A reason to stop playing World of Warcraft

Here is an interesting post on a blog called Soul Kerfuffle. It was written by a former officer for a top World of Warcraft raiding guild. The post describes why he stopped playing.

I just left WoW permanently. I was a leader in one of the largest and most respected guilds in the world, a well-equipped and well-versed mage, and considered myself to have many close friends in my guild. Why did I leave? Simple: Blizzard has created an alternate universe where we don’t have to be ourselves when we don’t want to be. From my vantage point as a guild decision maker, I’ve seen it destroy more families and friendships and take a huge toll on individuals than any drug on the market today, and that means a lot coming from an ex-club DJ.


I feel this guy’s pain. Since I have not worked since mid-May, the only reason I don’t play WoW all the time is basically sheer will-power. And you know what? I manage. I do well. I play, I have fun, but I don’t overdo it.

Except about two months ago we started doing 40 man raids, and that was new and exciting, and suddenly I started playing more often. Suddenly I was involved in the guild again (I am an officer), raiding about three nights a week, grinding for consumables or reputation in between. Between playing, chatting (in-game and on IRC) and the forums, I was spending a lot of time on that game.

So I recently reduced my playing again, went out, met friends. It’s not as extreme as the case described above, but I recognise it. And I have to think of a friend from the guild, a very nice guy, who suddenly stopped playing completely. Rumour had it he had stopped because he was playing too much. And somewhere in the back of my mind, I always knew he had more level 60 characters than me, and his /played time (a year ago, just on his first character) was several times mine. So, even though I miss him, I’m kinda glad he hasn’t come back. It makes me wonder about some of my other friends on-line. Since a significant part of the fun of playing World of Warcraft comes from the camaraderie, are we creating each other’s drug?

(Thanks, Wolfgang.)

Comments 31

  1. Aubrey wrote:

    Exactly. WoW’s the drug, and everyone on it has an enabling relationship with each other.

    I stopped playing after my trial time was up because a) I am a cheap bastard and b) I could see that it was this skinnerian template; more intended to addict than to have an enjoyable core mechanic.

    (However, of all the cookie cutter MMOs out there, it’s certainly the best.)

    Posted 22 Oct 2006 at 12:53
  2. markus wrote:

    I told ya! ;P

    Posted 24 Oct 2006 at 16:16
  3. Jurie Horneman wrote:

    But you didn’t play WoW…

    Posted 25 Oct 2006 at 11:27
  4. rossignol wrote:

    I stopped playing WoW because Eve is a much more potent hit ;]

    Posted 27 Oct 2006 at 17:26
  5. kyd wrote:

    beeing a hypocrit with three 60’s and two 62’s (<3 beta key ftw ;) ill post a link that surely isn’t too much in favour of WoW ;P

    some of those stories are really sick.
    please note that topic number one starts on the latest page

    http://www.wowdetox.com/index.php?page=363

    cheers

    Posted 02 Nov 2006 at 18:05
  6. WOW Gold wrote:

    I agree with the post from Soul Kerfuffle blog, Blizzard has done an amazing job of creating a very addicting environment. I known in China they impose time limits on how long you can play wow in one sitting. With more and more talk of people becoming addicted to WOW maybe Blizzard should do the some for all players. They could just limit you to one character and to a set number of hours per week that you could logon.

    Posted 22 Nov 2006 at 2:00
  7. Mike wrote:

    I’m a little late but I have to agree with ‘rossignol’, EVE *is* a much more potent hit ;)

    Posted 04 Dec 2006 at 15:30
  8. wow wrote:

    This rediculous. WOW is no more addictive than Television, or football, or soccer or watching movies. Its a form of entertainment, But because its way more enjoyable than watching tv, it has to be condemend? You cant blame a game for people being “addicted” to it. You can only blame the people themsevles, I have a wife, a son, a job that doesnt pay that great, a new vehicle, and a nice house… Not to mention i have a 60mage and a 40 priest…. I spend more time with my family than most people do who DONT play wow(alot of myf riends) Perhaps you should be pointing fingers at alcohol or drugs for ruining lives(wich causes ACCTUALL addictions) And leave all these idiots who believe they are “addicted” to there own demise because the only addiction they could possibly have is one that they brought upon themselves for being weak with no willpower or relization of repsonsibilities, only a physical addiction is a real addiction, anything else is just people being ignorant.

