My story started when my daughter was born (I already had a 4 year old son). She slept well but it changed our social life, with the wife and I going out rarely.
I started playing Matrix Online just to while away some of the evenings whilst the missus watched Eastenders and the like....
A friend then introducced me to WoW, we used to quest together, chatted online and made some new friends. Fridays down the pub with friends changed to Friday night gaming... well it was a lot cheaper than buying several rounds of drink.. and better for my health... and the wife knew where I was... (sound familiar?)
Some 5 years on the pattern was the same, except worse. I'd get home from work tired, and switch on the PC to 'unwind' and take out the stresses of the day by killing mobs and doing my dailies. I'd then get called for tea and usually turn up late just as my family were finishing. I'd be a bit grumpy cos I didn't quite finish what i was doing. After tea I'd make an excuse to go back upstairs and run the kids bath (putting it on nice and slow of course). I could fit in a couple of random instances if I was quick. Once the kids were in bed the evening was mine... I could often get a good 3-4 hours in and maybe get another epic or two before I crashed out around midnight.
I'd rinse and repeat this every night.
I'd tried several times to cut down, but was still spending most of my spare time on Saturdays & Sundays grinding emblems or running instances. Nothing I tried worked and each time a new part of the game came out I just had to keep up with the other guys in my Guild.
By the end I had 10 level 80s on the same server, one of each class and all geared for raiding.
I'd lie awake at night worrying about the effect on my family. My kids kept asking if I'd do things with them, and my answer was usually "just let me finish this" or "I'll be 5 minutes", and of course I never spent time with them. If my wife went out during the day, my kids would be left watching TV and playing their own games without me.
I've had to see an Osteopath recently to sort out severe cramps and seizures in my neck and shoulders and my hands have started to hurt. I have a beer belly now (although I don't drink beer) and my posture looks like I'm always sitting at a pc.
I've worked out I've been spending best part of 4-6 hours a day playing WoW and I'm now 42 years old. That means probably 1-2 years of my life has gone. My duagther is 6 and I love her to pieces but I'm not really the dad I want to be. What will she remember me for? That bloke sitting at his computer.
Then this morning, about 4am, I lay there thinking about all these things. It was hard realising this to myself. I felt guilty, unhappy and trapped. I threatened to quit WoW lots of times and always talked myself out of it. My wife is understanding and patient (maybe too much soo), and she doesn't mind me playing in the evenings.
I broke out into yet another cld sweat as I thought about stopping playing again.
Then at 4.30am I woke my wife and told her I was quitting for good. I explained all of the above, about how I was missing my children growing up and what a bad influence I was on them - surely they would copy me. I started my pc and then one by one I deleted my characters - all ten of them. The first was really hard, the others easier, but the last (my first character) was a real wrench. Should I just keep the one and only play that one I thought?!
As I typed the final word 'delete' and hit return I gave a big sigh. 5 years of effort wiped out in 5 minutes.
I logged onto the Battlenet site, cancelled my subscription, found the WoW folders on the PC and deleted them, thank god they were too big for the recycle bin. I found the game boxes and cut through the disks.
It was done.
I went back to bed, my wife telling me how proud she was of me.
It's now 5.20pm the following day, just about the time I'd start playing. I've been out with my family today and it's been fun. I'm finding it very hard now, especially when I've run out of other things to do, but I know it's the right thing for me.
I've stopped justifying it to myself, stopped making excuses, and writing this is helping a lot. I'm looking forward to not feeling guilty, getting my health back and helping my children grow up as they should.
If a hard-line raider like me can bite the bullet, then I'm sure you can too.
(13 hours and counting)
I have spent from Jan of 05 till now playing wow I sit here now with my fiances engagement ring sitting in front of me on the keyboard with her ready to leave.... She told me that I needed to get help or she was leaving for good no more threats no more warnings just gone. We also have a 3 yr old together who for the most part could use more of my attention. I have played wow for just about as long as she and I have been together and at first it was okay because we both were playing but I had more free time so I passed her in the leveling process she soon felt left behind and after a while resented the game because it was taking up all of my time. I got to the point where we split up for a while after all the fighting about WOW because she just couldn't take it anymore. We got back together after about 4 months and things seemed to be going well but, it didn't take long before I fell back into the same rut and the same fights kept rearing their ugly heads. So she again threatened to leave so I told her I would not do it again so I stopped playing on the weekends to spend time with her and just her ( by the way I work a 3-11 shift and she works days). Then it became an issue of spending time with my son and giving him the attention he needed which at the time she felt I was not doing and I knew it too but did not want to admit it and again I rescheduled things again so that I could still play but not till after he went down for his nap. Like the wowaholic I am though I started to cut into that time by playing while he was sitting down eating lunch so that I had that extra playing time. As I played more I left the guild I was in to make my own so as to not have to deal with their rules but the only thing worse than just simply playing WOW is Being a Guild Master which I am. Not only now do I play the game but I am responsible for scheduling raids and events to keep these guild mates interested in what we are doing as a guild so they do not leave. I have to say giving the option to be the GM or just play I would rather just casually play it has eaten up my life. My fiance has had instances where she called into work and stayed home and once it was time to raid, off to the comp I went when all she wanted was to spend some time with me. All I have to say is don't let this game consume you yeah it is a good way to burn some time if you are bored but remember to moderate your play time. This game has been my life for the past 5 years and I have spent that time putting it above all else including my family which I regret terribly. The look I got from my fiance before I left form work today made my heart sink in my chest it was a mixture of When am I going to come first, Sadness and Disappointment. It is pretty bad when she had to basically beg for my attention and stayed in a relationship that was as hollow as a chocolate bunny on Easter. As of today I am going to no longer play wow around her and limit my play time so I doesn't interfere with what is truly important to me my family. I need her to see that I want to be a better man. And to all the other struggling wow addicts out there it doesn't matter how many times you say you are going to stop hurting the people you care about it is when you actually step up and show them that you care that it counts. I learned this first hand and I hope it is not too late....
