søndag den 7. februar 2010

Parents/Relatives vs. WoW

"Is there anything you can do as realtive(s) to a player, to prevent the game coming so far as it did for you and seemingly others?"


Oh yes, I bet you there is. We'll be going through this soon enough - first I need a little moment of attention to my real life (which I adore - currently).

I know I know! Once again I have been slacking the days away, tending to my life and the connections in it. Shame on me - nothing should be more important than updating this blog, for the sole purpose of satisfying my "readers" and dealing out of my supreme WoW-exspriences; yes I know it's a bit excessive to mention them as multiply, but one's gotta' dream! Trust me; christmas is so overrated and thearaphy as well.......... no? No.

Originally I wanted to introduce this 'chapter' with another comic strip, but since my computer crashed out on me, the link got lost; and inspite of more than 5 hours hillarious researching of diverse comics ( - I've thrown a link to some of them in my link session -) and some help from a friend, I havn't been able to find it. So I chose an alternative one. It fit's todays subject, and gives a pause to the eyes from endless walls of steaming text. Personally I prefer a little diversity.

So say, is it really such a big problem with the kids - or people - playing in general? In my opinion and from what I've seen, heard and read on the internet and out in the real world, it actually is becoming that. Or has been in a very long time. It's hard to realize but I bet most parents have this magical bell inside their heads, that 'dings!' when something is wrong. My mum did too, and she literally tried everything she could to stop the bell from ringing; came and helped me clean, called me daily to hear how I were and offering to come and pick me up and stay the weekend at my familys place; how thing's were in school, and frequently came on unexspected visits, just to discover that my appartment were a big friggin mess, in spite of her 6 hours of cleaning, two weeks before. At that time I was too locked up in my World of Warcraft, to even feel bad about myself that I pissed on my mothers efforts, or care what it looked like in my home. And I often found myself getting very angry at my mum, when she obsessed about the problems and told me that I spend too much time playing WoW.


It's silly, 'cause I remember, that I denied it every single time she brought the problem up, telling her that WoW was SO NOT the reason for me never visiting them or going out in the weekend; or doing homework for that matter, sorting laundry, taking a shower, doing dishes, attending birthdayparties and what so ever. Making up excuses in my head, letting them slip through my lips, in an effort to make them real. But truth be told, I were aware of my inability to abstract from the game; but I was embarrased and really felt that I had no control over it at all. And that was the hardest part to realise and admit. I were also well aware that I often didn't answer my phone when my friends called me, becuase I mostly were engaged in Roleplay or other stuff related to World of Warcraft. But it just never - really hit me hard enough to wake up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgASIJMalgM

This link might seem funny, and it's a bit exstreme, but I've found myself in an almost similar situation, embarrasing enough, considered I'm soon 21 years of age, and probably were around last in my 19th year - considering the fact I started living alone when I turned 18. Mostly it evolved around dinner time while visitng my family. My mother still thinks the day today though, that she is to decide what I'm eating when we're out or when my bedtime is, visiting my mothers boyfriends side of the family; but It's okay, you have to coop with parents once in a while, untill they learn to let go. They do, afterall, always know what is best for you (- cough -).

So see - there are many different ways to deal with your own, your kids or your relatives behaviours, to prevent the game from coming too far. Of course it is a bit more complicated, if the relative is not your kid but a grown up who is in charge of their own life. I'll try listing some good advices to both situations - seen from my point of view.

At first, it might be good to know what to be aware of to 'spot' a gaming addiction (or any other additiction for that matter), or unhealhty behaviour; it's important to be able to seperate between a mere habbit and an addiction. I think it is also VERY important to realise about addictions, that it is NOT a matter of choice; many individuals does not have the ability, to simply decide to stop using their 'drug' of choice. The symptoms can be diffrent according to the individual, but some of the most common symptoms are as follows:


  1. One being unable to meet responsibilities at home, work, school or in personal relations.
  2. Continuous use of substances or engagement in behaviour even when dangerous.
  3. Increasing need to engage in behavior or use more of a substance, to achieve the same effect or feeling.
  4. Multiply failed tries of trying to stop using a given substance or end a given behavior.
  5. Continuous engageing in behaviour or use of substance, even when being aware of the dangers or bad effects.
  6. Neglect of both looks and sorroundings, but also friends, family and socialising.

Getting in control of an addiction can take years, and requires a great deal of work and engagement; but also the will to recover and ongoing support from those around you. And one of the first steps into sucessfull recovery, is recognition of the problem. It is VERY hard. I know this, because I have been there, and exsprienced it. Therefor I think it might be good to air some my own advices to prevent World of Warcraft in particulair, from taking control.

