Harrisburg Mom Spreading Word about Dangers of Online Gaming

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Harrisburg Mom Spreading Word about Dangers of Online Gaming
Harrisburg Mom Spreading Word about Dangers of Online Gaming

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/


[color=blue]Warning = Video contains gaming imagery[/color]

Liz Woolley

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Good job Liz!

Good job Liz!

"Small service is true service while it lasts.  Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one

The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

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Liz, I didn't know this

Liz, I didn't know this about you. I would just like to say, he didn't die in vein. You've saved my life with this site. The community here has brought me back from a place I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would have been. The work you have done is really, really important. I can't thank you enough for all you've done. Thank you Liz.

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Thank you very much for this

Thank you very much for this site Liz! You're helping to countless people to change their lives for the better!

The only winning move is not to play.

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"A recent study from Iowa

"A recent study from Iowa State University says that 8.5% of gamers age 8 to 18 are addicted, playing about 24 hours a week or more." Almost 1 out of every 10 gamers age 8 to 18 is addicted!

Dear Liz,

It is wonderful that this was on national television! Thank you for your continuing courage to help others overcome the addiction that took your son. You are a very generous and loving person who has taken the ultimate tragic loss a parent can experience and transform the tragedy to benefit others. Yes, even so that the loss of your son was not completely in vain. Bless you!

I think that this publicity will generate more attention. I wonder what the percentage of adult gamers who are addicted is...

Thank you for your efforts and congratulations on the television / internet media exposure!


"A person starts to live when he can live outside himself." Albert Einstein

"You don't get to choose how you are going to die. Or when.
You can only decide how you are going to live. Now." Joan Baez

Last seen: 10 years 4 months ago
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thank you so much for this

thank you so much for this site Liz. So sorry for your loss. It is just a devastating addiction. There needs to be more awareness in schools. Our schools teach the DARE program which is about drugs and alcohol. gaming also needs to be a part of this program. It is the "silent" addiction. No one wants to talk about it and believe that it is real. We will be sending our son within the next 2 weeks to a wilderness program in the carolinas. He is 16.

Last seen: 9 years 5 months ago
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Good morning, Did the

Good morning,

Did the wilderness program worked for your son? Would you recommend it? What's the name of the program? I will apprecite your comments. Thank you.

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Liz, I am so grateful for


I am so grateful for your service and so impressed by all you have done and continue to do. Your son's death, while tragic and painful beyond comprehension, has given so many others new life. Not only that, but this site has helped so many mothers (and family members) like myself, to cope with the immense pain and trial that familys go through in an effort to help their loved one. It's good to know you have experienced that first hand which makes this place even that much more special. Andys contributions, as a recovered gamer, provide balance on the other side, an invaluable and necessary perspective. The combination is beautiful. I'm so glad I found this site and feel so comforted to be a part of this community. May you receive every blessing for a happy and fruitful life! I am so very thankful for you!! I'm glad you made the choice to turn tradgedy into triumph which continues to be an inspiration to SO many!

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