The Australian media is at it again (why is Australia such a hotbed of this stuff?), with another report on how playing online games can horribly ruin your life. This time, they profile a guy named Mark Nichols, who apparently "played out his days in a virtual world... while his real life crumbled to pieces." Not surprisingly, he blames the game.

The best part is when he mentions WoW itself: "Then I heard about a game called World of Warcraft. That's when it all went south." Before he played WoW, he was apparently logging four hours a day in Half-Life, which is enough to make any sensible person reconsider what they're doing. But he was compelled (no choice involved, obviously) to install and play the game anyway. You can imagine the rest-- he loses his job (because, playing on a US server, he'd rather play during the day), loses his girlfriend, gains all kinds of weight, and generally becomes a mess. All because of the game. The last part is great, too: "Games have eaten away at my 20s and I was in stasis for a while," he says. "Hopefully it's not too late." As if the rest of his life will be completely ruined just because he chose to install a game.

I can't say much more about this than I've already said, but I will give the mic to the very insightful Rushster over at WorldofWar:

"I do hate the term 'real life' when used in the context of 'gaming ruining real life.' WoW is real life. It's a real-life entertainment activity just like knitting, watching TV, going to the movies, gardening etc. I do wish people would stop saying their 'real-life' was falling apart. I'm sure if you watch too much TV or go to the movies for 12 hours a day it can't be good for you either or your relationships."

Well said. If you're playing WoW for 12 hours a day-- stop now. Just uninstall the game and walk away. Leave the rest of us to enjoy the game responsibly, and have a good time without the media buying the stupid line that it's the game's fault for ruining this guy's life.

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.

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