&: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers "

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JakeKnight2006
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&: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers "

My story - and then a question. Actually, I'll start and end with that question, so here it is: Is it possible to go from playing compulsively to playing in a healthy way? Does anyone do that? In fact, on a more basic level, do "casual gamers" even REALLY exist in EQ and DAOC and other MMORPGs?

My story:

I'll keep my story brief - since it seems so very similar to so much else I've read. And frankly, I consider myself fortunate that my own addiction, if that's what it was, was relatively short-lived and minor. At least compared to some of the stories I've seen here.

I'm a 36-year old man with a fiance; nice home, nice car, nice dogs. A professional. In other words, not the slacker teenager that was my own personal stereotype for 'gamers.'

Never interested in gaming much prior to MMORPGs. Sure I played DOOM back in the day, enjoyed sucking at CounterStrike for a while, played Battlefield 1942 and the like. Love those games - but none were truly addictive.

In 2001, a much younger relative introduced me to Dark Age of Camelot. Despite the fact that I'd ridiculed the Dungeons and Dragons crowd back in the 80s, despite the fact that I knew it was dorky to some extent ... it hooked me.

I only played for a couple of months - but it became a little dangerous, a little addictive. Finally I tossed the game in the trash one night.

But I never forgot. Never stopped thinking about it every now and then.

Fast forward to Christmas 2004. Watching that same young relative play DAOC. He never seemed addicted; he played it off and on. He'd get serious for a while, then forget it, then come back to it. He'd played for years and never made it to Lvl 50.

Watching him play got me thinking. I wondered if my old toon was still in existence (little did I know that Mythic, like all the profitable companies, loathes deleting characters .... because they know we'll come back!)

So when I got home I made a call and happily discovered my dusty 3-year old character was still waiting for me.

At this point, I'm self-employed. No one to watch me all day, no one to harm except my own income (well, and my family, my dogs, my life, my lawn, my sex life, etc etc etc ...).

The result was predicatble. I immediately became immersed. Bought every expansion and every book; was soon buying Plat and stuff on E-bay (and I was the one making fun of others for being dorky? Was I the pot or the kettle here?). Quickly rose through the ranks of my guild, became a favorite of the guildmaster (who was a dude with no life who weighed about 400 pounds - I've seen pictures - and who played with his wife all day every day. No clue how they survived for money. Get this: they wore our guild colors WHEN THEY GOT MARRIED)!

(Now that's worth making fun of!)

So I played pretty hard core for 2-3 months. Got to Lvl 50, working on the Master Levels, maxed out a trade .... you know the drill. Strangely enough, I always sucked at the game. Horrible in RvR. But as everyone knows, if you're willing to play 8-10 hours a day, you'll gain status and prestige and popularity within the game.

I had it all in whacky Camelot-world. Even a very nice house. I was oh-so-proud.

Of course, real-life was a mess. My business suffered horribly. My fiance was not such a big DAOC fan. She described the game with words I'd have bet she didn't even know.

It got ugly. And remember, it all happened just from January to March of 2005. It's not like I played for years.

I quit one morning at 4:00 a.m. I got called a "noob" by some other loser like me - and it really bothered me. (Of course, now I realize that getting called a "noob" by a hardcore gamer is a pretty intense compliment. When they start calling you uber and leet .... well, that's not the compliment you want!)

But it bothered me. And I sat there, 4 in the morning, my lady long since in bed, work starting in a few hours, on a weeknight, wondering why on Earth I was so bothered by an insult from a kid that sounded 14.

Then I realized something else: I'd started playing at 8:00 a.m. the day before. I'd been playing for 20 straight hours.

At that moment, sleepy and exhausted and aching, I deleted my beloved sorceror (RIP Phoenixrisen), deleted my newer toons, and tossed a few hundred bucks worth of disks and books in the trash. Didn't say goodbye to anyone, never gave a hint that I was quitting. Just quit. Just a little under a year ago. March 2005.

Did I say this would be brief? Oops.

So back to my question. Although I haven't played in a year, don't have the software, and don't even have a decent gaming computer ..... I've been considering buying it again.

The strange thing is ..... Camelot has always been in the back of my mind. I'll bet a week hasn't gone by without me thinking about it.

I miss it.

Simple as that. I miss it.

