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.

Friday, July 22, 2005

From the minds that also brought you "hey, let's play Everquest together... in bed?":

"World of Warcraft - Females?
Date: 2005-07-11, 12:43PM MST

My girlfriend and I play World of Warcraft and need a 3rd for the perfect party (Healer/Tank/Mage).

We play regularly, about 5:00PM - 11:00PM weekdays and all day Sunday.

Now, the reason for a female, and this is by no means mandatory, is we might be interested in some 'extracurricular' activities. So if you're interested in women, that's a nice plus :)"

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"I've been married nearly a year to an EQ addict. He claimed he was not an addict (which we both know he is) and quit the game twice to prove me wrong. Most recently he stopped playing for nearly 6 months.... He tried other games and (since he has been playing games since a tot) beats them very quickly. EQ is ever changing and this is the reason he enjoys it so much. So about 2 weeks ago we discussed him playing again and came up with a contract we both helped create and both signed. So far it has been working out pretty well with a few hitches.... I don't want to limit his fun but at the same time I don't want our relationship to suffer (and neither does he), so in the contract I reserve the right to cancel his account at any point. One thing I have learned in the years of knowing my husband and trying NOT to know about EQ is that the game quickly overtakes everything else. It's very addicting and your BF, husbands and wives that become addicted are changed by the game, namely (in my experience) becoming more manipulative and quick to anger. Be honest, lay down ground rules and demand the game leave your life if necessary. Speaking from past experience if you don't you'll be miserable, he'll be miserable and the relationship will suffer. Good luck!"

Here is the "contract" that she and her partner created together, "with sarcasm and humor but also a lot of truth and seriousness" (in her own words). Thank you!

"Throughout this contract “you” refers to Person A and “me” refers to Person B. These rules are in no way a means for Person B to control or to limit Person A’s fun. They are necessary so that Person A can have his fun but also keep a balance in his life and keep Person B happy. We both agree that EQ can become a force in one’s life, sucking precious time away from more important things. This is a means to prevent that from ever happening again. :)

EQ rules and regulations:

1. EQ playtime (including playing, searching websites, ANYTHING EQ related) will be limited to 2 nights during the week (Monday-Thursday) from 7-10pm (in bed no later than 10 30) and one night (Friday or Saturday) no later than 2am.
2. No EQ activity on Sunday, the ONLY exception to this rule is if during the week you don’t get one of your two nights playtime or your late night. The play on Sunday is limited to 3 hours and no play later than 10pm (like weeknight).
3. On the morning after the “late night” you will sleep no later than 10am.
4. No leaving the EQ screensaver/game up. I don’t like it.
5. You will keep an EQ log of all dates and time of activity. Failure to keep an accurate log will result in termination of EQ account.
6. You will ask if there’s anything that needs to be done before playing. (chores)
7. You will ask if there’s anything I’d rather do before playing.
8. You will only play (pay for) one account.
9. One time a week you agree to do something nice for me that you normally wouldn’t (i.e. breakfast)
10. Play of any other game is limited to 2 hours per week.
11. No asking me to play...I love you and I love doing stuff with you but I don’t want to play, sorry.

If at anytime you don’t comply with the rules we’ve set forth the account may be terminated. If at anytime your mood changes or you seem to “want” to play or you ask to play during non-designated time the account may be terminated.

We agree that these rules are in place out of respect for each other and our relationship and as a proactive way to prevent any disagreements, hurt feelings or resentment.

This contract may be updated if necessary and agreed upon by both parties.

Person A, gamer

Person B, anti-gamer"

Saturday, July 09, 2005

"Well I am 40 years old single man.

