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.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

"My addict is not willing to admit he has a problem. I asked him Sunday to give me 24 hours without Everquest, so he played Playstation and Starcraft instead. I don't know how someone cannot go 24 hours without playing a computer game. It is truly beyond me. He even lies to me, his family and his friends about his computer game playing time. It is on 24 hours a day...after getting home from work around 9 PM, he is on playing until usually about 2 or 3 AM and then lets it play virtually for him while he sleeps and works."

Friday, January 14, 2005

A couple of articles I've recently unearthed:

From 2002: But in the end, they're still nothing more than video games

From 2002: Addiction and Gaming

From 2000: RPGPlanet | Editorials | Online Gaming Addiction

I guess the jury's been out and filing back one by one: The new popular MMOPRGs choice of obsessive gaming is ... ta da ... World of Warcraft. Some people still struggle to distribute their time "fairly" among several games (EQ2, EQ, WoW, DAOC, Lineage, CoH, SWG, AO, UO: the permutations are endless). It still remains to be seen if WoW will be indeed the online game to dominate all gamers' households. How will this affect the daily grinding? Some people have noted that there are less timesinks in this game than the old Everquest. And yet I see new people popping up reporting that they have partners who spend 11+ hours on WoW (and yes, I mean new MMOPRG players, not those simply traversing from EQ to WoW).

Thursday, January 13, 2005

"I have to agree, Evercrack is a problem. I play it myself. I don't have much of a life. My whole life is on the computer.

I usually bought new games coming out. I tried Ultima Online but there was too many players killing players. Then my boyfriend's coworker got us hooked into Everquest one. Now, I'm attempting to juggle Everquest two and World of Warcraft.

I didn't know much. You have to spend hours upon hours trying to level your character. Then you have the monthly fee. I think I know why they named it Everquest. Because you are always forever looking to the next time consuming quest. It's easy to get hooked when you're playing this. hard to get out of. so i can see why everyone names this evercrack. i'm just a newbie. the game is constructive. but maybe it's too easy to zone out real life."

An email sent to me, regarding World of Warcraft - "My husband of three years just got this game a month ago, it is his first online game. Today our son was five days old. He accused me of spoiling the baby and making the baby not want to interact with him because I hold the baby almost all the time. The sad truth is my husband spent 11 hours today playing his warcraft game. He did not interact with our sweet tiny baby because there were important quests waiting online."

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

"My EQA doesn't play EverQuest – it's World of Warcraft. We have been together for five years, and sort of live together....

Since WoW came out, every single weekend has been absorbed almost entirely by the game; plus he plays for anywhere from 3-8 hours on weeknights. He skipped a trip to see my family over Thanksgiving, just to play. (He told me he had projects around the house to work on, and I was surprised at how uncharacteristically cheerful he was about me leaving town. When I got home, and not a single house project had been touched, it didn't take many brain cells to figure out why he had so cheerfully bid me good-bye.) He did manage to tear himself away for a week over Christmas, but he was on the computer within 30 minutes of arriving home – despite it being after midnight, and having just spent 12 hours in the car. Yet he tells me – with a straight face – that he doesn't spend very much time playing the game!! I think he honestly believes this; and consequently, I think he must be completely out of touch with reality. Does he think that time stops when he's in the game?? Or does he think that a completely unproductive hobby absorbing 40-50 hours a week is normal? It really puzzles me.

I keep expecting him to get tired of it (it seems *really* dull to watch...over and over again, the same exact thing), but quite the opposite seems to be happening: over time, he's become *more* obsessed with it.

And me? I'd like to say that I've been handling this situation maturely, in a supportive manner that might encourage him to look at things from my perspective. But that would be a lie. I'm very, very angry. Every time I see him playing, I just boil over with anger all over again. He doesn't always notice when I'm there; but when he does and says hello, I just ignore him and do whatever I came in to do. It's stupid 5th grade behavior, and I fully admit that, but I just want him to understand - in some small way - how rejected I feel when he ignores me for hours and days on end. Of course, I understand that this just creates a spiral: the game has, no doubt, become his way of escaping from my moodiness and anger - which increases exponentially the longer he plays the game."

