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.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

"...At that time, I thought the time investment was becoming completely ridiculous and started to keep track of how much time was actually being spent at this idiotic game. Unfortunately, the reaction ( as surely all of you could guess!) wasn't surprise and agreement, but anger and defensivess. However, a few days later, he did say that he would only play every other day and not stay up til ridiculous times to do so. That lasted for about a week, though he has only been up until 1 or 2 am and not 3 or 4, he has been playing every day. I was not happy with the every other day thing, actually, thinking that was far too much, but wanted to be "reasonable", since he loves it so much. Like it matters a whit! Further, when he comes to bed at 1:30 am he says things like he thought I would be proud of him for not staying up late. As if I would be proud of him for only wasting 6 or 7 hours on this crap instead of 9 or 10 a day! I see how I am sounding, and that is one of the problems I am having with all this, and I am hoping that you all will have advice. We always had a wonderful relationship .... For 7 years now I have been telling everyone who will listen how fortunate I am, how much in love we are, how wonderful he treats me... and he has, too. I think his opinion of me, and mine of myself, is beginning to change as I try to defend our relationship from this all consuming beast. I have never been a nagger or anything, but we have started arguing for the first time ever over this. He seems to think I have suddenly had a complete personality change that, coincidentally, began when he became a junkie. It seems more likely to me that it has to do with him losing interest in anything not EQ related.... We used to do outdoor activities, read, and enjoyed going to brewpubs, working around the house, cooking, watching movies, just the usual stuff. Now, he gets up early and plays for an hour or two before work, almost every night when he gets home (we did go to a party on Saturday, but he tried to avoid it and stay home and play). Says it is the same as tv and that we actually talk more. Hah! I am completely at the end of my rope and don't even know what tack to take--- don't want to become a total witch, totally sick of wasting time looking at the back of his head. I want to be supportive but am so sick of hearing about EQ I could scream, and it is his only topic of conversation any more ....I've started doing a lot of things on my own and just leaving him home, but that doesn't seem like the best alternative, either...."

14 Comments:

Anonymous Shmacky said...

He seems stuck. At this point depending on how far he gets he may never return possibly. It only gets worse. It is like a drug. He starts up, and never wants to stop. You've gained a lot with him overtime and now he's gaining a lot in this game and he'll never want to give it up either. Depending on how long this has gone on may depend if you wish to give him the choice of you or the game.

Look at your life now and see if it was what it was when you first married. I've read a lot of stories on the limiting of it and they usually fail. They do the same where they work out for a little bit and then it goes back to square 1.

I remember being sucked into Final Fantasy's MMORPG but barely having a social life. Even though I still got good grades in my 1st college semester I still wasn't happy. I had friends and barely went out to the mall or anything socialable. I couldn't go outside, I rejected a night at the movies to get some item thing.

I chose to quit so I could feel free and it felt great. Other people get these attachments to their characters and items that they never want to let go of these imaginary things. It's as if they really feel like they have that sword or that armor or whatever the item is because they spent hours and hours getting it. This is partly why it's so hard to get them off of games like this.

If you decided to read through this I can give you my advice. If you get fed up with him being like this you may possibly want to consider taking charge of the situation for yourself. Let him know you've had enough and that you want this whole thing to stop. It seems you've already started on this and that you need more enforcement. You don't want to be married to someone who sits at a computer all day doing nothing with himself. Married couples are couples, not just roomies. You want a husband, not a roomie that sits at the computer. You want to go places and do things with your husband that you married years ago.

Aug 5, 2005, 1:36:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. This is exactly my life. My husband is a teacher and he is off for the summer which means non-stop gaming in addition to watching our 2 children. He claims he has no good friends in real life (true) and that his online friends are his real friends. So - pulling him from the game is taking him from his friends. He has no need for or interest in me - other than to take care of the kids at night and pay the bills. We keep tryin gto make these agreements about limiting play, but it seems they don't work becuase if we are doing "nothing " for more than a few minutes, he either mopes around or falls asleep or just ends up playing. I am at a loss but comforted to know that I am not alone.

Aug 5, 2005, 9:17:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neither of you are alone. There are hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of people addicted to these games. I was addicted to EQ and then EQ2; when I finally realized what it was doing to my relationship with my wife I forced myself to quit. I'm not kidding when I say that it was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. I ultimately had to get rid of my computer so that I would not even have the possibility of playing. I'm writing this on my wife's laptop now. :-)

For those truly addicted, quitting is a monstrous task that feels impossible. I quit and restarted countless times before I finally ditched my gaming machine and left myself with no way to start up again. I think it's important to be supportive to those trying to quit, and to help show them how much better their lives can be without these massive timesinks. Ultimately, though, I don't think you can ever force someone to quit--they have to be able to observe and understand the effects of their addiction and decide to stop on their own.

