Virtual worlds can be a problem

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By John Pawlak

Back in college, one of my classmates (let’s call him Brian) was an addict. He was hopelessly and totally addicted and there was little his parents or the doctors could do to help him. Brian couldn’t function without his daily fix and before long he was spending the majority of his day searching for others similarly addicted. Each day, Brian’s addiction got worse and eventually he stopped going to classes. His addiction ruled his life.

To his fellow addicts, Brian was known as the Master of Doom. Wizards and elves, warlocks and enchanters, myrmidons and shamans, they all bowed to his wisdom and his cunning for surprise and doom.

Yes, Brian was a Dungeons and Dragons addict. He was a “dungeon master” and it was his job to conceive horrible traps of death for travelers through his domain. Back in the 70s, many considered addiction to this game a medical condition.

“D&D” was a black hole of productivity and kids charmed by its mystique would get sucked into the vacuum of its play. Brian never did graduate college. I’m not sure what happened to him, but it’s a safe bet that he’s out there still, devising sadistic snares for sorcerers, dwarfs and the like. Either that or he’s squeegeeing windshields in downtown Newark.

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