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.

Monday, February 07, 2005

"My husband is currently playing Warcraft and previously played UO. I read what you wrote about your boyfriend and wanted to cry. I go through this everyday. My husband is on his game from the time he gets home from work, til the time he goes to bed, which can be anywhere from 2am to 4am, even if he has to get up for work the next day at 5 or 5:30am. I almost always go to bed alone and see more of the back of his head than I do his face. We used to watch a few select TV shows during the week, now he can't even spare an hour off the game to do that with me. I usually get home around 6pm and when I fix dinner, he'll either shovel it all down in 5 minutes and go back to the game or he will sit at his computer and eat. If I try to talk to him or tell him something, especially about how I feel about being ignored and being lonely, I get ignored or worse, get yelled at, becasue he lost his concentration and something bad happend to his character. The other problem, is that he is in the construction business and gets laid off every few months, and when he does, he plays online to compensate for not feeling a sence of worth from working and to deal with his depression of not working. Developing a charater and making them succeed gives him a feeling of accomplishment. However, since he's so addicted to the game, he can't seem to make the effort to get a side job or a part time job during the times he has no regular work, becasue he'd rather play his game. This leaves the burdon of supporting us to me. No matter how many times I've shown him our finances on paper and show him that we may lose our truck, it doesn't seem to have an impact.

I knew when I married him that life wouldn't be a piece of cake all the time, due to his line of work and I knew that he played online games. I made the choice to marry him, because I know and have seen that he can be a great person. He does do some sweet things on occasion (of course sometimes I don't respond as cheerfully as I should, becsaue I'm just so mad about being ignored for so long). There are sometimes that I can get him out of the house and see the wonderful man he can be.... However, these things have to be pre- planned well in advance. If it's something spontaneous, he makes some excuses why we can't go and we don't or I go alone and of course, it's becasue he can't leave his life-line...the computer. I keep trying to get my husband involved in our real life, but it just seems like these games are a higher priority than me, our marriage and our future."

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an online game addict just like your husband, so let me give you some advice from the other side of the fence:

Read the AA materials on the Web and replace alcohol with games and it's all the same. Don't let the technology fool you, this is plain old addiction.

Stop being an enabler. When he won't go somewhere with you and your friends, tell them it's because he won't get off the online games. Make sure he knows you told them that. REFUSE TO LIE FOR HIM IN ANY MANNER. My first wake up call is when my wife told other people why I wouldn't come over (that I wasn't really sick), and I started to wonder why I felt shame.

Tell him if he doesn't start dealing with this addiction now, that you are going to look for someone else to spend your life with. That really got my attention when my wife told me that. Ever since then I have been motivated and I am slowly digging myself out.
somehow the thought of being a 50 year old man with nothing but a dog and an online game wasn't very attractive idea in my mind and made me suddenly feel very lonely. Also, it made me see the game with different eyes. For the first time it looked less important than before.

Go places on the weekends where there is no PC. Stay the night if you can. He'll resist with al his might and try every trick in the book. Accept no excuses and threaten divorce if he doesn't get in the car with you. He'll probably be playing the game while your doing all the work packing. That's what I used to do. Keep your expectations for the trip low and simple, but go. He will be miserable company on the first few trips, but if you do this over several weekends, he will get to be more pleasant and adjusted.

Remember this is not your job to cure this person. You just have to avoid directly helping him stay addicted (don't be an enabler) but be sweet as pie and supportive when he is fighting the urges and try to get off the PC. You want to support him when he is doing the right thing, VERY important.

This could fail and you're getting a divorce. But it has nothing to do with you. It just shows how deep the sickness runs.

Yes, I used the word sickness, because it is. But it's also treatable for a motivated person. Some people decide to deal with it, others sit back and let it destroy them. You want to be the supportive spouse that encourages healthy behavior and won't stand for anything less. Don't save up all your anger and let him have it once you get him alone. You wouldn't yell at someone for needing glasses would you? You CAN yell at someone for refusing to go GET glasses when they need it, though.

For me, I am taking things one day at a time. Right now, I just successfully stayed off World of Warcraft completely for a whole week. Frankly, I could have built a spacecraft by myself and landed on the moon easier. But, I screwed up this weekend. But, I started over and I am trying to repeat the no game week again. So far so good today.

They say there is no cure and once an addict always an addict. I believe them.

Best of luck, but remember tough love. If nothing changes after a while, you have a life that needs tending to, so brush him off and move on. He may be beyond help, but that's not your fault. This is a psychological addiction, but a very powerful one. I was very addicted to smoking (2 packs a day) and I even found smoking to be easier to quit than this. The world is so supportive of people to quit smoking and it helped me, but few people seem to think there is anything wrong with being addicted to games.

