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Addiction

About 40% of users would consider themselves addicted to the game. This percentage is quite striking given the social desirability bias built into the question. There were no gender differences, and age differences were minimal - about 2 years between “definitely” and “definitely not”. In other words, male and female users of all ages are about equally likely to consider themselves addicted to the MMORPG they are playing.

The average hours played per week in each of the five responses offer perhaps a rough guideline as to how much game play is too much game play. As a comparison, typical Americans watch about 27 hours of TV per week.

There were interesting correlations between this self-reporting of addiction and motivations. In particular, self-reported addiction was positively correlated with scores on Achievement (r = .25) and Escapism (r = .25). This finding dovetails with an earlier discussion of addiction. It appears that both internal (skinner box model) and external factors (compensation model) contribute to addictive behavior.

Note (12/02/2006): This data is complicated and can be misleading for several reasons. First of all, there is no accepted definition of "online gaming addiction" to begin with, so it's not clear what players meant by that (or why we would trust people to diagnose themselves even if that were the case). Secondly, it's not clear they didn't just take the statement to mean "the game is very fun" as the word is used commonly in the game industry. And finally, we have no comparison data with other hobbies - i.e., If we asked golfers that question, how many would have said "yes"? In other words, could it be that 40% of users of all hobbies would say they are "addicted" to their hobby (whether that is golf, knitting, or watching the TV show "Lost").

See Also (listed in chronological order):

- Understanding MMORPG Addiction
- The Seduction of Achievement
- Problematic Usage
- A New Disorder is Born



Comments

I would guess your hours figures are low, i.e. people reporting fewer hours than they actually play, but I guess it depends on the games and you tend to focus on the mainstream Western games. Among the people I usually play with it is hard to keep up if you are playing less than 40 hours a week. I don't consider that a good thing, but it's the honest truth.

Posted by: Alistair on July 15, 2004 12:08 AM

Honestly, I believe you are right about people reporting fewer hours, but I don't think it's a shocking or scary thing that people play that much. I play Final Fantasy XI about 40 hours a week, (probably more) and I still hold a part-time job and a full class schedule. As for addiction, it's something I enjoy, but when I have to work more and the choice comes down to playing or sleeping, I'll definately sleep, you know? I just think that spending my free time on it is better than TV (which I almost never watch) and I consider it my favorite hobby.

Posted by: anon on July 20, 2004 12:06 AM

yea i get addicted to games so easily... i stopped playing all rpgs though.. once i start i get all addicted and withdrawn dont wana talk to anyone get mad easily.. dont get as much sleep.. sometimes ill be playing 10 hours a day or something and then id just forget about everything else and play play play play

Posted by: anon on July 21, 2004 8:13 PM

sometimes i'll be captured by a book and lose hours to it too.

Posted by: anon on July 22, 2004 6:09 PM

I had to quit playin FFXI, i found my self calling into work jsut to stay home and gain another level. I really enjoy it and maybe after I retire I can play those kinda games all day long but for now I gotta keep my head in the real world so That I can afford to live ;P

Posted by: Nugsolot on July 31, 2004 8:26 PM

I feel I've been addicted to games before...It doesn't last and it isn't necessarily attributed to the amount of hours I put into it- sometimes I HAVE to do something else but would rather play the game. When I'm being obsessive in my thoughts, humming game music, taking the manual with me when I can't get online, losing A LOT of sleep through playing and not even being aware of time passing it (so hours are a factor for me, but only where it's possible to spare them) then I consider myself addicted to it. Even if I can only play a couple of hours a night, if I'm thinking about it all through the day, it's not a good sign. But luckily for me doesn't last. But having this possible vulnerability in my personality, I don't ever intend on playing everquest :S Just incase it did last.

http://eqdailygrind.blogspot.com/ this site scared the crap outta me. It's written by 'everquest widows', men and women who are partners of people addicted to everquest. And by addicted...well, from the entries I read, that isn't how I'd like to live.

Posted by: zebby on August 4, 2004 6:05 PM

I play mmorpgs for many hours per week. Often over 40hrs a week. I know I do this because I hate TV. I find TV boring. I try to read and do crafts but I am often interupted so I can't relax. On a computer people leave me alone. I am not on a typical 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday scedual. So sometimes finding someone to talk to at 11pm on a tuesday isnt that easy. But, I can log into the game and chat with someone there. I often can find people that I have more in common with besides gaming. To me it is a hobby, and a rather cheap one I think. People concentrate on what they like. They think and dream on things they like. Im sure the car hobbiest dreams about cars and may even lose sleep or stay away from family when hes working on one.

Posted by: bluedrake on August 15, 2004 2:26 PM

Am i addicted to Star Wars Galaxies? nah, not at all. i play a lot, about 25-30 hours a week but when im at work or not at home I dont even think of SWG. And i get plenty of sleep too. Now i was addicted to Ultima Online big time until i deleted all of my characters. I thought about that game day and nite and didnt get any sleep. Whats the difference? i honestly dont know.

Posted by: David on September 18, 2004 9:08 PM

hell I am still thinking about Ultima Online day and night after I have quit it for 5 years? and no one have made better game?

Posted by: paraya on September 19, 2004 10:08 PM

Addicted i am, play over 40 hours a week in Earth&Beyond, its about 20 hours from extinction now, i have had my tears already long ago, now im just raging at the monsters in the game. I feel its safe to say if i didnt have a RL to attend too, i would have played 18 hours a day, instead of my usual 10 a day.

Posted by: Kreng on September 21, 2004 5:54 PM

I play Runescape and Well of Souls only sometimes, probly 1-3 hours a day but I know everything about them both, down to the last detail (until they update, then I relearn) but people pay for answers and I like that! :)

Posted by: step on November 9, 2004 1:27 AM

oh, www.synthetic-reality.com and www.runescape.com if want to try them out

Posted by: step on November 9, 2004 1:28 AM

MMOG addiction is basically a very bad combination of video game technology.
First off, MMOGs never end. You don't win the game ever. They are neverending games. Its like Harvest Moon. Both harvest moon and ALL MMOGs are compulsive video games. You do the same thing repeatedly forever.(if you continue playing)

But in harvest moon, you grow bored with it after spending an unhealthy amount of time on it. You leave it feeling no regrets, if you want to play it again one day, you can.

