I Am A Recovering Addict of MMORPG Games

by Jeremy Schoemaker on August 3, 2008 · 210 comments

Probably a lot of people saw this title and thought it was title bait. It’s not. This article is completely about my addiction with MMORPGS. When I posted the other day about my addiction to MMORPGS I bet most people had no idea the depth of it. Anyway here it is:

I was working at a startup ISP in Moline Illinios. I worked with a bunch of people who were all big gamers. We really had nothing else going on in our lives… We worked the late shift answering support calls. I worked the 3pm until 11pm shift. Most others worked the 12pm to 8pm shift but they all stayed ATLEAST until 11pm playing video games. I have always been naturally good at video games… sports games… whatever. When I was 8 years old I won a tournament in Branson Mo. where I had to play over 14 hours. I beat out over 300 other people of all age ranges. At one time I proclaimed myself the greatest in the world at nhl96 hockey and challenged people to games. I also would play them with no goalie. I was the best. But I digress.

One day while working at Internet Revealed a co worker, Anthony Patrezi was all excited about this new video game coming out from Verant interactive called “Everquest”. He was really excited. I was never really into Dungeons and Dragons although many of my co-workers were. I did not really understand what it was about… He left early that night so he could pre-pay for a copy of the game. When he came in the next day with Everquest he started playing right away…. You see Everquest was a game where you built your own character. You could be a human… or a elf… barbarian or go evil and be a ogre, troll or dark elf. Then you could build the character… give it a certain color of eyes… hair… how tall was it… how fat… etc.. Totally customizable. Then once your character was built you entered the world of Norrath.

I thought the game was simply awesome. I went out and bought it immediately. I made a character…. Choose human… wizard. I named my character Wizinator. (seemed like a good name). I ran out into this virtual world with tons of other people online and started nuking rats with lightning bolts I conjured from the sky. The graphics were AMAZING. I remember the first time I ventured out past the commonlands into the west commonlands and saw a Griffin…. It was this massive flying thing with the head of a lion. In the game everyone was terrified by griffins and griffons. If someone shouted GRIFF you ran like a MOFO to the closest zone. The game was simply magical. After a few weeks of playing more people that we worked with got the game and were just getting ready to start. I realized my choice of race (human) and class (wizard) were pretty dumb and I was going to be in this game for the long haul. So I started over on the same level as these other guys.

We all started our characters out on this new server…. This time I chose a druid as my class and a half elf as my race. This also means I started in a new area…. Called Quenos. With a fresh start I started whaling on stuff, gaining in levels fast with my fellow co workers. We had a really good system at internet revealed. We were able to play Everquest while we worked. After work I would book home as fast as possible to play until 7-8 AM until I passed out. I had no time to cook food or have any sort of human interaction with the world outside Everquest. I ordered pizzas every night and drank water like a fish. I also had TONS of cartons of cigarettes in the house. When I played at home I smoked like a chimney. Sometimes smoking 2+ packs of cigarettes in the 10 hour+ sessions we played. On the weekends it was time to really get in some play time. I am such a completely obsessive person that I never could quit playing. On weekends I would not sleep on Saturday nights…. Hardly ever. I had to be the best…. I had to level up.

Basically how leveling up worked was you got experience from killing mobs (monsters) and when you got enough of that experience you raised a level. If you died you would lose experience. Sometimes as much as half of a level. The experience loss from death was devastating. Sometimes 1 death would cost you as much as 8 hours worth of grinding on mobs experience wise. I remember one of my co-workers in particular who was on a customer support call when he died and ended up shouting at the person on the phone just like “YOU’RE A FU*KING IDIOT I DUNNO HOW TO FIX YOUR PRINTER”… like whoa dude… Some people told him c’mon its just a game and your going to lose your job.

But the thing was it wasn’t a game… It had become our lives. We were spending 16+ hours a day living inside this virtual world. We also had jobs inside this world…. I was a leatherworker… another one of my RL (real life) co workers was a blacksmith… another one was a jeweler. As I reached level 20’ish it was being revealed that by killing some mobs you could get special random stuff… like a badass sword or armor… or whatever. So now we would setup camps where these special items dropped. The random drops were pretty nuts… like sometimes 1 in 30. So you just had to grind it out. Being it was so random though it sucked. Also there became huge jealousy when people would get their items. There started to become a market outside the game for these items….. You would see them being sold on EBAY! So now not only were they sought after in the game but now people were getting them just so they could make money on eBay… and make money they did. Also now if you were in a group of 5 people all of different classes and as a item dropped that was druid only people who could not even use it would be like dude I can sell that I am going to roll on it (rolling meant rolling a virtual magic die. In the game its how disputes were settled).

Lots of stress… Things became very political in the game. Eventually they implemented a Guild system where you could band together. This was awesome because now people in the guild would help eachother.

Well long story long now ending shortly is I became lvl 50 pretty fast on the server. In fact I was the 5th over all and the first half elf. I was awesome. I had the sword that sparkled and all my cool gear from the plane of fear. I would roll up into town and newbs everywhere would just be in awe.

I ruled the world….. or this virtual one anyway….

Meanwhile my real life had fallen apart. I had lost my job and was in debt with creditors calling ringing my phone off the wall not even to mention I was fat as could be weighing over 400lbs. I could not deal with my real life. I hated any time that took away from my Everquest time. I was ruler in that world.

Then one day my power was shut off…. Omg…. I was so depressed. Not only was my online world now shutoff but now I had to confront my life that I had neglected for the last 2 years. It looked pretty hopeless so I decided to move out of my apartment that was driving me more into debt and possibly go live with my parents.

My parents came over to help me move all my items into a storage closet and offered to let me live with them. I love my parents but I was like 25 years old was not about to move in with them. My friend George Schaeffer III suggested I come live with him in Des Moines Iowa and try to find work there since it was a much more thriving area. I made the move and what a amazing move it was… I wont go into all the details but soon after I met my girlfriend (now wife) and 3 years later we are living together in Omaha Nebraska. It had been a long time since I played a MMORPG like Everquest and I had just started my own business and doing pretty well. I had been dreaming about Everquest though for the last couple years… killing snakes in Blackburrow… camping the ogre for the bone bladed claymore… hunting that asshole that dropped the great Zweilander in the barbarian land… (you guys who played EQ know what im talking about). It was amazing that I was still having dreams about this game YEARS after I had played it.

We were about to go on a trip so I downloaded this mini Everquest game to my PDA. What harm could it do? I mean it was a PDA game…. I took it on a trip to Vegas with my wife and played it with all my free time. I would wake up in the middle of the night and go in the bathroom and play it… I had the bug back. I started talking to my wife about it saying I was feeling like I wanted to play. She was pretty ignorant about how the massive online world games worked and kind of encouraged me to look into it.

About that time a new game was about to come out called “World of Warcraft” and I was intrigued. I also liked how there was virtually no death penalty. I purchased the game and started playing. I was doing really well on the internet making several thousand dollars a day completely passively… So why not take a little time for myself? I mean seriously I deserved it right? So I started playing during the day while my wife was at work…. It was kind of the same deal as Everquest… you make your character.. pick your race and other stuff then get going. Course this was many years later and they had done a lot better in the graphics although it did not have nearly the amazing earth shattering effect as Everquest did when I first started playing it. Anyway I played this about 8 hours a day while my wife was at work then when she went to bed I would play more. I was able to level fine but I could not camp for the cool items… so I did what any other wealthy person who didn’t have the time to play did… I bought them on Ebay… In the next few weeks I spent thousands on eBay. I bought enough gold to buy my level 60 horse… a sword that shot flames… it was awesome. My wife never knew and I do not think still knows the depth of my addiction.

Then about 3 months after I started playing World of Warcraft it was Christmas… I was traveling back to my hometown. I was almost pissed off that I was not going to be able to play Warcraft..

My sister was married to a guy who had 2 kids from a previous marriage but this guy also had a addiction to online multiplayer games. He came over to my parents and would sit in another room and play his game the whole time. He completely ignored his kids. It was …. So sad.

I believe at that time I had what alcoholics refer to as a “moment of clarity”. I envisioned myself neglecting my family and kids. It was very very very awakening. I confessed to my wife that night that I had an addiction to playing online games. I think she understood but kind of downplayed it. Like I said I still to this day do not think she understands the depth of my addiction. Anyway I can never play a game like that again. I now have 2 daughters and a very happy marriage and I live for my kids and wife. I have never played a massive multiplayer game like that since.

I do from time to time play games like desktop tower defense or something on the xbox 360 but nothing that encases me like that. I also have made people around me very aware of my addiction. Especially people like Dillsmack who can spot it a mile away cause he would know if I got wrapped up in a online game.

Anyway all this sounds pretty crazy right? Well I dunno that I am that odd… I am reading about people getting trapped in these worlds all the time in the mainstream media… whether its 2nd life…. Everquest… World of Warcraft…. Whatever. People have even committed suicide over it.

So I still dream about Everquest…. Kiting hill giants and frost giants with my druid…. Powerleveling my twink rogue. The scariest thing is I am on a plane right now writing this post and remember all the above things with such clarity….

Addiction is a motherfsckr. I know this addiction is pretty pathetic compared to some peoples….. But its there and I know its something I always need to be conscious of.

