Is wargaming an addiction? Pimpcron wants to know.
Okay, so after being accused of having an addiction to Warhammer a thousand times by my wife, let’s see if we are. I’ll show her. And if it turns out that I do have an addiction, then I just won’t tell her about my article. Which is just fine and not at all because I feel ashamed. I mean, why couldn’t I just be addicted to gambling, drugs, or something else that is less expensive than wargaming?
Save money, quit Warhammer and start drugs! (Just kidding, they cost about the same.)
As with all very serious life decisions, I turned to a random website for help. I have the utmost faith in strangers on the web, and while conventional wisdom would lead you to believe otherwise, they can be helpful. I mean, just today some benevolent Saudi prince emailed me about holding his gold for him. My social security number and bank account number were a small price to pay for GOLD! And before you make fun of me, why would I NEED social security if I have gold? Let that sink in.
The random stranger’s website I used was How Addiction Hijacks the Brain if you want to check my facts for yourself.
What Is Addiction?
“The brain registers all pleasures in the same way, whether they originate with a psychoactive drug, a monetary reward, a sexual encounter, or a satisfying meal. In the brain, pleasure has a distinct signature: the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, a cluster of nerve cells lying underneath the cerebral cortex (see illustration). Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens is so consistently tied with pleasure that neuroscientists refer to the region as the brain’s pleasure center.
Addictive drugs provide a shortcut to the brain’s reward system by flooding the nucleus accumbens with dopamine. The hippocampus lays down memories of this rapid sense of satisfaction, and the amygdala creates a conditioned response to certain stimuli.”
“Repeated exposure to an addictive substance or behavior causes nerve cells in the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex (the area of the brain involved in planning and executing tasks) to communicate in a way that couples liking something with wanting it, in turn driving us to go after it. That is, this process motivates us to take action to seek out the source of pleasure.”
Doin’ some liftin’ getting ready to learn a whole new rule set for 40k.
So Are We Wargaming/Hobbying Addicts?
According to helpguide.org, addiction is not always clear cut or easy to identify, but they have come up with a couple questions that may prove to be warning signs.
A “yes” answer to any of the following three questions suggests you might have a problem with addiction and should—at the very least—consult a health care provider for further evaluation and guidance.
Do you use more of the substance or engage in the behavior more often than in the past?
Uh, yeah, I’ve been progressively playing, hobbying and thinking about wargaming more and more as time has went on. I work with a friend of mine who also plays wargames and that’s nearly all we talk about while working. My youngest child is named Marneus, our dog is named Norn Queen, and I won’t wear anything that doesn’t have at least one double-headed Imperial Eagle.
Do you have withdrawal symptoms when you don’t have the substance or engage in the behavior?
Okay, this one is a little unclear and is obviously directed at actual, physical withdrawal from a substance. But when I think about it, I do think that we all get an urge to play wargames or hobby, and that does get stronger with time as we don’t play them. If I miss our weekly wargaming group on Wednesdays, I feel disappointed. I look forward to that night every single week. Is that withdrawal? Not really, but there seems to be an underlying theme between the two. I mean, I get sad if I miss Taco Night, does that make me addicted to tacos? Okay, I’m probably addicted to tacos. But that is NOT the point.
Have you ever lied to anyone about your use of the substance or extent of your behavior?
[gasping] I can’t breathe. Oh God, I can’t breathe. [gasping] Get it together Pimpcron.
I am a married man. I am old enough to make money, and buy what I want without feeling guilty. Have I ever lied to my wife about buying Warhammer? Have I ever bought something and hid it from her?
Well, to answer that …
…So what are your thoughts on your addiction to wargaming? I mean, if we are being honest we could see many, many links between our buying, hobbying, and playing habits and other addictive habits. Like my crippling addiction to stamp-eating. Man I love the crisp, minty taste of a dry stamp while I hide in the closet because I told my wife I had stopped doing that. Back when it was really bad, I’d go through a couple rolls of stamps a week.
~Be Honest, Do You Think Our Hobby Can Cross The Line Into An Addiction?
Like your addiction to Pimpcron articles, but nobody has a cure for being addicted to sexy robot shenanigans.