This e-mail response just blew me away when I read it this morning. Thank you so very much! Makes me happy to know that my message is coming through correctly every now and then, and that I am not just blowing smoke up people's ....
"I just found your website today. I was trolling for some thoughts on game addiction as I prepared to "talk" to a buddy of mine who has been lost for some time in World of Warcraft.
I play maybe 12 hours a week. I wouldn't say I'm an addict but I can certainly see some obsessive behavior considering those 12 hours are usually over the course of the weekend. I'm a law student and therefore I justified my gaming with the fact that I can't go out anyways for economic and time reasons. However, that argument loses power when I'm logging off at 4am. I have four friends who play the game as well. They've all outstripped me despite starting at the same time or later than me. One of them had to take 2 months off to get his life back in order, the other is divorced (for other reasons as well but his obsessive playing certainly didn't help) the third is my roommate who is still decently in control but I haven't had a conversation with him in 2 months that didn't involve WoW. The fourth is a guy who needs help. Let me just say that we're all professionals. We pay our bills, we go to work (except for the fourth), we are 30 or older and we maintain good lives. But there is little doubt in my mind that this game has affected all of us negatively. I have never stood my girlfriend up for the game but I know it has taken time away from us. I don't believe I have ever skipped anything to play WoW but that's not the problem. I came here to help my friend... but I'm not going to talk about him.
I just looked at my /played time "15 days and change". Since February, I have spent more than 360 hours playing this game. As a law student, my time is precious. And I just spent 360 hours of it in this game. Time that could have been spent reading, walking, talking or doing anything else but sitting in front of a computer.
I may not be an "addict" to the degree that some of these other stories indicate but there is no doubt that this game has not improved or gifted me with anything positive or memorable. There is no doubt in my mind that this game will come to an end and then where would I be? With nothing but an worthless file on my hard drive. I can do better than that.
Frankly, after reading all these stories, I was presented with the decision of saying "Man, these people are so more worse off than me" or "Maybe I should learn something from this...". I've decided to choose the latter. Just wanted to thank you. Your website has made me look hard at the long-term effects of this game. I've played it enough. I've seen most of what it can offer and, even though there's more to see, I think getting back to my life would be far more beneficial. You're doing a great job here, heck... you got to me.
In my search to help a friend, I managed to help myself first. I think I'm going to turn my computer off now and read a book."