Gaming Addiction: Evolution

It was Tuesday September 16, 2008 and I was anxiously waiting for CM Dhar to unmask the next debatable weekly topic. Seconds ticked by, then minutes, then hours, so I decided to enter WYD Global to use my time more beneficially (Ha!). As I entered, Alia congratulated me for being the previous weekly winner and asked if I saw the current weekly topic. I immediately exited the game to see if I could find it. As the page loaded I scrolled down a little bit to get a better look; and there it was, the topic of the week.

 

“You know you’re addicted to WYD Global when…”

 

It was extremely hard to shake, the trance-like stare that wouldn’t allow me to look away. Over eight years of online gaming flashed before my eyes, and a sudden feeling of depression began to set in. Many of the competitors have spoken “gently” on this topic, but very few, if any, have ever experienced true gaming addiction. They would have you believe that a simple list of “Do’s and Don’ts” is the antidote to this “illness”. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. I stand before each of you with an overwhelming experience. I share with you the true face of gaming addiction and its disastrous affects.

 

“You know you’re addicted to WYD Global when you stop going to school/work so that you can level your character”

 

Caligstar is not merely a masquerade of who and what I am; it IS what I am. Take my hand and we will travel back in time to where it all began. It was the summer of 1998 and it did not take long for Dell Computers to ship my custom made computer to my house. Up until that point, I never had a computer, let alone played games on one. But that quickly changed when I opened a package inside the computer case. It was one of the hottest space simulations of the time, Freespace 1. I equipped my computer and inserted the disk to install the software, and I never looked back.

 

High school was rather dull and I hated every minute of it. I began skipping school so that I could play the computer games I quickly accumulated. During this transition from academics to online gaming, I felt a change within me. I no longer cared about school and hanging with my friends because the power I felt as I became better at certain games was more important. Eventually I started playing a game called Infantry, where at one point I was the best player, led the best squad, and had more “championships” than anybody. Four years of my life was spent building an illusion; one that convinced me that I was untouchable in my cyber realm. However, reality is an earthquake and my world tumbled down when it was brought to my attention that I was not going to graduate high school.

 

Warping away from that moment of realization, I was experiencing déjà vu. I barely graduated high school, but had to attend a community college for two years before I could transfer to a university, due to my excessive gaming and poor grades. Although I vowed to never play games again, a friend of mine informed me about a game called Supreme Destiny. Hesitation flooded by mind, but I could not resist. I installed the game and was on my way to leveling up! The funny thing about college is that nobody cares if you attend. Maybe it is a perk for being an adult, but I exploited that fact more times than I would like to remember. Again, I slowly stopped attending college because I wanted to level my mortal character in Supreme Destiny. Fortunately, the game was not going anywhere and due to many other reasons, was taken down.

 

But that was not the end of my own wrath. A quick Google search of “With Your Destiny” brought up another game that was very similar to Supreme Destiny….WYD Global. Currently, I am playing WYD Global and I love every minute of it. It has its slow times, but the game is continuously enjoyable. And I have to admit, I have called out sick from my work so that I could level my character. But it gets worse.

 

“You know you’re addicted to WYD Global when you stay up for over twenty-four hours clicking for a water m party”

 

It is amazing what double experience and the knowledge of experience boxes will do to a person. My obsession with leveling my character was furthered with the introduction of the above features of the game. WYD Global was different than Supreme Destiny because there are a lot of ways to level a character without having to spend real money. But quests can take a long time and Academies share water n (lower experience than water m). Add that with the fact that Academies only share four times throughout the day, I had no other “choice” but to buy wcoins so that I could purchase water m scrolls. Most people that play WYD Global are eager to share water m scrolls. Therefore, it wasn’t much effort to get a large party gathered for the share. It was my day off, so I did not mind clicking for the party. Eventually, clicking led to more clicking, and even more clicking until I realized that I sat before my computer, without food or water, for the entire day. It was already eleven p.m., but I could not stop. I wanted to continue to level my character, and now, characters – plural. I formed another water m share and the process started again. When the hand of the click crossed over seven in the morning, I forced myself to stop playing because I had to get ready for work.