There is nothing wrong with the games themselves and many people can play with no troubles, except when they are in the hands of an addict like me. Then they are a tool of self destruction, period.

Feb 14, 2005, 3:19:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing I forgot to mention is that many of us gaming addicts are secretly hoping someone will give us a good reason to turn this junk off once and for all. Sort of like we want to be saved from it. But we can't seem to find the initial motivation within ourselves. I guess it takes a violent nudge in the right direction from someone you care about.

Losing your spouse is a great reason to quit. It was for me.

Feb 14, 2005, 5:05:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife let me game one hour a week. And that is what you have to do.

If he does not listen I'll send you a disk that will erase the harddrive.

Thanks, Jason

Feb 24, 2005, 12:17:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my god, except for the construction thing, this is my story too.

i guess i'm a little different though. i met him in an mmorpg, so i know exactly what he's going through. the difference is, i quit when Real Life got serious. he's still living in a virtual world. :(

Mar 6, 2005, 3:44:00 PM

 
Anonymous Britt said...

I'm living with a gaming addict, too. It used to bother me more than it does now.. i've developed a tolerance, and that is not healthy for the relationship. He works off and on throughout the week, but as soon as he gets home, he is on that game... World of Warcraft. Uggh... he'll stay on there from about 1:00 PM to 3:00 AM sometimes, with a couple trips upstairs for food or talk to someone, and reads a book in front of his computer when his character is flying somewhere. On emorning he stayed on it until 6:00 AM and I flew off the handle at him... he hasn't done it again. He probably does when i'm not here.

I just feel like i'm always competing with the game for his attention... why should the game and the internet take his attention over me? I offer friendship, sex, happiness, a LIFE... and he picks World of Warcraft. He proposed to me in June, and I said yes... but I will not marry a man knowing that I have to compete daily with a stupid online GAME for his love and attention. Its absoloutely ridiculous.

Aug 5, 2005, 10:38:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These stories are an absolute representation of my own life--except for the fact that I am the one in the relationship with the mmorpg addiction. A month after World of Warcraft was released I began my adventures into the world of Azeroth. At first it was casual fun, but it soon turned more serious.

...Where to begin...

After playing WoW for about two weeks, at an ever increasing amount of time each day, I decided that my current computer was less than desirable to run the game well. So, after scheming for about three days, I went behind my wife's back and purchased a brand new, state of the art computer, racking up thousands on our credit card bill just so I could have better graphics and less lag. When my wife found out she hit the roof and that computer has been a sore spot in our marriage since. It was at this time that I started exploring the different character types/races and changed my main to a human priest. While creating my character I chose female and customized her looks so she was quite attractive and thought of a pretty name. I told everyone that I wanted to play female because they always get free loot and help in-game. Personally though, and this is quite weird, I wanted a good looking girl on the screen to look at. I named her "Marion". Well, as time progressed I found that being a priest enabled many doors for me to be involved with guilds/groups and people talked to me in-game constantly asking me for help. This was extremely rewarding and made me feel needed and appreciated. I made several friends online (albeit I only knew their character alias) and for the next four months spent every available moment with them. I missed out on my newborn son growing when I was just a room away. When he began crawling I set him in the port a crib next to me in computer room, gave him crackers and bottles of milk, and completely ignored him for hours at a time. It got worse when I became unemployed and neglected to find a job to supplement my wife's income just so I could level up "Marion." And Marion had become more than just a character. She had become the woman of my dreams. Beautiful, funny, could kill dragons and everyone wanted her in their group. She was the opposite of me growing up: Shy, last to picked for sports, and kind of a slob. I began having dreams of her at night. At this point I realized something was dreadfully wrong, but I could not stop playing her. The climax came one early morning, after having stayed up for twenty hours playing world of warcraft. My wife needed a ride to work so I had to pull myself off the computer, load the kid in the car, and drive her there. Not more than a minute after we got in the car, drowsy and irritable for having to give up my game to take her to work, I blew up at her over a very innocent observation about my gameplay. A massive argument ensued and punches were thrown while driving downtown in a major city. My wife showed up at work with a large bruise on her cheekbone and I went home with several bruises on my shoulder. There was nothing to describe the horror I felt at having hit my wife because I was irritable for having stayed up playing WoW for too long. I called her and sobbed on the phone to her my apology and sent her flowers. Sitting on the couch, I realized WoW had taken control of me. So I called my wife, told her my plan, said I loved her and deleted WoW off my computer. I then broke my WoW cd's, threw away my manual, and swore it off forever.

But that didn't last long...

