College senior cannot drop WOW

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KraveChocolate
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College senior cannot drop WOW

I found this site, ironically, through the World of Warcraft official forums. I spent about an hour here reading other people's posts, and some of them, esp. those made by Medea, really struck a chord with me.

I'm a college student, in my last year. My responsibilities this year are overwhelming. In addition to normal classes, I need to write a senior thesis, and go through the job-hunt process. I started worrying about this stress-filled year from early summer!

My online-gaming addiction started when I was in high school, with Everquest. Since then, I've played DAOC, Anarchy Online, FF11, City of Heroes, ATiTD, Sims Online, and now, World of Warcraft. Just like with all the other posters, this heavy investment in the online world has severely hurt my real life.

Up to entering college, I had always been an overachiever in my real life. I was a straight A student, won international piano competitions in Washington, Italy, and Moscow, was on the swim team, math team, student council... I was so busy during high school that I did not even have an open period to eat lunch. However, looking back, I always envy how HAPPY I was during high school. I can't explain it.

The hard work paid off when I got into Harvard early action during December of my senior year in high school. Gaming had already begun to take a toll then, but I was so stuck up and bloated with pride that I used the acceptance letter as a weapon against my parents' advice. "See? I can handle it," I told them and myself. I did not realize that my entire self-esteem and self-worth hinged on the sense of achievement, that gaming was working so quickly to take away.

What followed was two absolutely disastrous years at college. The competition was much fiercer at Harvard than at high school. All around me were people who were just as smart as I was. I had never before faced such adversity in academics, and this only pushed me further towards the escapsim of MMORPGS. Long story short, I did progressively worse each term in grades that during my junior year, I had to take the entire year off to refocus work fulltime in an entry-level data-entry job. I did not choose this myself; the University Ad-Board required it of me because my grades were so bad.

I moved out of my parents' house during this time, because our relationship had by this time deteriorated so much that we could not talk without getting into an argument. Because my job did not pay that much, I could only afford an attic room in an apartment building. It was dirty, and roaches crawled out at night. It was horrible. And yet, every day when I got home from work, I played on the computer until early morning.

After fulfilling the required full-time work, I moved back in with my parents, and started volunteering at a youth center in Chinatown, teaching ESL and piano, and helping kids with their homework. This made me feel a lot better about myself, and I stopped playing games. I took summer courses, and got A's in them. This convinced the Administrative Board to readmit me in the fall, and I managed two As and two Bs in that fall semester. However, WoW released during that time, and I started playing heavily again. Looking back, I honestly belive that if I hadn't picked up WOW again, I would be much better off.

I was still living at home, commuting to school and back every day. My parents did not trust me at all. I still wanted to play, so I played mostly in the nighttime when they were asleep. Again, schoolwork suffered. During the spring semester, my dad found out that I was still playing MMORPGs and that I was dropping some homework assignments.

It was an early morning in mid-April, with the semester almost over. My dad went into a furious rage. He went to the kitchen, picked up a knife, and came at me -- I was so stunned and surprised I could not move, and just sort of fell backwards onto the floor. Still holding the knife, he came over to me and raised it in an upstroke, but did not attack. At that time I became unfrozen, and ran outside in my socks. I had never been so scared in my life. A couple minutes later, my dad came out and told me to go back inside. I ran in and called the police.

It was stressful, to say the least.

I HATE MMORPGs. I HATE THEM. I HATE THEM. They have destroyed my relationship with my parents, and put my college graduation in jepardy. And yet, I still play. All these things I have to do this year -- and yet, I still play.

Edited by: KraveChocolate at: 10/1/05 13:24

Medea
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Re: College senior cannot drop WOW

Hiya,

I was moved by your story. I cried for a while, for you and for myself.

I remember another gamer telling me; being married to this game is like being married to the most beautiful, wonderful woman in the world..but you can never get hugs or comfort or satisfy her.

I see now (after being WoW-clean for 4 months and still having visions of it in my head) that that is what I got from it, visions! I thought I got friends and love and that I accomplished something. I was proud, so very proud of my being famous and popular. But it was just an illusion, sand running through my fingers.

Please tell me how you feel when you play and what makes your heart filled with joy, both in game and in real life. If you do not want to post it here just PM me. I hope we can discuss anything you want and need.

Helene

Diggo McDiggity
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Re: College senior cannot drop WOW

Quote:I was proud, so very proud of my being famous and popular. But it was just an illusion, sand running through my fingers.Yes, it is an illusion - Probably the biggest of which is the friendship which fades fast once you stop playing - Those people who you perceived as friends just drop off by the wayside quickly, or emails between you become less and less frequent until you both stop writing - Only rarely do friendships continue on afterwards...in terms of the total number of folks we are in contact with as we play.
Ron

Ron Jaffe AKA Diggo McDiggity
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On-Line Gamers Anonymous

Co-Founder of OLGA and member since 2002

Dude
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Re: College senior cannot drop WOW

The life situations in the real world might be reasons you're seeking a fictional escape. What you need are friends to support you. Real friends, not friends in a video game. When you're stressed out you need to find a friend to call, or when something big happens, you need someone you you can trust and rely upon for help.

