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Frustration Sprinkled With Happy Thoughts

Sometimes incoherent, mostly sarcastic, always about smart people stuff.

Author: Kedoremos

The life of an MMORPG addict

Posted by Kedoremos Tuesday January 15 2008 at 6:18PM
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There are a group of people in the world who shell out countless increments of $14.95 to invisible companies so they can jack in to virtual heroin. These people are collectively known as the MMORPG gaming community.

Here is the typical life cycle of an MMORPG gamer:
  1. Veteran player talks friend into joining him in his adventures.
  2. Friend goes and buys a copy at his local game store.
  3. Goes home, installs it, patches it, and creates an account and character.
  4. Logs in. Sees a golden “!” right in front of him.
  5. Instantly turns into a foaming at the mouth, physically addicted, socially inept, tool for The Man (The Man works for Blizzard by the way).
  6. Spends the next year or so really enjoying his time in the game. Starts to feel a little annoyed with certain aspects (mostly due to all the people who complain, “bitching by proxy” I like to call it)
  7. After a year solid he’s starting to feel like he’s really wasting his life. He tells his wife/friends/girlfriend/co-workers that he’s quit the game for good this time. He deletes his characters, uninstalls the game and breaks his disks. It’s finally over.
  8. Or so he thought. A few weeks pass, now he’s trying to figure out what to do when he’s not getting all the extra work done he’d missed in the last year. He’s trying to fill in the gap that this game filled for so long. He starts watching TV – it’s boring because Lost, Heroes, and all the other good shows are in their “mid-season break”. He tries to rent a lot of movies – no dice. He’s seen them all. He says to himself “Self, I’ve come this far, I’m not giving up now!”
  9. Three days later: He’s really bored now. He gets angry at the littlest things. He barks at his wife/girlfriend/friends/co-workers for no reason.
  10. He gives up, rationalizing “This game is my social life. I didn’t have much of one to begin with but at least when I was playing I actually had like-minded people to talk to. I’ll just learn to control myself better, set limits on my playtime and such.”
  11. Goes to a game store, buys a new copy and like a kid on Christmas he gleefully installs it and starts to play again. He has to start all over but he’s just happy his life is back to “normal” again.
  12. Two weeks later: His self control has faltered (again), his self esteem is lower now because he feels like he’s a failure (he is, actually) for giving in to his habit all over again.
Repeat steps 7 through 12 for about 3 years and that’s your typical MMORPG gamers’ life.


Sooner or later you start to realize it’s all pretty stupid. You’re letting yourself get caught up in something that means nothing. You justify this by saying “well everything pretty much means nothing when you’re dead” so you chug along like the tool you are, hoping that some day you’ll have the self control to control yourself.

ps. I'm moving this blog from Blogger to mmorpg.com because, well, I wanna.

Nicksiren writes:

/clap /clap /clap

No rebuttle here, I totally agree.

Tue Jan 15 2008 6:59PM Report
Kordesh writes:

“well everything pretty much means nothing when you’re dead”

Well, actually, that's right. There is no "right" way to spend your time, only what people say is the "right" way. In addition, MMOs can be quite social.

Was pretty good up until the end there.

Tue Jan 15 2008 7:11PM Report
Alchem1st writes:

