I refuse to play MMORPGs any longer. To be honest, I think that they encourage and reward "addiction." I refused to play MMORPGs
MMORPGs require a high level of investment in order to produce rewards. Oh
Plus, they're social: you're making friends, a virtual lifestyle, that is SO much more rewarding (discrete/measurable awards at that), and appealing than the Real World.
I literally spent 6 months in game. That's actively playing the game, logged in, leveling, crafting, etc. Not sitting idle on 'bazaar' or anything of that nature. The only times that I was logged in and not holding a controller or typing on the keyboard was when I was in the kitchen whipping something up, or (maybe) outside having a cigarette (but still eyes on the TV). That was over a calendar period of 9 months.
I spent 2/3rds of my life for the better part of a year plugged in to that game, sacrificing school, social life, and the only reason why I didn't explode was I barely ate enough to keep me alive. 'Addiction' can be a very abused term, however, in the case of MMORPGs, that's a lot of what drives them. You need to be 'addicted' in order to be successful.
The worst part is, I managed to keep my character well-equipped, and leveled up, and I never managed to make it to level 75 RDM. Burned out @ 73. Even had most all of the other jobs leveled up (every job to 10, lot of jobs to 20/25, and NIN, WHM, BLM, DRK, SMN all up to 40). Finally stepped back and said "Can't do this anymore."
A lot of my (then) non-gaming friends didn't understand, then started playing WoW. I still get hassled about not playing WoW with them (and now Age of Conan), but I know I have a problem and like any other addict (be it alcohol, or drugs), I know better than to tempt fate, because it will just suck me right back in.
The difference is, "normal" games have an END, and a "save state." I can mess with Gears, or Dead Rising, or almost any other game for a few hours, maybe even upwards of 16-20. I can knock Halo out 24 hours after launch, and it's done. It's finished. Or play through a 6-hour session of Blue Dragon and walk away, come back later. MMORPGs are persisting, you're missing out when you're not plugged in, and on top of that, they do NOT end.