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2857 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.


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{ 199 comments }

1 BlackhatWay

Hehe, another recovering MMORPG-addict here. I used to play WoW. I played it for around three years. Oh, all that wasted money. Haven’t played now for a year.
I stopped when I realized how the game was just same all the time.. I hope that I am able to not buy the new expansion..

2 Melvin

I see your point Jeremy… I never have played MMORPG but 89% of my friends do… here in philippines, WOW isn’t very popular.. instead other smaller mmorpg games seem to capture people… I have played guildwars before and stopped when i realized it has been eating my time.. well everytime i ask my friends why do they waste their time there they always say, you don’t understand it, its easy to say for you bcoz youre not playing…

3 Stanley Tang

That was quite a story Jeremy. I never knew the depth of you’re addiction.. I know many of my friends who played MMORPG who got so addicted that they had virtually no life whatsoever… then screwed up their exams and stuff like that and basically failed school. They sort of had this “ritual” where every saturday they will go to a computer cafe and basically play WOW. It is pretty sad…

I do know Joel Comm plays WOW and he’s a huge gamer. Not sure if you’ve played him.

Stanley

4 Melvin

also to add after playing games for a whole day that seemed to be just a while, it leaves a very stressing feeling…. the eyes are oftentimes teary, the face is tired up and stressed and sometimes you have to catch your breath… just heard from my friends/ expereicnce

5 Craig

Glad to hear you got that shit under control. Now, how do I control my Internet addiction?

6 Dan

When I was still in school, the number of college kids that dropped out after a semester because all they did was play WoW amazed me. These guys would sleep all until the afternoon, wake up and play until the early morning hours. Not only would they skip class they would not socialize outside of that game at all. It was sad.

7 Glenn

I’ve never let myself play MMORPGs for this exact reason, I know I’d get addicted. A friend of mine gave me his 2 week trial for WoW, and that was all I did for those two weeks.

8 knolme

I can still remember the day when I threw up after playing for 16 hours of StarCraft..

9 matan mates

Craig, MMORPG’s aren’t shit, im was an wow addict till i had 3 level 70′s with full tier 5/6

I played myself to death because it WAS good AND fun. and i might even do it again with the next bigtime mmo

10 cristi

about 5 years ago, when i found first mmorpg game, i’ve played it for 18 hours without stop :) Currently i’m playing travian for about 2 years. i have an open tab from my browser every time i’m online :))

11 Start Blogging

Totally understand you. My friend’s brother is totally obsessed with WOW. He’s spent the entire summer locked inside the computer room. He’s pale white, and if you try to talk to him he goes nuts. It’s pretty sad. I’m hoping that soon he’ll wake up from this trance.

12 TEKFIRM

My wife never knew and I do not think still knows the depth of my addiction.

Dont she read your blog ? :)

13 Static

MMORPGs can really ruin your real life. In Korea you can see a lot of unemployed people MMORPG games straight for DAYS! It’s pretty sad… I used to be a big fan of MMORPG games too. None that are well known in the States, but very popular in Korea. However, the addiction was just too great, so I decided to format my PC to get rid of it once and for all.

By the way Shoe, I think your new addiction of blogging and Shoemoney isn’t so bad. At least it earns you the money to pay the bills! ;)

14 Michael

I’m quite lucky as I’ve never been into MMORPGs, though I was quite addicted to my Xbox awhile back and played hours upon hours of Call of Duty 4. I think I have over 16 days of gametime clocked since January, so a little over 2 full days a month, I spend on gaming. Which is just sad.

I’ve since seen that this is a problem as my school work and regular work started to suffer. I have set strict limitations on myself, I don’t allow myself to play for more than an hour at a time without a break. Usually after I shut the console off and get up or go out, I don’t feel like playing again for that day. In the past week I’ve played for about 35 minutes total, and the week before that was about 2 hours.

15 Hoo Kang

Amen Brother!

I feel your pain.

16 Joanne

Thanks for sharing your story.

I’m sure some parents will read your story and lock up their Wii’s and limit the time their kids can go online but before you do, please read what I have to say.

As a mother to three kids who enjoy games (as do my husband & I), I would like to share my thoughts if I can. My children are unschoolers, meaning they’re homeschoolers who don’t follow a curriculum. We learn through everything, including games. I model “balance” in my own life and discuss it with my children often. They don’t have restrictions placed on them and yet they choose to play games in moderation. Take right now for instance….we have a PS1, PS2 and 2 DS’s that they can play whenever they want yet my son (16) is working on a model car, my daughter (13) is shooting some hoops and my other daughter (9) is outside reading. So what’s my point? If parents gave their children more freedom, less restrictions, respected their passions and modeled the behavior they wanted to see, (and at the same time be a part of their kids lives) I think that as we grow up, we would have an easier time balancing things like gaming. I see it all the time with college kids. They get their first taste of freedom and don’t know how to handle it. Thanks for letting me speak out and again, thank you for sharing your story.

17 pramod

aye madame…u r 100% correct…….i made my parents suffer with my mmorpg…failing 1 out of 4 years in university….but i worked double time and passed in that 4 years and got my ddegree in usual manner..it wwas too much freedom entering univ..after a hard junior college life….i waswas mad and got addicted to mmorpgs

18 Architecture

Diablo 3 is coming soon, probably end of next year…

19 David Lawlor

Shoe-

Totally know about the EQ bug, was there with you playing on TZ, which in the early days was the best, because you could kill the other characters and grab their stuff if they didnt unequip fast enough.

Played WOW and some of the other MMORPGs but nothing has ever grabbed me like old school EQ. I miss the days of youth with no responsibility sometimes lol

20 Ryan J. Parker

My Iksar Shamon never got to its highest levels, but I would seriously neglect so much time to Everquest. I got into it not long after I got married 5 years ago, and would play it while my wife was in school. I didn’t have a good connection at work, so instead of playing I would spend a lot of time reading up on the latest crap or how to level or the latest mobs to get. I’d setup ShowEQ to find everyone and everything (and it really sucked when it would break). Basically I had a huge addiction that could have cost me my marriage, but I too had a sort of clarity moment. WTF was I going to do with myself if all I did was play this?! In fact, I’m sure this was some part to my best man getting divorced. Not the entire reason I’m sure, but part of it. Fk MMORPGs.

21 cory at agoodhusband.net

Wow, Shoemoney. I’m a long time lurker, but I had to come comment on this post. I’ve been writing about the effects of video game addiction on marriage for a while now, and this is a perfect example of what it does to people. I am glad that you were able to put aside the addiction, as a lot of men are not able to put it down. Good for you!

Unfortunately, the problem with MMORPG’s and consoles like the Xbox has grown to epic proportions with clinics opening to help with , as well as a multitude of websites with resources about game addiction.

Good post. Thanks for sharing and helping people become aware of the problem!

22 Scorpiono

I almost have tears in my eyes, I confessed about my addiction in mmorpg, nobody seems to take it seriously, I stopped playing 1 year ago when I started my first big website.

I understand you 100% on this one, and yet I’m so scared to run World of warcraft again, what if I get addicted again? And there’s moments when you get bored, and think about it.

I’ve managed to succeed so far.

Thank shoe, inspiring post

23 cory at agoodhusband.net

I think your spam filter ate my comment. It was my first comment here, makes me sad.

24 Brent

Yeah man that shit is real. In college I wrote a paper titled “Internet Addiction Disorder” for a psych class.I did a ton of research on the topic and addiction to online gaming seemed to be the strongest kind of internet addiction. Now I am a bit worried because my 12 yr old wants to play Runescape (smiilar to EQ) all the time. Sometimes he gets up at like 6 am to play.

25 Lawrence

I don’t have the patience for MMORPG – too slow and dense;

I’m an FPS, and 3rd person adventure guy.

26 ajaz

Thanks for posting this Shoe. I think this will bring an awareness to an issue that many do not understand. Addictions, regardless of the type, can happen quickly often without the person realizing it has happened. An addition to anything is damaging to your life.

27 Wesley

Never got into mmorpgs, since I don’t see the point. The end goal, what is it? A never-ending game isn’t really my thing.

28 Kyle Eslick

Shoe,

I was in a similar situation. I played EverQuest when it first came out (I’m in Des Moines, Iowa as well!) and played for about 5 years. I was married the entire time and even got my wife addicted to playing, but once our first child was born (about 4.5 years in), we knew we had to quit. We both quit and we both felt much better (less stressed and got in better shape). About a year later I dived into EverQuest 2 “casually”, but about 3-4 months later casual turned back to obsession. I was the third richest person on my server and had the Carpentry market cornered. I recognized the signs, so this time to quit early and haven’t looked back since.

Thanks for sharing your story Shoe. I’m glad to see I wasn’t the only one sucked into EverQuest.

29 Jack

Jeremy, thanks for sharing. What you said in the last paragraph is true for all addictions– your propensity toward that addiction will never go away, but as long you remain conscious of it you can keep yourself steady.

30 jim

Thanks for sharing this, I was really into MUDs back in high school and would play it all the time. It’s difficult to come to grips with things like that and it’s amazing that you were able to recognize it now, rather than in 40 years.

