Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Never underestimate the danger of online game addiction.

Online game addiction can kill. It was implicated in several tragedies before and it claimed another victim recently, in Singapore.

On 2 March 2009, David Widjaja, a final year engineering student at Nanyang Technological University leaped to his death after a brief struggle in the office of his final year project supervisor. David had earlier slashed himself and stabbed his supervisor with a knife.

Court testimonies provided an insight into the extreme stress David was under before the tragedy.

David’s hostel mates and friends told the court that David was obsessed with online games to the point of neglecting his studies. David could not keep up with his school work and was taken off his scholarship by the university.

Miss Chua Jia Yu, David’s “online wife” said David would play the DESTINY ONLINE game day, night and frequently till 4am. The virtual couple met online in DESTINY ONLINE and “got married” a month later. Throughout their virtual first meeting, courtship and marriage, David and Jia Yu never met in real life.

Like any addiction, whether it is cigarettes, drugs or alcohol, online gaming addiction grips its victims by altering their brain chemicals.

Online gaming produces dopamine surges that produce feelings of pleasure. Online game addicts are hooked because they crave that feeling of pleasure that dopamine surges produce.

What are the danger signs that you, a loved one or someone you know is a potential online game addict? Its time to act when you see someone exhibiting more than any 3 of these symptoms:

- Feels euphoric while gaming
- Can’t stop gaming
- Can’t find time to eat, sleep or bathe
- Crave for more gaming time
- Can’t stop daydreaming about their favourite game
- Spent most of their non-class time on gaming
- Feels empty, depressed and irritable when not gaming
- Neglect family and friends
- Lie to supervisors, teachers and family about their gaming
- Falls asleep in class
- Drops out of social groups
- Become a recluse
- Can’t keep up with school work
- Can’t stop grades from sliding.

Don’t get hooked! Just say NO! before it is too late.


  1. Why not?

    Have you ever composed a post regarding addiction to 'going out' or addiction to 'leisuring @ starbucks' or even, addiction to your partners.
    Those activities also cause the effects you listed above but why did you have to isolate online games?

    I hate this narrow-minded society that always thinks that being gamers is wrong.

  2. Hi,

    you are right that any form of addiction or obssession can be harmful.

    I expect I'll write a few on the examples you cited.

    Take care and good luck ;-)

    Thanks for comments.