I even called to see if I could get poor Phoenixrisen back. Nope. He's gone forever (RIP).

But I've been pondering going back to it, carefully. Trying to find a way to play for a couple hours a few times a week. I'm not even thinking about doing it right now, just sort of looking ahead to a point where I am financially comfortable enough, where my business is secure .... and where I've developed more discipline.

...................................................

All right, now that you've heard all of that addict-speak-sounding silliness and awful rationalization, back to that question:

Can it be done?

Could I play the game in a healthy way?

Anyone tried it? Succeeded?

Is it even possible?

Is it worth the risk?

And that biggie I've been wondering about: does ANYBODY actually play these games "casually," or is the "casual gamer" nothing but a myth?

Sorry for the long post, sorry if I asked a question already asked or put it in the wrong forum, and an even bigger sorry if its an inappropriate question. But a big thanks for any thoughts or advice.

Peace,
Jake

Edited by: lizwool at: 11/25/06 14:39

lizwool
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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

Dear Jake,

Thank you for sharing your story.

There are different opinions here, about your question.

Casual gamers do exist. Once you have crossed the line, to "addicted" gamer, can you go back?

Your thinking about the game is natural. There are many flavors of addiction. I think whatever we are addicted to definitely has a draw for us, otherwise we would not have gotten addicted to it in the first place. Tell me, that a recovered alcoholic never thinks about drinking again. Wrong.

For gamers who want to go back and give the gaming another try - that is up to you. Are you willing to risk the loss of the time, the money, and everything else it may take to prove to yourself that you can game casually? or that you can't? Is that the point you are trying to make to yourself? Can't you find things in real life to do, that are more uplifting for your real self? Instead of spending all of this on the games, spend it on yourself or your family. With everything you have, how do you even have time to think about gaming again? This I would like to know. Go to New Orleans and volunteer there, if you don't have enough to do.

Addictions are cunning, baffling and powerful.

We all have choices to make, on our road through life. You may want to ask your wife and family about this, before you do it, and see what they say.

Keep us posted on what you decide, and what happens.

Liz

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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

Hi, Liz. Thanks for your reply!

All good questions you asked.

I have many other interests and hobbies, and I often wonder where I'd be in THOSE interests if I hadn't wasted all those hours with a silly game. I'm in martial arts - how much better would I be? I'm a runner - I wonder what my personal best in the marathon would be if I'd spent those hours training instead of gaming? Or how much better my yard might look, or if I'd have finished that novel yet, or if my business would be more profitable ....?

Of course, to be fair I wonder the same thing about television - and similar time wastes. There's a question: why do any of us waste any of our time on such mindless, useless things? I dunno.

As for Camelot ... well, that won't be a quick decision. I was contemplating some point in the future, when money and time are both good. Probably a year in the future, maybe.

Scary thing though is that I'm thinkin' about it. Why is that? I've actually pondered making the game a reward. In other words, make x-amount of money next year, finish x-number of writing projects, whatever .... then get back into the game.

Not sure that's so smart.

Regardless, I won't be picking it up tomorrow. Not sure the current computer could even handle it. But someday, maybe .... I dunno.

Giving up the Internet altogether for Lent ... so I'm at least safe 'til Easter.

But still .... I miss it, for some strange reason.

I'll check back in 40 days. I'm really curious about feedback from y'all.

I really, truly wonder if - when it comes to MMORPG's - its actually possible to become one of those mythical "casual gamers." I really wonder.

And I'm not sure if I want to hear that its possible ... or that it's not.

Or if I should even be thinking of any of this in the first place.

Perhaps 40 days of clean living will give me a little more insight.

Thank you, Liz, and to all, for your thoughts.

Peace,
Jake

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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

Quote:Is it possible to go from playing compulsively to playing in a healthy way? Does anyone do that?My pet question, and I'm sure some folks don't want me to answer this, but I would have to say it is possible, but it all depends on you.
Make no mistake though, it takes a massive personal commitment to address those issues that made you game compulsively in the first place. I would say that most people do not make that commitment because recovering from compulsive gameplaying is not about gameplaying. It's about addressing all those skeletons in your closet and really being honest with yourself about what your issues are. This can be extremely painful to deal with and I don't believe that most people can do this on their own. If they could, they probably wouldn't have had a problem in the first place.

