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Life, Love and MMO's

By metavisual in Internet
Sat Nov 05, 2005 at 03:22:21 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

You get all your gear together, sharpen your sword, and set off to meet your friends to finally slay the dragon. Once together you formulate a strategy, she will die this time, and all the glory and bragging rights will be yours. Everyone knows his or her positions, and the plan is set into motion. Ding..."Whatcha doin' cutie?" reads the private message window...

Welcome to the world of the MMO.

Massively Multiplayer Online games (or MMO's for short) are becoming quite common with games like World of Warcraft and Everquest II pushing PC gaming boundaries.

I've been there, many of us have. "This looks like a cool game; I will shell out the monthly fee to try it out..."

Six months later, you're sitting on 60+ days played, no more "real-life" friends, contemplating a divorce, and about to lose your job. Sound like an extreme case? It's not. It's actually common, and nearly prevalent in the genre.

With the explanation out of the way, let me tell you my story. This is not a second or third hand account, this is MY account, FIRST hand. Names will be changed to protect the innocent and guilty, and the game in question will not be disclosed.

It started a while back, new game, great graphics, and engrossing gameplay. It started off slow, a lot of soloing, or playing with "real-life" friends that started at the same time, questing, leveling up, getting new gear. Then, once you start to reach higher levels, it snowballs.

Joined a guild, had a ton of people on my Friends list, always had something to do, or someone to talk to. Moved up to a position of power in the guild, and started to form a governmental structure within the guild for the good of everyone. I had it all. When I logged in, guild chat would be filled with excitement, people were happy to see me, asking questions and inviting me to do things. It was AMAZING...it was like a drug.

Then it started to spiral downward...

I met "Suzy". She was a cute girl, a great gamer, and good to be around. Everyone thought so. Suzy was the life of the party, always having fun, laughing, and willing to do whatever. We all know that "normal" girls are a rare commodity in the gaming world, so it was a nice change.

Suzy and I started to get close. We spent a lot of time together playing, which eventually carried over to email, Instant Messaging, and then phone conversations. For some reason, Internet time seems to travel a lot faster than regular time. After knowing somebody for a few weeks, you get a feeling that you've known him or her forever, and your judgment seems to get very cloudy. "I've known her forever, she's like my best friend" is not an uncommon thing to hear after knowing somebody online for only a month or so, whereas in "real life" they would fall into the "acquaintance" category. So begins the problem...

Suzy and I had a lot in common, or so it would seem. It's really easy to have a lot in common with someone when you both spend the majority of your time playing the same game. What it really turns out to be is that Suzy was looking for validation; she has incredibly low self-esteem, and is not really happy about anything in her life. This low self-esteem doesn't carry over to her virtual world however, she gets the same warm welcome when she logs on, probably even more so being that she is female, and thus, it gives her an ego boost. However, when she logs off, it's back to the real world again. What better way to fix that, than to play as much as possible? And that's what Suzy did. She played in the morning, she played in the afternoon, and she played until all hours of the night. The only time Suzy didn't play was when she was sleeping, which was usually in the morning. You see, during all of this, a natural thing happened, Suzy lost her job. Instead of finding another job however, Suzy took that as a free pass to play more. The game became Suzy's LIFE, in no exaggeration of the word.

In the meantime, my relationship with Suzy was reaching unsurpassed levels. We would talk all the time and we got along great. The problem was, I was married, and through all of this, my wife and children were being neglected. Sure, I never missed work, and played with the kids when I got home from work, but once they were asleep, the game was turned on, and the world was shut out. I was back to being the "cool" guy, the guy who people listened to. And of course there was always Suzy waiting for me. For all intents and purposes, I was leading two lives, and the only one suffering in the end was my wife. I had it all, a wife who loved me and took care of my kids, and Suzy on the side, a million miles away to boost my ego whenever I needed it. Not to mention the countless others in the game who listened to the things I said, and showed utmost respect for me.

So what happens next? How do I turn back from this? Do I continue on this path, and hope I can maintain this standard? Do I tell my wife the truth and risk the demise of a marriage that had little to no problems? Do I clamp down and go for the divorce, fly out to meet Suzy and hope we live happily ever after? It's a hard decision to make when you're in that frame of mind. So I decided I would push it to the limit to see what would happen...

What happens if I fly out to see Suzy, hoping that I can just come back, blow it off and fix things with my wife? You must be thinking, that can't be a smart idea; this kid must be insane. However in the frame of mind I was in, there was no room for rational thought. I wanted it my way, and because of my inflated ego I thought I could pull it off. Tickets were purchased, on the intent of me just going somewhere. Let's say a "personal trip", I mean, I couldn't tell my wife the truth could I? I could turn it around on her, and make her think I just needed to get away; to sort my feelings out about her and our marriage, and then worry about the consequences later. She blew it off until the time came around for me to actually leave. And then all Hell broke loose. My wife, smart woman that she is, made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to leave the house. She grabbed her shoes and ran out right before I was supposed to leave, thus making it impossible to leave, as she knows I would never leave my children all alone.