At the end of the day, don't be afraid to seek professional help. Sometimes I think that I might have been better off if I had access to professional help myself while I was trying to quit. I think that it might have made my transition from "game addict" to "normal person" a little less stressful, and maybe today I wouldn't still suffer from pangs of emotion over quitting and sometimes wishing that I hadn't...

One thing that really helped me to want to quit was when I found this site and read all of the stories on it. I first saw them as foreign and unrelated to me; later, though, I realized just how much of my own life was reflected in these postings. It was then that I finally realized just how much I had to stop.

Aug 5, 2005, 11:31:00 PM

 
Blogger J said...

Thank you very much for all your responses and a big thank you especially to the last respondent! One of my main reason for creating this site was to collect real stories that gamers could read and reflect on without feeling nagged on / criticized. I know that when I was playing obsessively, reading stories like this would have helped me much more than someone telling me that I was playing it to much. Even now, reading this reminds me to stay balanced in life and to seek out greater meaning in the things I do everyday. I'm happy to hear that someone else was able to get something out of this site, too.

Aug 7, 2005, 5:47:00 PM

 
Anonymous Mainman said...

I have read all the posts here and would like to say that I have been in this situation for about 4 months now with my wife. She watched my son play and I made the mistake of buying her a laptop for her b-day. She has not stopped for 4 months on WOW. I hate everything about Blizzard Entertainment and WOW. I hate the sounds, scenes, people, etc. I find myself even hating to be around her while she plays. When she started calling one of the male players and talked for 14 hours in one weekend about the "game", yea right, I hit the ceiling. We argued for days. The calling I think has stopped, but what is the difference when you can "chat" in the game until 4 or 5 AM every weekend or day? I feel that I will make a decision on our so-called marriage myself. I can't see giving her a choice like "me or the game” Is there anyone out there that has made this decision?

Aug 17, 2005, 1:03:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Four months ago, I joined World of Warcraft.

One month ago, I admitted that I was addicted.

Three days ago, I quit cold-turkey.

Today, I am still clean.

I learned that quitting addictions are a series of small steps, each leading away from the addiction. And, I have learned to appreciate each step.

This site and similar sites have been comforting to me, in my process to quit.

I keep reminding myself as to why I am quitting -- My husband wants to spend time with me; I want to pick up a new hobby; there are 2 books I want to read; and I want to do a better job at work.

All of these things are meaningful to me, and takes time and energy.

I remind myself of specific things I can do while not gaming online. And, I read about others who have quit gaming and am inspired, motivated, and reminded of my own reasons.

This might just be a long post to say thank-you for collecting these stories.

Aug 17, 2005, 2:53:00 PM

 
Blogger J said...

Are the last two commenters married to each other, by any chance? The 4 month period seems more than just a coincidence.

Either way, I hope your decisions to address the issue helped resolve your concerns and frustrations. Anything in excess is bad for anyone, and sometimes it is deceptively easy to get sucked into playing an online computer game for hours, days, months, years. It's just not worth it - life's too precious for that.

You can only speak up and hope that s/he has enough wisdom and intelligence to smarten up. If you are especially lucky, s/he will have trust in you and your concerns. Other than that, your responsibilities lie with your own happiness and that of your child.

All the best.

Aug 18, 2005, 1:05:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote the second post, regarding quitting 4 months ago. In answer to your question: nope, not married to each other. I don't have kids.

Day 5 -- still off Warcraft. Got an email from a Warcraft friend. He may leave too.

Aug 19, 2005, 2:48:00 AM

 
Blogger Seconddayhero said...

The hardest thing about being an addict is admitting they have a problem. Imagine you lived in a world where you were popular, powerful, earned your way to the top, and could do anything with your band of friends... When they are not in the game, they miss it or even imagine themselves playing it figuring out what they will be doing next. Real life seems like such a bore to them, because of that excited feeling they get whevever they play (which doesn't seem exciting at all wathing their comatose faces stare at a flickering screen all night long).

The best way to help them quit, notice I say the word help and not make... you can't make them quit because they need inner strength to stay off the game, not yours... is to help them realize what their life is doing to them and everyone around them. These stories on this blog will help them realize just how bad it can get, or is. These games are like Turkish Delight (a food imagined in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), that tastes absolutely wonderful once they take a bite into it. After eating it though, a hunger consumes them that will make every other food seem not as good as that one... Yes, that means that they grow selfish enough to desire playing that game more than spending time with you, family, or other activities once they are totally addicted.

It seems sad, but without professional help, or a self-motivated drive to quit for good, they probably won't make it. Arguing in the house is a bad idea. You need to get them out of there, a coffee-shop, bookstore with couches, a park, somewhere out of there to rationally discuss this. Print out some stories to take with you to show them how you feel. Talk about how even right now they are probably wishing they were back home online playing that game. A huge step in quitting is actually deleting their characters on the game and canceling their account. After deleting my EQ character (that could of sold for $500), I felt so much better and a feeling of success and confidence came into me. Whatever you do, do not delete their characters. This will make things 100x's worse for your relationship. They will merely start over at level one and build their characters all over again, and alienating you even more. Also, another tip, help them realize that you are not their "enemy". That you are not a "nagger", you are only wishing the person whom you love would see what has happened to your relationship.

