April 12, 2002 8:00 AM PDT

When games stop being fun

Dennis Bennett was failing his college classes, his marriage was in trouble, and he wasn't being much of a father to his 1-year-old son. But he had progressed to Level 58 as Madrid, the Great Shaman of the North, his character in the online role-playing game "EverQuest," and that was all that mattered at the time.

Bennett, whose family life and grades in school have recovered nicely since he stopped playing the game about a year ago, considers himself a recovered "EverQuest" addict, now able to control his desire to immerse himself in the game's rich fantasy world.

"The game almost ruined my life," said the network engineer in southern Indiana. "It was my life. I ceased being me; I became Madrid, the Great Shaman of the North. Thinking of it now, I almost cringe; it's so sad."

Long a subject of half-serious jokes among devotees of computer and video games, game addiction is receiving serious attention lately as fantasy games such as "EverQuest"--nicknamed "EverCrack" by many players--proliferate.

A Wisconsin woman has blamed "EverQuest" in the suicide late last month of her 21-year-old son, who had a history of mental health problems and was an obsessive "EverQuest" player. The game was also implicated in the death last year of a Tampa, Fla., infant, whose father allegedly was so devoted to the game he fatally neglected the child.

While such cases are rare, mental-health professionals say the fantasy worlds offered by computer and video games can become the stuff of very real addictions that destroy marriages and careers.

"It's a huge and growing problem with older teenage males and young adult males," said Dr. Timothy Miller, a Stockton, Calif., clinical psychologist. "I've seen a number of cases with 17- or 18-year-old males where they have a broadband (Internet) connection and they basically haven't left the house for years. everquest

"I had one young man who was trying to get on Social Security disability for agoraphobia," he said. "He didn't have a mental disorder; he just didn't want to leave 'EverQuest' or instant messaging."

Some have suggested that warning labels be placed on "EverQuest," which has more than 400,000 paying subscribers. Scott McDaniel, vice president of marketing for "EverQuest" publisher Sony Online Entertainment, said the company relies on players to employ good judgment.

"I guess our standpoint is the same as all kinds of products--you have to be responsible in using it," he said. "You don't see disclaimers when you get in a car saying 'Don't run over people.' People have to exhibit their own good sense, and if they have kids, they need to pay attention to what they're doing."

Video games played on consoles such as Sony's PlayStation 2 can become the object of compulsive behavior, especially among children. But such problems are usually easily solved through modest parental intervention and the self-limiting nature of such games, which become repetitive and boring at some point.

The lure of "heroinware"
Online PC games such "EverQuest," the new "Dark Age of Camelot," or "Diablo II"--dubbed "heroinware" by some players--can pose much more complex problems. Extensive chat features give such games a social aspect missing from offline activities, and the collaborative/competitive nature of working with or against other players can make it hard to take a break.

Fun and games or serious business?
Is your game playing a hobby or a pathological behavior pattern? Computer Addiction Services at Harvard University-affiliated McLean Hospital says psychological and physical symptoms of addiction include the following:

• Inability to stop the activity

• Neglect of family and friends

• Lying to employers and family about activities

• Problems with school or job

• Carpal tunnel syndrome

• Dry eyes

• Failure to attend to personal hygiene

• Sleep disturbances or changes in sleep patterns

Online titles account for a small portion of the overall games business, but research firm IDC expects online games to account for $1.8 billion in annual revenue by 2005, as Microsoft, Sony and others compete to push gamers online.

Miller cites two defining characteristics of addiction: The person regularly engages in activity for much longer than originally planned and "(continues) doing it in spite of adverse consequences."

By those standards, most of the players described in online support groups such as Yahoo's "EverQuest Widows" qualify as addicts.

"I have a friend who's in the process of getting a divorce because of 'EverQuest,'" said Lea, a regular player of the game. "A guy I talk to has been through three girlfriends and even more jobs because of the game." Like other players, Lea declined to provide a last name.

Although Lea said she's been able to find a workable balance between "EverQuest" and real-world obligations, she often questions her devotion to the game.

"I think of quitting all the time," she said. "I'm sure there are a lot of departments I'm lacking in now, like I don't pay as much attention to my kids as I should."

Most online games include copious amounts of chats, allowing players to interact with each other in the guise of the characters they represent. Dr. Maressa Hecht Orzack, director of Computer Addiction Services at Harvard University-affiliated McLean Hospital, said the social aspect is a primary factor in many game addictions.

"Many of these people are lonely, have never felt like they belonged," she said. "People get a sense of belonging in the game. In some cases, it provides the only friends they interact with."

Such games also lure players with complex systems of goals and achievements. "EverQuest" players engage in activities to develop their characters from one level to the next and compete to find valuable in-game elements such as armor and weapons. Players can find themselves wrapped up in the game for hours as they struggle to gain one more skill or weapon.

"I'd say the most addictive part for me was definitely the gain of power and status," said Bennett. "The way in which as you progressively gain power you become more (of) an object of awe (to) the other players...each new skill isn't enough."

Miller, the Stockton psychologist, saw just how compelling such in-game goals can be when he tried playing "Diablo II," to see what the game was about. Before long, he found himself in all-night sessions with the game, a habit he broke by deleting the game from his PC and giving away the CD it came on.

see related story: "Each goal leads to another goal, and there are critical choices you make along the way," he said. "You invest a lot of time and thought into developing a character. You feel like you've wasted your time unless you reach the next goal."

Such lures can be insidious, Miller said. "Here I was in a good position to understand the problem...and yet I really did have to struggle to beat this thing," Miller said of his game habit. "I can imagine that somebody with less knowledge of these kinds of issues would really have a hard time understanding what was happening to them."

Acknowledging the problem
Like most addictions, the toughest part of recovering from game addiction is often getting the addict to acknowledge there's a problem--a task made all the more difficult by the seemingly innocuous nature of games.

Angie said her live-in boyfriend spends at least 30 hours a week playing "EverQuest" as a female elf--a character choice she finds "weird and disturbing"--at the expense of housework, family obligations and sometimes work. "The saddest part of all is the fact that he doesn't admit that it's an addiction and seems oblivious to the damage his personal life is suffering due to the game," she said.

For players who do admit they have a problem, the most common response is a guilt-and-purge cycle common to many addictions. While Bennett was able to kill his character and delete the "EverQuest" software with no regrets, many game addicts aren't as successful.

"The people I've seen who quit the game and destroy their character...almost all come back and play addictively again," said Lea.

For most players, true recovery involves looking at the issues underlying the game habit, Orzack said. She uses a cognitive-therapy approach in which players examine the emotional motives that prompt them to play a game excessively and look for alternate ways to satisfy those needs.

"Therapy takes the issue that there are a lot of other things going on," she said. "The goal is to get people to realize there is something going on and they need to be in charge of changing it."

Excessive game playing often reflects problems in the home environment, Orzack added.

see related story: Online gaming seeks secret to profits "There's definitely an alienation in some fashion that's going on within the family structure or work structure," she said.

Nicolas Yee conducted extensive player research on "EverQuest" while earning a psychology degree from Hanford College. He found a direct correlation between the amount of time hardcore players spend in the game and a tendency toward neuroticism--"basically how easily a person gets depressed or goes into mood swings," he said.

Yee said that while he doesn't doubt games like "EverQuest" can become an addiction, they can also be a productive outlet for dealing with emotional and behavioral issues.

"Environments like 'EverQuest' can help a person if they're shy or have trouble forming social relationships," he said. "They have this environment where they can safely try new things out. They can experiment with being more vocal, or they can try out a leadership role, which may not be an opportunity they have in real life. Especially for teenagers, it lets them try out different roles and identities at a time when they may be really struggling with those kinds of issues."

361 comments

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Can we stop online gaming?
My kids enjoy online gaming. Can I limit this by disabling it on my router?
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Not the answer...
Why do that?

Do you lack willpower?

Were your kids not raised well enough to understand that a game is a game, and not life?

I'm sure you're a responsible parent who indoctrinated his children with a good sense of responsibility.

Don't worry about your kids - let them be children, let them have fun. Just make sure they retain perspective.

Taking things away from children without explanation, "because I said so" will not make them understand.
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
method of blocking a game
Some online games like WOW depend on messages to virtual locations, called ports. When you block the port, the computer is forced to disconnect from the game site.

If you have a firewall or a router, you can watch the incoming packets and discover which ones are coming from the game site. When he have the port number, you tell the firewall or router to block it and the game is disabled.
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
RE: Can we stop online gaming?
first of all, no, you will not to be able to stop all online gaming with your router, at least not without a lot of technical knowledge and training.

but more importantly: you do not need to just stop all online gaming. everything needs to be in moderation, if your kids like gaming, let them play, but control how much they play, don't just dissallow it entirely, as this will not solve anything.
Posted by thedopefish (1 comment )
Link Flag
Blizzard Has Something for This
First of all, I am 33 years old, I have children, and I play the game. Blizzard has something for limiting game time. Login to the account at the World of Warcraft website. Look for Parental Controls. It will allow you to limit the times your account can be played. This means that outside of the times you enter, the player cannot login to the Bliz servers.

Sorry to my fellow gamers on that one, but I gotta help a fellow father out.
Posted by Jigmiester (1 comment )
Link Flag
Very sad
I thought about doing that when my boyfriend comes over to stop him from playing WoW
Posted by Mary2006 (2 comments )
Link Flag
WoW about self-discipline
I am 14 years old and an avid gamer on World of Warcraft. I love the game and I find it so enjoyable, kudos to Blizzard. But after reading most of your comments about loved ones that are trapped by WoW, stop and think for a moment, please.

World of Warcraft is one of those games made so they appeal to a huge range of ages and specific tastes. I find the fact that it is so free-flowing an excellent attribute, because I always found myself tiring of games where there WAS an end and once I finished the game it lost all it's spark. WoW doesn't lose it's spark...if you're tired of your main character you go play and alt (alternative character). But all in all, you have to know where to draw the line - maintain a perspective of where you sit in relation to everything else.

Now, in all modesty I feel I am a smart kid, but I have always found the rigidity of school examinations and assessments tiresome, esoteric and as a result the marks I get in some subjects aren't as good as others. Now, I don't say this to many people, but I'm not a hugely popular kid. I'm 6 foot 1 (at 13 years 10 months old) and skinny. No matter how much I eat I don't gain weight, so I deal with it. I am, also, very opinionated on things and not at all afraid to express it. So naturally I have my friends and my foes, the woes of being outwardly opinionated, but I can deal with that. Sure I get a hard time from some kids but I retain the knowledge that no matter what they do or say to me only I know the truth. To the relevance of this information, I often wonder exactly why. The circle of friends that I hang out with is a majority of WoW players. And, for some reason, even since primary school, I have always ended up with a group of friends most of which are gamers of one sort or another. The thing is that even when we are not conversing about the game we get along just as well, and we all know that we are addicted, to whatever degree, and admit it. But what can we do? We talk about it and all our parents are skeptical. I pay for the game myself, my parents paid only for the initial software and first gamecard in late October 2005. Since then I have managed a level 60 character (last school holidays), a level 32, 31, 22, 20 and so on - so yes, I do play it alot.

So I come to the reason why (apologies for any offense potentially caused here on in). The suburb in which I live in Brisbane, Australia is most likely a 65%-80% Asian contingent. The problem I find with this is that in my area there is only one caucasian my age that I have ever interacted with and he has been bitten by the Xbox bug, and is worse than me I would endeavour to say. The school I attend is a 35 minute train trip into the city and then a good 10-20 minute walk. It is a very well-off school and on a scale of 1 to 10 of wealth there, my family would easily sit at about a 3 or 4. As a result they all live in the western suburbs of the city which are easily more ritzy, so thus all my friends live nowhere near me. So what can I do? I can play and interact with them while I play WoW.

When used responsibly, and in the right way, WoW can be beneficial.
Posted by 4barbela (2 comments )
Link Flag
WoW about self-discipline
I am 14 years old and an avid gamer on World of Warcraft. I love the game and I find it so enjoyable, kudos to Blizzard. But after reading most of your comments about loved ones that are trapped by WoW, stop and think for a moment, please.

World of Warcraft is one of those games made so they appeal to a huge range of ages and specific tastes. I find the fact that it is so free-flowing an excellent attribute, because I always found myself tiring of games where there WAS an end and once I finished the game it lost all it's spark. WoW doesn't lose it's spark...if you're tired of your main character you go play and alt (alternative character). But all in all, you have to know where to draw the line - maintain a perspective of where you sit in relation to everything else.

Now, in all modesty I feel I am a smart kid, but I have always found the rigidity of school examinations and assessments tiresome, esoteric and as a result the marks I get in some subjects aren't as good as others. Now, I don't say this to many people, but I'm not a hugely popular kid. I'm 6 foot 1 (at 13 years 10 months old) and skinny. No matter how much I eat I don't gain weight, so I deal with it. I am, also, very opinionated on things and not at all afraid to express it. So naturally I have my friends and my foes, the woes of being outwardly opinionated, but I can deal with that. Sure I get a hard time from some kids but I retain the knowledge that no matter what they do or say to me only I know the truth. To the relevance of this information, I often wonder exactly why. The circle of friends that I hang out with is a majority of WoW players. And, for some reason, even since primary school, I have always ended up with a group of friends most of which are gamers of one sort or another. The thing is that even when we are not conversing about the game we get along just as well, and we all know that we are addicted, to whatever degree, and admit it. But what can we do? We talk about it and all our parents are skeptical. I pay for the game myself, my parents paid only for the initial software and first gamecard in late October 2005. Since then I have managed a level 60 character (last school holidays), a level 32, 31, 22, 20 and so on - so yes, I do play it alot.