Parents vs. Kids:

  1. First of all, be aware of changes in your kids behaviour, especially if it applys one or more of the above mentioned stages.
  2. Consider when your kid asks you to buy him World of Warcraft for the first time, that they have a healthy relation to computer and console games, and if you trust your kid to be able to treat the game as it would any other game, and control the play time.
  3. When buying the game for the first time, sit down with your kid, install the game and create a Subscription with them. This way you make sure that you understand what your kid is doing, and it gives you a good look into the way a Subscription functions; as well as the game. It can also be reccommended to buy an Subscription of your own, so you can play together with your kid, and that way get a better idea of what World of Warcraft is. It is - afterall - a really great game, for both kids, youngsters and adults - as long as one remembers to treat it as one.
  4. When the subscription is made, there is a function called 'Parential Control'. This allows you to control your kids' playtime, which is a very nice opportunity to make sure your kid mantain a certain distance. Of course they should be allowed to enjoy the game, just not all the time.
  5. If the damage is already done, try and sit down and talk to your kid about it. Make sure to let them know that you are concerned, but not angry, and in a neutral way explain to them, what the problem is; eventually offer to compromise. This can be a good way to slowly cut down the playtime to a manageable stage; without your kid feeling attacked or blamed.
  6. If things are already out of control, sometimes the exstreme is nesseceary. Pull out the internet plug or shut down the computer; or better, collect it. This might cause drama, both tears and hate-related conversation; perhaps some excessive behavior, such as things flying through the room, and diverse havoc. Make sure you have a good insurance before trying this. I'd reccomend it as the last sollution of course, since things should never be taken to the exstreme if it can be avoided.

Relatives/friends vs. Adults:

  1. First of all, be aware of changes in your relatives/friends' behaviour, especially if it applys one or more of the earlier mentioned stages(-copy paste and edit is your friends too -).
  2. Remember that your relative is an adult and are 100% in charge of what to do with his/her life. Often, young adults or adults don't like one telling them what to do but do listen to reasonable arguments.
  3. Try to take the bull by the horns, be honest, and let your relative/friend know that you feel things have gone too far. Preferringly do this in a way, where you don't blame them or get angry at them, because this will most likely only create more trouble. Often, young adults and adults knows perfectly well when they have a problem, but as I have explained earlier, it is often very embarrasing and hard to admit.
  4. Encourage them to seek help and let them know that you will be there for them. Don't ridicule their problem or behaviour, no matter how far out it appears to be for you. It is okay to have an opinion but in some cases it is best to keep it to yourself.
  5. Professional help might be the last/only/preffered resort in some cases, and this can be very hard for people to seek. My exsprience however is, that no matter how lame and silly psycologists and doctors might appear, they do something right. (Trust me, at first I thought "No way, I'm not a nutcase, I don't need some shrink picking in my brain and analysing my behaviour" - but it worked in the end. And I am glad the day today I chose to eat my pride.)
  6. If you as a relative/friend can't deal with the problem, it is okay to take distance. But it is very important that you let your 'addict'-friend know this and why, because if not, in most cases, one just feel let down, and even more likely to sink deeper in the mud than they already are. In some cases though, telling your friend/relative that things have gone too far with eg. the game, that you don't want to/can't be their friend anymore, might be an eyeopener.
  7. If you are willing to deal with the problem, and be there for your friend/relative 100%, even when things are though and they neglect you, keep doing what you can to help them getting through their 'addiction'. Offer to go out shopping with them, encourage them to participate on social events, or do the dishes - whatever. Just make sure they somehow stay in contact with the 'real world'.
  8. Furthermore it is important to accept the fact, that no matter how much you do to help your troubled friend/relative, it might not be enough. THEY have to decide by themselves, that they want things to change - truly. Thereby not said that everyone is able to, but it is, in my opinion, the key to recovery. And frankly, most people have the will to get out of their troubels, one way or another.
  9. Last but not least you can also always chose the take-out-the-plug/steal-the-computer -sort of thing, but I can't guarantee for the consequences.


So fact is, that no matter how much your surroundings and realatives tries to drag you out of your problems, addictions or whatever, you can never really recover – until the day you finally and truly decide, from the bottom of YOUR heart, that you want to change; or at least try. Until then, as a relative, you can only keep doing what you do best, and be ready to catch the ones you love when they fall. No matter how far out they've been, no matter how much they've neglected you, what they really need, is for you to show them that you're still there; as you've always been, the day they chose to let you be. Until then, all you can do is hope and try to settle with things as they are. Because noone will ever truly change, before they decide it for themselves.

