Friday, April 04, 2008

WoW is Eating my Husband -- UPDATE

Read the backstory first

I installed a blog logger that shows me all the searches which have lead people to click on this blog. One of the most popular searches was "Husband addicted to WoW". This really doesn't surprise me, since I know first hand how enticing the game is. It really is fun, but it's one enormous time-sink; it's designed to compel you to keep playing. I thought I should post an update to our WoW situation

Last Christmas, after not playing for several months, I was drawn back into WoW when the xpansion came out. Unfortunately, this also encouraged my Husband to begin playing as well. We were doing great... I was studying cabinetmaking at Algonquin, and he was actively looking for better jobs. I thought "I can handle it... I'll just play a couple hours each night instead of browse the internet."

Yeah... right.

Our household is not comprised of casual players. We wanted to experience the end-game, and that meant at least 4 hours every night either raiding or farming for the mats required to upgrade gear, or pay for repairs. We were quickly sucked back into the WoW pit.

I didn't emerge until the following year, when Christmas dinners kept me SO busy I wasn't able to raid. Immediately following Christmas, I had our Guatemala trip to prepare for -- instead of farming online, I was gleaning the internet for all the information I could find on traveling below the equator. I hopped online a total of 3 times to help my Husband and flatmate's raid when they were short healer, but I found myself muting Vent on trash pulls and listening to my Spanish cds. I really didn't care about the success of the raid -- I had bigger things to do.

While we were in Guatemala, I didn't think of WoW once. I could honestly say I had broken the addiction cycle. It was no longer foremost in my mind; I wasn't thinking about the gear I still needed to upgrade my bear tanking gear, or what instances I had to farm for gems to upgrade my Spirit, or the Vent conversation I overheard between Whisperblade and Optics... I was done.

Returning home, I tried convincing my Husband that he, too, was done with WoW. Unfortunately, he hadn't come to the same conclusion, and continued playing for a while. Thankfully, several events worked together to make consistent raiding more difficult, and he finally decided he was bored with WoW. He canceled his subscription, and now only hops on from time to time in order to sort through his mail, sell off his bank, and help our flatmate if the raid is really struggling. His account ends soon (next week, I think), and he's finding more time to play Settlers of Catan with me (fun but non-addicting), apply for jobs, and cook decent meals.

The best advice I can give to those struggling with WoW addiction is to pray -- ask God to help you, your spouse, your child, your parent, your friend -- God really does answer prayers -- and keep busy.

Update Nov/09: It's been over a year since we both quit WoW. Our old flatmate still plays (I had to keep reminding him to not talk to me about WoW), but it's been so much easier since we moved out. DH found a good career, and we moved 2 hours away and bought a house (yay!). I think about WoW every so often -- new XPack times are hard... our old flatmate showed me the new feral skins... *sigh* -- but I remind myself that playing sucks the life right out of me; I'm not a casual player, and I can't try to convince myself otherwise. It's definitely been easier since our contact with our old flatmate has been greatly reduced.Writing this update has required more thoughts about WoW than I've had in the last year combined.

DH still plays other video games -- Warcraft (DotA) & FPSs -- but he has no interest in returning to WoW. I am so thankful for that. As for me... I don't play RPGs anymore -- I can't. Once you know your nature... *shrug* The only online game I play is AsoBrain's Xplorers (Settlers of Catan knockoff), and I usually play against bots (or DH). I knit. I'm working with a career counselor to find a cabinetmaking company willing to take on an apprentice. I'm attending regular bible studies. Most importantly, I'm praying and singing to God more. We've found a good church and we're regularly attending (as regular as possible with DH's schedule). God has been forgiving, kind, generous and patient toward us.

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