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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Here are three new ways how the Everquest franchise wishes to embed itself more into your life. The motivational factors being the usual suspects, money and time. I hope I am not the only one raising an eyebrow while reading. I just really dislike it when anything / anyone tries to monopolize my life and does it under the cover of the free choice or "rewards".

I just popped over to World of Warcraft and guess what? None of this creative merchandising and loyalty head-patting appears to be happening there. Could it be because this stuff has nothing to do with the game itself?

Once you're on (again), how easy is it to get off?

"Start your journey to MASSIVE Sony entertainment. Apply for the Sony Card now and start transforming your ordinary purchases into extraordinary Sony rewards. Plus, receive a 3-month EverQuest II subscription coupon via email after your first Sony Card purchase...."

Oh, add to that an addendum to /pizza that I just saw in a Feb issue of Wall Street Journal:

"Eventually, Sony says it will be able to put pizza orders and other transactions on the monthly bill EverQuest subscribers already pay; for now, people who order pizzas will need to punch in their credit-card numbers."

Veteran Rewards
"As part of EverQuest's 6th-Year Anniversary celebration, the game team is giving current EQ players** one special Veteran Reward for every year that you've been an active, paying EverQuest subscriber in good standing! This is very good news for six year vets! It means that you'll be getting six Veteran Rewards for up to six of your characters...

If you are a former EQ player, any active subscription time previously accrued on a paying account in good standing will be credited toward your veteran reward when you re-activate your paid subscription."

SOE FanFaire - now with improved registration fees! Classic (for only $120), Gold ($150) and Platinum ($175) Passes! Wow, and to think that 3 years ago registration was ONLY $80, and with no special priviledged access.

"my husband has been addicted to star wars galaxies since september of 2003. we had a baby ... and i thought that would change things but it hasnt. im really at my wits end. i tried to see if he could limit playing to twice during the week and one day on the weekends, which he agreed to (he assured me i overexaggerate his time spent playing) until he realized that took away a lot more time than he was willing to away from the game, so that lasteed one week. most recently ive been keeping a log of his hours playing (yesterday he played for 8 hours, and thats just when i was around, i try to stay out of the house a lot when he plays a lot) so i can show him how much he really does play. when hes not playing it seems hes checking the message boards about the game and posting about it. i hate being jilted for an online game and we fight about this on average once a week....he doesnt seem to care that we fight so much about it, or that i end up in tears over it regularly, he says its just his hobby and i have to live with it. is this resonating with anyone? also, i am a stay at home mom so i get lonely a lot and would like attention from him in the evenings when hes home from work. no dice though, he says he needs to unwind from work by playing his game. its driving me crazy!!"

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

An online entry from Clive Thompson called: An MMORPG on your back: My latest Slate gaming column. In the article itself, the subtitle says: "Finally, online role-playing games that won't destroy your life."

Is that true? Honestly, I cannot say as I have stopped buying and playing MMORPGs (even strategy games such as Evil Genius take too long for me these days...). I have read and posted stories of people whose partners are playing WoW and CoH obsessively enough, so I will have to leave the judging to you.

By the way: He links to a good Terra Nova entry about playing time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

"I foolishly bought my husband Everquest about 3 years ago. I also made sure he had 2 computers to run the game on and to chat with the other players in chat rooms on the other computer. I let him play as much as he wanted to and never asked that he try to limit his online game playing. 2 or 3 hour's a day turned into 5 or 6 hours a day and then to 15 to 20 hours per day on the weekends. I suffered in silence as our married life just fell by the way side, the last year and a half have been miserable with him either sleeping, working or playing Everquest. When Everquest 2 came out it just got worse and worse, He played in the basement and so i never really knew exactly what he was doing in and with the game. Well, i decided one night to go downstairs and see how he was since i had not seen or heard a sound out of him for over 10 hours. I get down there and he has a headset on and a microphone and his talking in realtime over Teamspeak to one of the players. I tell him i think that is taking it a little far, chat on line but forget the Teamspeak thing as he is devoting so much time to this game that he is like a zombie day in and day out, and seems like every week is treating more and more like I am inconveniencing him by even talking to him. I ask him to start limiting his time on this game, by now he is doing over 55 hours a week, he is going to work daily but falls asleep in chairs and even while eating.

I mention it and he says to stop nagging him. Well last month... i went downstairs and again found him with a headset on and a microphone. Talking in real time to his Everquest Wife. Did you know that players can Marry in this Game? That's just plain crazy. Turns out this Everquest wife and him have been married for over 6 months and not only playing the game but also caring on an affair in real life. As I stood there she was telling him to do something or another for her as she is being attacked by some monster in the game, I looked over at the 2nd pc screen and seen the pictures they had exchanged (naked) and that they had just finished having Skype sex. I told him to choose her or me right then and there. He told me that the game role playing got serious on a personal level when they decided to talk in real time, i guess talk about the game soon became talk about the characters having sex and they did in Everquest the Beta version and from there they were excited by each others character's, she was level 68, he was a level 69 and they fell in love with each others character and then each other (although they never met in real life) they were going to but i stopped it in time.

