&: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

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Tommy Former Ad...
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&: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

I don't know where to begin my story, I am nearly crying as I write this, so anyways, I'm going to write my personal story that happened to me in hopes to help some of you out there who have an EQ addiction a chance to get out of it before it get's to late...

Before EverQuest I used to have nearly a perfect life, I was living the american dream if you will. I hade a wonderfull job, a great house, a beautiful and lovely wife and most importanly my 2 beautiful little girls wich I love dearly....now I've lost everything because of this game.

It all started out about 2 and a half years ago, when I went to Electronics Boutique to purchased the game EverQuest. I had read so much about it in magazines and on the web. It all sounded so good, that I just HAD to buy it since I was such a big RPG fan.

When I got to Electronic Boutique the clerk saw me looking in the RPG section and I had just picked up EverQuest off the shelves, he said to me " EQ huh? I can assure you sir that's a really cool game, I have loads of fun myself playing it when I get home from work" wich just urged me even more into buying it.

So finnaly I bought it and when I got home I installed it on my computer, got my credit card to subscribed and whitin seconds I was in the game playing.

It all was good at first nothing ever seemed to suggest that this was an "addicting" game (boy was I ever wrong...). I made many friends during the first week that I played got myself some decent equipment and wepons, and I was just generaly having a good time playing and getting away from some RL stress...

A few weeks past or mabe a month or so, and I started playing more and more. As my character got higher in level's it became more demanding for me to stay longer hours online to play and unconsciously I started ignoring my RL. This is where my story really begins...

You see me and my wife used to be really close to each other, I used to come home from work and eat a wonderfull meal cooked by my wife, I don't want to sound like I'm bragging here but, my wife was a great cook. We would eat together and talk about both our days at work.

Then I would usually spend some time with my 2 girls since I was at work most of the week and the only time I got to spend some time with them was in the evening.

I would usually take them both in my arms and put a book in-between us and read them a story. On other nights we would play with one of the big ballons that we had, throwing it around, oh how I miss those days!

After we'd put the kids in bed me and my wife would smooch on the couch a little bit while watching TV or just chatting. There is so much more things that I miss, such as going out with my wife to restaurants, or going together as a family to the movies and other social activities that we used to do together as a family.

This all changed when I started getting "addicted" to EQ. I would come home from work eat my dinner really fast, say a few words to my wife and kids and I would litterally rush myself to the computer room. I would then proceed to load up EQ, check up on how everyone in my guild was doing and see if there was any special event going on such as a raid or something.

You see the time that I would have normally spend in the evening with my daughters playing got replaced by EQ playing instead.

I started to ignore my wife, ALOT, and sadly, my 2 daughters even more. Many times I would forget to eat and drink because I was so consumed with this game. Sometimes I had to go to the bathroom but I didn't want to get up because most of the time it was in the middle of a tough fight and I just couldn't leave my computer because the thought of even dying in this game is scary, the penalty for it is quite severe.

So I decided to set up a little pot in my computer room so I wouldn't have to get up when I needed to go pee, as much as this may sound ubelivable I can assure you it's the truth. Many times I would stay up all night till 2-3am in the morning playing because in my mind it was really important to do planar and dragon raids with my guild, and not only that I had to get up in the morning to go to work.

Some times my wife would tell me to go to bed with her but I was so consummed with the game that I would usualy reply to her that I was on a corpse run or that we had just gotten a good group or a guild mate of mine needed help on a quest etc...

There are lot's of time I can recall when I called in sick at work because I had stayed up late the night before and just couldn't get up to go to work. There are also times when I called in sick because there was a guild raid that I wanted to attend because there were some good items to be had that I wanted for my character.

When I actually went work on weekdays I was always grumpy, I couldn't think as clearly or act properly like I normally did before EverQuest, I couldn't stop thinking about it and talking about it to my co-workers. wich got them concerned...

I eventually got fired, the boss was feed up with me missing all the time and not doing my job the way I was supposed to.

When I tried to explained this to my wife that I had lost my job she was really upset since I was the only one who provided income for our family. We got into a really big argument and she didn't know what we were gonna do for money and to be honest neither did I.

I search everywhere for a job, I even went back in to my old workplace and litterally begged my manager to give me my old job back...but it was too late he had alredy replaced me with somebody else.

We enventually fell on wellfare while I was on my job hunt, but I gotta admit I didn't search very long mabe a week at the very most 2 weeks, after a while I was so depressed that I just began to loose interrest in finding a better job. I didn't care to find work anymore, all I cared about was playing my game.

At this point my wife started to become VERY concerned with me, and she came over to talk to me about it while I was on the computer. We got into a big argument and I said some mean things to her that I know now, looking back at it today, that I shouldn't have said at that time.

She decided to move over to her father and mother's house wich was about half an hour drive from our house and she also took our 2 girls with her. I didn't care really since I thought to myself "Great! I'll be alone, finally!". I guess I didn't really think that she would be going for REAL and thought to myself that she would come back after a while.

The first week that my wife had left, I stayed up all day and night playing EQ, eating whatever we had left in the house, I didn't even bother calling them, I didn't care either. I had totally lost sight of reality, all that mattered to me was playing the game.

I didn't even bother to brush my theeth in the morning nor did I take a bath or shower, much less shave. I didn't do my laundry and never wore clean cloths. Most of the time I would keep on the same cloths that I had sleept in and wore the day before. I didn't clean my house either and dirty dishes were all over the place and I almost never took out the trash.

I would order food from one of my local restaurants for supper and sometimes would eat the leftovers for breakfast. I would sit in front of the computer for hours on end all day long and play the game, it didn't matter to me, the only life I knew of was the life of EverQuest.

I then met a girl in the game, I was so in love with her that I was up to a point where I had totally forgot about my RL wife and my RL in general, that I began living this "virtural" life if you will.

I proceeded a few weeks later to ask my "virtural girlfriend" to marry me in game, she agreed. We made preparations, announced it to the whole guild, we told the GM where we wanted the wedding to be held, arranged a time and we got married.

I would constantly tell her how much I loved her and that I couldn't stop thinking about her, she became my obsession.

After a while I think that she eventually got so fustrated about the coments that I was making that she probably thought that I was some sort of a cyber perv (wich I will shamely admit that I probably was).

She then decided to end the relationship that we had, and even changed her last name back to her old one and removed mine, and as if that wasn't enough she decided to put me on her /ignore list and I never talked to her ever again.

A few weeks past after that incident and I woke up one morning and turned my computer on just like I did evey other day and it was then that it hit me, like a slap in the face...

I thought to myself that I used to have a great wife ( a REAL one) and that I had trown it all away for a @#%$'ING VIDEO GAME. It all started to swirl so fast in my head. "Why?" I asked myself "How the hell could I allow this to happen to me?".

I decided to turn off my computer immediately and to contact my wife wich I hadn't spoke too in nearly 4-5 months. I was so mad at myself for doing this. I couldn't belive my actions.

I didn't really know what to do and the only thing that seemed logical was to call my wife's parents house. So after alot of thinking about what I wanted to say to her I finnally came over my fear of calling her and picked up the phone and called.