31 Andrew

I have definitely been an MMORPG addict for runescape. I had played classic since it began and had lost school days and sleep just thinking about it. Sometimes I would go to bed, then come right back to the computer to gain 2 more levels or to fix a mistake i made before I logged off lol. I quit and downloaded a WOW free trail two years later. deleted it from my computer after 5 minutes.

32 Web Marketeer

Thank you for sharing your story, Jeremy……it takes a brave man to stand up and admit to issues like this, but to go into analyzing the ins and outs takes a real man….hats off to you brother, for being a far braver man than I could ever be. Your example is an inspiration for me to get to grips with with my own shite and to deal with it….

33 Bryn Youngblut

I enjoyed reading your story. I had a very similar experience as you I used to play a game called Diablo 2 every second I could, I played for about 4 years and not to brag because it sounds lame but I am probably the most known person on the game. If you go on Diablo 2 and ask anyone who “Enzo” is 75% of people will know. I ran a online store selling items, I had all the best items in the game even some that only 1 existed in the entire game, I had mass godly items duped with my name inscribed on them…anyways I haven’t played any games in over 2 years now and have no desire to. Business is my new addiction. :)

34 TEKFIRM

It’s not , when your comments contains links most time they go to manual filtering .

and now we can see it ;) , it’s few comments above

35 Planet Comic Book Radio

Warhammer Online is about to be released. I’m gonna give it a try and see. I got into DAOC, but I can’t say I’m addicted. So maybe I’ll be unemployed in the future and weighing 400 lbs.

36 Andrew

for those who are still addicted and wanna put an end to this obsession, delete everything about the game, characters, software, accounts for forums about the game, everything. then take the money that you normally paid for the game (if its pay to play), and budget it towards something else every month, that way if you get the urge, you wont have the means.

find a new hobby that will be time consuming but constructive.

37 Bryn Youngblut

Yes indeed, I can’t wait.

38 ed

Yay bro! I feel your pain but hey i run a tech website so maybe its my job to be addicted lol

39 Edman

I could never understand how people could get addicted to MMORPGs. The games are just so boring and repetitive. I would get bored after playing for 2 hours, because all you do is the same stuff over and over, there seems to be very little progression.

40 meethere

I used to play a lot too.. Around 4-5 hours per day… F** time waster..
It was hard for me to get deaddicted.. My parents removed the internet connection for 4 months and then I left.. ;)

41 Sudo Aptitude

I play Second life, an MMORPG, I’m not addicted,i play it about once a week, and ive made SOO much money from my virtual businesses.

I think MMORPG’s are ok in moderation. :)

42 Jan Alvin

I became addicted to MMORPG about five years ago and still up to this date. Most people don’t understand why are we addicted to games like this. But I think once they played it, they will be one of us. HEHEHE!!! But I’m trying to control myself, and I find it hard.

43 Edgar

Wow , that was an amazing story, thanks for sharing that with us…

44 WebTrafficROI

Great reading…thanks for sharing

45 Sid

Dude I have been reading your blog since way back, and it’s always been one of my favorites.

This is the best post I’ve ever read on it.

46 Michael

Jeremy, that was a great post.

This is the first time I’ve ever commented and it is because what you posted about is a very true thing and even happened to me. My friends and I played Ultima Online (UO) since Beta and we were addicted, no doubt about it, for several years. Only after Origin (the company producing the game) and eventually having contact with Richard Garriot (the gaming legend that created the Ultima series) we eventually were given the power to do almost anything we wanted in the game…spawning gold out of thin air, creating creatures and quests. We were all either hired as Gamemasters (GMs) or Seers (lesser GMs that create events from home with GM tools).

After that, so many years into it, we all realized that we were addicted to nothing…all these players were working so hard to attain this or obtain that, once you can just “create” it…you discover it is all pretty much a waste of time (except for the communicating with friends online). We all made a pact to not purchase Everquest and, also, not to purchase WoW when it was released. All of our lives are very, very different now. I can attest to the many POSITIVE things we learned about life by being addicted to an online game. I am willing to bet it even helped us be successful in the real world, to a certain extent.

Try to think about the good things you got out of being addicted to an online game. For example, you will NEVER neglect your children — not for a video game and not for anything else. You know the depths of an addiction (video games or otherwise) and how it can take over your life and cause you to neglect those you care about. My story and that of my friends is about 99% the same as yours, except we didn’t play EQ, just UO. Selling items on ebay, everything.

Thank you for the post, it reminds me of the importance of quitting online games and made me feel happy about the fact many of us have moved on to something so much better.

47 Patrick

It kind of shows how easy it was to make money online back in the day.

48 purposeinc

Thank god they didn’t have multi player games back in my youth!

At numero uno pizza in Reseda California we used to play Mr. Do, for like 8 hours straight until 4 in the morning (5 hours after they closed), slamming down dozens of glasses of coke (hard core eh?), and driving home almost sleeping at the wheel.

But at least there were occasionally hot chicks that walked by!

By the way around 1990, I got the first release of Larry the Lounge Lizard, a most excellent pixalated game :), and played for around 24 hours straight until I got to the end.

I’m still waiting for the fully realistic 3D can’t tell its not real, wear a V.R. suit and googles game, and then Sign Me Up!

49 Nick Throlson

I think the game wow made alot more people love mmorpg type games

50 A Great Do-Follow Blog!

In reality addiction is the primary condition and the fix is just the venue, so they are all serious and problematic, I know a guy who lost his job, wife and house over video games because that is all he did. I’m glad you stopped.

YOU’RE A FU*KING IDIOT I DUNNO HOW TO FIX YOUR PRINTER! Although I know this is serious, picturing that scene was really hilarious.

51 Balkhis

dam this is a long post to read.

52 fthead9

Hey Shoe-

I know recently you had a bunch of backlash over some Digital Points BS but for all those who attack you I wish they had half the guts you do in exposing your human side, not just making money. Addiction is brutal, for the person and their family, be it gaming, gambling, or any other activity.

As a non-addict I didn’t understand the mindset of an addict until I was forced deal with a gambling addiction by a family member. By speaking openly about addictions it helps everyone learn the signs and how to deal with a potential life destroying illness. Thanks again for having the guts to show your human side, even when it is not always self flattering. I’m sure your post will end up helping many start on the long road to recovery. Keep up the great work.

53 Justin Briggs

Was in the same place about a year and a half ago. I know exactly what you mean. My addition was to WoW. I got into it a little late, but leveled from install to 60 in about 2 months and I was hooked once I got into raiding. By the expansion, I was playing 8 to 12 hours a day. I leveled from 60 to 70 in about a week, which placed me as one of the few level 70 Warlocks on my server ( think there were only 3 of us), which got me into the top guild on the server.
I had a 4 day a week raiding schedule, with 5 to 6 hours on each of those days. Then you’d be required to spend hours farming for mats. I easily play 50+ hours a week.
During this period, I went into a depression, gained 100 lbs, and dropped out of school. It was really sad. Eventually I got a grip and sold my T4 Warlock on Ebay for about $500. Haven’t touched MMO’s since. I play FPS console games, but I refuse to play any game I cannot simply pause and walk away.

54 Brandon

Everquest used to have a /pizza command that would allow you to order pizza from the game. I shit you not.

55 Rom

i have a 12 year old son who are into supreme destiny online games. recently me and my wife had some issues regarding his much “addiction” into the game. What you have just narrated above was just the version of my son’s involvement in the cyber game only yours is 10 folds malignant.

Thanks for the fast forward overview of what might happen to my son merely years from now. I remember asking him of what he really wants if he grows old. I was shocked and dumbfounded in his answer. “i want to be the strongest player ever!” he said, at first i thought he meant sports player, but i feel so bad when he said he want to be strongest player in online games. His studies suffered already, house rules are broken and his relationship with his sister are all becoming sour. He can spend time playing alone never to go out and play with children his age, and worst he learns to find way to acquire money in order to play at the internet cafe behind our backs. not to mention his lack of proper understanding and differentiation between the world of “supreme destiny” and the real world he’s in. I’m not giving up on my son, right now he’s under the discipline I’m implementing.

He’s strictly on a school-home-school status, no extra money to be spent on internet cafe and focusing mainly on studies. Computer use at home is limited to school requirements only. I hope i can win this battle against this addiction to MMORPG of my son. Thanks for the futuristic overview of what might happen to my son.

56 Melvin

i agree/… i thnik everquest revolutionized how mmorpg should be played and in this case wow and some other followed its footsteps

57 Melvin

a testimony of how addicting mmorpg games(or other games) are….

58 Melvin

i dont think she does… and i dont thnk shoe has talked about mmmorpg a lot in this blog…

59 Joshua

Well done, Jeremy. I encourage you to write more from the heart, and further detail the journey you’ve undertaken (or are on) upon, especially with business efforts. It’s stuff like this that, in my opinion, garnered you so many loyal readers–you hit a chord. Excellent work!

60 Spore

I’ve never been drawn that far in… but I could definitely feel the pull, and myself sliding down a slippery slope.

61 Andrew

had the chance to play first 2 versions. I’m sure I’m not gonna try the third when it comes out. I’m done with these things. There are better things to do with my free time.

