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.

Monday, April 24, 2006

"my husband ... plays Everquest. He stopped for a while before we were married (I threatened to leave) I thought this was a video game? It seems that all his free time is wrapped up in it.
I just want to cry.
Can you offer any help or information. He gets livid when I suggest time constraints or quitting. We had a baby 7 months ago and he sits her on his lap while he plays and calls this his quality time. Are we forcing him into this world? As a former participant was it the lack of a satisfying reality that caused your retreat to a virtual world?"

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A new email from the one who brought you "I don't really. I just play it." (thanks!)

[Some of the comments contain profanity - you are hereby warned...]

"I sent an email about WoW to my best friend and my little brother, because I like to keep in contact with crazy things that I dredge up. It concerns some 'player justification' about playing MMORPGs after the famous death of Snowly. There are plenty of addicts stories that I know of - including especially your excellent blog! - but what I want to find out more about is what players say about continuing to play even thought they know of the problems to do with the games, in order that I may construct my essay.
Also in this email is stuff about the recent ambushed funeral controversy. I thought about cutting it out because I am pretty sure you'll know all about it, but there's an offchance it may add to your understanding of the issue. Or you may not even know about it. If the latter is the case, I am sorry for introducing you to this rather questionable example of online life.

This is the text of the email I sent:

Remember when the person behind the character 'Snowly' died playing World of Warcraft? Have just found this interesting blog post about it:

However, I don't see this as a reason to bash these games. Clearly the addictive nature of these games are a risk from a productivity and health perspective, but I think that the sense of responsibility and teamwork that is built by the games exceeds this cost...

I found that page because I was looking out for the recent 'ambushed funeral'
controversy. Here is what happened:
"Apparently, some dude dies in real life who is a popular World of Warcraft player. The people in the game think it would be nice to have a memorial for the player so they log into his account, take the character to a lake, and set it up for everyone to come pay their respects.
"A bunch of dudes decide this would be a great time to ambush everyone so they run over a hill, kill the dead guy’s character, and then wipe out everyone who was there to show their respects. They filmed the whole thing and put it on the net for everyone to see.

Some comments from that page:
"that was the fucking best video ever. those funeral bitches got pw000ned like the n00bs they are. fuck them and fuck their dead video game friend. my condolences to the real dead person though."
"That video rocked. The MMO community is the worst in gaming, and I’m not referring to the guys who raided. They rock for teaching those MMO-obsessed no-lifers a hard lesson about how video games and real life should never mix, and all people who feel the least bit of sympathy for the morons who had their little boohoo sob story broken up need to get off of the internet once in awhile."
"hahaha, i think tis the funniest goddam thing iv ever seen. how pathetic really aswell.. holding a virtual funeral. yes i feel for the victim but really… how
nerdish can u get.."

"See, I'm an actual WoW player and i'm in two halves about this. One half of me says that it was cruel, disrespectful and completely distasteful - someone died after all! I've seen the aftermath of this and everything, there's an even bigger file around. The memorial took place after the ambush happened again anyway. One the other hand, i thought it was superb, especially the video we just saw and its editting. I'd be lying if i said i didn't at least chuckle. If i knew someone who had died in the game and there was a memorial, i'd definitely attend, no doubt, just as a sign of respect for something that they were clearly passionate about before their passing. But game or no game, people have completely overlooked the fact that someone actually died in real life...that's the saddest part about it."
"IIRC part of the motivation for the attack was that the horde repeatedly requested that the alliance not interfere. People who pvp and grief and stuff really can't resist attacking someone who is begging them not to."

What this last post says is that "it's hard not to crash a virtual funeral when you've been asked not to do it". Just like "it's hard not to break the law against murder when people keep reminding you"."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

New email, short'n sweet: "Reading your blog inspired me. I logged onto my main character and tabulated the total time played in terms of 40 hour work weeks. I've spent 5 months of 40 hours/wk playing my main character in WoW. I just deleted all my characters, gold, game files, and destroyed the CDs."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"... mine and my husbands story is almost identical to the March 14th post. We both found it incredibly eerie that I happened to run across this post and how closely it resembles our own story.