    Posted 17 Dec 2006 at 21:51
  9. KIM wrote:

    My boyfriend has recently left me for what I suspect is this WOW game. I am heartbroken, and cross. He sat up until the early hours of the morning playing this game, I spent most of the time on my own as if we were not even involved. When I eventually stood up for myself he dumped me!! Interesting to read on internet that there is a lot of people who has gone through the same I am feeling now.

    Posted 22 Dec 2006 at 11:10
  10. Rose wrote:

    actually an actual addiction can occur from a game like this.
    mabe not a physical dependancy (i.e. the kind of addiction you experience with drugs like heroin) but more of a mental addiction, like the addction you would get to drugs like marijuana or alcohol.
    if the game is played to the point where the player is able to forget about his entire life including his problems and worries, than the game becomes almost a getaway, and without this getaway the players mind cannot function properly. unless the player was dried out for a couple weeks (lol… WoW rehab). but how fun the game is can be a factor to.
    for example, if a player has played to the point that WoW is all he thinks about and every other form of entertainment seems inferior to WoW, then he/she will think “whats the point”. ive experienced minor forms of this and i dont doubt that others who read this have too, where you get off the computer and walk around for a bit, then think “theres nothing else to do… what the hell” then go back on the computer. if one of these situations develops, the player can be very much addicted to the game. and the willpower of the players isnt the only factor in the addictiveness. because if blizzard was able to create a game that was so fun and so worthy of replacing actual human interaction, then at some point, the willpower of any player is ruptured and can no longer be held to blame (to an extent… you can go cold turkey on WoW..lol). but at any rate. much like marijuana and alcohol… WoW can be enjoyed in small doses and can even have a positive effect on life ( i know…being a recreational user of all three). everything in moderation.

    sorry for the long comment

    Posted 03 Jan 2007 at 2:36
  11. maddox wrote:

    So what do you suggest? Ban the game? Ban all games that people play for sustained periods of time? Put a cap on the amount of time you are allowed to play the game?

    People have free-will for a reason. So long as its legal and within reasonable moral boundaries people should be able to and will do as they please. If someone wants to spend 20 hours a day staring at a screen, they will. Its their loss.
    If they sacrifice relationships with family members for the sake of some pixels they don’t deserve a family.
    If they lose a job/fail exams because of a computer game, they never deserved a salary/decent exam score at all.
    If your boyfriend was willing to leave you for a game, the relationship probably wasn’t working to begin with.

    Its a harsh reality but its true.

    The way i see it, if your a weak enough human being to have your life taken over by world of warcraft (and i say this as a moderate player), your life probably didn’t mean much to begin with.

    Posted 05 Feb 2007 at 18:14
  12. Jurie Horneman wrote:

    What exactly was that in reply to?

    Posted 05 Feb 2007 at 23:47
  13. Harlz wrote:

    Most people in “well respected guilds” usually play on the care bear PVE servers.

    Play the real game and come over to PVE.

    Posted 11 Feb 2007 at 16:12
  14. Harlz wrote:

    OOPS! I mean… PVP… damn.

    *puts foot in mouth*

    Posted 11 Feb 2007 at 16:13
  15. World of Warcraft Cheats wrote:

    there is no good reason to stop playing wow..unless you are talking about a family life :P

    Posted 08 Mar 2007 at 6:57
  16. D-D wrote:

    My boyfriend wouldnt go out to work, then he would have no money for the next month as his precious game was more important. It got to the stage when I saw him he would need to keep going away and checking his game, and he wondered why I would get annoyed. We both have busy lives at the minute and we don’t see each other very much, so when we do see each other (a few hours, twice a week, three times if we are lucky) I tend to try and spend time with him, but he was more keen on playing his game that he had been playing on all day!

    It got to the point he wasn’t going to work or college or basically leaving the house at all, so I put my foot down and it was me or the game.