Her dad ansered the phone and I said "hello, can I speak to my wife please?" and he said "Oh it's you, how dare you call my house after what you've done to her, do you even think you deserve to talk to her after eveything you've put her through? FU you idiot! I hope that @#%$'ing game keeps you happy, stay the hell away from my daughter! Do ya hear? Don't you ever dare call this place again!"

I could obviously tell by his anser and the tone of his voice that he was really angry with me, I said "yes sir I'm really sorry, this is not the way..., hello, hello?" He hung up on me before I could even finished my sentence.

I tried calling within the next couple of days, with no luck. He didn't want anything to do with me. I knew where her parents lived so I got in my car and drove over to their house. When her dad ansered the door I BEGGED, and BEGGED him to let me see her and for the sakes of my little girls to please let me see them as well.

He then told me to go away and that his daughter didn't live there anymore. I asked him where she had moved too so I could see my girls. To my suprise he agreed to give me the adress to her appartment. It wasn't so far as I thought, only a couple of blocks away. I thanked him very much and told him that he didn't know how much his help meant to me.

So after a while of driving around I finanly found my wife's appartment. I knocked on the door, I was so affraid to talk to her that I was litteraly shaking I had TONS of things I wanted to say to her and even more to my girls.

The door opened and a MAN ansered. I was so SHOCKED, I can't even explain the feeling I got when I saw him, I thought to myself "this is obviously the wrong adress". I asked to see my wife I told him who I was and if (insert my wife's name here) lived here, and to my complete suprise I saw her walking towards the door, and I could tell by the look on her face that she wasn't happy to see me...

I told her that I was so sorry and asked for her forgiveness for what I had done. I then asked if I could see my girls and she hesitated a bit but she said yes and called them.

They both came running into my arms as they saw me, screaming "Daddy! Daddy! We missed you so much" then one of my girls asked me "why did you leave us daddy?"

I just couldn't anser those questions, I was so ashamed of my actions that I couldn't even speek to them and bursed out in tears.

It soon became quite clear to me that the man who ansered the door was my wife's new boyfriend, since he gave her a kiss as he was leaving for work and he couldn't stick around any longer.

I'm sure my wife must have told him about me as he didn't look too pleased to see me there either as he left the house my wife told him "Well talk about this later honey, have a good day at work"

As much as I hated the fact that she had found someone else, I know deep down inside that I couldn't really blame her, but the fact is that it made me even more sad and angry towards myself. I just couldn't accept the cold hard fact that I had let this game take over my life like it did.

My wife got custody of our two dauther's by the court a few months afterwards. I tried really hard to explain myself to the judge but it didn't help, not one bit. I was also ordered by the court to seek profesonal help, wich I did, and I can really say that it helped me greatly since I was in a deep depression at that time

Eventually a few weeks later I finnaly got myself back on track. I got my self a job (not a good one like my last one, but a job none the less). Unfortunatly I had to sell my house since I couldn't afford to pay for it anymore, I was way pass due in payments because the job I had couldn't provide enough money to pay for the house/food etc.

I found a small appartment neer by and mooved in there. I still go over to see my 2 dauther's as much as I can, but not as much as I would like too. Howerver I still get a chance to see them on weekends a bit more, though.

Christmas is around the corner and I am sure that I will probably spend it alone, hell I don't even have a Christmas tree to put up this year...

I would love to go see my girls on Christmas morning but my wife alredy planed to take them on a vacation with her new boyfriend. I alredy bought my 2 girls their gifts and I'll have to give it to them in advance, before they leave. It makes me really sad and even angryer to even think about it.

There is an old saying that goes like this: "You don't know what you've had, until you've lost it". I can easily relate to that, I didn't know what I had until I lost it...

I wish my wife would be laying next to me when I go to sleep tonight, but I know the fact is that she isn't here anymore. She was so warm under those covers and I used to love hugging her before she went to sleep in my arms.

To all of you out there who have a wife/Girlfriend or kids, hug/kiss them tonight and think about what your doing if you see that your relationship with them is starting to go down hill because your spending to much time on the computer instead of spending time with them.

Here I am now sitting in my appartment tonight, alone, no wife and no kids by my side. I could have avoided this if I hadn't played so much, but I did the contrary and that is a fact that I will have to live with for the rest of my life....

I am typping this message in great hopes that NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE who plays EQ ever has to go through what I did, because in the end my friends I can assure you that it's not worthed, to lose your real life over what I know now is only a videogame...

-Tommy-

Edited by: lizwool at: 11/25/06 14:38

tosha
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Tommy,First off I want to

Tommy,

First off I want to welcome you to OLGA. You have found the right place. And second, you are NOT alone! All of us here have been through a lot because of our obsessive playing. I want to say that your story broke my heart reading it. I could tell that you have so much pain inside that needs to be let out. And you are feeling guilty for what your playing did to your life. You have a ton of regrets that you are living with everyday of your life. And I know how much it hurts you. I know because I have been there. I also let a marriage go because of one mistake I made. It wasn't eq-related, but I still live with regrets everyday of my life. I live with the what-ifs everyday.

But I want to tell you something that is far easier said and heard than done. You have got to let it go. You can not let it eat at you. You can not live in the past and live what-if scenarios everyday. What you need to do is learn from what you did to yourself, your marriage, and your kids and move on. The moving on is very hard, I won't lie to you. But you have to let the past stay in the past and concentrate on your future. Think of what you do have instead of what you don't have. You have great kids that you still are able to see grow up. You have your health hopefully. You have done the first and biggest step - turning the computer off! Now you need to concentrate on you and getting your life back on track. Think about what you want for yourself. Better career? New love? Being healthier? Then start to take steps at doing what will fill these goals. Remember think forward, not backward.

And keep coming here. You are an asset around here. You have lived through what a lot of people are trying to do - quit EQ. And we are here for support and encouragement along the way. I know it sounds corny but it is true - Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life.

Tosha

lizwool
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Re: Tommy

You may have lost everything in your life because of the game, but you did not take your life, as my son did.
At least give yourself credit for that!

By coming here, and sharing with others, and helping others who are going through what you went through - will help you have what you are giving away - healing.

That is why we are all here.

On-Line Gamers Anonymous is a fellowship of people sharing their experience, strengths and hope to help each other recover and heal from the problems caused by compulsive game playing.

I hope you will think enough of yourself and your situation to give yourself a second chance at a new life.

We are here, helping each other, and hop you will join us.

Sincerely,
Liz

What you do may seem insignificant, but it's important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

Aphrodeia
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Re: Tommy

Tommy,

I'm so sorry for your loss - you brought tears to my eyes. You say you saw a counsellor but it didn't help at the time. I sincerely hope you see fit to see a counsellor now that you can look back and reflect, so that you NEVER do this to yourself or another person again. While the game compelled you to play more and more, you alone decided that your family didn't matter.

My only question to you is this: How will you prevent this in the future?

