There is probably nobody better suited to write about addictive technology than Adam Alter. Born in Johannesburg in the early 80s, his parents moved to Sydney when he was in primary and made the long haul to the US to complete his PhD at Princeton University. The psychologist is currently assistant professor at New York’s Stern Business School and published in 2017 Irresistible – Why you are addicted to technology and how to set yourself free. His book is not only a precise introduction to the biology of addiction, but much more a personal account walking the thin red line between the enjoyment of gaming and it’s utterly dark and much underestimated side as growing mental health issue.
Alter grew up along all the gadget most of us born in the 70s and early 80s know so well: Nintendo, Atari, Commodore, Amiga, etc., and he explains in great detail his own experience with a range of world famous games like Tetris or Super Mario Brothers turning this book into an autobiographic account of a life-long love of video games blended with the insights of a behavioral psychologist. But more than that, Alter succeeds to write the most readable popular science book I have had in my hands for a long time by crafting in a journalistic style many small narratives around different aspects of substance and behavioral addiction. Irresistible is a must read for all but Amish and Old Order Mennonites.