So where do I go from here? Do I go back to the game? Try to fix my marriage? Would anything ever be the same? These are tough questions to answer...and what of Suzy? Was she really for me? Or was I just in the right place at the right time? Would Suzy latch onto anyone that was there for her own validation, or was it really just ME that she wanted?

The world may never know the answers to all of these questions. But in the course of all this I figured out a lot of things about others and myself. I realized that I do love my wife, as hard as it may be at times to deal with. I also realized I love to flirt, I love attention, and I get in over my head sometimes. I also realized that as much as your typical MMO may just be a game at its source, it is much, much more than that. It is a manufactured world, away from the stresses of real life. Within this manufactured world, things can easily be misunderstood. You can be made to feel like you're in love, like other people are perfect, and that you can live happily ever after with no stress or care. The problems arise when real life collides with MMO life. There must be a happy medium, and it is imperative to find it, because you will not only be hurting yourself, but many others in the course of your self-destruction.

This is NOT a tirade about how video games are horrible bad things. It's actually the opposite. It is a warning to people to be careful not to blur the lines between the real world and the virtual world. The media already portrays our beloved games in a negative light, making it harder and harder each passing day to buy them, to get more racy content put into them, and continues to put game companies into a negative light. People like me are partially to blame for this. Of course at this point, my wife hates online games, with an undeniable passion. Do I blame her? No, I don't. I blame myself. If I hadn't crossed the line, I might still be playing that game, or something similar.

Be careful, as what you see, isn't always what you get. Enjoy your games, and remember...that is what they are, GAMES. Don't make the same mistakes I did...


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Life, Love and MMO's | 89 comments (76 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
I lost my wife playing Everquest (3.00 / 7) (#3)
by codejack on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 12:40:35 PM EST

But she came back in the end. My experience was that any problems in a marriage rarely revolve around a "thing" like a game. The problem is there, and while this game might bring it to the surface, the underlying issue almost had to be there in the first place.

I play WoW now, and while my wife doesn't like it, I get up and go to work every morning, bring home a paycheck every 2 weeks, play with my kids, and even stay up with our youngest (6 months) when he won't go to sleep. That actually works out well: He just sits in my lap while I play, taking a break every now and again to get him a bottle, etc.

Also, how many of you remember your parents getting in huge fights because Dad was out all night drinking with his buddies? Or blew his paycheck on superbowl tickets? Or, more commonly, just won't get off the couch during college football season? This isn't new, it's just another example of how the world has changed. I was watching TV the other night, and some comedian (couldn't tell you who, don't really care) said: "Remember when all you had to do to be father of the year was to bring home a paycheck and not beat your kids?" I myself have few memories of, well, either of my parents, really, from when I was young. There were just sort of there, an authoritarian presence to be avoided when possible.

As for the whole "other woman" bit, you will always meet people that intrigue you, that you get along with, and if they happen to be attractive to you, then that issue is there, anyway. Of course, there was also the joke in Everquest: "Everquest, where men are men, and so are half the women!"

Please read before posting.

This is FP material! (3.00 / 5) (#4)
by a paranoic guy from a shitty country on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 12:45:17 PM EST

Thank you for writing your story. It raises a number of questions and gives no definite answers ... a superb example of "food for thought".

Welcome to k5, sorry you're here - some nerd
well done (2.80 / 5) (#5)
by zenofchai on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 01:59:34 PM EST

although one wonders if you didn't break into my brain and steal this story from therein. it didn't go exactly like this, i didn't have any romantic involvement whatsoever. it's much, much easier when you firmly picture every toon as "Comic Book Guy" from the Simpson's and refuse to look at any purported "real life" pictures as anything but purported, and stick to your "Comic Book Guy" guns.

my wife and my career suffered. but it's over, and it's been over since july.

now my career suffers from k5 again, as is right and good. my marriage doesn't suffer from k5 because k5 is not as good as my marriage. my marriage might suffer from having the NHL back this season, but (1) there are only 82 games for the Carolina Hurricanes and (2) only 41 of those are home games, (3) each one is less than 3 hours and does not occur in the middle of the night or early morning, (4) I can still be at least a moderately productive household partner during a hockey game, what with commercials, intermissions between the periods, and what-not, giving time for dishes, cooking, laundry, bills, etc.

that's the thing about MMO. if you let it, it can consume literally every single waking moment.

then again, i was a guild leader on a roleplay server. that'll kill you.
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph

I met my wife online (3.00 / 3) (#6)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 02:25:03 PM EST

But we soon moved from email to telephone, and made several visits to each others' homes before she came to live with me. We also visited each others' parents first.