So I come to the reason why (apologies for any offense potentially caused here on in). The suburb in which I live in Brisbane, Australia is most likely a 65%-80% Asian contingent. The problem I find with this is that in my area there is only one caucasian my age that I have ever interacted with and he has been bitten by the Xbox bug, and is worse than me I would endeavour to say. The school I attend is a 35 minute train trip into the city and then a good 10-20 minute walk. It is a very well-off school and on a scale of 1 to 10 of wealth there, my family would easily sit at about a 3 or 4. As a result they all live in the western suburbs of the city which are easily more ritzy, so thus all my friends live nowhere near me. So what can I do? I can play and interact with them while I play WoW.

When used responsibly, and in the right way, WoW can be beneficial.
Posted by 4barbela (2 comments )
Link Flag
A site to talk about World of Warcraft Addiction
These games are like anything else: if not in moderation they can be bad for you. If you balance life and gaming, then there isn't a problem.
I have someone in my life that is seriously addicted to World of Warcraft. I couldn't find a place to talk about it, so create one called World of Warcraft Widows. It is at:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/WOW_widow/" target="_newWindow">http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/WOW_widow/</a>
Please feel free to share your stories about how someone addicted to this or other games in your life, and how it is affecting your relationship. It is NOT a place to flame games, per se, but a place to vent, share stories, and offer comfort when needed.
Great article, by the way!
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
thank God
Well i thought i was alone until i found this site, its comforting to know that world of warcraft is addictive and that is the reason i feel abandoned by my new fiance!
Posted by abandoned (4 comments )
Link Flag
thank you
Hey all...I am the person that started the group mentioned here inthe article.
I just happen to see this tonight, and I am very happy to see that people are taking this issues seriously.

Thank you for mentioning the group, and thank you to all that have commented.

Also, I wanted to mention a website called www.gamerwidwow.com. Some of the members of my Yahoo group, including myself, read and post over there as well. It is also a good resource.

I also want to make sure that gamers know they are certainly welcome at the yahoo group as well as gamerwidow.com. It is always nice to get the perspective of gamers. We have quite a few that used to be unbalanced in their game play, but changed that. Some that have never had any addiction problems. They have always kept game playing, like any other form of entertainment in check. And we do have some gamers who, well in some cases, that are ones that could be considered addicted and are trying to get more of a balance in their life.

So, please stop by the yahoo group and Gamerwidow.com if you have a few minutes.
Posted by (4 comments )
Link Flag
wow additction
My fiance plays all the time. it was getting to the point that i was being neglected. What eventually happened is i told him how i felt and he has made a schedule of when he is to play. So far it has helped. He still plays on the nights that he said he wouldn't, but by the time i get home he gets off. This game, as much as he enjoys it,has been such a nuisance.
Posted by widowmoo (1 comment )
Link Flag
warcraft widows
Hi,
I am looking for the woman who started the Warcraft Widows web site. I am a reporter for the Chicago Tribune whou would like to interview her and others for an article.
Thank you,
Lisa Black
lblack@tribune.com
847-918-2810
Posted by lblack224 (2 comments )
Link Flag
HELP!
Can I find out how many hours my husband has played WOW? How?
Posted by valentine929 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Wow Addiction - The Lonely Exit.
This response was written due to the fact that World of Warcraft and other computer games have affected me negatively in multiple ways as I grew up. The whole concept of this response is to allow a non-gamer to maybe step into a gamer's shoes and maybe get a look at what it is like. Some of this response might be partially exaggerated, due to the lack of memory recall of my past at the moment, in the degree of loneliness, etc., but mostly accurate. Excess gaming is considered to be an escape from reality. However, I never really viewed it as being this, but as a continuation of an ongoing factor of fun. I did not ever really escape reality, I just craved the excitement and fun. I guess this could be defined as an 'addiction', but I didn't think so. As I look back at the past, I realized how oblivious gaming really was. I could of spent that time doing school work or socializing. With that in mind, I can only hope no one follows my trail. The point of this response could have been made clearer by more details but hopefully the point will be clear.

My name is Wes. Currently, I am a 19 year old, college freshman in Alabama. I forcibly liberated myself from my World of Warcraft 'addiction' this afternoon on May 2. I completed the process of deleting my beloved World of Warcraft, somehow. I don't know how I did it, but I went to Control Panel, Add/Remove, and removed it. After doing so, I aimlessly went onto the Google web page and searched World of Warcraft Addiction.. The results led me to this text box. My response is one of few that I have ever created on a forum. My whole point of this is to help people understand, my view, of a typical gamer and comprehend this as a useful tool in understanding what a typical gamer can become or is. This response creates a short path of my life spent gaming leading to my deletion of World of Warcraft, abruptly ending my gaming experience at the current time. Whoever reads this, parents especially, heed the warning that is presented to you in my finishing statement. If your an adult, limit the time your child plays computers. Please, for the sake of your child's overall life and health.
Now we quickly rewind.
I had a great life growing up. My parents took care of me and everything. They took me to Disney World and all those places. I used to play with all the children outside riding bikes and having fun. One day, I looked at a magazine and saw something. A tank? Hell if I know, it was amazing. What does the magazine do? The magazine excited me as I found a 'cool' computer game for sale. I loved everything about what I read and saw.
Here it goes.
My 'addiction' increased at a constant rate as I grew older. When I bought my first 'addicting' game called Settlers, my social life went down hill from there. The children I played with slowly faded away. I cloaked myself into an isolated environment warped in my timeless 'addiction'. I sat, day after day, at my wonderful computer downstairs at my house, almost unknowingly, staring at the screen with utter compassion. The computer was awesome. One of the kids that I rode bikes with came in and watched me play while he munched on food. This image seemed to stick in my head, I guess as a reminder of how I betrayed my friends in a sense. This kid also faded away, I guess. I had not a clue what I had gotten myself into until now but it wasn't good. I felt so powerful when I played the game "Settlers". I just loved how I could build units, colonize my base, and eliminate opponents. As a very young child, I played Army with those little green and yellow army men with bayonets. I wonder if this had something to do with my 'addiction' for fighting and death? Or maybe it was just my obsession for organized warfare which I loved, I guess...
The next 'addiction step stone would be "Imagination". "Imagination" was a network where you could play "Red Baron which was a airplane fighting game and some kind of dungeons and dragons game. I frequently played the dungeons and dragons game, however, I don't remember what happened in this game, just some killing, I guess. I think I became a zombie to games at this age in my life which led me to, here I am. I truly think the moments spent as a child is the most important for the fundamentals of his social life. Do not allow your children to tread on these grounds I have because you will see the lonely, overused road it leaves with them.
Forwarding slightly... 14-15 years old?
My 'addiction' continued. There was really nothing I could do about it but play more and more, while I focused less on school. I guess I had an addicting personality growing up, and still do. The game was online and required five or more dollars an hour. I sat on the computer for more hours a day. The bill was quite high but my dad paid for it. My dad worked and my mom did commercials sometimes but usually just took care of me and my sister. Time on the computer was not restrained since no one in the family thought much of it. I remember Barbara, our maid, doing her ironing of the clothes across the room from me but I never really paid attention to her. I regret that. I should of socialized with her more.
Now we fast forward.
Middle School-I am playing video games again. The loneliness is really starting to set in with other kids. I talk to kids occasionally at school but never ask them to come over much and do stuff with me. I am a good looking guy, nonetheless, but I just didn't see any passion of socializing as much. My love was for my games. My 'addiction'. I played some of the games above as well as others, but then came the real turn point. One night I spent the night at my cousin's and discovered the game he liked to play. It was "Quake". My social life appeared to be doomed after seeing this game. This game was a first person shooter with cool graphics and you could blow people up. What a great environment for an adolescent to grow up in. I got the game, and played it nonstop online with the gaming service Mplayer"which was free. After playing on Mplayer quite some time the game Command and Conquer Red Alert seemed to have sparked interest. I think this game was the best out of any I have played. Wow, the fun I had with this game. I won't go much into detail but I loved it.
Now we fast forward.
High School. Wow this is a great place. I am a freshman now and I am on the soccer team. I get picked on a little for being a freshman and paddled. The hottest girl at school liked me and asked me out. Never really having any female relations, I replied I don't know. She eventually moved on as, I guess, showed no interest in her. Truthfully, I did with all my little aching heart. I continued to invest my time into games and did not even open up the relation me and her could of had. Sad story, yes. My obsession for computer games only grew deeper. I discovered my true love, Everquest. This game possessed things I had never experienced before. You could choose between classes and races and explore the world. This game probably took up most of high school life. I eventually got sent to military school half my senior year due to my failing grade in A.P. Chemistry. I never studied and just played computer games all day. Marion Military Institute was it's name. It wasn't all that bad, I met some really cool people. I was socially exposed a lot but this didn't really do anything for me. I don't think my social life in general was ever really that bad. But hey, that's from my point of view.
Now we fast forward.
Here I am in College sitting at a computer right now, 2 weeks left of school and I have ****** grades due to World of Warcraft and lack of studying. This is not all due to World of Warcraft, because I had never learned how to study since I didn't need to really in high school. The grades in high school weren't of high standards but they got me into a good college. Maybe if I had managed my time better from playing games none of this would of happened. Anyways, my social life in college was greatly affected by World of Warcraft. I first bought the game in December when it first came out. This day I had told my girlfriend I was going to come see her. She lives in my home town, while I was in college so it took effort to see her. Now, get this, before World of Warcraft, I had given up most of my online time for socialization and put myself together. Unfortunately, I had been playing the open beta. I was already addicted and in love with the game. I went and bought the game right when it came out and searched every store for it and finally found it. The girlfriend called,Where are you. I replied,I am not coming home this weekend, I don't feel good. Don't get me wrong, this girl was drop dead gorgeous, hottest girl I have ever dated. I wanted to play World of Warcraft instead of driving home to get some loving from my girlfriend. What was wrong with me?. How wrong is this? Eventually, my love, World of Warcraft, took the place of her. I never came home anymore as much so I could enhance my character in this 'wonderful' game. And yes, my girlfriend disappeared off my radar. However, eventually I did come home and I hooked up with her, but that was just the occasional hook up, I didn't care.
Now we end the journey.
Well, thanks for reading my input on this 'addiction' crisis. Would you describe me as a chronic gamer? I do, and you probably agree, as well as being astonished at what you have just read or perhaps, not. This obsession just went too far. In my opinion, all gamers are social outcasts in a sense. These gamers are playing games instead of utilizing this time socializing. But now the real question remains. Do you want your close friend, who plays World of Warcraft, to have any relation to this story? Could this be his path? The game. It takes over. Trust me. Believe me. My life goes on, and hopefully your friend will guide his life back without World of Warcraft. The information I write here serves for a sole purpose. To allow a non-gamer to step into a gamer's shoes and maybe link some pieces together to find out what your friend's problem is. It takes one to know one. World of Warcraft, it takes over. This leads me to leaving, and best of luck to you all whoever reads this.
P.S. Get your Friend to stop playing that game. ASAP
immediate advice: Delete it without him knowing, break WoW cd's, you know the drill. Whatever it takes.
Posted by (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Right ON!
So glad to hear you had the personal fortitude to do what you did and I hope it's still holding up! My son gave up a very lucrative job as a software developer to play these games and now he doesn't even seriously look for another job - just plays on and on and on and on and on. . . . . . . It's the saddest thing in the world to see an intelligent capable young person literally throwing away his life on this stuff! Your story gave me hope that it is possible to move on though so thank you very much and all the very best!!!!!
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
Inspirational story: we want to use it in a student radio documentary
Hi Wes,

My name is Terry and I am a University (College) student in
Australia, doing a course in Media &#38; Communications. My friend
and I found your story fascinating and inspirational, and we
would love to use it in a short radio documentary we are
currently working on in our studies. If at all possible, this would
involve us interviewing you briefly over the phone (which we
would record here at the Uni), basically to let you tell the story in
your own words.

This radio documentary will not be actually broadcasted (as it is
purely for the purposes of our study), however you never know if
it turns out to be good. Ofcoarse this would be only with your
permission.

Anyway I hope you get this message, and if you would like to
talk to me my email is: s3110161@student.rmit.edu.au
(or just reply to this comment).
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of an interview, or just
too busy, we would still like your permission to use your story
(e.g. spoken by a presenter).