We have been married 10years. My husband has always been a gamer, I did not realize how much so when we got married as he didnt have a computer or playstation of his own while we dated. We shared an interest in Arcade games having grown up in a time when they were comming into their own. It was a fun thing for us to do together on dates. Both of us had the original cartrige Atari games in our home growing up and spent more than our fair share of allowances in Arcades. (hehe, anyway...I digress)

We got married and within about 6months had purchased our own computer. It was almost instantly a problem in our relationship. I tried nagging and begging for time with him which sometimes worked better that other times. As time went on we have had three beautiful children and he was missing so much with them and with me. I also was a child of divorce and did not consider that an option for us. His gaming did not effect his work for the most part so we were financial secure.

In 2004 he noticed that Star Wars had come out with an online game and that I had somewhat of an interest in that. He went and purchased it for both of us and we started playing together. At first I was a casual player and still resented much of the time he was spending on the game. Then at some point between the online chat and finnally moving my character up to a level where I could have some fun and making some credits to spend I got hooked. I really felt like if I cant beat'em join'em and started playing excessively.

Eventually I was approached by another character and we started an online affair. We created toons on another server so we could be alone and on that server I started meeting new people. I felt more of a freedom on this new server because I knew that no one there knew I was married in real life and it wouldn't get back to my husband. I fell into a cycle of meeting people and engaging in online sexual chat with them. I had all sorts of justifications for my behavior "he should have never gotten me involved in this game" "he has had his own struggles with porn on line in the past." Whatever I could think of to make myself feel better about it. One of the people I met asked me if I was married in real life and I was honest and said yes. He saw that I was following on a path that he had traveled on and was still trying to get off of and warned me that what I was doing could lead to me losing my husband and my children. His wife had just left him and taken his two girls with her. You know, I knew what I was doing was wrong, but until this incredibly insightful and bold person spoke that truth that directly to me, I just hadn't thought through the possible consequences of my actions.

I knew I couldn't stop on my own and wasn't sure where to turn, I had so isolated myself from most of my friends durring this time. I ended up going to a councelor who of corse told me I had to tell my husband what I had been doing. It took me six weeks to finally agree to do so, that was this past January and a week before our 10th anniversary. I just thought, if he wants to spend 10more years with me then I want him to do so with the full knowledge of what I had been doing, and if it meant the end of our marriage, then I would have to accept that consequence as well. My husband was more gracious than I deserved and we have been working on restoring our relationship since that time.

He has not been willing to admit to his own addiction though and has continued playing. We had quit playing the StarWars game for two months then one night a couple of weeks ago we watched one of the Star Wars movies with my son and it was a total 'trigger' for me. I told him how much I missed it, and of course he missed playing with me. He said do you think you could play without flirting, I said I think so. So we reloaded the game and I was oh so wrong, I went right back to my old style of flirting. I told him and this time he was a bit more angry, but glad I had told him so quickly.

When I read him the March 14th post last night the story rang so true with him. What she said about her husband being with the family but only a shadow of himself, he said, you know, lets see what happens in the house with no computer games for three months. This was an incredibly HUGE statement for him to make. I dont know if we will make it three months, we actually decided to go to a Celebrate Recovery group to get some support for our addiction. Last night was our first class and we felt a little silly sitting next to drug addicts whose lives have been devistated with their addictions, but we truly feel if we dont take some serious steps, our family would become another statistic.

To people that don't get addicted to gaming, I am sure it seems silly, I mean it is just a game. But, for people that have been effected by it, the effects are as damaging as any other addiction. We both had parents with addictive personalities and this is not the first area in our own lives where we have shown weakness to addictions. It is time for us to say enough is enough and get healthier coping mechanisms that we can pass on to our own children. Thank you for listening to my ramblings, this turned out to be much longer than I had planned. I wish you the best of luck on your study and will be looking for ways to help people in our own area."