Bonita and I celebrated our fifth anniversary in July.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

I just realized something (3.00 / 5) (#17)
by Lemon Juice on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 04:04:33 PM EST

your wife must be as strange or stranger than you.

[ Parent ]
No comment (3.00 / 4) (#20)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 04:36:27 PM EST

She doesn't like it that I talk about her online, not even a little bit.

But we are good for each other. Really we are.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

[ Parent ]

I would worry if she wasn't strange (3.00 / 4) (#21)
by Lemon Juice on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 05:25:27 PM EST

Then I'd be worried she would leave you and you would commit suicide. But the fact that she is strange makes me feel comfortable that she wont leave you.

[ Parent ]
I will tell you one thing though (2.25 / 4) (#36)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 10:22:01 PM EST

She is a student at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, the same art school CheeseburgerBrown went to.

And she is on a scholarship this term.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

[ Parent ]

You're MichaelCrawford (2.25 / 8) (#23)
by debacle on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:13:02 PM EST

You're such a whore HuSi got sick of you.

No one fucking cares.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]

Except kitten (2.50 / 4) (#27)
by debacle on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:48:36 PM EST

Who still feels the need to moderate comments on a site where moderation is pointless.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]
A co-worker did the same thing... (none / 1) (#45)
by BJH on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 04:46:14 AM EST

...she married some Frenchman she met through Yahoo Messenger.
She's the most manipulative two-faced psycho-bitch I've ever met.

Of course, that's not a generalisation, so I'm not saying it makes any difference to you.
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]

Maybe you shouldn't have gotten married (3.00 / 13) (#8)
by LilDebbie on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 02:49:30 PM EST

in the first place? I weep for the next generation when I realize that people who are incapable of controlling themselves regarding a video game are having and raising children.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Touche... (3.00 / 4) (#10)
by metavisual on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 03:03:47 PM EST

You make a good point...however, it's not that I can't control myself...

it's more that I was at a vulnerable time in my life when this all occurred, and I had a lot going on...

in the context of the game, finding somebody new, somebody that seemed perfect to me for all intents and purposes seemed like a solution, the point of the story was more to show that things are sometimes not what they seem, and your judgement can be clouded.

I, too, shudder at the thought of people raising kids that can't handle themselves...

I cut this off before I got to the point of where it affected my kids and shook everything in my life up, others, I fear will not have the same sense or luck, hence the reason I posted it...

thanks for the comment

[ Parent ]

Shit, you can't even form a complete sentence. /nt (2.50 / 4) (#39)
by ksandstr on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 11:51:52 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Good point (none / 0) (#73)
by Grayworld on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 10:20:03 PM EST

I think the author ought to stick to multiplayer games like monoply, Clue, Risk and a few good card games thrown in for good measure with the kids (and the wife too if she'll join in). Playing those old games with my family when I was a kid turned out to be great family bonding experiences.

Fair but a bit unbalanced to be sure!
[ Parent ]

HEARTS! (none / 0) (#87)
by skim123 on Mon Dec 05, 2005 at 02:25:58 AM EST

And Tripoli, too!

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

[ Parent ]
Good story (2.80 / 5) (#9)
by Sgt York on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 02:57:46 PM EST

It's been done before, but this is a good angle.

It's stuff like this that keeps me from playing MMOG's. I'm a gamer at heart; I wore out the joystick on my Atari 2600 as a kid, and I have had entire nights get sucked into Civilization, Doom, Neverwinter Nights, and Half Life. I can't even allow myself to try one of the MMOG's out; they seem to be a few orders of magnitude more addictive than regular games, and I have a hard enough time with those.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.

Civilization is digital crack... (none / 0) (#67)
by skyknight on Sat Nov 05, 2005 at 07:44:47 AM EST

During my senior year of college I played Civilization III for the first time on a Saturday, starting at about noon. When I finally looked up at the clock on my wall in exhaustion, it was 8PM. One of my housemates who had sauntered by my room ended up sitting and watching me play for like three or four hours and really got into it too. I promptly uninstalled the game, realizing that I was not strong enough to wield such powerful entertainment while still in school. I managed to refrain from playing it again until the summer after I had graduated, and the first time I did that I played from noon until midnight with only a break for dinner which I combined with a bathroom break. Tis powerful stuff...

The other two games that I have played compulsively over the years are StarCraft and Counter-Strike. I consider all three of these games to be highly cerebral, if you take them seriously and actually try to get really good at them. I've never really had any interest in MMORPGs because they seemed to be nothing more than just clicking on stuff and an attempt at an alernate social reality. I just couldn't get into that. I've always chosen games that would stretch my brain, and role playing games have never fit that bill in my mind.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
why the hell would you get involved (3.00 / 3) (#11)
by creativedissonance on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 03:04:23 PM EST

with someone with hideously low self-esteem anyway? Sounds like an excellent recipie for dysfunctional interaction. Meh.

anyway, I gave this -1 because this topic, like the 'violence in games/movies/tv and culture' topic, has been done to death on k5. We need to branch out.

ay yo i run linux and word on the street
is that this is where i need to be to get my butt stuffed like a turkey - br14n
re-read (3.00 / 3) (#12)
by metavisual on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 03:08:35 PM EST

If you read the last paragraph, it wasn't about the game per se it was more about people's judgement...