    He stopped playing completely for a few weeks and then went back to playing, I’m not asking him to give up playing completely. Just to actually do something more with his life than sit infront of the computer 24/7. He now goes to college, works and still has time to play his game.

    I think it gets to the point in ALL games, where you need to realise when you have gone to far and start obsessing over it. You actually need to get out and actually do some things, my boyfriends get out and do some things are to invite all his friends over (who he plays WOW with) and play dungeons and dragons with.

    I’m fighting a lost cause here.

    Posted 13 Mar 2007 at 11:06
  17. D-D wrote:

    I completely agree with what Maddox wrote

    “If they sacrifice relationships with family members for the sake of some pixels they don’t deserve a family.
    If they lose a job/fail exams because of a computer game, they never deserved a salary/decent exam score at all.
    If your boyfriend was willing to leave you for a game, the relationship probably wasn’t working to begin with.

    Its a harsh reality but its true.

    The way i see it, if your a weak enough human being to have your life taken over by world of warcraft (and i say this as a moderate player), your life probably didn’t mean much to begin with.”

    Why give up the chance at having a better life for sitting in front of the computer all day? Not saying playing for a few hours is bad, its the sitting there all day thing that is bad!

    Posted 14 Mar 2007 at 11:35
  18. Maranda wrote:

    Here is what I found on video game addiction….I think it’s naive to say that people don’t “deserve” a family if they are spending a bunch of time playing a game. I think it doesn’t start as someone on the computer all day (just like alcoholism starts with just one drink…and snowballs from there) I think it ends up that way. Without someone intending to do it. And next thing you know, the whole day is gone and you’ve ignored your family, friends and responsibilities. It happens. And for some, it’s the only social outlet they have. Maybe they are shy, maybe they are whatever….but it’s a real thing. And it HAS/IS destroying families all over the place….

    Check this out:
    From Wikipedia
    Video Game addiction is a proposed form of psychological addiction composed of a compulsive use of computer and video games, most notably MMORPGs, and is related to Internet addiction disorder. Though there is still great debate as to whether one can become addicted to a video game/computer game, there are people who report that their friends and loved ones have been “sucked into” a game, suddenly becoming self-isolating, preferring to play the game instead of actual personal contact, and focusing almost entirely on the game instead of real life events.

    And here is more:
    Computer and Video Game Addiction

    Computers, video games, and the Internet have become entrenched features of our daily lives. Computer use has reached beyond work and is now a major source of fun and entertainment for many people. For most people, computer use and video game play is integrated into their lives in a balanced healthy manner. For others, time spent on the computer or video game is out of balance, and has displaced work, school, friends, and even family.

    What is computer and video game addiction?

    When time spent on the computer, playing video games or cruising the Internet reaches a point that it harms a child’s or adult’s family and social relationships, or disrupts school or work life, that person may be caught in a cycle of addiction. Like other addictions, the computer or video game has replaced friends and family as the source of a person’s emotional life. Increasingly, to feel good, the addicted person spends more time playing video games or searching the Internet. Time away from the computer or game causes moodiness or withdrawal.

    When a person spends up to ten hours a day or more rearranging or sending files, playing games, surfing the net, visiting chat rooms, instant messaging, and reading emails, that easily can reach up to seventy to eighty hours a week on-line with the computer. Major social, school or work disruptions will result.

    Symptoms of computer or video game addiction:

    For children:

    Most of non-school hours are spent on the computer or playing video games.
    Falling asleep in school.
    Not keeping up with assignments.
    Worsening grades.
    Lying about computer or video game use.
    Choosing to use the computer or play video games, rather than see friends.
    Dropping out of other social groups (clubs or sports).
    Irritable when not playing a video game or on the computer.
    For adults:

    Computer or video game use is characterized by intense feelings of pleasure and guilt.
    Obsessing and pre-occupied about being on the computer, even when not connected.
    Hours playing video games or on the computer increasing, seriously disrupting family, social or even work life.
    Lying about computer or video game use.
    Experience feelings of withdrawal, anger, or depression when not on the computer or involved with their video game.
    May incur large phone or credit bills for on-line services.
    Can’t control computer or video game use.
    Fantasy life on-line replaces emotional life with partner.
    There are even physical symptoms that may point to addiction:

    Carpal tunnel syndrome.
    Sleep disturbances
    Back, neck aches
    Headaches
    Dry eyes
    Failure to eat regularly or neglect personal hygiene
    For the computer or video game addicted person, a fantasy world on-line or in a game has replaced his or her real world. The virtual reality of the computer or game is more inviting than the every day world of family, school or work. With the increased access to pornography on the Internet and in games, this fantasy world may be highly sexual.

