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, February 22, 2006

"I play World of Warcraft. Yes, I am the enemy. I play the game and I enjoy it. before I played WoW, I played Everquest and before that, Ultima Online and a multitude of other games you probably all hate on down to character based MUDs back in the late eighties and early nineties. I like computer games.

That said, I recognize I spend far too much time playing these games. I'm single, 36, never married. I'm very overweight. I work as a computer programmer and I generally excel at my job. I started to think I was playing too much and started looking around for support and found this group.

Part of what you maybe don't realize about why there is such a draw to these games for your significant other is because the game is full of people like them. People that play all the time. People that realize they are playing all the time. We joke about it. People that sleep at night are slackers. As much as Everquest Widows is a support group for you, the game is a support group for us. When one of you complains to your significant other that he/she is not spending time with you, we joke that he/she has wife or girlfriend aggro (aggro being an in game term that means a monster is attacking you) and that he/she needs to work on wife or girlfriend faction (a tedious in game task involving repeatedly killing the same monsters over and over to gain favor with other in game personalities).

The posts that strike me the most ... are the ones that talk about suing Sony or spying on your significant others. Suing Sony because your significant other plays too much Everquest is like blaming McDonald's for fat people or blaming gun manufacturers for robberies. Sony and Blizzard and all the other MMO game makers are not the cause of your problems. My advice for those of you wanting to spy on your significant others, who want to know what they are saying in game, who want to be able to change their passwords and delete their characters is pack your bags and leave now. A relationship is nothing without trust.

You want your significant others back? Find out what is driving them to stay in the game because its not the game itself. Their are plenty of people that play the game and have healthy relationships, not that I'm one of them. For me, it's pretty easy, I don't have a SO and losing weight is really freaking hard (at least for me it is). Talk to your SO about the game or, god forbid, play it with them. I can tell you one of the things we gamers all drool over is the ever elusive gamer chick. Learn the game! If I saw someone trying to meet me halfway about something I really enjoy it would give me alot of incentive to meet that person halfway with their interests and needs. I think if someone we're just giving me a hard time about the game the stubborn streak in me would just make me want to play it more. We really like to talk about the game. Aside from all the time we spend in game playing it, most of us spend as much time reading and talking about it outside the game. Be the person we talk to about it. As time goes on maybe he or she will realize that the satisfaction derived is not coming from the game at all but from the interaction with you.

My post is not meant to be offensive to anyone. I realize many of you are in very different situations than I am as married people often with children. I'm struggling with the time I put into the game, but I do enjoy it."


Blogger chocowafer said...

I'm a bit troubled by your post. I myself was a WoW addict til a few months ago before I realized that my relationship with my then fiancee, now wife, was deteriorating along with my work and graduate school work. Online gaming is best in moderation, as with everything. You mentioned that you are overweight, I think if you put the same level of dedication to exercise and dieting, you would find that you will achieve a greater fulfillment than any MMORPG can offer. Think in terms of your "endgame" in WoW. You can have the best gear and the best character in your realm, but so what? That is not going to help you in real life. With all addictions, MMORPG is probably running your life, and you are scheduling your life around your guild's raid schedule. You get a temporary high from playing the game, but would be left with the same emptiness while not playing it. You are right about WoW not being the problem. We should all look for the cause of the problem and not blame the symptom.

Another thing caught my eye was your suggestion about gamer chick and learning the game to please your SO. I did ask my wife to learn it with me. She took a stab at it but didn't enjoy it and she wasn't about to put time into learning all the logistics of the game. Now, thinking back, I think it is really selfish to have your SO adjust to your hobby and not the other way around. Playing MMORPG together is NOT spending time together. You are playing the game together, but you are not talking or interacting even through you may be in the SAME room. I think most guys think that being in the same room is the same as spending time with your SO, believe me, it is not. I just like to say that now that I haeve retired from WoW, my quality is life is much better.

Feb 23, 2006, 1:50:00 AM

Anonymous hilary said...

i was a gamer chick starting way back in 1997 with Meridian59 (then EQ, then DAOC) and i met my husband in the game. things are a hell of a lot different when you're single and have time to kill, then when you get married and have kids to raise. he continued to live inside the game, i took on the responsibilities of motherhood without him.
back in the day, i remember joking about "wife aggro" et al, and then later i realized those jokes were probably being said about me. guess what? it's disrespectful and it hurts.
we're divorced now, and i'm sure he's still living in the game.

while i completely understand where you're coming from, there are a lot of things you just simply can't understand from your perspective. that "elusive gamer chick" you talk about doesn't last forever. eventually she grows up.
i spent my youth staring into a computer monitor, and that's the choice i made. now, however, i can't (and wouldn't want to) be so selfish.

Feb 23, 2006, 4:30:00 AM

Blogger J said...

Really well said. And count me in as one of those gamer chicks who grew up ... I started with D&D, then MUDs, then Diablo / Final Fantasy / Zelda, then EQ / DAOC. It was fun and all but it's NOT cool sitting around as an adult in a dirty apartment, with unfinished tasks piling up, staying up all hours staring at a computer screen flickering...

I don't play MMOGs anymore - I don't have enough time so I'd rather try out PC / console stand alones when I have the time.

