It was 10 minutes till 7am. I had to be at work in an hour for my standard Wednesday 8am meeting. And, I started the morning as I usually did, as many guys my age probably started their day (I was convincing even to myself) – in front of my monitor camping a mob so that I could get one piece closer to my “epic” weapon. I was up for the last 7 hours trying to run the gauntlet of a level 50 scenario in EverQuest that would get me a weapon not too many players had. It was only one more thing that I focused on as I tried to get geared up so that the guild I was in could get a leg up on “raids”.

At this time in my life, I was 28 years old. I had graduated college several years back with a degree in Mathematics and I held a job at an internationally recognized computer company. I would work the entirety of my day with the game in mind, writing down on 3×5 index cards what I needed to get and how I was going to acquire certain virtual objects. I wrote down how I was going to attempt various scenarios and started preparing complex excel sheets with time lines and performance metrics. I spent, on average, 4 hours sleeping after work so that I could be online and in-game during non-peak hours. My social life stopped almost as fast as my cleric became level 30.

I broke up with my girlfriend who I had also introduced to EverQuest. She had become a level 50 mage faster than I had become a level 50 cleric. We had a terrible break-up online as she started spending more time with this level 30 bard who caught her fancy! I didn’t really care as my life was consumed, almost every moment of the day, by the attraction to the story, the anonymity of my character and the camaraderie that I was forming with my new-found friends in this virtual bubble of fantasy and new experiences.

After about 6 months of keeping this schedule, I began to realize that I hated my job. I put on 30 pounds from not moving and eating fast foods at any time of the day. I had cluster headaches, undoubtedly, from the number of hours I spent in front of my monitor! I realized that I was completely entrenched into this online video game addiction when, even after gaining that weight and looking terribly, I was asked out on a date by someone that I wanted to date several years back. I still remember saying, “Uhm, I can’t tonight. My guild is raiding in this new plane and we are hoping to get some really great items.” I remember going home and this inner voice yelled at me “Are you kidding me – ‘my guild is raiding'”? At this point, I realized that I was addicted to a video game!

Over the course of the next several months, I pulled back from the game play rather drastically. I would still check in, from time to time, however, I was overly concerned with my mental and physical well-being. I didn’t consider myself an addictive personality, in general, but there was something that called out to many. For me, it was a means to escapism. It was a way to push aside life problems by becoming absorbed into something that added no real tangible quality to my life.

I ended up leaving my job and finding something in a different city. I increased my outdoor activity time and adjusted my diet/nutrition. I won’t say that the idea doesn’t occasionally visit me to create a quick level 20 – 30 character in some new game. However, now with a family, I find more meaningful dialogue in this game of life that we live than in the online gaming world that once so transfixed my senses.
My Video Game Addiction – a Retrospective!
Displaying My Video Game Addiction – a Retrospective!.

Nora

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Nora Deanda is a freelance artist and loves to share her pictures with the world. She is also fascinated by art and literature which is why she is here to share her insights of all that she experience with her creative mind.