    The first step to healing is to recognize the symptoms. Help from a professional is often needed.

    Posted 24 Apr 2007 at 20:58
  19. Jurie Horneman wrote:

    Thanks Maranda for that thoughtful comment. Video game addiction is real and creates real ethical questions for game developers. Whatever the origin of addiction – nature, nurture, free will, society – and whatever the extent to which someone is addicted and the extent of the damage caused by that addiction, it is a real problem.

    Posted 24 Apr 2007 at 22:52
  20. Tyler wrote:

    WoW is addictive as hell! I play every hour that I’m awake, and when I go to bed I want to cry because I know I am wasting time and my life playing with this game! I’m an intellectual good looking young man, who could have a hell of a lot going for him, if he could tear himself away from WoW and rebuild the life he had which has collapsed around him due to his neglectfulness…

    Wow, reading that back I’ve even gone into 3rd person…

    Time to delete WoW I think, and get back into programming, another unhealthy habit, but one I can be of some use! ;)

    Anyone else wish to follow me? Blondes need not apply = P

    Oh yes btw, the comment D-D made…

    Are you a Psychologist? Tell me what you know about addictive personalities and depression? From your Little outburst I would say you know very little, so maybe you should try to stick to helping friends and family getting off WoW instead of slamming people who you know nothing about or their personal life!

    Posted 25 Oct 2007 at 5:48
  21. Joeb wrote:

    guys i played the game and got addicted, i had a level 70 warrior with pvp gear and got into a raiding guild to play the pve part of the game. i played all night till about 4 am in the morning raiding and having fun, I lost my job and my personality during this whole experience. the game makes you dull and all you do is want to play it and be talking about it. my Dad told me the game was ruining me and he was going to stop supporting me if i didn’t do somthing about it. i got another job and i quit the guild and went back to pvping, i Think as long as you dont get involved with the whole raiding and being in the top guild and such you wont get sucked in. cause raiding = alot of time needed to complete stuff and pvp is how ever much time you want to spend. just my opinion about how to get good gear and still enjoy life outside of WoW

    Posted 26 Oct 2007 at 19:06
  22. Andy wrote:

    I just quit cause I don’t want other people to view me as a nerd just cause I play WoW. And I played too much. It just got boring as hell after 40 cause leveling became so damn hard.

    Posted 21 Jul 2008 at 9:56
  23. nickthegr81 wrote:

    i know for me the real addiction were all the rewards. everything you do you get a reward. finish a quest=reward, level=reward, kill something=reward and so on. the more you play the better weapons, armor, spells or abilities, it just makes it more fun the more you play and that makes it that much harder not to play. i quit before my son was born and thank god i did cause im quite sure that the game would have made me ignore him. i know that sounds horrible but its true. the mmorpgs are, in my opinion, truly addictive.

    Posted 03 Oct 2008 at 16:03
  24. ZERG wrote:

    OMFG Its a gAME!!! and yes it takes alot of time to play and enjoy… its called a hobbie… some people enjoy jogging or reading interesting books.. I enjoy video games as my past time. I spend plenty of time with my girlfriend who doesn’t play and make time for family ect ect… personally to anyone who has a lover who plays and you wish that didn’t.. perhaps you should be more involved with the game instead of bitching about it…. ALSO, no body is making anyone play. jesus, perhaps all this fuckers who play WAAAYYY to much are people who would be doing god knows what if they weren’t sitting at home on a friday night playing a fun video game… Perhaps getting wasted at a party and driving home drunk… i think you people should really check the fuck out and enjoy a video game for what it is…. a hobbie….. get pwned ya nubs..