MMOG combines the compulsive nature of a neverending video game with percieved social responcibility. Example, you join a guild. You become part of their player association. If you quit, or take a long break, you can't just return and pick up where you left off. You get left in the dust and feel left out because your not interacting with the same people anymore.

Its not hard to see why MMOGs are "addictive". They are neverending video games where your punished for taking a break, and rewarded with little digital items when you keep playing.

I used to play MMOGs. The first one I was hardly addicted. I could not quit if you paid me fulltime to NOT PLAY. Then my guild got bored and left the game. I didn't feel like I was left out of anything when I took breaks knowing that there was nobody I knew still playing. So I ended up quitting and comming back several times to see if any of the guild had returned.
Then I finally uninstalled, broke the disks, and deleted the account.(Dark age of camelot)

The second time I played an MMOG, I decided to try not joining a guild. The game was a lot harder, and I did not feel any social ties to the game.
After a few weeks of playing without involved social interaction I realized just how boring the game was, and had no trouble quitting.(world of warcraft)

I now fully understand the true nature of MMOGs, and why they are so hard to walk away from.
Ever since, I have vowed to never play another video game with neverending game sessions. They simply aren't healthy.

I've gone back to Real Time Strategy and First Person Shooters and have never looked back at MMOGs.
And I no longer have a problem ending a game or managing my time anymore. Video games, for me, are back to being PURELY about fun.

Cheers!

Posted by: Andrew Hoffman on December 27, 2004 12:24 PM

be careful around the game
my friend is addicted to it and it makes him freaking annoying
the game is a disease
stay away from it while you can

Posted by: honeytoast on February 7, 2005 12:22 PM

Addiction is a very difficult concept; everybody is addicted to something, be it games, TV, other people or work. It's simply IMPOSSIBLE not to be addicted to something. You can't "get rid of" an addiction, you can only trade it for another. We are always "addicted" to what we enjoy most, and if we are not addicted, we are often unhappy.

What it comes down to is impulse control; are we willing to give up short-term pleasure for long-term goals? Those with poor impulse control will allow any addiction to disrupt their lives while those with good impulse control are often immune to the negative effects of their addictions. One should consider that things like taking days off work or ignoring one's partner are often not the signs of an addiction out of control, but rather of a subconscious desire for change. Cheating is often done for that same reason - subconsciously one just wants to move on, but the desire is not yet fully conscious. We might also take days off work simply because we can get away with it.

Posted by: Jade on February 9, 2005 3:38 PM

I know what it is like. I was addicted to Star Wars Galaxies. I would play for hours a day, and I would get very angry whenever I would have to get off. As a previous poster said, you also had the social responsibility in the game of being in a guild or such thing.

I have stopped playing Star Wars Galaxies purely because I was getting too addicted to it. I have turned to other online games, like FPS's and other types of games, and I am happy I did it.

Rock

Posted by: rock on March 18, 2005 6:59 PM

First off, I noticed a post by Andrew Hoffman...If you ever read this and you're who I think you are, I need to get in touch with ya. Been looking for you for over 2 years now.


Anyway.... I've only been addicted to two games.

One - Dransik. It was the community and the people I worked with that made it so enjoyable. Sure, things didn't always go right and sometimes bad choices were made, but we dealt with it. That was the best gaming community I have ever been a part of...I have yet to find another...I'd say I wasn't addicted to the game per say, but the overall community.....even the bad eggs.

Two - Continuum - SubSpace. Been playing that for 4 years. I'm not addicted to it, but I do enjoy the company of my squad mates.

I don't spend much time playing online games anymore. I spend my time reading, finally enjoying life (had a rough spot for a while, let's just put it that way), and writing medium - LONG stories. One might call it fan-fiction, though they're not short by any means.

Posted by: Baskar on April 5, 2005 11:27 PM

My new husband of four months yelled at me for a half hour when I said I did not like his 25-hour-per-week World of Warcraft habit, which has been going on for a year of our lives, now. Hubby brought me to tears with his shouts and told me I could shove it and file for divorce. He said he'll play 50-hour-a-week if he damn pleases. I think hubby's gone psycho. Please, please someone help me! What do I do? Low

Posted by: Low on Totum Pole on May 10, 2005 6:15 AM

What do you get from playing the game?
I've had to ask myself that question many times as I've been addicted to a number of different MMorpgs(most recently WOW) and the answer is always the same...Nothing. Of course, I enjoy playing these games, the in game friends, the increased abilities and reputation earned from becoming higher in level, developing skills, and always searching for the next "best" item. But its always the same outcome. It is the ultimate waste of time and truly the worst thing for most relationships. The lost time is something I'll never get back. I just quit WOW about 2 weeks ago, cold turkey and the first few days were tough, but I'll never play that game again and instead choose to invest my time in something beneficial such as, my own business, or learning a new RL skill or just living life, real life, not a virtual copy.

And to the wife who got yelled at by her husband, I wish you the best of luck, its you or the game at the moment and if your husband can't see what his priorities should be, or isn't willing to make time for you, then you have a decision to make. Just remember that you can't change anyone.

Posted by: Rob on August 1, 2005 9:51 AM

He was only playing 25 hours a week which is less than 4 hrs a day. Give the man a break!

Posted by: yusef on August 1, 2005 10:07 AM

I'm addicted to most any MMORPGs that are out there. I'm very addicted to Runescape which I play constantly and am actually thinking of subscribing to just to make it more interesting and go places. during the day I spend from 12:00 pm to 11:30 pm just being on the computer on different and varius sites. I know I'm addicted but not so much as when I need to do something I'll do it. So I guess I'm pretty well off, but i could never think of giving up any of my MMORPGs much less my post-by-post RPGs.

Posted by: Lisa on August 2, 2005 11:19 AM

It's not the 25 hours a week that Low's husband plays that concerns me, so much as the abusive half-hour tirade she received when she voiced her concerns about it.

I mean, I agree that 25 hours isn't *that* bad; I mean, I know people who passively watch more TV than that every week.

The important information that Low left out of her cry for help are the reasons why she disapproves of her husband's hobby. Is the game displacing shared time together? Are responsibilities being ignored?

I don't mean to sound like I am defending the husband; his reaction seems somewhat extreme. I'm just wondering how the subject was broached, and whether the discussion was framed constructively.

