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Help for an MMORPG Addict? 559

Posted by Cliff
from the time-for-an-intervention dept.
A worried comrade asks: "A friend of mine has had what many of us (his peers) are starting to consider a serious problem that we are becoming very worried about. He is addicted to World of Warcraft, and not in the same way the rest of us are. While most of us are able to disconnect from the game to take care of our own affairs, he plays to the exclusion of his friends, his job (he calls in sick a lot, it is starting to get noticed) and his life. How do you help someone who is actively throwing their whole life away to play a game?"
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Help for an MMORPG Addict?

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  • intervention (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blackcoot (124938) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @06:58PM (#15022123)
    step 1, like other posters have mentioned, is to get him to understand that he has a problem (ideally before he gets fired). this involves some sort of intervention. you'll want to plan it before hand for two reasons. firstly, you want to make sure that you've got the right mix of people talking to him; secondly, you as the interveners are going to need some practice. expect that you might get any reaction from "shit, you're right." to "you're just jealous" to overt hostility.

    there are several tactics you can use to get your point across. if your friend doesn't let challenges go unanswered, challenge him to put himself in a situation where he can't play the game for a month or two. tell your friend how his addiction is affecting your relations with him (this is particularly relevant if his family or significant other is at the intervention). you need to be careful that when you do this, you're making "i" statements --- "i feel like _____ when you ditch me" rather than "you ditched me, jackass". you know your friend a lot better than i do, so you've got a better feel for what may or may not work well for him. while you're having the intervention, it's really important that you all make it clear that a) you're there for him, b) you're not judging him, c) you're going to help him pull through when he asks for your help, d) this is not something that will be discussed outside of the people in the room. your goal is to make the room a safe space (much easier said than done).

    good luck -- you're about to go through a really rough patch.
  • Addiction (Score:2, Interesting)

    by StithJim (943396) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @06:59PM (#15022136)
    Well my roommate is seriously addicted to World of Warcraft (I refuse to call it "WOW") He does had a girlfriend...which he justified his obsession by getting her addicted. My friend recommended whipping my genitalia out and pissing on something he loves. Not wanting a direct conflict, I obviously refrained from that course. After he caught some computer virus, he reformatted his hard drive. I happened to..."hide" his lovely installation CD's. To cope with the void...we play AA (America's Army) and frisbee golf. It's nice because both of those have some form of an end. Don't know if that was entirely helpful, but hiding things seems to help.
  • Get a life (Score:5, Interesting)

    by merreborn (853723) * on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @07:00PM (#15022140) Journal
    I know, it's harsh, cliche, and flamebait, but honestly, it worked for me.

    I played Asheron's Vall obsessively for 4 years. I spent one entire summer doing nothing but. By the time I quit, I'd accumulated well over 6 months of online time. I dropped out of all my college classes... Two quarters in a row.

    My parents did me a huge favor and kicked me out of their home on my 21st birthday. I found an appartment, got a job I enjoyed, and got engaged. Between the job and the fiance, I didn't have _time_ to play for months. By the time I had time again, I'd lost interest. I played about a total of 40 hours of WoW over the course of a month and a half this year, but rapidly got bored, and haven't logged in a single time in months.
  • Re:I've been there (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vertinox (846076) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @07:08PM (#15022206)
    I hate to be the Devil's advocate (and I know about the strong desire to play MMOGs because I think I dropped out the first try of college because of Ultima Online), but I have to put a bit of a realism to what you are saying.

    Addiction to MMOGs is not different than being addicted to TV, Books, or any other form of entertainment. People get addicted to porn, chatting, and surfing boring web sites.

    Why? Because life really blows most of the time and usually we hate our jobs and hate our girlfirends and lives... Some of us deal better than others. Some get by with a crutch.

    Peronsally, I can't go a week without drinking some type of alcoholic beverage and I get pretty bitter and hateful to people when I go any longer than that... It was either give up drinking or cigarettes and I figure drinking makes me a more socialble person and I don't smell like burnt fire all the time.