Thanks a lot,
and good luck

Terry
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
i can only hope i can change the path i follow before its too late
mate it is unfortunate to say that im following the path that u once did, computer games have ruined my life. i have always wanted to be a fighter pilot and have had a life long dream of flying, currently i am in yr 12 and as an extracurricular activity fly gliders solo however i have come to the realisation that this may be as far as my passion for flying may go. growing up i started with games such as doom and moved onto red alert 2 and soldier of fortune the latest being world of warcraft. i played these games way too much and my grades are seriously shameful because i never did the study or put in the work, i was just to busy with these meaningless games! my social life sounds very similar to yours, i am no longer able to get into the airforce either and i can only see this situation worsening. i currently play wow every day and the addiction is gettin worse, right now im trying to do an assignment which is due in 2 days but havent even started! and im am having alot of trouble resisting the urge to log into world of warcraft. i keep telling myself "why play that game, in a year u will be out of school and thinking ok now what, unable to find a job because u wasted ur time on a stupid game that hasn't gotten u anywhere" i know im going to look back and think ok what was the point in playing those games, what have they done for u NOW. currently with 11 weeks left of yr 12 and with an OP prediction of 22 i am starting to get into a depression knowing my life is seriously going to be hard and that im not going to be able to full fill my dreams. before world of warcraft i thought i had broken out of playing games (this was BIG accomplishment for me at the time)and i used to be busy all week with sports and on weekends i would go out to my gliding club fly around do more advanced training and learn to fly many many differetn aricraft and the next day i would be flat out in the city with mates or my girlfriend, however now that i have world of warcraft i just can't get it out of my head, its driving me insane! everylesson at school i would not pay attention instead be talking bout the game and miss VITAL notes, as soon as i get home i log onto the game and shut myself in my room until its bedtime i don't even talk to my parents anymore, i never do any homework or asssignments, on weekends i now find myself giving up on my LIFE LONG DREAM of flying and would rather sit on my pc playing wow instead of being up in the air flying around and socializing with mates. i have gotten to the point where i just don't care about life anymore and just think "why bother trying" and no matter how hard i try i just can't stop playing that BLOODY GAME!! i also have a couple mates who are in the same position as me and its painfull to watch our lives waste away. my parents pay $6000 a year to send me to my school and i just sit there and waste it! im so ashamed of my life and i am having alot of trouble getting away from the vice like grip of the cyber world. i am running out of time, if i havent already! i have a long way to go before any change occurrs IF I START NOW! but i don't know when the addiction will end. right now i am sitting here trying to start my assignment, but keep thinking oh don't bother just don't do it, go play world of warcraft instead, im also wanting to not go flying tomorrow and instead shut myself in this room away from the world and play that stupid meaningless game that will be the end of me!. i have started taking ritalin an amphetamine drug which is supposed to help me concentrate. DUDE IM TAKING FRIGGEN SPEED BECAUSE OF COMPUTER GAMES WHAT IS THAT!?!?!?! these drugs seem to help me in class a bit but still at home im on my pc playing world of warcraft for no reason at all and when i am playing it i tell myself just 5 more minutes or just this once more then im going to stop playing, but it ALWAYS ends up with me palying non stop 24/7 i don't think i have the will power to uninstall the game however when my account runs out in a few weeks i am going to see how long i can last without buying a game card. and mate what u said in ur post serioulsy moved me and it has made me wake up and take another look at my life, i am going to press on with my battle to try and stop wasting my life. i can only tell everyone else that NEVER EVER let ur child or urself get taken up in these games and ALWAYS do your work and u WILL be rewarded with what u want! i myself know i am going to be playing that game in a few hours but am going to make every effeort to stop this but its going to take time. and everyone DON'T END UP WITH A LIFE AS SAD OR AS SHAMEFULL AS MINE! mate i wish u all the best and i hope u are successfull in all u do, you have demonstrated great strength and will to get your life back on track.
Posted by (1 comment )
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Hope you've been able to keep it up
Best wishes and thanks for posting your story.
Posted by (2 comments )
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Too much Virtual Reality = Destruction in Reality
(If you don't like stories, scroll all the way to the bottom ;))
Hi, I'm an 18 year old... gamer. This is sorta a two part story. I've been gaming all my life, but before I gained access to a PC, I led a healthy social life, and had no problem throwing the console control pad to the side and go out with friends. I passed secondary school (sorta like High School, I live in the UK), with flying colors (All B and above). Although, I gained access to a PC in my last year of school, it was a pretty run down piece of hardware, so all I really had was MSN. I was a Faceparty/Chatroom junkie, to say the least. I was late every day of my last year of school. Why? I was flirting with girls in my area, of course. I usually stayed up 'till about 4am, every night, having to wake up at 8am for school, which I never did, 1st lesson usually started at 9am, 2nd at 10am &#38; 3rd at 11am, I usually came in few minutes after the 3rd lesson had started. By coming in this late &#38; this early, I had found a point where I didn't have to bring in a note saying where I had been, or be worried that my Mom would find out I was late. I did this almost every day. But, luckily my mind was like a sponge, so every lesson I went to, even though I had my face in my hands all the way through, I absorbed it all. My last year in school, was also the peak of my social activeness, I went to parties and the like all the time.
My bro of course, had the better machine. He had Counter-Strike:Condition Zero, which I watched him play for hours, in hope of him needing to go to the toilet or getting hungry, so I could have a round or two. He eventually bought Neverwinter Nights. This game wasn't that special atfirst, considering the little time I had to play it. By this time it was October'ish, 2003. I was in college at the time, and found a 'realm' which I really enjoyed playing on (Neverwinter), online. This being a role-play server, I invested alot of time building stories around my characters and role-played with other players who did the same. I woke up every morning at around 4am, for college, which started at around 11am. I used to sneak in my brother's room to play Neverwinter every morning, I was going to sleep early, doing extremely well in college, predicted an overall A at the end of the school year by Christmas. I found a girl within this game, whom I especially enjoyed role-playing with, she lived in my area (sorta), we were together for 5 months, was even thinking of moving in with her, with or without my parent's consent. I was 16 at this time, although she was 20, I was very mature for my age, she kept telling me. I was completely intoxicated by her, but having played this game for that long I was intoxicated by that to. Due to this being a mature realm, most of the players there were over 18, and role-played intimate scenes whenever appropriate. I was enraged to find out my girlfriend had been doing this type of roleplay with other people, I told her how I felt, she took it to heart &#38; gave me some reassurance (sorry, going off subject abit ;)). Having been together for so long, I handed her my account details without blinking, she now had access to my characters &#38; all the items I had worked so long for, this I didn't mind at all. When she had robbed most of my characters blind, I still didn't mind, she played less and less on our realm &#38; moved to one called Kinky Kingdom...you can imagine. Having a huge distaste for her doing that type of thing, I childishly went to her new realm, sent her a message saying the whole thing's off and logged off before she had time to reply. She cried on the phone, we talked a little on msn after this conversation, then nothing (I ****ing blew it). I'd give all my possessions to hold this girl in my arms once more. I threw her away because of an aspect of Neverwinter.
But, anyway, the summer of 2004, I gained access to my own, better machine. The first game I played was Counter Strike, fell in love with it for the second time. I joined a clan, and we topped some league boards after a few months of playing.
Fastforward abit, and it's April again (2005), and I have World of Warcraft. My Counter-Strike clan instantly dissolved and took up playing Warcraft full time. By this time I don't even have the phone numbers of any of my friends anymore &#38; and not too keen on going out, apart from on Friday &#38; Saturday nights. I rarely talked to my friends, not even when they're online. I've had the game 8 months...My played time is 3 months. Should explain it all. That's alot of hours a day wasted.
I've drunk myself sober on New Year's Eve, I'm hoping I'm seeing sense... I know what my new year's resolution will be.

"World of Warcraft is more addictive than Crack" is no exaggeration.
Posted by Jamieo87 (3 comments )
Link Flag
I quit also
Hi, my name is justin. I also quit World of Warcraft, after nearly failing my freshmen year of high school and gaining 50 pounds... when playing WoW my days went like this wake up at 6 am log on my WoW account, play for 30 min, shower, go to school, play wow any chance I could there. I would then get home rush to my room and play to around 4 am, I did this for a little over a year,(playing since the day the game came out). Over this time i managed to get 110 days play time. Now that i have quit the game i do have to say one thing its not the online gameing that gets you its the types of games you play...WoW is a mmorpg( massive multiplayer online role playing game) playing a mmorpg is what messes up your life not normal games. BEWARE OF GAMES SUCH AS Everquest, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Dark Age of Camelot, etc not simple fast paced games that you never really progress in.

I am still fighting the addiction
Posted by popewax|Algebra (1 comment )
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This is Afsdd Asdfsd - You are welcome.
.
Posted by wesj39 (2 comments )
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Update on me Afsdd Asdfd and my newly found Wow addiction again.
Hi, this is Wes, that kid that broke his WoW addiction maybe a year or a year and a half ago *((the one who posted the Lonely Exit)). It had been going well until recently I went over to a friends house that has been my friend for a long time, even before i broke my first WoW addiction. I currently reside in Auburn as I basically failed out out of my college, went to a really good private school, feel real ****** about it. Anyways, I go to a community college now and am trying to get my act together. So much for that...
At first I was fine living up here alone. It was until I went to that friends house and his roomate was playing WoW.... I saw it and I guess... you know how those game addiction experts are, they can pull you back in almost instantly... well maybe that wasn't the problem, but I was sucked back into the game. I love how the ranking systems and all that has come along. I want to be a grand marshal maybe in a month or so, who knows, I am pulling in about 150k of honor a day. I am rank 2. For all of you World of Warcraft players, you should be ashamed of yourself. You are doing more damage to your community than you even know of. My addiction started back about 4 days ago..... I am playing already 8-12 hours a day. After playing I go and get heavily drunk because of the stress this game causes my brain. It works me up and I feel like I have a panic disorder or something, and I am extremely paranoid. That was partly due to the game Company of Heroes Open Beta ..... that game causes some extreme anxiety. And yes, I will probably continue playing World of warcraft. Don't feel this post to be an attack on you gaming people, but I have been there, done that, been there again, done it again, so forth. You think you know anything about life and games, there is no life with games. Life isn't a big game. Stop playing these stupid ass games and grow up. I am 20 years old and I should be screaming that to myself. It doesn't help. And that is enough for rambling today......

And to you gamers, there is no ******* happy ending to any of it. STOP PLAYING THE GAMES AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE. I have wasted my life already and my social skills are pretty fuked now... not to not mention but I am a good looking guy, and it churns my stomach to see what some of you say. """Oh yeah oh yeah its not the game developers fault and so on and son on, computer games are in a sense a ******** waste of life. Oh and yes I did cuss, wow, so what, **immaturity**??? so call it whatever you want... its because of the hostility that I have seen on the internet through gaming and so on... stop relieving your stress in video games people and start exercising, have sex or something, just stop with the video games!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will stop rambling now. -
AIM SN - Wesj39
Posted by wesj39 (2 comments )
Link Flag
Wondering
Can you tll me about the atmoshphere of the game. By this I am wondering if the game has any satanic overtones. Would this game incourage that type of thing.
Posted by lhenrylhenry (1 comment )
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zz
zz
Posted by Hardrada (359 comments )
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See more comment replies
The ultimate purpose in life
... is happiness, or pleasure.

However a person may come upon said happiness is up to him/her. This has nothing to do with being socially acceptable or not. I don't see why the article is shifting the emphasis on [Gaming Addiction] from Addiction and placing it almost squarely on Gaming.

We assume (going with the emphasis in the article) that devoting time to an activity on the computer is wrong, and that we should quit doing it to devote time to other activities not done on the computer.

That said, we have also assumed that smoking is good for your health, cocaine should be used to cure health problems, beating kids is good for them, etc.

The difference is these can be proven wrong, while your specific [Social Priorities] cannot.

Where are the gaming success stories? The ones in which Joe can't get a date in real life, but found a mate online? The ones in which Joe is contemplating suicide but found new reasons to live in gaming? The ones in which Joe is slowly aging away, employed and used in an office cubicle all his life doing work meaningless menial tasks while some capitalist is busy making money off his efforts, about to burst out Office Space style, but with an Uzi and a deathwish -- only to have his frustration diverted into a digital format.

I have been through many multiplayer games -- quit each one as easily as any other to accommodate vacation and school schedules. The problem here does not lie in the games, people.
Posted by Karios Kasra (62 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Give me a break...
What a stupid, blathering article. It is a prototypical finger pointing, sensationalized attempt to cause a hysteric, reactionary outcry against gaming.

This stupid kid has no one to blame but himself. I love his use of "World of Warcraft did this to me" mumbo jumbo.

No, take the blame, you did it to yourself.

Thousands of gamers out there are fully capable of gaming and carrying on a normal, healthy life. I am one of those people.

WoW does not make you pay the monthly fee, WoW does not make you turn on your PC, click that icon, type in your password and start playing.

I play World of Warcraft and Battlefield 2, I work a very good full time job, I have a family and I am able to balance all of this with no problems what so ever. It is called self control, something kids like you don't seem to have these days. Stop blaming everyone else, stop blaming the game. It's people like you that get society into a panic and social initiatives manage to get games like this regulated. Games that people like myself play for fun and relaxation and are able to step away from and live a normal life in conjunction with our hobby.

My word of advise, grow up, take responsibility for your plight and stop blaming the game for your problems.

Your only problem is you. Fix it.
Posted by (1 comment )
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I agree
My aunt is a Jehova Witness and she goes on and on about the evils of TV. I tell her, if you can't tell the difference between TV and real life, there is something wrong with you. It may be callous but it's the way I feel. Ironically, she believes everything she sees on TV (I still remember the hours spent trying to explain how they made an actor seem like twins).

While I was in college the "Great Evil" was Dungeons and Dragons. That game was blamed for all sorts of things including suicides. Yes, some young people might have been distressed enough about their character's death to the point of commiting suicide, but it is not the game that made them that way. There was something wrong with that person to begin with. I can't think of any reason to commit suicide. Even if you are miserable, how do you hurt the people who love you like that? The detractors of D&#38;D didn't mention there were just as many kids out there who committed suicide because they got their first B in their academic career.

If you are addicted to the game, guess what, my guess is you are an addictive personality (I have no credentials, it just seems to make sense to me). If it wasn't D&#38;D or WoW or Everquest, it would be something else... gambling, drugs, alcohol, sex.

And I take some offense to saying Everquest isn't part of real life. If you play the online game, it is very real because the characters you interact with are real. They have real names which they might one day after you build their trust tell you. They have stories, goals, and accomplishments they share with you. They are happy and sad and everything in the middle which they share with you. And if you don't log on, they notice, understand why you haven't been on, and welcome you back.

My mom has been getting on my case about playing even though I'm a 38 year old female. I have a job, I am getting my masters, and I am in a good relationship (he plays too). I work out at the gym. I own fish. I watch a bunch of shows on TV and am almost the first one to see any movie. I also drive my mom anywhere she wants to go. I'm a computer programmer and my take is... if I can wake up by 6 am and spend 8 hours in front of the computer for work, why is it not acceptable that I do the same for my enjoyment?

