It's hard to take mainstream media outlets seriously when they warn us about the evils of videogames. Far too often, they still treat videogames as the latest scapegoat for society's ills, and anyone with any knowledge of the medium quickly sees most of their bluster as sensationalist fearmongering conjured up for the sake of creating controversy.
We're gamers, and we know better. But at the same time, if we're being honest with ourselves, many of us would probably admit that there are times when our passion for videogames can become unreasonable, out of control, or even unhealthy. We all know it's the rare, unstable minority that actually tries to imitate Grand Theft Auto with a real gun, or dies from a marathon gaming session in a Korean internet café, but even those of us who normally consider ourselves to be sane, reasonable people can occasionally cross the line when it comes to our beloved pastime.
Common Causes: Heavily hyped new releases, rare games/memorabilia, special events
Overview: There are some things most people won't do except in the most extreme circumstances. Most people won't ordinarily wait in the same spot for hours, days, or even weeks just to make a purchase at a store. Most people ordinarily don't spend inordinate amounts of money on memorabilia for their favorite movie or TV show (with the exception of Star Wars and Star Trek fans, anyway). Most people realize the timeless importance of events such as marriage, birth, funerals, and graduations, and wouldn't let their hobby get in the way of such momentous, life-changing events.
Well…every now and then gamers get a little blindsided. In retrospect, maybe going to E3 wasn't quite as important as being there for the wife going into labor. Maybe that awesome Asteroids arcade cabinet wasn't really worth eating ramen every day for a year. Maybe instead of catching pneumonia standing in line for a PS3, it might have been a good idea to just wait a few months until it came back into stores.
Hey, it's one thing to be willing to devote some extra time and money toward something you love to do, but it's another thing when your quality of life starts to suffer as a result.
Monroe White III: "There were several times back in the day when I neglected to pay my electric bill in favor of buying new games. It made a lot of sense, having all those new games and not being able to play any of them because my power had been cut off."
Ryan M: "I once spent $2,000 in one week on Akumajo Dracula/Castlevania items for my collection."
Matt Pierson: "Wal-Mart. Four Days. PS3 line. I did it so I could afford a Wii."
Mike Moran: "I remember waiting in line for six to eight hours for my Dreamcast on launch day. I am never doing that again."