My father has been in jail most of my life, mostly on alcohol and drug charges. Every time he gets out, he calls me tearfully to say he's changed. He won't hurt anyone again. He won't hurt me again. He has a new girlfriend who is helping him. He has a new religion. He's learned. Two years pass before I hear from him again, and it's the same old thing. He couldn't help it. He couldn't cope. He had no willpower. It wasn't his fault. The world hates him, and I should, too. Yet he was so convinced before.... Twenty years of his life has been flushed down the toilet because he lacks the willpower to survive and is too foolish to get help. It's the same stuff, different day. He missed my concerts, he missed my graduation, he missed my wedding. He's missed every one of my 23 birthdays. He's never met my husband. He's torn a hole in my life, but I still love him. After all, his part in my life, or lack thereof, has made me who I am today - and I'm darn proud of myself.

We can't change the past, but we can change the future. Make a difference in yours, and find someone who can help you prioritize and refrain from compulsive behavior in the future. You can't live in a box :o) Make a plan now for what you'll do next time something tempts you.

Very best of luck, Tommy. I hope the sun shines on you today, and I hope that your loss will compel you, more than ever, to show your children the man you want to be. They will thank you for it when they get older. We daughters of split families have long memories, and are endlessly forgiving.

Lisa

Justu
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Tommy,
Thanks for your honesty and detail in relating this story. It is a powerful testimony for anyone who has traded off something important to them to play the game. I feel your pain man. I can see that you are putting your head down and working hard to rebuild your life, and I hope you stay in touch and keep us informed of how you are doing. I pledge my support to you, if you ever want to yak about how you are doing or if you feel lonely and just need to talk. I also encourage you to seek face to face dialogue with people (family and friends), as online support can only help to a degree. We are physical people and we still respond best to real connections. Don't deny yourself these things, because you still have a purpose on this earth. I bet you are already pretty sure what that purpose is. Seek it out and let us know how your new and improved life is going. =)

Stu

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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Wow, it's an awsome testament to the power EQ can have on people. Like I was saying in my first post this game is not only addicting but it also kind of puts you in a TRANCE, so much so that you actualy lose track of time. I thank God that I was freed from it. I just came to the realization that there is too much in RL to see and do to let a game take so much of it. I got mad at the game and myself and smashed the CD and deleated it from my hard drive twice two years ago, that was enough.
My heart goes out to you. In my case Im single, but you lost so much more. I hope your wife understands more now but I think it would be very hard for anyone who has not played the game to know what a powerful effect EQ can have on you.

tie22dna
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

This is one of the saddest stories I have ever heard related to Everquest. I actually saw this post back in EQWids, but he didnt finish his story, as he did in this post.

I think the deal with EQ is that its mindLESS fun. I have posted some time ago, that, lets say you were reading a mind stimulating material, or watching it. Your mind will be overloaded with so much info, you will get tired. But I used to play EQ alllll day. Cause thats what it is- mindless. I was an EQ DRONE.

When I woke up from my irresponsible playing, I was so sorry to the people I have hurt. But I have always told them I would quit playing so many times before, so I couldnt tell them the same dialogue. I just wanted to "show" then how sorry I was. And then many days passed, and they all started noticing. I was beginning to laugh more also. I was showing interest with my daughters' work in school. After two months, I sold my EQ account. With the money I got, I paid for my bills and school expenses, what was left over, I took my children on a small vacation. I never brought up EQ especially the name of my character (which had become a household name), it was a bad word. One day, while driving my daughter to school, my daughter asked me how come I havent played EQ. And thats when I started crying. I told her how very sorry I was, and how much I wasnt going to do it anymore. Because I made mistakes, and I was a bad mother. And as you know with kids, they are always forgiving. She gave me that look as if I was still the best mummy there ever was.

By the way, in my 11 months of EQ playing, I quit in mid-Novermber. Unbeknownst to me, the children's father already set an ultimatum for me. He was prepared to file full custody of the children if I did not stop playing by the end of the year. As well as evict me out of "his" house which I live in rent-free. Honestly, I would have deserved it.

While I did not "neglect" the children in the full definition of the word, because I still did provide them the basics- the truth of the matter is, things can always be BETTER! For example, when I was playing EQ, I made their showers, dressed them for bed, and tucked them to bed, and played EQ. Before I played EQ, I made sure they were taking a good shower, I brushed their hair, supervised their toothbrushing, read them a book, tucked them to bed, and I put myself to sleep reading a book myself. I was a hell of a lot better mother before I played EQ. I dont want my kids to grow up and look at memories and associate them to my EQ playing. I mean to say, I dont want my daughter to grow up and say, "I won that art contest...that was cool! My dad was there...and Mom didnt show up cause she was playing that game...whatchamacallit...umm...Everquest!" *faint*

Tommy certainly lost a lot, I myself was almost on the same road, too. The only consolation is, perhaps the horrible experience made us all a stronger and wiser person. What doesnt break us, only makes us.

Cheers.

Suree

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Kalo
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

"After two months, I sold my EQ account. With the money I got, I paid for my bills and school expenses, what was left over, I took my children on a small vacation."

Wonder what happened to the poor sap who bought it? Too bad you couldn't get the money from Sony, at least It payed the bills.

tie22dna
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

No Kalo, I wouldnt have wanted the money back from Sony. But the person who bought the account bought it in sound mind. Eventually, I hope he will want to dish out the account, too.

With EQ2, and other RPG games out in the market soon, the value of EQ characters and gear will surely go on decline. I thought I sold in the most profitable time. Heh.

So Im evil. Lynch me.

Suree

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lizwool
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Selling your character is one of the best ways to get rid of it.

Than you cannot get it back.

If you just delete it, you can get it back.

What you do may seem insignificant, but it's important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

MadTurkey
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Thank you for your testimony Tommy.

Erik

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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

My story isnt nearly as bad as Tommy's..... yet. I posted a small outline about it under the I need help section, if you want to read it. I hope Tommy is ok. I hope I get ok. I hope my fiance realizes before his life turns like Tommy's did.

To Tommy:: I personally hate guilt and try not to guilt trip people into doing what I want, or guilting myself when things go bad. In your case, I hope that what you use your guilty feelings for is to do some good for your girls. They are your most precious thing to focus on now. Show them now that you love them, and rebuild your relationship with them, so that they don't grow up feeling abandoned to a game. You will do fine, then.

Yamp
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Tommy, your story saddened me so much that I don't know what to say. You have my deepest sympathies.

Jarulf777
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Quote:Selling your character is one of the best ways to get rid of it.

Selling your character is also against Sony's EULA (End User License Agreement).

Jarulf Jod`Rhazar
- 65 Forest Stalker of Dragon Army -

JNPastor
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

My god...
That is really all I can say to that tale. That an wow.
Sir, I highly recommend you turn to PLing your daughters irl into two wonderful people. It sounds like you are on that course, which is commendable.
It is so much easier to fall than it is to get back up.
Congratulations on getting back up.
Wow...

Necraphilia
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

SAD SAD SAD.....2 kids and you choose EQ? You have other issues. fix whats broken

Meridious
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

See? There is where a huge rift lies between those who are OK in the first place....and those who need a serious evaluation, regardless of playing an RPG online, going out with the guys, hanging in a chat-room.

If you can't pay attention enough to see what is going on around you...if something as simple as a game is enough to completely disconnect you from the link to your family...well there are other issues that need to be addressed.

