Tuesday, May 2

Back On The Wagon

My name's Fraxas, and I'm an addict. I've been clean for 2 days now. I still think about it all the time; sometimes, I even talk about it. I know I had some good times while I was using, I know the use let me discover things about myself I couldn't have found out any other way -- and they weren't all bad things. I learned about loyalty, I learned about teamwork, I learned about mastery, I learned about conflict resolution, and about perseverance.

But it hurt me, too. I'd use and use and use, trying to fill that void in my life, succeeding in the short run but failing in the long. I lost a lot of sleep. I lost some friends. I got a lot worse at my job. I almost lost my relationship with my wife.

And that's why I quit Everquest 2.

This isn't the developer's fault, any more than alcoholics can blame Diageo. This isn't the media's fault, this isn't anyone's fault but my own. I'm flawed, have always been flawed, in that computer games suck me in and entrance me more effectively than anything else I know of. It seems silly to admit this; after all, "video game addiction" is still pretty fringe as a concept, and I'm not sure it holds water as a Real Psychological Condition rather than a character flaw. But it's a useful metaphor if nothing else.

I've tried to get over this pastime hobby problem before, taking periodic breaks and switching flavours of poison every once in a while, but ultimately they're all the same. All these slow-advancement, highly-social, highly-time-dependent games trigger the same pathological behaviours in me. So I have to stop them all, or accept the life my flaws force on me when I play MMOs.

And I'm not willing to lose any more of my best years to any game, no matter how good it is.

1 comment:

Atlas said...

Hey Fraxas,

Virtual worlds are hard to give up. You've Become Someone in them, you have Friends and Responsibilities.

What's even more important is that it's a game. If it's not fun, or it's interfering with your real life, it's not worth doing.

One of my greatest frustrations with the dangling-carrott treadmills all of the games you mentioned, is that they make it very difficult to finish anything, especially in a reasonable amount of time. The rewards for finishing something decrease as you level too.

When I play a game, I want to sack the Orks. Or invade the Klackons. Or get out of the Mortuary. Or make it to Vivec. And if for some reason real life intrudes, I want to be able to SAVE and COME BACK LATER!

I walk away from the computer a heck of a lot more satisfied when we win a 3v2 in 45 minutes than I would if we ground out my 66th level over a few hours in the Bonemire.

Lets do a few more GNI's. Transcendance will be fine without Pouk and Throff. I guarantee it.