For some people, the game offers them social contact and support that they otherwise wouldn’t have because of their real life situations.
I often use EverQuest as an escape tool - I am a stay-at-home mom, which is often incredibly mundane, repetitive, and frustrating. There are only so many times that I can change diapers, vacuum the floor, wash dishes, do laundry, and play peek-a-boo before I'm almost screaming for some intellectual stimulation and the opportunity to 'be someone else' for a while. It's just a great relief to get away from all that and for a while become an accomplished troubadour who leads a strong guild of roleplayers in a fantasy world, for a while. I've found that playing EverQuest to escape the boredom of daily life does not interfere, but rather gives me a much-needed break, and time for mature discussion and imagination. [EQ, F, 25]
Going into my final year of college I was forced by class scheduling to go to school at night. At the same time I was forced out of a job I had held for three years working nights and weekends. In this time I had the stress of school, a new job, and lack of contact with friends. The people I knew and trusted continued working nights and weekends. My time was spent working days and school at nights. I went from a working environment where I worked with like-minded people to an environment where my hobbies and interests were frowned upon. EQ provided accessible social contacts needed to get through stressful times. It helped alleviate feelings of isolation and depression that might otherwise have broken my willpower to finish school. [EQ, M, 25]
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