A gamer's side of the story

This forum is for those of you who are in the middle of or have successfuly beat the addiction. Whether your addiction was gaming, smoking, eating, etc. you are welcome to use this forum to help you get through it or share your story of how you got through it!

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A gamer's side of the story

Postby dwm on Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:42 am

(Apologies in advance for the long post)

I'm posting here because I'm very grateful for having found this website. I had no clue I even had a problem with online gaming until reading the Eqdailygrind blog. After reading my story, you will realize how ridiculous that statement really is. My reason for posting is to "give back a little bit" by showing some insight into the mind of a compulsive gamer. I hope to show that we can justify to ourselves any length of gameplay without even realizing that there is a problem. I'm 22 years old with a WoW account that has about 150 days /played. I used to rent a nice apartment, long term relationship, good job. I live at my mom's now.

I bought WoW on release day because I wanted a new game to play in the hour or so that I had after work, before my girlfriend got home. You guessed it, I started playing all day every day. I've always played games, but, never this much. I started staying home from work, sick days, vacation days, overtime bank, whatever excuse I could use. After a month, our sex life was all but gone. It wasn't that I would rather play WoW (which is how my gf saw it), but I just had no interest/sex drive all of a sudden. She is unbelievably attractive, but I realize now my reluctance led her to believe I thought otherwise. We stopped going out together, and once again, I didn't particularly want to play WoW instead, I just didn't feel like going out with her although I loved her very much. If she seemed upset or angry, I would suggest we go out, but only because her mood made me feel bad. She usually declined, under these circumstances, I couldnt blame her... but I started to resent that she was always mad about my game but didn't want to go out even if I was clearly just giving in.

I left her 6 months after WoW release. The resentment and guilt grew too much, I could see that I was hurting her, but at the time I felt she was being unfair. Any sane person could see that I ended it because I was devoting myself to WoW. I didn't see it that way- I had myself convinced it was a hundred other reasons. She remains my closest non-gamer friend although we talk once a week on the phone at most.

I eventually quit my job. I could no longer wake up in time for my early start. I slept through every alarm I bought. I couldn't manage to fall asleep before 4am and my shift started at 6. I thought my sleep problems were depression, and I didn't know what was causing it, certainly not Wow, it was just something to pass the time harmlessly. I'm very depressed outside the game even for the 5 minutes it takes for fast food drive thru. Now all I do is play, I dont work. I stole money to buy a game card (I maxed my CC already), I told myself I just needed something to do while I look for a job. I honestly hadn't realized until finding this site that I hadn't made any effort to job hunt since then. The truth is, in the back of my mind, I couldn't bear to leave the game, even if it was just until i could afford it again.

Thats the point I want to make here. Your husbands and wives are not just telling you they don't have a gaming problem, they probably don't even know. The people close to me have been telling me all along I have a problem with WoW - I never even considered it to be the truth, and I never even realized just how little time I was spending with loved ones. The game is so much fun and time absolutely flies when you play it. But constant play has so many side effects on your life- sleep loss, loss of sex drive, less interest in work, hobbies and social interaction. Your SO will replace these simply by playing more, and will consider it a harmless way to spend a "little time", without realizing that the game is actually causing these changes. He/she will see your efforts to get him off the game as your way of forcing him to do only what you want him to do.

My suggestion to gamer widows? Show your SO http://eqdailygrind.blogspot.com/ . I happened upon that website recently by chance (while looking for reading material while grinding, no less) and it hit me like a freight train. I feel like somebody made a website to describe me. My relationship and job are gone for good, but thanks to that blog and this site, I can at least start to understand exactly why. I bet that sure sounds stupid to a non-gamer who thinks I purposefully gave it all up just to slay pictures of dragons.
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Re: A gamer's side of the story

Postby nerdmatic on Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:58 am

Welcome, thanks for such an eloquently put together post.

Some of your points really hit home.

dwm wrote: After a month, our sex life was all but gone. It wasn't that I would rather play WoW (which is how my gf saw it), but I just had no interest/sex drive all of a sudden. She is unbelievably attractive, but I realize now my reluctance led her to believe I thought otherwise.


dwm wrote:I started to resent that she was always mad about my game but didn't want to go out even if I was clearly just giving in.


I'm sorry for all you've lost because of WoW. Are you trying to cut back now or otherwise get free of the addiction?
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Postby dwm on Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:05 pm

Well, I managed to use the server down time to look for a job. Its a start :).

Doing pretty much anything besides WoW, apart from my usual routine of heading to the store and back quickly, gets me motivated to find ways to do it more often. That motivation goes away when I log in. When you have basically no real-world obligations left, its very difficult get off your ass to do something with seemingly no purpose (like taking a walk) when you could be at least farming some gold in-game. Its so ironic that a non gamer would view the game as having no purpose when they could be working another job earning some extra cash, getting some exercise, chatting (not online) with a friend .
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Postby thefeeny on Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:38 pm

Hi DVM

I don't know on what terms you and your girlfriend parted - but what ever the terms - I think she would benefit from reading that note of yours.