I would just like to say, the same applies for me sadly only not so often and i know how to download a game with out buying a CD again after i break it... only hmm whats this thing i can do... ohh yeah self control, lots of ppl go thru this, I'm as veteran of an MMO addict as it gets, ive played since i was 8, EQ,FFXI,WOW,GW and all the smaller stuff in between ive played it, sometimes its easier to take a break if you have more than 1 hobby, I'm on my H.S. Football Team, I surf, weight lift, i even take Kung Fu, but if your not the athletic tipe go to a smaller game, like idk Angels Online or something that looks prety nice, something you dont need to stress for to be the best cause its in BETA! Sry i got a lil into this repply because i was thinking of posting something like your article a while back but never ot to it. I stated alternatives to "MMO Rehab" but certainly nothing to prevent it. I think there is some unthought off way to avoid all 12 steps but I guess the MMO industry is to blame for not making a game with no bugs, exploits,meta game horrible grinding and bassicaly an MMO for the average man, and if you say WOW I will hurt you. I tried to love WOW but after having 2lvl 60's both melee and caster i find its mechanics far too dependent on gear and schedualing your life around "Raids". I'm not saying its competitors are any better lets take GW for example i quit 3 months ago, I had r10, r4 champ, r5 commander, and just rage quit a gold trim guild, I could have gone anywhere but why quit? Frustration, not rly best way to compare it is to a mental disgust, when you are a crack addict and you look in a mirror and say wtf is wrong with me you think of ways of quiting, when you invest too much time in a game, the same thing happens, than guess what :P??? 3-12 months later you've found a new game. I'm sry  for all the run on sentences and bad grammar in some cases  but I'm in a rush and this is not my most premeditated article... I hope someone gets something out of this reply.

Tue Jan 15 2008 7:15PM Report
Kedoremos writes:

Kordesh, being an atheist I couldn't agree more with your point. I still play MMOs and will always because I'm an addict and have nothing better to do. This blog post was just me spouting out my experiences along with those I've observed from other people.

If I weren't playing MMOs I'd be watching TV. Like you said, there's no right way to spend your time. As adults, we get to choose what's "right" for ourselves.

Tue Jan 15 2008 8:02PM Report
Dwarfman420 writes:

dOn'T jUdge mE!!

 

.... on a more serious note, right on. A lot of this reflects my own life these last few years. I've went back to every mmo I've ever played at least once. I have gotten better though this last year.... I got a job >.>

what?..... don't look at me like that. I even got a tan......

Tue Jan 15 2008 9:39PM Report
bluealien1 writes:

This is a hobby. Some people like to paint pictures, some people like to read books, some people like to do outdoor work, some people enjoy working on old cars, I could call all of those a waste of time and I could think of many things they could be doing instead. Gaming is a hobby, if it makes you happy, you have fun, and you meet some nice people with similar interests who are you to say it's "stupid."

Tue Jan 15 2008 11:22PM Report
noodlesan writes:

at long as you have control over your hobbies, you're alright.  i lost control for the first time when i found the mmo genre.  here's how i got off the junk:

1.  beat the game. i know i know. you can't beat an mmo.  however, i beat WoW!  (got legendary, ranked as high as i wanted to on pvp, tackled the latest pve challenge, etc etc etc).

2.  get a g/f (or b/f).  i know they aren't rational at MOST times about your gaming needs, but you can eat and go to the movies with them.  heck, maybe even mate!

3.  find a job you love.  i think this one is the cherry on top for me.  i found a job that made me care about people i work with, that my daily "quests" are worth the "grind". 

4.  and yea, i'm not going to lie.  i'm still playing.  heck, i read this site almost daily.  however, i manage my play time now (only a few hours a week) and i'm finding some pre-mmo hobbies enjoyable again.

payce.

Tue Jan 15 2008 11:49PM Report
noodlesan writes:

where's the edit button?  *hides from english teacher*

Tue Jan 15 2008 11:50PM Report
pro.tfo writes:

I find that your speculations of the MMO genre are 99% true... i have been addicted to WoW before, and i have continuously dropped it and started playing again. The only thing that has helped me cut back on my playtime is the fact that my network has failed and i haven't had the time to fix it between work and other obligations. I do however go to a LAN gaming center a few times a week so that i can get my azeroth fix :P

The other 1% of  FAIL is, what kind of noob snaps teh CD's :P.

Pro article.

Wed Jan 16 2008 12:16AM Report
Terranah writes:

Stop spying on me.

