A functioning wowaholic
My wow story starts back in 2005/2006 when this guy at work told me about this amazing online game (wow).
This guy was heavy set, a pig hunter, had a beard and tattoos up his arms. He was not your typical wow player by a long shot and you would picture him at the local pub not sitting on a mount in Stormwind.
He spoke of bloody battles against tyrannical bosses, countless hours running dungeons with guildies and this land called Azaroth. He was a Warrior which suited his personality well.
At about the same time my best mate started to play and tried to get me to play. It took him and other friends a whole year to get me to play. I was working full time and didn't really see why i should pay someone (Blizzard) to play their game.
I've always played FPS and paying to play seemed weird. Eventually i took up the game in 2008 just before WOTLK was released. I rolled a hunter and this is the only main toon i have ever had. I have dabbled in other classes, even immersed myself in twinking and started on a few other toons.
At first i was no hardcore gamer, my friends had to teach me everything and i often found myself logging off and pursuing real life activities leaving my mates online to all hours of the night.
I knew so many people in real life who played and this made it conducive to me as i could socialize with people i knew.
I also played a lot of other games to even out the time i spent on wow. I was forced to manage wow time as i maintained a social life, work and family commitments.
As the years rolled by i became obsessed with the Pvp content and i was that cheeky unkillable hunter kiting you around Warsong or that annoying rouge sneaking up behind you while you quest and camping your corpse for hours.
This obsession amplified the time i spent on wow and while my real life ran parallel pretty much unaffected. That was until I noticed that i was turning down invites to nights out, turning down female advances and i was secluding myself more and more.
I did meet a girl who would be my future wife. She was also in the grips of a heavy addiction. With no job and minimal time constraints she grinded end game content. She has since scaled right back and goes months at a time without logging on.
I managed to land my dream job and packed my bags and went off to join the Police. Despite my wow addiction i managed to get through the testing and make it into Police force.
At this stage i would call myself a functioning wowaholic.
I maintained work performance despite working shift work and having a family. My relationship with my wife was struggling even before the birth of our first child. The time i spent on wow compounded our issues until it all exploded and i moved out.
I tell myself i moved out because home was unlivable due to all the fights but really i think it was the addiction at work. I just moved out so i could play uninterrupted.
Our issues were not just wow related but wow was the main problem. I came to the realization that i was using wow like drug addicts use Heroin or cocaine.
I used wow to escape my problems and the terrible things i saw at work. I was a young policeman confronted with the dark side of humanity and i desperately needed to forget the things i saw and heard.
I don't smoke, don't drink much and obviously don't use drugs, so wow was the perfect answer. My wife put up with me for longer than she should have and it took the though of never seeing her or our children ever again to make my believe that i had a problem.
The impacts of spending so much time on wow also went onto my health, fitness, friends, hobbies and pet animals. I've got a young dog that i never bothered to train. I'm unhealthy and this is life threatening as a Police Officer.
The most destructive thing about wow is the amount of time spend playing and that EVERYTHING else falls by the way side.
I have held full time employment the whole time and even managed to get a house, get married and have a kids while playing wow.
I am back home with my wife and kids and IM seeking counseling about our relationship and my wow addiction.
With the help of my wife, i will manage time spent on wow. Wow is not a casual game for casual players despite what Blizzard says. I am prepaired to quit if need be.
One thing i have learnt about wow is that all levels of society play it and can become addicted.
To all those functioning wowaholics, just how long can you keep afloat before it all comes crashing down?
My last comment is from another persons comment from another site which sums it all up perfectly.
" GG World of Warcraft, you got me good. I was not prepared."