Recovery is about dealing with the psychological part of the addiction and an individual's life experiences which led up to the problems. Only by making yourself whole and continuing to work on your issues can you really get your life back together.

And then a very interesting thing happens.

That game that you looked forward to returning to for so many months/years...has no interest for you beyond a fascination to see what things have changed.Quote:In fact, on a more basic level, do "casual gamers" even REALLY exist in EQ and DAOC and other MMORPGs?Yes, they do. Think about some activity that you do regularly for a diversion but that really doesn't hold your interest and that you may put off doing because you have other interests or other things that need to be done. That's what MMORGPs look like to people who are casual gamers who don't have problems. They can put the games away, delete them, or not even play them for long periods of time and not miss them.
Recovery is possible, but you absolutely, positively have to fix your life and that includes prioritizing where this activity fits into the rest of your life.

Ron

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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

Quote:As for Camelot ... well, that won't be a quick decision. I was contemplating some point in the future, when money and time are both good. Probably a year in the future, maybe.

Scary thing though is that I'm thinkin' about it. Why is that? I've actually pondered making the game a reward. In other words, make x-amount of money next year, finish x-number of writing projects, whatever .... then get back into the game.

Not sure that's so smart.

Regardless, I won't be picking it up tomorrow. Not sure the current computer could even handle it. But someday, maybe .... I dunno.

Jake, read the "big book" of alcoholics anonymous. Anytime you encounter the word alcohol, sustitute it with the word MMORPG. It will possibly be the best hours of your time, that you have ever invested into a book.

After that you will be able to decide whether to go back or not.

Wish you the best

Maxim

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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

Oh, also,
Attempts to regulate or cut down the amount of time you play or schedule, or use the playing as a 'reward' rarely work if ever. Consider that people have problems with excessive and compulsive gameplaying because they cannot control themselves. If you cannot control yourself gameplaying, how can you control yourself in limiting the amount of time you play?

I and others here have tried that though...cutting down our play time but it eventually works its way back up, almost like dieting, losing weight and then gaining the weight back with the same 'shame' as the reward.

You have to make that decision to stop - find that compelling reason to stop and commit to getting your life back on track. Having the gameplaying waiting as a reward at the end will just serve to sabotage yourself after a bunch of hard work.

In my opinion and from my experiences here and with others.

Ron

"Get a Life!"
Ron Jaffe AKA Diggo McDiggity
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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

Jake,

As I read your reply, something came to me.

I myself, am a recovering alcoholic.

I do think about drinking when times get rough. I do not reprimand myself, as that is a favorite way to escape, for me.

What I do say to myself is, (which sounds a little like what you are doing) I will have a drink tomorrow. That is very soothing to me. I am not denying myself. I am fooling my mind. The compulsion really goes away.

I can drink tomorrow.

(The thing is, tomorrow never comes, because it is always today, so I am safe.)

Liz

Liz Woolley

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Sigh

Yes, but once you've played the game in an addictive fashion I would not recommend it. Every single time I tried to play a game 'casually' it winds up into some marathon video game extravaganza.

For example:

I played WoW when it immediately came out, had 3 level 60 characters and was a legend in PvP. Spent, I don't know, 4-5 months played time..

One day I quit cold turkey...

A month ago today, I picked up another copy of WoW.

Now, fourteen days of played time I am a bloody level 60 Priest owning it up on Twisted Nether...

Right this minute, I deleted my character and shot the CD's with my handy 12 gauge.

My suggestion is: forget about video games - period.

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Re: Sigh

I have to say different to the previous poster. After giving up my addiction to one mmorpg (2 years without playing) i started playing a different one. You can learn from you're mistakes or you can drop back into the same cycle as before, if you believe yourself that you won't slip back into the same cycle i reckon its possible to play another mmorpg and not drop back into where you were before.

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Re: Sigh

playing another MMORPG is different from playing the same one, at least it seems to me that way

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Re: Sigh

exactly my point, just less wordy =)

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Re: Sigh

My experiences with gaming, as well as what I've seen from others around me, is that there are casual gamers, they are just harder to see. I had a friend online who was a casual gamer, he got on once a day, which sounds like a lot, but it was only for about 2-3 hours, then he was gone, doing something else. He was never on for more than three hours, and I wondered how he could even do it. (Even three hours seems like a lot, but compared to the eight or more hours I would spend playing...) He just told me, "When it's all said and done, it's just a game. I play this game, like you watch TV. It's entertaining for a while, but when my time is up, I'm off to live my real life." And when I brought up issues of his characters not being as good as mine (Dur, here's a good addict saying "You're not as good as I am, NOOB"), he just said, "*shrug* in the end, it's just a game."