Close to the end of my first year playing EQ, I had no real clues that I was playing "In place" of doing things that I used to do. I didn't see myself choosing EQ over anything...until my 6 year old daughter got mad at me one day, looked at me with those big eyes of hers and asked me why I play that STUPID game all the time...

DING DING DING DING!! Bells! Claxons! Red-ALERT!

That was all it took. I stopped playing during the hours that my kids were up and at home, and began playing when they had sacked out for the night, were at their friends, or when they were in their own rooms, engrossed in playing a game or something on their own. Afterwards, I realized I was not CHOOSING EQ over them...I was REPLACING valuable time that SHOULD be devoted to them. I didn't see it at first because I was in the house with them, was able to talk to them, was able to log out when they wanted to do something.....so I didn't see that I was missing anything. My little girl did. And that is what is most important.

I shifted how and when I play, and sat up and took notice.

I still play, and since my first days here, I have tried out other games as well, DAoC, ACII, and now am trying SWG.

The thing is, if an individual can ignore requests from his family, ignore warning signs that MUST be thrown out there if things got to the point of a break-up...the there is a problem with that individual that goes beyond a game.

The release of dopamine that a human receives while engaged in playing and online game and while chatting online in chat rooms, etc...does not COMPARE to addictions...so what is it about this tiny minority of people? What makes them unable to stop? It has to be something deeper than a game, itself. If it were the game, then there would be a heck of a lot more guys out there with stories like this.

If you receive the warning signs...and actual pleading for you to stop because you are losing your family, your life...and can IGNORE them and go on...well friend, there are other issues that need to be dealt with.

I hope you find the help that you need.

In all sincerity, good luck.

***Veni Vidi Vici***

--Merid--

lizwool
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

So, what do you say to the families of the gamer, Meridious, when they continue to replace their relationships with the game?

Obviously, there is a problem with the person, that goes beyond the game.

I have numerous requests for help with this....what do I tell them? How do you get someone to stop and see what they are doing, and take responsibility as you did?

I need help with this. I could not get my son to do it.

Liz

What you do may seem insignificant, but it's important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

Meridious
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

I never said...and don't pretend to have an answer. That is for the professionals. I am not in that field (Although my father was )

All I know is that there is a problem with these people that most everyone does not have...and it happens to them whether it is a case of the person going out with his friends rather than staying home when his family needs him...hanging out at the pub instead of with his kids...whatever the case may be.

The people who have these problems are in all walks of life and are replacing family with many sorts of hobbies, good and bad.

When a person ignores his wife and kids to go fishing every single day, for 4-6 hours and he loses his job, marriage over it...we don't blame the fishing rod, we blame the husband.

When a person loses his family because he chose to go out on the town with his old high-school buddies, and totally ignores all requests that he stop, and save his relationship...we don't blame his old high school...or his friends do we? We blame him.

I don't want to argue what happened to your son. We have been down that road...and I HATE when you bring it up, because when anyone says anything about it, you get crazy.

I believe now, as does most everyone else I know who saw the report on your son (and as they said in the report) ...that there was another problem with him, not just an RPG. And that has been brought up time after time and when it is, you place that fact aside and dance around it like Grace Kelly.

You brought it up, not me. Don't jump me for once again stating the way I feel about it.

I sincerely believe this poster has some deep-seated issues that have NOTHING to do with a game, and never did. Anyone who can ignore pleas from their family (Or else LOSE THEM) to stop playing Monopoly, Yahtzee, Chess, Doom, Warcraft, EQ, ...or WHATEVER the "Game-Hobby"...and STILL DOES NOT STOP...well then...there is something else going on (Inside that person)that needs to be addressed.

How someone can blame the game itself always has been, and always will be a total mystery to me.

But I meant what I said. I feel for this guy and hope that he is able to fix what is broken, mend ties with his family, and get them back. Period.

My beliefs on the issue aside, I am not saying I believe you guys are doing anything wrong here. I used to say that, but I don't now. Helping somene is not wrong...unless your helping them creates more problems, of course. And I don't believe you guys ever do that at all.

And I would like to help them as well, but unlike you guys, I would not know hwo to handle it. Being retired military and set in my ways....I need a specific cause and a specific remedy. Since there is none...well then the pioneers will have to develop one before I could ever really lend a helping hand.

***Veni Vidi Vici***

Edited by: Meridious at: 7/13/03 2:35 pm

--Merid--

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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Quote:So, what do you say to the families of the gamer, Meridious, when they continue to replace their relationships with the game?

Obviously, there is a problem with the person, that goes beyond the game.

I have numerous requests for help with this....what do I tell them? How do you get someone to stop and see what they are doing, and take responsibility as you did?

I need help with this. I could not get my son to do it.

Liz

My answer to that is to try your best to get them to a professional who can advise them in areas we are not qualified to.

I would not say that it is a bad idea to send them to someone who's specialty is addiction. Maybe they can pinpoint what makes it so easy for them to lay aside their family and life for a game. Once they do, maybe they can get further help.

In no way do I believe that unplugging a game is going to fix this person's problem. If it is not a RPG, then it will manifest itself in something else. There has to be something deeper, otherwise, I would not have been able to listen to my little girl, and the rest of us who play would also have problems.

I know that the argument is something like:

Well, if that is the case, then what about alcoholics VS people who drink but not to excess?

The answer most people use is "Chemical". Alcohol is a depressant, etc etc. and causes a real, chemical adddiction...

Again, why is it that some people can drink casually and not get hooked, though? The argument is that only after drinking for distinct periods of time, and in certain excess, can you become an alcoholic.

Find the distinction between those people, and those who can always put down the glass and walk away...and you have found your answer to this puzzle as well. It lies SOMEWHERE within the person.

The answer lies within, not on the outside. When that answer is found, then this argument will end.

The answer lies within, not on the outside. When that answer is found, then this argument will end.

Until then, I will maintain my belief that online gaming is not addictive, and those who can replace their real lives with an RPG, ignoring cries from help in all directions, losing their families while tapping a keyboard...I maintain my belief that there is a real, emotional/mental issue that is the root.

As far as what to do? Any type of help is a step forward. If you can comfort somene, point them towards professional help, bond with them due to having been in a similar situation...then of course you are helping. No one is asking anyone here to stop. I wish you all the best of luck.

***Veni Vidi Vici***

--Merid--

lizwool
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Meridious,

Thanks for sharing! I do appreciate it.

I want to say, that by you just coming in here, and sharing, that is helping others. Please know that, and keep it up! We all appreciate it.

Sincerely, Liz

What you do may seem insignificant, but it's important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Meridious,
I agree with you on all the points you made except:Quote:Until then, I will maintain my belief that online gaming is not addictive, and those who can replace their real lives with an RPG, ignoring cries from help in all directions, losing their families while tapping a keyboard...I maintain my belief that there is a real, emotional/mental issue that is the root. Because of what happened to my son, (which we need not discuss in detail, cause I do get a bit crazy) I have to disagree with you about gaming not being addictive.

I say, that it can be, depending on the person, just as gambling (where there are no chemicals involved) can be to a particular person.

