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, November 02, 2005

Here is an email that I received just recently - many thanks and all the very best to the sender.

"I'm 23 years old and as long as I can remember, I've been an avid gamer. Both of my parents are alchoholics and have been for many years. I remember when I was about 8 years old, I they would go over to the neighbors house, or the neighbors would come to our house and all of the adults would sit around all night and drink. Being the youngest of the neighborhood by 4 years, I was left out of almost all of the interactions, even of the neighbors children and my sister. Eventually I started acting out at school by claiming to be sick so I could go home. I had no way to deal with feelings of abandonment that I was encountering at that young of an age. When everyone would get together to party (my parents weren't young parents when they had me, at this time my mother was 32, and my father was 37) the only thing I would do was play games. It became a ritual. Every Friday night or Saturday morning, my dad would take me down to the video store and I would get to rent a Nintendo game. I started looking forward to it more and more, and it became an obsession.

The game may have been different from month to month, but the concept was always the same. At first it started out as honest fun and I played because I enjoyed it. Then eventually it became something I liked and wanted to succeed at. Finally it would spiral out of control and I would invest so much time in it that I would begin to get angry when I was pulled away from it. Anytime someone I was away from the game, I wanted to talk about it with someone else who appreciated it. I altered my sleeping pattern at one point during my addiction so I could be up to play games with my brother-in-law who was a first shifter and still manage to play games late at night with the people I had come to know in various games. I would sleep for three hours between 9am and 12pm, get up and stay up till midnight or later, and then sleep for 8 hours. Then I'd get up for another 25 hours, sleep for 3 and get up and stay up till midnight. I would repeat the pattern which left me more time to game during "prime time" and I still was able to interact with my family, all though I admit the time I spent with them was probably quite negligble compared to the amount of time I spent defusing bombs on DE_Dust, or killing mobs in Kunark...

After reading through the posts on this site, and coming to understand just how much it affects the people on the sidelines I realize that my addiction to online games is no different than my mother and father's addiction to Alchohol. I neglect, lose myself in a fantasy world to kill the pain, hang out with unsavory types despite not enjoying my interaction with them. Luckily I don't drink like they do, but I now have my own addiction to contend with. My wife and I will be having a serious talk this afternoon so she can let out what's been bothering her about my gaming, and this time I'm actually going to listen, and adjust my lifestyle to help my relationship with her grow.

Any parent out there that is reading this...If your kid(s) game obsessively, do something about it now. The majority of addiction is not physical or chemical, it's emotional. With your help your children can break away and find joy in interacting with the real world rather than the world they pay to play in.

Best of luck to everyone, my heart goes out to the Widows of EverQuest."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK.....I have been to the EQ widows site and read every post there.Sadly I did not find what I expected. What I thought I would see was broken homes and distraught housewives....there were a few of them there but not in the numbers I thought.To make a long story short, it seems like alot of this has been blown so far out proportion you forget the problem in the first place. I personally know someone who had gotten a divorce alledgedly over their gaming habits. I saw the time logged on this game in question and it averaged out to be less than 5 hours per week. If this is a good reason for getting divorced then why do people stay married when the husband wants to play golf instead of shoe shopping.I think there are alot of selfish people out there wanting to blame a game for their failed marriage instead of putting the blame where it lies......with themselves.In closing I would like to add that I believe some people who do not play or understand people who do play and why they play to refrain from stereotyping those who do not share the same views.

Dec 8, 2005, 7:18:00 PM

Blogger J said...

Hey there anonymous:

First of all, I doubt very strongly that you have read all 26177 posts since 2000 on EQW. Second of all, I also doubt that you could make a statement like the one you did after reading all these posts. Third of all, I used to play EQ for over 4 years, and I still play computer games (just not MMOGs) so I guess I could surely qualify to be one of the ones who can stereotype? Relationships aren't easy but to blame every single one that broke up while one person in the relationship was playing MMORGs obsessively on the other person being envious of the gaming is very narrowminded, in my mind. Using one personal anecdote to generalize is stereotyping, too. Fact is, anyone playing MMORPG for the amount of time that takes them away from their relationship and family (and especially their responsibilities) has definitely some blame in destroying something.

Dec 9, 2005, 8:34:00 AM


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