I too am sick of the "violence in the media,etc" topics

this wasn't to say anything to discredit the game or any media outlets in general, but more that people should pay more attention to themselves and realize what they are doing at any given time may not be rational.

Thanks for the comment and honesty though :)

[ Parent ]

are you dunce? (3.00 / 3) (#40)
by QuantumG on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 12:21:58 AM EST

People get involved with women who have low self-esteme so they can exploit them. "Cook me dinner", "Wash my clothes", "Suck my dick". They're not looking for happy ever after, they're looking for a slave. I relationship is pimp-bitch not husband-wife.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
IMO (3.00 / 2) (#48)
by Cro Magnon on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 08:46:40 AM EST

People who seek that kind of relationship themselves have low self-esteem. They can't handle a real woman so they find themself a slave/bitch.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
I like real women (none / 0) (#77)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 04:36:54 PM EST

who also like to be slaves and bitches. :)

[ Parent ]
-1 Blah (2.00 / 3) (#13)
by cmdrwinky on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 03:25:00 PM EST

Send an e-mail to this guy instead. There are more MMORPG-addiction related stories there too, and better written.

Everquest Daily Grind [blogspot.com]


Reminds me... (3.00 / 6) (#15)
by localroger on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 03:48:55 PM EST

...of the main character in Snow Crash who was a Mega Big Wheel in the online VR world but lived in a mini-storage warehouse in RL. (Oh, and +1FP, it's a great story.)

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
Nice! (3.00 / 2) (#16)
by metavisual on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 03:50:58 PM EST

Hiro Protagonist!

Never thought of it that way...but it makes perfect sense!

Thank you so much for pointing that out to me...I am going to re-read that book now...

[ Parent ]

Before you compare yourself to Hiro... (3.00 / 4) (#25)
by Russell Dovey on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:23:07 PM EST

...remember that he was, IRL, not only the greatest swordsman in the world, but the most hardcore Deliverator (pizza-delivery ninja) on the face of the planet.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

and also remember... (3.00 / 6) (#26)
by creativedissonance on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:44:34 PM EST

...he was fucking fictional!

ay yo i run linux and word on the street
is that this is where i need to be to get my butt stuffed like a turkey - br14n
[ Parent ]
Hah! (3.00 / 4) (#31)
by Russell Dovey on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 08:07:34 PM EST

If you're still living in a dreamworld fairyland that doesn't recognise Snow Crash as an amazingly accurate future account, I pity you.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Not just that: (2.40 / 5) (#37)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 10:32:42 PM EST

He was a software consultant.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

[ Parent ]

May you.... (3.00 / 5) (#42)
by The Amazing Idiot on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 01:00:56 AM EST

Be on the business end of some BLACK ICE.

[ Parent ]
I got unaddicted to a MUD (3.00 / 4) (#18)
by Lemon Juice on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 04:09:03 PM EST

because I lost everything I had. I was the leader of a guild and one of my members stole everything I had. There was a bug in the game that sent time to a point where my corpse was just lying around and he stole everything.

I just HATE it when that happens /nt (3.00 / 4) (#32)
by localroger on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 08:18:07 PM EST

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
that happen to you too? $ (3.00 / 3) (#33)
by Lemon Juice on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 08:22:26 PM EST

[ Parent ]
The game destroyed itself (3.00 / 8) (#38)
by Phssthpok on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 10:40:14 PM EST

leaving only two humans alive. Then there was incest.

affective flattening has caused me to kill 11,357 people

[ Parent ]
short note (3.00 / 5) (#22)
by darkfader on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 06:42:48 PM EST

What Your wife did really got me thinking. I really don't like illogical, intuitive acting of people in my everyday life, but what she did was the most logical and effective way one could ever think of - that's really a paradoxon for me :)

Okay, here's what you must do. (3.00 / 3) (#24)
by Russell Dovey on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:18:06 PM EST

Make sure your wife is around, and take your computer onto a concrete slab in your driveway. Get a hammer. Smash the poisonous fucking thing into pieces right there in front of your wife, to prove to her that you still love her more than a empty, meaningless fairy-land MMOG full of wish-fulfilment.

Do it now, or when she comes home. Don't be a goddamn wanker, bite the nettle and prove that you still have self-respect.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan

Smash all you want (none / 0) (#83)
by John Miles on Sun Nov 13, 2005 at 01:15:31 AM EST

Dell'll make more.
For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]
The other side (3.00 / 7) (#29)
by Feigling on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:52:19 PM EST

I can relate to the story, I was on the other side of a similar situation. After 5 years of happy marriage, my wife became a MMO addict. She spent all her free time in there; guild meetings became more important than real life events; we stopped going to bed at the same time. You know the drill.