Wed Jan 16 2008 2:16AM Report
ppetty writes:

/me makes several edits

first, ive never played any MMO (except one) for more than a month before getting sick of it.

second, ive never gone back to a game ive quit.

third, i will never quit EVE.  the only thing that can stop me from playing is lack of monies to pay for it, or if they close it down.

 

EVE ftw

Wed Jan 16 2008 3:06AM Report
Kordesh writes:

I think we've all pretty much got the right idea. Life is there to enjoy as much as we can of it. If this is what we happen to enjoy, why not? As long as theres moderation, do what you love. Its no different than any other hobby. I'm actually rather pleased we all sort of came to an agreement on this site for once (=

Wed Jan 16 2008 6:48AM Report
Belleal writes: Aye, kedoremos, if we overlook the details, you are totaly right. I am a dedicated gamer since my 13 year and it seems I cannot resist the need to play... Although my life in every other aspect is fairly normal (girlfriend, good work and so on). I realized for my self the fact, that the games (MMO or not) are indeed irresistible brain-drugs. And even when I feel wrong for playing, because I know there are other, better things I can spend my time on, I still cannot resist it. The bad thing is, I am not even sure anymore, that I want to resist it... Well, I do hope I will get over this someday, but I suppose all addicts hope for the same thing while still doing it :D. Wed Jan 16 2008 8:58AM Report
androidMKII writes:

The article is fun and portraying a possible truth... there are some things that should be put a little more into perspective and the conclusion is a bit drastic but if the objective is to portray a "MMOG addiction" this is good enough.

I personally think that most ppl in modern society have some kind of addiction or the other... we all cling to some "world" that makes us come to term with the harshness of reality, with frustrations and so on, but that's not in all cases a problem, it's not always extreme, it can be even useful (I believe it is in many cases).
Knowing lots of ppl who won't miss an episode of their favourite(s) series, their soccer (football, SBK, cricket...) team match, their daily Harmony book or lipstick shopping, well gaming is no way different...
Simply, being somewhat "newer" it's less socially accepted, we (players) are less used to the novelty of VR and the exploration of new games is a constant threat too ;)

So what? Just administer your playing time as much as you administer your other activities, there's no problem at all.

And if you (not the author OC, I mean just the person portrayed there) didn't have a social life/your self esteem is low/you don't enjoy playing anymore but don't find anything more interesting (or interesting at all)?
Well, those are "wide problems", gaming is not going to change them, it just made them apparent, so I'm happy you didn't run into a cheap-drug seller at the wrong moment... if gaming made you realise these problems, start working them out, and be happy you can switch off the PC anytime! Drugs wouldn't let you go away so easily for sure! :)

BTW: EVE forever! *\o/*

Wed Jan 16 2008 9:55AM Report
streea writes:

Funny how hobbies work. Not addictions, hobbies. Some of us enjoy MMOs. And all of the other things we do, along with sig. others, other hobbies, work, and a rl social life. The "typical" MMOer is someone who has some or all of these. They're casual gamers.

Wed Jan 16 2008 11:22AM Report
Madmozz writes:

I've just reached step 11, luckely with out deleteing my chars so i gues its back to step 7 and do it all again lol

p.s. my GF also playes so steps 7 to 11 happen twice as much in our house lol

EVE rocks (sometimes) :)

Wed Jan 16 2008 12:40PM Report
Hexxeity writes:

I am actually not subscribed to any MMO at the moment.  Nothing new out there appeals to me, and I have no desire to revisit the ones I've left behind.

Let me qualify that: I do desire to revisit several games, but lack of other like-minded players means I know I would not enjoy myself.  And by "like-minded," I mean "not interested in soloing."

Wed Jan 16 2008 1:28PM Report
Kedoremos writes: I guess I consider this blog post a satire or caricature of a real MMO addiction. I like to overstate things for effect - its fun, you know. I'm sure the details aren't always true but it will, in spirit atleast, apply to alot of us. Wed Jan 16 2008 3:57PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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