eraserhead.jpg Of course, at GSW/Gamasutra we get odd emails from time to time linking to strange pages. One of the most notable recently was linking to the Peripheral Vision Psychosis and EverQuest website. Which explains MMO addiction in, well - we'll let the page explain things.

Apparently, EverCrack and other MMOs aren't addictive because of the leveling: "There is no secret script in the programming that causes addiction even though apparent addiction does occur... The psychotic element we see manifested and which appears to be addiction in those playing the Sony™ game Everquest™ is caused by a quirk of human physiology. When humans habituate or dismiss notice of a moving object in our peripheral vision, our brain loses the ability to complete the reflex, which should normally occur. A subliminal portion of your vision field drives peripheral Vision Reflexes."

So, in this case, the relentless MMO playing was caused by? An aquarium in the same room as an MMO player profiled on 48 Hours, apparently: "When [EverQuest player] Tommy Stein turned off the room lights to prevent glare on the monitor and left the aquarium light on, the fish or other pets in the tank would be detectable by reflected light. While peripheral vision reflexes only happen when we are approached from behind anything moving in one direction in the tank must eventually go back in the other."

To fix, this, I think the author is suggesting that we build small cubicles for everyone where they can't see anything out of the corner of their eye: "This sounds like science fiction but if you work in a cubicle you sit inside one solution engineers devised to prevent injury due to this quirk of physiology. You, therefore, are protected without ever knowing that the protection or problem exists. Commercially designed office partitioning also includes this protection." So there. Stop looking at us weird.