The Economist has a long article exploring the phenomenon of people diving deeply into computer games, at the expense of the rest of their lives.
It's a curious piece. At first the author, Ryan Avent, seems to be treading the familiar games-are-evil line, with stories of young men opting out of work, relationships, and the rest of life.
There is addiction... And games become the destructive vice of choice for some sets of players, taking the place of drugs or alcohol in a tragic but familiar narrative.
Then he turns to what he sees gamers escaping from, and becomes either more sympathetic or more depressing:
A life spent buried in video games, scraping by on meagre pay from irregular work or dependent on others, might seem empty and sad. Whether it is emptier and sadder than one spent buried in finance, accumulating points during long hours at the office while neglecting other aspects of life, is a matter of perspective.
The article has some odd gaps and weaknesses, like not exploring the role of people only having a high school education, or misogyny. But it's more important as an unusual piece, one that takes the scary digital meme seriously, then turns that hostile, anxious gaze back on the rest of the world.
(thanks to Jesse Walker)