As I've pieced together, eventually she, too, met someone online. Her fantasy life as a cleric/super-hero/wookie were very important to her, and clearly she must have felt a connection with her MMO pal. She convinced herself that we didn't have much in common anymore, but that she and her companion magical dwarf/caped laser-man/bantha trader did. All of a sudden she ended our relationship, moved out, and served me with divorce papers. (I couldn't even believe it was happening until it was all over.) Shortly thereafter she moved to another city where her MMO companion lives. Her withdrawal has continued, including breaking ties with close family ("I can't make it to your wedding. Sorry. <user has logged off>").

Is an MMO completely to blame for all of this? No. But I think it makes it very easy for someone to build themselves another life and lose focus of what's important in the real one. Clearly, to some degree at least an MMO had an big impact on my own life - the biggest impact.

Should there be laws like in China that limit MMO access to a few hours at a time? No, it's stupid, and most MMO fans have multiple accounts in multiple games anyway. But it can be a real social problem with serious consequences. As I said, in most cases (including my own) there are probably other issues at play, but this is not an issue that should be trivialized. These games are clearly addictive to a certain type of person, just as gambling or drugs are for others.

Most MMO players (3.00 / 5) (#34)
by debacle on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 09:14:13 PM EST

Play one MMO. It's no longer a game to them. It's life. It's living, eating, breathing. It's "I wasn't held enough as a child." It's whatever you want it to be and it's whatever they want it to be.

I've only ever played one quasi-MMO (GuildWars). To me, it's always been "Just a game." I go there to kick ass and have fun. I don't go there for social interaction or anything like that.

But some people look for that kind of thing. Some people run away from thier lives because they see just a long list of fuckups and left turns. It's a psychological dependence. I would say 'good riddance' to your wife, though I know you'd hate to hear it.

On the other hand, however, the author pulled himself out of it and I think that deserves a certain amount of acclaim. It isn't noble to fall victim to a game or any other addictive habit, but it is...redeeming to rid yourself of it.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]

Summary: (3.00 / 2) (#43)
by BJH on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:47:30 AM EST

Your wife was a deluded bitch. Get over her.
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
Totally (3.00 / 3) (#72)
by Feigling on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 03:09:13 AM EST

Plus, I paid someone to kill her character and steal her magic items. So, all's well that ends well and no harm done.

[ Parent ]
hero tag (none / 0) (#85)
by auraslip on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:40:58 PM EST

[ Parent ]
-1 (1.75 / 4) (#35)
by Pirengle on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 09:59:23 PM EST

You're not bringing anything new to the table. The writing style isn't bad at all. There's nothing that makes this piece stand out above all the other "been there, done that, got the "I fucked my wife on the Intarweb" t-shirt" stories. Hence the -1.

A sure-fire way to make friends and influence people: transform the letters "l" and "i" into "-1"s whenever posting. Instant wit!
When I stopped playing WOW (3.00 / 3) (#46)
by bsoft on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 05:38:39 AM EST

I played WoW for about 5 months, but it eventually became too much:
  • I was playing long into the night (6am)
  • I wasn't having fun
  • I was avoiding having a social life in order to plya more WoW
Then, the dreams started. Every night. I shut off the computer when I was done. I went to another room. I wrote a program that changed my password and wouldn't let me in for 12 hours.

They didn't stop. I couldn't get away. I reduced the number of hours that I played, but I was still playing in my sleep.

I lost track of what was real and what was not. I would log on and wonder why I was missing that item I obtained last night - only to realize that I never obtained it at all - it was a dream.

It was wierd, it was scary, and it was screwing with my mind.

Only two games have ever screwed with my mind like that: WoW, and Tetris. I got over my Tetris addiction five years ago, and I got over my WoW addiction last August.

I found that I had more time to spend on projects that really interested me. I developed a wireless configuration tool for Ubuntu, Shortify, and, of course Wikinote. At the end of the day, I enjoy coding just as much as I enjoyed playing WoW. And, at the end of the day, I have a really cool project to show for it.

Never again will I play an MMO. Success in an MMO depends on how much time you put into it. And there is always someone who puts insane quantities of time into it (one friend of mine averaged 11 hours a day - he has over 120 days of playtime logged - at my salary, that works out to $72,000, and I'm not that well paid.)

Fight the urge.