And I am an addictive personality (at least I think so). I just have to exercise self control. For example: I know my guild will be raiding at 9:30. I make sure I do my homework, laundry, or whatever by 9:30. I sometimes even nap beforehand if I know it's going to take a long time so I'm not a walking zombie at work the next day.
Posted by vorpalswd (2 comments )
Link Flag
Finger-pointing, yes, but...
WoW *does* operate on a recurring-billing cycle, so it goes on
billing unless it's cancelled -- and since I just looked into doing
that myself, let me tell you they don't make it all that easy to
begin or understand the cancellation process. Doing a search for
"cancel" in a couple of key places doesn't turn up much. Also,
your characters are maintained in their files even after your
account is cancelled, but you have to dig for that information as
well.

I see a lot of parents on this forum who are really unfamiliar with
the games in question, whether they be unaware of how to
uninstall the game, unclear on when their kids are accessing the
game or just looking at websites, or unfamiliar with the world of
the game. As a graduate student studying media in education, I
see a lot of people coming from this uneducated position and
demonizing games, music, TV shows, what have you. It's
frustrating. I totally agree that we should be paying attention to
the addictive potential of games (advertisers certainly are -- I
went to a panel last year where advertisers were very
enthusiastic about inserting their brands into that addictive
potential), but to have the argument starting with those who
have no idea what's going on isn't helpful to anyone. Parents,
please try PLAYING these games. You need to have vocabulary
before you can talk to your kids. It's especially important to
understand the social elements of massively multiplayer games
-- the games serve as chat rooms, and by cutting kids off from
them you may be cutting them off from the social connections I
hear many of you struggling to encourage.

I don't think it's right to say these games *cause* depression,
but as someone who is clinically depressed I can tell you game
playing can certainly interact with depression. Those of you who
aren't depressed don't understand how hard it is to break
obsessive or depressive cycles; "self control" alone may not be
enough to pull yourself out of a cycle.

So yeah, demonizing games isn't helpful. Obviously some people
do better at managing their play than others. We need to
understand these problems better, and starting from an
assumption that all games are evil -- as the huge grant that
Hillary Clinton's offering does -- is not going to help anyone.
Posted by solonsroz (1 comment )
Link Flag
AMEN!
it's so not the game, it's the player.
Posted by Mary2006 (2 comments )
Link Flag
Thank you for becoming part of the problem
Jason,

With such warm, nurturing and positive people as yourself in the REAL world, it's no wonder OTHERS regress and withdraw into the virtual.

How about next time, before you open your mouth in arrogance and add to the problem, you think about someone other than yourself. Instead of stroking your own ego and sense of what YOU think is right, I suggest you read up on the ROOT CAUSES of video game - or any OTHER - addiction.

Your ****-poor attitude and destructive and condescending response make your post valueless where finding a solution is concerned. Your harsh words and coldhearted condescending response are not needed. Here's a concept...how about appreciating the guy's sincerity and coming up with an idea to help, or maybe control, regulate or otherwise assist people who are clearly out of control. What resources have YOU found that can help people control or free themselves from the addiction? What resources are you aware of that can help parents or even adults control their time spent playing? Oh Oh, I know, what resources can you offer to help him organize his priorities, goals and identify what's important to him, and then help him KEEP his life straight?

* listens to crickets * I didn't think so...

You are no doubt the kind of useless POS that would watch someone trip and fall and instead of lending a hand to help the person up you'd point, laugh and call them a clutz. No that's not an assumption either, it's an observation of already established behavior on your part, as that is exactly what you've just done with your words.

THANK you for that PEARL of wisdom. It was SOOOO helpful.

J@ckA$$!
Posted by maddogfargo (3 comments )
Link Flag
oh jesus
What an ignorant diatribe. Tell a heroin addict with a syringe in their hand to just cut it out. The brain doesn't know the difference. Go whack your wii, and recognize that you're arguing with yourself. Most people CAN play harmlessly, this article does not dispute that, but most people can have a drink or play a game of poker harmlessly too. But some can't, and you're no better than them.
Posted by brooksidebusta (3 comments )
Link Flag
Key words, "stupid kid". Give your head a shake! Some "kids" do not have the maturity to cope with this overload....depending on what's going on in their life. That's why we need to get more info out there for parents. Trust me, I know from experience! grama
Posted by 8937079 (3 comments )
Link Flag
No, you're wrong
I'm university educated. I've nearly completed my BA, have a 3.7 GPA, and am already secure in entering a Masters degree program.

... and you know what? I'm "addicted" to WoW. I spend, even in school, many hours per week playing it. And you know what? I still find time for my lovely girlfriend, studying, and going out.

Telling other people to stop their friends from playing, and telling parents to stop their children playing is wrong. That's akin to the christian crusaders out there insisting that anyone who has sex, does drugs, or has any "fun" in life is going straight to hell.

What is required is a sense of perspective. An ability to step back and say, "gee, this is a HELL of a lot of fun, but I have 'X' due tommorrow, so I better get on it."

Now most mature, intelligent and disciplined people can do this rationally. I can. Yes, it's difficult. But how is that any different than it being difficult to not play with one's children? Or not take in the symphony every night?

Now I'm not equating a GAME with one's children in terms of importance. But the "addiction" is the same. If it's something in your life, and you derive great pleasure from it, why deny it to yourself when you can simply prioritize the "important" things instead? Priortize your family's needs. Prioritze work/school. But if you have free time, do what you want with it. Use your willpower - you do have it, it's just a case of wanting to exercise it.

For those of you that "can't" - seek professional help. I mean that sincerely.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yeah, they are wrong
I'm finishing up my PhD and I'm "addicted" to WOW. I've been "addicted" to video games since I was 15. I think I'm a healthier person when I get my few hours of play. As a kid it was an escape from reality, it didn't mess me up too much, I still graduated with honors and had healthy social relationships. I don't have relationships with ppl who dont understand my love of this sport. And yes being a female its kind of easy to find guys who don't mind.

I hate to play the "blame the parents" card, but look at what else your kid knows about life, are they running away from something, are they having a hard time dealing with reality? What else are you teaching your kids about life to keep them from victim to themselves? They don't have the tools to say "gee, this is a HELL of a lot of fun, but I have 'X' due tommorrow, so I better get on it." Do they understand consequences? What have you done as a parent to raise your kid... besides yell at them for playing video games?
Posted by disg (2 comments )
Link Flag
Hahhaha
"It was not a personal character flaw that ruined me! It was the game! I'm not to blame at all for failing because THAT GAME HAD MORE POWER OF ME THAN MYSELF! It controlled my MIND!"

Remember what people said about games after the columbine shooting? "It was not bad parenting! It was violence in video games!" Same thing. Still flawed.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Re: HAHHAHA
Actually, its all about bad parenting.
Posted by disg (2 comments )
Link Flag
thank you
thank you so much for writing that. my brother plays world or warcraft 24/7 and i have been telling my parents for years to get him off that stupid game. when i was like 10 i already knew that he was addicted but my parents didn't believe me. he has been playing it for as long as i remember. i think he started playing in middle school and now he is a sophomore in college and he still plays. they would occasionally yell at him to get off and last week they finally took the game away from him for a couple days after a long night of yelling and screaming. i am printing out your story to show to them because i think they will finally understand that my brother has a problem. thank you so much
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Runescape
Thank you for your story. I am just now forcing my 13 y/o to quit playing Runescape. He is following the same path you were on. I printed it off for him to read. LK
Posted by (1 comment )
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Depression and WOW Addiction
Our son is a bright, personable 16 year old who has been computer gaming since 7th grade. He got WOW less than a year ago, in December 2004. Although he'd gradually reduced the amount of time spent with friends and engaged in other activities, this increased exponentially once he began playing WOW.

At the end of 2004-2005 school year, grades dropped dramatically. This summer he convinced us that he couldn't do a thing about grades so he should be allowed to play. He did chores and/or spent time with family only when asked and always unwillingly.

We warned him that the internet gaming would stop when school resumed. We took away the wireless adapter. He continued to spend all of his time in his room, with the door locked, claiming he was watching television.

By midway through the first 6 weeks of school this gifted student was failing 4 classes and was attending tutoring in order to continue playing football. When he continued to do NO WORK at home, we investigated his room and found that he had, somehow, managed to find/purchase an internet adapter and had been playing the game all along.

We removed the CPU from his room one week ago. Since that time, he has refused to go to school, been diagnosed as depressed and medicated. He has lied and deceived us at every opportunity, going as far as finding his CPU and hiding it under his bathroom vanity. He claims that everything in his life is boring and useless for his future. The only thing that he enjoys in life is "the game." I might add, he reached level 60 in less than 6 months, which should prove to other gamers that he is intelligent.

Our son has no friends. He is never called and never calls anyone. Tonight we found him on his sister's computer, reading the WOW forum since (we think) he does not have his WOW CD. However, we have a hard time believing that he has not hidden it away. Now that his CPU is off-site we intend to get it and check the drive. If the CD is not there, it means he had the CPU just long enough to remove it.

We are convinced that WOW feeds depression and addictive personalities. Fair warning to parents, wives and loved ones...this game can be harmful. It allows individuals to feel grandiose in their endeavors. Relationships with human beings take time and effort. Computer relationships can be turned on and off at will.
Posted by Wow Parent (7 comments )
Link Flag
You don't have to be a kid to play
I take offense to comments that blame me for not being exciting enough to compete against Runescape and win my husband's attention. I am not the problem. My husband and his obsession are the problem. My husband started gaming right after my youngest son was born 4 and half years ago. 2 years into it, he'd been through countless jobs and eventually just refused to work so he could stay at home and play. We likened him to Peter on Office Space. We lost our cars, most of our belongings, and eventually our home because the game became more important than his family. In the end, when there was no computer, he acted as though his life had ended-sulking, refusing to take responsibilty for his actions. It nearly destroyed our marriage but most definitely destroyed my families trust and faith in him which will take years to regain. Do not lash out against we who are suffering because of a loss. Yes, I stated loss. I lost my husband. The person that replaced him looks and sounds like him but is only a shell of what he once was. He is emtpy yet full of rage. He has gone back to playing runescape again. He claims that it is a hobby and better than watching t.v. or going out and cheating. He claims he likes it because he gets to chat with friends around the world. He even listens to them about marriage advice and confides in them about our relationship. Yet he became angry when I mentioned joining chat rooms because it was not the same thing. I would be doing something devious while he is merely making friends. I am not sure what the answer is to end the destructive behavior that stems from playing these games but I will say this, those responses that berate us for our comments are coming from gamers who are most likely addicted and, like my husband in denial. He too becomes defensive when I talk about the game-his hobby. My response to all of you is simply this. I have hobbies too. I write poetry, I sing, I enjoy gardening. The difference is my gardening doesn't get in the way of my relationships in the outside world. I do not confide in other gardners around the world about my relationship,I've never skipped work or quit my job to do gardening, while engaged in other family activities, I do not wonder "If I get home early enough, perhaps I could get in a few more rows of seeds." I do not plan my day around gardening but most of all if my husband asked me to choose between him or my gardening-there would be no contest.
Posted by djshawman (3 comments )
Link Flag
WoW= worse than Runescape, trust me
Runescape is a totally different lvl. of gaming in my opinion, it has poor graphics, less than exciting player vs. player combat, and has all around lame gameplay. Compare this to World of Warcraft's fast paced gameplay, with instant gratifacation from minimal effort, a large imfasis on player interaction and graphics that are 10s, if not 100s of times better than those of Runescape.
The reason for this is simple, Runescape requires no istalation; just internet acess, while WoW has you install all 5 of the disks, pay an intial 45-50 dollars for the game, a monthly playing fee of 15 dollars and another download period for the patches (12 at this time)as well as internet acess. this brings me to why removing runescape can prove difficult: YOU CAN PLAY IT ANYWHERE WITH THE INTERNET! my advice to you is to not get anthing that requires a monthly fee, or a five disk istalation.


-up at three reading about ignorant parents who dont do research on their child/spouse's video games before they buy them; because the parental controlls on WoW wont wont let me log in at 4:41 am &gt;:(
Posted by kpoluk (3 comments )
Link Flag
Please do! I am the grama of a 13 yr.old who cracked & is now on a psychiatric ward with "gaming overload". There needs to be more awareness out there for parents. I'm shocked at what an epidemic this is! grama
Posted by 8937079 (3 comments )
Link Flag
Heh...
WoW is possibly addiction, and trying to stop teens in their early ages, wont help at all!!

The thing is, you can try and stop em early, but if they wanna have fun, they will just leave at 18, get a decent job, then just play.

I feel that all you parents are experiencing a child who just has taken it too far.

Look at it this way, what would you rather?
your kid doing drugs and alcohol or playing a game??

We all know what those things do to you, they get you killed, playing a game is just a source of fun!

I really don't think playing a game will ruin your life, mine is fine, and i play the game.

but what can you do.
I'm sorry for all the parents who have gone through depression from this game, remember, its only a game!! not real life. if your child cannot distinguish between priorites and needs, then they just will have to learn.

This isnt a lecture, i'm not tellin you what you have to do... but im just sharing my opinion.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Fact: games do get you killed..
- One guy died after playing to long, i believe it was around 44 hours.
- Parents forgot about there baby cause of wow, which died.
- This year there were 3 murders cause of a row for an ingame item.