I don't really think that I'll ever be able to go back to my game without becoming addicted, and falling back into the same patterns again. But find something like what my friend had, something that doesn't completely rule your mind, and play that. If you find that it starts to take more than 1-2 hours from your life, stop playing it. It's not worth it to waste your life playing something that when you walk you can think, "It's just a game." When it becomes more, when it becomes a way of life, that's when it's a problem.

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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

I don't think it's possible to be a "casual gamer" in most mmo's because they simply don't support that type of game play.

Sure you can log on and fool around for an hour or two here and there, but you will never advance and be able to take advantage of what makes mmo's so much fun and addicting in the first place. A big part of any of these games is the social interaction between players. And you lose that when all the people you meet move on to higher levels and you are stuck in the same spot because you don't put in the enormous amounts of time required to achieve anything.

When I played Lineage 2 I know there were certainly people who didn't give a hoot about their level, gear, or position in the virtual world. But they tended to come and go on a regular basis. Most of us found that it was necessary to play 5+ hours a day at the very least just to keep up. And I don't mean keep up with the "uber" powergamers, just the regular folks.

Maybe there is a mmo out there that allows you to put in limited time and still take advantage of all the bells and whistles it has to offer, but I don't know what it would be.

I don't have a "X game destroyed my life" story, but I quit L2 about six months ago after two years playing when I realized I had to make a choice between my virtual life and my real life. There just wasn't enough time in the day for both.

My mmo, while always fun, became more like a job and less like a game. In order to continue participating I had to put in time every day whether I wanted to or not. And that's what really lead me to the decision to quit. I wasn't in control anymore. I couldn't start or stop when I wanted. If it was 3 am and my guild/party/etc was in the middle of a siege, a raid, or some high level dungeon, it became impossible to simply quit and go to bed. I would feel too obligated to leave my online friends in a bad spot. And that's just crazy. Im not a stupid person by any means, but at the time I had developed a warped perspective on what really mattered. And while the ultimate responsibilty was all on me, the mechanics and very purpose of the game itself served as an enabler for my own poor personal decisions.

L2 is one of the most hardcore mmo's out there. But I don't think it's that different than DAoC, EQ, or even what I consider a light grind game like WoW. To keep up your character, keep up with your friends in the game, and actually do anything besides hang around the starter areas, you have to put in time. A lot of time. Enough to keep you shelling out X amount of dollars each month. Some people have a carefree disposition that allows them to pay for an account each month and not really make an effort to compete or accomplish any goals a particular game might set forth. But most of us want to get our money's worth, and in mmo's that almost always equates to how much time we put in. Maybe I am in the minority, but I don't want to pay for a game every month if I can't access at least most of the content it has to offer. And, unfortunately, for mmo's accessing this content always amounts to grinding out hours and hours in-game.

A mmo that provided players with the freedom of a single-player game would certainly help many of us that get caught up and too involved in these games. I'm not addicted to God of War on my PS2 because I can play or not play when I feel like it and my experience will be the same as someone that wants to play 24/7. MMO's are just a whole other beast. And unfortunately the desire for the almighty dollar will probably keep them that way until we as consumers quit supporting them or governments take action against them as some Asian nations have started to do where MMO playing is more prevalent than in the U.S.