62 Rasim

Yeah, I was addicted to counter strike and spend all my time in the game with the clan. If I haven’t moved to US and stayed with the clan, who knows where would I be now. :) Then, after I moved, I realized how much time I wasted, limited my self to weekends and eventually stopped playing. I don’t think the addiction is to the game itself, but to the ranking that you need to live by and keep. Kind of makes you feel good and like you accomplished something. Since when I limit myself to weekends, I wasn’t addicted anymore and eventually stopped playing since I knew that I cna’t acomplish much in a short period of time that I had anyway.

63 ajaz

Did you start up again after you left or was the 4 months enough to get you to stop?

64 ajaz

You can also get dehydrated if you don’t drink enough liquid. I have also heard about the stress and loss of breath.

65 ajaz

I sometimes feel I’m getting addicted to the Internet too. I think I need to track my time and what I do. Hopefully it will focus my attention on how much time I am spending online and I will find out how much more I could actual be doing.

66 ajaz

This guy definitely needs help. Maybe you can point him to this post and comments so he can identify and see what will happen if he doesn’t make some changes.

67 ajaz

Wow, must have been pretty bad if you felt you needed to format the PC to get rid of it. I guess psychologically it makes sense to create a new beginning, but that’s a lot of work.

68 ajaz

Oh the temptation….. need to be strong….

69 Geiger

I now understand how you used to be fat. WOW

70 ajaz

Seems like it’s time to put some limits on the computer use. My son used to get up early and start playing. Once I found out about it I unplugged his network connection so he could only be online at certain times. I only needed to do that for a few months before the habit changed.

71 ajaz

Good advice Andrew. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best.

72 TEKFIRM

I don’t think it’s a matter of time , it’s more how strong you are in term of Psychology .

73 Lawrence

lol – it’s hard to relate, if you’re not a ‘gamer’

gamers can play for hours on end – and it’s like the equivalent of you just watching tv for 30 mins

74 TEKFIRM

another bunch of addicted gamers :P

75 Pyjammez

I wish i was rich enough to play it 8 hours a day… :(

76 cory at agoodhusband.net

Ah, thanks. Much appreciated!

77 Zak Show

That’s so cool, I love video games too and I’am an Age Of Methology Master! I play all racing, strategy and action/spying/infltarion games :D !

78 Zak Show

Not nesseceraly damaging your life, sometimes addiction is a source of hapiness!

79 Carol Becka

MMMM … am I responsible … !!! … I still have the Atari Game Center and games that I bought in 1980. You spent hours and hours setting and beating your own records on most. I remember Missle Command was one of your favs. So, you were 5 (or 6 at most ) when you started with Atari and I think it might have been your first gaming exposure! Good memories!!!
MEGAHUGS, Aunt C

80 Stun Gun Guy

Warcrack’s next expansion will re-open the flood gates of recovering MMORG-addicts pouring back in. Last one did, this one will, next one will. You “say” you are done now… There is no WOW patch to stick to your arm to satiate the craving, only dead elves and dwarfs can.

81 Michael Martine | Remarkablogger

Damn, Jeremy. Very personal story. Takes guts to share this with the world, but helps hold you accountable to yourself and your loved ones when you do. You know your kids will never forgive you if they realized you had neglected them for a f*cking game–or a business, for that matter. Thanks for sharing and keeping it real.

82 bo

I’ve never been a gamer but can somewhat understand from playing online poker. Have burnt many late night hours playing anywhere from 6 to 8 tables at a time depending on if i was playing tourneys or cash games.

I can say that I have seen this first hand though. When I first finished school I started with a I.T.firm in Boulder, CO that worked mainly with law offices. Alot of the lawyers needed personal help at their homes and there was this one guy that spared no expense. He was all about technology and had me setup his home network ranging from server to systems to networking his psp console because there was this new game…Everquest. (Obviously this was a few years back.)

Anyways I was on the other side of the mountain snowboarding with some buddies and he left a voice mail to say he couldn’t connect and it was crucial that I help as soon as possible. Thinking he’s getting some guy off death row working from home, I called him back (only a couple hours later) to find him in Everquest panic mode. As soon as I even mentioned that I wouldn’t be back until late the next evening he offered to pay twice my normal rate as an emergency call and for my entire trip as well. (which was nothing but gas b/c my buddy lived in Vail and I had a pass but anyways…). It took me about an hour and a half to get back across and I spoke with him damn near the whole way because he kept calling.

When I got to his house, man it was rough. He opened the door in his robe and boxers, sporting at least a three day beard and an aroma of no bath. We went to the game room and there were delivery boxes everywhere. He serious looked as if he had been on a bad binge and was chasing a dragon if you know what I mean.

All in all, he paid me $400 for my trip and $200 for my time for get this, 5 mins of work. All because when he signed up for his high speed he didn’t get a static ip and basically the isp had made a change and when his box reconnected it got a different ip then the psp setup.

I don’t know the lingo or the ways of the game but apparently it’s like Shoe said if you die you waste some time and from what he was saying he’d been playing for a couple of DAYS and he was on a major quest. The real kicker is apparently and I may be completely wrong but what I’ve heard if you lose connectivity you don’t die but basically just have to start back at the beginning of the quest at hand?!?!

I felt bad but he had no problem cutting me a check so I took it, jumped back in my truck, was back at my buddies within the next few hours buying a few rounds for my friends. When I told my friends the story one of them asking a question about the game, called it EVER-CRACK and from then on it stuck. I was doing some work on another project for that same guy and made the comment about EVER-CRACK and like a moth to a flame he broke out with a stammer and a look in his eye that made it very clear that that shit can’t be healthy and definitely isn’t for those that have addictive personalities.

sorry for the lengthiness!

83 River Girl

Wondering if it made you feel any better to write about this. The times you write about personal experiences bond you with your readers. I knew I would get addicted if I ever tried, so stayed away. I even got hooked on some stupid games I had on my palm about 6 years ago. :-)

84 upp

I have heard some pretty crazy stories about people getting so addicted to these games they actually want to quit, and describe it as like trying to quit smoking cigarettes.

85 TEGS

Man,

Theres allot of good lessons to be learned in this post. I wonder what our kids will be like when they grow up with all the IMing and mmorpg’s etc.

I’m old enough to remember playing freeze tag and baseball all summer until the street lights came on. (thats how we knew it was time to go home)
Do kids still ride bikes down to the lake to swim?

My daughter wore the numbers off her cell phone from texting.

I’m just as guilty. I just got Metal gear solid for my ps3 and the online game is sic!
My son is playing now and its my turn.

God save us all

86 ajaz

I’m not sure I understand how addiction can be a source of happiness. Could you provide more information?

87 Hasan Saleem

I used to play games all the time but thank God I got rid of the addiction. I know people in 40′s and 50′s who spend most of the day playing games. That’s crazy!

88 David

I too wasted far too much time on world of warcraft, and you do remember back on it fondly. However once you finally leave the game, the realization of how much time you spent in the game – rushing home after work, not sleeping properly, not prioritizing your life right – you know you can’t go back…

89 Charlie

I managed to avoid Everquest. Though I had some friends, about 6 of them, who would do nothing but play. Dropped out of school and everything. My addiction was quake 3. Fortunately there is a break after each match. It doesn’t have quite the same potential to take over your life. But I totally understand what you described.
Thanks for the story.

90 Ultimate

The only games I ever got addicted to was the Grand Theft Auto games on Playstation 2! Very good games in my opinion but now I cant get into anything else as its just not the same anymore :(

91 meethere

yes, i stopped it completely… 4 months is enough man..

92 Cigar Inspector

That’s a very nice post. Enjoyed.

93 Melvin

Well its almost synonymous w/a drug rehab…

94 techdude

hahah… gaming addiction has its timings for me.

95 Michael John Grove

I used to have a huge addiction, but I also had the time to myself to play – I only stopped when the headache from playing for hours and hours set in.

This was all before the wife came along, sort of changes how you view free time.

96 logos vector

=(

97 Instant Community

Well, i use to be one of the beta programmers for one of the MMORPG games in Korea, that got me addicted for awhile honestly.

98 Web Marketeer

World of Warcraft has a huge online audience, and rightfully so. The countless hours spent playing it by so many must add up to quite a figure. Anybody got insight into the relevant statistics? It will make compelling reading!

99 Web Marketeer

Agreed! Once you start playing your perspective changes dramatically. It is easy for non-players to not get it, until they start playing themselves!

100 Web Marketeer

I am an unashamed internet addict myself! When I can’t get online for any reason whatsoever I start feeling anxiety. No jokes! I don’t own a television, but don’t get between me and my computer!

101 Wcnktm

This is the right time to start a game de-adiction information site.

102 Web Marketeer

This is a very common occurence. My WoW playing friends all follow this kind of pattern too. For this reason I’ve never gotten into the game myslef, as I got too many other responsibilities to attend to.

103 Web Marketeer

Starcraft, now we’re talking! I can not wait for Starcraft II to be released! I wonser if there is going to be a World of ?Starcraft modfelled on Wow, eventually. Some of the characters would be really cool to play as.

104 Dick

This is a very terrible history. I am glad that it ended well.

105 Dick

World Warcraft is a real drug for millions of people. This is terrible….

