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Unplugged: My Journey into the Dark World of Video Game Addiction Paperback – May 10, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Van Cleave is out to settle old scores, set the record straight, and share highlights from an 80-hour-a-week addiction to the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. With confidence verging at times on arrogance ("If you figure out how to make a girl or two howl -- I mean, like biblical noise -- word gets around"), Van Cleave shares the highlights of his early life. Despite an already-formed addiction, he was a "gifted classical guitar major" in college, and wrote a fantasy novel that could have, he has no doubt, been huge. Top-notch agents were calling, but a computer meltdown left everyone empty handed. "Like the... novel that Ernest Hemingway left in a suitcase that was stolen from his wife in Paris in 1922, my epic fantasy would never know an audience." Van Cleave returns often to two main themes: his adoption as a child (which still causes him great pain) and the failure of the world to embrace unique individuals like him. He finds fault with everyone, including himself, but stops short of real insight, and his interviews with other addicts likely won't satisfy readers seeking actual support.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"[Unplugged] reads like a thriller novel . . ." --Sacramento Book Review
"Unplugged is an important warning about the treacherous nature of any kind of addiction and about the possibilities of self destruction that are inherent when one is absent from one's own life."
--Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple
"Video game addiction is a real and growing problem . . . I'm glad Ryan Van Cleave has been willing to tell his story and hope it helps many young men avoid similar patterns."
--Kurt Bruner, co-author of Playstation Nation
"The uncommon insights and personal insights make for a great read!"
--Dr. Darcia Narvaez, University of Notre Dame
Top customer reviews
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It’s a brutally honest account, so much so that he comes across as extremely unlikable at times. I’m not crazy about his general attitude towards women throughout the book. He helps several who are in need of help, but other than that seems to lack some respect. At the same time his current efforts to help people with his addiction issue is impressive.
The prose is good but not great. Some well-crafted sentences, but some clunkers as well.
Overall a great learning experience and a book I’d recommend for anyone interested in the topic.
I discovered Unplugged while doing research on video game addiction and found the book helpful as it gave me insight into the mind of the addict and how the addict thinks. Thank you for sharing your story in this book.
Andrew Doan, MD, PhD
Normally, self-help books are a snooze - and really, this is a self-help book. But the fact that it's an expertly written memior keeps it interesting and engaging. I can only imagine the people that this book can help.
It's sad that some will choose to see this addiction as less legitimate because it doesn't introduce chemically addictive drugs into your metabolic system. In fact - I think it's worse. Essentially, your body is hooked on itself.
I know many people who need to read this book.
If you want to understand the more personal side of video game addiction, then this book is an enlightening read, but it deals with some hard subject material, so be ready.