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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

I believe casual players of mmo's do exist. I know several, including myself and my fiance. My game of choice: WoW. His: FF11.
The similiarity we all share? We don't care about progressing in a 'competitive' way - i.e. to keep up with friends, etc. We play just to have fun for ourselves. I've watched in-game friends log crazy hours in raids to get epic loot, grind for days to get certain patterns - and frankly, I don't give a darn about any of those things. Once the game stops being fun, I log. I don't do instances more than once every so often because they take too much time. Yes, I've watched the people around me get decked out in high end gear, go to Blackwing Lair and the like. But that's not what I want. I'm just happy putzing around for an hour and then logging. To me, all of it...it's just pixels. It's not real. So why throw away so much time trying to get it?
My fiance often jokes that he's been playing FF11 for 2 years and his friend who just picked the game up a few months ago just surpassed him. I've watched people level several 60s in the time it took me to get there.
I do believe, however, that if you have an addictive personality or use the game as a substitute for something in real life (whether it be self esteem, etc), you can most likely never be a casual player - unless you totally revamp your way of thinking. And in that case, like me, you may just 'not want to play' sometimes. You may log after a few minutes, deciding 'eh, I wanna do something else'. Alot of players I know can't understand that. I mean, to them, WoW > RL. For me, I have a real life and I have a hobby (WoW, reading, the Sims, etc).

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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

I used to be a pretty hardcore EQ addict, so let me say upfront that I know where you're coming from...

But, yes, casual players do exist. And *some* ex-addicts can become casual players.

I do drop into online games (EQ, EQ2, and WoW) on occasion now, on what my husband might call "an infuriatingly casual" basis. These days, I don't care about leveling up or getting better gear or whatever. I don't care what other players are doing or what their characters are wearing. Not only do I not know what the uber guilds are doing, I don't know ANYTHING about the very highest end of the game. I can't tell you what the zones are called, what the boss mobs are, or what drops there. And, honestly, I don't care.

I log in when I feel like it, I mess around a little, and when I log off, that's it. I don't walk around thinking about what I did last time I played or what I'll do next time I play, or how I might level more efficiently, or where I might be able to get a better item for my shoulder slot. In fact, I pretty much don't think about the game at all when I am not playing. I never even sit down at my computer planning to play an online game specifically. I sit down with the intent to relax a little, and sometimes I play a game. Sometimes I chat. Sometimes I blog. *shrug* I've been known to let my subscriptions lapse and not play any of them for 3 or 4 months. (I only subscribe to one game at a time, and I always cancel my subscription when I pay for it, so that I have to decide every month to renew. Not all games will let you play out your month after you pay and cancel though...)

If the whole fun of the game is being the best, having the best stuff, and having people in the game admire you, then chances are, the game just won't be fun to you on a casual basis. If you just enjoy checking out the virtual world, maybe chatting a little bit, and doing crazy stuff just because it is fun, you might be able to play casually, as long as you monitor your own feelings and thoughts as you go.

The hardest thing for me when I went back to EQ specifically was running into people that knew me back when I was a really hardcore, dedicated player, putting in 40+ hours a week. They are bewildered, and sometimes even hurt, it seems, that I don't want to raid or play more, etc. It actually makes me pretty angry, sometimes, because the person they think they know isn't the real ME. It's a broken, sad, distorted version of me, and I can't seem to make them understand that virtually nothing they THINK they know about me is really true about the real me now. I don't think I am explaining that very well... Oh, well.

Good luck!

(EDIT: hehe... I think my Xfire sig tells the tale... That 31 hours was spread over 2 months... and that's my all time record.)

~*~
M.S. Soderquist
AKA
Kensha/Jeezlueez/Unaeni/Neschria/Nesha/Janna/Jendra/Zeysha
(depending on where you know me from, of course...)

Edited by: Kensha at: 7/19/06 14:14

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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

As for whether it might be worth trying again, JakeKnight, all I can say is you need to make a pleasure vs. pain analysis. Yes, online gaming is a lot of fun. That's the upside. But the downside is all the pain that seems to come with it. Even for those who aren't addicted, it is quite a time-drainer. There are so many other things one can do that are just as fun, and involve interation with the real world.

I just got out of four years of Neverwinter Nights, during which time I nearly lost my family. Perhaps I'll post about it sometime when I'm ready, though that may be a while as I'm a pretty private person. In short though, as much as I loved, truly loved playing Neverwinter, it makes me nauseous to even consider firing up the game again, knowing the potential risks. It's just not worth it.

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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

Blackarrowgames:
Congratulations to making the right choice. The thought that people - including me - have once valued a game, a CD from a box and a glowing screen, a bunch of numbers, higher than their own family and friends makes me nauseous now...

Kensha:Quote:It actually makes me pretty angry, sometimes, because the person they think they know isn't the real ME. It's a broken, sad, distorted version of me, and I can't seem to make them understand that virtually nothing they THINK they know about me is really true about the real me now. I don't think I am explaining that very well... Oh, well.