106 Dick

Children can not resist the attraction of games. I do not know of such a force that could remove them from the game.

107 Dick

100 points, Brother

108 Marbles

I play Eve Online, which is basically a space sim mmorpg… been playing it for a year + now, and although I love it, I noticed I entered a pattern. I normally play for 1-2 months and then, consciously or not, I take a break of 2 weeks to a month, so it’s basically not an addiction (I keep telling myself that).

I never let it get in the way of work (although my studies *could* be going better) – mostly I play 2-3 hours at a time, with the occasional 8-10 hour alliance operation on saturdays or so.

Perhaps this “non-addiction” is due to the fact that in order to train skills in Eve Online you simply have to wait. Doesn’t matter if you’re online grinding away or offline, out with your friends. Right now I have been offline for the past 2 weeks, waiting for a skill to complete and there’s still 8 or 9 days to go. After that I plan on playing for a while, training a few shorter skills and then I’ll be off again for 40-ish days for a really long one.

109 Agent Magenta

Great post. I play a MMORPG (EVE) and can understand how easy it is to get caught up in them. I too have a family so I am forced to limit the amount of time spent playing. However, a few guys at work without families devote a serious amount of their spare time to playing. I expect this will be a growing problem in the future. It’s a shame really becuase these games are great, and that is also the problem, they are too good! The games developers could easily add in controls to limit the amount of play allowed per week, this could be useful for parents where children are playing these games.

110 Agent Magenta

I agree, it’s great when people are prepared to post about their human side as well. “brag about your failures and be humble about your success”

111 Brian

Holy shit. Great detail on your addiction. I feel ya homie. I get that same feeling,but my toons never get to be bad asses. I just suck on the game at the same time the game sucks my life away. I too can no longer play MMO’s. You should hook me up with a shirt sometime.

112 Matt Leo

I wish I could agree with this. My 7 year old has a game addiction. We gave him “freedom” but he would play more and more each day over the summer. His computer in his room is not connected to the Internet as of now. He begs for his DS and I have to ration it. He sits at certain locations in the house where he can connect to the neighbors and download play. Neither my wife or I play games. Although maybe he sees the amount of time I am online as the same as playing games??

113 Web Marketeer

Great article

114 Mayank Rocks

I’m addicted to A3 india mmorpg aswell. And how can people commit suicide over games?

115 Mayank Rocks

I have seen WOW addicts at my forums too, they pay alot to play it and cant stop playing that game. I havent ever played as the game isnt launched in India and if I pay in dollars, it is real costly for me.

116 Mayank Rocks

What are you saying? Wow is the most popular MMORPG. Guildwars is also a fantastic one.

117 Mayank Rocks

Internet addiction..haha, same problem of mine. I cannot stay without internet, has become a part of my life. My friends say you will die if you dont have internet for 2 weeks haha.

But then, If I go on a holiday and I am perfectly fine without internet, you just have to do something good that takes your time, then you will be able to stay without internet. Go out more with friends, watch movies, eat outside? But then ultimately when you stop, you will again start spending time on internet.

118 Mayank Rocks

But then don’t you think that you are missing out something by never playing MMORPG game? It is really fun. Trust me.

119 Mayank Rocks

The Game lovers are so not going to like that idea :p

120 Mayank Rocks

It doesnt take that long to level up your character, and once done, the PVPs and wars in the game is really fun. And then you also meet lots of players in the game, chatting, so its like a community.

121 Bob Dole

It’s a shame that you will never know the beauty that is Age of Conan Shoe… now that’s a REAL MMORPG.

122 George Boone

First Person Shooters (FPS) can be just as addictive as MMORPGs.

CoD4 owns me….

123 KingMyron

I got into WoW the exact same way. I was so pissed when they changed the max lvl to 70 right as I was hitting 60. I can’t play any more either.

124 Jonathan

Same thing is happening to me right now. And its basically destroying everything around me. girlfriend, friends, work, sports…..all of it. I need to stop playing wow now. By the way, theres a site called wowdetox tons of stories there.

125 Adam

I was addicted to Command and Conquer, Tiberian Sun. I was so addicted I started making Nurple Maps and named them after my online nickname (sheepab).

I still get the itch for the long, drawn out, huge battles we had.

126 Mark

As a former cocaine, Everquest, and WoW addict your article struck home to me. Thanks for sharing. I personally feel as though MMORPG can be just as devastating to an individual’s life as drugs and/or alcohol. Of course, the plus side is that you can not be imprisoned for MMORPG consumption.

127 Erica DeWolf

I’ve caught myself getting caught up in these games before- I was always smart enough to stop before I got too into it and wasted some time- I can see how just one more hour could have got me hooked for good, though!

128 Craig

hah, if you are that lazy and/or scared to talk to a live human there is something serious that would need to be addressed.

129 Agent Magenta

Thats one of the best things about EVE – you don’t have to keep playing it to keep your skills, they continue to train even when you are away. With some skills taking over 30days to complete its easier to take a break. Very easy to dip in an out of EVE, but it’s still a great game and very easy to spend too much time on it.

130 Arnold - Mr.Gadget

Shoemoney, thank you for sharing. Your story is very very similar to mine and hopefully we can meet and discuss further.

Really appreciate this article.

Arnold
RIP Level 70 NE Hunter

131 Dick

Starcraft is not a MMORPG. It sustains people is not so much because peace is not it so much.

132 Dick

I also liked the world game Command and Conquer, Tiberian Sun. But that was long ago. Now I try to refrain from games.

133 Mike Davis

Never knew you were that deep into the games. I was deep in, but not quite to that level, as I’d always get bored after wasting a couple months of my life. I do have a 70 in WoW though… I bounced from Everquest to Asheron’s Call 2, to DAOC, to Guild Wars and then WoW.

Anyway, glad to hear you’re doing well now. Take it easy.

134 donbueno

jesus im glad i never found coke while playing wow id prolly be dead now, but yeah i lost a good year of my life it was pretty fun but in all honestly its gone and now I can play guitar and read books, plus wow was tooo much drama.

135 palau

We used to make fun of these two guys at work who were addicted to WoW. They would come into work with black under their eyes. They didn’t talk much but when they did – guess what it was about. They were miserable and negative and grumpy all the time.. I’m not sure if they quit playing, but I hope they did – it’s sad.

136 Piwat

I’m addicted to the internet generally. Whenever it is off for more than a few days my mind races and I can’t remember anything. Sometimes I make lists of things to look up on wikipedia later.

The only game I was ever addicted to was EVE Online. I am a borderline griefer type player, although a very polite one. I was always more addicted by the idea of something than the actual thing. I loved pirating, messing up other people’s plans through spying and profiting wherever they allowed their vigilance to lapse. I always look forward to an ideal game with more hardcore consequences, more hazard, more greed, and less pandering to the carebears or anything resembling grinding.

Online addictions pretty much sucked up all of my free time in college, and really kept me from having typical college experiences during that time of my life. My memory has become outsourced and weaker, and I am less able to focus on singular goals or finishing normal books. I finished university, but was really left directionless afterward, and still work fairly menial quasi-management jobs. I’m trying to return to school now 3 years later, and trying to keep my crosshairs on my original long term plan (for saving the world of course).

137 Piwat

Apologies if double posted:

I’m addicted to the internet generally. Whenever it is off for more than a few days my mind races and I can’t remember anything. Sometimes I make lists of things to look up on wikipedia later.

The only game I was ever addicted to was EVE Online. I am a borderline griefer type player, although a very polite one. I was always more addicted by the idea of something than the actual thing. I loved pirating, messing up other people’s plans through spying and profiting wherever they allowed their vigilance to lapse. I always look forward to an ideal game with more hardcore consequences, more hazard, more greed, and less pandering to the carebears or anything resembling grinding.

Online addictions pretty much sucked up all of my free time in college, and really kept me from having typical college experiences during that time of my life. My memory has become outsourced and weaker, and I am less able to focus on singular goals or finishing normal books. I finished university, but was really left directionless afterward, and still work fairly menial quasi-management jobs. I’m trying to return to school now 3 years later, and trying to keep my crosshairs on my original long term plan (for saving the world of course).

138 Adam(PixelHead)

Is there an organization for parents who have kids that are addicted to these types of games?

139 Dick

I think that is very difficult to share such things with strangers people. This is a bold step.

140 Apadwe

I feel your pain. I, too, spend tons of time playing World of Warcraft. A lot of people really overlook MMORPGs as being addictive and just dismiss them off as games. It really has surprised me the number of people who are addicted and I actually made a post about it on my blog a year ago and since then more people have left their story.

141 Warenwirtschaft

I don’t like these MMORPGs, too many of my friends playing WoW or other games, and they prefer to play these game instead to meet friends, because they think it’s more important to play a video game in a virtual world. They really forget reality and that’s shocking me. Sure I’ve played some of them too, but I think they’re boring, and after one hour playing I didn’t want to play this game anymore. So I can’t believe how somebody could be addicted by a video game, but there are so many, that’s incredible. What could it really be, that people get addicted by video games??