 

Sleep deprivation tightened its noose around my body, but I can specifically remember the one thought I had. I forced myself to go to work, not because I was going to get into trouble if I was late or did not go, but because I needed to make money in order to buy wcoins for the next water m share. And to make matters worse, I didn’t bother shaving or showering for two days! Wow! This was practically me after that intense gaming session:

 

 

 

“You know you’re addicted to WYD Global when you spend hundreds of dollars to buy in-game items”

 

Two days ago I was speaking with a player from my guild, Super-Beotch. He informed us that he spent about nine hundred dollars last month on WYD Global. I almost fell out of my chair when he told me that, but I stopped myself. Curiosity killed the cat, so naturally I wanted to know how much I spent on WYD Global. I went to the official website and looked at my “top-up” account. To date, I have spent over three hundred dollars on WYD Global. I’ve been playing this game for a little over two months. Not nearly as bad as I thought, but three hundred dollars is a lot of money when you have credit card bills and student loans to pay. There is a hidden feeling that strikes the urge to buy wcoins. I am sure many players can relate to such a feeling.

 

You come home from work or school and you want to relax. You decide to enter WYD Global to chat with online friends, or to see if there is anything you want to buy from the auto-shops. There doesn’t appear to be anything you want from the auto-shops and hardly anybody from your guild is online. Therefore, you head to Armia’s pk arena and you enter. It doesn’t take long before there are a bunch of newbs surrounding you asking if they can test damage. You agree and their attacks do little damage. You’re a high level now remember and you take pride in the time you’ve spent obtaining that status. Suddenly, a higher level comes into the pk arena and kills you instantly. That overwhelming feeling of rage is what pushes many to purchase wcoins. It is one of the many natural advertising features WYD Global uses, and it’s absolutely free on their part. Pride consumes many of us to the point where we act without thinking. And many more lack patience, which also pushes for quick results; usually at the expense of our wallets.

 

“You know you’re addicted to WYD Global when you enter the game to escape real-life stress”

 

Everybody experiences stress, some more than others, but how we deal with stress follows specific patterns. The pattern I follow when dealing with stress is entering WYD Global. I escape reality by entering a fantasy world that is completely safe. I do not have to worry about production, reports, interacting with people I hate, etc. All sense of time ceases to exist. However, believing gaming is a great stress reliever is false. Most of the time, gaming causes more stress. The example I used above regarding the pk arena causes stress. I stress out when I get pk’d because I want to be the strongest and the best. Therefore, I do whatever I can to obtain that. I spend real money; I spend countless hours leveling up my character, and using all my in-game gold buying better armor and weapons. But the realization is, there is always somebody that is willing to go further, work harder, and spend more money. I have personally had dreams where I was terrified that another player was getting better equipment than me. I won’t say who that person is, but it excelled my determination to continue leveling my mortal character, and recently, to obtain the best God armor for my God character.

 

“You know you’re addicted to WYD Global when you spend three hours writing a blog for the WYDian Journal event AT WORK”

 

Okay, I admit it! I am currently at work writing this before 7 a.m. global time. It’s been three hours now and I’m still typing out every ounce of thought regarding my personal experience with gaming addiction. If there is one thing that I want you to leave this blog with, it’s that gaming addiction is not curable by decreasing the amount of time you spend online, or going out with friends more, or finding a hobby. In most cases, your hobby is gaming. Once your friends leave, or the hanging out is over, you want to go back to your hobby. Decreasing the amount of time you spend online is like placing ten cookies in front of a five year old and telling him/her to only eat three of them. It’s not going to happen.

 

 Then how do you break yourself free from being dependant on online gaming? The answer is not easy. Perhaps there is no answer. But what works for me is admitting that I have a problem. Everyday I tell myself that I am addicted to online gaming. Once that feeling of depression sets in, after knowing that I could be more productive in areas of my life that DO matter, I can easily walk away from the game or the computer altogether. Find what your strengths are and set goals for yourself. If you stay dedicated, gaming can be a simple hour or two a day hobby and nothing more. Taken too seriously and it’s very dangerous.

 

Anyway, I hope you guys understand where I’m coming from. This blog is not a simple restating of information from websites. It’s my experience, the affects on me, and what I have done about it. And now I am done blogging for the day. I’m starting to look like this:

 

 

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~ by caligstar on September 18, 2008.

3 Responses to “Gaming Addiction: Evolution”

  1. oh.. nice caligs 🙂 see yah around..

  2. Very Good and Usefull Article, With Some Good Tips and Pointers !
    I Am Going To Use The Info.

    Thanks !

  3. I told you you would win…no more complaining from you…you’ve won the weekly award twice now. lol

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