A Mixed Blessing of Internet/MMORPG Adiction

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OLGA member
Joined: 10/26/2002 - 12:14am
A Mixed Blessing of Internet/MMORPG Adiction

Hello All,

I was surprised, but not shocked to see so early on your homepage listing already Project Entropia the Swedish MMORPG/Virtual Universe, that MindArk has in store for the world at large.

I have been an activist/leader (guild & community)/vocal supporter & protestor/ Informal but strong ties to the game developer of PE (Project Entropia). I had an addicted 20 month cycle of 50-60 hour weeks serving the gamer community in development on a volunteer basis for Project Entropia.

Fortunately by a deep universal Spiritual Faith, and inner personal development work ever since i was 16, i'm now 32 yrs. old. I have used such tools to aide in this Internet/Online Gamer Addiction i have since 1999. (1998 is when i first got real access to the Internet).

This past mid-July 2002 i was able to wean myself almost cold turkey from heavy email/Internet and beta online gaming. Going from the 70 hour internet weeks to now 15 hours or so in usage a week.

My first ardent taste for Online gaming came from Everquest, which i was one of the first wave of addicts to hit EQ. I played only 9 months in 1999, and haven't returned since. But, during that time i pull up to 18 hour sessions in-game. I also had external stress in the home-life, since i was an assistant caregiver to my disabled grandmother during 1998-2000 until her passing before my eyes. Besides i had previous issues with depression/anxiety that compounded this escapism into EQ.

What got me off of EQ after 9 months, was ironically my high set of standards on gameplay. Since i realized EQ's game design was broken during that November 1999 period, and by power gaming slash RP'ing. I became dissillusioned where EQ wasn't giving me the pleasure it had so before.

There began the 2 yr stint for supporting the Project Entropia gamer community for a Alpha to recently now Beta MMORPG title.

I can honestly say at this point in time online gaming has been an enriching experience, especially the community serving/building aspect i've had in PE. But, like all things the cost was very deep, which i also became an urban hermit. During my stint with the PE community (which i still maintain weak ties), i developed many skills informaly on a self taught basis. That can be carried over into the professional world, since i always had a high interest in game development business and game design of things. Which made me privy to informal unseen contact to many in middle management at MindArk.

The following statements are not meant to glorify Project Entropia as a online game & online commercial marketplace that it will surely become. Consider EQ a heavy contender for many gamer addicts, although it has received the most press thus far. EQ as those of us who played it had a very broken economical model, and still people made money from off-site auction services.

Now consider PE, where it's business model will have the game currency convertible to the US Dollar. Besides the game dev's will push the software for free bypassing the retail shelf for PC games. The game world won't be a shard system, it will be one immense game world predicted/hoped by the dev's to entice 1 million users within a year. The dev's are hoping for subscriber numbers like that of an IM program, which goes into the tens of millions of users.

Now to what for some of you may have consider the pandemic this will cause of current addicts (like myself), and those to come into this gameworld. If PE does survive it's first year online after launch, and it's user numbers even get minutely close to what they predict. That will make benevolent free services like OLGA get swamped and stress this infrastructure of support. One could only hope that such a demand for online gamer counseling whether support group or professional. Will have many more caring souls step forward to heal and nurture those afflicted with this addiction.

I myself have toyed doing something like this for inside PE, or play a minor role to a healthy degree. Since i have the ears of some in the game developer informally, and of some of the older guild leaders that have sprouted in PE.

I could only hope like the gambling industry, which was forced usually by State law to state: "Please Play Responsibly" as a minimiumlist plug for gambling addiction. Which my Florida State lottery also denotes on it's official State lotto literature.

That one day as the electronic game industry matures in ethics of business practice, mostly strong armed by advocates and/or State/Federal government. It will at least follow suit like the gambling industry, and place a similar legal disclaimer on all retail or other free published electronic game titles. Hopefully even to a regard of some sort like how the IDSA advocates against game piracy, or the ERSB for the US game ratings system.

It would be interesting if other groups like "OLGA start forming charter in-person 12 step support groups globally. Since i also belong to another 12 step charter program locally, which i won't mention specifics about on this forum.

Thank you for reading this far my story and rant.

Be well.

Ivan Atrayo

"The Journey of my Soul does not end here on this Earth, but continues onward in Creation.
Enjoy your journey, because it's Infinite!"

------Ivan / Atrayo

Edited by: Atrayo1 at: 10/26/02 5:33:54 pm