I am not married. I have no children. I do live back with my mother now though, so I cannot say that my time locked away in my room does not have a negative effect on people other than myself. I began to play WoW four years ago, having originally played the rts games that heralded it, initially thinking it'd be great to be able to actually walk around in all those buildings you created or destroyed in the strategy game campaign maps. For a long time I managed to balance my time between playing online and living a relatively normal life through work, friends and relationships. I quit the game every once in a while when I got bored or no longer found the content interesting. I consider myself intelligent enough to fully realise that the design of the game is primarily geared towards enticing you into a system of simulated rewards along a sliding scale. No matter how you strive to equip yourself in the best gear, how quickly you manage to clear a certain dungeon or raid boss or how many hours you spend levelling up one of the professions to make in-game profit through the auction house, the developers will continually and systematically release new content that makes your work redundant and forces you to repeat the process.
Initially I found this to be an attractive aspect of the game. It was something you can never complete, and thus never get bored of, right? Why go out and spend a load of cash every other week because you have completed that new game you bought, when at less of a cost you can just keep on playing this online game and be fed a stream of new places to explore and new things to experience? Even when, after I had taken an extended leave to work overseas as a volunteer in an attempt to broaden my experiences and enliven my passion for live, my account was compromised and I lost everything, effectively having to start over in terms of gold and equipment, I continued to play. I simply created a new character to earn with and before long had amassed the fortune I had lost, re-equipped my characters and advanced from the stage I had left off. This may be rambling now, but I think it's important to highlight just how obsessed I am with this virtual world.
Nearly all of my issues relating to the game are related to personal flaws. I have an incredibly low self-esteem and suffer from severe depression. I am scared of a world I have grown to deeply dislike, through the things I have actually gone around the world to see, and have very little faith left in humanity. Thus, in the arena of fantasy I find an escape. All of my shortcomings and fears are buried beneath a glittering avatar of my virtual self, where I can earn achievements through work, sometimes on an incredibly unbalanced scale that'd have an employer taken to court for in reality - 80 hours for a tabard and a title that makes me look a little bit better. Essentially though, for the majority of people that play, this is what takes hold. The overwhelming drive to 'appear superior' to their peers. It could be argued that this is a hard-coded aspect of human nature, but it is one that the design of the game thrives upon. You build esteem and reputation based on your skill. So when outside influences threaten that reputation - say, someone in reality asks you to do something while you are involved in a boss encounter, walking away would result in you all dieing and the others, people you will never meet, will end up being pissed off with you - you become naturally defensive. For those of you posting on behalf of close loved ones, you have likely encountered these situations, where your relative/ betrothed/ spouse becomes irrationally angered by a simple topic that may distract them from the game. What we gamers fail to keep in perspective is.... everything. Life slowly but surely becomes a sidenote to whatever it is in the game that attracts us most, be that killing a difficult boss, reaching a certain total number of player kills or simply exploring for an achievement.
That, relatively recent, addition to the game is the developer's crowning masterpiece - their true display of business genius. No longer are the dull tasks of killing redundant bosses or exploring the in-game world utterly devoid of return - now you are rewarded with a certain number of points to your character for meeting certain requirements or fulfilling certain goals, all geared entirely towards simply looking 'better' at the game. You cannot even buy anything with these points. They are utterly useless. Yet thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, including myself, will hunt them down tirelessly. We can get some points for killing that beastie, which we are now able to do wearing a frilly dress and punch to death where before it required us geared-to-the-gills? Off we go! We can kill a god that once took 40 others with just 3? That's our night sorted.
Perhaps I am an extreme case. I realise I need help. I realise that Warcraft is designed to create a situation that encourages replay. I realise that, though incredibly canny in their implementation of game aspects, the company involved is not to blame. I realise I should likely seek professional help, to deal with the issues that really have me signing my life away to a childlike facsimile where pain equates to a few flashes of red around the screen, death means a simple run back to the corpse where you might resurrect and there is no poverty because you can just kill some creatures and sell their organs for insane profit.
If any of this made sense, and you made it this far, I hope it helps you recognise why those you care for act irrationally, and that it not for loss of love for you. If you are addicted yourself and recognise any of what I said, be strong. Walking away is not easy. Facing life is not easy. The world is a hard and brutal place, sometimes too much for many of us. Do not isolate those you have. If you feel you have nobody, seek help from wherever you can. Do not become like me.
