Other players use the MMORPG space as an escape from real-life burdens and problems. Oftentimes, it isnít clear whether this evasion helps or hinders them in real-life.
I had been involved with a man who had a dependency problem ... and life with him had become hard. He would disappear into his world of addiction and I into my world of EQ. I had tried for months to get him to seek help to no avail. He would become angry and say he had things under control so I just despaired and sank deeper into the game. I met friends, married one, we broke it off, I met another man Ö I think I did all these things because I was missing a lot in my RL relationship. One day I came home and found my RL man really high and out of it. I had to do something. I called a psychologist and we entered couples counseling. She sent him to detox and rehab. His life has changed ... and I am happier for it. My 'addiction' I am still working on. As far as helping the problem ... itís difficult to say. In the short term, sinking into EQ helped me get through the bad days. In the long term, I think EQ was detrimental to the situation because perhaps I would have gotten him help with the drug problem earlier. [EQ, F, 29]
I have, and it always comes back to bite you in the ass. Crass but true. Graduate apps. I didn't want to do them. You couldn't make me do them. I had such a huge mental block to filling them out that it would have been easier to cut off my arm. Needless to say I played a lot of EQ to null the apprehension when I should have reconciled my feelings and played for enjoyment. It wasn't the game that got in the way. I put the game in the way to block my responsibilities. [EQ, F, 33]
It helps me take my mind off of my depression. And my RL relationship, and family problems. I think it just put resolving the bigger problems of my repeated abuse on hold until I was mentally ready to do so, with the help of someone I actually met online at a message board for the game. But even now, I still use the game for an escape from the real world very often, mostly because the real world isnít a very great place to be, at least for me it isnít. [EQ, F, 17]
My entire life is a problem, and the game is an escape from life itself. When I log in to EQ my every problem is instantly forgotten. I am no longer a lowly teenager who doesn't go to school and has a piss-poor job. I am a respected and powerful warrior. There is no father in the game that tells me how messy my room is. There is no mother in game that tells me what a scumbag I'm turning in to. Itís just me surrounded by others like me, all with a common goal: just to play the game and get away from everything else. Well that's what I like to believe anyway. [EQ, M, 18]
I have been out of work for a year now. I have found EQ to be a good diversion from the daily stresses. Itís nice to be able to see green fields and feel like a useful person when, in real life, it is cold and ugly (winter time) and no one wants to hire you. I think EQ has helped reduce stress but has not done anything to resolve the issue. I have, however, received job leads and resume help from people I have met in the game. [EQ, M, 32]
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