Статьи из “The Mainichi Shimbun”

March 16, 2010

Online gaming addict takes the long road back to real life

Motoki Nishimura became a recluse at 12 years old, succumbing to his online gaming addiction before finishing junior high school.

“I felt like I was a bad kind of guy and came to hate myself,” he reflects. “But I was proud of being different to other people.”

Now 17, Nishimura tells his story in “My Online Gaming Devil”, published in January.

Nishimura started playing online games in the sixth grade when he was gradually withdrawing from the outside world following his parents’ divorce.

“I didn’t care what happened in real life. I didn’t think there was any point in living …”

While he lost touch with everything else, Nishimura put his heart and soul into gaming, spending his time with those he fought alongside and chatted with. “The games were fun, but apart from that I was happier to connect with those people,” he says.

Games began to take priority over real life, and problems began. The long hours of play left with him a condition known as ataxia, a nervous problem that affects muscle control.

However, his life began to change at 16, when an author interviewed him as part of his research on “online gaming invalids” — those whose normal lives had been wrecked by gaming. It came as a wakeup call for Nishimura.

“I realized the life I took for granted was seen differently by other people,” he says. “Reading my story again made me think.”

However, at the time he felt it regrettable that the book describes only the negative aspects of gaming.

“Online gaming is not a bad thing, and there are many different types of gamers,” he says, interviewing teachers, housewives and research students for his own book.

Nishimura now works at a publisher, and said his life naturally gravitated away from games and toward reality.

“I was really nervous at the beginning. I still am now: what people think about me, what if we can’t talk, that kind of thing.”

To dispel those fears, he takes the initiative. “I became a character that talks a lot,” he says with a grin.

He still plays, but with many things he wants to do, there’s little time to shut himself up at home. He recently planned an event with some friends, and helped out with a stage play.

“After that, it might be late but I want to study,” he says. His lack of expressiveness and knowledge plagued him while writing his book.

“Communicating with people by writing is really difficult for me … study is really important, though.”

Many university students find it difficult to discover their purpose, and one once asked Nishimura what advice he had for them.

“You’re really asking that? A college student asking me?” he replied. But as he spoke, he showed them his sketchbook.

“I try and write all the things I want to know, all the things I want to do here,” he said as he showed pages overflowing with words of all sizes and colors.

“When I stayed in and did nothing but play games, there was no chance to do the things I wanted to do. But now there are people drawing me into the real world. I am so grateful, I think it’s an amazing thing.”

(Mainichi Japan) February 28, 2010

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