    Secondly, MMOGs are not chemical addictions and should not be treated as such. Alcohol... Well it can ruin people, but unless you drive drunk all the time its not going to kill you like meth, crack, or heroine (and being from a club scene I've seen first hand people's lives being shot up pretty bad or just being dead ... yes i've been unlucky enough to witness an fatal OD in my life)

    Those kind of things you need to try to go cold turkey ASAP, but MMOGs and non-chemical addictions you need to simply attempt moderation or complement with something else that is more interesting.

    You should probaly point out that he might not be able to play online games so much if he looses his job and that you should maybe setup something fun for him. Like movies... Bar hopping... Maybe a concert. Some place where he can maybe meet a girl or other people with same interests. Don't make him do it if he doesn't want to, but maybe ask if there is anything he wants to do other than play online.

    Heck... Why don't you encourage a person with an MMOG addiction to meet more players like him at game conventions (like dragon con or penny arcade con) so that maybe he can meet other people that also have the same problem and he can go "Geez.. That guy is really addicted to that game... Oh wait..."

    Simply saying... "Hey! You play this game too much! You should be more socialble!" without providing an alternative really makes for a bleak life. He should turn his addiction into something into something acceptable past time and perhaps gain from it.

    Either way... I feel his pain and understand your MUD story from college. I think the only reason I quit Ultima Online is when OSI changed the game so much that it was no longer fun... *grumbles* Til this day I am so tempted to go back.
  • What worked for me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LearningHard (612455) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @07:10PM (#15022217) Journal
    I was majorly addicted not just to mmorpg but to games as a whole. This period lasted for several years of my life during which I ignored my school responsibilities (I was in college). I also managed to lose a decent job at this time. Thankfully my girlfriend helped me. We started dating before the addiction started. During the addiction nothing mattered and finally she told me that if I didn't straighten up she was gone. I loved her enough that I managed to control my addiction and while I still play a good bit I still leave time for school, gf, friends, etc. I have also recovered in school and after this semester will be 12 hours from graduating with a dual major in both Finance and Economics.

    It takes different things for different people. Lots of things were tried on me but the feelings I had for my girlfriend (now fiance we are getting married this summer) are what won the day for me.
  • Re:I've been there (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tansey (238786) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @07:13PM (#15022230) Journal
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholics_Anonymous# AA.27s_Critics [wikipedia.org]

    From the wiki:

    "Specific criticisms sometimes put forth by AA's critics (some of whom go so far as to call AA a cult) include:

            * There have been at least three randomized clinical trials that studied the effectiveness of AA. Specifically: Ditman et al. 1967; Brandsma et al. 1980; Walsh et al. 1991.
                        o Dr. Ditman found that participation in A.A. increased the alcoholics' rate of rearrest for public drunkenness.[1]
                        o Dr. Brandsma found that A.A. increased the rate of binge drinking. After several months of indoctrination with A.A. 12-Step dogma, the alcoholics in A.A. were doing five times as much binge drinking as a control group that got no treatment at all, and nine times as much binge drinking as another group that got Rational Behavior Therapy. Brandsma alleges that teaching people that they are alcoholics who are powerless over alcohol yields very bad results and that it becomes a self-fulfilling prediction -- they relapse and binge drink as if they really were powerless over alcohol.[2]
                        o And Dr. Walsh found that the so-called "free" A.A. program was actually very expensive -- it messed up patients so that they required longer periods of costly hospitalization later on.[3]"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @07:15PM (#15022253)
    I'm not necessarily saying that you're wrong, but don't be so quick to judge that what your friend is doing is bad.

    Yes, it's bad for his status on the RL treadmill, I agree, but there are many ways to go through life, and keeping up with the Jones's is only one of them.

    Is he miserable, or not eating, or not looking after his hygiene? If so, OK you have a point. But if he's in good shape physically and mentally (ie. having fun), then the rest is peripheral. He may be enjoying a better life than you are.
  • Re:How not to... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thelost (808451) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @07:59PM (#15022517) Journal
    it's not unusual for people who are addicted to WoW to simply create a new account - i.e. fork out for a new game - if their old one gets banned. Plus a GM wouldn't ban him on the basis of an anonymous request - by anonymous i mean that there is no way to prove that you are his friend trying to help him. GM's in WoW are hard enough to deal with as it is, this would be impossible.

