Portland psychiatrist Dr. Jerald Block specialises in treating those who have a massively multiplayer online game problem.
In an interview with the Boston Globe, Block added to the argument that he put forward in an editorial in the American Journal of Psychiatry that 'Internet Addiction' should be a recognised term.
The good doctor believes that his clients are more ashamed of playing World of Warcraft than looking at pornographic images. He said, "Some people come in for trouble with Internet porn. But the computer gamers tend to be harder to treat. People feel a lot of shame around computer games. Whereas, it's socially acceptable to have a porn problem."
Regular Joes and many psychiatrists just don't understand the complex world of games or the jargon that goes with them, says Block. The struggle to reach level 70 is not understood, nor is being a member of a guild, or the mundanity of grinding.
He gave the example of a client who was a regular player of massively multiplayer online game EVE Online, and who after playing for years, had built up around $17,000 of virtual assets. Then another player took out a virtual contract on his life, and his character and assets were lost. Block said, "How does he describe that experience and have any of his friends understand it? It's so bizarre and otherworldly. In fact, it's so bizarre that many therapists don't want to go there."
So, excatly who is ashamed of looking at porn?