Internet Addiction, 2




fame care (3) in the wake of
divorce promise care about
set out pinpoint come across
plug gross (2) pull the plug (2)
chance get over symptom
flip out countless phenomenon
initial tolerance conclusion
affect graduate withdrawal
fault hooked recognition
reward provide underlining
science gamble off balance
admit persona frustration
swap at odds freeze (2)











Four years ago, Marcel set out to become a hero. He was searching for fame and adventure, in the wake of his parents’ divorce.

The online computer game, “World of Warcraft” promised him all that and more.

Soon the game was all he cared about. The teenager spend more than eight hours a day in the virtual world.

Marcel, Internet Addict: “Nobody knew me there. Nobody cared that I was a total loser in real life. There I was somebody else — someone good. And that was the recognition I was looking for.”

Online, Marcel came across as a great and powerful warrior. In real life it was a different story.

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His mother and friends are happy they can have a normal conversation with him again.

Marcel’s Mother: “Sometimes I just had to go in and—pull the plug. And then we’d argue and he’d completely flip out. He was also really mean to me then.

So I tried to sit with him and explain. I said, ‘You’re addicted!’”

Four weeks ago, Marcel pulled the plug himself. His addiction to online games nearly cost him his high school diploma. Now retaking the test is his final chance to graduate.

Everyone hopes the worst is now over.

Patrick (Marcel’s Friend): “I froze his account. I changed his password, his email. And he doesn’t have his secret question. He has no chance of getting back into the game.”

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But it’s not that easy. Gamers only need a PC and an internet connection to play. World of Warcraft has more than eleven million players worldwide. And the company grosses more than a billion dollars a year.

World of Warcraft. Many experts consider the game addictive.

On behalf of the German Health Ministry, Kay Petersen examined countless studies on the new cyberjunkie phenomenon.

His initial conclusion:

Kay Peterson, Addiction Expert, Hamburg University Hospital: “In the end it’s an addictive behavior. You develop tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and a strict set of behavioral traits, just like an addiction.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

But the science into the causes of internet addiction is still in its early phases, something Germany’s drug commissioner knows all too well.

She’s organized an international conference on the addiction, a condition Germany’s health insurers still don’t formally recognize.

Sabine Batzing (SPD), Federal Drug Commissioner: “I think internet addiction is the addiction of tomorrow. Three percent of boys between 12 and 18 are already online dependent; and so are 0.3% of the girls.

Those numbers are alarming. And we need to take action.”

The conference makes it clear the phenomenon has gone global. It’s a growing problem in Asian countries like China and South Korea.

But scientists and game makers are at odds when it comes to pinpointing the cause.

Christian Pfeiffer, Computer Games Expert: “It’s really the game’s fault. It’s designed to keep you hooked. Characters become more and more valuable through a reward system, which makes it more similar to gambling.

And that makes it different: it’s two to three times more addictive than most other games.”

Martin Lorber, Electronic Arts Germany: “There’s always some underlying problem. A lot of times, these people enjoyed little or no success in their real lives. Instead, they’ve experienced frustration, and then it’s easy for their lives to get off balanced.

But the games aren’t at fault: rather there’s something wrong in their personal lives.”

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The Hirte family also received an invitation to the conference. Their son was a computer science student and an official game tester. He too became addicted.

Christine Hirte, Mother of an Online Addict: “We lost our son to World of Warcraft.”

Once a successful student, he found he too could not stop playing. He told his parents it happened to other testers too.

The Hirtes don’t know where they went wrong. Or why their son traded a real life with them for a virtual world.

Christina Hirta, Founder of a Website Against Internet Addiction: “He admitted that he might need therapy. But he couldn’t imagine being in a hospital. He said he had to go online in the evenings. So he wouldn’t be able to stay overnight.

And in the end he said he couldn’t do it . . . he packed his things and left.

That was more than two years ago, and since then, we haven’t heard a thing from him.”

To get help, the posted their story online. Their homepage has become one of the most important websites on internet gaming addiction in the German-speaking world, bringing in more than half a million visitors.

The site provides information and links for places that can help. And in its forum, people can chat with others affected by internet addiction.

The website has provided assistance to many seeking to get over their addiction.

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Marcel found help there too. Today he swaps stories with fellow cyperjunkies in the forum.

Marcel, Internet Addict: “Sometimes I’d like to get back to it—and then I think it’s good that I let it go. Sure it’s hard but at some point you make it.”

For the past few years, Marcel was lost in his virtual persona. Now he’s learning he’s learning what it’s like to live in the real world once again.

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Computer Screen. Marcel was an A-student (excellent student), excelled in football and liked hiking in the woods. True or false? What (may have) triggered Marcel’s online game addiction?

Keyboard. For Marcel, was War of Warcraft only pixels on a computer screen? How did he feel about playing World of Warcraft? What was the reality?

Mouse. Marcel’s mother and friends were also addicted to the internet. Is this right or wrong?

Headset, Microphone. Is the medical establishment only concerned with alcohol and drug addiction?

Speakers. Did only Germans attend the internet addiction conference?

Router. The two experts completely agreed on the causes of internet addiction. Is this correct or incorrect?

Power Cord, Cable. What happened to the Hirtas’ son? What did they do as a result?

Laptop, PC, Desktop Computer. Is Marcel still addicted to the internet?
Google, Bing, Duckduckgo. I know some people who are addicted to the internet. Yes or no? What do they do? Describe their lives.

YouTube, Tik-Tok.
Is internet addiction a very serious problem, a problem, in the middle, so-so, it’s not a major problem, it’s a minor problem or it’s not a problem at all?

Wikipedia. Why are some or many people addicted to the internet or their devices?

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. What are the demographics of online addicts?
Is internet addiction just a phase in people’s lives?

LinkedIn. Is internet addiction good, bad, both good and bad, in-between, or neither? Is everyone concerned and worried about online addiction?

Uber, Lyft, Airbnb. What will happen in the future?

Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp. How can people recover from online addiction? How can internet addiction be cured?


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