    In my experience people becoming addicted to things like MMOs/games as a displacement activity. There's probably something else in his life that is causing problems too. Have you asked him about that?

    Also be straight up with him, say how you feel. It doesn't hurt to tell him you are worried about him. If you can't do that, think of someone who could.

    A more extreme solution and one that I actually feel sometimes necessary is an intervention. Uninstall WoW, take his discs. In the end it doesn't do any literal damage as it doesn't destroy his characters or progress. Or, use the childlock tools which locks it out at certain times I believe. Of course don't do any of these before trying simpler things like talking to him.

    When it comes down to it, it might be necessary to be harsh and as honest as possible. I have seen people become very ill playing WoW. Certain areas - like battlegrounds - demand a massive amount of time to get anywhere and by their nature are carrot and stick affairs, each success is only an aim towards an even greater challenge. This way people are led on and addicted.

    welcome to "world of crackcraft".
  • Everquest recovery (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jiilik Oiolosse (717106) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @08:42PM (#15022741)
    I've dealt with this myself. I started playing while I was working in order to pass the evening, and because some of the people in the office played. When layoffs hit, I (and several other players) were canned - lower productivity - we stood around and talked about where to get good loot. Spent 15 months unemployed, collecting insurance for being subject to layoffs, playing 14 hours a day. One day I stopped dreaming of people and only dreamed of avatars. I woke up, logged in, and gave away my account, cancelling the future payments. Then the depression hit, I was totally alone with nothing in my life. I'd lost touch with all of my friends, hadn't spoken to any of my family in 6 months. My insurance was running out and I'd be evicted if I didn't find a source of income. More than a year of my life had just gone. I eventually got evicted in my last month of the lease, coming home from a restaurant (alone) to find the locks changed. I'd managed to pack up one vehicle load of possessions before the rest was seized. I realize now that my friends had at first tried to invite me out, but I would decline more and more in favour of the raids, and eventually, I'd just decline and wouldn't even raid. They stopped calling after a while and it was my fault alone that I'd lost them. Sometimes I get the old feeling that I got when I was playing that game and shudder mildly at the thought of returning. Then it passes as I go give my girlfriend a hug and we go see a movie or something. Never again. This person needs help, and the worst thing you can do is stop trying.
  • Re:Solution. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @09:18PM (#15022915)
    Or get him a frickin' life. The reason I never got into MMORPGS is because you can't pause them. You can't save the game and come back later. When you leave the game, it leaves you behind.

    It's a model that works great for a game company trying to make continuous profits off of their install base because they're designed to keep you in and dump as many quarters as you've got. Except they're not quarters and this isn't an arcade that you have to leave eventually. It's something more intimate, because it follows you home, and it costs more than quarters.

    People are pissing away their lives over this fantasy crap. It's sick. I'm not saying that this is true for all MMORPG users, but it is certainly a social problem that is affecting a number of people.

    The MMORPG model does not gel with my 100% travel lifestyle. My freetime is more sacred that being mindlessly addicted to a silly worthless game. I'd rather talk to my better half on the phone or look at porn. Frankly, either is more fulfilling than non-stop-hack-and-slash adventuring.

    I play games, sure, but games that can be put away like a book and resumed when I damn well feel like playing them again. If I have something better to do when playing a Nintendo DS game, I close the clamshell and it instantly suspends. Instant life, kids. That's what that feature is. Not just PAUSE, but PAUSE + OFF.

    Try playing with the real world, it's a more challenging game that anything someone will ever cram into that finite state machine in front of you. Better graphics, too.
  • by Lanoitarus (732808) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:10PM (#15023191)
    ...just let the Sirens kick you out.

    My friend had a better approach than deleting his stuff. He download a out-of-date version of WOWglider (a blatant hack), knowing that blizzards hack detection system would catch it immediately, and left it running overnight. Came back in the morning to find his account permanantly banned by blizzard.