Probably the worst thing one can is to put the player on the defensive and ask them to justify the time spent on their hobby. Any leisure activity is difficult to justify objectively. It's just something that a person does for fun. So the question then becomes, what constitutes a reasonable limit on the time one spends on such a hobby?

This problem is hardly unique to the families of MMOG players. Ask any "golf widow" or "football widow" about the amount of time her husband spends in unproductive activity.

I wish I had a pat solution for Low, but it's just something she's going to have to discuss with her husband--hopefully in a calm, rational way.

Posted by: Mr. MMOG on August 2, 2005 12:43 PM

I think I once heard the difference between a harmless activity/hobby and an addiction, is by whether it's affecting and interfering with your life and relations.

In terms of Low, I'm curious to whether her husband played games that much before they were married? I think while one can say that 25 hours isn't that bad (~4/day), it's a good chunk of time if you figure morning/day might be spent going to work. That 4 hours might be all the time before they go to bed. Thus it's cutting into their relationship and home responsibilities. Also 25 hours sounds like a lot of time if you don't enjoy that same hobby. It's often difficult to understand that "waste of time." Seems like Low's hubby needs to look into what her needs are and see if there's a way to compromise, just as much as she might need to see what she can do. His reaction though is rather reprehensible.

My husband and I both play together, so it's not much of an issue. Although there have been times where he's played a lot more (perhaps on some guild event/raid). If he did that all the time... it would definitely interfere with our relationship and household. Fortunately my husband has some consideration for our marriage, and wouldn't just choose a game over me. Typically if he was going to spend an additional chunk of time playing, he asks me if that's okay. I know if I didn't play at all, his game time would be less (by his own choice) as he wants to spend time with me.

But I suppose this is somewhat like any activity...if he was a complete couch potato or sports addict and I wasn't, that would cause some problems. I'm not saying couples need to have exact same hobbies and interests, but they definitely need to balance their life priorities and relationships.

Posted by: KC on August 2, 2005 3:36 PM

Oh I just checked out the link in zebby's post [Everquest Daily Grind: MMORPG Infinity (no beyond)]. I think the game contact concept is a rather cool idea...acknowledging their relationship is very important and his hobby-fun is important too. This way they both feel respected and attended to properly.

Posted by: KC on August 2, 2005 3:51 PM

I have a similar experience as Low. My boyfriend (we do not live together) works at least 45 hours per week and plays WOW 5-6 hours every night and all day and night of the weekends and holidays. We used to fix dinner everynight, talk, work on projects, go places and make plans. Now there is no time with him for that, no common experiences, no shared future.

He would take time out to go out for lunch or dinner once a week so I would have about 2-3 hours a week of real time with him. He would talk about the game and people he plays with (both their character and the real player. He lived in another world and we had less and less in common.

As time went on, he seemed angry, distracted and edgy during the little bit of time he spent with me. I felt like an intruder when I was with him. It was too painful to continue seeing him.

He calls but is playing the game so its like listening to someone doing something else.

For awhile I tried confronting him and telling him the game was ruining our relationship. He got angry and said he was not going to stop playing. It seemed he wanted to keep me around like an alternate character to play every now and then (he has one character he said is like me! I guess that wuold be a real "minime").

I realize that I am no longer in a relationship with him. It's a big loss after years of shared experiences together. It is the same as being jilted. He has been somewhere else, has other relationships and I woke up and realized he is gone.

Just like when someone leaves because they find someone else yet won't be decent enough to tell you, yet get real angry and mad at you all the time to create an excuse to leave. I had to wake up and tell myself to move on. And maybe he actually has found someone else online. It does not matter, the effect is the same.

Now I am working on moving on and rebuilding my life without him. I did this once before after a divorce and I know it will be difficult but I have no choice.

Was he addicted to a game? I have no idea, but that is where the end of a long-term relationship started.

Posted by: YTN on August 25, 2005 9:04 AM

Our 15 year old son started playing the free version of RuneScape about a year ago. In March, we agreed to allow him to pay for a subscription with the agreement that he play for only one hour per week. That was the start of a nightmare. He became so addicted that he was setting his alarm in the middle of the night in order to play. He was hacking through the firewall in his school in order to play, he was entering the homes of people he didn't know in order to gain computer access so that he could play. When the game was taken away from him in June, he went through all of the same physical signs of a chemical withdrawal. These games are dangerous! Please, Please warn the people you love about these games. They may be okay for some - but so is alcohol. If people start using the games because they are looking to escape reality for some reason - they will become addicted. Parents - watch your children! Don't make the same mistake we did.

Posted by: a very concerned parent on August 26, 2005 9:21 AM

Why do so many people prefer a fantasy life over reality?

1. All the women are hot...except maybe the trolls and ogres.

2. You can turn it off if it gets too aggravating or frustrating. (You can do this in real life too, but its a final decision kind of thing.)

3. If you mess things up too bad, you can start over with a clean slate.

4. The playing field is absolutely level, the only advantage one person has over another is the amount of time they can play. More play time = more advantage.

5. If someone starts griping at you, the /ignore feature effectively removes them from your world.

6. No dirty dishes.

7. There is a steady diet of achievement, each of which provides a desirable reward...all without the requirements of getting dressed or shaving.

8. It doesn't matter if you are fat or bald or have bad-breath or one leg shorter than the other or black or female or pimples. In the game you can be whatever you desire with no prejudices or biases other than those derived from how you interact with people.

Life is only about what you choose to have it be about. For me, its about having a stable, comfotable environment (my house) in which to enjoy playing MMORPGs. I've accomplished everything I want in the real world and I'm happy that there are "alternative worlds" available for me to explore.

Posted by: Leonard Collins on August 28, 2005 7:42 AM

I understand where Low and YTN are coming from. My boyfriend used to play Everquest and even got me started on it. We were both in the same city away from parents from university. It was fine at the time, we'd both be online playing and chatting and still spend time together IRL for movies or dinner, it was simply another shared experience between. He quit EQ and started playing WoW near the end of 2004. In my opinion he has been addicted to it. He stopped going to classes, didnt have as much time for me, got upset when I told him to stop playing and come do something with me.

He is now at home, has been for the summer since end of April, and things havent changed. He still played alot. He decided he did not want to go back to university in September for various reasons. It seemed all he did was play, take a little time to eat when he felt like it. He stayed up til 3am or later playing sometimes, would sleep, wake up and go back to play according to his mother.