Instead, by going to the video games to escape reality, the problem gets worse because it sucks you in and makes you feel good, but never lets you go.

WorldBinder
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Re: College senior cannot drop WOW

Your story sounds so familiar to me. I also was a 4.0 student in high school, and successful in competitive forensics and mathematics. I have regretful memories of a time before college when I was, dare I say, HAPPY. I, too, cannot explain this. I did not take advantage of the opportunity to attend a prestigious college, and instead went to some podunk midwest school. And that is when everything changed. My sense of self-worth, built up from years of being successful at nearly everything I tried, gave way to complete wrecklessness, despondence, and dependence. As soon as I didn't have people forcing me to live a normal life, I failed at it. After two years I dropped out of college. And have been working and maintaining a stagnant existence for the last 4 years or so.

Unfortunately, I do not yet hate MMORPGs like you do. I know that they are ruining me, but don't have anything else to fill that space in my life. In fact, I am sure I will login to WoW for 'just a little bit' after I am done reading these forums.

KraveChoco
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Re: College senior cannot drop WOW

Update:
Although I didn't break my CDs, I gave my up laptop. My parents came by the dorm two weeks ago and suggested that I give control to them; I took a shower to clear my head, then agreed.

WOW-free for one week exactly now. I've started to catch up on three of my classes. The last one, and most important, most stressful one, I have this fear of tackling.

I play piano at least 2 hours a day now to try to fill up the time. Like Medea wrote in her blog... days now seem so grey, so empty. I try to focus on my work, but too often I find myself returning to WOW forums to check up on old "friends". God ****

EQandME
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Re: College senior cannot drop WOW

Krave Chocolate,

Well, one week is one week! Which is a promising start to getting on with your life & successful at it no doubt! I wish I knew how to play the Piano. I hear it's very calming. I used to go to Piano concerts with my parents when I was a kid. It was great! Your going to make it through college. So, best to do is STAY AWAY FROM THE **** WoW FORUMS! I'm going to suggest you put a jar by your study table and everytime you find yourself surfing a WoW forum.. put $1 in the jar. When it's full send it to Liz for donations I think I'm going to do something similar as well once I get home.

Yo, one day at a time...

~Chris

Steven Larcombe
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Re: College senior cannot drop WOW

Hi Krave and welcome to the OLG community.

There are hundreds if not thousands of people going through the same turmoil as you. You have take the first step in the right direction for getting your life back on track and your priorities set.

You are at a time in your life where what you do now, will impact on your future. Gaming is great entertainment, but in moderation. Too much of what seems a good thing can start to have implications that you don't always realise right away.

As you well know a simple game has seriously affected not only your life in general, but the personal relationship you have with your parents.

You have already taken the first positive step, by realising you have suffered from excessive gaming to which you are now dealing with. For you to continue the process of normality, you will need to detach yourself completley from the game and it's community. This means avoiding the gaming forums and any content that is game related.

By continuing to visit the forums, you will start to believe that you are missing out and the urge to return to your virtual existence will return.

Remember that whilst you get a never ending life in a MMORPG game where you can relive an existence over and over again, the same is not so for real life.

If you ever need to talk or would just like someone to listen, please feel free to drop me an e-mail at anytime you want at Support@gameaddict.org.uk

Best of luck to you.

Steven Larcombe
Gameaddict.org.uk

Silence WAR
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Re: College senior cannot drop WOW

That def sounds like you are doing better. I know what its like to have stressful classes, although I am terribly jealous of the fact that you go to Harvard...(hopefully graduate school haha). Anyways I did about the opposite as you... I played EQ all through highschool and even though I had a perfect GPA and such I went to a local crap school so I could have as much playing time as possible. After my first semester there, realizing that I was doing terrible and that my whole life had fallen apart I , with Liz's wonderful support, decided to delete my characters and quit the game. It has been almost 3 years for me... wow.. how time flies ... now I am at a fairly decent school, I take 18-20 hours every semester and I find I am terribly stressed out. I often think of gaming when I stress becuase in the game there was such peace for me.. Now I do other things to relieve the stress.. and they are not very healthy. I party some, I read a lot.. I have decided to spend more time on this board helping people, and already I feel so much better and more calm. Why I ever decided to double major and learn 4 languages is beyond me haha..

Aaron Blair

mint0
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Re: College senior cannot drop WOW

Quote:

My dad went into a furious rage. He went to the kitchen, picked up a knife, and came at me
I HATE MMORPGs. I HATE THEM. I HATE THEM. They have destroyed my relationship with my parents

I am lead to question the value of having your dad in your life.

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