1. We admitted we were powerless over video game addiction -that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that these 12 Steps, as a means to improving ourselves, could help us toward normal living.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care these 12 steps and to the loving care of this group.
4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of our character for ourselves.
5. Admitted to our group, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our faults and misdeeds.
6. Were entirely ready to practice the program in order to remove our defects of character.
7. Humbly asked the help of others in the removal of our short comings and resolved to work to remove these faults ourselves.
8. Made a list of all persons we harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through study and meditation to improve our understanding of nature and to gain knowledge of right and wrong and to build strength to apply that knowledge.
12. Having improved ourselves as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other video game addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
As an ex wow addict i have done some research into wow addiction related debates, i have read 30+ pages on suedo experts talking about the need for people to take responsibility for their own actions in regards to wow and other addictions.
Whilst I do accept the argument that altering/limiting wow will never help those with underlying lifestyle/mental health/biological..... issues and the need for people to accept responsibility for their own problems. I would very much appreciate a decent forum/review on wow addiction in relation to children, wow is without question marketed directly towards children and it is children who are most at risk from the reinforcement techniques used so blatantly in this game.
So, here's my story.
I started playing wow in highschool, when I was maybe 14 or 15. I started right after another mmo turned to dirt to me. Star Wars Galaxies was what I played prior to wow. The combat upgrade came and i quit. My best friend continued to play and got me to come back to it. Then the "New Game Enhancements" came, and I quit and he quit.
We tried planetside. He got into that while I played guild wars with some other friends from highschool. I leveled too slowly and got left behind. My search started up again.
We tried everquest 2. He got into that and I didn't. Another friend was quitting wow at that time to play everquest 2.
Me and my best friend started having LAN parties where we'd play Halo, or Warcraft 3. Then we got into wow. We both rolled tauren hunters. He got to level 35 or something and I was level 20. I quit and went back to guild wars because they had a new expansion.
I played GW for a while but my friend kept telling me how fun it was to raid. How 40 people had to work together to accomplish a single task. So I got back into it. We played and we played, and we kept playing, and it hurt my grades in school. I'd play til 3 in the morning and sleep a few hours and then go to school, often falling asleep in class.
Some stuff happened that I can't remember.
I was off at a university for my first year there, second year in college. WotLK hits. I go buy the collector's edition at midnight. Did I say I bought it, I meant I had one of my new college friends buy it for me to feed my addiction. I still owe her over 100$. I sat in my room for 4 days straight, ditching class, and only leaving my room to eat twice. I would play wow, and then fall asleep in my bed right next to my desk. I wouldn't shower or anything. I'd try to make bathroom breaks while I was flying between flight points.
Fast forward to this summer. Another one of my good friends, who had never played wow, decided he wanted to start playing wow shortly after I had quit for the nth time. We started back up, 5 of us. Sitting in a basement playing wow at the same table, drinking 12 packs of diet pepsi in a matter of a hour, eating junk food, etc.
My 4 friends still play. I quit about a month ago. We did Naxx, OS, Ulduar, TotC, and then ICC came out. I tanked trash to rep farm. All the while my friends were becoming more and more pvptarded. I am awful at arena. I have 2 80s, both of which are highly common classes in the top 100. A warrior and a hunter. Not to mention my slew of other alts ranging anywhere from 20-40. One day after a confrontation about how my friends only wanted to pvp when they knew I was not good at it, I logged off and haven't logged back on since. I canceled my acct the next day. I still talk to my friend through skype because we're all off at college for the most part and we all live in different town. I sit and listen to them talk about wow, call for polymorphs on this target, hexes on this, cleanses, etc. It pisses me off. Tonight they were talking about rerolling on a new server because they were sick of our server. I had that sudden urge to go reactivate my account just to play with them, but I didn't.
I never want to play wow again.
I never want to be addicted to wow again.
I am going to show this to the people in my story to try to get my friends out before they are not my friends anymore.
I will keep fighting the good fight.
Stay the course and live strong.
Get out and live life.
Thank you for reading my story.
I keep saying I am going to quit and yet I haven't yet, but this time I think it's it. I was hacked last week, everything taken from all of my 80s and yet while I was pissed off at first, as time went on waiting for restore (8 or 9 days now) I am at the point I don't even care whether I get my gear and items back or not. I have wasted the last 2 1/2 years of my life on this game. It has resulted in 2 failed relationships (with guys who also played WoW no less), my work has suffered, my physical health has suffered from not enough exercise, and Lord knows what else.
I guess I turned to the game because most of my friends are married with kids and no one has time to go out and do anything anymore. Otherwise I might have something that resembles a social life. But I realized being social in the real world even if it's by myself far outweighs being social in a virtual world that technically brings me no real benefit.
I have been frustrated more in WoW than in RL. That can't be a good thing.
So once I manage to get all of my stuff restored, which should be any day now, I am passing off my accounts. This includes my T10 geared main and alt. Because there's more to life than this, and staying home on a computer for hours on end is not doing a damn thing for my life but making it worse.