Well I hope this helps you out ^^
And please keep sharing your stories, they are helping out countless others that read them as well.

Aug 19, 2005, 11:46:00 AM

 
Blogger J said...

I think when you have a happy self-respect and self-love, you'll end up making the best decisions for your own well-being. I hope your friend will make the decision that's best for him. All the best :)

Aug 22, 2005, 2:39:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a psychologist. Mother passed on, and dad needed 24/7 care. I sold my farm and moved home to suburban life and met EQ. I have played for 6mo, 12-15 hours per day. I do it because I love the game and basically until my father passes must stay here to care for him. The question is for those that are frustrated with mates playing the game is..what would they be doing if they were not playing? Napping on the couch? Watching tv from 7-11? My father has commented several times that I am in my room playing on the computer. Oh, it would be okay though, if I sat in the same room with him and watched tv for 5 hours? Everyone wants to be happy and have a good time. If the hubby or wife is playing the game more than you prefer, look at the other side of things. He's not gone with his buddies out on the town, he/she isn't having an affair. Is it fair that thing's in the marriage aren't what they used to be? No, of course not. But you have a situation where some sort of compromise is needed or the relationship will eventually become non existent. I hear more complaints from wives than from husbands. Why not get involved in the game with him in exchange for some personal time for the two of you. Why not say "let's go out and catch dinner, and then come back and play the game a couple hours." Or I have one gentelman in my guild that will say "I'll be back in bit, helping the wife with the laundry". Continued negativity toward something someone clearly likes doing, is not going to make your situation better. You have a choice to make and every right to make it, as you too have a right to want your life to be as you see that should be. It's up to you..get involved, or get divorced. I personally would be grateful that the person is at least at home and being the faithful partner..too many are not, using the fishing, hunting, and golf courses as their perfect cover. Try the game with your partner..get another puter and be in another room..role play in the game..you may find he logs the game a whole lot sooner more often!

Aug 22, 2005, 5:15:00 PM

 
Blogger J said...

I think there is one way, and then there is another way. One way is to aim for a balance in life, getting to do what you want to do and at the same time respecting that the other person gets to do what they want to do as well. The other way is to ignore the other person and to fulfill one's needs only. There are some MMORPG gamers that can do the former, while there are also some that can only do the latter. Doesn't mean that the latter is a bad person - but it may mean that the person doesn't know how to be in a healthy respectful relationship. The same goes for cheaters.

And for the record: there are plenty of gamers who will find a way to cheat on their spouses, online and in some occasions offline (as a result of an online affair). Just because they are sitting at home does not mean that they will be faithful. The whole "it's better that they are at home instead of outside drinking and cheating" is fallacious thinking, and I've experienced myself how easy it is to get caught up by an online emotional affair even if you don't think it is possible.

Aug 23, 2005, 6:50:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not trying to take inventories but the above psychologist sounds like he/she is trying to justify their own behavior. Addiction to MMORPG's is just as serious as drug or alcohol addiction. In fact after having read a multitude of the posts found on this site, i have found that the symptoms are infact the same. The problem is chronic, progressive and it affects every facet of the addicts life including primary relationships, jobs, finances, self image, health etc . . . and the problem should be regarded as a serious matter, not something that the significant other should just accept or join in the same behavior. just my two cents

Aug 26, 2005, 1:26:00 PM

 
Anonymous Nick said...

I think some of you are missing the point a little, by focusing too much on one game. I, am probably addicted to games, not just online ones. I'll go home in a few hours and fire up some game or another for a few hours, then probably make tea for me and the boys, and then either watch a bit of TV and then go back to the computer 'till 4am or something. My boyfriend isn't quite as bad as me, because he's going to Uni atm, and because there's technically only one computer (which has an effect on my sleeping patterns because I use it at night while he's sleeping etc).

I'm now 23. I got my first computer when i was 10 - therefore i have been gaming for more then half my life. Currently, I'd say i'm going through my worst phase of gaming addiction due to the fact that i moved to the city, got broadband, a new computer, finished my tertiary course in Multimedia (which usually involved hours of game playing), and now can't find a job. So i sit at home playing games.

Also, in single player games i will often restart, because i like to start over multiple times because of the different ways to do it - ie stay away from random variable games that are quite often turn-based (many hours lost there). In online games, I tend to find that I keep playing because my character becomes important in some way (guild leader, captain of infantry, CEO of online corp) and I therefore feel responsible for the fun and enjoyment and game flow of other people as well as my self.

Sigh. Enough.

Aug 31, 2005, 11:09:00 PM

 

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