"I spent probably 3-4 years of my life addicted to that f*ing game, and another 2-3 before that addicted to UO. If UO were pot EQ would be heroin (and I am not saying that pot leads to heroin... please, lol, just an analogy).
I haven't read many of the posts here, so maybe there are already posts like this, but just to give you a little view from the other side of the trenches, as such. I think I was immersed in that game because I was unhappy with my life in a way. I have two kids ... and devoted the past 11+ years of my life to making sure that we had a good income, and my wife could pursue her school ... without worrying about having to work.
I'm a good programmer, but it's not what I would choose to do with my life, in retrospect, and somehow I think making that "sacrifice" is kind of how I made the even worse decision to "make it up to myself" by living in this extremely addictive fantasy world online. What probably made it worse is that noone really acknowledges that it is an addiction, unlike drugs or alcohol. It's "not really a problem" according to the mainstream opinions....
My wife never got upset with me. She is a wonderful person who I think acknowledged that there was some reason I needed to go through this period of my life, and knew that her bitching at me was only going to make things worse for us.
Anyway, I finally woke up and realized I needed to pursue my real dreams. I'm going to school, still working as a programmer, but now I know it's just a stepping stone. I want to go to med school ..., and I am so busy between work, back to intense exercise routine, family and school, that I barely have time to even think about EQ, and haven't for over a year.
I guess I should have started this post with "my name is ... and I'm an EQ-holic" lol. But just wanted to say that I think you are probably doing the right thing by talking about this, as I fully agree it is an addiction that can ruin relationships and families, like any other addiction.
I once again have purpose in my life, the way I used to before programming, and there is no need or desire whatsoever for an online RPG fantasy world."
And soon after...
"I remember I had a really f*ed up commute (which was part of my unhappiness and hence addiction) for about 18 months. Like minimum of 90 minutes one way given normal traffic conditions. I hate commuting worse than anything else, so this was miserable for me (I now live close enough to bike to work every day, regardless of weather, and I can't descibe how much happier of a person I am because of that small fact). Anyway, I would get home from work, log onto UO, and aside from a small break for dinner, would be playing (along with my programmer friends from work) literally until 3am sometimes, on a work night (and all night on weekends). Then up at 6 or 7 am to start the commute and same bullshit all over again. Looking back on it, if I had been applying that effort to just about anything besides a game, I probably would have invented something or created something by now that would merit the Nobel Peace Prize. LOL. It's no wonder that 16 semester hours of pre-med, 40 hours of work, family, and a really aggressive exercise schedule are easy for me now, after seeing how much energy I could put into a f*ing game for 7+ years of my life. If I don't take some of the positive experience from that whole thing, I get too depressed thinking about all the lost time."