I think it was a great explaination. People change, thatA's a fact. But some people change faster or slower than others, and some change the direction.

And when this happens, many people can not or do not want to understand. Because they live in the illusion that people do not change.

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Edited by: calm force at: 8/20/06 2:17

 

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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

This threads been going for a long time now, since February, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents too. The thing I most related to in the original post was the feeling of missing the game. I really, really miss one of my games. Actually (don't tell ;-) I haven't smashed it up yet. It' sitting on my book shelf.

The longing for it is so intesne, I've come to the reluctant conclusion that I'm going to have to sorta grieve for it's loss. That is, it's going to be sad to let go of it, and to let go of the idea that, at least for me, I can't game casually. I play a little, even old Ms. Packman arcade games, and I start to think more and more about playing, and then I start looking, and then I start pricing, and then..well, it snowballs. It's been a pattern throughout my adult life.

As much as I want to live the life of a jedi in the game, the past few months when I've been game free have been leaps and bounds more enjoyable and energized than when I'm playing. So i (finally) think it's worth the loss.

-cj

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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

I would say that I am a casual gamer, if you are addicted to something and put it down to heal yourself or whatever, its best to not go back. For if you do the addiction starts all over again. Just like alcoholics and their beer and other addictions.

Leonardo
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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

Well, JakeKnight never came back to see the answers. I canA't deny the possibility that he went back to DAOC and is addicted to online games again.

I hope IA'm wrong, but I guess thatA's exactly what happened.

JakeKnight2006
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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

Spaketh Leonardo:
Quote:Well, JakeKnight never came back to see the answers. I canA't deny the possibility that he went back to DAOC and is addicted to online games again... I hope IA'm wrong, but I guess thatA's exactly what happened.

Well that's a dour view of humanity you got there. In fact, I have come back once in a while to read the thoughts posted here ... and I haven't played an online game in almost a year and a half. Haven't played a game, period, in better than a year.

But thanks for your vote of confidence, chum.

In fact, I don't even own a computer capable of running most games. I got Counterstrike: Source for X-mas last year, and haven't even played it yet.

But with all that said ... it doesn't mean I don't *STILL* think about DAOC once in a while. Isn't that strange? That I still think about the game, after all this time.

And I've got my eye on Mythic's new game coming out next year. If I make enough money ... and have enough time ... and decide that "casual play" is possible ... I just might have to buy a gaming computer and see what happens ...

... or maybe not.

Which brings me back to my original question: do "casual" gamers exist in MMORPGs?

Well ... I found one. I saw it with my own eyes. Ironically enough ... it was my brother-in-law, the same guy who introduced me to MMORPGs back in 2001.

I watched him play a bit over last Christmas. And I was *FASCINATED* by the way plays. Basically, he does it *ALL* wrong ... and it's why he can't ever get "addicted."

He's played just about every MMORPG out there. He gets bored after a few months, and switches to another. I don't think he's ever maxed out a character.

So how's he do it? Simple. He just has no interest in all the components that make them addicting. He almost always plays with a real-world friend ... he almost never chats with strangers in game, even guild-mates and group members ... he basically neglects all of the social aspects. He doesn't care about raids, doesn't try to get the best equipment.

Basically, he plays DAOC like most people play off-line single person shooters. Just runs around a bit, maybe plays with his friend, kills a few things ... and gets bored. He'll go weeks, months even, without touching an MMORPG, then play for a few days - and stop.

There you go. Casual players do exist.

But there's a problem ... and it's kind of insulting to "casual" players. The problem is that THAT is not how the games were designed to be played ... and I think the only way you can play them that way is if you don't have much of an imagination.

I'd argue that people on this board are probably generally highly intelligent, imaginative, and creative ... and it's those very qualities, that could be so beneficial if put to good use, that make people here so susceptible to unhealthy immersion in these games.

That's my theory anyway, and I'm sticking to it. My brother-in-law is a great guy, but he ain't the sharpest bowling ball in the drawer ... sort of dull and unimaginative. So he's able to play all wrong - and never get addicted.

My conclusion: you can't play MMORPG's "right" and remain "casual." I don't think it's possible. Certainly not for me.

