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, March 28, 2005

Face it, there are reasons why someone chooses to play MMORPGs.

Everyone has different reasons, of course, and we often do not know exactly why and might never figure out all the whys, but to play for fun and relaxation seems reasonable.

Up to a point. When it becomes obsessive gaming, it doesn't take too long for the player or their loved ones to clue in that there a significant change has occured in the environment. Unfortunately, realization is not even half the battle required to re-surface back into reality.

Still, many might stop playing after several years, either because they realize the impact of their non-existence in reality or / and because they are frustrated by the games. Some will move over to a new game and resume the same fervor of playing. Some will simply stop.

Quitting is do-able but staying away from the obsessiveness is the really tough challenge. Have you ever wondered why?

"I have always been a bit antisocial - I don't feel comfortable interacting with people, and in the game, I had tons of friends and did a lot of chatting."

"I was always into D & D and reading fantasy / sci fi."

"Reality is boring and mundane."

"I can forget about my stresses and pressures when I play."

If you find yourself nodding with some of the above comments, chances are that you know your reasons for playing MMORPGs obsessively. Which will also likely be the reasons why you may be tempted to return to that state.

Here's the thing though: MMORPGs don't offer growth. I know it's easy to jump up and say "That's not true! I made friends from another country and learned about their culture". But really, if you think about it, what are you learning? How relevant to your own well-being is it, really?

I used to think that I was enriching my life and my intellect by engaging in interactions online and with people from all parts of the world. But guess what: You don't learn how to socially interact with people by being on an MMORPG. You don't learn how to have a good relationship. You don't learn about new cultures. You don't learn anything new about yourself. It's all pretend. The knowledge you acquire is neither as permanent as the knowledge gained from books and other sources nor is is applicable to anything outside of the narrow domain of MMORPGs.

Playing MMORPGs obsessively is not unlike the caged hamster running in its wheel - a futile attempt at mimicking the actual experiences. But unlike the hamster, you aren't being locked into a cage by external forces. You actually have a choice to open yourself up to new experiences in reality.

MMORPGS are basic simulations of reality. What is really keeping you from going after the real thing? I know the answer for me was fear.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to play EverQuest obsessively, and now I play EverQuest 2 just as obsessively. Since the game came out in November, I've managed to acknowledge my problem a couple of times and quit. But I can't stay away. The other day I started on my third go-round, and after installing the game again I found myself on for 13 hours straight. I stopped playing yet again when I was able to convince myself that the game is boring and repetitive, and that it's not really "fun". But why, then, do I still feel the constant urge to reinstall it yet again? I seriously think that not a single hour of my life goes by that I do not think about this game. I know I have a problem, and I have no idea what to do about it. I feel pathetic.

Mar 30, 2005, 7:22:00 PM

Anonymous social hermit said...

You make many very good points although I feel that the statements that mark a gaming obsession are a bit broad. You can agree with those but still play for a short amount of time. That being said, I completely understand what you are getting at and you worded it well otherwise.

I always stop by this site for 'reality checks' when it comes to gaming so that I never get too serious.

I don't play EQ, I play City of Heroes and I almost never go on Task Forces because they are simply too long.

Mar 30, 2005, 9:30:00 PM

Blogger J said...

To social hermit: Thanks. Hope you'll feel comfortable enough to comment whenever you feel like it or even contribute an article or two.. that goes for anyone.

To anonymous: Don't feel pathetic. Be proud of yourself for acknowledging the issue and trying to do something about it. Sometimes it takes a while before you find a solution that fits you best. The only advice I have is to not put yourself down and to focus on making yourself happy in this realm... the happier you are here, the less likely you will be tempted to immerse yourself into another world. We'll be here if you need any input.

Mar 31, 2005, 2:24:00 PM

Blogger J said...

Regarding "You make many very good points although I feel that the statements that mark a gaming obsession are a bit broad" (I wasn't reading it carefully enough, sorry).

I'm actually not implying that - I'm suggesting that anyone feeling that they may be playing obsessively may likely use one of the above statements to justify / reason they playing. Which doesn't imply the reverse. Hope that clarifies it :)

Apr 1, 2005, 3:07:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first time i played an mmo was lineage 2 it was very addictive and i managed to stop after 6months. I did the same things your husband done after work game, evenings game, weekends game. I wated 6 months for nothing and i realised it and thought what i acheived in the time absoloutly nothing. Now in my spare time i read more books, play the odd fps, go out more visit thr gym and stay away from mmo's they are a waste of time !

P.S sometimes if people have addictive personalities then they could be subsituting mmo's for cigarettes or alcohol ?

Apr 1, 2005, 3:12:00 PM


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