Статьи из “The Mainichi Shimbun”

March 16, 2010

Writer shocked at revelations of housewives addicted to online games

“I’ve never covered a subject that has raised as many questions as this,” says writer Yuki Ishikawa, speaking about her new book portraying the lives of housewives addicted to online games.

Ishikawa, 48, has interviewed 4,000 to 5,000 housewives over the past 20 years. Some of them are mothers who have abused their children; some have lost themselves in adulterous affairs. It has not been that difficult for her to imagine how they feel.

This time, however, the more Ishikawa listened to the stories of the 17 housewives she met, the less she understood them.

“I went to this bar,” one housewife told Ishikawa — but the bar she described was one that existed only online.

Ishikawa usually analyzes the background of her interviewees. But in her book “Netoge Haijo” (published by Leaders Note) she compiled the things she didn’t understand just as they were. “Netoge” is an abbreviation for online games and “haijo” literally means “wrecked women.”

The stories of nine housewives are revealed in the book. One of them is a 37-year-old who has reached the so-called “hai” (wrecked) zone in the Internet world, the zone where someone becomes unable to live a normal social life. The 37-year-old says it’s normal for her to wear pajamas all day and leave her bathroom door open while relieving herself.

“I made love to this guy (whom she had dated in an online game) on the first day I met him in real life,” another 41-year-old woman confesses in the book. “But actually, I instinctively had a feeling of disgust,” she adds. At the same time, the woman says she and her husband are “madly in love with each other.”

In a bid to get the inside story on the world of housewives addicted to online games, Ishikawa signed up to eight online games, but her enthusiasm for the games didn’t last long.

Through her interviews with the housewives, Ishikawa sensed the arrival of a new “era.” Even if the housewives sacrificed their time to cook meals to play online games, they would tend to brush their addictions to games off by saying, “It can’t be helped.” They don’t care about real human relations.

Ishikawa is a housewife herself, a mother of two sons aged 22 and 20.

“Online games are cleverly devised, apparently causing children to miss school or isolate themselves from society,” says Ishikawa. “I want to continue to follow such issues.” (By Yuki Motohashi, deputy editor of the Evening News Department)

(Mainichi Japan) April 11, 2010

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