So no games. At least not any time in the foreseeable future. And what's really scary ... is that the games are only going to get MORE immersive, more 'real,' more fascinating for those who turn their keen imaginations in that direction ...

It's nice having a couple crappy computers, I guess. No temptation.

Peace to all. I'll check in one of these days.

And Leonardo ... if I'm not around for a month or a year, try not to be so pessimistic. For me, message boards and online babbling can be just as "addictive" as gaming ... so I tend to avoid places like this as much as possible.

I won't be gaming. And I won't be talking about living.

I'll be busy doing it.

And it's a refreshing change!

Xandtar
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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

Hello again!

Its good to see you back.

I'm glad to hear that you are doing well!

Leonardo means well, please don't be too hard on him...

Thanks again for stopping in!

Leveling in Real Life

AuldBat
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Re: Can I go back to DAOC? Do "casual gamers " exi

From my own experience, I'd have to say yes. 10 years ago I was one of those people who played in game 2 or 3 days straight, sleeping on the keyboard, falling asleep at the cash register at work and thinking about the game rather than the customer in front of me. I ate at the keyboard and my house was a disaster (it's still a disaster but I'm working on it LOL)...I had trouble finding time to take a shower and put makeup on before work. I was late a lot. I called in sick a lot so I could stay in game. I finally just walked off the job one night because it was too hard for me to find time in my life to hold down a job.

My friends all drifted away for one reason or another, mostly because AOL went unlimited and the game was swamped with snerts. Then more left when EQ hit the net. We all knew they would return some time and they did. But it wasn't the same anymore. Too much had changed. I left and went to another game. After four years in GemStone I went back to check it out, found out I didn't know but two or three of the people there and played a couple months and left.

Since then, I still work in GemStone but I seldom play my pcs. Once in a great while I will drop in to check out something new in game for a few hours and get bored. Or an old friend will return from daoc or wow or whatever and I'll pop in to chat for a bit.

So, yes, I was a compulsive player at one point of my addiction but have since become a casual player of the game I was originally seriously addicted to. (this is not to say I am not still addicted).

I used to be seriously addicted to Nintendo games like Ultima, FF, Chrono Trigger ... playing till my hands were so crippled up I couldn't play anymore (the first time I actually blamed it on the controller and went out and bought a new one) ... but this addiction passed when I developed a new addiction ... playing multi player fantasy games like NWN online. I still play on the play station and nintendo off and on, teaching my granddaughter how to play Mario Kart. The attraction of sitting for long serious bouts of play is gone.

But the addiction is still there.

And I know this is going to sound really dumb but my gaming addiction has moved on to pogo.com. I now find myself having to complete a series of games there every day compulsively. I don't care how tired I am or what needs to be done, I can't stop till I make at least 5,000 points a day (several hours). This is why I sought help this time. I get so wrapped up sometimes that I don't even take time to eat or take my meds and I have diabetes and a heart condition.

I don't think the addiction ever goes away. It's like they tell alcoholics, once you are an alcoholic you are always an alcoholic. They may be in recovery but they are only one drink away from falling off the wagon. This is why the 12 step program has such a huge success rate. It helps you realize when you are out of control and that you can't get back into control by yourself on your own. We lie to ourselves. And we find our lies completely believable and defendable.

Using alcoholism as an example of my addiction in place of the gaming, I have quit drinking whiskey and am drinking wine coolers now. I drink whiskey casually with friends on occasion but mostly I drink those innocent little wine coolers. It's still alcohol. It's still an addiction. Just not the same flavor. The flavor is not what is important.

taking it one day at a time

Liz

Leonardo
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Answer

Jake,

IA'm sorry if I offended you, as this was not my purpose. I just say that it is common to have a setback and then never post in this forum again. I had a setback in november and didnA't come to this forum and didnA't post in my progression report. A lot of people do this.

I am truly happy to know that this was not your case and that youA're free from games. ThatA's a wonderful thing. And, once again, sorry if the way I said was harsh to you.

About the topic itself, I do believe that casual gamers exist. That, unfortunately, is sadly not my case, as I love to play games but am unable to control them. I believe that your genetic can favor an addictive behavior, as my father was a gambling addicted, my brother has some signs of gaming addiction and I am truly addicted to computer/games.

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