He left home a few weeks ago because he felt his parents were trying to control him to much, tellin him when he got home at 10pm that he had to be off the computer by midnight since he was to work the next morning. He works at the store with his dad and told his dad that night that he could work himself the next morning. He feels he should be able to play all he wants, and that 2hrs isn't enough time to do anything and since he wasn't home all day he should be able to play longer then that. He used to play I think at least 10hrs a day or so.

Personally I don't care how often he plays, I really don't. When I start to worry is when he can't make time to eat dinner once in a while with his parents, and when he's not going to work either because he is playing the game or stayed up to late the night before playing. It also doesn't sit well with me when I work Mon-Fri and have only Sat/Sun to hang out with him and he says "oh well I'm working Saturday and Sunday I have a raid to do at 4pm so can we work around that? Oh and I got hockey practice Sunday morning" That is what gets me upset. Fine, once in a while he can plan to do a raid and we can do something another time, but when it's like this almost every single time it just doesnt work.

Luckily he is going to SAIT now for school this year so at least it won't be him sitting around doing nothing. Hopefully this and work will keep him busy and he won't play the game instead of studying, but I guess only time will tell at this point..

In Low's case it isn't the fact that her husband plays 25hrs a week, to some that may not be much. If he played 10hrs/wk or 40-80+hrs/wk it wouldn't matter. The problem here is that he got mad with her when she tried to explain she wanted to spend more time with him. If he was able to play the game and still keep his real world responsibilities and make time for her then it would be entirely different, unfortunatley this is not the case.

Low, as hard as it may be you do need to make a decision(if you haven't already). If he isn't willing to make time for you then I say cut your losses and find someone better who will treat you with the respect you deserve. I hope things work out for you and others in similar situations.

Posted by: icy on August 30, 2005 11:24 AM

Im very addicted to video games and especially SWG but its easy to control and contain cause if you think about it, all you have to do is just not play it if you feel you shouldnt. Eventually addictions pass to a new one. EX: you finally beat a game you love but after you win you just get bored with it and move on.

Posted by: MTG on October 5, 2005 12:05 PM

Oh forgot to mention i play SWG about 50-70 hrs a week including weekends. Yes its a major addiction. lol

Posted by: MTG on October 5, 2005 12:08 PM

Oh sry i guess im off topic here, Low, i agree that he shouldnt be yelling over a game cause thats what kids do. It depends when hes playing and if he should be doing somthing else because when you own a house and have a job, video games have to be put aside for the weekends and even then it shouldnt be played too often. Im not sure what you could do to convince him to stop, they way you describe he yells at you shows hes very hostile when it comes to that so i cant really say what you could do at this point as much as i wish i could. But i can only guess he will get bored and stop, although i dont know how long that will take. I hope your problem becomes solved.

Posted by: MTG on October 5, 2005 12:18 PM

I play SWG on the Shard Ahazi and my characters name is Kamall Krosa so if you see me just send a /tell kamall

Posted by: MTG on October 7, 2005 12:03 PM

I used to play Runescape all the time over last summer. And continued to play it when school started. I then realized it was ruining my life/school work. I just quit the whole thing with help from my parents 1 week ago. It was hard for the first few days (people talking bout it at school..). But then i realized that it is a fantasy life and i need to start living my real life. I regret all the time that i played it over the summer and when school started. I finally got back on track and i am pulling my grades back up that went down in the begining of the year, when i was playing. I just recently read an artical in our local newspaper about online games and how they are created to be adictive and how it is ruining kids lives (in some cases death). I am very glad i quit and i am finally enjoying life as it should be. I hope for the best all of you online gamers.

Posted by: Mike, 15, concerned kid on October 15, 2005 8:20 AM

If you can control your addiction, i know how hard it is, then theres no problem as long as you dont torture your self over it. Games were invented for entertainment and self satisfaction. If you get mad in reality then you can take your anger out in a video game. You can also make friends on the MMORPGs. But i find it very interesting how extreme people get with video games. Oh and its been proven about 7 years ago that video games are good for the brain. Well... some genres of games. They stimulate the brain and cause improvment on fast critical thinking. Although ill never give up video games, its very easy to stop and focus on required mannors.

Posted by: MTG on October 17, 2005 12:04 PM

I agree on those terms, maby i was just taking the game a little to seriously.

Posted by: Mike on October 17, 2005 6:49 PM

Ive got something for all you Half-Life fans out there. You know your addicted to Half-Life when: Youve attempted to bludgen sombody to death with a crobar, youve attempted to blugeon a corpse till it popped, you own an underground bomb shelter with weapons and ammo awaiting Nihilanths return, you lock your door at night for fear of headcrabs, you never go to the beach, you never go swimming, your positive youve seen gordan freeman someware, you joined the military for the purpose of meeting Shepard, youve actually tryed finding Black Mesa, you KNOW where BLack Mesa is, your idle is Barney Calhoun, you studied Theoretical Physics for the sole purpose of finding Xen, youve tryed to convince NASA about Xen, youve found and collected half-life action figures, and finally Your Convinced and youve attempted and mabey succeded in Convincing everyone around you.....THE G-MAN IS WATCHING!!! lol

Posted by: MTG on October 19, 2005 4:49 PM

Okay ive noticed that i have the most posted comments on this page and i want to know if anybody still reads this stuff. I wouldnt mind haveing sombody to talk to on this forum. Now back to what I was going to say, Addiction is a chemical reaction in the brain. If it gives pleasure or calm or whatever you like, your brain will react and you get the emotion to do what it is you like. Its kinda a way to prevent bordom i would have to guess. But without addiction the world would have 2 outcomes. 1. It would be a very good place and there would be a major advancement in Technology and saving the earth, lack of war, and cures for most diseses. 2. Everybody would never do anything and we wouldnt have adavanced as far as we have. Addiction isnt neccesarly a bad sense. Addiction, depending on what your level of addiction your talking about is, can be enjoyment of going to work or playing games because work doesnt mean OMG what a crap day. You can enjoy work as long as you put aside things to acheve the goal of a job you enjoy. But this is just in general, im going kinda far with this addiction thing. Addiction to video games isnt severe, theres many worse things out there. Video games are good if you dont take the addiction seriously. But enogh of that for me. So who here likes what games?