Gaming can become an addicting activity to some people. It depends if that is a "flavor" they are captivated with.

To make it even more complicated, a person can become addicted to a "particular" game. I know, with my son, he played computer games since about 1992, and he never became obsessed with any of the games, like he did with Everquest. But, than again, I have heard of people becoming addicted to "Hearts" or "Minesweeper".

I am not sure why you don't qualify it as an addiction. Perhaps you can clarifiy, how a person can get addicted to gambling, but not gaming....

And you are right - we are here for people who have decided they want to stop. We are not here telling people to stop.....

Thanks for your input!

Liz

What you do may seem insignificant, but it's important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Quote:I am not sure why you don't qualify it as an addiction. Perhaps you can clarifiy, how a person can get addicted to gambling, but not gaming....

Easily.

Would you say that POKER in and of itself is addicting? Or would you say that combined with a certain type of person, gambling is addictive?

It's not the game of poker that is addictive, otherwise everyone that I know would be addicted. It is the "Need" that is filled by "Gambling" that creates the addiction. That "Need" or necessity is something that EXISTS WITHIN THAT PERSON. Otherwise, we would all be adicted to gambling.

Obviously VERY few people in this world have a problem with gambling. Isolate them, figure out what it is about that individual that leaves them open to such a thing, and your problem is solved. Unfortunately, it hasn't been done yet...but it is being researched. Dopamine release, as I mentioned before, is now believed to be a big part. But again, the MAJORITY of people have no qualms...only a select few do.

Poker, Slots, Blackjack....are not addictive. It is the same as I said before. You find out why LESS THAN 1% of gamblers get addicted, and you will also find out why SOME (VERY FEW) people let an internet game take over their lives.

It sure isn't killing Orcs, or the "Chat-room" environment. It is something WITHIN.

***Veni Vidi Vici***

--Merid--

lizwool
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Actually, Meridious, in our part of the woods, we have a high population addicted to gambling - especially older people, and disabled people. It is very sad.

Tell me this, Meridious, why would one person be addicted to alcohol, but have no interest in gambling, or why would one person be addicted to gaming but have no interest in drinking or doing drugs, or smoking? Don't you think if it ALL came from "within", they would be addicted to everything?

And why, didn't my son get addicted to any other computer games, than Everquest?

Liz

What you do may seem insignificant, but it's important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

It's not the activity. For some, it IS watching TV. For some it IS playing online games, for some it IS working out. It's not the activity, but what doing the activity DOES for the person, that makes the difference.
Each of these activities is different and can fill a different need for each person. This is why some can play minesweeper without a problem, and another person may play it obsessively and compulsively to escape from the immediate pressing problems in that person's life.

Why did Shawn play games since 1992 without a problem and then everything went downhill when he started playing EQ? It's because the sophistication of EQ allows it to fill a huge number of needs that an individual may have. EQ is not like any other game, and even to this day, I would question whether other MMORPGs have the wide range of "need fillers" that EQ has. It's just the right recipe, period.

Having gone the full circle of playing, quitting, helping others, then returning to play, has given me a really complete perspective I think, on why and how the game appeals to people, aside from just the problems that excessive and compulsive playing can cause in one's life.

I have spoken with many people and have asked them specifically, just what it was about EQ that appealed to them. Over and over I heard stories of things that were lacking in the person's life that EQ was able to fill. EQ really can address a wide range of sociological needs just due to how it is designed.

Unfortunately, there are no safeguards in there to help stop someone at that point where he regains equilibrium. That endorphine-filled feeling can be achieved over and over and over, but as one progresses, he must work that much harder for the feeling to the point where he is focused only on what he needs to do to get that feeling and not on the amount of time spent. The Star Trek Movie, "Generations" illustrates this wonderfully, in which people are drawn toward (ironically) something called the "Nexus"...something that they feel they must have at all cost irregardless of what happens to the world around them.

I do believe that the inherent design of EQ, in particular, makes it the perfect tool for those with 'issues' to abuse, in part because of how many emotional needs the game can fulfill, but also because of how accessible and inexpensive it is. Whatever weakness a person may have, EQ has something to appeal to that particular weakness.

On the other hand, does that mean that these games should be regulated or controlled? Our government has certainly created enough laws to regulate and control all aspects of our daily lives, why not just one more?

As with everything else, I believe this whole issue over time will evolve into being an issue of education in teaching people that online games can be an activity that can be abused with serious consequences. With Gambling, it is self-regulating to a degree in that when you are out of money, you are out of money. Online gameplaying has no particular, specific way to measure when one has gone overboard until it's too late. Kind of like high blood pressure, you don't often know you have a problem until you have blown a gasket.

My take on a lot of this has matured over the past year. I believe that an organization that deals with excessive and compulsive online gameplaying, will need to focus on education and prevention, as much as, if not more than healing.

But that's just my personal perspective.

Ron

Ron Jaffe AKA Diggo McDiggity
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Co-Founder of OLGA and member since 2002

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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Quote:With Gambling, it is self-regulating to a degree in that when you are out of money, you are out of money. Not so, Ron. You can gamble with credit cards, or you can pilfer money from your employer (which has been happening a lot around here) or you can steal money by stealing an identity, or you can steal money from you rmother, etc.
Quote:I believe this whole issue over time will evolve into being an issue of education in teaching people that online games can be an activity that can be abused with serious consequences. There should be blurbs and advertising, the same as those "This is your brain on drugs". What would be a good blurb for gaming?
Quote:I believe that an organization that deals with excessive and compulsive online gameplaying, will need to focus on education and prevention, as much as, if not more than healing.Yes, it is always better to warn that this can be harmful to you, before the person does the activity. Than they are aware of that, going in.

Education and prevention are a huge key. I think educating teenagers in school, etc. just as they do with drinking, drugs, etc. is a start. Also, making parents aware that these can turn into more than just games. How can we educate adults, other than talk about what happened to us, which we are doing here?

Liz

What you do may seem insignificant, but it's important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Quote:It's not the activity. For some, it IS watching TV. For some it IS playing online games, for some it IS working out. It's not the activity, but what doing the activity DOES for the person, that makes the difference.

.....I believe that is what I said. The is fulfilling something that these people need and REFUSE to let go of.

Figure out why and you have the answer.

it lies within the individual.

Simple enough equation, yet still unsolved.

***Veni Vidi Vici***

--Merid--

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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Liz:

I think the best way to make someone realize that their gaming is devastating others is to provide a clear choice between "me and the game" or something like that, especially for spouses. Or "get help or..." with follow-through if the person won't curtail their addiction. Sounds harsh but it's the only intervention I can think of when a marriage or family relationship is on the rocks due to compulsive gaming.

The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson
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bgh
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Regulation

Games already have "Photosensitive seizure" warnings in their manuals. How about a couple of added measures to educate parents and protect kids from compulsive playing?

1. Make the ESRB rating system mean something, requiring ID/certain age to buy games. (Movie theatres have survived, so would the gaming software business).

2. Get an independent researcher, agreed upon by industry, government and concerned citizens, to determine objectively what compulsive gaming can do to a child/teen.

3. Have the researcher submit findings to government.

4. Put a Surgeon General's warning on packages.

Now, how to help those of us who are in their mid-thirties...

