Online Gamers Anonymous offers help for people who are addicted to online games and need help to stop
Melissa Matthews Multi-Media Journalist
6:15 PM EDT, August 10, 2010
HARRISBURG - Liz Woolley of Harrisburg runs an international website to help online gaming addicts. Her son Shawn lost his life in 2001 after becoming addicted to playing EverQuest.
"He committed suicide in front of the computer with the game on it. I found him on Thanksgiving Day," said Woolley.
A year and a half before his death, Shawn's family slowly watched his appearance, mood and priorities change for the worse.
"My oldest son got married and he left in the middle of the ceremony to go home and play the game and we never saw him the rest of the day," said Woolley.
Woolley said many gamers become so involved in the game they're playing online, they actually start to believe they're part of it. Some leave everything in their real life to focus on the game.
Woolley is hoping her non-profit group, Online Gamers Anonymous can help people who have reached rock bottom like Shawn.
"I started the organization because I didn't want him to die in vein and I didn't want other people to have to go through this," said Woolley. "It's a place where people can help each other get through this. People who understand it because they've lived it."
The website has message boards, information and a 12-step program to battle excessive gaming.
For more information on Online Gamers Anonymous visit its website: http://www.olganon.org/
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BELOW IS A LINK TO THE VIDEO OF THIS STORY AIRED BY FOX43 NEWS:
[color=blue]Warning = Video contains gaming imagery[/color]