Posted by: MTG on October 19, 2005 5:06 PM

I was addicted to FFXI. I bought the game March 24th 2004 when it came out for the PS2. By the time the one year anniversary came around (March 24th 2005) I had 115 days of play time. 115/365 days I spent sitting in front of my TV playing FFXI. Almost 1/3 of my entire year down the drain. I noticed I wasn't as social as I used to be and I would get really pissed off at anyone who would try to tell me to stop playing. I would not want to go to work and eventually quit my job. I would also skip classes, eventually failing a semester. My friends would call and I wouldnt want to go to parties cuz i was already in a "party". its been 7 months since i played regularly. i learned to cut back on playing as much as i used to. its not hard and anyone can do it. what i did was find another hobby. i started a band and we practice 4 days a week. i also became a member of a gym. since i have other things to do, i don't have the time i used to for FFXI. dont get me wrong tho, i still play. its like what that other person said (too lazy to look up name) if u have an addictive personality, ur gonna be addicted to something no matter what. The trick is to turn that desire to something more productive, so when u go to play the MMOG u wont get hassled about it and its one less monkey on ur back. (no offense to wives, parents, or girlfriends). remember tho, the first steps are always the hardest.

Posted by: ea_sports on October 22, 2005 11:25 PM

My roommate is addicted. He's logged almost 365 days of gametime. He also didn't work for 9 months and has yet to return back to school. Ontop of all that he owes me near 1500 dollars. I played ffxi and every semester school starts I take 90 days off. Just because I don't want to fail out of school, but I also have a life outside of the game that I am able to attend to and choose over ffxi.

Posted by: on October 25, 2005 11:14 PM

I have a life as well, ive finally gotten bored of the MMOGs i have. I now play FPS, like the Half-Life series and Battle Field2. I have many options instead of gaming but I believe in FREE WILL, so i dont feel at all addicted and just am taking advantege of free will.

Posted by: MTG on October 31, 2005 12:20 PM

video games (and online games are addicting!!!!!!!!period!!!!!

Posted by: on January 18, 2006 9:24 AM

My account name is Contact 1 I play runescape and am very addicted I see no problem with it.

Posted by: Contact 1 on January 26, 2006 7:50 AM

My boyfriend play guild wars all the time (so much that i feel like he thinks about it during sex) i eat alone sometime and he just yells "ill be right down" we have been together 1 1/2 years and if he doesnt stop playing im breaking up with him. Oh and guild wars 2 is coming out he has a tuff choice huh!!! I never heard of such a thing!!

Posted by: Jo on February 23, 2006 5:57 PM

Don't flatter yourself that it'll be a tough choice. The only thing he'll miss when you're gone is regular meals. [some objectionable content removed]

Posted by: Dr Fact on February 23, 2006 7:55 PM

I'm investing pretty much time in playing WoW. There are multiple days each week that I might not get enough sleep because I keep playing. Of course there is always the discussion what would be enough time to sleep 6-8 hours or maybe less (or even more)? It's hard to stop when you are having such a good time. And succeeding in the game seems to make me calm and able to focus on other stuff more. For example, when I have played a day of WoW I'm looking forward to study the next day. I would say this is some kind of build-in compensation system. Combine work/study with leisure activities. The balance is now more on leisure, but this might change when I finish my study and have to go work. Yet I see lots of people with a fulltime job still playing at 3,4 or even 5 am when they have to go to work at 7 am.

The line between an addiction and just having fun is kind of blurred. I would say I'm addicted to the game, but at the same time I don't mind missing a few hours of sleep for such an experience.

Posted by: Jacob on February 24, 2006 4:59 AM

Hello everybody,

i started playing WoW during the european beta and got hooked straight away. At the release date in february i was in Paris with my (than still) girlfriend and the main thing where i was with my mind was that i was not in azeroth... I did loads of sports, but that was going worse and worse... I ate always real healthy food (vegeterian, ecological and fresh), but this changed also soon cause of WoW, all food had to be ready in max 10 min. A collegue started at the same time as me and he is gonna divorce now, at work we were just talking about this game while we led the students work (yes we are teachers) I even organised some LAN's with students who play also tons of WoW.

The balance after 1 year is that i gained 6 kilo's, destroyed my relation, was far less effective in my work, thank God i did not quit my job, quitted almost all sports i did and for what...

yes for this game called WoW. Of course it was my own choice and i take full responsibility for my behavior.

i quitted the game and will Never go back to mmorpg's as they have a too big impact on me. I play now some FPS and RTS game , cause these games end when u shut down your pc. I started sports and cooking again and sleep a LOT at the moment.
I feel much better now, first days are really tough but i know you can do it.

because the only thing this game in the end does is making you feel really empty... At least if you played the game like i did. like everyday 1600-0000 (workdays), and all weekend with just a 5 hour sleep break.

WoW is in the end nothing more than a big grinding, farming game... (farming gold, items dungeons, xp, honor reputation etc and this process will NEVER end)

If you can manage to play this game at a casual lvl without destroying your real life... man great respect.

this is just my story (very briefly) I can state that i quitted just in time, think about losing my work in the nexy year with my WoW-gaming schedule was not impossible...

Posted by: jesper on February 25, 2006 4:02 AM

Im currently playing GW, DoD:S,gmod 9, and suprisingly Castlevania. Im definatly addicted again, but at least im not addicted enough to pay to play a damn game that already costs $30-$60. I cant believe somtimes how ludicris (mispelled) it was for my to pay to play. It's not worth it in the least bit sense.