The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Well, as weird as it will be to type this, I followed a link to this thread from the Shadow Knight boards. An EverQuest board.

Yes, I play EverQuest. Would I say I am addicted? No. Would I say some people could go overboard with the game, Yes.

I am sorry Tommy that this game has taken such control over your life. I mean the pot in the corner because of bathroom breaks is just beyond comprehension.

Here is my EQ story and theory:

I have played EQ for 2 years now. I am very fortunate to have a husband who shares my love for RPGs and he too is involved in EQ.

We have beautiful kids, who have never once gone deprived because of our gamming intrests. EverQuest gets turned on in our house when kids are at school or in bed asleep. The rest of the day is dedicated to family.

I keep my EQ account running, because I enjoy the play! I enjoy the company of strangers. I am not a people person, and in the real world I shy away from people. But being able to interact with others through the computer, in a realm I am confortable with, makes the game that much more appealing to me. (And just incase you are wondering why I am so FUBARED about social interaction in the real worldaEU| letaEU(tm)s just say that when you get aEU~abusedaEU(tm) in more ways then one, you too would be scared to venture out)

EQ is addicting, just like chat rooms, playing email tag with a few friends, and even message boardsaEU| This message board as well. If you post here more than a few times, are you not addicted? DonaEU(tm)t you want to see what people have to say about what you say, so you check the boards more and more to see if you get a response? That is addiction. Anything and everything can be addicting. Just depends on your personality if you can keep it under control or not.

EQ works for me because I make it work. I do not let others demand what I do with my playtime, such as raiding when I don't feel like raiding.

My highest character is a Cleric, played to the high end game, where she is a demanded, and much needed part of any raid. I choose not to go that route with her, I will not commit myself to a 4-8 hour raid just to say that I am Uber. I have my limits, and express those limits. Just like the real world, if people canaEU(tm)t accept who I am, and how I do things, they are not worthy of my time. I am not out to impress everybody, nor am I out to see if I can be better than anyone, therefore I do not sit here and constantly play so I can get the best armor, and be in the best guild. It just isnaEU(tm)t me.

The guild my cleric was in decided to limit itaEU(tm)s players to level 55+, I promplty left. Even though I was in the 60+ level range. I felt this was their way of saying they were about to become a raiding guild. I have nothing against raiding guilds, but I am not here to be told what to do when I am online. (I pay for the account to do what I want, and if it is to just sit around on my keester while reading OOC and the SHOUTS of strangers, then so be it)

I hope no one takes offence to this, I just wanted you to hear from someone who is still playing.

I am sorry for TommyaEU(tm)s unpleasant experience. I am glad he realized what was going on, and put a stop to it.
EQ is not a game for everyone. If you find yourself playing more and more, and the family is starting to frown more and more, turn off the computer, say to yourself that the game will move on without youaEU| and walk away!

LetaEU(tm)s put it this wayaEU| Say I was in some awesome group, in the middle of a tough fight, and my child woke up, crying because she was having a nightmareaEU| I would say to my group they needed to replace me, I was leavingaEU| They can always REPLACE me; everyone in that game is replaceable! But for my child, she can never replace me, she would never find someone to comfort her while she woke in the middle of the night.. Faimly comes first, and if you canaEU(tm)t see that, you have no place in online gamming.

Delyla

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I don't agree

Ok... first i would like to say that i don't wanna be mean here or anything. I'm a EQ Player. been playing for 2 years now. I'm somewhat "addicted" the game itself is really fun, *important notice*: Just like any game!. I see people addicted to WC3, MOHAA, CS, etc... I'm a gamer, and I know that I have a life too. Right when you started to bring a pee pot in the room was the moment when you should've realized that it was too much... I didn't read the whole story, but I saw some words about court and things, it got pretty bad as i see... but I still don't see how someone can break up a life... for a game?! Anyway, as long as i understand myself i'm ok. I just don't understand.... oh and by the way, this is not addiction, this is obsession.

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my greatest fear

I agree with the guy that said:

In no way do I believe that unplugging a game is going to fix this person's problem. If it is not a RPG, then it will manifest itself in something else. There has to be something deeper, otherwise, I would not have been able to listen to my little girl, and the rest of us who play would also have problems.

I don't know what makes an addictive personality choose one form of addiction over another, but I do think it is always the case that the person already has a problem before they even start the behavior, or drug, or game, or whatever that they wind up doing excessively. It sounds to me that the guy that started this thread had an extremely self destructive personality problem. I would likely have killed myself in his shoes, so I am amazed he is still with us. he should seek professional help or other self destructive behaviors may emerge or the same ones repeat.

I played RTS games to excess and quit a week ago. My fear is I will just replace it with something else stupidly self destructive. maybe it is important for me to figure out and resolve what led to my excessive behavior. Thank God I didn't throw away my marriage or job in the process.

you have my deepest sympathy Tommy. I hope you get the help you need. I also think you need forgiveness from your family and from God and from yourself, if you have not already received these, to have any hope of constructively moving forward. no one could bear the weight of your past wrongs. I hope you do not try to press on carrying the weight of those wrongs with you. I would try very hard to find ways to make it up to your ex wife and children. to try to do good things for them to try to in some small way make up for all the wrong. it sounds like they are loving people who will forgive you. I hope they do and I hope you can forgive yourself and move forward constructively.

I think your story will help others and I think it will help me. thanks for sharing.

lizwool
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Re: my greatest fear

Quote:It sounds to me that the guy that started this thread had an extremely self destructive personality problem.

Some people do have a more self-destructive personality than others.

It can/does come out in different ways.

Everyone is different.

Some people are not capable of making "healthy" decisions with their lives, because they do not know how.

We are here for each other, and encouraging each other to make "healthy" life-style choices.

If you need to learn how to do this, get help - be it by a self-help group, or get professional help. It can be done, and you can learn. I am. Life is a CONSTANT learning process.
No matter how much I learn, I need to learn more.

Liz

Edited by: lizwool at: 12/30/03 11:52 am

What you do may seem insignificant, but it's important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

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the answer Meridious references

I think most addictions and addictive behaviors stem from a desire to escape from reality and also from self destructive tendencies in the addict. I think it is the rare person who lacks these traits and yet becomes addicted. Even with drug addictions, I think most of us are smart enough to know when we are headed down the path toward excessive and harmful addictive behavior and could stop short of it if we weren't so self destructive and so desirous of an escape from reality. Thus, I agree with Meridious that it is silly to blame the game or the drug etc. also, blaming the drug or the game or whatever may avoid the addict dealing with the personal issues that actually were responsible for and led to the addictive behavior.

I suspect nearly all addicts would benefit from taking some sort of steps to consider their own excessive need for escape and self destructive tendencies and to work to change or resolve those needs and tendencies somehow, whether through professional help, support groups, or other methods.