You might think, sure there are always a couple of nuts. However most of this was before WoW Europe release, when games werent that adictive (i think). Games will get more adictive every time, simply cause its there purpose.
A couple of days a go there was officillie announced that the games business is bigger the the movie business. IT will oly get bigger, i believe it will be an internatiol sport some day.
Posted by TimoJasper (2 comments )
Link Flag
A concered X-Gamer
Hey man, I know exactly what you mean. WOW has completely taken over my life. Everyday I told myself
I will stop playing, I will play less. But week after week I find myself playing the same amount of time. Today Oct-17-2005 I am glad to say I got up the corage to delete the game. I know alot of you readers are prob laughing at us. "Courage hahah why would it take courage to delete a game." But trust me I found out today the video game addiction is worst then most other addcitions out there. I mean atleast theres help if you are addcited to Drugs. But if you are a video game addict you feel ashamed about yourself even more so then a drug addcit. Society does not see video game addiction as a major problem, but I am living proof that it is. I am really ashamed to say this but if it helps atleast one kid who has the same problems as I do then here it goes.
Like The main poster I come from a very good family. I was never abused by my father or ignored by my mother. They both worked really hard to get where they are today. I mean sure they hit me when I was a child but lets be honest most chidlren deserved a good spanking once in a while. My sister is amazing. She always bested me at everything we did. She is my garudian angel that watches over me. ( Ofcourse I would never tell her this) My parents started with nothing we lived in a small house back when I was a little kid. Every few years we would move from house to house. Frist we lived in a 1 room apartment , then a 4 room house, then a 7 room and now we live very comfortably in a 6 room house with a outdoor pool.
Im not saying this to impress anyone im basically trying to state the fact that I was loved and well taken care of. However, the love of my family did not wonder out into my social life. Throughout my life I had little friends. I could never figure out why. Every school I goto everyone I meet ends up making fun of me or outcasting me all together.
Perhaps this is one reason that lead to my video game addcition.
Every year from middle to highschool my grades were horrible. Many F's and many C's when I would show my parents my report cards my heart would break. And I know that my mothers heart is breaking as well. After middle school I think I learned to tune out the fact that my grades were so bad. And on to highschool is where things really got hard. Like always the frist day of school seemed like a new begining. A time to make new friends a time to shine. However, for some reason my dreams always crush. A few weeks into the school year my so called friends would gang up on me and make fun of me or call me names. I act like its normal but it really does hurt. For those of you who are parents please I beg you if your children are being teased even if they act like its nothing please please please know that its on some level killing them. Words are not just words it affects who we are and who we will become.
I think it was in the middle of my high-school year when I really started getting addcited to computers and the cyber world. It started with me passing by one of those lan cafes. I saw people playing the computer. The game of choice, none other then Counter-Strike. A game where you play as either a Counter-Terrosit or a Terrosist. Your objective is simple to kill the other team. This game was really addictive because you could see yourself getting better. As you progressed into the game you felt a sense of suporiority over other players because you are so much better. This sounds so stupid and immature but thats how I felt and I am sure this is how other hard core gamers feel. After playing a while I got invited into a clan and in this clan I meet many people. We joined a leauge called the cyber athletic leauege or CAL. We held practices 2 - 3 times a week and we organized strategy and game plays like any other sport. It took many hours of my time. I neglected school work and my families constant "nagging." Every year I would tell my mother " I promise you this year is going to be the year, I will excel in my school work and pay more attention." And each year I fail to do so. I could tell she hurt. She thinks I dont care but I really do. I want to be the perfect son and the perfect brother. But to be honest I didnt know how. All I knew that counterstrike made be belong.
After barely graduating high school I started college. My grades were horrid from highschool so I had to go to a 2 year college. My parents are really big on their children graduation from college. I told them this was it no more immature Eric. Heh, I was kidding myself, the cycle continued. This is about the time World of Warcraft came out. My first semester grades were decent, but then it got worst and worst. My parents spent so much money on tutors but nothing seemed to work. Up until today I spent hours upon
hours on the computer playing world of warcraft. I beleive my playing time was 8 weeks something. That means i spent a total of 8 weeks of my life sitting in front of the computer playing world of warcraft. Every time I told my self I was going to quit, I always found a reason not to. "I spent so much time on my character its such a waste if I just quit." and "I have so much gold why would I quit?" Ive been battling for weeks with myself going over those questions. Like a drug addict I told myself I was not addicted and that I could stop at anytime. But inside I knew I was addicted, and I was crying for help. I still am crying for help, but I am too ashamed. What have I become...
I wasted so many years of my life playing games and being a complete dick to my parents and my sister. When I was playing world of warcraft I didnt have fun at all , and doing guild raids seemed like such a chore but still I did it. I cant explain why. I still have a problem, I am addicted to video games. For some reason today for no apparent reason I just thought enough was enough. I went to programs world of warcraft then uninstall. Then I went to world of warcraft and unsubscribe. Heh, its 4 am in the morning and I cant sleep. I have a strong feeling it is because I just deleted something im addicted to and im going through sort of a detox phase. I decided to put more time into my school work and more effort into my social life. I couldnt sleep so I decided to go online to read up on video gaming addiction. And when I read this story I felt like I had to post my story as well. Sorry If my writing is harsh and unreadable but I didnt pay much attention in school and I suppose I am paying for it now. Thank you guys for giving me closure I think that is what this post did for me. Thanks for giving me a place to say what I had to say and not feel ashamed for doing so. I think some day I will find the courage to get the real help I need, but baby steps I guess.
Heres some words of Advice from a "Hard Core Gamer" to parents, this is straight from the source so trust me on this I am right. I may not be a psychologist but I really do know what I am talking about in this subject matter. IF your kid is playing world of warcraft or any game that requires a subscription fee I beg you cancel it.
Yes I know that some of you might think my child is different or my child might get angry canceled his game for no reason. But some part of him, I swear on this, wants you to do it. He might yell scream and kick but its the best thing you can ever do for him. World of Warcraft is to time consuming and if you ask any player they can tell you the addiction only gets worst. If you child has to door closed all the time please ask him to leave it open. When you walk into his room and his computer is on but his monitor is off, turn it on and see what he is doing. You may think this is an invasion of privacy but as a 22 year old kid im telling you I wish to god someone did that for me. Dont get me wrong my parents are not bad parents, they tell me I spend to much time on the computer and they have asked me to leave the door open. I just stupidly ignored them. And I played the turn off monitor trick with them when they ask me to open the door. If your child does have world of warcraft you can find out how much "online time" (the total amount of hours he spent on one character) by typing /playtime while he is online. This may sound like total ramble but I really am just trying to help. If I can help one person out there then I am happy. I thank you for your time. And I thank you for this closure.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
your story made me cry!
hello this is the fiance of an addict of wow who h
as been wowwed by you!
I am very impressed by your maturity for your age, and well done for realising your addiction and kicking the habit!
I wish my man had your courage to even admit he has a problem!
He is 34 soon!
Posted by abandoned (4 comments )
Link Flag
THANK YOU Eric
WOW! I don't know how to thank you. My 11 year old son began playing the online game runescape about a month ago, and I've been worried about him because his grades already dropped, and he spends 3 to 4 hours a night playing. (And even after that, I have to yell to make him get off.)Also, I've noticed that he seems real angry lately and he cries easily. Today in school, he attacked another kid because he took his seat, and that's not like him. He's usually not violent,(but he has ADD and doesn't listen well in school). That's when I sort of thought that playing the game might be making him so angry, and I searched the internet and your article came up. I think you are extremely brave, and even though I know you won't believe this, I also think you must be very smart, because not everyone would be able to send such a clear message about addiction. Your letter is really from the heart, and because of you I'm going to help my son stop playing. You've probably changed his life! Now how many "smart" people can honestly say THEY'VE changed someones life? Please give yourself more credit, because anyone who gave their heart the way you did in that article just to help another kid must be really extra-special. Thank You so much, and please let me know if you've been able to stop playing since you wrote the article, and if you have any more advice about how I can help my son. Thanks again, Margaret
Posted by worriedmom (1 comment )
Link Flag
I can relate.
I can pretty much relate to you in many ways. I was often the kid that was made fun of, or picked on, through most of my middle/high school days. I had a few events happen to me Junior year that really screwed me up emotionally, and I was pretty much depressed my entire Junior year. However, Senior year I pretty much threw it all away, and started over. This is also when I got WoW. In one regard, it did help me--it offered a haven away from what I had become before. I would say that through my senior year, the game wasn't a horrible strain on me--there was little work to be done, and I was still very succcessful Senior year, having a complete turnaround, and even achieving an internship for the final quarter with the technology department, which I am now currently employed by. However, since then, the game has become nothing but a hinderance.

I quit at the beginning of my second semester of college, when the only thing left in the game to do was roll another alt character, or raid. I did raiding at the end of the first semester, and let me tell you--if the raid times are rough, like my guild's was, raids can have you on your computer for 4-8 hours at a time, and up until 3 AM or later. This is not good on a school night, which it was often so.

I recently picked it back up to play with a friend, and at the moment am actually playing very little--although the addiction did hit for a while, when I was playing all day again.

I generally have little social life--but I think what defines gamers often is that we're usually different than the 'norm', and we're not willing to do the things that make kids 'cool'. For example, I chose to go to a local college to avoid living in a Dorm, and being pressured to do drugs, alcohol, or whatever moronic things college kids do to have 'fun'.

One person whom I relate with, however, even mentioned when I picked WoW back up: "Why? You were a lot more personable when you were off of it." And I realize that's true. In classes, I would be looking on the forums at different strategies or guild happenings. I'd think about it during classes. It really does allow for a clearer mind once you quit for a little while.

So I currently do have an active account, but am really considering just throwing the game away. The only thing that keeps me in the game is a couple real life friends that I have recently gotten the chance to play with (which is a step forward, though), but I am considering talking to them to see if they want to quit as well.

If I do quit, I know for a fact that the expansion will tempt me to come back. I hope I can resist.

I've been a console gamer for a while, and while those habits can also suck a lot of time up, it's just not the same as one of these games. MMOs last forever it seems, and consume countless hours. Most console games are easy to put down, but also easy to play for hours on end.

What made me come back were the real life friends I had, talking about the game. There are only two which I regularly relate. If we make a pact to just bag the game for good, I think it will happen.

Although this game CAN be played within boundries, it is just too dangerous. I have considered setting those parental controls for days that I have an assignment due or something along those lines, and it is an open avenue for anyone, too.

Thanks for listening, if anyone ever reads this.
Posted by Lexxon (1 comment )
Link Flag
THANK YOU!
I would just like to thank you, i read your story on the 29th of april, 2007. Im 17,my name is Michael. i have been a gamer for aslong as i can remember, i am a WOW addict and a hard-core-raider and have been for the past 3 year. After reading your story, i soon gave my account to my brother (19yrs old) and asked him to change my password and to never tell me what it was. i said good bye to my guildies and removed the program from my computer.

Later on that night i emailed my brother this story. My brother and i never got along very well but the last 6 months have been great, i've gotten to know him so much more. He too started playing WOW when i did, i guess that is what brought us together, sharing a same interest. Anyway, after he read the email he emailed me back the next morning. He too quit today (30th of april, 2007). i guess this story has given me the oportunity to change my life, and my brothers too, i carnt thank you enough!

I guess i only know myself as a "gamer" and now i have to re-discover myself now that i have given up, i just hope that i can fight the addiction and fill in the empty spot that i now have.

I can now see the affects that online gaming can have on people including my self, i have been recently diagnosed with depresion, i dont sleep properly, i dont eat properly, im the least social person i know, im lazey, poor marks in school, and it has generaly DESTROYED me from the inside.

These are just some of the affects gaming has had on me and now i have the opportunity to correct them and re-create my self. I wish all you X-gamers out there the best of luck with combating your addiction, and i hope you gamers see what track you are heading down or are already at.

THANK YOU....
Posted by EXgamer (1 comment )
Link Flag
In Defence of the Addict
First off, I would like to voice a disappointment for those who would laugh at Wes, and attempt to trivialize his issue. You are the same type of people who would yell at a homeless person on the street and say "get a job" or refer to single mothers as "hell-bound", or something along those lines. You have NO idea how they became homeless or single do you.. Yet you make terrible assumptions and belitle your fellow man, when you should be extending your arms to embrace and lend aid for those in need. People make poor assumptions when they are not properly educated on a topic, so I suppose I will do the educating.

First off, I would like to introduce myself.
My name is Jack, and I am 20 years old. I am in my second year of university working towards my master. Ever since I was 5 years old (even younger), I have been a gamer. I am a member if the "First Generation Gamer" as gaming was still quite new when I was born. I have a core group of friends which I have had for many years, and the foundation is solid.

Time for some definitions:
ad·dict
tr.v. ad·dict·ed, ad·dict·ing, ad·dicts
1) To cause to become physiologically or psychologically dependent on a habit-forming substance: The thief was addicted to cocaine.
2)To occupy (oneself) with or involve (oneself) in something habitually or compulsively: The child was addicted to video games.

Now there are those of you out there who go on to say "well I play video games, and I can quit anytime". I'm sure that is true, but you have to take other aspects into consideration. For example, when I was young, ALOT of my time was put into video games because there was ALOT of spare time. My parents couldn't afford to put me into any sports/activities etc but my friends COULD. This gave me alot of time alone (as my parents worked 14 hours/day 6-7 days a week). With this spare time I played video games, and with good cause, as it was cheap and very entertaining (also kept me out of trouble).

As time went on, homework from school increased, but not to the point where I had no time to play video games. Now I had to balance video games with my education (obviously). What happened, was as I got further and further into the education system, I was given less and less spare time to play video games. Because I was such an avid gamer for the past half a decade, I was now at a point where playing games was part of my identity.

It was this "identity" which was my downfall. When I reached grade 12 my "addiction" was in full swing. I would play as many video games as I was accustomed too, and because of that, I would slack off on my school work to be able to hit my daily "gaming quota".