142 jakob

hey shoe
a very honest post indeed !
are you an addict to seo now, had your professional life taken over that kick you got from games before?
rgds
jakob

143 Anonymous

This is the exact reason why I’ve never touched an MMO, no matter how many of my addicted friends tried to get me to join them. I watched FFXI it almost destroy one of my college roommates, who luckily had enough self-discipline to at least go to class and study for exams.

Most MMO addicts aren’t so lucky.

144 Marbles

Hehe… forgot to mention, some colleagues from work got me a a t-shirt that said “I play Eve Online for medicinal purposes” for my birthday :)

145 Paul

I know but I bet everyone read this post. I did enjoyed it. Everyone in this internet business can relate, I’m sure.

What a great read very well write and it captured my attention.

146 Kevin Boss

Wow, I went through that same thing, except WoW was my first and “earth shattering” online game. I was spending my life and money in the game for about 2 years…until I met my wife. I realized I had to make a choice, and I chose life with her over my virtual life. I still dream about playing the game, but I’ll never even think twice about the choice I made.

Game addiction is a very serious issue, and I’m so glad to have went through it so I’ll be able to see it coming with my own kids. So many parents have no idea what door their opening when they buy their kids these addictive games.

147 Chris Abernethy

Ditto here. I can still remember rushing home from middle school every single day to veg out with Zelda… Not the same thing, I know, but I knew I would get totally hooked if I started with WoW etc.

148 Jeff Finch

I remember the days of playing games as a kid…

149 nkog

I used to be the same way now i am able to pace myself because i have alot more important things to do than sit and play a game for 12 hours. I do know people who have lost there marriage and jobs over mmorpg. Hell eq was so tuff it had people killing themselves. its good to see games like wow and eq2 alot easier but i do miss some of the hard things about eq.

150 Sylonious@aol.com

Honestly I don’t play enough video games. I’m on Amazon every f*cking day buying stuff. The UPS man hates my guts.

151 dgar

A am addicted to alcohol and nicotine very badly and none of my friends or relatives knows. Every night I stayed up till morning smoking and drinking.

I tried to stop a lot of times, but fell back :( Yesterday I felt really strong this that time I can stop, so now I am clear since 24 hours :)))

Reading your post is very useful to me! Shows very clearly that obsessions can ruin peoples lives, just like alcohol and cigarettes started to ruin my. Now I feel very strong and I am sure wont use those for one week or two. But I hope I can stop forever. Once I stopped for 3 months! If you quit with your obsession so long ago, suddenly it seems very harmless and it’s easy to fall back.

I made a decision: If I ever start it again, the very next day I call for some professional help.

That’s it, wish me luck (and willpower) ppl :)
For You, Shoe and all the parents above I hope you can win against MMO games.

152 LC

My office was also full of WoW addicts :))) I used to play a lot too, but I never treated this as something above my RL. In fact my business and my income improved greatly since I started to play WoW and I think it is a good entertainment if you don’t go too far. Just have RL also and let it be the first priority.

On the other hand I knew a lot of people inside WoW who became too nervous and inadequate over time, I suspect this is because of RL/WoW disbalance. Many of them spent 8+ hours a day in WoW when I spent max 6 hours only if I went to some long dungeon like Blackrock Depths (blizz, why is the graveyard so far from it??) :)))

These days I almost don’t play because on level 70 it became boring – I have all the gear a solo player can get and only hardcore guilds can afford raiding 25-man things, I just don’t have time for that so I am not going to be invited. Also season 3/4 armor is so strong that raiding doesn’t make sense IMHO. As for BGs and Arena battles I find them so same every time and stupid – don’t we have the entire world to fight? World PvP much better but nobody does it.

So I don’t play for now but I’m still paying for it and I will buy WotLK, hope it will be more interesting.

153 Phil

What an inspiring post. I’m also an old MMORPG addict and you touched my heart and sould. Now I refrain from installing any online game on my computer and I feel much better, I have more time to spend with my girlfriend and of course, to make money online ;)

154 Myrtle Beach Rentals

i had friends that would play these games constantly, I never got into MMORPGs. I have video games, but I might play for 2 or 3 hours a day for 2 or 3 days, then don’t even turn the game back on for weeks.

155 wow

OMG, this describes my son to a tee (except the weight) how in the world do I get him to realize this, ANY help would be helpful, I have also tried to tell his father the reality of what is going on – he’s in denial as well.
Thanks so much for posting this, sincerely

156 sean

This article really means alot to me, my life was not so different and I still miss MMOs to this day.
Will I ever be able to get over it? Should I go back instead of being miserable?

157 Shoke

I’m also a recovering MMO addict (wasted a year and a half playing f2P mmos)……makes me wanna cry when I think about all the time I wasted, when I could have been doing productive things like studying for school, going out with friends, learning a new language, flirting with cute girls, etc……….I vow NEVER to touch another MMO in my life again, and will warn everyone I know….=P

158 Starspangler

Thanks for sharing your story. I recognize myself in the above, but I do have an entirely different perspective on it – a more positive one I’d say. It all comes down to self-control. Just because it’s so much fun you want to keep doing it doesn’t mean it’s an “additiction”, well, it does but it makes it so negative. As long as it doesn’t interfer with work and life in general there’s no real problem. I don’t mean to downplay it either, but it’s your behavior and lack of self control that’s the problem. It’s like giving a kid a nintendo for a birthday, you know you will have to make the kid stop playing cause it’s so much fun he/she will go on and on and on.

As for getting debts because of playing mmorpgs, surfing/holidays/phuqqing/skating/skydiving/Las Vegas are all very enjoyable and fun too, do the mmorpgs really have some mysterious ‘skill’ that cause all these problems? If you can’t pay your bills you’re not addicted, just unemployed.

My advice to you is not to deny yourself the fun and simply learn to control yourself. Don’t play games that take months to get to a level where you can enjoy it and always at any time and moment realize it’s just a game – it has no powers over you,only you control yourself.

Also treasure those dreams about the virtual worlds you visited – why deny yourself the fun memories. Some of my best memories of life are in virtual worlds and I wouldn’t want it any other way because it wouldn’t be with the same people… yeah real life people….Does the medium really matter? I haven’t played MMORPGS for some months now, played Archlord and ZU for over a year. I still have items in ZU that are worth over $200, stuff people will sell their soul for. They became meaningless to me as soon as I closed down ZU for the last time knowing it was the last time.

meh.. Just watch the Playstation commercials a couple of times and you’ll be back pnwing again in no time. Have fun and no regrets! Maybe I’ll see you in AION :P

159 Peter

@Star: In response to your post, let me put it as follows:

First of all, I agree with you that everyone experiences an online game addiction / self control differently. What I have seen for a fact is that there are people out there that will never have this self control.

For them, it’s all or nothing. According to my standards, that’s very close to an alcoholist for example. They also can’t drink one beer, they will go all the way.

Secondly, I also agree with you that I’ve had very good memories of online times. We still laugh about these times with a couple of friends.

Lastly, this brings me to my last point: my friends have introduced me into WoW and kept me in it for atleast 6 years. I do have a choice but I think the main reason that kept me in the game was social bonding / obligations. We need you as tank etc.

I’m glad I’m no longer playing WoW but I know for sure that I’m still addicted and even after 3 years there is not a week going by where I don’t think about getting back in the game.

I’ve hold on for so long and plan to continue to be strong :-)

@ Jeremy: perfect inspiring post, I have also had a couple moments of clarity and they hurt but also helped me get out of the game!

Regards,
Peter

160 Chris

I’m currently a WoW Addict. I had the habit kicked until Wrath of the Lich King came out and someone bought it for me as a gift.

I thought I could play and be casual and then I played the new Death Knight. That was end of story in fact my wife caught an extremely embarassing picture of me. I put it up on my blog to remind me and others where this addiction ultimately leads.

161 Lauren

Seriously, folks, some of you speak as though MMORPGs have some magical property that CAUSES addiction in hapless victims. Addiction is about the addict’s psychosocial issues, not anything inherent in a game. Parents, it’s up to you to raise healthy, engaged, balanced children. My husband and I play WoW a few evenings a week, have a wonderful, fulfilling relationship, great careers, hobbies, friends, etc. We know plenty of others in the same boat – In fact, I’ve never encountered a MMORPG addict on the hoof.

I think that we often confuse “addiction” with “lousy choices”. Addiction implies victim – choice implies power. Choose well, and make your life the one you want. To all of you who are struggling, I wish you well.

162 De

You’re so fucking clueless about what it’s like and you want to blame addicts? Like we fucking chose to get addicted?

Yeah, it’s partly genetic, but the fact that so many people are addicted to these online games isn’t coincidence. They reward you psychologically the same way drugs do. You feel good about yourself.

163 keiffer

I still play WoW up until now, to add my addiction to this game, Wrath of the Lich King came out and it’s very hard for me to stop.
In order for me to at least minimize, I keep myself busy at work and try to focus as much as I could. Its hard but I am still working on it

164 Andrew

Hah. If you guys want a real addicting mmo try lineage 2. After playing that for 4 years i tried WoW and it was NOTHING compared to L2. Although i quit for 8 months now and dont regret it, it took me 3 or 4 tries just like it took for me to quit smoking ciggarettes.

