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by Amednable on Apr 25, 2014 at 01:20 PM}
Are we addicted to air and water? Or are they basic rights.

I am "addicted" to learning and reading and that fiero moment where all my preconceptions are challenged and I see something in a new light. For me both learning and gaming allow me to enter a state of "flow" where time flies by.

I think people would talk about my childhood reading habits in the EXACT SAME WAY they talk about gaming habits today. Excessive, alternative to social engagement, prevents physical activity. Kids do NOT need 8-10 hours of PRINT TIME every day - it's not normal. I loved reading so much, I would finish even the worst of horrible books because it was better than nothing. I devoured War and Peace one time in Swedish, just because it was available and nothing else was. I read the backs of cereal boxes at the kitchen table when my parents adamantly refused to let me bring books. Addictive behaviors? Maybe. I would "sneak" books - reading them inside the desk during lectures, hiding in my room when I was supposed to be helping with chores, or in a peaceful place outdoors when I was supposedly playing or taking a walk. I would read while walking and crossing the street. Today I read the interwebs daily and usually polish off 3-5 books per week, mostly science fiction but also lay science and anything else interesting. When I'm curious about something I read bunches of white papers and research and articles and blog posts. I read fast - which means my $$/hr paid for reading is fairly high, sadly. REAMDE took me a good two days and for me there was a fierce feeling of joy when we found the hackers and I discovered that there was still more than half the book to go!

So why is my litany of bookish excesses more like a humblebrag and my litany of gaming kinda shameful in mixed company? Some socially constructed bad assumptions at play here... (get it? "at play"????)

One of the things I found interesting about both REAMDE and FTW was how the kids who played for "work" also played "for fun". And how different the dynamic/feeling was between the two. The "addicition" isn't satisfied with the playing that's done as "work", I think? In some guilds, WoW becomes more like "work" with no time for fun. I think its interesting to pay attention to how in our guild it feels like "fun" even when wiping or grinding...


I think the idea of addiction depends on the audience. When I am explaining flow (Csikszentmihalyi to educators, I base the example of who I have in the room. Depending on the audience, I may use examples of playing a sport, being in a recital, rehearsing a part in a play and one of the examples that most educators get is being engrossed in a book. To explain flow and also that other term CYTIE (causing you to ignore everything), I ask the group, if they have ever stayed up all night reading a book?

OOOOOHHHHH Now I understand the name of your toon in RageQuit. :B

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