    Why strap yourself to the pole when you can get the
  • by wanax (46819) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:18PM (#15023236)
    Having been an addict level Everquest player twice, who eventually lost interest twice when I realized it was taking me away from other things I enjoy in life, I have one point to make..

    Especially now that most MMORPG'ing is accompanied by Teamspeak etc, chances are your friend has quite good friends in the game, that he chats with, spends a lot of time with (more time probably than with any real life friend). Don't short the importance of these friendships, if he were to stop playing the game, he might feel like he was betraying friends, or walking away from people who counted on him. I know I definitely felt like that, possibly because I played an enchanter, and the guilds I was in often couldn't run certain raids unless I was on.

    If you're going to get him to quit the game, you have to make sure he feels like he's not walking out on the people he's spent literally weeks or months of his time interacting with. I know I still keep in touch with a fair number of my EQ friends, and have since met several of them IRL and turned game friendships into more tangible ones. Giving him support in that process, not belittling the time he spends with his online friends, and making sure he doesn't feel like he's leaving them in a lurch is probably the most important support you can give him.
  • Re:I've been there (Score:3, Interesting)

    by coolgeek (140561) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:19PM (#15023242) Homepage
    Nice FUD there. The reason you don't see that in the first 3 steps is because those processes of identifying problems, taking responsibility form them and making amends for them are embodied in steps 4 through 9. Anyone who is in a 12-step program, who is serious about staying clean, knows full well they have many wrongs to try to set right if they want to stay clean. You should know better than to take Wikipedia as an absolute quotable source.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:24PM (#15023276)
    That's akin to an alcoholic getting his friends to come over and take every drop of booze out of his house. Sure, it'll work fine for a while, but only by convenience. You haven't taken any steps to control yourself, after a while, you'll go out to a bar, or you'll buy more alcohol to fill the need. Beating an addiction can't be done through passive means alone. Limiting your access to a dependency isn't successful, because when you want something badly enough you will get it, like going out any buying a new copy of WOW which isn't permabanned. The will to quit has to come from within, because it won't come from anywhere else. Sure, removing the temptation is the first step, but it's ONLY the first step on a long road.
  • Re:Live and let live (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sage Gaspar (688563) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:14AM (#15023877)
    But I think a better question to lead in to a counterargument is, "Is it sustainable?" You may say that what this guy is doing is fine, he's enjoying himself, and who cares about all of the trappings of life that other people consider to be "normal" as long as he's living his own life his own way. But if the problem is as serious as the OP suggests, then what happens when this guy loses his job? And his friends? And his home? I'd say that if you end up living on the street because of an addiction (regardless of whether that addiction is to a video game or a drug or whatever), then there's a problem. And if it ever got to that point, I think the guy might just feel a little regret for the way the past few years had turned out, as he's hustling people for spare change on the subway.

    This is a good way to look at it, I think. I am a really, really addicted MMO player. I play insane amounts of time. But I'm not at a point where this is detracting from my ability to live. I am still getting good grades in classes, I've been recruited into a grad school with a fellowship. I meet up with my real-life friends over lunch and dinner typically once a day at least. It's just that honestly, on the whole, I can say that I enjoy playing my MMO more than most other activities at the moment.