Two of my co-workers play wow. One is 45, lives alone, and that's all I care to know about him. Another, who's around my age, I was hoping to save. I'm a good friend, or at least I try to be. But I'm giving up on him. The last straw was when I tried to hook him up with one of my wife's co-workers. 3rd girl I've thrown his way mind you. She was only available Friday, the day after I told him about her. He said he couldn't join us that night because he had to play WoW. He has a strict schedule of 4 hours a day for 4 days a week, and every Friday night just happens to be one of them. He said there is no way he could let his guild down. I understand to an extent, but when you promise someone 4 hours a day for 4 days a week, they have to give you some understanding when life happens. It was kind of a slap in the face. Me and my wife go out of our way to try to help him, but he doesn't care. It's not that he doesn't want it. He probably doesn't remember, but when we first started working together, I took him out and we got sh1t faced drunk. I passed out on his bathroom floor. But before I cozzied up next to the pee stains, I remember him saying how sad and alone he was, and how he was so ready for a girlfriend. My wife was out with us that night, and he could see how happy we were together. I knew then that I had to try to help him. But WoW got in the way of that. He spends more time leveling his character than leveling himself. Physically, socially, mentally, economically. I took him to the gym with me, and the poor guy can barely lift the bar. That's bad for a 6'2" 25-year-old, but his character can slay any beast in one blow. He's in debt up to his eyes, but his character has all the best gear and over 5k gold on any given day. He never wants to hang out with people in real life, but his in-game his character hangs out with other characters of people also sitting alone at home in front of their computers. I think me and him have the potential to be really good friends, but he doesn't see friendship beyond the game. I'm not in his guild. Any girl I try to introduce him to won't be in his guild. He'd never set aside 4 hours a day 4 days a week for either of us. He lost a good friend today, and I won't be responsible for ruining any innocent young girls life by trying to hook him up.
I actually have another friend addicted to WoW, but he's not so bad. He ditches the hell out of me for the game, but is otherwise rather social and has his life together.
I've tried WoW twice and deleted my accounts both times. I got a dwarf hunter up to lvl 20 two times, and a druid to lvl 16. But after that, it starts to get really fun, and I found myself playing more. So I quit because of fear of becoming addicted. I have a very strong will, but don't want to test it with something that has ruined so many lives. I have a wife, a baby, am trying to learn to play the guitar, and can almost bench 315lbs. That's two achievements, an almost completed quest, +140 strength(pounds I can lift more than my body weight), and I'm only lvl 29! ;-)
I started playing Wow in 2004 when I got it for my Birth Day. I was just turning 15. I've always been alone in real life, Never had any friends. A girlfriend here or there, but no guy friends. Normally my girlfriends lasted shortly too. When I started playing Wow I immediately met a network of friends who made me feel amazing. We did things together and talked and had fun. I was more addicted to Wow the first year. I wanted so badly to explore. I had to see everything. I did. The second and third year was all about my online friends. I loved them. I was involved in there personal (real) lives and them mine. Hell, at one point me and a friend even talked about moving in together. Our guild even planned on getting a house... Seems silly now, but at the time I wanted that so much. Anyways, Eventually between server Xfers and friends quiting I lost touch with all of them. Now I have literally no friends in or out of the game.
I don't even really try anymore to play the game. My gear is under par and my friends list is empty. I run heroics for badges. I try to get on Wow as much as I can even now. I think it's been four years? I am 19 years old now. The only difference in my life is that I go to work all day then come home and play all night. I use to go to school then come home and play all night. I just moved out and it seems it's harder now than ever. Even though I have nothing in game I still sit there all night. Sometimes I just go to the old zones and hope that I can feel something close to the feeling I had when I first started playing. I wish I could feel that good again, so badly. All of my Ex wow friends have quit and moved on, I just wish I had something to quit for. I spent so much of my life on this god damn video game I can't even remember what it was like before I started playing. It just doesn't feel right when I'm home and not on Wow. Like on my free time. I keep thinking to myself "I could have ran 5 heroics in the time I have been watching this movie." "Get on wow, you are wasting time." Any time I'm on vacation with my family I am freaking out I took a week off work I COULD be playing wow, and I am just wasting it vacationing.
I think at this point I could TOTALLY quit. I know how dumb this is. I just ... I have nothing else. What is the point? At least I have goals in Wow? If I wasn't playing what would I be doing on my spare time? sitting alone watching movies? Screw it. /wrist lol
Let me start by saying that WoW was not my first MMO to get into. I use to play DAOC and pretty much missed out on my senior year because of that game. Anyways here is my story.
I started WoW 5yrs ago when me and my friend from DAOC decided we wanted to sell our souls to another game, I had 4 other friends also joining and already had 5 or 6 friends from RL that played. Seemed like it would be a fun thing to do with friend. We played we lvled we got to 60 and then i "took a break".