Your Problem (1.50 / 2) (#53)
by virg on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 10:57:29 AM EST

Your problem, simply put, is that you lost sight of what a game is. To take your own words:
Success in an MMO depends on how much time you put into it.
Oops. That's where you fell off the track, because it's not true unless you only measure success by in-game metrics. It's a game. Your second point above indicates why you need to avoid MMOs, not anything else. Success in an MMO depends on how well it entertains you. Nothing else. If the only way you can derive pleasure from it is to get to level X or achieve item Y then you need to reconsider why you're playing. If playing isn't fun, then stop playing. If you can't stop, then that's an entirely different issue, but frankly that's on you, not the MMO.

"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Not true (none / 0) (#65)
by actmodern on Sat Nov 05, 2005 at 02:22:59 AM EST

Games like WoW aren't based on time spent insomuch as your skill. Sorry, there's no big mob camping in WoW. You get to do things over and over until you clear the loot tables of everything you want but a skilled group can do instances quicker than some guy who has 11 hours a day and a few buddies to play with.

Personally I'm willing to do an 8 hour marathon on a weekend, or a 2-3 hour session on a weekday. This is not excessive considering people spend just as much watching TV and going to the theatre.

LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.
[ Parent ]

people watch... (none / 1) (#68)
by JahToasted on Sat Nov 05, 2005 at 08:15:44 AM EST

an excessive amount of TV. That does not excuse playing a video game for an excessive amount of time.
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]
Functioning (none / 0) (#70)
by actmodern on Sat Nov 05, 2005 at 06:56:11 PM EST

There are such things as functional alcoholics and addicts to just about anything. Insofar as they remain functional and aren't fucking with your world I would suggest you leave them be. Some people are simply happier being obsessed.

LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.
[ Parent ]
Hey man... (none / 0) (#71)
by JahToasted on Sat Nov 05, 2005 at 10:42:24 PM EST

rationalise it whatever way you want, doesn't make a difference to me.
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]
Tetris - me too! (none / 0) (#86)
by skim123 on Mon Dec 05, 2005 at 02:21:56 AM EST

In college I played Super Tetris (I think that was what it was called) on the N64. I played so much I'd dream about it. What was odd was that I played way more Golden Eye, and never dreamed about that.

You'll be happy to know that after hitting the top mark in Super Tetris (1,000,000 lines, or whatnot), and seeing that lame ass ending, I promptly went to a bar, got drunk off my ass, and then wrote a nasty email to the game developers. I actually got a response, along the lines of, "Yeah, we know it sucked, but the whole development of the game sucked due to blah blah blah." Not a happy developer, to say the least.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

[ Parent ]
I've never tried an MMO (none / 0) (#49)
by Cro Magnon on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 08:54:28 AM EST

I'm not worried about getting addicted. I have a real life and there's no way I'd give it up for a game. But, as I understand it, the game is geared towards the people who DON'T have a real life. The people who try to fit the game around their job/wife/GF/kid/dog will get their game-butts kicked by the ones who don't have a job/wife/GF/kid/dog.
Information wants to be beer.
Not all of them (none / 0) (#56)
by Have A Nice Day on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:09:52 PM EST

EVE online (which hasn't got a tenth the player base of WoW, but is still going along nicely) has a skills system that takes real time to "level up". Real time when you don't have to be logged in, so as long as you check in once in a while you can still have a good character.

Of course you still need money and to get that takes time.

I agree in general though, having a life gets in the way of these games, I just don't have the sort of life where I can regularly dedicate the time needed to these things, and I tried with EVE. After about two weeks I had effectively given it up by accident.....
Now I'mn unemployed though. Perhaps I'll pick it up again.

Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
If this weren't a true story (none / 0) (#50)
by Eddie the Jedi on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 09:55:29 AM EST

I'd say the ending needs work.

Still, +1FP.

Haha! (2.00 / 2) (#51)
by PhillipW on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 10:14:31 AM EST

You had an MMO girlfriend! LOSER!

Understanding MMORPG Addiction (none / 0) (#54)
by a paranoic guy from a shitty country on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 11:53:24 AM EST

This one seems like a well-done study of the subject. I will quote here the final paragraph:

The issue of MMORPG addiction is complex because different players are attracted to different aspects of the game, to different degrees, and may or may not be motivated by external factors that are using the game as an outlet. Sometimes the game is pulling the player in; sometimes a real life problem is pushing the player in. Oftentimes, it is a combination of both. There is no one way to treat MMORPG addiction because there are many reasons why people become obsessed with or addicted to MMORPGs. If you consider yourself addicted to MMORPGs and your playing habits are causing you real life problems, or if someone close to you has playing habits which are obsessive and unhealthy, consider seeking the help of a professional counselor or therapist who is trained in addiction problems.

Welcome to k5, sorry you're here - some nerd
virtual love triangle -- 3some? (none / 0) (#55)
by blackbowl on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:24:44 PM EST

Nothing new (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by GreenYoda on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 05:10:36 PM EST

This scenario is nothing new. Long before the internet was ever invented, people like you were spending all their free time drinking at the local bar (you know, that place where "everybody knows your name", and "they're always glad you came") and having affairs with other people who hung out there.

