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When Internet Fun Goes Too Far

Earlier this month I mentioned a story we were working on about people addicted to online games like "World of Warcraft," "Final Fantasy" or "EverQuest." Tonight you'll get a chance to see it as part of a three-part series called "Caught in the Web" during the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

I'm fairly close to this subject matter as I have a level 64 character in "World of Warcraft." (Believe me that requires quite a bit of time.)

Caught In The Web Series:
Video Gaming Addicts
Addicted To Porn

Am I addicted? No. But I do love playing fantasy and role-playing computer games, and I can understand how some people get too caught up. I've seen a couple of my friends nearly ruin their lives because they couldn't stop. The key is recognizing when it takes over your family life or work or other responsibilities. What is it about these games that make them so enticing? It's a combination of developing a character that gets stronger and more powerful, achieving goals and prestige, and socializing with other players. Plus, it's certainly an escape for many people who don't want to deal with the real world. These are open-ended games without a "Game Over," so they could literally go on forever.

Again, not everyone who plays online games gets addicted, but I believe it's a problem that goes largely underreported. Tonight you'll meet one woman who had her life torn apart because of her addiction, and we'll talk about the medical implications and solutions that are being offered.

Tomorrow night I'll introduce you to a unique church group that helps Christians and others dealing with addiction to online porn. They take a traveling roadshow across the country with gatherings called "Porn and Pancakes." Then on Wednesday night Barry Petersen will show us clinics in China where internet addiction is a serious issue.

And here is a "First Look" video I did for the Web site describing this week's series.
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