I say take a break specifically because if anyone has ever tried to quit WoW they know you don't EVER actually quit you "take a break", like a true addiction if you leave everything there ready to take you back you will run back to it eventually.
BC came out and i started up again (new content) played to 70 and then tried started "alting". After the geniouses at Blizzard got the idea to make it easier to lvl all you had to do was get a friend to play with you who had never played before......spreading the poison. I lost my job and really didn't care to look to hard for a new one because it just gave me more time to play. I ran end game raiding content on two different characters and didn't care about a thing in the world. I finally ran out of money so i had to stop and get a job. I "took a break" again.
Things in my life got pretty straighted out, i got a good job. Finally found a lady who I fell in love with, lost 50lb of weight, it was nice. Then one day i was around my friends that still played and they were talking about the game and I decided i was going to give it another whirl and convinced myself that i could control it this time.
In short i wasn't able to control it, i began to neglect my girlfriend, i began to neglect work and i was always frustrated and tired. There is one thing people fail to realize with WoW there is never a sense of "completion" so because there is not that sense of wow i'm finished, you are almost always frustrated your didn't finish or distracted. Even when your off the game your not really "off" the game you are still thinking of what you can do next when you get to sign on or how if you run this raid this is where you can get such and such upgrades. It IS the game that never ends. Finally after another night of running through Icecrown Citadel with one of my no 5 raid worthy lvl 80s till 5:30am on a Friday night rather then spending it with a girl that I love. I went to sleep and in my dreams had dreams of Raids and thought of what i should be doing when i wake up in the game. At 9am i woke up drove home from my friends house sat and laid on my girlfriends bed and informed i need some help quiting.
I deleted it ALL. All 5yrs worth of WoW is now gone for good this time. No going back. And i can say after two weeks of being free its like a giant weight is off my back, I'm happier and enjoying hanging out with friends and finally seeing the world out said of the world of warcraft.
I'm telling you that typing in those letters D-E-L-E-T-E was not the easiest thing I have done espically when you have guildies and friends that you know are going to be mad at you for it. And you have spent sooooo much time working on them. But its like putting a turnicate on a wound if you don't stop it somewhere you are likely to lose more then just a limb. After 5yrs and logging over a full year of actually being in the game if I can do it anyone can.
Being that I am a photographer, I understand having a passion. However, when one of my closest friends talks about WoW, it's as though nothing else in the world matters. His eyes light up and he talks for hours about it. We all know that this has to stop. During our computer classes, his internet page stays only on wowarmory. He won't hang out with us outside of school on raid nights and he only cares about being home in time to do 2v2. It is getting sad. Any conversation somehow gets turned into, 'so we raided... last night.' We are all worried about our friend. I jokingly showed him the WoW addiction test posted on this site. He scored with two yes answers. This did not convince him at all. All we want is our friend back :/ He is a level 80 death knight and now he is on a mission of leveling up his level 65 druid. He even skipped school yesterday just to gain five levels on the druid. Instead of realizing that he is missing out on memories from his senior year, he finds himself being cool, bad, and awesome. He doesn't even want to go to his prom! Right now he is on wowheroes.com with the thought of what I am writing as simply a joke. I don't care if he wants to have fun, that is fine, but when he chooses a game that is more than repetitive over his friends, it's a whole different story. Help me find a way to get our friend.
About 5 years ago I met the man of my dreams. Everything about him was perfect. As we got to know eachother he introduced me to WOW. Ive never really played any games faithfully, but being something that we can do together, I tried it out. I was raiding and had completed all of my quest. Him being competative I would make us loose everytime we did arenas, it got to the point where he would be come so upset at me for not playing like a pro. I then began to loose interest in the game where I felt so obligated to play. In 2008 we got married and I still played with him as much as I could besides doing the wife duties and going to school. With no time and constantly being yelled at for not being so involved in the game I lostinterest and my account was canceld. I had told him that if the weekends were mine just to spend time together I was fine with him playing during he week. I then began to play because that was our agreement. But he never kept up with the agreement because now he became good friends with a guildie and plays with a realife friend. As I write this I sit here and watch him raid and pay no mind to me. I am rejected and put aside so that he can play his game. I wish I never started to play or told him that it was ok for him to play. This hurts so much and makes me wonder if its worth all the tears and heartache. we dont have any children but I always wonder how will things be if we ever do have them. I know for a fact that he will ignore them like he does to me. All I know is that if you are a addict of this game or are becoming one Dont get Married and Do get involved in a relationship because you will be hurting someone. The feeling of thinking that you dont interest your husband and you have to compete with a computer is horrible. Its just like being cheated on right in front of you! maybe someday my husband will stop and realize that what hes doing to his wife was the biggest mistake ever.