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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

"I browsed your site and the testimonials & stories scared me. I'm glad that this resource is here, and I want to tell you about my boyfriend. He played EQ before he met me, and whenever he talks about it I feel like he thinks it was the best days of his life. I start to feel jealous that maybe he does think it was better than now even with me in the picture. He talks so proudly about when he and a buddy started up a guild years ago, and he repeats and puts emphasis on the words when he mentions that "everyone" looked up to the two of them. It's sad because I know there are plenty of real live people who have a high opinion of him and esteem for him, but he can't see it and wants the EQ respect instead.
Right after last Christmas we were both having a hard time financially. He mentioned WoW and the way he brought it up was that we could use it as a hobby we could do together since we do not live together. I said I would think about it. No sooner had he mentioned it then he admitted he had already bought it. At first I thought nothing of it and was happy he had a hobby - he didn't seem to have any when we met. I personally couldn't get into WoW in the beginning, even though he came over and showed me how to make a character and get around in the world.
Then he began pressuring me to play because, as he put it, he refused to get into the game without my support because he knew he couldn't have a relationship and the game at the same time. He told me up front that he would be involved spending alot of time playing, and wanted us both. I felt like I was holding him back from doing something he wanted to do and was excited about, so I bought the game, which was over my budget, and I played just to spend time with him. Unfortunately we saw each other in real life less and less, as he thought game time could take the place of quality time. I called him on it and he blamed his absence in not wanting to be around my family I was living with. The amount of time we spent together per week never improved after the game intruded in our lives.
Later, I became more and more motivated to play and let things like housework slide. My best friend would call and I would only pretend to listen. I flirted with WoW guys out of boredom and my boyfriend would get mad, yet I sat for hours online waiting for a response from him to acknowledge I was there. The only one I was ever serious about flirting with was my boyfriend, though. And in his eyes, I couldn't play for him, I had to play for me because he wanted me to like it. When I realized what was happening and came up for air, my boyfriend would get on my case about not being online and he'd make me dive back down again. He rationalized that he felt better when I was online because he knew where I was & wasn't going out getting into trouble. In the meantime, he spent alot of in-game money on my character and bought her expensive gifts to entice me to play, but all the while pressuring me to level faster. In my warped mind, I thought maybe he did those things for my character because he couldn't afford to buy me nice things in real life.
Now I have slowed down as I have been disillusioned with the effects of the game, but I don't mind playing every once in a while. I already let our guild know that I only want to play a couple nights a week, tops. I enjoy the forums more than playing, really, and play my character now just out of guilt knowing that my boyfriend and others helped level and outfit her. Plus I am going to start school again soon and I need to find a better job.
But to this day my boyfriend is a different story. Sometimes he will make excuses not to come over because he had to work, but I know it's because he wants to get online. He used to stay the night on the weekends sometimes two, three nights at a time but now he is more picky about when he comes over and only comes out in the middle of the day to where we only have a short time together before he takes off in the middle of the night. When he does come over I can tell that he just wants to check the Auction House, and he wishes he'd never have come so he could be playing in the privacy of his own home. Or sometimes long after I have gone to bed I wake up and he's on the computer making inconsiderate clacketyclackety sounds on the keyboard if he hasn't already left. Or during the day, I will step away from him for just a short time to check my hair and when I get back he will be on my computer. He has
told me playing the game is better than sex. When we have problems, he retreats into the game even more and I've had to come online & type in caps to get his attention. Even during a phone conversation the night before I went away on a vacation, he was busy playing the game and wasn't focused enough to say he would miss me while I was gone or even to have a great trip - two basic civilities I was longing to hear. He continues to be extremely irritated when he plays, and I have watched and wondered why someone would play a game that makes them so angry.
In truth, I don't know how much time he is spending playing WoW since we are not in the same household, but he sounds addicted to me when it affects our relationship and time together. We have been together almost three years now, and he gave me a promise ring not too long ago. I am unsure about it and don't always wear it, even though it is not a serious proposal, because I feel neglected while the game is in our lives and I'm not sure how much longer I can feel like the third wheel even though I view WoW as a hobby of mine, as well. Whenever we have a huge fight, he lets me know that he is not always going to have the game in his life, either, and threatens to start going out and finding girls instead of playing the game. It's wierd because he wants all the respect the game can give him but at the same time he looks down on his main hobby as a geeky thing to do - "I don't want to live my life like this," he says, when he acts like he has better things to do with his time than me. He forbids me to talk about WoW with my family and gets embarrassed if I bring it up in public. Then when we are on the phone privately, the game is all he can talk about and I get tired of hearing about it because I want to talk about real issues or even positive things. Also, in the same week he gave me the ring he made a post in our guild forums stating that he would work time with me around the raid times. I think it should be the other way around but least I know where I stand. I feel like WoW is just as bad as another woman sometimes."