Feb 23, 2006, 7:06:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s very easy to put the responsibility on the SO and say “If you only understood, stuck around, was patient, played with me, etc…” Bottom line: is not fair! Analyze it and rationalize it all you want, as long as the fantasy world with perfect friends is alluring, real-life relationship does not stand a chance.

On the brighter side, when I read chocowafer’s post, I almost cried because I’m so happy for two of them. Things were much much much worse for me. Yes, I was patient, stuck around, even played the game. It took me 3 years to realize that there’s no future for two of us, and in the end I have nothing but wasted years and a great deal of hurt and resentment.

Feb 23, 2006, 7:38:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay this is quite interesting. I have a boyfriend who was really into the game but honestly...there is a reason why...he was so sad to face reality and what was really hurting him.

I have learned to play one of his online games and found myself still playing it even after he got off of his. He would make comments about me turning into a 'gamer chick'. It was kind of funny at first to show him what it was like to have your SO spending so much more time playing than working on being together.

We have learned to make compromises and I allow him time to play, yet he allows time away spent with me. I have nothing against the games, only the quality of time spent in life away from it.

Feb 27, 2006, 10:04:00 AM

Blogger Chandra said...

I think this post made an excellent point: to be the person that the gamer can talk to about it, and to come halfway at least in the understanding part. Yeah it's boring for someone who doesn't know the ins and outs already. This suggestion seems reasonable to me, though, as in any healthy relationship there is always give and take. Such as... I don't like fishing but I still talk with my father about it and join him once in a while. Or... I can't stand baseball but I still ask questions about it and watch the game with my relatives. And... I have no idea how to fix cars but I always listen to my boyfriend when he talks about it. Unselfish things like that can really show a person that you care because they know it's not in your character to be a fan, but it shows you're willing to compromise or adjust to them to a point. I truly think it is to your advantage not to be narrowminded when it comes to an issue like this one.

Mar 1, 2006, 1:01:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

People say it is not fair for them to have to play the games with their SO. I say it is not fair for you to demand that they stop doing something they enjoy to please you. Why should the player be the one that has to change?

Nov 5, 2006, 7:19:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bottom line is you shouldn't try to stay with someone that has different priorities than you. Why would you have children with someone who obviously enjoys gaming more than children? This issue with "everquest widows" bothers me because I don't understand two people accidentally get in this situation, unless the gamer is lying about how much time they like to spend on their game. I think it's plainly stupid for a heavy gamer to get in a relationship with a non-gamer who.. hates games. The focus on gaming is a cover for more serious problems with a relationship.

We only have one life to live, so you should live it how you enjoy, and find your own meaning. If you find that if you want to spend 12 hours a day in a virtual world, go for it. An addiction is something that you're doing because you're conditioned to do it, but you secretly hate and think is ruining your life. I've seen players like that and it is a problem. Once it reaches that point it needs to stop so you don't make yourself and others miserable. Addictions are also used to numb the pain of real problems. The OP doesn't seem to be in this category. (Though you might want to drop some pounds if you want to be gaming to a ripe old age :) ) I find it amusing that some people think "losing weight" or "having children" is more important than a video game. In the end, it's not. Nothing has meaning except for the meaning you give it while you're alive. And as long as you're not hurting someone else, who cares?

Myself I'm not overweight, and I slow my playing for work/education, but it's all about your priorities.

Take it easy :)

Jul 9, 2007, 5:36:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a WoW gamer chick. I initially played it because my husband spent nearly every moment on that game when he was home. He provided for us, monetarily (our kids and me), but the emotional needs were not met. We are now divorced. I still play that game, but only on rare occasions. It IS an addiction. And, that game had a huge role in the demise of my marriage. Like I said, I still play it...and I'm not really sure why. It does nothing but take away from your real life relationships. Is it fun? Hell yeah it's fun. But, in retrospect, is it worth me losing my family? Hm. Let me think...Um. NO. Bad thing is, I'd asked him to stop playing so much, but he continued. I'd go into our office/computer room at 1 and 2am and basically "offer" myself, to no avail. Only so many times a wife will do that...

It's a love/hate thing with me now. Sometimes, I'll play for a few days (not solid!!), but then I'll go a month or more without even touching it. It is an addiction...

Sep 23, 2007, 2:56:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone has an addiction to video games, they need help, just like an alchoholic needs help. If you're playing for 12 hours straight or more daily, you have a problem. If you'd rather play WoW than have sex with your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband, you have a very serious problem.

My cousin was a straight A student, and went into college as a sophomore because he had taken so many advanced classes. Unfortunately, he got addicted to Everquest and flunked an entire semester of school. The only way he got his life together was through therapy and a support group. He quit the game (got clean, as he puts it) and got back into school. He really screwed up his chances for a great job due to flunking a semester, and he won't even use a computer with an MMO installed on it.

I understand the appeal of having a second identity in a fantasy world, but some people take it way too far. Many players of online games have poor social skills; it is easier to talk to an undead priest on a computer screen than it is to talk to a girl at school or at work. I know I'm generalizing, but it IS true. I enjoyed online games for a while, but once I gained a social life in reality, the game lost its' appeal.

Honestly, if your signifigant other has an addiction, try to get help for them. Addiction is a very serious issue, and while some people excuse it as 'oh, it's just a game' it's not. If they refuse help, then it's time to leave. It won't get any better. Believe me.

Nov 7, 2007, 12:51:00 AM


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