- Wall over and out!- Stay tuned?



onsdag den 18. november 2009

My story - The Beginning

Sounds top brass when you write it like that. Been a while since I posted (shame on me), but life keeps me bussy and inspiration is a must. Anyway I figured it's about time I started to pull my own story out of the chest, since that's what you're here for, is it not? Anyways, as all "good stories" should begin, lets begin with the beginning and a little introduction!

Today I don't play World of Warcraft anymore and I've 'recovered' fairly well from my so called wow-psychosis. It havn't been easy though, and as sad as it is, I still really can't get myself to delete my two last figures. Perhaps it's just as well, considered that I can easily say I've spend at least over 300 days straight, of my life, playing WoW.

I've replaced my riding animals and little pets in game with a real horse and a cat; the endless hours of fighting against monsters, have been brought to live through figure boardgames with friends, and the time I spend on roleplay in the World of Warcraft, is now spend on real life human beings, and ocassionally some good six hours of roleplaying once a month.

I have been one of the lucky ones, who discovered just how many friends I actually did - and still do - have outside the World of Warcraft (even though I neglected them for almost 2 years) and that the real life is so much better than anything a fictional world could ever offer me. I am amazed that they did hold on to me, in spite of everything. And sometimes I shamefully forget to thank them for their support; it meant everything to me and my 'recovery'.

First time I was introduced to the World of Warcraft was through a friend, who lend me his account/subscription. Actually I think I started playing it after I came home from boarding school but I'm not completely sure. It's long ago now.

Anyhow, I think it was around end 2005 I made my first character on my friends account, and made contact with the game for real. At first I just played it ocassionally in the evenings, since I've always had a lot of other interests; like roleplaying games and figure games, even archery and horseback riding. Mostly socialising have been one of my strong sides and as mentioned above, I've always had a great bunch of friends. I found the game a bit borring in the start, so I played seldomly. I've played some other computergames as well, so I wont deny that they interest me at some point, but they had never been as consuming as World of Warcraft became.

My first figure was called Silverleaf, and early on in the game I met another player. He was from Finland, male - and two years older than me. Further on I'll refer to him as Rossy. We spoke a lot, and began to meet up in game evening after evening, to play together and talk.
The talking was the part of it I enjoyed the most; and too soon this guy, I had never seen a picture of or met, woke some misplaced feeling of attraction in me. When I think back, this was what made me return to the World of Warcraft more often; not only was it easier to talk in letters, but I also found that it did not require very much of me at first.
At this time in my life, I had a very nice boyfriend. We were together almost two years, all in all, but at the time I 'met' WoW, there were some difficulties due to him having to join the army. Actually I think they had been there quite a while before, the spark just wasn't there as it used to be. We only saw once every second week, and on hollidays.
In the start I spend the time with my boyfriend when he was finally there, but then one weekend he decided to buy World of Warcraft as well. We were supposed to play together, but embarrasing enough, I spend all my time with Rossy. Surprisingly enough it was only a matter of time, before my boyfriend got hooked on WoW as well and made his own friends. As he had a lot of sparetime he advanced quicklier than me, so it became natural that I couldn't do the same things as him. Today, I belive this was also one of the things that split us up.
When they released a new update to the game in 2006, I bought my own account/subscription and made a new character; again, one where I didn't have the possibility to play together with my boyfriend. I kept to Silverleaf though before, for the single reason that Rossy was on the server. At this time I think I had already drawn Rossy deeply into my life, and we had exchanged pictures and phonennumbers. I even gave him my address. And soon we had also planned that he should come and visit me. I remember on one side it exited me, but on the other it gave me this wierd feeling in my stomac - like something were really really wrong. Perhaps becuase I had not told this to my boyfriend and I knew my mother would never agree to let him stay.
You might ask yourself how I could even think of inludgeing another person I didn't know a shit about to be frank, so totally and completely in my life. He could be anyone, some sicko or worse, but I honestly felt I knew him very well. We had, afterall, been sitting up talking for hours and hours (both on phone and cam) for almost 4 months and inside my head, I had created a picture of him, based on what I knew and - what I wanted, I think. The guy went very far for me, I have to say. Actually, he wanted to come and visit me so much, that he convinced his own mum to give him the plane ticket to Denmark, as a christmas present. It was the plan that he would visit the 16th of December, 2006.
And when we were in the end of November, there were about two weeks untill this stranger arrived in the Airport and took the train to my hometown. And I still had not told my mum - or my boyfriend - about this arrangement. I remember that the guilt almost ate me up, and that I was very confused and fustrated, since NOTHING seemed to fit. First and foremost, I was about to decieve my boyfriend through 2 years, for someone I had never met. I was willing at some point, to break up all we had had, for the small chance that I liked this Rossy.
It seems completely insane to me when I look back today, and a complete lack of all common sense and dignity. And it frightens me, how much I was willing to give for this person from World of Warcraft, but I had convinced myself that this Rossy REALLY was something special; I werw sure of it!
How the visit went, I'll save for the next time. But I can assure you it was a real mess, and didn't get better with time. Up for next weeks (hopefully) subject, is the parential question, posted in the "NoobZ! What is World of Warcraft anyway?" thread.
We all know that parents never know what theyre talking about and that they always just want to make things bad for you. Furthermore they don't understand anything, and you have to eksplain the most simple things to them a hundred times before they get it, right?
You'll be amazed how wise parents become over time, when you grow up.