    love always ZERG

    Posted 25 Oct 2008 at 23:32
  25. Zomigawd, Dunelawl wrote:

    Well yea im addicted to wow im 15 yrs old and all i do is go to school come home hop on my computer get back on wow..My girlfriend just broke up with me the other day cus i wouldn’t call her go to her house hang out with her ect, all because i had a raid or i needed that one badge for my chest peace i would try to raid everyday untill i was saved to everything in my gear lvl, But yea anywayz im deciding to delete wow today from my computer, i realized its just not worth it in my eyes, i even try’d to get into weed to maby stop my addiction to wow, guess what it didn’t work, i smoke weed after school or in school in the bathroom go home get back on wow, so im deciding to delete my wow and im giving my account away so here is the info:
    Owner4life2
    123resto
    Enjoy cus i know i am
    Im going to log on one more time Post my opinion about wow and its addiction and no lifes who play it

    Posted 28 Oct 2008 at 23:56
  26. Cecilia wrote:

    I started playing world of warcraft and found out that because of it, i eventually had no life, lost my friends, and having no family, I went into a immediate state of depression. I met a character there, who gave me his phone number, we started talking and eventually fell in love. He even proposed to me in the game, using a “will you marry me ring” and proposed to me in Stormwind City! All was shattered when i found out that not only was he talking to me, but with other women, and found out that he was bi-sexual! What cut me off from the game was when he joined a guild, led by a 16 year old girl, troubled, expelled from school. She immediately promoted him over me to a high rank in the guild, and over many members that were in that guild for a long time. Found out that she was in love with him, and they would secretly meet as low level characters, cybering in the game. He is in his 40’s with two teenage children, and spent more time on wow than ever, taking sick time, and vacation time to play the game. He would play 2 hours before he would go to work, and at least 5 hours in the evening before he went to bed. While he is playing his game he is not seeing his daughters grow, or really doing anything for them familywise. When i confronted him over it, he broke up with me, stating that he didn’t need my permission to do anything. I quit playing wow and now happily back with my friends and family. WOW is a good game, but has ruined many a life. I am glad I am no longer a part of it.

    Posted 11 Nov 2008 at 20:41
  27. Chena Hotspring wrote:

    My goodness, such a lot of judging and blaming going on… give yourselves a break, ex-WoW addicts… ok, maybe you spent a year or more of time doing this instead of other things… might that be okay?

    Might you have learned lessons about the value of friendships, the dangers of overindulgence in fantasy, the precious shortage of days in our lives? Might your communication skills have improved during your playtime, including grammar, spelling, punctuation and reading speed (as did my youngest son’s)? Might you have learned real-life transferable skills including marketing (auction house), teamwork (raids), leadership (guilds) and much more?

    I am the WoW-playing mother of 3 WoW-playing young adults (plus one more who isn’t the slightest bit interested in WoW). I just wanted to tell you there is no need to mourne the time you spent happily engaged in WoW… it is a type of learning experience, too, and when you have captured what you needed to know (Hey! My girlfriend really is more important to me than WoW is!) you will be finished with it. Blessings to those who are still in process, and congratulations to those who have moved on in their lives.

    Corindy of Ysera

    P.S. If you are in a relationship with someone who is ignoring you in favor of, well, any hobby – decide how long you are willing to wait for them, or let ’em go now, ’cause they’re not “with” you at the moment (it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you, or with them). If you are the parent of someone who is neglecting their responsibilities in favor of unproductive pursuits, you gotta do the parent thing, set the rules, pull the plug, whatever helps them get back on track. Just be aware that playing WoW might actually help to build real-life character in young people. As long as my kids are also doing other things in their lives, I actively encourage mine to play WoW. When parents play with their kids, a whole new communication vocabulary opens up and parents can use WoW examples to explain real life concepts. Family play is a good thing.