Be certain (none / 0) (#58)
by Armada on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 05:25:54 PM EST

A word of warning. A close gay friend of mine used to masquerade as a woman in MUDs and MMORPGs. I suspect, because he's otherwise a really cool guy, that most gay men do this. He never told any of his male "lovers" in MMORPGs that he was actually of the same sex, and from what I know, he was very good at "getting them off".

I don't mean to totally throw your story out of proportion, but before you fly out to meet anyone you know online, be damned sure you've spent at least 2 hours on the phone talking first. It makes the first meeting easier, and confirms the sex of the other party.

Don't give me the "seen her picture" excuse, either. I've got pictures of myself too, and it takes me about 5 minutes to rip them from Google. Making a webpage or "blog" for these fake girls takes about 15 minutes to do, too.

Just wanted to warn you and any others in a similar situation.

another idiot (none / 1) (#60)
by QuantumG on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 08:59:01 PM EST

The whole point of a roleplaying game is that you are not supposed to reveal anything about who you are. You are supposed to roleplay. So if your character is male, you should act male, even if you are female. Much like if you character is a big strong barbarian, you should act like a big strong barbarian, even if you're really a short weak accountant. That's the purpose of the game, to provide an outlet for you to express the parts of your personality that you don't get to express in your everyday life. Questions about whether you're a guy or a girl or what you do for a living in "real life" should be met with distain. You should tell such people to mind their own business and get back to roleplaying.

The problem is that no-one gets an introduction to roleplaying anymore, they just get thrown into the game and told to have fun. The result is moronic statements like yours and like the behaviour of author of this article.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]

It's "disdain". Not "distain." (none / 0) (#69)
by rocket on Sat Nov 05, 2005 at 11:50:02 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Sort of. (none / 0) (#76)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 04:31:52 PM EST

I think most people want to roleplay 'as themselves' in fantastic situations they would never encounter in real life.  Maybe your character has a few special attributes that are also unrealistic.  But the whole thrill of it that it's you but doing these crazy things.  The graphics on the screen is just your avatar and is of secondary importance.

[ Parent ]
Okay I agree, but... (none / 0) (#81)
by Armada on Fri Nov 11, 2005 at 07:20:14 PM EST

... I really feel that when they are taking it to the level of meeting that it's going too far. My roommate doesn't try to dupe men into meeting him. When they want that much, he backs off and ignores them. It's happened more than once.

I guess the problem I have is that a lot of people use these fantasy games as a way to escape from more than just work life, but also married life, and people like my roommate seem to be taking advantage of married men in this way.

[ Parent ]

These people are insane. (none / 0) (#75)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 04:26:47 PM EST

This is nothing but deception, plain and simple.

Your friend is basically using clueless internet newbies or teenagers to drive them crazy to get his own rocks off.

Before you object too much, suggest to your friend that he inform his cybersex partners that he's actually a man, and note his reaction.

[ Parent ]

well... (none / 0) (#82)
by Armada on Fri Nov 11, 2005 at 07:23:28 PM EST

Like the other poster mentioned, he's doing this more as a fantasy, imagining himself as a woman that adores the masculine leader of his guild. I asked him if he wanted to "come clean" about it, and he said, "how do I know this guy isn't a lesbian woman?"

I think the reason he doesn't see anything wrong with it is because it's ROLE playing.

I don't know though, I'd ask him about it up front, but he's a good buddy of mine and otherwise a great guy. From the conversations we've had, he just doesn't see anything wrong with it; it's not like he's trying to meet these guys in real life.

[ Parent ]

An alternative. (none / 1) (#62)
by Back Spaced on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 11:08:49 PM EST

You could always, say, write a story about your life, post it to Kuro5hin and watch it get shot down for being a shitty diary entry. That might help bring you back to reality. Think of it at the anti-MMO

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.

I went through a phase like that too (none / 0) (#63)
by Mystess on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 11:51:53 PM EST

When I started high school, I was the 'nerd' and I hated it. I wasn't very confident in myself and hated school.

So somewhere around this time we got the net hooked up and I started chatting to guys in chat rooms and stuff and then thru msn. There was this one guy who, I thought, was really nice and funny and paid me attention and I loved it.

Of course, the whole internet thing got out of hand... I would be on the internet non stop everyday after school. Eventually my mum cracked the shits and changed the internet password so I couldn't get on.

For a while I went to the library to go on the net but then the guy lost interest, I got over it and I actually started to enjoy school.

Finally my mum let me back on the net but I wasn't allowed to go in chat rooms... this was a good deal. I made a new msn account and only added people who I knew through real life and only talked to them.

The moral of my story is that yes, the internet can become a kind of obsessive past time when it is used as an ego boost. And I think in my case (and in the case of the author's) it can also be quite dangerous.

Looking back now... the guy wasn't even that interesting.

