Second, I'd like to reinforce a couple of key points:
- I, Yeager, am not the person who wrote the article. Although I have my own story of picking up and putting down WoW, I can not take credit for the story that attracted (and sometimes angered) so many people yesterday.
- Although I can not speak directly for my friend, I do not get the impression from reading his story (or talking to him) that he wants to sue/ban/hurt Blizzard in any way. He even makes the point that "WoW did a lot of things right," and that he met some great people in the game. The story for me is about someone admitting they had a problem and doing their best to move on. Obviously others took away different things, and that is their prerogative as free-thinking individuals.
- I agree that moderation and self-control are the keys here. There are ways to enjoy the game for less than 10 hours a week. But I also think that the amount of time required for the very highest levels of endgame raiding can not be balanced with a healthy lifestyle. Before you crucify me, yes, there are exceptions. There are exceptions to every rule. But you're probably not one of them.
Third, in the interest of getting all sides of the story, I am currently trying to persuade another friend (a councilor in the same guild, still playing the game) to write a counter article: something from the other perspective that highlights the positives of the game with suggestions on how to balance WoW with real life.
Finally, here are some highlights from what I thought were some of the most interesting, surprising, and sometimes baffling comments. I make no apologies for taking some of them out of context and the fact that they are listed here does NOT necessarily mean I agree with them, but here they are:
- I hear you loud and clear - I damn near lost my degree, and did lose the best girl that ever happened to me, as a result of an MMORPG. I look back now and want to cry at the futility of it all - what the bloody hell was I doing?
- In my case I suffer from at least the same problems with an obsession with startup software companies.
- Almost lost my wife and three kids to wow... Amen you found way to "hearthstone" out of the game.
- Even the most laid back guilds who try to stress a "Real life comes first" attitude end up pushing players into the game deeper and deeper. It is unavoidable.
- World of Warcrack is not to blame for me almost losing my family. I am.
- Did you actually take up enchanting and DE all those 30 epics into 30 nexus crystals and give them out to guildies? That rocks.
- I've wasted away a PhD opportunity, over 10 years did not engage fully with my wife like i should of, let my mental life spiral downwards to the point where my abilities are average, gave up a second degree cause it's more important to play, get angry if I don't have a hit from a game.
- As the poster has shown, if you are unable to make this distinction, it is probably best for you to give it up all together. However, if you are able to control yourself and your life, then an online game can help you be a better person for it.
- But the truth is, Blizzard (and the like) are COMPLETELY to blame! For WOW alone, they rake in about $140M/month in revenue. They're not gamers anymore. They're "business men" managing serious money. Just like tobacco companies, they design their products for addiction. What's happened in our lives isn't by accident. It's intended.
- So what do you all think I should do? play an extremely fun game in my free time? read a Bible? Sleep? Hell I don't know but atm i play WoW and darn proud to say it.
- Anyone who puts WoW before their family, friends and health deserves the bum deal they get.
- It sickens me to see this go unnoticed in kids, college students, and especially parents. In my opinion, they might as well be smoking crack everyday.
- Man I wanna take the time to read all the comments and stuff here in this thread, but I've got a raid in 5 minutes. :(
- It is not comparable to a drug addiction in any way. It's not physical, it's mental. You had the choice to stop at any time. It's only when people started disrespecting your power that you gave up.
- He said he quit and he feels great. Its not about you - its about him. The fact that you read his story and see yourself in it (or at least implicated in it) means that you have a problem and you don't want to admit it.
- Somebody get this guy a Snes, so he can get back to DJ'ing.
- Your argument is completely flawed its like saying you can't win alchohol. You're not supposed to win it your supposed to play it.
- I still remember the day i left wow even after all these time. I gave away all my possession, and went into the inn of stormwind to take a long nap. I never woke up from wow. And finally woke up in reality.
Update: The first comment on this post is, in fact, from the real author of the article. I encourage you to read it.