    Posted 02 Dec 2008 at 20:27
  28. Unknown wrote:

    i have not nor will i ever play wow… let me get that out up front.

    i can say out of personal experiance that mmorpg’s are not the only game that you can be addicted to. my game of choice was COD a fps game, i had all the symptoms described by maranda. This is a real thing i am not ignorant nor a weak person ether physically or mentally. or at least i am of the opinion that i am not. that being said i have since stoped altogether. i play games in moderation. i have a good job that i enjoy. once fully integrated into said job i’ll finish up my college degree taking night classes or whatever else it takes. i feel much more alive and much more motivated now that i don’t play habitually.

    on the note of wow i had a good friend who at one point in time i would have trusted my life with. however at some point in time he found wow. it was a downward spiral from there. he transformed into somebody totally different. he currently lives with me as he cannot get a job or do anything really useful in anyway shape or job. and before you think to far into that last statement, he lives with me because his parents, who i am still good friends with pay for everything he does. since its my apartment and i could pay for it myself without to much difficulty i only take a small amount from his parents for rent. they have it hard enough without paying the ridiculous prices they charge for apartments around here. i have since bought to lock boxes for the modem and router respectively and set the settings of both so that wow cannot and will not be played anywhere near me. unfortnatly for the nieghbors i could not convince them to set up a wep or wpa passcode for their network. that being said he is able to play while connected to their network. wow is a drug. and those who play can become addicted. and just like alcohol or marijuana not all who use become addicted. so those of you stating that “hey wow’s not addicting look at me, i do this, and this, and this” not only are you ignorant and missing the point of this discussion entirely you are the reason so many people are in denial over weather wow is addictive or not. so before you say anything think of this just because you are not currently addicted does not mean your immune. if you can play in moderation great. if not then you should probably think of it as people in AA do. not a single drink more because just one drink can undo years of work. it is the very same for wow or any other game.

    from someone with experience,
    -Unknown

    Posted 12 Dec 2009 at 3:50
  29. Johnny wrote:

    Well…. its not really addicting. All you can say is that its fun. it does NOT contain anything to physically draw you to it, but only the urge that YOU the gamer gives into so often. I myself play it and got a 70 hunter and a 50 rouge and much more, but i still managed to get back on my feet and go to school. Ill just tell you all this. These are the main reasons you play it too much… :

    1) just too fun to take your eyes off, and probably your most favorite game. even though, its not an addiction because YOU just like to play it. simple enough. bottom line is that you probably are not that social or dont have as many friends as you wanted.Get out more… that is all lol

    2) No life?… not social, or nothing better to do?… i can hardly describe this. just look up “South Park -Make love not Warcraft”… you’ll get the picture. just get out more and take a look at the sky for once instead of your computer screen. being off the game for a while is much better. A suggestion is that u go out make a few friends and MAYBE have a few play WoW. cuz then you can go out and talk bout when you ran that raid or sumthing… better than being on the Computer 24/7 :)

    I myself still play World of Warcraft but even so, i smoke pot most times, i have 2 jobs that require lots of strength and persistance, im getting almost off of my credits and im 16 and a sofmore (or however you spell it lol) but you see?.. i still managed.

    I got alcohol poisoning on christmas 2009 and almost died but it was then that i reliezed how delicate life was, so i got out more and quit drinking (pot is a must though, so i kept it (~0~)(~0~)
    Most of all though is that maybe a LOT of all of you dont relieze that yet. I have said all i wanted too. take my words into your consideration…

    Posted 12 Apr 2010 at 4:02
  30. Wow Schools wrote:

    i had to quit, it consumed so much of my time. i would pvp 12 hours and raid 4 hours every day… thants a lot. and a lot of Gold farming back then too, just to keep up with the basics. 1 life is hard enough

    Posted 20 Oct 2010 at 21:20
  31. Morgox wrote:

    If people can say that this game is NOT addicting, then how can successful, responsible, grown men become completely sewn into their computer seats for hours and hours ignoring their wives/girlfriends and friends?
    The amount of pleading and begging I have done to get my boyfriend off the game is RIDICULOUS! I could go in to more detail, explain how upset it makes me that I can come home from work to him playing, make him dinner, and then want to snuggle up on the couch or even play on the X-Box with him and still end up talking to a concrete wall. NOTHING can make an addicted player draw his eyes away from this game.
    I am out of things to do to get him to stop.

    Posted 18 Jun 2012 at 22:35