"Don't worry, You're better than somaudlin." - stuuart

My story (none / 0) (#64)
by pHatidic on Sat Nov 05, 2005 at 02:19:09 AM EST

I played UO in middle school. A lot. Why? Because middle school is basically like being in prison 8 hours a day, and even when you get home you are too young to be able to do anything interesting. So I played day and night for about a year. Eventually I sold my account after my 8th grade year because I didn't want to be playing during HS, 620 bucks on ebay. I did play the beta test of AC, and briefly experimented with text MUDs (Achaea), but after UO I think I have pretty much burnt myself out of ever playing an MMORPG again. Which is good, because when I look at the other people my age and older who spend all day playing them it makes me feel sad for them.

What happened after quitting UO? Well I was in withdrawal for a month or two, but then I started getting more into rowing which eventually got me into college. Rowing of course has caused some problems of its own, but I guess it worked out reasonably well in the end.

It's great being back in WoW (none / 0) (#66)
by actmodern on Sat Nov 05, 2005 at 02:27:15 AM EST

I really have fun going after mad loot post-60. It's something I look forward to everyday. It's too bad in your case you allowed yourself to be caught up in politics and got mixed up with the wrong people (i.e. Suzy).

I don't get personal with anyone in WoW. I don't know any of these people and don't care to. It's fun playing with them but like you describe 99% of them log in and try to act like hot shots. Who cares.

LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.

perhaps you should be divorced (none / 0) (#74)
by ccdotnet on Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 12:40:05 AM EST

It bugs me when someone makes the effort to put an article together, and some stranger comes along and types "you're a loser" as a one-line reply.

But your article has nearly driven me to that very point. If a computer game (or a TV sport, or drinking with your buddies, or working on that old car) ... or anything really, can so easily compete for your time compared to your wife and kids - well, maybe you should be divorced.

My partner and I spend 5-10 hours a week in CoH, but we always play together - it's just one of the things we do together. We treat the other players more or less the same way we treat the buildings - they're part of the scenery. Sure, we don't put enough time into our "toons" to be online celebrities wielding the best equipment and boasting the highest levels, but we have a lot of fun nonetheless.

Our MMO-ing doesn't and can't get in the way of real life, because Real Life is a much better game (and not just the graphics).

No, seriously. If yours isn't, do something about it.

No (none / 0) (#84)
by less than three on Tue Nov 15, 2005 at 07:32:05 PM EST

I have to disagree. If his marriage is holding together, then he should stick with it. If he didn't have kids already, that would be one thing. But so long as the marriage isn't in shambles, it's his place to stick it out. Maybe it's not wonderful, maybe it's not everything it could be, maybe staying in that relationship is going to keep him from fulfilment in life. I don't care. As long as he has kids to raise and he's not come to blows with the missus, he needs to stay put. That's what's going to be best for his kids, and when you get together with someone and crap out a few kids you abandon your right to do whatever the hell you feel like with your life.

[ Parent ]
My boss (none / 0) (#78)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 04:43:35 PM EST

got hooked on EQ; it was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.

She would play pretty much all day and also after work, then use this staying late as evidence of how hard she was working. She 'ran a department' but anytime someone had a question for her, she would become visibly agitated at the interruption.  After the dotcom bust and we were struggling, she was getting paid around $80K/yr to play EQ for eight hours a day.

Every aspect of the situation was just unfuckingbelievable.

I don't even play MMOGs and I want that job! (none / 0) (#79)
by Phil Urich on Tue Nov 08, 2005 at 01:39:43 AM EST

Well, okay, I'd feel guilty playing games all day and ignoring my work but getting paid for it.  Maybe I wouldn't, though, seems like your boss was fine with neglecting her job.

I'm curious, what happened in the end? (Although I'm assuming an anticlimax of some kind or another, I'm still interested)

[ Parent ]

There were layoffs. (none / 0) (#80)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Nov 08, 2005 at 09:27:25 AM EST

My boss was not one of them. But I think she took it as a wakeup call.

[ Parent ]
My friends did my waking call (none / 0) (#88)
by Jacer on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:46:01 AM EST

Great read, metavision. I was close to being a MMO addict like Suzy myself, neglecting real life things, just working and playing. At some time, my friends came down on me, telling me how pissed they are that I rather play a PC game instead of meeting them. Since then, I always put real life events before MMO events. It was the realization that if something happens to you, it's not the people online that are there to help you, but your friends and family that made me change my mind. Right now, I can't get as involved in a MMO like before, I just log in and have fun, and if someone calls me up, I take the time, and don't care what the online guys think about it. Regards, Jacer

Private questions (none / 0) (#89)
by bro c on Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 11:35:40 PM EST

I'd like to talk privately about something relating to this, do you think that can be arranged? Catch my email on my user info page.

Life, Love and MMO's | 89 comments (76 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
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