My first introduction to online gaming was Diablo.
I remember playing for hours on end with my buddy.... Later I was introduced to Everquest as my other friends started to play.
I would sit and just watch to see what all the big deal was.
I was soon playing beside them and even converted my brother and a friend ... to the game.
Five years later and even attending a Fan Fair I jumped to Everquest2.
I am now not playing either even thou I think about starting up my canceled accounts. When I finally quit I had 3 accounts, all from scratch.
During my 5 year odyssey I tried to quit by playing other MOPROGs like FFXI, DAoC, and LinageII, but always came back to Everquest.
I finaly quit Everquest when I jumped over to Everquest2.
Due to EQ2's system requirements and the fact that all my friends are no longer playing, I have stopped playing E in any form.

However I am not done with online gaming. Guild Wars is out and have been on that since release.

When I'm not playing online I'm riding my other addiction.
My other addiction is my 2004 Red Honda Reflex scooter.

As I post this, my 42 year old married brother calls me to tell me that he is back on EQ1 with a nubie charter.
He tells me about all the new features that are now in the game for a nubie and that he is having fun.
I am contemplating on trying it for a month.

Well I may no longer an EQ addict, but I'm still an online addict."

This is more a read for MMOGers:

From sweatshops to stateside corporations, some people are profiting off of MMO gold. by James Lee 07.05.2005

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

An interesting little discussion is unfolding in the comment section of a post not too long ago which reminded me of a simple math exercise I was doing to demonstrate the impact of playing MMORPGs.

Nick Yee states that the average time played for MMORPGs is 21.6 hours. Another study states 20-25 hours, plus 10-15 hours on Internet use (probably chatting with other MMORPGers or researching). I personally think that an average MMORPG player spends more likely around 30-40 hours a week playing or researching the game. At the height of my playing I easily spent 50+ hours during work weeks and 70-80 hours during vacation weeks. I read many posts where other players have stated the same. So with all this in mind, consider this:
A week has 168 hours in total. Out of that, use:
40 hours for work
10 hours for commuting (1 hour each way for 5 days)
42 hours for sleeping (6 hours / day)
Average playing time: 30 hours a week (10 hours each weekend day, 3 hours each day)
= 122 hours in total

Which leaves 46 hours = approx. 6.57 hours/day for EVERYTHING else (eat, clean & dress, do housechorse, pay bills, socialize, take care of kids/pets/parents)

or 4.57 hours/day if you are sleeping for 8 hours.

And that’s assuming you work only 40 hours a week!

And that is not even counting “research” & discussions on the game / guild boards!
(I did say it was simple math!)

It's only logical that something will suffer if the person is married, has kids, works full-time and plays MMORPG enough to keep up with other MMORPGers.

Sometimes simply keying in /played helps put things in perspective. Or if you really want to know, track your time played every day. Then think: Would you spend the same amount of time weekly pursuing another hobby (golf, sports, TV, drinking)?

There may be a nasty surprise. If not, good for you!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

"Much of what i say here will not be new but it will all be fact.

I am ... married for ... years have 2 kids, played eq1 for a few years and eq2 for a good 6 months. When i played, logging on usually was a 3 or 4 hour minimum and could carry on for about 8, few times have i gone over that amount but it has happened.

I have met cyber partners in which escalated to phone conversations, the nature of talking alone would classify as cheating on my wife no doubt.

I read these emails and i see how confused many of you are about these choices your significant other, be it male or female, are making. How can someone ignore the flesh and blood that is beside them and opt for this
virtual world?

Simply put the game offers and alternate reality in which the current one can be dissolved. The bills go away, the work stress, marital problems, all real world troubles now disappear. In this world, we can forget who we are and take on a new identity and mold the onscreen character to be who we want them to be.

But the advantages doesnt end there.

In this alternate reality you can be anything, anyone you want. In everquest the shy quiet person can become a leader, a visual of accomplishments can be made with levels and equipment, and it is a spring board for like minded individuals to meet, connect, and develope bonds.

These are some of the advantages, some of the pulls into the addiction. And that is what it really is, and addiction to a life that is in some ways more fulfilling that the one which is reality. If we could look over our lives and change it, mold it to our liking, in anyway that we wish, most of us would change it to some degree.