One of the hardest things for addicts to find is self honesty. I think it is nigh on impossible - so much so that Iwill go as far as saying that once we are honest with ourselves about our addictions that this discovery marks the shift to becoming "recovering addicts".

Congratulations on making the transition.

I have one question for you - knowing everything you know about the game, what it gives you and how it makes you feel - Do you think it really is fun - and what exactly does it give you and do for you?
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Postby FarleySC on Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:14 pm

Amazing honesty and truth. I am so sorry for all you've lost and I hope that you can find the help you need to break free of the chains that bind you to the demon that is holding you back from being what you can be. The boards have quite a few members who post and browse the Rehab forums, and each of us has a different story and point of view, yet we are very much the same. Some of us are free of whatever what holding us, and some of us still struggle, but together, through knowledge, experience, and understanding, we can all hope to find some respite. I hope you find peace here or anywhere.
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Postby dwm on Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:32 am

thefeeny wrote:I have one question for you - knowing everything you know about the game, what it gives you and how it makes you feel - Do you think it really is fun - and what exactly does it give you and do for you?


Hehe.. I guess I'm not the typical WoW "addict". I play for the fun... not "fame", respect, notoriety, or epic loot. I can find fun anywhere in the game, and I do whatever amuses me. I never get bored of it. If I stopped playing regularly I wouldnt feel any obligation to guildmates, online friends, or worry that my char may fall behind, its the fact that I find WOW more fun than any other activity that keeps me playing. The positive side is that if I played for an hour a day, I would still enjoy that hour just as much (as opposed to somebody obssessed with end game raiding, you simply cant do that without 6+ hours per raiding day, which can now be and likely is every day with the new content). Unfortunately I just cant limit myself like that.

The most destructive part of the game for most people, imo, is all the waiting around. Travelling, looking for groups, waiting for groups to get to the instance, clearing trash mobs, waiting in battleground queue. The reward that you're in it for is at the end of the task. 1-2 hours of actually playing the game means you were likely logged in for 3-4. Logging off early to stick to a limit on your playing, just leaves you with the feeling you wasted your time without even getting to the boss, and your group probably wont like it much either. Just about anybody would "stick it out" the extra time it takes to finish, unfortunately the same thing is going to happen the next day and the day after that. The pressure/desire to get things done in the game eventually makes any RL reason to log off very irritating.
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Postby nerdmatic on Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:22 am

dwm wrote:The most destructive part of the game for most people, imo, is all the waiting around. Travelling, looking for groups, waiting for groups to get to the instance, clearing trash mobs, waiting in battleground queue. The reward that you're in it for is at the end of the task. 1-2 hours of actually playing the game means you were likely logged in for 3-4. Logging off early to stick to a limit on your playing, just leaves you with the feeling you wasted your time without even getting to the boss, and your group probably wont like it much either. Just about anybody would "stick it out" the extra time it takes to finish, unfortunately the same thing is going to happen the next day and the day after that. The pressure/desire to get things done in the game eventually makes any RL reason to log off very irritating.



Haha that seems SO true. I'm still low lvl 12 and I hate all the running around, its so boring.

But my husband is a lvl 60 priest he's just getting back into raids and stuff and half the time i ask him what he's doing he said, "We just wiped again, I'm waiting for everyone to rez." Boooooooooooorrrring.
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Postby hyarke on Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:00 pm

I agree, it's incredibly tdious, I try to make a new character andIi realize I've done the same thing a million times. Night Elf quests are so Freaking BORING!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby hyarke on Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:01 pm

The only thing your waiting for is that awesome new spell two levels away or that epic mount or a new totem. It'll be forever before that happens.
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Postby thefeeny on Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:18 pm

We measure our lives in years.
Years are measured in months.
Months are measured in days.
Days are measured in hours.
Hours in minutes.

The game is SPECIFICALLY designed to suck away your life. Minute by minute, day by day, month by month. It steals opportunity. That happens when a person can't hink of any better use of their time apart from playing the game.

Ill summarise:

It is a life sucking, opportunity stealing addictive habit.

YUCK
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Postby Zoom on Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:59 am

WoW = waste of time.

Solution: Delete from Hard-drive and cut up CD's.

:)
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2004 Roundtable Best Fan Film, 2nd Place

Former WoW, DAoC, Shadowbane, & Diablo Addict

MMORPG’s are never-ending time-sinks designed to generate a long-term revenue stream for a Game Company by providing the player with a robust escape from reality where many players fall into the trap of feeling uncontrollably compelled to spend endless hours of their lives obtaining bigger and better epic items/abilities (aka: “phat lewt”), which in reality are nothing more than just pixels on a screen with no true value. ~ Zoom, January 2006.
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