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Web Series Looks into the Lives of Video Game Addicts
By Lisa Tsering, Staff Reporter
Jun 13, 2013
A new Web-only series about video game addiction takes a darkly funny look at a serious problem. “Addicted: The Series” can be viewed at YouTube.com/AddictedWebSeries.
The series was conceived by Indian American writer and director Kabir Chopra, who has studied screenwriting at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
“When I was 5 years old, I would play ‘The Legend of Zelda’ whenever I went to my cousin's house. And when I was 10, I saved up enough money to buy my own console,” he told India-West in an e-mail interview. “I've always been an avid gamer, but in my teens I definitely spent more time than I should have on games — much to my parents' disdain.”
Chopra sees the series as a way to open the door to communication between serious gamers and society at large. In a statement, he said: “There’s a lot of content out there that focuses on gamers and gaming culture, but not a lot about the addiction aspect … I just hope to shed some light on the issue in a fun, but realistic way.”
Compulsive video gaming is a modern-day psychological disorder that is becoming more and more popular, say experts. According to the CRC Health Group, a network of providers of treatment and educational programs for adults and youth who are struggling with behavioral issues, some 10-15 percent of gamers exhibit signs that meet the World Health Organization’s criteria for addiction.” Just like gambling and other compulsive behaviors, teens can become so enthralled in the fantasy world of gaming that they neglect their family, friends, work, and school,” says a CRC Health Group report.
“Addicted,” shot on location in New York City, is set in a therapy session for gamers. There are five main characters: Halo addict Olivia (Rachel Kaplove); “Call of Duty” fan Amir (Josh Quat); Jerry (Evan Haigh), who is stuck in the World of Warcraft; Starcraft champ Ken (Andy Zou) and “analog” chess addict Victor (Eric Charles). In each episode, the characters meet to not only discuss their problems but also battle each other and themselves as they strive to uncover the secrets that drive their addiction.
“It’s important to realize that video game addiction is a worldwide phenomenon that’s not just limited to China, Korea, and the U.S. It’s definitely happening within the Indian American community, as it is with other ethnic groups,” Chopra told India-West.
Although solo gaming can be isolating, play can also be a social experience, he said. “Kids get together to play the newest ‘Call of Duty’ game, just as they would play a game of basketball, or go out to a bar in the evening. And games have progressed so much that now, you can play with two, three, 10, or hundreds of people at a time, because the technology has progressed so much. It makes it that much more engaging.”
Visit www.addictedtheseries.com for more information.
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