ok, I'd like to argue your point. You seem to think online gaming addiction isn't a "Thing"
First you'll have to accept that "Gambling addiction" is real and causes people do these same sorts of things. If you don't that's a different argument.
Then I, of course, am going to say that Online Gaming addiction is one and the same as Gambling addiction. And not that they are similar to or trigger similar things in the brain... no, it's that online gaming has turned into true gambling.
As an example I'm going to cite "Neverwinter Online"
It's not the only one like this, but it's a good example of what I mean. They've taken strategies strait out of casinos and applied them to an MMO.
First, they have so many currencies that are so confusing you can never keep track of what you have. There are dozens, if not over 100 of them:
Secondly, you can BUY one of these currencies with real money. Zen:
Then you can turn around any buy a whole host of items with this Zen in the game.
But, those items are expensive. But, you can buy "Keys" that open magic boxes that drop like rain in the game.
Those boxes have completely undisclosed "odds" that can change at random.
This is where it gets interesting...
You can then sell the items that you got in those boxes at a profit in their online auction house.
Then use the money you get from the sales to buy more keys
Open more boxes
You're getting the idea...
On occasion you'll get a "winner" and get some fantastic item that sells for a lot.
Often you'll lose a "small" amount and on occasion a LOT
To get back into the game you have to buy more Zen...
and it goes on like this. This is clearly gambling in my eyes. People are being used an manipulated. The fact that they hide the odds should be a red flag, but it's still going on. And before you argue that this isn't gambling because you don't get real world cash out of it... you can. There are plenty of people that will buy your currency for real money if you're selling cheaper than the game is. They make no attempt at all to stop it. There are a lot of people that make their entire living in markets like this. Ironically, most of them in China.
So yes, I think it could get as crazy as these articles suggest. I don't propose banning it or anything. But more disclosure on odds... less pretend bullshit that this is anything less than what it is: Gambling... would do us all some good.