søndag den 8. november 2009

'N00bz!'- What is World of Warcraft anyway?

This post is basic facts about the game; for those who wish to learn about it, and/or havn't been filled in already: realtives and it's alike. I also found it to be useful to create a foundation for later purposes, and have exsperienced that exactly this particulair question, is the most common one among them all.

Should You, after reading it, by any means sit with the urge to utter: "Wtf is she talking about!?" or feel that there might still be something left in the dark; please, do add questions in the comment section, and I will answer.

- What is World of Warcraft?

World of Warcraft (also known as WoW) is an online computergame, also known as a 'MMoRPG' (Massive Multi Online Role Playing Game); meaning that it allows players from all around world to interact with each other online, as long as they have connection to the internet and posesses a form of the game.

- Does it cost anything to play?

Yes. You pay a monthly fee for a subscription. Payment is available in the following ways:
- One-Month subscription by VISA/Electron-Visa/JCB/Mastercard/American Express.
- 60 Days prepaid Gamecard. (Can be purchased by anyone, in any store that sell music or computer/console games)
It is possible at ANY time, to cancel a subscription.

- What does a 'subscription' offer?

A subscription gives the player a personal account, that allows the player to create several fictional figures, who they can control/play in the World of Warcraft. A player can have additional accounts/subscriptions.

With a WoW-Subscription comes a personal Username and a Password, allowing only the owner of the account to access it. You can always access ANY World of Warcraft account, if you possess the Username and Password for it.

A subscription also allows the player to join chatboards and communities related to the game, where they can talk with other players and disguss subjects of interest.

- How many do actually play that game?

World of Warcraft have around 11.5 million players. According to the last research results I've been able to find (http://www.massively.com/2008/01/22/world-of-warcraft-hits-10-million-players/ ) in Europe alone, we have 2 million active players. Asia tops with 5.5 million.

This makes World of Warcraft the biggest online game in history.

- What is the game about and what do you do in it?

The game is about making your character stronger, by defeating various creatures and solve quests in the World of Warcraft. When you solve quests you get better to do several things and you get new gear/clothing, that makes your character more powerfull. Some creatures are stronger than others, and require that you have other people/characters to help you defeat them.

Most commonly you join a community(also called a Guild) in the World of Warcraft, where there are other people you can turn to, when you need help in the game. This is the social aspect of the game, and it functions like a chatboard. You can communicate with EVERY single person in the game, by the different chat functions World of Warcraft offers. You can also communicate with persons that is not in the same community as you.

The chat functions also offer the oppurtunity to Roleplay, which means it allow you to describe what your character feels or do, while interacting with other characters. You can conversate excatly as you would, should you meet someone on the walkingstreet downtown.

- Why do/can people keep playing?

Because World of Warcraft never ends. There will always be new content, as long as the game creators keeps sending out new parts of the game, and as long as people keep playing and paying.
When you close a 'normal' computer/console game, the game stops untill you chose to continue it. When you have played long enough, you have archived all there is to archive and the game is completed. You cannot complete World of Warcraft. As an online game, it differs to normal games in that way, that when you close the game, it continues. This leaves people with the need to come back, becuase they have to keep up with the others playing the game, so they wont fall behind.

To archieve EVERYTHING there is to archive in World of Warcaft, is nearly impossible. It requires an almost ridicolous amount of time, but none the less I have, personally, exsperienced people who have been very near.

-"Why do people keep playing?"

I'd like to discuss and vent my more personal thoughts on this part of the main question. My personal reason for always returning to the game, was the social aspect of it. I also returned, to improve my character and to join the others on new quests to become more powerfull and aquire new gear, but that became a minor after a while.

I made friends within the game, whom I had only known from the other side of a computerscreen, as pixels and text. But none the less I counted them as my friends; and at a time, they came to mean more to me and fill more than the people from the real world. And that is one of the things that the day today, frightens me the most.