Now you can sit back in your chair and laugh at me, but this is a SERIOUS issue now. I DO NOT know how to study anymore, and my vocabulary is slipping each passing day (omg wh4t a 1337 d00d). Is this an issue with myself? Is this a problem with how I was raised? Is this a problem with video games? After 15 years of gaming, I have come to the conclusion that it is all three of those issues working together, to basically damn my soul.

Just like the homeless man who sleeps in the street now because his house was destroyed in a fire, and his family was killed; or the woman who was raped as she was walking her dog in the park, got pregnant, and decided not to have kill her unborn bastard child; I have had something done to me which I have little control over. It has affected my life in the most terrible way, but there is enough of me left to make notice of the issue, and act on it before it is too late (being kicked out of university for example).

How can you be so cruel and MOCK me... mock Wes? Would you go up to an alchoholic and "HAHAAHAHAH" in his face? We have to fight the silent war, the war where nobody is able to help us... We are alone in this war, and I lose a little more faith in humanity every time I see those in need, being MADE FUN OF!... Terrible.

Ranting aside, you have to understand that an addiciton is an addiction is an addiction etc...
It's where something becomes so much of your life, it destroys other aspects quickly (drugs) or slowly (gaming). Those of you who grew up in a rich learning enviroment, had parents who were very involved in your life; I envy you. I did not PLAN on failing many of my first year university classes because I was to busy feeding my addiction, playing World of Warcraft. I did not PLAN on being a loner who has never had an intimate relationship with a girl (and probably won't for a few more years). I did not PLAN to have these bad things happen to me. I have been conditioned to live like this, I have never lived any other way... Immagine how hard it is to change your life completely.

Wes and I have alot in common, however the one difference is I failed where he has succeded. I at one time deleted all computer games from my computer in a vain attempt to fix the problem. It took only 48 hours until those games were back on my hard drive. I sometimes wish someone would come up to my room, take my computer games and throw them into a garbage can, and burn them. I can see how my life could be improved by completely removing video games from my life, but as I've said before, they are part of my identity. I AM a gamer, short and simple, but it's how I was raised.

"but Jack, it's not the video games fault you suck at life, it's your own fault, get over it you pathetic fool". In some ways I feel the same way, but to be honest, it would be foolish to not place any responsibility on the video gaming industry. They make games which are designed to pull you in, so you will buy them. In the end, money is all that matters. MMORPG's like WoW are designed to keep you playing, so that you (and millions of other subscribers) will pay the 15-18 dollar/month fee. They may claim to create a game for the sole purpose of being "fun to play", but "fun" doesn't pay their BMW.

To end off my rant, I would like to warn those parent who might just "cut-off" their kids from video games/television/movies to save them from a fate similar to myself. DON'T! I knew a few kids like that back in highschool, and they were social outcasts because they were SO out of touch with the world around them. They had nothing to relate them to their peers, and as such were branded "losers". As a gamer, my addiction was invisible, and nobody was able to make fun of me for it. What you need to do to ensure your child is well balanced, is to regulate his/her activities. If my parents were able to show me at a young age how many "fun" activities there realy were, I find it QUITE unlikely I would have as much interest in gaming as I do now.

I hope you can understand the hell in which I live, and can only hope that we live together in a world which does not judge/make fun of those who have no way to defend themselves using the current standards of society (I sure hope that made you feel big).

I'm going to make a final attempt to sever myself from my addiction tonight (which is why I was googling "WoW addicitons"). If I fail, it is almost certain I will be kicked out of university for three years due to poor marks. Also understand that if I win this battle, nobody will ever know of the toils I have had to endure. nobody will ever understand the stress it has caused me. There will be NO external reward other than the salvation of my REAL LIFE! And it is this which is the greatest challenge of my life.

Wish me luck, Don't knock me down. I only hope I can be as strong as Wes.

-The addict
Posted by GamerGuy2k (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
reach out and touch life
Kael, I hope you're not going this alone. Now is the time to reclaim your existence. Go for the real, even though it is not as safe. We all need to be loved and to be touched and plenty of hugs. Your gaming won't pull this off in the same way real, interactive life will. Consider the challenge to help yourself so you can help others. You certainly have done so today by responding to Wes' story. I know it impacted me, as I have a son who is over involved in WOW. Your insight has been very beneficial to me. Good luck, God bless.I pray that you can find the strength to start wading in the pool of real, interactive life. Then off to swimming laps!
-Concerned
Posted by doolson (1 comment )
Link Flag
I Agree
Well i know exactly what u are talking about for the last 5 months i have found out what a social life really is and i love it. I am currently a senior in highschool and i havent played everquest since june and i have to say i do miss it and i did play addictively. i started about 4 years ago on this game and found it to be very entertaining i then progressed in the game where both me and my brother played i think that for the most part my mom hated this game.
She hated the fact that me and my brother would spend hours at a time playing this and stay up till 5am on school nights playing it. It did affect my school grades but i kept i did manage a 3.1 average which isnt bad. But over the years i realized i came home and sat in front of the computer instead of going outside and playing with other kids. I think that people find the social life in the game better than real life because u arent judged on how u look and what u wear. Me and my brother played the game our whole highschool live and managed to keep it a secrete from our mother whether it was having our grandmother pay the bills or turning off the computer when she walked in the room but as time went on we became smarter and found ways to play while she was in the next room, Now that i have my life back and havent touched the game i find it very enjoyable although i wouldnt mind playing from tome to time i now realize how it really affected me and what is out there in the world.
Posted by Speedysquify (1 comment )
Link Flag
Whatever it takes!
A coworker got me into WoW a few months ago.

I too was raised largely by video games and TV as a child, and at the risk of dating myself, started with the atari 2600. I currently live alone and work full-time. I started playing WoW two months ago and it consumed me. I'd work 8 hours, come home, play until 1 am, then catch a few hours of sleep before I had to get up for work.

This was a problem.
It was conpulsive.
It had ceased to be fun.
I read the forums at work, and my job performence suffered.
My depression worsened.
*This was not my first game addiction*

I uninstalled the game, and reinstalled it the next day -- I did that three times over five weeks.

I uninstalled the game, threw it out. Then I bought it again two days later.

Finally, I tried again. I started up my workout schedual (that had lapsed over the last two months), uninstalled the game, threw it out, and tried to stay away from my aparment for a few evenings (reading at a coffee house, working out, going to a movie, etc).

That was two weeks ago, and I am still clear, and trying to avoid the forums (I still look off and on).

The game is designed to hook you, but the game is not the cause of the problem. The problem is a lack of personal connections and meaning in life. Most people are not on meaningful "quests" in their real life, and the risks are greater than just a five-minute walk in ghost form. Plus, WoW requires little to no skill, just time. With enough time, ANYONE can achieve 60th and have nearly every powerful item. But time is the only way to reach that level of "achievment".

...anyway, I'm just writing this to say it is possible to free yourself from this, but you must find something to fill the void the game leaves, and you must be willing to fail and try, try again.

I am also selling my desktop gamming machine.

I'm 32 and hoping to go back to school, I can't afford to get rehooked.
Posted by user8675309 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Balance is key in everything...
Coming from a partially reformed addict, i agree to a point but this is going a bit overboard.
I've spent way too much time in virtual worlds but it has fueled my passion for technology like nothing else could.

These worlds are the infant state of virtual reality, the reason those who indulge too much look stupid is because of primitive state of human interfaces with technology (like cave paintings, early cars and punch cards).

I know quite a few people who are quite social whose lives i certainly do not envy. The grass is always greener...

Play your games and don't feel guilty unless you let it rule you, but apply the same rule to every part of your life or you will find yourself in the same sinking boat again.
Posted by techbear (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Right on
Right on brotha'!
Balance, like anything.
Posted by NYC20Something (2 comments )
Link Flag
I Love World of Warcraft
Hi,

I am Timo from the netherlands, i bought world of warcraft the day that it was released, march 2005 (EU release). My hobby is definetly computer games, i played comptuer games since i was around 5 years old. Back then i didnt play much, but this increased due to discrimination (i am foreign). My parents didnt want to buy a computer, so i played at the babby sitter were i used to go 5 days a week.
In 2003 i sold absolutly everything i had, and i bought myself a high tech computer. I play a lot now, and i love it. On a working day i use the computer around 5-6 hours, in a saturday or sunday i use it around 11 hours. I say use cause i use the computer for gaming and some other interest like websites. Overal i spend 75% the above given numbers on gaming.
This is okay, i make free time for other activities. Like partying, socializing and working.
But then i bought World of Warcraft, it was released the day before a vacation. I acctualy didnt went to school that day. I was the first to bought it, right after the store opened. I installed it but it didnt work. Blizzard ****** up, after a year of beta testing and the release in the US they still managed to overlook there server capicitie. So i waited, checking the news, trying to register etc. I waited till 6:00 AM the next morning, thats when it started working again. A new problem raised, the box said it had a free month. They didnt say you needed a valid Credit Card to activate. Here in Europe Credit Cards are not comman payment options. I knew no one of my familie would give me there number so i could activate and pay Blizzard thruw a relative. I exactly knew what to do, insert a false Credit card Number, which i found on the internet. With this i activated.
That vacation i wasted completly. I woke up around 13:00,i ate my breakfast and then played untll dinner, 17:00, after that i took a shower and played until 4:00 AM. Day in Day out, and it was honestly the best time of my life (18 years old).
When i bought the game i made a promis with myself, i said: Timo, you play 90 days and no more.. The argument was that it cost 29 euros for 60 days, count the game with this and you got 100 euro. A normal new game cost around 65 euros. I dont like paying to much, so i didnt want to spend more than 100 euro total.
I fact i played 210 days.
I quit playing cause i saw how sick it was. I didnt care about my familie, school, job, business, girlfriends or anything else. World of Warcraft, the game i have been waiting for all my life. I considered around 2 weeks, and then i gave it up and deleted it... I even cried a little after that.

The fact is i am still adicted, it has been around 3 months since i last played. I still often search for pictures of the game, or listen to the World of Warcraft music. I want to play it again, but no, but yes... It has a hold on me, every day.

I dont know why its so adicted, i know its beauty (it realy is in the eyes of a real gamer).
I do know why it taked all your time.
You cant play for 1 hour, you hardly even started after 1 hour. A normal quest takes about an hour or two (depends), an dungeon can take up to 6 hours, NON STOP. Dungeons are the place to be for the best items and the best experience. They are most fun and chalending. They demand you form a team of 5 members. When you start a dungeon you have to finish it, you cant save it. You cant leave cause then you have to do it all over again and leave your teammates.
But it goes much further, you got to level your caracter (make him stronger) give him 2 job/proffesions. In fact you need to do everything what you need to do in real life.
So imagine that you started this, and its absolutly great... YOu just get sucked in, it replaces your life.
Now it is said that you can take the road between. Play only saturday or only during vacation. However if you do this, you wont be the same level as your 'friends', you will get levels behind, coming into an other world of warcraft generation. You have to keep up.
It's your seconde life, you have to maintain it.

I mis the game a lot, which is absolutly sick. I do go out and occasionaly have a date and/or girldfriend. I do have friends. But this all is in one of my life's.

This is the bitter truth, i am not the only one. I would like to get cured, if not i will play agian one day. Considering there will be a expansion coming out soon.
I love reading your posts, keep them up! maby ill find my cure among you.

ps: sorry me for my grammar, English is my seconde language.
Posted by TimoJasper (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
so true :)
i just wanted to reply to Timo and Wes's post. what they're saying so so true, it can really happen like that. i bought that game when it first came out in december in 2004 and played it all the way to feb 2006! i never knew i would ever play a single game for so long. but in WoW's defence, its a great game and i've had heeeeaps of fun and good memories and adventures from playing that game. the only problem is that like Timo said, you have to put so many hours into it (and you tend to put all your available time into it). i play with my real life friends and i know all of us play it almost every spare moment. for the past year, i dont think i've played another game.. and thats weird for me, cos normally i play all the good games that come out.. but now i hardly even know what these new games are.
anyways, i gotta go now, but its true we shouldn't blame blizzard or WoW, cos they're a great company that want to make good games, but if you're not careful, WoW can take over your life and your real life/relationships might suffer (i know mine did. when friends called me to go out.. my brain would think... errr.. i'd rather stay home and play WoW!).
and to Timo and Wes, thanks for writing those posts, and good luck to you guys :)
Posted by soujiro_zero (1 comment )
Link Flag
Class Action?
Has anyone ever suggested a class action lawsuit against the gaming companies that purposefully create these addictive games?
Posted by WhoDoYouCall (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
class action - let's do it
I'm totally with you if you want to start a class action lawsuit. I bet we can find a pro bono attorney to handle it. Maybe one who was involved in the tobacco settlement.
Posted by lhr1616 (3 comments )
Link Flag
let's do it
Count me in
Posted by lhr1616 (3 comments )
Link Flag
you are a moron
you are a moron for even thinking about a class action lawsuit. its your own damn fault that your kids are playing this game, man-up and take resposability for your actions, maybe do some research on these games before you buy them dont just take the american way out and sue the company's pants off. i am so sick of people getting lawyers to do the dirty work, my parents are lawyers and i dont get so see them untill 10:00 at night because of you ass-hats suing people left and right. go to hell
Posted by kpoluk (3 comments )
Link Flag
Count me in I think its a great idea.
Posted by lenor1 (2 comments )
Link Flag
Closed Doors and Computer Screens
I do not know why people get addicted to video games.
However, I do know that several of my friends play World of Warcraft as much as I do; which can be as many as twelve to eighteen hours daily, any and all times of day.
"Warcrack," as it is sometimes called, gives me meaning. It gives me instant friendships, glory, discovery, excitement, and danger.
That instantaneousness quickly dissolves, leaving an empty hole. The solutions? You can seek more time-consuming methods of real fulfillment or move on to better items, bigger guilds, more money, stronger skills. However, the more steeped you get in the game, the harder it is to revive the social life, the school grades, the artistic talents, the real-life skills.
Loving Friends, Family, etc.; You are possibly the only ones who can confront the one you care about. Remind them constantly, because their 'friends' in the World of Warcraft try their best to encircle themselves with people similarly sucked in. Discuss it while they're playing. Be a fool for a moment, feel disrespected just a little while, to save a person who sits at a screen being a fool for hours on end.
Our eyes are on the screen, but if you love us, we will listen.