Posted by: MTG on March 2, 2006 11:34 AM

i have played runescape for a few months now and i had 22 accounts all lvl 30+ scammed because the thiongs they offered were to good to miss but they were also t00 good to be true i have recently lost alvl 31 account for the same reason and i am now over all that bull i want 1 more chance at the game and for that i would like some1 out there to plz give me there account if they ndont play it any more to give it to some1 who will put it to good use.
p.s. plz im pleading to u this is my last chance and i need to have 1 more go to prove that i am not addicted to the game i wanna prove that with a good account i wont play it as much

Posted by: frozon blade on March 2, 2006 10:31 PM

yeah im a runescape addict. what is so funny is this is just a point and click game. from the basic level runescape questing and leveling up but it is way more than these alone. you have a section of the real world play runescape. some people merchant and make money, some people wood cut and sell logs, some people fish. it takes time to level up your skills and your bank account in runescape.
you do meet some interesting people on the game itself. i do find it odd that we are all addicts and we all enjoy the game. i agree that it does take time to play and i would be better off if i did play less.
i just happen to wiz by this forum and decided to post. thanks for reading my comments

Posted by: on March 23, 2006 8:09 PM

The reported hours looked low to me, but then I thought about how much time I 'actually' play the game, vs. how much time I spend reading guild boards, looking up loot on web sites, etc. and it looks about right.
I probably play about 25 hours a week now. (I know I used to play like 40, 50? hrs/wk shortly after EQ came out.) I bet I spend like, 2 hours a day minimum reading guild boards and looking at game-related stuff online. (And probably another 2 hours just talking about stuff in game, in RL.. scary)

Posted by: AR on March 24, 2006 12:18 AM

i play runescape. I play alot during breaks but school started and i only play when friends are online. the hours ppl play are about right because alot of ppl play offline games like i do. I play alot of games and runesape is the only MMORPG. thier are alot of times i am playing till 5 am but that is because it is fun but when i get tired i will turn game off and sleep. i am f2p and do not want to become a member. For the parents that said that thier son that became a member could only play for 1hr a week were setting themselves up and also wasting money IMO. adios amigos

Posted by: vivian on April 22, 2006 4:13 PM

i play runescape. I play alot during breaks but school started and i only play when friends are online. the hours ppl play are about right because alot of ppl play offline games like i do. I play alot of games and runesape is the only MMORPG. thier are alot of times i am playing till 5 am but that is because it is fun but when i get tired i will turn game off and sleep. i am f2p and do not want to become a member. For the parents that said that thier son that became a member could only play for 1hr a week were setting themselves up and also wasting money IMO. adios amigos

Posted by: vivian on April 22, 2006 4:13 PM

My girlfirend is completely addicted to Runescape, I'll go without eatting untill she quits, but I have a feeling I'm just going to die of starvation... I would highly suggest not beginning any online RPGs, as they cause people to becomse withdrawn and often become more angry.

Posted by: JC on May 7, 2006 10:59 PM

Sorry for my spelling mistakes

Posted by: JC on May 7, 2006 11:01 PM

What means "addicted"? Is it something bad?

The meaning of that word is that you like something so much, that you think about it often, you forget about other things in your life because of this thing and so on.
And you know what? That is not bad! If something makes you happy, than it is not problem. The point of life is to enjoy it, isnt it?

What really is the problem, and that is "the dark" addiction, is when you continue to do something whitch used to make you happy before but now its only bothering you. This is BAD addiction that is
a real problem.
So if you play your game, smoke cigarette, joint, drink, _put some addiction here_, it is not bad as long as you enjoy it. The question is how long can you really enjoy something like alcohol, for example. It is really enjoyable if you drink one day, but if you dring next day also than it becomes a painfull. And if you ignore your feeling, and continue what you do even if it does not satisfy you any more that, and only than, you are in a trouble.

If i can arrange my life so that i can play some MMORPG for years if you want, somethimes many hours a day, and i have a good time, progressing in game, meeteing new ppl, satisfying any of my motivation factor, than i really cant see whats bad in it.

Im thinkig about this thema a lot these days. Please comment.


Posted by: InTruder on May 9, 2006 1:40 AM

What I notice in these comments is there are three basic types:

1. Those who adamantly defend their right to play the game no matter what else happens in their real life. They say their needs in life are satisfied by their place in the fantasy world and the relationships with other real people and their characters. It is not all fantasy since those are real people and players do form new significant relationships and meet in real life. I wonder how many have found the game to be a new way to meet new people?

2. Those who played and quit because they lost out in real life and had to reclaim it. I wonder about people who played and found that they had to quit. Did they permanently lose relationships? Are there any real life losses they regret?

3. Those whose closest relationships have been destroyed by the disappearance of their significant other into a different world filled with relationships with other players and no time in real life for their girlfriend or spouse. I think I know how this goes. For these people just like being left, divorced, etc. The person who is the player may just as well have moved to another country, left no goodbye note and no forwarding address. And to make it worse, they are actually looking for other opposite sex players to hook up with in real life. Talking on teamspeak and messaging is full of real life interaction. It's not just a game, it's dumping the person they had a relationship with and looking for others in this new world.

If someone in your life starts playing this game, you may as well pack your things and leave.
And they do get viciously angry if you confront them...My boyfriend defended his playing just like Low's husband. He arranged a meeting with another online character, one of the women he "helped" level in the game with his impressive level 60 whateve. He flirted, gave out his phone number etc, etc. At his first meeting with her, he was surprised to find me there. There was no denying that the game had the added advantage of meeting other women.

I wonder what happened to Low's marriage. My relationship of years is over.

Posted by: YTN on May 17, 2006 8:15 AM

You can't posibly deal in such an unreasonable absolute. Not all people who play a game become addicts, not all people who play a game ruin relationships.

I've been playing MMOs since I could get access to them. I'm also an amature writer and programmer. Some days I've gotten home and written until past midnight. Same with MMOs. Same with programming.

I've made friends from these three, I have friends who do none of them.

To me, it sounds like the MMO in the above examples was used as an excuse, something to blame the falure of a relationship on.

Posted by: Jonathan on May 17, 2006 10:15 AM

I think the basic thing to remember is that anyone that is so addicted to the game that they are neglecting real life usually have big time problems that they are hiding from.

I've been playing EQ since 2000. I play on average from 8PM to midnight EST during the weekdays. Weekends it varies - sometimes I marathon all weekend and sometimes I have stuff going on and am not on at all. And despite the amount of time that I play, I don't consider myself addicted. I play so that I can relax and hang out with my guildees - I just started a guild, so I'm spending a lot of time on that. Occasionally game time inteferes with real life - I've had a few weekends where the house looked like hell because I didn't get up to clean it, and I'll confess to a whole day in pajamas with my hair in a ponytail while we were doing epic raids and stuff. But on the whole, I do what I need to do and fit my game playing in when I can.

However, I have noticed that if you are depressed or something is going on in rl that you don't want to face, you tend to just not stop playing. I live in New York City, and lost my job shortly after 911. With everything that was going on at the time, I wound up being out of work for a year and a half. I was playing almost 10 or 12 hours a day - just so that I didn't have to face what was happening in my life.