Sunday, January 09, 2005

So you think working for a computer game company would be all fun and games?

Working in the Computer Game Industry

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Here is a message that was sent to me via email just today (thank you!):

"For all of you who have problems with a loved one who is hooked on EQ, you should first of all understand that they do indeed have an addiction. No matter how many fights occur and threats made, it is doubtful to change the person's behavior. I can say this having been addicted to EQ for over two years. I count myself lucky to have been free from it for just as long. Although I have no training in these matters, my wife is a psychologist, and she has never disputed my use of the word ADDICTION to classify my feelings about EQ. I have had friends drop out of school and lose jobs because they couldn't stop playing EQ. As for myself, I have repeatedly dabbled with various addictive substances such as cocaine, methamphetamine, opium, hydrocodone, oxycodone, etc. None of these drugs came close to the feeling I got when my party's tank made a bad pull at the frenzied ghoul camp in Lower Guk, and I saved the day with a few stuns and mesmerizations. (Sadly, I still take pride in telling you that I performed this feat often). I know some people may not believe what I'm saying. It is, however, the truth. In fact, just recalling the memories gives me the shakes. Even after two years, I still feel the urge to log on. I still, from time to time, check on the latest releases and game updates. Here is a brief anecdote before I conclude. While at the early stages of my addiction I was playing EQ on a friday night when a certain young lady with whom I was intimately aquainted called and asked, "What are you doing?" I was in fact, at the Frenzy camp in lower Guk. I was not on some quest or raid or anything else like that. I was just doing the grind so I could get the flowing black silk sash for the third or fourth or fifth time. In spite of this fact, and the fact that I hadn't been laid in weeks, I said, "Nothing much," hung up the phone and turned it OFF. I then went back to my game. This was not a girlfriend or wife who bothered me about playing. This was a girl who wanted to get laid on a friday night, and I didn't even bother to make an excuse.
If someone seriously has a problem the only way I know to quit is to do what I did: 1. Uninstall the game 2. Cancel the account. I wish I could say this is enough, but since the accounts can be re-activated within 90 days or so, I cancelled my internet service provider.
Finally, find a replacement behavior to step in for some the EQ time. Freeks and geeks still need an escape. It almost certainly won't absorb as much time as the land of Norrath. (I would not recommend Medieval Total War as a methadone-like subsitute, but perhaps some lesser game like Age of Empires).

Now a message to all you obsessed addicts out there, which includes at least 60% of EQ gamers. Think about if you took half of the time, energy, and brainpower you currently devote to EQ, and used it to some productive means instead. My senior year in college rather than take my biochem final I played EQ. I'm now working on my PhD in biology and am respected by my collegues, professors, and students. Additionally I have the unconditional support of my wife, whom I fought with constantly when I played EQ. Quitting ain't easy, but if you were even half as bad as I was -you're probably worse and won't admit it - quitting IS worth it."

If you don't mind me asking - how long did you play Everquest / other MMOPRGs?

Monday, January 03, 2005

If you meet your mate (or decide to meet your mate) on here, don't go into the relationahip expecting much companionship. Don't expect much real-life loyalty. I have to admit, it's somewhat fascinating - I have not seen many other online dating sites that will have their members saying "I am looking for someone who will understand me" or "I work for my parents and I rarely leave the house". And probably with a record number saying that they are shy/quiet.

"I have to wonder if anyone in a relationship with EQ can function long enough to have a normal holiday. My boyfriend announced that he wanted to spend the holidays with me so I stayed home instead of going out of town like i'd planned to see family. Then two days ago he announced that he is making it an EverQuest Christmas and he's been on that damn pc for 6 hours already - which means i have about 8 more to go before i see him. he has also made it clear that he does not want to celebrate at all including presents. Apparently leaving the house to buy your gf a christmas present is far to much to ask from someone as important as he is in this freakin game. i got him something anyway - but i dont think im giving it to him - how can i when he's glued to his computer desk demanding the occasional mtn dew or snack. next time im going out of town i bet he wont even notice im gone."