    For two or three years I've done the partying thing, I've gone to the bars, I've experienced all the drunken philosophy and "meaningful" discussions and juvenile sex drama that I care to. It was a fun time, and I wouldn't exchange it for anything, but it just really doesn't capture my interest anymore.
  • by TLouden (677335) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:48AM (#15024039)
    Another perspective:
    I developed an unhealthy gaming (MMORPG too) habit as a defense mechanism during a major depressive episode. AFTER getting help for the depression I broke the addiction the same way I break all addictions, I stopped until I was clean. In the case of a computer game to best way to stop is to delete all existing accounts and remove the software from all computers. It may also be necessary to block servers in your firewall. However, I must stress that breaking an addiction which may be a defense mechanism is dangerous if you are not treating the original problem, in my case it could have been fatal, so don't go around 'helping' your friend to remove the game unless he allows it or you have a professional assess the situation.
  • Distractions (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Phlod (8194) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:53AM (#15024066)
    You can beat this. Stop playing. Get a WizBan, or something similar, for at *least* a month. So you have no way to get back on, cuz you're going to try. Then, get out of your house. Distractions abound outside your computer room.
    If you have the option, and you have to use a computer, get a low-powered one that can't play the game. If yer a MUD addict, then get rid of your client. You'd be surprised how much more tedious playing MUDs can be without a client. If that still doesn't work, maybe an abacus is more your speed for the time being...
    When I say get out of your house, I don't mean exercise, or any of that crap, (unless you wanna, then go for it), but just leave your house. Go hang out with friends. They should be supportive. Go to the bar, take in a movie, whatever, but leave the computer alone, entirely. You need to find new distractions to replace the game, and no single distraction will do the job, if it did, you'd just be transferring your addiction onto another, possibly worse, activity.

    When I played EQ, my hard and fast rule was simple. I played the game, ruthlessly, for dozens of hours at a time. But, if someone called, or came over, or just generally wanted to do something, I quit the group, or raid, or whatever and went out. No ifs ands or buts. If there was *anything* else to do (involving contact with other humans), the game got shut off. I suggest the same rule for anyone who is worried that they are heading down the ol' addiction road. Sometimes I'd just go out with friends, just to talk about EQ for 5 or 6 hours. But we weren't playing the game, and we were out of the house.

    You play the game because it relieves boredom. Get bored again, and you'll figure out things to do.
  • by smaddox (928261) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @01:58AM (#15024304)
    "The study"? OK, there are three things really stupid about that. First, you don't really give anybody enough information to find the study you're referring to. Not even the title. Makes me wonder if you could find "the study" yourself if you had to.
    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness. html#Vaillant_deaths [orange-papers.org]
    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness. html#Bob_memorial [orange-papers.org]
    http://www.baldwinresearch.com/alcoholism.cfm [baldwinresearch.com]

    That took me a total of 1 minute to find. Top 3 results on google for ["alcoholic anonymous" success rate].
    Second, I doubt if there's only one study on the effectiveness of 12-step programs. Given the size of the rehab industry, there must be thousands.
    You are absolutely right. And all of the legitimate ones support the conclusion that AA does not work.
    Third (and this is the bigee): it's stupid and dangerous to make health care or mental health decisions on the basic of ONE STUDY.
    And its even more stupid and dangerous to make health care or mental health decisions on the basis of no studies whatsoever (which is exactly what is done everyday with AA).
    It's bad enough when people cite research results out of context in order to justify their personal prejudices. But justifying your prejudices on the basis of a study you can't even cite is the purest degree of assholedness.
    If you are going to bash someone for not citing research, then bash yourself. At least the previous poster did research before posting (whether he cited it or not). All three pages have extremely convincing evidence that AA does not work.
  • Re:I've been there (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lysergic.acid (845423) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @04:40AM (#15024858) Homepage

    While I agree with you that most addictions can only be treated by changing one's lifestyle (introducing new hobbies, finding new interests, setting goals for yourself, meeting new people, etc.) I disagree with you on the difference between a chemical addiction and a non-chemical one.

    Most chemical addictions are rooted in the release of neurotransmitters such as endorphines, serotonin, dopamine, etc. which control the pleasure pathways in your brain. These things are responsible for emotions of happiness and general feelings of euphoria (physical and psychological). Ultimately, one becomes addicted to sex, videogames, TV, internet, reading, working out, and all other addictions because of similar biochemical processes that these activities cause. The only difference is that with drugs like meth and heroin, the effect is more dramatic, and the reward is more instantaneous.

    I'm probably going to get a lot of flak from people, and I know that most people reading this will probably pass a lot of unfounded judgements about my character by my revealing this, but I do think I'm more knowledgeable about addiction than a lot of people because of my first-hand experience, and I appreciate how serious a problem an addiction can be, so I'm gonna share a little of my personal experiences.

