Dealing with addiction.

So, about that World of Warcraft thing….

Almost a year ago I made a post about how I’d started playing WoW. It seemed harmless enough at first, and was a decent way to fill time during the lean months while M was job hunting. We were on a pretty tight budget, and $15 a month for the amount of entertainment I was getting out of it seemed like a bargain.

And then it became a compulsion.

A lot of games can keep you playing with “just one more level, then I’ll turn it off,” which is great for a game that has a definite end. You will beat the game at some point, and then it’s done.

MMOs don’t work like that.

Sure, you can get one more level – all the way up until you’ve maxed out your character – but you haven’t beaten anything. There are tons of things to do once you reach the max level. Daily quests, crafting professions, achievements, dungeons….it never ends! (Not a good idea for somebody with OCD tendencies to get into something like this.)

Only I did. And in a bad way.

I was playing most every free moment I could. 20 minutes before I have to get ready for work? No prob! I can do a quest in that time! GF’s taking a nap? I can run a whole dungeon! I’d spend whole Saturdays (and sometimes Sundays, too) in front of my PC, questing away the weekend.

And it was fun!

It is, there’s no denying that. Leveling up, getting new skills, exploring new areas. And when you want a break from one character, just make a new one and try the game from a whole different persective. Hell, change factions and see how the other half lives. I did all of that.

And it still wasn’t enough.

I learned about dual-boxing, which is where you have two accounts and are able to team up with yourself and run two characters at the same time. OCD-gasm! And if you refer yourself to join up a second account, you get all kinds of sweet bonuses for 3 months.

And I played a fuck-ton of WoW in those 3 months.

Then something happened. Maybe i was approaching burnout. Maybe I’d had enough. Maybe I just needed a break. So I took one. From the day my bonuses ran out, I didn’t play for a whole week. I read books, played 360 games, started blogging again, took photos, watched movies, cooked dinners…

You know, the things normal people do with their time.

And it was all really nice. Once the week was up, I started playing again, but the compulsion was completely gone. I think I only played about an hour on Sunday this past weekend. I used to play a couple hours most every night after dinner, but not this week. I’m enjoying a broader collection of things now.

Do I still like WoW?

Hell yeah! It’s great fun and I’m not going to cancel either of my accounts. I may not get the bonuses anymore, but dual-boxing is still a great way to experience the game. It’s only costing me $30 a month, and that’s less than a night out at the pub. I’ll jump in and play when the mood strikes, and when I’m in the mood for other things, I’ll do those instead.

Now, back to Banjo! ^.^

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