EQ is a great game and it really is cool that you can develop relationships with people that do go beyond casual - I have people that talk to me about anything and everything - have even had a few that I hooked up with in rl and we had a good time. You just have to watch yourself and make sure that you're playing because you want to and you enjoy it rather than because it beats the hell out of rl.

But I think that Low's marriage had more problems than just his playing. He's obviously hiding in the game to get away from something for whatever reason.

You can't blame the game for that stuff. It's like saying that everyone who listens to metal is going to go out and kill someone and worship the devil.

Anyway, that's my two platinum.

Posted by: Julie on May 17, 2006 11:38 AM

There is a very strange dichotomy in this situation. On the one hand, you have real life, which is, well...real. It matters. It really matters. And a video game (or anything else) should never come between you and your real life in any capacity. If you have a problem turning off regular video games, then MMORPG's are probably not a safe bet for you.

However, on the other hand, you have the fact that MMORPG's are populated by real live human beings, so, in that way, for someone who is not married, it could actually be a really useful way to meet people of similar interests (because, let's face it, we video game geeks aren't extremely well known for our being extremely socially apt).

So the question comes down to this: Do you have obligations in real life (spouse, kids, these two especially) that your MMORPG play time is affecting, no matter how small that affect may be? If so, then consider either quitting altogether (though I do not think that this is really necesary) or consider scaling back your play time. After all, it's just a game...in the end what you do in a virtual world is not going to profit you anything. Games are fine, and with moderation, they can be harmless, but onyl this real world matters.

I know that there are people out there who think that 3 minutes on a game is too much. Notables in this category are parents, and sometimes spouses. Me, I am blessed with a wife who knows that it is a hobby, in the same vein as her love of scrapbooking, and so we have been fortunate enough to create a system of rules for computer use. This worls out tremendeously, because I get all the computer time I want after the fam' goes to bed, all while not having it interfering with our personal lives in any way.

Maybe this would be a good system for others...

Posted by: acedaroflebanon on May 18, 2006 10:56 PM

10 years Together...
6 years Married...

Ending in divorce after 2 years of putting up with WOW being more important than ANYTHING.

I wish my wife Luck with the 12 hour plus sessions at a time in her Virtual World. I tried.

F*** you WOW!!

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Posted by: Liz on July 11, 2006 2:46 PM

Well I consider myslef as an addict. I will not mention the game, but it greatly resembles WoW. Sometimes I even prioritize building my character up over studying. Of course, I have seen the effect of having to choose to play rather than study...

DISCIPLINE is what people need in order to cure addiction.

Posted by: Pol on October 12, 2006 3:00 AM

For the second time i have quit playing Runescape. Although i played only between 10 - 20 hrs per week i realize know that i was addicted. My addiction wasn't as bad as others. Because of this stopping to play wasn't that hard.

The main disadvantages of playing rs were for me:
1. bad moods
2. being unhappy (especially when i was not playing)
3. quickly irritated (especially when i was playing and i got interupted)
4. thinking a lot about rs when i wasn't playing

Now that i have stopped playing i honestly can say that i am more happy. And i have so much more time. Great.

Posted by: depelgrim on December 15, 2006 5:21 AM

i've learned something from all the MMO's i play (which is techinaly all the games i play)... people will repeat any insult you send their way. for example, anyone who's played an MMO knows the word noob... yet rarely does anyone know what it's original meaning was... they just know that people use it as an insult so they do it too. while normaly this isnt a big deal... the over use of this word has all but destoryed it's meaning in my opinion... just a thought and take it as you'd like... but come on, noob is someone who's just learning the game, not someone who's beaten you with a diffrent tatic, or someone who get killed by a better tatic, and it's definalty not someone who just speaks their mind... so if you're going to use the word, atleast use it right.

Posted by: on December 15, 2006 8:18 PM

Once video games become mainstream media, such as television, addiction in its sense will decrease significantly. The amount of hours playing games will be acceptable as long as it fits the average person's intake of TV. The media's negative portrayal makes playing videogames for extended periods of time as an addictive quality as it has not been accustomed or assimilated into society's standards. However, I am not in any way stating that videogames (MMOG's, FPS's, etc.) cannot have addictive qualities and that videogaming addiction/compulsive gaming does not exist, but it is highly probable that videogaming addiction statistics can be highly misleading at its current state.

Posted by: Yongyoon Kim on January 30, 2007 8:42 PM

I play runescape, ive managed to get to level 95 without affecting my life in any way. The key to this is self control, remember, its just a game and has no real life values at all.

Posted by: tom on February 26, 2007 4:04 PM

Hello. I used to play FFXI for 2 years until I quit last February. Per week I would play about 21-25 hours and towards the end played 8 hours a DAY. I am almost in tears writing this but the addiction is real. Every week I get cravings to play "just one more time" but I know that will put me in the same spot I was in before. I advising anyone who plays MMORG's to really think about how much fun they are having. I lost alot of money to this game and looking back I have no desire to ever be in this situation again.

Posted by: Ksana on March 9, 2007 12:08 PM

I was addicted to runescape until I dropped 1 mil gp to alch a yew long u to see how much i would get for it and how much to pay a guy selling them. Unfortunately, a random came by and picked me up..(the maze) It lasted more than one minute which is the time allowed for other players to see what u drop on the floor. My hundreds of hours invested into this game was wasted and I quit...after getting reported multiple times for offensive language to make sure my account was banned so if i was to have secnond thoughts...I wouldn't be able to get on my super level account. Now that I look back, I wasted much of my life on that stupid game that seemed to be endless. Please, for your own health, do not go to runescape.com or pick up world of warcraft from your local wal-Mart. over 8 million people now play world of warcraft regularly. ITS A DISEASE!!

Posted by: Chatter_cracker on November 8, 2007 8:29 PM

Everything has a addiction and it is games that go on and on really without much of a story that is very addictive. Most games u kill the final boss and game over and u will probably not play it again. But MMORPG are different, there are a lot of things to do and many quest or missions. You also have parties and the game basically have 2 aims,
1. Getting rich
2. Leveling
Some games have a mechanic of max level and where most people might just spend time making a new character. You can never have too much money in real life or in a game. You will always want mmore moeny and the only way you can do that is playing the game.
I eventually got bored and sick of MMORPG, but lately with the new ones coming out like Guildwars and WOW it is really never ending and my grades dropped. I find myself unable to control myself and still play games on the NIGHT before my exams.

