It's 10 pm. Do you know where you and your loved ones are? Here is a collection of experiences from those who live / have lived with an obsessive MMOG gamer and from those who have lived the experience of obsessive MMOG gaming.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Well its been about 7 months since I left my husband. After a while the anger and hate is less but you still feel the hurt and pain. He wants me to come back, and to give him another chance but i feel so torn. I still dont trust him after him had that little fling, but he wants me to give him another chance. I dont know I just feel so torn apart. Its like I know I shouldnt go back. theres always that 'what if' you know... what if things go back to the way they were, what if he starts spending 10+ hours on the pc again,what if he... he meets someone else and decides to have a fling again, what if... I dont want to go through all that again, and I sure as hell dont want my son living in that kind of inviorment again. But I do want him to have a daddy. I dont know, I'm just rambling. Maybe I'm lonely, Maybe I miss him, maybe i just miss someone, I cant figure it out. anyways, I better call it a night. Anyone have any advice? I would love to hear it.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

"He gets home from work, starts playing, and generally doesn't get off until bed time. Any day off is an all-day gaming fests. He currently is getting up around 5am to play for a couple of hours before work.
I took a trip last week to see family and he stayed home because he had work, although he's only working 4 days a week right now. I asked him to do two things while I was gone: wash my car for me (the cars are supposed to be his responsibility always) and water my plants. He watered the plants once (he says...they were wilted when I got home), and did nothing to the car."

I don't really know what to say, I've read a lot of posts and i can relate to a lot of them. My husband was an eq addict, he introduced me to the game, I guess he was tired of me nagging him to get off the computer for a while... lol. so yes I started playing, and for a couple of months I was on most of the time, unless I was taking care of my son or the house, then I started to realize that I was slowly getting sucked in, I lost my friends, my family, my husband, I even forgot who I was. So I stopped playing. I wanted to be a family again, but I guess my husband at that point had other plans, he had met someone on the game. If he wasn't playing EQ then he was on the phone with her and so on... at first I blamed myself, I figured it was something about me. so I started trying... trying what? well I'd try to get him to get out of the house with me, go on family trips, even if its just to a store of for a walk. I even had to work hard to get him to sit at the dinner table with his son and I. but after a while I just gave up, I figured there was nothing I could do. He didn't want to get help, or got to a marriage consoler or any such thing. He said he was in love with this girl. So I told him I was leaving... and I did, It was very hard, I felt guilty for a while, I'm getting better I've been gone for three months.. I don't know why I'm saying all this, its the first time i get it out in the open and I guess I'm just trying to understand it myself as well.

Do I blame the game? Well I used to, but then I think its just a game, there are many people out there that can manage how long they play. Then there are some that lose track of time completely, I thought I was gonna become one of them

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Online Relationships... are they? Here is someone else's well-thought out opinion.

"My husband works full time and when he is at home he is on the computer. Sometimes he stays up all night when he works the next day if not playing the game then downloading videos reorganizing his files or just fooling around. Its almost like I have to schedule time with him two days beforehand if I want to do something. Because God only knows that if I make the suggestion mid-play time he gets unusually agitated for a man who is otherwise easy going and laid back. I have talked to him about it but he doesn't seem to understand. I'll never leave him for it or anything like that, I love him. But sometimes I wonder if my life will be like this for the next 50 years."

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

"I used to play Everquest to an obsessive extent. Not to the extent that I would skip work or sleep (actually, that's not 100%, for a while I would stay up until 4-5 am to participate in raids, only to find myself having to go to work at 9 am), but enough to isolate myself from my surroundings and the people I was close to. My ex was playing it, and I joined him out of curiousity and because I wanted to have a common hobby with him. The funny thing is that we ended up not playing together and not in the same guilds anyways - he helped me initially with items and levels but preferred playing with his group of friends who were all higher level than me. I was working on a project in another city at that time as well, so my weekly activities typically were as follows:

Monday - thursday: work in the other city (where I had no access to the game). Arriving back home on thursday night, where I would go to bed or sometimes even log in right away. Friday, saturday and sunday I was nonstop on the game alongside my ex, interrupted in between by obligatory family visits or seeing what was in the fridge.

When my project finished, I came back, and the playing increased even more so - logging in as soon as we went through the housedoor, playing on friday nights until 2 in the morning, then going to bed, waking up at 9 am and going right back in. Basic household chores got done occasionally but mostly during downtimes in the game (medding up, sitting waiting for a raid). Oddly enough I was the one doing more of the housework even while both of us were playing Everquest.

This continued on for a couple of years, and at some time I realized that I had absolutely nothing in common with the person playing next to me. We separated and I made the mistake of falling for another Everquest player. After a long-distance courtship that lasted about a year, he moved into my place while trying to find a job. Of course, even though he was looking for a job (which he only did sporadically; what he did everyday while I was working I have no clue), I ended up working full-time, cooking and keeping the place clean - and paying for his stay here other than his groceries and drinks. If he actually cooked (rarely) he acted as if he had done me a HUGE favour. There were some other very serious issues with him including alcoholism, verbal / emotional abuse and lots and lots of lies, but almost needless to say, I think I have learned my lesson about dating online and looking out for specific red flags.

I have stopped playing Everquest - the time required to put into this game to be somewhat 'successful' was too costly for me. I did not want to miss out on activities anymore, I wanted to meet with friends, I wanted to not feel bad about my figure and my health, and most of all, I wanted to do things I've never tried before. I doubt I will ever spent that much time playing in front of the computer again - it is a time-wasting activity that can be entertaining for a short while, but there are no long-term benefits. No personal growth, no accomplishments that you can look back on fondly, no advancement of any sort applicable to real life. Or at least nothing that cannot be accomplished in real life, with real people. Without ruining my own health or well-being.

I think some people learn over time, some people never will never wisen up. The only advice I have for people who find themselves in these situations is to trust your gut - don't give up hope in yourself and don't believe anyone trying to make you believe that you are supposed to be carrying their load."

Here's a link to an EQ player's experience of guilds. It is well-written and articulate and quite philosophical. Yet, while insightful and intelligent, it lacks a tad more, how this relates to real-life. People who act this way also often act cold toward the people in their real lives, yet it is barely mentioned. People who treat people online like family also often do this in exchange for treating family member not like family at all. A high-quality family guild still requires the members to spend countless hours in front of the computer "helping" their guildmates thereby choosing to spend time away from the real family members... kind of ironic, isn't it?