165 Mithushan Surendra

I am addicted to runescape and i think about it all the time. Yesterday i played for over 5hrs(at differnet times). I don’t want to stop playing suddenly as my friends play it as well but i need to stop thinking and talking about it all the time. Some1 plz help me???
I am thirteen years old and I go to a small prep school in Northwood, England called St. Martins.
In runescape i am a noob. I am levl 65 and the highest levl you can get to in the game is 138.
Ty

166 Just telling my story

I used to play every day for at least 2 hours. I would rather play Guild wars than go outside or meet freinds or socialize. But then i asked out a girl and she said yeah and i realized some things are more important than mmorpg’s. I havent touched Guild wars in forever now i feel alot better my freinds are starting to like me more now and my relationship with my girlfreind is strong.

The real way to quit mmorpg is to ask your self ” is it really worth days of your life?”

167 just telling my story

your story touched me..in a way me and you shared the same addiction In guild wars i had max everything. I felt like a god.. But when i played guild wars i realized something my gades fell.. my parents hated me for that my freinds hated me i felt like the only place i could confide in was guild wars.. But now i quit and ive never been happier in my life . i find parts of my day where i dont now what to do with myself and that is the greatest feelign ever. I can only hope that my brother can quit Guild wars.. its sad to see him brag about how he got this weapon or this armor… i cried when i read you story i realize i am one of the lucky ones.

168 LoriAnn

My husband is an MMORPG-addict. He has chosen to move out, away from the kids and me, into an apartment 4 hours away with a bunch of people he met through this game. Our kids are teenagers and see what’s happening and are disgusted. He says he plays this game because he is ‘someone’ in this game, he is ‘the best’. He used to be the best in the real world. After 20 years with this man I now feel like I don’t even know him. He plays probably 7 hours a day at home after work until 2 or 3 am. On his days off from work he plays 14-16 hours a day and doesn’t do things with us because it will interfere with his game time. He even plays at work for the the whole 8 hours a day he is there.

I’m crushed, the kids are crushed, and he doesn’t even care.

169 ian

This story reminds me of myself so much. I used to play Guild Wars non-stop. I played probably 16hrs a day during my days off from school. I played all through my summer, i wasted 3 months of my life in that game. Then one day i meet a girl who was interested in me, and asked me out. I said yes and i realised that outside the window is another game, The World, or Life. I realised that theres better things then just sitting indoors and playing games all day long.

170 Shioru

Im just searching for an article for my assignment,about game addiction.I chose this title because I experience it.Then,I found this.Now,I am try to think about myself.After reading this,it makes me(awake me abit)wonder,and think “Why should I spend so much time in this game?” and “What is the good of being high level?” and i think yeah,its for satisfaction.Sigh~ I am trying to control myself.I was like,everywhere i go,Im always think I want to go back soon,not so many much time left and I must level.There’s one day,my mom even want to break my door and my lappy.I was like lock myself in my room and play wholeday long and slept about 3hrs only.I only stop when Im too hungry.Because In my mind,this is holiday,no Uni’s,when unis start i will stop.so I should reward myself,because when in Uni’s I less play (maybe) XD! But soon after Uni’s start,I cant stop.It even becomes more worse.I tend to spend alot more of money to buy CashItem.And skip classes.Now I hope,after reading this,I realy2 hope >.< I am able to focus more about my academic than game achievments.At the moment when im writing this,I feel so good now,because Im doing my coursework.Im able to stop myself from login in.XD! Btw,yeah.Addiction is ssucks.

171 Sharon

Your addiction is NOT pathetic and hardly uncommon. Video Game addiction is a serious addiction that may (and should) eventually be included in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). I am currently doing a research project for school based on MMORPG addiction, and I can tell you that it is just as destructive as any other addictions and can be likened very much to Gambling Addictions.

By reflecting on your past, you can disover that it is not the games themselves that cause your addiction (though the design of such games certainly contribute greatly). MMORPG addiction, like other addictions, stem from underlying psychological issues. This does not mean that you are mentally ill. However, I would greatly recommend seeking some form of therapy so you could try and find what triggers you to seek the escape from reality that MMORPGs provides.

I wish you all the luck in the future. You should be very proud you were able to kick your habit so quickly. :)

172 Katie

I used to sneer at all the WoW zombies until I got myself addicted to a FTP MMO(course I never thought I’d get addicted to a ‘dumb MMO.’ Famous last words huh?) Mebbe sharing my story will make me feel better. I’ve never told anybody a/b my addiction, not even my best friend.

I agree that many addictions stem from a problem in rl. I know where mine came from. I went to college far away and got the most gudawful b!tchiest roomies ever. I stayed locked in my room cuz I was terrified I might piss them off. For example, they put boric acid in my fishtank when I woke them up getting dinner one night. These girls were popular on campus and I knew nobody would believe me. I let them walk all over me instead of growing a pair and exposing their shyt.

Devoid of any social interactions beyond classes, it got lonely. I installed a FTP MMO. I was invited into a guild right away and it was like heaven. I could talk to people! And they wanted me! (prolly cuz there was a severe shortage of priests >.>) I spent every waking moment in vent/chat. I was promoted to 3rd in command and it felt so dam good to be wanted. I was addicted well before i finally moved outta that hellhole.

Meanwhile my life got off track. I lost my scholorship and my GPA dipped below a 2.0. I had no friends and wasted my parent’s college fund. Somehow I’d lost the ability to socialize normally with people in rl. I had nothing to talk about since the MMO was my life. The lonelier I felt the more I tried to fill it with online “friends.”

The “awakening” day was when my comp failed during the summer. I was suddenly cut off from my guild cold-turkey. It was like discovering life all over again. So hard to explain to somebody who hasn’t been addicted. lol I got back on after my comp was fixed and saw my guild had kicked me and filled my spot. They didn’t care. They had a new priest. What an eye-opener. I re-connected with my old friends and haven’t felt any urge to play since.

Moral of this novel? Ask yourself why are you really playing, and then you might be able to help yourself. Many times addictions have nothing to do with these games being fun. I sure as hell wasn’t having fun flying all over the frigg’n map rezzing guildmates. Once I understood that I was craving social interactions, I was able to start fixing it. Good luck to all the addicts out there.

173 SonicBoom

ugg.. i have been looking for a good mmorpg to play, been having the craving for sometime now, its like something inside me is not compleate, i just need to find something i can play a fue hours a week and have fun with. started off with UO than AC, to SWG, to COH, to D2 than WOW, LOTRO. long time gamer….

174 Free WOW Gold

Thanks for sharing, I ran across this particular article while searching for infomation regarding my term report, fascinating comments and excellent points made.

175 Bala

Hey, Buddy.. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece of information. Hope you are taking care of your 2 daughters well.

I am a greatest addict of mmorpg. I have played Ragnarok for 3 years, guildwars for a year, played wow trial. I now realize i have wasted so much time.

Best thing i did was one day, i broke my windows XP disk. installed a Linux distro ( ubuntu )… :)

But i can;t get out of this gaming. Now an then i play this browser based games.

Good Luck.

176 oneida flatware

Game addiction affects the life and work, to quit.

177 Gea

Thank you for the posts, I don’t feel so alone in this.
My husband has been playing Travian for at least 4 years, average 18 hours a day, he does not work, barely speaks to anyone in the house, and if you try to speak to him while he plays, chats with others he gets real angry, he eats his meals in front of the computer.
I would appreciate any advice on how to stop this, I tried speaking to him, took the internet away and he got violent.

Thanks in advance

178 Lose Calories

Thanks for writing this post, it is really helpful to people like me.

179 Vanita Saens

100% they saying goes like this "there are 2 kinds of riders those that have been down and those that are going down. Now not all the accidents end in death or injury but you can be pretty damn sure that if you never fell on you bike then you are going to 1 day. I fell or rather dumped mine my first season. I was going about 20mph and a car blew a stop sign i just laid the bicycle over and a slid or bounced is more like it to a stop and i was fine, but my bike wasnt.

180 jacksonville real estate agent

I have been scouring the Web for such info and just wanted to say thanks to u for this post. BTW, just off topic, where can i find a copy of this design? – Regards

181 Sahil Kotak

I haven’t played any MMORPG games since last 3 years now!

182 Gary Jones

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp legal and financial troubles are getting bigger.The U.S. Justice Department has in recent dayshave contacted British law enforcement officials to look at allegations of illegal payments reportedly paid by Murdoch’s News of the World to Scotland Yard police officers. If the allegations can be confirmed, Rupert Murdoch’s troubles are just beginning as any payments may have violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that makes it illegal for any American company to pay bribes to foreign government officials.

183 John

Try Evony online. You build a medieval castle or two and build troops which you’re free to spank your neighbors with BUT it also has a truce option to you can essentially pause the game until you want to play some more. It’s online yet can be paused. It’s virtual yet three is no market for things because the owner sells them exclusively (time is money).

It’s fun, life’s too short not to have some. It fits in perfectly after work and family, a little you time. You’re a gamer at heart and always will be, there are no dragons to slay in the real world unless you consider beating uncle sam your challenge.

Great blog post.

184 M3

“a gamer at heart and always will be”, “there are no dragons to slay”^_^ totally love that ^_^

May be that’s the root cause of us addicts. How would it be if we consider this fact and start training ourselves to be heroes in real lives. You may not get close to a lvl40 even after 2years of training, but hey, what if we do start to think that way. . ?

