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Rage against the machines

Modern video games mean big business, and big controversy. Yet most of the charges levelled against games—that they stunt minds and spark addiction—are based on an outdated understanding of what gamers do when they sit down to play

By Tom Chatfield   June 2008

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Mogwai is cutting down the time he spends playing World of Warcraft. Twenty hours a week or less now, compared to a peak of over 70. It’s not that he has lost interest—just that he’s no longer working his way up the greasy pole. He’s got to the top. He heads his own guild, has 20,000 gold pieces in the bank and wields the Twin Blades of Azzinoth; weapons so powerful and difficult to acquire that other players often (virtually) follow Mogwai around just to look at them. In his own…

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