8 Comments:

Anonymous ~Chris said...

This guy is an addict. Might want to consider going to EQ-widows site and read about what people go through with addicts of MMORG games. You can google the word EQ-widows and should be able to get there.

Sep 30, 2005, 1:10:00 AM

 
Blogger Quylein said...

I would tell him that if don't start giving you more respect over WOW then your moving to EQ2.

Sep 30, 2005, 8:22:00 AM

 
Blogger Mr. Ben said...

As hard as it may be to do, you may have to drop the dreaded ultimatum on his ass. I mean, he is choosing a game over you. His trips over to your place sound a lot like booty calls to me. MMORGs are definitely extremely addictive (four years ago a few of my friends came to my place a basically yanked me out of my chair and dragged me to a party because I was talking to absolutely nobody unless they needed a clarity from my EQ chanter. And I still check out EQ sites) but he has gone overboard. I eventually quit because it interfered with college, so he should be able to at least reduce his WoW time for you. However, I'm a hardass, so checking out the addict sites like Chris said might yield better advice. Good luck

Oct 12, 2005, 8:08:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweetheart for the sake of your sanity bang out of tis destructive relationship!

Oct 14, 2005, 4:42:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You seriously need to look at this situation from the outside. This guy is treating you horribly and you need to put yourself first and get out of this relationship.

Oct 16, 2005, 11:40:00 AM

 
Blogger J said...

ok, i'm goimg to sound like a whiner but seriously, I don't think people tend to listen to advice given anonymously. Also, I think we can give the poster credit for assessing her own situation and coming to her own decision without us telling her what to do, so please bear that in mind. If you have an opinion, please share but take a minute to consider that this is not a forum adequate enough to give advice on whether tostick with someone or not. Thanks!

Oct 16, 2005, 4:07:00 PM

 
Anonymous Much Better said...

Well hi, I just wanted to follow up on my story that I gave permission to be posted 9/28. Now when I read what I wrote, I sound very negative to myself. I'm not going to say I have a fantasy happy ending to share, but I have to say things are going alot better and the change started with me.
Part of the problem was that I made my boyfriend the center of my universe and heaped expectations on him that were unrealistic. I would look at him and wonder why he didn't want to spend every waking moment with me when I wanted to spend as much time as I could with him. I think I looked to him too much for my social needs and to alleviate my own boredom. Then I would pick on him and we'd argue about it constantly - no wonder he didn't want to come over because who wants to spend their whole day off listening to that?
So after a while, instead of getting mad, I got reconnected with family, friends and my own unique blend of interests that don't necessarily include him. I went on a few trips and a diet, too. I went shopping, started reading, and got into photo editing which I love to do.
He got jealous a few times with my activities, but you know what? So what! He is always invited and if he wants to come along, he will. I understand his reasons for playing WoW as much as he does, and I intend to be supportive and help him get out of this depression rut somehow. In the meantime, I'm not going to lecture him about the time he spends on WoW, and focus more on making the time we do have together a positive experience so he'll want to do that more instead. I've also learned not to take things so personally and not to be so serious all the time. This really worked because I can see my true self shining through - I'm cracking more jokes and acting more goofy, which is who I am.
We haven't stopped playing WoW together, either. We joined a different guild where I feel alot more comfortable and I made friends there, too. I spend 3 evenings a week raiding and I love the social dynamic how so many people come together for a common goal and have fun doing it. I no longer feel like he will get mad at me if I am not in the raid. If I don't feel like it, I don't come online. It's as simple as that.
I also found some positive things about my boyfriend playing WoW. If not for the game, I would not have known he was so good with money and a natural born leader. And with my busy schedule, I'm glad I am with someone who is independent and doesn't have to be with me every waking moment. Sometimes it is I who can't always find the time to be with him now, especially since I'll be starting school in just a few short days.
As for the other part of the problem, well, I haven't figured it out yet. Maybe it's him. But perhaps in some of the less extreme cases like mine, it might do good to try taking a magnifying glass to ourselves to see what is really making us feel that way. In my case it was simply desperation.

Jan 1, 2006, 4:55:00 PM

 
Blogger J said...

Hey there, Much Better!

Thank you so much for your update - a lot of times we don't know what happens to someone's particular story, so I'm happy to hear that you are fine and doing better. I'm so in agreement with you about finding your own fulfillment aside from the relationship.... It will also give you a better understanding of what kind of relationship you are seeking in the long-term, regardless if he continues to play WoW or not. Obsessive videogaming is much more often a symptom than a cause of a problem, and it's up to you to decide if you want to deal with the underlying problem or not (since it's not yours to start with)

All the best to you in 2006 and keep us posted if you can!

Jan 2, 2006, 8:07:00 AM

 

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