    When I was in junior high, and high school, I used to be really addicted to counter-strike. I mean, I would spend 6+ hours a night playing CS, often neglecting to do my homework till 3 or 4 AM. I had other interests such as programming and reading, but around 9th and 10th grade videogames began really consuming my life. So I understand the overpowering grip of a videogame addiction. Luckily, I was able to kick that addiction before I left high school, so while I saw my roommates in college cripple their social life, and ultimately dropping out of school because they became so utterly unhappy with their day-to-day life, I did not suffer from the same pitfalls.

    However, at some point in the past 2 years I became addicted to heroin and opiates. I used to "chip"--as they call it--meaning, shooting up once a week or once a month only. I had no physical dependence to the drug, and in fact it played a very small role in my life. I was actually chipping for quite a while before I actually descended into full-blown addiction. Nowadays, I can't stay clean for more than a week at a time. I have to go through withdrawal to even get that far, but even after I fully detox and lose my physical dependence, I still relapse.

    Now, a lot of people think that heroin is poisonous to your body, or that most heroin users inevitably OD and die. That's not true. Heroin, like morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone(vicodin, percocet, etc.), codeine, etc. are actually rarely ever physically harmful unless combined with alcohol or other respiratory depressants. Even at high doses, they don't really exhibit any toxic effects on your body. They actually lower your heart-rate and blood pressure, and are arguably healthier for you in the physical sense than alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine even. It is unlikely that I will ever die from using heroin, or that I'll loose my arm like in Requiem for a Dream; I have pretty good hygene and adhere to safe injection techniques. Heck, I'm probably better at administering an IV injection than most trained nurses. So long as I continue to use sterile saline solutions, don't re-use or share needles, and avoid doing stupid things like injecting pills, I'm unlikely to suffer any physical consequences from my heroin habit other than perhaps I'll age a little slower than other people (a side effect of chronic heroin use).

    But the reason why this is an addiction, and not just a habit, is because it has consumed my life. It takes up all of my energy (constantly trying to acquire drugs, support my habit, get new needles, avoiding withdrawal), and when I'm not on heroin, I'm thinking about it. Even before I started doing heroin I abused other drugs such as weed and alcohol, and my social life has been negatively af

  • Re:I've been there (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @05:22AM (#15024962) Journal
    (Please not: I have no idea what I'm talking about. This is speculation)

    I don't think you were truly addicted to EQ if it simply "wore off". Perhaps a bit obsessed with it, yes. Unless of course, you've substituted something else in place of EQ that similarly destroys your life.

    I think people get addicted to the brain chemicals produced by playing the game. They're just addicted to happiness and soical interaction and the feeling of progression. Then there's some sort of association where they feel the need to play the game to get the buzz even though the initial thrill has worn off.

    If I understand it correctly, there's nothing wrong with the addiction to endorphins. It's what they call "Being happy". The problem is the cause of the endorphins. The WoW addict needs to spend time socialising with people in the real world, having other enjoyable hobbies, enjoying work, and so on. Eventually the MMO will just seem less interesting.
  • Re:I've been there (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:59AM (#15025359)
    If the 12 Steps were about personal responsibility, they'd read something like this:
    1. We admitted that our use of alcohol had made our lives had become unmanageable.
    2. Came to believe that we could restore ourselves to sanity.
    3. Made a decision to make that happen.
    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
    5. Admitted to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
    6. Were entirely ready to have get rid of all these defects of character.
    7. Made a decision to make that happen as well.
    8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
    9. Made direct amends to such people wherever 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 the support of friends and family to continue this indefinitely.
    12. We tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

    Which would also make them non-religious.
  • Re:I've been there (Score:3, Interesting)

    by QMO (836285) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @08:48AM (#15025567) Homepage Journal
    What if you're already earning minimum wages, and have bills to pay?

    Somehow, I don't see this as an effective argument in favor of not finding a better job.

    Being single IS being miserable.

    I was single (no wife or girlfriend) for more than 20 years, and wasn't miserable. It is true, that the years that I've been married are even better, but if you're miserable just because you're single, I pity you.