I agree that some drugs are so physically addictive that they should simply be outlawed because they cannot be used responsibly. but even where the drug is highly addictive, the addict is still to blame for the addiction except in those rare cases where the addict had no idea what he or she was getting himself or herself into.

requiring warnings to be associated with other addictive things like games might help people face facts and not live in denial of a problem. warnings also might help make parents more watchful so they can intervene. Denial by both the addict and the persons around the addict probably frequently delay addressing the addictive behavior, and education can probably help reduce the amount of denial, but not by much.

people need to and probably do not fully understand that computer games are not "just games" and that they are easily done to excess causing great harm to many lives. general education of the public on these issues through methods in addition to warnings would probably somewhat reduce the number of people that become addicted to games. but again, I think ignorance is rarely a big factor in leading to addictive behavior.

I have reviewed some studies attempting to identify personality traits that correlate with gaming addiction, such as negative self image, but I strongly suspect the only consistent factors in most addicts are a desire to escape and self destructiveness. the reasons for the desire to escape may be varied, such as because of a negative self image, because of stress or exaustion, or because of boredom. the reasons for self destructiveness are probably much more complicated and varied.

I think predicting addictive behavior based on personality traits would be very difficult. how would anyone know that they have excessive escape needs and/or self destructive tendencies before addictive behavior occurs?

so what do you think?

lizwool
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Re: the answer Meridious references

Quote:I think most addictions and addictive behaviors stem from a desire to escape from reality and also from self destructive tendencies in the addict. How about these: The desire to escape from reality because it is too painful. The inability to face reality and move on because you don't know how. Escaping form reality the only way you do know how, and that is self-destructive. Not knowing there are other ways to approach life, that are more constructive.Not having a healthy example or anyone to go to when you hit a "wall". Not knowing where to turn to for help. Not being honest enough with yourself and/or not hurting enough to want get help. Getting by, instead of 'living'. Going for the 'easy' way out, not the better way. Not knowing you have other choices or not caring.

Quote:how would anyone know that they have excessive escape needs and/or self destructive tendencies before addictive behavior occurs?Not all people who become addicted to the games are 'self-destructive' or are they escaping. I have heard many stories where the person was just fine, before he/she started playing the game. They never "planned" on becoming 'addicted' to playing the game. They eventually lost their choice.

I think if a person is self-destructive that person knows it (spoken from someone who has been there.)

What you do may seem insignificant, but it's important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

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dont blame the game

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I think most addictions and addictive behaviors stem from a desire to escape from reality and also from self destructive tendencies in the addict.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Liz's response: How about these: The desire to escape from reality because it is too painful. . . . Not knowing you have other choices or not caring.

my further comment: there are all sorts of reasons why people want to escape reality, but the desire to escape seems like a likely consistent theme. ignorance, not knowing this or that, I think is probably overrated as a cause of addiction. apathy probably falls under self destructive tendencies. so I think we are identifying the same common themes.

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
how would anyone know that they have excessive escape needs and/or self destructive tendencies before addictive behavior occurs?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

liz's response: Not all people who become addicted to the games are 'self-destructive' or are they escaping. I have heard many stories where the person was just fine, before he/she started playing the game. They never "planned" on becoming 'addicted' to playing the game. They eventually lost their choice.

I think if a person is self-destructive that person knows it (spoken from someone who has been there.)

my further comment: I wouldn't be so categorical as to suggest all addicts this or that. however, I suspect most have an excessive desire to escape reality and/or self destructive tendencies. I don't know how you would confirm that someone was just fine before starting games. my point is I think the difference between people who become addicted to games and those who do not become addicted and keep their playing to a reasonable level is probably most commonly the excessive desire to escape and/or self-destructive tendencies. I don't think people plan on addiction, but I think people know it is happening before it becomes a serious problem, and through denial, excessive desire to escape, and/or self destructive urges, they let it happen anyway.

thus, I don't think addicts can "blame the game." moreover, I think it is harmful to encourage them to do so. addicts need to address the real causes of their self destructive escapist behavior, or those urges could manifest themselves through relapses, other addictions, or other undesirable behavior. I think it is also important to encourage addicts to take responsibility for their behavior and to seek forgiveness. the beauty of forgiveness is it can cure despair and break a cycle of bad behavior by giving a fresh start and an impetus to change and reestablish self worth.

lizwool
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Re: dont blame the game

Quote:thus, I don't think addicts can "blame the game."
Question for you erisalit....my son played computer games since 1993. He never became "self-destructive" or schizoid or depressed and addicted like he did when he played Everquest.

From my research of the past 1 1/2 years, I have SEEN that different games are created differently, and do affect the population differently. Some games are created to be JUST fun (Mario Brothers), other games definitely have been developed to be of a more "addictive" nature (EQ). I am not sure if you are aware of this, but game developers of EQ were required to have degrees in psychology, so the game could be created as addicting as possible. Please read this article:
pub136.ezboard.com/folgafrm30.showMessage?topicID=27.topic

Let me know what you think of my comments and of the article.

I am not saying people should use this as an scape goat, but I am saying they shouild be made aware of what they are dealing with here. EQ was not written just as a "game for fun".

Liz

Edited by: lizwool at: 1/2/04 7:48 am

What you do may seem insignificant, but it's important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

Silence WAR
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yea...

I agree with erisalit. It is not the game, but the person that becomes addicted to the game. The problems that lead to addiction are what the addict needs to work on.

What liz I think is saying that some games are made to be more addictive than others. And I believe that she is correct. How can you be addicted to a game if it was designed to only repeat one level or sumthin.. you cant. But what they did with Everquest was carefuly design an addictive game.

I think both of you are correct. The Online Gaming Addict can not blame the game for thier problems.

Yet at the same time, the game itself does promote addiction easier than it would be to get addicted to other things or games.
Its still not an excuse.

Aaron Blair

erisalit32
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once again I agree with Aaron

I don't doubt that some games are more addictive than others and some are just not addictive at all. also I believe some drugs are more addictive than others; some more psychologically addictive, some more physically addictive. I also think that the existence of an easy outlet for addictive impulses and behavior make it more likely that addictive behavior will occur in those predisposed to addictive behavior. thus, the ready availability of addictive online games probably increases the amount of addictive behavior or at least makes it happen sooner than it would otherwise.

none of that contradicts the points about not blaming the game. lots of people play everquest and never become addicted. the difference I believe between those that do and those that dont is the excessive need to escape and self destructive tendencies.

I played RTS games since 1995 or so. I never became addicted until recently. I think the delay in becoming addicted is due to a number of factors. (1) I was a happier more well adjusted person in 1995 (more recently become a more depressed person due to mistakes at work); (2) the games were not as fun as they are today; (3) I only recently got broadband internet access at home.

if your son played games since 1993 and never became self destructive, schizoid, depressed, and addicted like he did when he played Everquest, my guess is the games he played before were not as satisfying, and if he had the typical excessive escapist and self destructive tendencies, they may not have manifested until around the time he started playing Everquest (some level of coincidence possible).

I just do not believe that drugs or games make a person an addict. I believe they are, typically, just an available outlet for their predisposed needs to escape and/or to self destruct.

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Well.....

Erisalit32,

Thank you so much for your insight into this, and for sharing your experience.

That is why I asked you, because I did not know the answer, as I can only state what I saw.

