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Computer addiction
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Computer addiction

Computer addiction is a field of psychotherapy that studies impacts of extensive or obsessive computer use on the user/addict. It is relatively recent academically since widespread use of computers by the general public for non-professional purposes only began in the 1990s. However, there are examples of obsessive recreational users dating back to the first time-shared computer games, and many NetNews users were considered obsessive in the 1980s. As Internet use, game consoles from Nintendo and Sega, and PC games spread through the turn of the century, and traditional offline activities such as politics and dating began to exploit online capability, computer addiction became a more serious study, and a more serious social concern. Though with almost ubiquitous use of computers in the 21st century it became more and more difficult to distinguish users who were merely highly engaged in their computer use from those who were truly addicted. Criteria based off of the DSM-IVs criteria for substance dependancy are often used to distiguish extensive use of computers from excessive use, or addiction.

The study of cybersex, emotional infidelity, the impact of computer use or violent video games on the brain's capacity for empathy and sympathy, dangerous practices associated with dating systems, obsession with MMORPGs, especially EverQuest, are all part of this field.

See also