Posted by: Undisclosed on November 10, 2007 8:08 PM

Games are design so that it is addicting and they want you to be addicted so gaming companies make money. I think games are as bad as drugs. It affects your bodily function and your decision making skills. It is a crime that gaming companies actually employ phychologist to try to make the game even more addicting so that they make more money. A common trend or stereotype is that only Asian play games? is that true and if it is why? Genetics, environment or what

Posted by: John Smith on November 10, 2007 8:12 PM

I'm neither for nor against gaming, it is a hobby like any other, and like any other it becomes problematic when time devoted to it outweighs time once devoted to other things or people.
When a person chooses to devote say 6 hours an evening to any activity that their partner is not involved in, they are neglecting their partner for that six hours......and when you consider that a normal evening between getting home from work and going to sleep is approx 7 hours, well....that's a lot of neglect and hardly beneficial to any relationship.
Spouses who complain about gaming habits are not attacking the actual game...they are reacting to being left out, however gamers tend to get defensive about their game and worry it's going to be taken away from them so they respond aggressively and THAT to me in my ever so humble opinion defines an ADDICTION.
I'm a smoker so I know an addict when I see one. ;)

Posted by: blahblahblah on November 15, 2007 9:57 AM

I'm definitely against some online games like Runescape. I was adicted to it from the beginning of my 8th grade year to the beginning of my 10th and i dropped out of school because of it. I also used to play at least 60 hours a week. I'm still very tempted to start playing it again but have managed to control the adiction and only logg on about once a week for 5 minutes.

Posted by: Natalie on November 27, 2007 3:24 PM

These on line games are destroying my marriage of almost 17 years. I hope I can hang on a few more years till my kids are older and then he can marry his guild wars and live happily ever after. My kids and I are tired of being second fiddle to a game. I loathe what this game has done to him and his family.

Posted by: Rebekah on December 30, 2007 8:25 PM

I play runescape. I don't play much on the weekdays (if at all). But on the weekends i might play 25 hours. Not much compared to some people.. but i think I'm still very addicted. I think about it in school. I dream about it sometimes. I sometimes calculate exp when i'm bored. I memorize guides and skills. I defidently have a life though. I would always choose to be with my friends over the game. It has become a big part of my life... i never crave to play it... it just is like the default activity. Come home and play runescape. It fills (or RUIns) time as my dad says... =) Anyway, i guess im just addicted, and its pretty normal. I hope i can control it if it gets out of hand... I'm 14 btw..

Posted by: Graham on February 20, 2008 5:06 PM

I recently suspended my subscription with WoW. Basically, I was one tenth as addicted as my brother and felt disgusted when I thought of him. It made me look at myself and I just quit cold turkey. My brother has a wife and two kids. He and his wife play together, she not as much as him though. Mostly because he won't take care of the kids so she takes up the slack. My brother recently defaulted on his house, quit his job, and now is making no effort finding another one as he is quite content playing WoW all day while his wife earns a meager salary supporting the family. I know why he is so addicted: He feels good about himself in this virtual world. He has accomplished much with his 3 or 4 70's, he thinks people look up to him and respect him for having so many Purples (um, no, everyone has Purples now). Irl, he feels he is a nobody, has insecurities about his choice of work and social standing, and due to not being able to step back and look at what he's doing, he is unable to break the cycle. I don't blame WoW, I blame him. When I ask my 8 year old nephew what his dad is doing, he rolls his eyes and says: "What he's always doing: playing WoW."

Posted by: Marie on February 21, 2008 6:52 AM

My names Rik. I'm an addict.
Do I feel bad about it? No.
Only when I imagine what 'other' people might think of me for doing the things that I enjoy. So much of life is based around trying to please other people, fit in, impress gain respect.
Why does one person ever have to prove a point to another? Are we all not equal?
If a person wants to live their life in a certain way, that is their choice is it not?
Who is to decide what's good or bad for me?
Except me!
I know that's a very ignorant attitude, well that's because I am very ignorant :-)
People always have their views which they try to press upon others as correct. I have no time for these people.
My advice/choice is simple. Do what you want in life. As long as you are happy doing it and you're not making other people unhappy. Why is it a problem? Because someone else says so?.....

Hey, I'm not saying it's right or wrong. It just is

Posted by: Rik on April 16, 2008 2:57 PM

i am a 56 year old retired person who started playing wow after i retired 4 years ago. i have played since day 1 of wow and am what one would consider a hardcore player, being in a guild that has beaten all but 2 bosses in the current game. i play every sunday through thursday as these are the days my guild raids as a group from 7 pm till 11 pm. in addition to the 20 hours a week i spend playing with my guild , i also play at other times to get gold and supplies to support my guild raids and do quests or pvp, so id say my total play time is about 30 hours a week to 35 hours a week. i still eat regularly, sleep 6 to 8 hours a day, read ,watch movies and have a girlfriend. for me, wow is a great activity now that im retired. i dont have a ton of money to become a world traveler and i have no desire to hang out in bars, clubs or sports arenas. i like the online world and the friends ive made playing wow with my guild. i started working at age 14 in 1965 and have put in my time. i have a small pension and i am partially disabled due to 7 bullet wounds i took in nam so playing games is well suited to my current state of mobility. i still manage to get in 2 30 minutes walks a day to maintain physical health but frankly i prefer a more sedate existence now. i really dont feel im missing out on anything by no longer skiing or camping out. i can travel the virtual universe and explore new worlds for 14.99$ a month from the comfort of my home.i also have made a varied and interesting group of friends playing wow; several of whom i have meet in real life including my current girlfriend who is 28 and comes to visit me for 3 or 4 days every 3 weeks. when shes here we dont play much wow.eat your hearts out kids. am i a typical gamer? NO. Am i addicted? NOT IN MY BOOK. i function,i have a relationship, my blood pressure is a youthful 120/70 at 56, i eat, sleep and groom myself, i have a rich social structure, i pay my bills. have outside interests and have no debts.i have even started an online consulting business for computer security that has doubled my income in the last 18 months. i love my gaming time. it fulfills my requirements for fun, socialization and entertainment. i think im alot happier than most retired people who have no idea what to do next. actually i feel like im a pioneer. living part of my life on the virtual frontier.

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