enjoyable with minimal time commitments.

"Our ultimate goal as a game company has always been to make the best games that we can possibly make. With games like 'World of Warcraft' and 'StarCraft II,' we feel we've created rewarding experiences that players worldwide are able to enjoy at their own leisure."

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT