Civilization Anonymous: No more turns Are you at risk?


In addition to the obvious physical toll Civ addiction can take (dehydration, blurred vision, carpel tunnel, bed sores), there are a number of common behavioral red flags. Look for these typical telltale signs!

Total Game Immersion. With 26 historical world leaders, 85 technologies, and 7 formal religions at their disposal, in many cases a hardcore Civ addict will actually think that he is “one” with the game, often mimicking the behavioral mannerisms, social interactivity and even fashion sense of historical figures throughout time. Genghis Khanism and Julius Caesarism are particularly accute manifestations of this syndrome. A Caesarism sufferer, for instance, can make a “Trekkie” (devotees of Gene Roddenberry' Star Trek franchise) look like a model of the acceptable social norm.

Civ Stockholm Syndrome/Displaced Sexuality. A small subculture of Civ addicts has been known to experience a displaced affection toward the very root of its addiction, particularly for alpha-male Civ dictators such as Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan. There have even been rumors of a fringe element of Civ “Stockholmers” who routinely meet in “swinger”-type environments during which they play pseudo-erotic games such as, “Slip Me The Mau Tse Tung,” among many others.

Surrogate Reality. In many cases, particularly for those gamers who take in excess of 80-90 turns at a single sitting, a false reality will set in. Addicts find it impossible to separate their game life from “real” life, often confusing mundane, everyday occurrences (such as the honking of a car horn) as overt acts of political aggression. A hardcore gamer in Allentown, PA, for example, is now doing 6-months to 2-years for misdemeanor assault for bludgeoning the pizza delivery guy from Carmine’s with his mouse, mistaking him for the vanguard assault scout of an invading Saxon army.

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