185 Lacie Westlake

Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your weblog. You have some really good articles and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Many thanks!

186 Jewels

I stopped playing mmorpg three weeks ago, and i still get really depressed and miss playing and spending time with friends. Playing the game gave me a high and a feeling I have never felt any place but while playing. I miss having superpowers and feeling young and invincible. I don’t know what to do, or how to get over this??? If you have any suggestions please help.

Jewels

187 M3

Try to make a list of other things you only dreamed of doing, but had not. Take M3 for instance, I bought a guitar, started practicing it and everything was fine for 4 months until the day the high E string snapped. And with that snap, hell broke loose upon me. Even as I type this, I continue to lose my life. . .

Shoemoney 188 Anonymous

Hi,
I’m 33 years old. I started playing mmo’s when I was 16. I quit 4 years ago. But that does not mean I dont play at all . Recently I played c9 online and Darkblood online. But I quit them too.

Its all about self control. But when I started at 16, that day was the worst in my life. That day I was good looking kid , now I’m a fat ass man. mmorpg was good but the addiction killed my health.
Sometimes I would skip sleep and food to play. I remember some times mmo was so important to me that I played for 30-40 hours straight.

I dont want to name any games specifically, But I prefer F2P mmo’s. Played games like Mir, ragnarok, metin, GW, Silkroad, do online etc.

My advice to all young gamers ….learn to control your gaming addiction. Play games but both in the house and outside the house.

Stay safe!

Shoemoney 189 Brian

I feel you sir. Everquest de-railed my life. It started as a game, became a lifestyle. I walked away from it… only to jump into Everquest 2. It sucked more time. Keep in mind that I fully intended it to NOT get to what happened in Everquest.

EQ2 raiding, all that. I finally said ENOUGH. DONE. Deleted my characters etc.

Soon after a friend suggested playing WoW with him. I had no idea, whatever, free trial… couldn’t play with him the right way on a trial account so I bought the game.

Discovered PVP. OMG.

Went through a bunch of characters on WoW… FUCK. Cancel it.

Discovered RIFT. I really like the PVP on that game. FUCK.

Just deleted the game from my computer. Never again will I touch an MMO.

It’s so addictive building characters, playing, exploring worlds. PVP adds another dimension- how can I be better at killing REAL PEOPLE. I know, it sounds so stupid.

Gah.

I’m done. MMOs have fucked my life up, taken my focus away from things that really matter.

And you know what is sad… I STILL occasionally have dreams about Everquest too.

I’m done. Let me out of the Skinner box.

190 Ofana33

That’s crazy! Does this only happen with computer games? I’m pretty into Skyrim and can and have played from 9pm until 6am the following day, should I be worried?

Shoemoney 191 EL

Feels good to read that post. I’ve read up on the psychology behind it and it is pretty disturbing and yet I don’t care. I just know I cannot ever play one of those games again.

192 M3

I used to be the top ranked 1st class blazing hot alfa of my college (add all the superlatives in the world, that’s me). I even turned down chicks, whatever, be it true love or a night stand. But as time passed, these addictions, turned me to a hippie, I became fragile, weak, skinny atrophied and osteoporotic. All the time, I used to say to myself- I know that I can go back, funny ‘cos addicts say the exact thing -’I know I can go back’. I took a 16 week break to break free of those little but scarily large number of addictions and to return to my previous glory. Heck, right now, looks like I’ve developed an addiction towards browsing game related information. Fcuk man, it would be delusional of me to even entertain the possibility that I might ever change. Facing this truth only makes me want to kill myself. Its only a matter of time before I can figure out the truth- Which of the two takes more courage & is more honorable ? And of course, do I have what it takes ?

193 Jeff of Californialand

None of you seem sane currently, so maybe. You don’t have an underlined need to recover, you just got bored of the game and went to sleep, like the rest of the adults. Go join them at one of the many organizations that help you find a Job, to fill up those beautiful spaces where your hearts used to be.

That having been gloriously spoken, I hereby declare myself sleepy and claim choice of dominion over the fact that many or all of you are acting like drama kings, as well as your wives and future wives.

Good day sir. Good day indeed.

194 ToBeFree

I’ve just quit as guild leader of a FTP MMORPG called PWI. It was the hardest thing I’ve done in a long time. It is weird how something so unrewarding can kill so many hours per day, make you ignore the pleas of your most precious human contact you’ll ever have (read kids), neglect your other half, stagnate in reaching your life goals, and overall just create an illusion that traps you in a false sense of achievement. I pray I have the courage to stay away. Deleting and uninstalling as we speak…

195 James (once a druid/warlock)

I know it seems counter-intuitive, but my own gaming obsession taught me a lot about human nature, and about myself.

I wasted a lot of time, but the time wasn’t all wasted. Behind the cartoon characters, I often made connections with the type of people I would never have met in my real world. Some funny, some crazy, some full of complexity.

I remember some of it as if it were real life. The simplicity of the MMO was a veneer over the deep complexity that is real life. The gaming was a symptom of that complex life I was muddling through, a confused time that I can’t go back to.

I know this is an old post, and it’s been years since I gave up my obsession, but it all still intrigues me.

196 Feigan

It’s heartwarming to know that I’m not alone in this MMORPG addiction mess.

I’m currently recovering from multiple addiction (anime, MMORPG, and DoTA), and I must attest that the quest of recovering is really damn hard.

Three years ago I was an aspiring student starting my study in the most famous med school in my country. I was envisioning myself as a successful doctor in the next 5-7 years; maybe focusing my interest in researches about cancer and biophysics. Things were going well at first. I’m very interested in my field of study. I have lots of friends and great social life. I’m quite popular with the opposite sex.

Thing went downhill when my highschool friend introduce me to japanese cartoon, or what they call as anime. At first, I was intrigued by the, well, easy on the eye style unlike that of western cartoon, as well as how broad were the scope of their plots. I was hooked by one anime and started to follow it for a season. The number of anime that I follow increased as day passed and suddenly, I was following 12 anime every season; an activity which ate at least 6 hours of my time every week.

The number of poisons I’m taking added as my friend introduced me to two games, an MMORPG called Dragon Nest (which is pretty popular in Asia-Pacific, especially in South Korea, China and South East Asia), and DoTA.
Dragon Nest was unlike any other MMORPG that I had seen before; it had a dynamic, fast-paced, FPS-like control as well as anime-esque graphics. DoTA was also really entertaining since it required skill, coordination, team-play and strategy. Long story short, my addiction went out of control for almost three years, shredding my academic performance, social relationship and my saving.

The wave of realization hit me on a silent sunday night three months ago. I was furiously preparing for a raid with my guild mates when my mom phoned me. She said that she received another complain from my lecturer, saying that He had to put me in Remedial Programme because I had skipped most of his classes and failed eight stations from the assigned 12 stations in OSCE. She was trying her best to ask about my supposed truancy and reason with me patiently although I knew that she had been crying for a long time from the way she spoke. As she spoke in the phone, I stared at myself in mirror and was surprised; what the fuck had I done to my whole life. I was a dumb-shit in my studies, perhaps close to be expelled. I blew all of my money to strengthen an illusionary character. I cut ties with almost all of my friend. At that time, I realized that I was an idiot, fat fcuk with no hope whatsoever for future. In a wave of utter rage to myself, I deleted all of my anime and game clients from my laptop. I swore to myself that I would say “fcuk no!” to those temptations.

Recovering from addiction(s) is an arduous journey. Sometimes, my mind still spawns ridiculous ideas, like striking my annoying lecturer with my Gladiator Finishing Attack or silencing a stupendously loud b*tch with my Crusader Holy Relic. However, I’m now starting to rebuild my life and so far, I’m enjoying it more than what a virtual world can offer.

Shoemoney 197 MultiBoxer

EVE. Had 9 Accts and 4 yrs. I locked all of my accounts. Uninstalled everything. It just had to stop.

198 Reynnee Day

I know this post is quite old, but I have found myself addicted to a TCG on my phone. Been playing for well over a year. This is not something I would normally become so attached to. My fads usually last a couple of months at most. My husband does not play, and has felt neglected for quite some time. I really don’t see that I have a serious problem, but I want to play or be in the chats set up for the game as much as possible. I am a big deal in this virtual card game, ppl respect me, and value my opinions, I become very attached to ppl I will most likely never meet irl, and spent way more money than I care to disclose on this “free” TCG. My husband has had to bail out my finances on a couple of occassions, and I promise not to spend anymore on it, only to break my promises. I dont help out around the house, and he gets seriously upset over it. To me, I see it as, yes, I do spend too much time in my virtual world, but I really enjoy it. I don’t want to stop interacting with these ppl, but I don’t want my husband to leave me. I’m torn over the whole thing. I don’t see it as me having a problem, I see it as others having a problem with me enjoying something. Its so hard to even think about giving it up. And btw I am not a young woman, my only child is an adult, so I cant blame this on a youthful whim. Do I really have a problem? Why cant I just enjoy being important in some aspect of my life, even if it is cyberspace?

199 Free Mmorpg Game

Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this site needs much more attention.
I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the info!

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