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Recovering MMO addict chronicles his struggle

Adrian Bott

It's easy to be flippant about MMO addiction. On the surface, it sounds like a histrionic misrepresentation of this hobby of ours. Practically all of us will have erred on the side of the unwise at some time or other, putting in more hours in Azeroth, Hyboria or Paragon City than our responsibilities really allowed for. That might be succumbing to a game's addictiveness, but it's not remotely the same as being addicted.

Brad, who calls himself Exgamer on his blog, is a recovering MMO addict, and he's sharing his story with the world through his site. Whatever one might personally think about his stance, his religious outlook or his experiences, the courage and tenacity involved in putting his life out there day by day are unquestionable. There's also a conspicuous lack of blame or finger-pointing, and an explicit refusal to condemn the games themselves or the players.

Brad gives a lucid summary of his position, which we've reproduced after the cut.

'My problem is that I have a very addictive personality and online gaming became my drug of choice and nearly - literally - ended my life. This brings me to the question that many of you will ask yourselves as you take a break from raiding to flame this site: do I hate you, your guild and/or the makers of your favourite online role playing games?

The simple answer is no. If you're gaming and happy and living your life in a balanced way, then go forth and slay whatever grand pixelated image the good folks at Blizzard have dreamed up for you this week.

I just can't live that lifestyle. For me, a quick visit to the game becomes 8-12 hours a day, seven days a week, and thousands of dollars spent on software, in-game currency, computer hardware etc. An alcoholic can't sip wine, and I can't play "just a little bit." That's my story.'

Exgamer argues that MMO products should, however, carry an acknowledgement on the packaging 'that the software can and has been shown to cause addictive behaviour.' Would this really be such an imposition? We'd be interested to hear our readers' views on that point.

We here at Massively wish Brad all the best with his continued recovery.

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