Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance.
The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something.
There’s a fair bit of addictive things in this world. Food, sex, drugs, alcohol, and video games. Each of these things is a way to escape reality, something that makes the person feel better about themself. I’ve met plenty of people who I can say “If they started doing X they wouldn’t be able to stop.” So, now I’m going to get onto my blogosphere soap box to talk about this, because the thought of addiction has been weighing on my mind lately.
It all comes down to being able to make the right choices. I grew up with my step-dad (who I admire very much, even if he does incessantly make fun of me for playing WoW) who until I was about thirteen played Ever Quest twelve hours a day. Now for all the people who say WoW is difficult I dare you to go hardcore play EQ. Those are some SERIOUS raiders. One story my step dad told me was about this boss (for the life of me I can’t remember his name…some dragon or something) who they tried to kill for eight hours of CONTINOUS raiding. They used several different teams and switched them about throughout the course of the fight. The hitch was that this particular boss was never supposed to be killed, so when they finally succeed he didn’t drop any loot, just disappeared, and a minute later the whole server crashed. After the crash the boss didn’t respawn and to this day each sever is only allowed one kill of this boss, which will still DC the entire server.
My step-dad was able to pull himself away from his hardcore playing when he realized it was effecting his health, his family, and his relationship with my mom. He also, a few years later, cold turkey quit smoking after 30 years of sucking on those cancer sticks. I’m endlessly awed by the amount of perseverance (and sunflower seeds) he used to chance his life and move away from two very addicting things.
There are always people who won’t be able to pull themself away from those things, however. It feels to good to be good at something than realizing you’ve let your life slide into the gutter because of this addiction. With over 11 million people online there are going to be a fair few of us gamers who don’t know when to stop. The stories of people who have done crazy things because they don’t want to stop playing are often broadcasted over the internet, and gamers whose family or friends see these reports will often get the “intervention talk” because it is assumed that if anyone plays WoW they’ll eventually become addicted and ruin their lives. I don’t believe in this “inevitable philosophy” (as i’m going to call it) simply for the fact that I play with a majority of people who have their lives together. They go to work, or school (or both as in the case of many of us college students), spend time with their families, and have stable relationships. It is not impossible to have a hobby like WoW and live a life outside of game. Just like it’s possible to go out and party four times a week and have a job and relationships.
However, there are certain addictive personalities who can’t stop themselves from falling into an addiction no matter what they do. I’m not writing this for any particular reason, as a warning or anything. I just happen to of had a first hand experience last night about how extreme theses things can get.
No, no, it wasn’t me! If I was to get addicted to anything it would most likely be expensive fruits and vegetables. Now where are my pomegranate…(just kidding, they’re not in season :[ )
My new best WoW buddy has a fiance we both play with. Last night she asked him to limit his playing time, and to say the least he “flipped” and several very bad things resulted. I’m not going to go in excruciating detail to respect her privacy, but the Cops were almost called and if she hadn’t gotten her car back when she did I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t end up in jail for grand theft auto. When you set yourself up for this kind of addiction by not having anything else in your life that you feel is worth working for then when your game is being threatened you react in extreme ways. I’m glad she’s alright, because if she wasn’t hell hath no fury like a woman defending her scorned friend.
People who lose their mind when asked to limit their playing time give WoW players a bad name. I personally don’t like getting the “oh my god, you must be like those weirdos” every time I mention that I raid or play WoW. So if you ever feel the urge to steal a car, blow up a building, or hurt yourself because your life is nothing without your WoW account, I suggest you put your head back on straight and realize that this game will end one day. Now I can’t guarantee that your life will be so much better if you stop playing video games 12 hours a day, because most likely your life has crumbled while you were glued to your computer. But you’ll have a lot better time with the family and friends who missed you than alone when the WoW gods decide that it’s not worth running the game anymore, or you lose interest in it.
*Steps off Soapbox*