    I doubt people dedicating their lives to a computer game are really that happy.

    I agree.
  • Re:I've been there (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:06PM (#15027078)
    Hi, my name is Daniel and I'm a pornoholic.
    For me, it is not "what I'm addicted to."
    It's not anything wrong with my life.
    It's me. I have problems, and I'm not just talking about looking at porn at work. That's just a symptom. Part of it is that I am a resentful person. Part of it is that I'm cowardly about letting other people be part of the world I live in and make unauthorized changes to it. Part of it is that I am afraid to live up to my potential because I am scared that it will be disappointing.
    Addiction is trading what you want most for what you want now.
    But it's not caused by feeding it, or starving somewhere else. It's caused by being a broken person; having something not right with you. If I find why I am not a good person, and if I find a way to change and be a better person, then I won't need to drink or take a hit or jack off.
    People are not animals. When I look at porn at work, I know that it would SUCK! to lose my job. I like my job. They give me money for it, and I like money. I love my family. But I repeatedly jeapordize many great and good things for something that feels kinda good for a little while. That's not fight or flight. That's not dopamine hunting. That's just messed up. That's a bug in the code.
    Anyway, that's me.
  • It's simple... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by paul_esk (908046) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @01:44PM (#15028100)
    I was addicted to WoW a few months ago and here's how I quit. I was picking up a few things at a store when I walked past Quake 4. Having played Quake1 religiously and enjoyed Quake3 casually, I picked Quake 4 up. One night when I was unable to log into WoW I fired up Quake 4 multiplayer. The next thing I knew it was last and I had to walk my dog before going to bed. Getting out of my computer chair I felt like fire was pumping through my veins. When I got outside I found myself running and jumping around like a wild man. For once I was actually able to keep up with my dog. Then I realized what had happened. Normally at this time I'd be finishing a very long WoW raid. My back and legs would ache and I'd feel tired. I realized the truth - WoW is boring as hell. I'd normally spend hours and hours in WoW, most of it waiting for something to happen. Waiting for the raid to fight the next group of mobs. Waiting for people to reconnect. Waiting for people to get back from being AFK. Waiting for my flight to land. Waiting for the zepplin to pick me up. Waiting for my horse to get somewhere. Waiting for a game of battlegrounds to start. In Quake 4 I wasn't waiting for anything. I didn't have time to wait for anything. It was...FUN!
  • by wormbin (537051) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:19PM (#15028545)

    I've been waiting to tell this story and this seems to be an appropriate venue.

    I'm friends with a married couple. I'll call them Jack and Jill because one of them reads slashdot and I don't want to give the secret away.

    Jack is a WoW addict. He works part time, plays 50+ hours per week. Is a member of a raiding guild and is always coveting that next purple, orange or whatever colored item.

    Jill, his wife, is frustrated over his addiction. She bought an account just so she could spend a little more time with him. She leveled a character to 60 and occasionally raids but she enjoys RL more than the game and so resents having to play the game in order to spend time with her husband.

    This is the part I thought was pretty cool.

    Jill is the techie of the household and uses a linux based router/firewall/webserver/etc for local networking. As Jacks addiction grew worse she started checking out the ports used by WoW. Inititally she just started monitoring them in order to find out how much time he actually plays but later she realized she could throttle the connection (introduce lag) or block it completely (gee, the WoW servers are down again). The result is that when Jack has been playing WoW all day and Jill wants to go to dinner she either severely throttles the connection or cuts it completely. Jack thinks the blizzard servers are fscked up, wastes some time trying to log in and eventually gives up and joins Jill for dinner. Now Jill gets to occasionally go to dinner with Jack, to the movies, to a party. I kind of like it because I'm good friends with Jack and I get to see him occasionally now and then.

    I'm not blind to the deception of this act. Yes it's kind of creepy, but so is not showering, playing wow for 20 hours straight with quick toilet breaks. While it doesn't get rid of the root problem of the addiction, it has prevented jack from completely losing all RL socialization.

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