Two weeks went by and I called up blizzard tech support, told them my discs had been destroyed and wondered if they could send me new ones for free. They consented and a week later I was playing "Marion" again. What I should've done was delete "Marion" in the first place thereby giving me little incentive to go back. After all, she was the highest lvl I could go. A month later, after a long talk with my very understanding and wonderful wife, we decided I should delete marion and delete the game all together. My life is returning back to normal and, though I hate myself for missing the early months of my first childs life, I am enjoying it so much. Plus, I have come to realize that my "Reality" wife is someone I want to devote all my playtime to. Not some artists rendering of a woman that doesn't exist.

I will admit giving up WoW has been extremely hard. I think about it everyday and have weaned myself to checking the website only a couple times a week. I have tried other mmorpgs to play casually, after making rules of conduct for them with my family, but they just don't compare to the gameplay of WoW. (Those included Knights Online, FFXI, Everquest II, and IRTH online). Tonight, just before seeing this website, I half jokingly said to my wife that I could still load WoW back on the computer and start over. After reading these posts I think I will go to the computer room and break those WoW discs also.

I think it's about time I get addicted to the Role Playing Game I have right in front of me: "My Life." --And this one doesn't require a new computer :)

Sep 18, 2005, 1:26:00 AM

 
Anonymous Kaat said...

I'm also an addict, I only get of Goonzu for doing stuff like school, sleeping, jogging and going to the gym, I play other games some times, but whenever I'm away from my friends there I feel lonley, I don't really like the game, I'm there for the friends, I get along so well with everyne there, people say I'm cute when I'm talking to them, (I'm doing my best to charm them) but this makes me forget the fact that I have real friends, maybe I'm still just sitting in front of the computer, I'm not as bad as many of these cases, I can talk while gaming, but I still sits in front of the computer playing whenever I have internet. This game makes me depressed, I used to be happy, but now I'm thinking of suicide, Icries without reasons, I can't say why this happens, I feel happy when I'm talking to people, but still I have a constant urge to cry. Why am I crying? Why am I thinking of suicide? No answer, I talk to someone to unleash my feelings, it makes me happier, but where does I meet her? In game! How do I talk to her? In game! Without her I'm not sure what I would have done, she tells me to go to bed after staying up all night, she tells me I should take breaks, I just wish other addicts could meet a person like her, she sure helps me a lot.
After I became an addict I have been doing less homework, (I didn't do much before) but to say that I have a control I have to announce that I am actually doing homework now. What? Doing homework now? I'm kidding, how can I do homework now? I'm reading and writing here, I'm not doing homework! Well actually I am, I'm going to talk about MMORPG addction, I will just say that I'm grateful that you shared your stories, maybe it's easier to get over my addiction too now, it also makes it easier to do my homework, now it's time for me to jog to keep healthy and I will just say thanks and good luck with your addiction problems, I hope you all get your problems under control

Jun 2, 2007, 1:44:00 PM

 
Blogger J said...

Hi kaat,

I used to game a lot, too, and I relied a lot on my online friends in EQ for company and friendship, so whenever I was off, I felt lonely. But you know what? I've learned to not be afraid of being alone and now enjoy spending time doing some things by myself, and this in turn has made me also appreciate my real-life friends more I can go for a walk or share a meal with them, something I like to do. Good luck with your life and keep working on doing good things for yourself, the rest will come naturally.

Jun 19, 2007, 7:37:00 AM

 
Anonymous Sarah said...

Right now, I can't stop myself from crying. My husband has been addicted to online games for years, but not badly, it was tolerable, until about 3 weeks ago when someone told him about runescape.

I now only see the back of his head. He has no job right now, we have our first baby on the way. I'm only 7 weeks pregnant, and I feel so alone!

When he gets up in the morning, he gets right on the computer, if I tryto talk to him he gets mad at me, because he's trying to talk to his online buddies on the game, or he's trying to do an "important qwest. He stays on the game fro the time he gets up to sometimes the very next day, and all day that day as well.

I know he has an addiction, and I try to talk to hime, but he refuses to see it. I don't know what to do. We have been together for 9 years, and now I feel like I have have lost him forever, and were finnally pregnant. I don't know what to do. I love him so much, he used to be my best friend. I can't believe he'd rather spend his life with this internet game than me.

Sarah~

Jul 28, 2007, 8:41:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband is the same way as all of you are mentioning. He's addicted to it so much that he's been skipping work and that's all he does! He's going to end up losing his job because of it and when he does then I'm gone! I can't take it anymore and I'm at my wits end!! He's been addicted to this game for about 4 years and I've tolerated it as much as possible but I just can't anymore!!

I hope all of you work things out for your best!!

May 21, 2009, 11:33:00 AM

 

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