DOTA: Are Games Taking Over Our Kid's Lives?

Carla Mae Fallaria Hutchinson


Our world today is filled with brand spanking new gadgets and technology. What would have been perceived as impossible 50 years ago is commonplace in our time. And, as with everything in this world, the good comes with the bad.


One of the popular pastimes is spent playing games such as video games, online games, and of course, computer games. A big hit today is an online game called DOTA, short for Defense of the Ancients. It is a custom up for Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne.


DOTA pits two teams against each other. Unlike other games, which focus on resource management and base building, DOTA focuses on strengthening-up heroes to pit against each other. Each team has a base on opposite corners of the map, which is defended by towers. Each base has a building in the middle, the "Ancient". The players must destroy the Ancient of the opposite team to win.


DOTA is a well-made strategy game that is very absorbing. But perhaps, too absorbing? Aside from being very popular in the Philippines, of course, including Romblon, in some cases replacing Counter-Strike as the most played game, it is also popular in Sweden and other North European countries. In Sweden, Norway, and Finland, DOTA has even spawned a chart topping hit song, "Vi sitter I Ventriloch Spelar DOTA" by Swedish artist Basshunter.


Now, we all know that teenagers, especially the boys, are very interested in these things. Video Games can be very addicting to our youth, especially with the development of games such as: Counter Strike, RagnaRok, Flyff, O2-Jam, and many more in a long list that adds up everyday. We all know of at least one person who has played these games, if not addicted to them. And it's scary to think how addicted someone can get to these seemingly harmless pastimes.


There have been cases where kids become so addicted that they spend every waking moment playing games and spending thousands of pesos on load or computers in the process. In some countries, there have been circumstances so serious that they have special programs to counteract this growing addiction. In China, for example, there are even rehab centers for those addicted to computer games, much like for those with alcohol and substance abuse problems. One has also opened in Amsterdam.


Now, some people might think that rehab centers for computer-related addictions are over kill, but I agree with the concept. Video game addiction is quite common here and in other parts of the world. We should really address the problem now and try to find the solution for this. After all, don't you think that it is serious enough considering the fact that a chart-topping song that is repetitive and mindless exists? Or that there are already rehabs for these sorts of things? One can be addicted to anything if one has a chance to be involved in such. And video games aren't exactly harmless. We should stop them from becoming a serious threat to the youth before it swallows up their lives.