Online games ruin gamers’ lives

Online games have created more and more addicts and have badly affected players’ lives. The story of the writer is one such example. 

Gamers playing online at the ‘Software and electronic entertainment’ Expo (Photo: SGGP)
The dream of becoming a hero

Our group, 40 people, met together at the internet shop ‘Khong gian ao’ (‘Virtual space’), district 10, and logged into our accounts for the online game ‘Vo lam truyen ky’ (The Legend of Martial arts) by VinaGame.
 
Our community in the game, ‘Doc’ (‘Poisonous’), consists of 200 members who are in a high position on the rankings board. There is no wonder, then, when our community becomes one of the two leading communities and others do not dare make any argument with us.
 
Among these 200 members, there are some outstanding players who have special skills to increase their levels. In particular, a group of three players, ‘Van The Ma Quan,’ ‘Thien Moc’ and ‘Chi Hai’ have found a way to play the game in shifts. This means in one shift, a person will handle all three characters and try to increase their levels. This way their characters can fight in the game all day and night.
 
Another group named ‘doilachi’, four students in Hanoi, has computers in their rooms and rotate play in shifts.
 
A group based in the US, ‘Huyen Thu Ma Quan,’ is rich enough to purchase the best equipment and weapons to make their characters stronger. The group has also paid gamers to play their characters to help increase its level.
 
Most gamers have a desire to become the strongest hero or even the strongest devil. As a result, they pay lots of money to purchase weapons, spend a lot of time playing the game to increase their level and participate in individual or group battles no matter night or day.
 
Some records or Red alerts?
 
The most impressive record at my familiar internet shop belongs to a young girl who stayed at the shop for one week and barely left her computer for one minute. Another record of 6 days remaining in his seat at the shop belongs to a 19-year-old male.
 
When they eventually left the shop, they smelt really quite bad and had dirty, matted hair.
   
I have already witnessed a record by one of our members, the group Thien Moc – Van The Ma Quan-Chi Hai who keep their characters fighting 24/7. I visited this group one afternoon. In the small room, two shirtless men slept on the floor while another was busy playing the game simultaneously on three computers.
 
Happiness and sadness from game to reality
 
Some happy stories also exist, such as the two gamers who meet and fall in love with each other and decide to marry in real life. The gamers ‘Vua Vo Dang’ and ‘Honey Em Xin Loi’ is one example with a happy ending.
 
However, not many gamers have happy endings playing the game.
 
The story of ‘Thieu Lam Hoa Ky’ is once such story. This Vietnamese-American gamer spent lots of money on his character and also set up a community, ‘Tu Hai’ (‘Four oceans’). Due to busy work, he had his wife handle the account for him. One day, he recognized that his wife left the US for Vietnam but did not know exactly where. Finally, some gamers in the game told him that she had a close relationship with one member in the community and she decided to visit him in Vietnam.
 
I received a call from this Vietnamese-American on January 25 with a message that he had already divorced his wife. He said: “I cannot play ‘Vo Lam Truyen Ky’ anymore as every time I log onto this game, it reminds me of the sad story of our family. Generally, our family is shattered due to this game”
 
Waves of new online games
 
In fact, my US friend did not give up online games but only moved from ‘Vo Lam Truyen Ky’ to a new game ‘Chinh Do’ (‘War of the Dynasties’) by VinaGame. This game was released late 2008 and was expected to beat off ‘Vo Lam Truyen Ky’.
 
The game was heavily and impressively promoted, ‘The first 10,000 gamers of this game, when reaching level 60 within 20 days after the release date, will receive a cash reward, of upto VND1.5 million (U$86).’
 
The software company also went for a different customer base than that of ‘Vo Lam Truyen Ky’. Instead of choosing urban gamers as their main target, ‘Chinh Do’ targeted suburban and countryside gamers.
 
The game was made and developed in China, however, it has faced various complaints as the game is believed to carry a lot of gambling attributes and a great potential to make gamers addicted.
 
A recent report by the online game analyst group, Game gate, said that Vietnam has over 35 online games and 10 providers. Though the providers refused to provide figures on gamers, popular games, like ‘Vo Lam Truyen Ky’, ‘Audition’ and ‘Chinh Do’ have attracted millions of players. The most popular game can hold tens of thousands of registered accounts and host millions of active gamers.
 
Recent information suggests that Vietnam’s online game market will welcome a new kind of game, the ‘browser game’ (also known as ‘web game’). Browser games are games are played on web browsers. There are games that rely solely on client-side technologies such as JavaScript or common plug-ins such as Java or Flash Player. The most attractive attribute for gamers is that they do not have to set up the game on their computer. And obviously, they can play the game online on their mobile phones.
 
Though game experts believe that the new type will not replace the old versions, the new games ‘promise’ to help increase the worry of the parents of or those who have relatives addicted to online games.

The HCMC Department of Information and Communication submitted a petition to relevant departments to reconsider the content of three online games with violent attributes and five games with gambling aspects

Among these online games, SGGP has also been alerted to the invisible danger of three shooting games, Special Force, Sudden Attack and Cross Fire.

Related article:
Game Online: Violent or Sporting?

By Minh Tu - Translated by Truong Son

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