--WoW gamer, battling with addiction--
Posted by UST (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
World of Warcraft
My 19 year old is hooked on this game! We don't allow it in our house, so he goes down the street to his friends house. He is failing his first semester at college, and doesn't seem to care. His friend lives with his grandparents and they stated that the boys had played 24 hours straight at one point. I finally got fed up and gave him one week to get a job, or 2 weeks to find a new place to live.
Posted by Midgystinner (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Get a Life People (and self control)
I just got WarCraft because I had a $100.00 credit at Dell.I'm not a gamer per se, I own ONE other game, (Unreal Tournament 2004..which I bought when I was living in a small village in Europe bored to tears..no tv, no radio, just my laptop and oddly a fast internet connection.)
Anyway, now that I am back in the US, specifically NYC, I installed this game.
I must admit, it's a lot of fun....fun, addicting, hardly. Wanna talk addicitons? HA! Well, being in entertainment public relations and such, I am/was used to going to a lot of events, parties etc Trust me, there are a lot of OTHER things out there that are actually addictive (I don't need to elaborate).
Now, being 26, Im pretty much over frying my brain let alone letting something silly control my life.
I was taught the lesson, everything you say or do has a direct consequence on your well being. I OWN my apartment, a dog, got a fantastic job, and could not imagine throwing it away for some silly game (or anything else for the matter!?)
Yes I played this past weekend for like 4 hours, big deal, it was Sunday afternoon and I wanted to. Do I want to play again, sure? I also want a large extra cheese pizza almost daily, (sounds good right now)does this mean I am addicted to food now? Will I order it, no, I quite like having a nice body.
My point being, if it wasn't good or fun (or delicious), people wouldn't want to do it again, that doesn't constitute an addiction.
Get a life, it's a game. If you don't have the back bone to set rules for yourself, then you're obviously not a mature adult, seek therapy, its generally covered under insurance. For the parents out there, shame on you. My parents had me involved in every activity imaginable when I was young (acting, swimming, soccer, youth group, music, modeling, gardening, language lessons, etc). or they would give me their own homework (ex. collect the following items outdoors and write a report on each). Parents who lose control of their kids are lame and should be punished by law, or should be voluntarily committed into a rehab program where they learn to be mature parents. You lay you pay people, so you shoot out a youngster into this world expect, at the very least, to be a good example, not some sorry excuse, whining on a CNET forum.
So no, WOW is not addictive. End Discussion.
Posted by NYC20Something (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
congratulations
on being the most close minded person i have ever met
Posted by Djorn (2 comments )
Link Flag
What an ass
Good job you. Now enter the real world - just about anything can become an addiction and for a lot of people WOW is one. You call it a silly game, so do I. But my husband prefers that silly game to reality so it's not silly for him. You're not even worth my time, so I'm done. How nice for you that your parents were involved in your life and had the money and time to get you involved in so many activities.
Posted by frustratedwife (1 comment )
Link Flag
My Computer Addiction Story
You know everything that x-gamers have experienced, i can relate to. Here's my story:

I first got into games when I was young, about 10 years old or younger. I wasn't really addicted until I started playing RPG's (role-playing games) like Diablo. If I were to list the most addicting/damaging games in my experience:

Diablo 2, Counterstrike, Warcraft 3, Civilization, Starcraft.

I was seriously addicted throughout high school for months at a time, where'd I'd be tired, have no social motivation, and wake up late and skip classes. I started out with a 3.8 GPA freshman year and then it all went downhill. Luckily I am bright and pulled off a 3.3 cumulative, but I was a gaming addict. No girlfriend or socials in high school for me, I just ignored my reality and made my own. I'm starting to understand how computer games can be harmful.

Diablo 2: Getting experience and leveling up and getting better items and skills to get the best character. It's all about hierarchy and a feeling of accomplishment.

Warcraft 3: Being accepted into clans and gaining levels for your account so you could be highest in the overall rankings.

Counterstrike: Getting into clan recruitments was a sense of accopmlishment and also having the most kills to deaths ratio was the goal.

Civilization: Your empire is built and has to dominate the other empires. Taking over a civiilzation was a feeling of power.

Starcraft: This also had clan tags and was an army pitted against an army. You had a record so wins/losses was important in this game.

Throughout these games I had a lot of feelings of accomplishment, even though they were all fake, that was my reality. I played games to be the best. I played more to learn how to be the best. Yes, the feeling of power and status is euphoric, but at the same time I know I'm killing myself. My family doesn't know how to help me, my schoolwork is late.
I only cured computer gaming once. For a period of three months I had a full-feeling of self-control. I started a work-out routine and wrote down my goals on paper and wrote down things that would distract me from my goals, computer games being one of them. During that time, I buffed up and had two really hot blondes attracted to me. I wasn't very experienced thanx to computer games so I didn't really get anywhere with them, but it was the best accomplishment of my life with girls and with my body.

It's an escape from reality. It's a sense of power, but it's hollow. I'm going to write my goals down again and I will never play games again to alter my emotions.

EVER
Posted by xxxstaticxxx (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I would like to interview you for my article
I am writing an article about gaming addiction and college students. I would love to interview you for my article, which will appear on Columbia News Service, a wire service for national newspapers. I think a lot of people could learn from your story. You can reach me at rlb2133@columbia.edu
Posted by rachelwriter (1 comment )
Link Flag
Phone interview?
I'd like to get in contact with you if at all possible. I'm currently writing a research paper on computer addiction. If you're available, please email me at adambesheer@yahoo.com

Thanks!
Posted by besheab (3 comments )
Link Flag
My son got hooked on warcraft
My son of 15 was a 3.5 gpa student, popular, involved in outside activities and World of Warcraft ruined his life. I hope we can get him back. He got the game with some money that he got for his birthday and he really liked the game a lot. He played it at every opportunity, and I must admit that seeing the game I thought it looked pretty neat. After a couple of months went by, we figured that he would get bored with it, but it never happened. Instead we found him sleeping at the computer one morning after playing all night. His grades suffered terribly. He would sneak to the computer while we were sleeping and play . He also skipped school to play and by sheer luck we caught him doing this on more than one occasion. His current aspirations are to quit school (He is currently failing several classes) as soon as possible, get whatever job he can and play warcraft. What a waste of a life that would be. He is rude to everyone. He resented us restricting the time that he was allowed to play. He doesn't care about school, or his future, or a social life, or contributing to society. Today we cancelled his account. PARENTS: DO NOT LET YOUR KIDS NEAR THIS GAME!
Posted by hankdad (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
My online gaming experience
I am a 16 year old boy and i started playing the game World of Warcraft about a year ago. I have been reading things about video game addiction recently because my parents restricted my time on the game. I would play from when i got home to the time i went to bed and almost all day on weekends. One night i got on the game and my parent came home and said we need to talk. They said i could not play the game more than 2 hours a day. I got on the internet to do some research and found that what was happening to other people had not happened to me. My parents are thinking that my social life is drowning, my life with the family is falling apart, and my grades are getting terrible. None of this is true for, from what i have learned, most 16 year olds dont have really great family life, i have not had a good social life EVER and since i started playing wow would have to say its gotten better. And my grades have recently declined slightly but when i quit playing the game for a month... nothing changed. The night before they restricted my time we had gotten in and argument where i said things that i did not mean at all, such as, i might as well drop out of high school, i dont care about the rest of my life. these are just things that come out of a 16 year olds mouth and cannot be controlled. But my life before i got the game was dull, boring, and hopeless. this game gave me tons of fun because there is so much to do and i do not think it has taken over my life. I am just commenting because i think world of warcraft has improved my skills more than decreased them and that i am mad because my parents took the game away from me just because they BELIEVE EVERYTHING that is told to them from other ppl.
Posted by djp333 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Our son is hooked on warcraft
I was just responding to your story about your son, who had all of the same symtoms of ours after indulging in Warcraft. I read your article and noticed you cancelled his account back in December and wondered how your son is doing? We are at a loss as to what to do and would like to know if pulling the account has worked for others. We hear pros and cons and want to do the right thing without causing further problems. Did it help to cancel the account? Did that create further problems? How is your son doing now? Thanks for your response!
Posted by delfinos (2 comments )
Link Flag
Advice from an ex-addict
I'm 20, in college, and have always had an easy tiem with class and friends, etc. Every now and then my friends and I get into a new game -- HALO, Diablo II, Anarchy Online, HALO 2, World of Warcraft -- these games, playable online, give us an opportunity to engage in something we (especially at this age) enjoy doing together with a global community.

However, the spread of MMORPG's (massively-multioplayer online role playing games) is introducing a new factor into our gaming habits -- where before in a game like Diablo or HALO where there was SOME time element involved, but mainly more skill and reflex, games like World of Warcraft are EXTREMELY time-intensive. Your progress in the game is not determined by how well you learn, or how your skills improve, but by how much time you are willing/able to commit to the game.

I played World of Warcraft for three or four months, and in that time I lost so much of my physical fitness, dedication to school, musical prowess, and social life, that looking back on it now it makes me feel ashamed and embarrassed to have so willingly signed so much of my life off to something so hollow as a video game.

World of Warcraft is NOT a game you can 'get your fill' of. It's a game in which the more you play, and the more advanced you get, the MORE time you must spend repeatedly searching for better and rarer items, repeatedly engaging in the online player-vs-player battlegrounds, etc. in order to simply maintain your status, let alone improve it.

My advice to you is this -- you've got to find a way to make him realize that he's better off in another game because EVENTUALLY he's going to see that all the time he spent in World of Warcraft was a waste, OR just find a way to gain access to his account.

Get on his account, learn enough about the game to be able to manage his character and items, and DELETE THEM. It's a terribly nightmarish feeling to discover your months of play are wasted when a character is deleted or lost, but it's probably a necessary evil for your son. Unless he loses the object of his obsession (the character or characters he's been working on for so long), he'll continue to be drawn to play more and more.

It sounds like a drastic measure, but this game really is more powerful than alcohol, or sex, or sports, or whatever. It consumes your every waking moment, literally. You go through class only to be able to play later with a clear conscience, and all during your school and social time, you find yourself continually returning in your mind to thoughts of the game.

Do your son a favor and find a way to get on his account and delete his character. It's probably the only real way to help him shake the addiction.
Posted by BaileyZumaltRose (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Watch out
Your parents have made observations about your life and your grades. They are doing this because they love you and care about you, not because they don't want you enjoy what you are doing. It sounds like all you do is Warcraft with the exception of going to school and it sounds like lately, warcraft has become more important to you than school. The only reason that your grades could fall would be from not studying and or doing homework. I imagine that if you spent two hours a day on schoolwork your grades would improve. It sounds to me like you are addicted to the game. School will provide real opportunity in your life, whereas warcraft will take you nowhere. You also have no social life by playing warcraft, the chat window is not social life. Join a sport or a club, volunteer, meet people, have relationships, you'll feel good, you'll benefit society and yourself. Do something real with your life! Get off the game.
Posted by hankdad (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Video Gaming Addiction: Thoughts and Experiences of a Self-Proclaimed Video
Let me start by saying that I hear all of you people who think the concept of video game addiction is ridiculous. To people who are genuinely casual gamers, nothing on this subject would make sense. I would not know what percentage of people who play games are casual gamers, but I suspect it is the vast majority. I envy all of you. Most of my friends in real life are just that. They play a game for one week at most, then move on with all the other great experiences and responsibilities life offers and demands. Then 6 months will go by until they pick-up another game, play for a week and get tired of it. I, however, am always reading to catch-up on the newest games, always looking for that new perfect game that will be released in a couple of months, the one that will be the greatest gaming experience ever. I trick myself into thinking that after that last great game, I can happily retire from video gaming. And the years keep passing me by. If you are a casual gamer good for you, just do not dismiss us as merely people with poor self control. Agreed, all of us addicts have poor self control. But there are such things like addictive substances and experiences.

Game addiction is real, but it seems that it is still generally not taken seriously by the scientific community. Just like other addictions, video games seem to affect only part of the population that engages on them. Not everybody who drinks is an alcoholic, but a few of them are. My estimation is that video games are not perceived as an addiction because no chemical substances enter the body during a gaming session. Unlike tobacco, alcohol, and medicated or illegal drugs. But the public is slowly catching on, and countries like China and Korea that have begun to see the ill effects of gaming addiction have begun to legislate on playtime. Sadly, it will take a couple more tragic incidents like the handful of exhaustion and parental neglect deaths in Asia to get local governments of other countries to act as well. For all of you non-believers of gaming addiction, it would be best for you to compare gaming addiction to gambling addiction. The experience itself is the source of the addiction, no external chemicals are required. Another example of an addictive experience is sex, though I know many of you will not agree with me on this. People also get addicted to stealing, and adrenaline-pumping activities for example. Im confident that if you do a little research you can validate these claims. Still, I feel the best parallel that can be drawn with video gaming addiction is compulsive gambling. So you non-believers can replace the phrase gaming addiction with compulsive gambling and read on. Who knows? You just might learn something.