Ok so those are the pulls to it, but how do you break it, how do you get your significant other back?

Well that answer is simple....You Dont.

Like it or not, you have very little control over this.

Understand that the virtual world is every bit of real to the person as the actual world and therefore will defend it. And if the person prefers the virtual world over the actual one then there will be absolutely nothing you can do except move on with your life.

When you threaten to leave, to break up, to quit, to whatever you had better prepare yourself metally and financially to do it, and do it when you say it. One of two things will happen...either it will be enough of shock to wake the person up from the virtual haze, or two it will give them just one more reason to dive into the virtual world and forget all about the actual one.

Children, wives, husbands, jobs, they can all take a back seat to this alternate reality....and again, alternate or not it is still viewed as reality.

I know many addicts, and i know that the addicts cannot balance the Virtual with Actual reality and ultimately a choice is made to which will dominate. But that choice is made by the person between to the two worlds..the children and spouses are only victims.

I myself quit EQ because i prefer the Actual life. My wife is my best friend, my kids are my best friends, and i do like sunlight.

I miss EQ and would like to play, but i know if i reactivate that account i will dive back into that world for far much more time than i am willing to
give up.

My wife played eq for a year, it was her way of trying to do something i was interested in. We built a guild together one of the more lucrative on the servers and we even made some real life friends out of it. In the end though it wasnt for her, she didnt like it nearly as much as i did. She would often tell me "You play that damn game to much" and things along those lines...and i did, i played way to much. I was online everyday for at least 3 hours. She found out about the cyber women and was really upset, i did try to hide them but never denied them. She never threatened to leave me over the game though that i can remember.

Threats are like challenges to most men, you threaten me you better be ready to go through with it else i will call your bluff....that sorta testosteronic thinking.

Point is that I woke up not because of anything she did, or anything my kids did, but simply because i prefer them. I Woke if from a dream...Inside that virtual world time disappears, you lose all sense of the actual minutes that pass. You lose all sense of things that truly hold value.

To all of you wondering what to do about these situations my answer is simple:

Take care of yourself...Get things in order...Pack your Bags...Hope he/she wakes up from the Virtual world and stops you before you get to the door...but if not, you walk through that door and start the rest of your life.

This is your one life, you make your own happliy ever after, but the only person you can control is yourself.

I am truly sorry for those lost in the virtual world, I am sorry that they cannot see the damage they are creating around themselves. You all must truly love them to seek out such support. But like a tree that has either chop it up and move it out of the way, or you live with the dead wood."

Sunday, July 03, 2005

"My story is not about EQ but is about City of heroes..this game came out about 3 years ago and i remember hearing all this voices inside my head inviting me to buy it once i bought it and i entered to a new gaming experience i was mesmerized...i started to play first was 2 hours then 3 then 5 then 8..i coulda spend the whole day sitting on my butt in front of my pc forgetting about my family completely...i stopped playing for a while..i deleted the program threw away all my guides and i swore not to play anymore..but months later i started to hav' this dreams where i was flying and i was jumping big heights was the game calling out to me..i started to play again..i said to myself "i can controll it" but i couldn't!!..i remember thinking about this all day at my dreams ,my priorities were to level up my character and not my wife and my 2 son used to look at me in a "daddy i want your attention" way...i even had the idea of leaving my family and move somewhere else w just my PC and play all night long without having my wife in my back begging me to stop playing this horrible game and wake up from my trance...but one day after been playing part of the day and the entire night she asked me to leave our home and the divorce...then i realized that i was about to loose everything that really mattered to me all for just a stupid game!!. I came to my senses..and i woke stupid i was..all the time i eyes ruined, my nerves destroyed, my back swollen,i kinda ended up w part of my brain burnt up because of this.. and my family almost destroyed...if you are reading this and you are addicted to this game get outta ther before is too late the power of God is the only weapon against this instrument of the devil that it has only one purpose: 'RUIN YOUR LIFE'."