Today, I often ask myself the question: "How could people I've never met or spend time with for real, come to mean so much to me, that I chose them over the 'real ones' in my life? Why did I come 'home', eveing after evening, to 'meet' them and hear how they were and what happened in their lives? (In danger of sounding prejudiced, a disturbing few of them actually had a life beside World of Warcraft.)"

I don't know for sure. But I do think that the reason for them having such a big impact on my daily life, was becuase after a while, I spend more time playing that game, than I did on my hobbies and interests. I never visited my friends, read books, went to parties, played Warmachine, Roleplay etc., and due to that, those online people became my new social circle. It is very common that as humans we seek to belong somewhere, so in a way you could say it was a logic and 'natural process'. At least, it makes sense to me.

All in all my answer to the question -based on personal exsperience- is, that people keep returning to the World of Warcraft, mainly becuase of the other people there, but also because of the new content the game offers.

- But the game must become borring at some point?!

It most certainly does, and some do stop playing it after a while. The game is highly repetitive. But no matter how sad it must be, I often saw that people always returned after a while. The most common reasoning was that they 'missed the persons in game' or that they 'just wanted to see what the new content had to offer'. My personal opinion is, that they simply couldn't let go.

There is something about that game, that as no other game seen up until now, sucks you in and refuse to let you out again.

- Is there anything you can do as realtives to a player, to prevent the game coming so far as it did for you and seemingly others?

My dear mother asked me this question a few days ago, and that will be the second-next (Self-made word. Gotta' love it!) subject at "Confessions of a WoW-Addict". A part of my own history will follow wednesday. Stay tuned!





onsdag den 4. november 2009

Reflections

Hello out there, and welcome to my try of making a blog, about my addiction to the game World of Warcraft.

Have you lost your friends, your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend - maybe your job, your 'real life'? Do you spend around 6 to 14 hours or maybe more, a day, taking care of your relationship with your computer, raiding dungeons and collectiong new 'epix lewt', while getting pale and overweight, with blood strained eyes? Do you go angry to bed often, becuase you failed your raid roll? Do you cry over the loss of your 'in-game' mate/lover, or get exited by spending hours on fictional emoting, stating the sexual needs, desires and habbits of your fictional character? Do you take the troubles of the guild with you, laying sleepless in bed bacause of a dickhead spoiling the fun from the other side of a screen, more than 3000 miles away from you, while simultaneously rejecting the calls from the 'outside world', filling your phone; becuase you simply don't have the energy to pick up? Then you might - or already have - consider(ed) if there could be a problem somewhere; maybe, you're addicted to the World of Warcraft too?

For a starter, yes, I know the blog title is quite cliché, and actually there is existing another blog, named the same. I would like to point out, that these two blogs are considerably different.
Also, it seems that the word "Confessions" has become a trend lately - or maybe always have been. Say "Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009 - movie) ", "Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress - A girls guide to the Dungeons&Dragons game (2007 - litterature)" (- which by the way is a hillarious, easy-to-read manual to those who wish to understand the freakyness of Roleplaying Games, seen from the perspective of a Sex and The City - like woman),"Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002 - movie)", "Confessions of a Car Salesman (Updated 2009 - journalistic)", "Confessions (1974,1975, 1976, 1977 - novel based movie series)"... Insert more Google and Wikipedia results, if you wish. Anyway, point proven! But - it didn't shatter my determination on naming my blog in the 'Confession Style' anyhow.

The idea came to me this evening, quite spontanious, while I was attending a lecture, held by a former user of the drug Extacy. Quite a risky contrast, some might say, but actually I found many similarities to my own addiction, in the story she told. This blog will be featuring not only my own history, but hopefully also refelctions, facts about addictions in general, displays of my characters, their histories and it's alike. But most of all it will be a place, where I will share my thoughts on the subject of Wow-addiction, and what it contains. For others to laugh of, to think about, to hate, to love, to relate to; so they know, they are not alone. (-actually this site: www.wowdetox.com already offers a smililiar, anonymous service, should it be of interest. Quite entertaining, and sad)

To return to my inspiration, I will start by reciting the lecturist's way of explaining, how the drugs affected her: "We all have this wall, inside our heads. This big, massive wall that seperates reality from fantasy. But slowly, while I took the drugs, even when it was only 12 times all in all, there came cracks in this wall. And slowly they grew bigger, untill one day the wall was gone. There were nothing left to seperate reality from fantasy."

This is exactly how I experienced my life, while playing - and living - in the World of Warcraft; how I exsprienced My addiction. And that is, as stated earlier, what I will write about. This is what I will share with the real world - of course you are more than welcome to 'join in', should you live in the other one.


~ Sincerely ~