I am a 28 year old engineer. Im an addict if there ever was one. However Im somewhat happy to report that gaming has not destroyed my life, it has only made it less social, more empty, and made me a less caring person. For example I do not visit my grandfather who lives next door, who will likely depart this earth on the next couple of years, and yet I have the time to spend 3 hours a day gaming. This is a very rough estimate, my gaming time varies a lot, when I get a great new game I can spend as long as 5 or 6 hours a day for a couple of days. Now in my case I have never sacrificed my essential responsibilities like school and work, but I have always sacrificed quality time with friends and family for staring into an illusion on the TV or PC monitor. I just get the basic responsibilities done, but nobody but my girlfriend can ever get any quality time with me.

I have been struggling with this addiction since I was a kid. I began with the Atari 2600 (around 1982). I remember how once when I was about 8 years old my mother had talked me into joining a basketball team. I was somewhat interested so I agreed. However when the day came for my first day of practice I was involved playing on my Atari and did not want to go to practice. My mother got mad, and proceeded to unplug my TV. I will be grateful all my life for that. After forcefully trying basketball I fell in love with it and I had many years of satisfying experiences a basketball player. I got to play at college level. I commend also my father who after seeing me waste so much time on the Atari forbade having a Nintendo (around 1986) in our home. He never allowed any video games in our home. But sadly the addiction had kicked in already and so I would stay all day in my friends house playing on their Nintendos. My dad told me from an early age that I was addicted to video games, and he has told me all his life. It was only about 3 years ago that I finally acknowledged that he was right.

I have stopped playing cold turkey a couple of times, selling my consoles, my PC and everything. And it is during those periods of my life that Ive had the most rewarding experiences with friends, flesh and bone friends, not digital ones. I remember during that time I avoided Electronics Boutique (a video game store) like the plague. And for any researcher out there interested in this topic let me explain how is it that I gradually get pulled in again to my gaming addiction. Through gaming websites and magazines. I start thinking: Well ok, reading information on games is not actually gaming& And it isnt, but I will inevitably read about this new game with the best graphics, or the best artificial intelligence etc, etc. And eventually I end up buying it and wasting many more months before arriving once more at the inevitable conclusion that I have wasted way to many ours on this stupid hobby and I have nothing to show for it! So parents, and people who are trying to break free of gaming, I advise that you not only through away you consoles, but also do not get into stores, and websites that are game related.

My story does not have a happy ending, but then it also is not as sad as many other stories of addicts. Let me also add that I have barely played Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. I have too much respect for gaming addiction and know that if I start I may get hooked to the point where this story would indeed be tragic. All that I have gone through is with just typical video games. From what Ive read MMORPGs are that much worse so I avoid them like I would a glass crack pipe. I am currently hooked on an Xbox 360, though Im past the initial intensive gaming part of the cycle for now. I am getting married in 6 months and I know my fiancée is not a big fan of video games. I also have my priorities straight in that I have not allowed video games to take away quality time from her as it had from my other girlfriends and family. I dont know how it will work with me and her and my Xbox under one roof, but Ill smash the damn thing to pieces if my addiction gets out of control (like it did when Halo 2 came out, and now again when the 360 came out) and interferes with my married life.

So why do I claim to be addicted if video gaming has not had the more serious consequences in my life that it has had in other peoples life. Well because when I have one of those gaming fevers, I get home and start gaming before I change from my work clothes. I turn on the PC or console before I got to the bathroom, so that when I comeback it is booted up. I walk very fast, almost run, to the video game store when I read about a great game and decide to buy it. I open the game box and start reading the game manual while driving back home from the video game store (not a very safe thing to do, read and drive at the same time). I dont stop and converse with my family members in the living room as I walk quickly past them to get to my room and my beloved video games. I think about the games frequently while Im spending time with my girlfriend or at family events. I will decline many an invitation to do other stuff without giving it any real thought, just so I can play. Whenever I find myself with spare time available I go to my room and play video games, its a compulsion. I dont even allow myself the time to think what other fun stuff I could do instead of playing video games. It turns out that when I do make the rare decision to try something new, almost always I get more satisfaction out of it than isolating myself in a video game. But alas, even though Ive had much greater fulfilling experiences outside of video gaming I always come back to it. Its like the tobacco addict that does not now how to stand still, without a cigarette in his hand while socializing. And the people who always drink when they hangout, and cannot get accustomed to not feeling a beer in their hands while partying. I somehow just cant get myself to socialize without thinking, damn I could be playing Halo right now. Then after wasting way too much time on Halo I think: Damn, I could have watched a movie with my girlfriend, or mowed the lawn, etc. And so I keep falling into the same trap over and over and over. Again, the best way to describe it is that I play video games compulsively. I dont stop and think what other options I have available before I start to play. I just play for no reason, just as obese people eat for the sake of eating, not because they are hungry. And I get especially irritated when someone interrupts me while playing Halo 2 online or during a cutscene of any game because I cant just hit pause during those times. Ive also wasted countless hours looking for news on the release of a new game (Halo 2) or a new console (Xbox 360) on the internet. Checking 3 websites about 5 times daily to read news on video games as they come out. That, my friends, is video game addiction. In fact I waste just as much time reading about video games as I do playing them. Luckily I have made some small progress and hopefully one day Ill be rid of this. I guess when I become a husband and father my priorities will change and I will not waste as much time in video games. I better.

To those gamers who have come forward and acknowledge your addiction I congratulate you. Keep fighting and dont give up! Ive been fighting for many years, with ups and downs, and I will continue to fight. I cant say Ive won the battle, but I have managed to keep myself grounded in the real world, which is more than many video gamers can say of themselves. Those gaming addicts who claim that gaming is not addictive are just using that argument to try and not feel as bad as they do. How can I be addicted something that is not addictive?, they justify to themselves. Playing video games is like watching movies, listening to music, or playing board games, it is harmless. To them I say: You can fool anybody but yourself. You can argue all you want and still that feeling of emptiness and guilt will be there after you finish that long gaming session and realize you just missed that night out with some friends, or failed to study as you should have for that test. Im sorry you have to go through that guilt and remorse again, and again, and again. Just because you claim you can stop playing whenever you want.
Posted by Pipisongo (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
This may be hard for you parents to take
But some of you are being very immature. Saying that you should not let your child near this game is ridicolous.

It has many plus points, philosiphically and intellectually and even historically if you look deep enough.

Im sorry for insulting you. Yes, this game *can* be addditcing. Im not denying that.

If you don't know whether or not you should let them play this game, you don't know them well enough. As a son myself, get to know them, by forgetting your a parent. Talk to them as if an acquataince, you dont have to like everything about them, as hard as that sounds. Its hard to put your hurt aside, this is so hard to explain. Its like.. when somebody is so eager to talk to you, its human instinct to reject them.
Posted by Djorn (2 comments )
Link Flag
Understand: I'm not saying "Get Jesus, you heathen $%", but any system that is already thoroughly in place for other types of addicts have a step that is getting you involved in a higher power than yourself, and some form of prayer. There is a lot that you can do for yourself, but sometimes you need an outside of yourself "butt prodding".
Posted by DragonSlaveII (1 comment )
Link Flag
VGA
Are there support groups for people like you and me? I have tried many times in vain to stop this habit, but time and again I find that I do not know what else to do with myself. It makes me sick to my stomach. Is there help out there? A video games anonymous or something?

- Matt
Posted by matthew206 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
If you're really sick
Determine what you hate about the game. Recognize the damage it's done to you, and what it continues to do to you. Form an understanding that you can't have it both ways, and that you have to pick between the game, and the things that the game takes away from you. I hope you don't pick the game. And towards that goal:
Tell your friends and trusted ones how you feel about it and ask them for help in keeping you away from it. Then get rid of the game by any means possible. Toss it, burn it, sell it, etc. DON'T just shelve it and try to forget about it. Get as far away from it as possible. Then do something else to fill the time. Read. Play basketball. Learn to dance. Whatever. Stay true to the people you've talked to, and don't hide anything. Then you'll make progress.
-Jason
Posted by 206538395198018178908092208948 (141 comments )
Link Flag
Parents and their Flame bait bullshit
Every armchair lawyer is going to talk about suing "company X" for creating an addictive online game.

I play EQ2, have played (addictively EQ1, and Lineage2) I also probably play eq2 addictively. Addiction is a relative term. The fact that I play anywhere from 1 - 6 hours a day, unless I am bored ******** with the game and decide to go try and bang some chicks, could be considered addictive.

I am a drug addict though, I have shot speed, snorted cocaine, shot heroin taken pills, and done probably every drug under the sun. I was homeless, jobless, unemployable and a complete ******* worthless ******* criminal.

Drug and video game addiction are the same.

My mother tried to control my drug addiction, you know what I did? I went even crazier. Her trying to control my drug use (rather than sending my ass to jail or kicking me out of the house) resulted in me participating in even more illegal activities to gain periods of time when I could use.

They will do the same thing with video games.

Addiction is addiction is addiction is addiction.

Get it through your ******* heads. Heroin addiction is the exact same thing as WoW, EQ2, EQ1, Weed, Alcohol, Cocaine, Sex, Food, Love addiction.

Parents with stupid ass pride are what is killing kids. They don't want to address the problem as it should be. IT IS JUST AS SERIOUS AS DRUG ADDICTION.

Like I said before. Addiction is addiction. No matter the vehicle for the escape. I play the **** out of EQ2. I go out with my friends still, hung out with them on christmas, will hang out with them on New Years and we all go out to dinner every week (or there about). Going out with your friends still, or being willing to go downtown and try and **** some girls/guys (whatever your preference is) doesn't mean that you aren't addicted. Being social still doesn't mean you are not addicted. Addiction is about getting that first, and most awesome high back. I played EQ1, got cracked out on it and now I play damn near every MMO on the market, except I just cancelled my Lineage 2 account to play CoH CoV and EQ2.

Addiction is this:

Being obsessed with the procurement, ingestion and
resupplying of the substance, video game, vagina, food, candy, etc for the next use.


FACTS for the people who think this **** has some miracle tonic, snake oil-assed cure.

1: Addiction has very little to do with the substance used. Whether it is a piece of software, or a $20 paper of heroin. The symptoms are the same.

2: There is no "control". No amount of will power takes you away from addiction. What makes the disease go into remission is the addressing to the
triggers for the symptoms i.e. boredom, sadness etc

3: THERE IS NO ******* CURE IDIOTS! Taking away the game machine will NOT cure your child. Nothing will, that is not a statement of hopelessness though. What will help your child is limiting their use, take them out. When is the last time you engaged your child with something fun as hell?
Let me say it again. THERE IS NO ******* CURE! If I go out and shoot speed today, my life is ******, period. I have been clean for 5 years and I STILL THINK ABOUT GETTING HIGH! Just like a WoW player thinks about playing WoW. SAME ******* THING.

You can take the game away now, but watch, he/she will hit college, and "check out" the newest mmorpg. You can bet your ass they are going to play that ****. Even though Mommy/Daddy chose to pull the plug when they were a teen.

What also helps is making those ******* get jobs.
It helped me.

If you are offended by the language I don't give a ****. I see a lot of parents speculating and giving their armchair-assed psycho babble ******* two-cents worth, but not actually saying anything of redeeming value because rather than addressing the issue for what it is ******* DRUG ADDICTION they want to hold on to that stupid ass ******* pride that will do more harm than good.

Maybe you think this is extreme, I have been on both sides. Like I said, I am a drug addict, I am also a ******* video game addict to the nth degree. I think about video games at work haha. The symptoms are the same. The disease is the same.

It is your responsibility to treat them as addicts. They need help. Don't just pull the plug and let them be idle. Get off your lazy ******* ass and take them somewhere stimulating, get them interested in 16th century painters, 1920's authors. Addicts need lots of stimulation, they are smart people. Being bored as an addict is the most horrid state you can be in.

Stop blabbering this class action lawsuit ****. You don't deserve money for a problem that you are contributing to. Game companies make addictive games to make money you dolts. Not because they have some ******* vendetta against the children/teens/adults of the world. What you need to do it introduce them to stuff that is interesting.

If any of this pisses you off, well eat **** because it probably applies to you.

What works for me (I still play EQ2 and CoH and CoV).

1: I work my ass off at work (I am a 25 year old male). Work gets my mind in to something fascinating. I am a database engineer by trade.

2: Knowing when to say "Jarrod stop worshipping the computer crack pipe and go try and get with some chicks". Typically this is every Friday and Saturday night haha.

3: Recognizing that I am a ******* dope (video game) fiend and I have no control over my disease. Seriously, this sounds like ******** but it is the absolute truth. Addressing the problem through admittance is the best way to approach it. This is not a cure however. I also don't give a damn if you can't accept that it is a disease. It is. Addiction is a disease period. Chronic, incurable and sometimes fatal.

Where the challenge lies with children is that some do not know what they feel passionately about. I do, I am older. I am very passionate about drug addicts and their civil rights as well as their constitutional rights. If the child/teen/adult has less awareness of their passions they need someone to introduce them to new things.

If they do know their passions, well, you have a true blue addict on your hands. Addicts are willing to give up ANYTHING to feed the monkey.
It is your responsibility to help them, and their responsibility to allow themselves to be helped.
If they don't want help, well, no help can be given.

Offensive? Crass? Kiss my ass. Help your ******* kids by loving them, and supporting them with this problem. Not by smashing their computer and grounding them. Introduce them to video game programming, maybe this will interest them. It did me.

Jarrod
Posted by noige (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Truth be told
Right on the money!
Posted by hankdad (5 comments )
Link Flag
So true. I wish all the parents that think that deleting the game will cure the addiction would think like you. The best thing a game can have is an ending then you will have to quit it.
Posted by Fedorov (2 comments )
Link Flag
 

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