He said they had cyber sex, phone sex, Skype sex, and she even called him at work!! He said Everquest let him lead a life outside our marrage.I was so hurt i just died right then and there, no words can even describe the pain of a game allowing characters to Marry. They took the fantasy role playing up a notch and it was leading to our breakup. I asked him why are you doing this, get this, i mean really, get this stupid reply he gave me. "because you were not spending time with me" HELLO!!!! you were always either playing the game, sleeping or at work!"

"Hi. I'm what all you females and males talk about. He plays 50 hours a week. She plays 50 hours a week.

I'm the one that use to play 50 hours a week. I played everquest day in and day out since 2001. And what did it get me??? An ex-girlfriend, almost lost my career, almost put my life down the tube. Where my paychecks go, to everquest. When it should have gone to my ex and my child.

Well this is where it starts:

The year 2001 my girlfriend knew that I love video games, she bought me everquest. My cousin plays that game too. I joined him on his server.... We became the best in that server, had everything a gamer wanted. We had respect, loyalty and we were in the best guild (a formation of people that have loyalty amongst each other), Aduentus. We conquered Sleepers Tomb(a very hard boss). Had all the keys to zones(like having a key to the city). Me and my cousin were and he is still the best.... My life was still juggling and everything was going okay until Shadow of Luclin(an expansion to everquest) came out. My cousin and I moved to a different server a care bear server(Server where human players cant kill other human players).... In that server we went bonkers. We both created bards and everything became competitive amongst me and him. We both started playin almost 70 HOURS a week. I ended up marrying a female in game .... And to top it off my RL (real life) started to fall apart, but I was lvl 60 which was the highest at that time. But I was conquering it all. So was my cousin. We were in a guild ....One of the best guilds at that time. But for my real life it was falling apart. My best friend, my girlfriend all they can see was the back of my head majority of the time. My son was around, sad to say but I never spent time to myself. Always Work, EQ, sleep, EQ, Work. I always told myself my days off will go to my girlfriend and my son. NOPE raids(when a bunch of players get together to take out a monster) were on my day off. My real life was going down the toilet, but my eq life was on the peak! Moving ahead..... Then a great expansion came out Dungeons of Norrath. That was when my eq life picked up. I became a GoD in that game, no one other than my cousin owned me(owned means better).... My cousin went bonkers worse than me, he started to play 80 HOURS!!!!! I'll say that again 80 HOURS!!!!! I started to slowly watch my RL(real life) dimenish before my eyes. Then my girlfriend said something that hit me so hard that I cried. "Choose. Me or Everquest. Me or ..." Say what? Its only a game, i told myself. So why am I even thinking of choosing everquest over my girlfriend? I couldn't answer her. So you know what? She LEFT ME and took my son with her. I realized two weeks later what has become of me. I became a Evercrack fiend. FTW(for the win). Through good through bad EQ was my release from a mundane reality....You know I can blame anyone. I can blame Sony Verant for creating the game. I can blame my girlfriend for buying me the game. I can blame my cousin for taking me as far as he did. I can blame ... for marrying me in the game. I can blame ... for recruiting me into their guild. You know who I blame. Me! I controlled my environment I control my RL. Till this day I play EQ, but I only play for about 10 hours a week some weeks 20 hours but no more, no less. For those wondering about my cousin. He still plays but only about 40-50 hours a week. I think the point that hit me the most was when my cousin went unemployed. He was fired, because lack of attendance....My ex-girlfriend and I still talk as friends and see my son a lot now. As for my cousin, he still has his ups and downs with his girlfriend and kids. He went 4 months unemployed and I helped him through it. He currently now is a laborer when he use to be a manager. But you know he still plays EQ 40 hours a week FTW(for the win). I play 20 Hours at most a week, but thats just to say hi to my EQ wife and my EQ friends. I give EQ this much though. My EQ wife is ..., she came all the way down to ... to see me, when she came she did the most amazing thing. She said, "...(my rl name) you need to get better, EQ is not your life, its a game." She picked my computer up and chucked it on the floor. "I fell in love with you and you know what? your a very attractive person, but you need to get your stuff together." If I never met here, who knows. We are best friends. And she lives all the way out in .... And she is very attractive. But she is right I do need to get my stuff together.

My advice to all the Widows of EQ. Love your ignificant other, yes it may be his or her fault. But that game is REAL. It really is, I lost my girlfriend that could have been my wife. But she is my friend. And in the game I made a real close best friend, we visit each other constantly.

You all may say that its just a game, but take it from a recovering addict of EQ. ITS NOT!!! ITS MORE REAL THAN YOU BELIEVE!!! You deal with emotions, physical attractions and it sucks you in. PLEASE! SAVE YOUR SIGNIFACANT OTHER! Do what ...(My ex-girlfriend) did. Leave him/her or do what ...(EQ wife) did. BREAK THE COMPUTER!

Thanks for listening or reading"