It is true, that as a young adult, my son was much more vulnerable, than when he was under my custody. It is the magic number of turning 18, that all of a sudden puts pressure on people - whether you are ready or not, society now considers you and adult, and the safety nets are gone.

I appreciate your sharing. It helps me to understand a bit more of what happened.

Keep coming back and if you would like membership to our board, e-mail me at olga@olganon.org

Thank you.
Liz

What you do may seem insignificant, but it's important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

erisalit32
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will do

you're welcome liz. will email you for membership.

erisalit32
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some further info I pulled from some articles on the net

Like most addictions, the toughest part of recovering from game addiction is often getting the addict to acknowledge there's a problem--a task made all the more difficult by the seemingly innocuous nature of games.
Angie said her live-in boyfriend spends at least 30 hours a week playing "EverQuest" as a female elf--a character choice she finds "weird and disturbing"--at the expense of housework, family obligations and sometimes work. "The saddest part of all is the fact that he doesn't admit that it's an addiction and seems oblivious to the damage his personal life is suffering due to the game," she said.

For players who do admit they have a problem, the most common response is a guilt-and-purge cycle common to many addictions. While Bennett was able to kill his character and delete the "EverQuest" software with no regrets, many game addicts aren't as successful.

"The people I've seen who quit the game and destroy their character...almost all come back and play addictively again," said Lea.

For most players, true recovery involves looking at the issues underlying the game habit, Orzack said. She uses a cognitive-therapy approach in which players examine the emotional motives that prompt them to play a game excessively and look for alternate ways to satisfy those needs.

"Therapy takes the issue that there are a lot of other things going on," she said. "The goal is to get people to realize there is something going on and they need to be in charge of changing it."

Excessive game playing often reflects problems in the home environment, Orzack added.

"There's definitely an alienation in some fashion that's going on within the family structure or work structure," she said.

Dr. Orzack believes that one of the most effective methods to deal with all these types of problems is Cognitive Behavior Therapy, which teaches the patient to identify the problem, to solve the problem and to learn coping skills to prevent relapse. Often the treatment is helped by medication. In addition she recommends support groups for the other affected persons. She does not treat online, stating, "I'm licensed in Massachusetts, not in cyberspace".

XxLeebonxX (not verified)
this made me so sad, i feel

this made me so sad, i feel so bad for you. but you are so strong for not letting the darkness consume you!

bgh
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Dancing Don

I want a dancing politician in my posts!

The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson
____________________________________

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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Rofl! abo****e BS... I am astounded that anyone would consider this to be a true story, even for a moment. First of all it is painfully obvious that you are not adult you are a mere teenager and this is your cry for attention. If you expect me to believe that an educated adult uses the words "wonderfull", "wich" (both of which you used multiple times), and "shamely", then you are mistaken. I would hope that the "experts" here at OLG-Anon would be able to pick that up. If you can't differentiate between someone who is truly trying to struggle with an addiction and someone merely fabricating a story to get attention then you do not deserve the time of anyone who has posted on these boards. In looking at diction, mispellings (multiple mispellings of the same words), and the overall phraseology of "Tommy" the writer it is quite obvious that this is a falsity.
Good try "Tommy"

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Re: Dancing Don

I am only 18 years old and I spent 4 years of my life fighting my EQ addiction. There is no point debating wether this guys story is real or not, give him the benefit of the doubt and move on. There is nothing else we can do, I have never seen him at any of the meetings and he seems to have been just a one time poster which is common here. Some adults can not type very well or even write very well *shrugs*. In the end it doesnt matter if we help him with our comments that is great and if the story is false and not true then oh well. At least there is a chance of helping someone. And you will also find that we here at OLGA tend to take what people say at face value. No point in not trying to help someone, why try and see if thier telling the truth its a waste of time and most of the time people come here with legitimate stories.

I'm happy to see your concern though and opinions on subject matter of a post are most welcome. =)

Love
Aaron Blair

Zeto Psykoscythe (not verified)
LOL

LOL

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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Sorry for ur loss...i know now u'd probably hit urself over the head with a big thick book if u think about it now. But then at that time u were so addicted 2 the game it became like a drive 2 be better at something. Trust me i know what u mean...I've done RPG's from RS, HB, RO, Talesweavers and so on and so forth and i understand that desire 2 be better and better. But seriously get over it...the loss is great but at least u realized your errors. Suck up your courage and try things all over again. There are many more fish in the bowl. You got 2 daughters that you've lost, and I'm sorry for that. But whats done is done. You can't turn back time and say "@#%$, i wanna do that all over again" it won't work. Just move on with your life. You got a new job thats ok and now try 2 get another special someone into your life and try life all over again without the errors in the first.

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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

I know this story has an old date on it....but I just can't help thinking about how many of these stories I've heard about in my 7 years of playing. This makes me weep.

Sarah Light
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

Quote:I know this story has an old date on it....but I just can't help thinking about how many of these stories I've heard about in my 7 years of playing. This makes me weep.

I agree, it's incredible how many countless folks are going through some aspect of this. It's an entire world of compulsive gaming, and most people who are not involved don't know it exists.
In the world of compulsive gaming, stories of cheating on spouses, of making gaming a priority over sleep and food and time with family......all this and more is common. And when I was immersed in that world, it didn't seem all that unsual or bad. For I and the group of gamers I hung out with online, this was normal. Sacrificing a healthy life to the game. Compulsion and addiction was even seen as funny, or romantic, or a sign of a dedicated player, or as nothing unusual at all. We might claim to not have problems with compulsive gaming cause we surely could stop any time. We thought we didn't have the problems, the rest of the world did, the rest of the world that wouldn't just leave us alone so we could unwind and just play for a few more minutes.
So often I heard the phrase "this is just a game" used to excuse lying, deceit, online affairs, and other unhealthy behaviors. I used it myself, tried to convince myself to rearrange my brain and my way of thinking.
Being immersed in the culture of compulsive gaming is indeed akin to being in an entirely different world. We have our own language, our own sense of time and priorities. Our own politics.
Now that I am withdrawing and recovering, my mind has time to reset itself, I am able to develop healthy habits. One day at a time.

JennyLaBouff
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Re: I lost everything in my life, because of this game...

I made a statement to one of my guild mates one day about the amount of time spent with the people in the game and issues about some of the people that had me upset. How I was concerned about some of the behaviors.

My good friend said to me "REALITY CHECK!!! THIS IS ONLY A GAME!!!" hahah I wanted to say "Reality? Does anyone know what that is anymore?" This was coming from my friend who when I would see her in real life all she could talk about was our characters in the game and what quest we were going on next.

I have to ask this question...just to see what the majority of the people here think....

When you all played the game for more than 20 hours a week, were you always able to keep your reality in-check? When somebody ****ed you off in the game could you leave it in the game and then shut off the computer and go have dinner with your family without bringing that to the table, or lashing out at a family member?

I had a hard time doing that and I don't know why.
Could it have been when I played in the game I was always wanting to know about the people who drive the characters. I was always trying to encourage them with real life issues (my co-dependent thing I guess). I knew that most of us that played all night and day had real life issues we were hiding from. At least that's what I thought.

Surely I'm not the only one whose felt like this. I don't think I would know how to behave any other way.

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