SK, Revisited

Interesting article on Slashdot at the moment concerning game addiction. The comments in particular are quite insightful. I’ll paste some of my favorites here, because I know most of you are lazy.

Where are the parents in all of this?

“Seriously.

His parents were frightened of him because, weighing more than 130kg, he was too strong for them to confront. Eventually they threatened to kick him out unless he enrolled for a month of therapy.

You’re the parents, you make the rules. Pull the plug, take the computer away, do something, anything. You’d probably hit the roof if you caught your kid with a joint, but when he wants to wrap himself up in computer games you just fucking sit there and let it happen. That shit pisses me off. I hope this clinic is working with parents too to make sure they can control their child’s behavior.”

Re: Where are the parents in all of this?

“Maybe when someone is deciding how to handle a problem with their own child, doing anything isn’t good enough? Maybe they want to do the right thing

It’s odd to me that some Slashdotters take “the parents should be responsible” to mean “the parents should do all parenting alone”. Parents are responsible for the behavior of their children, but if the behavior surpasses the parents ability to moderate/fix/heal, then why on earth should we mock the parents for seeking specialist help? Are we going to make fun of all youth counselors and child psychologists now because “You’re the parent, you make the rule?” Part of holding parents responsible for their own children should be allowing them access to the tools they need to do that job right.”

Re: wha?

“Most people hooked on, say, heroin are forced to keep taking it for more reasons than mere lack of willpower. Chemical addiction carries signifigant withdrawl side effects, some of which can be life threatening. Trust me, if you’ve ever known a real addict, you wouldn’t just sum up their addiction as “lack of willpower”.

People hooked on things that don’t carry an external chemical componant, or are only very mildly chemically addictive, don’t have that problem. Yes, addiction can be purely neurochemical, with nothing added to the system, but that isn’t anywhere near as signifigant. People can get hooked on gaming, gambling, sex, religion, TV, violence or minimally addictive food or drugs like caffine or marjuana. Their problem is lack of willpower. Other addicts have the far more serious issue of major chemical dependancy, breaking away from which really does require a detox clinic, or support groups, or any number of other external sources of intervention.

I’m not saying that psychological addiction isn’t real. It is. It’s just not on par with what a serious addict has to deal with. Saying “Real addiction is all about lack of willpower” lumps cokeheads into the same category as people hooked on poker. And the people running this clinic are essentially lumping game addiction into the same category as drug addiction; this isn’t fair to either the hooked gamers or the drug addicts.”

[on a side note, I love this guy’s sig – “Erotic is when you use a feather, exotic is when you use the whole chicken.”]

Re: wha?

“Eight years ago, my father had a brain aneurysm and stroke and I am his sole caregiver. I was 21 when it happened. I’ve mostly been stuck at home taking care of him for my entire 20s while I watched friends finish school, get married, have kids, etc. Between the area where I live and the limited ability I have to go out to enjoy life with my friends, I really started losing touch with society and became depressed.

In 2003, my best friend bought EQ at the urging of one of his co-workers. After two months of him nagging me incessantly to try it, against my better judgement, I did. Everything started out fine, him and I would log on for 2-3 hours a night to play together and that was it. About two months into it, him and I were asked to become officers in our guild. At the point you become an officer, you suddenly feel a whole lot more responsibility and you feel like you’re important – everyone in your guild counts on you. Not long after, I became our raid leader and, given the absence of the guild leader for a long period of time, people began to see me as the guild leader as well. Eight months in, I was tagged with the guild leadership officially. I now had seven officers and in the neighborhood of 120 guild members counting on me to be there. By now, I wasn’t playing 2-3 hours a day, I was playing 8-12 hours a day. It wasn’t reality, but it felt real enough – I was important to people and interacting with “society.” Along the way, I met a girl from the other side of the US and we had a fairly turbulent relationship(mostly due to her being bipolar), but we were in love and planned to get married. I knew that EQ was taking up my entire life, but my girlfriend was there and that’s how we spent time together from 3k miles apart and I was the engine the drove hundreds of cogs. At our peak, we had 1039 tagged toons.

This spring, my relationship of two years ended with her and at the same time, the officers staged a coup as the pressures from EQ’s death throes were mounting (yeah, EQ is dying, netcraft, server consolidations and mmogchart confirm it). About a month after I left the girl and my guild, I realized that I no longer had a reason to play and I simply logged off one night never to return again. That was three months ago last weekend.

For me, it wasn’t a game I was addicted to, it was all the social interaction, feeling important and spending time with my gf. After years of being depressed, it was nice to be somebody even if it didn’t mean anything in real life. After the way things ended, my biggest regret is that the things that helped me break that addiction didn’t happen earlier. Oddly enough, despite becoming “nothing” again, I haven’t been depressed and I find myself enjoying the mundane things in life that I neglected for 2.5 years. I still frequently think about EQ and some of the fun times I had in it, but I have no urge to play it anymore… and I deliberately avoid anything that might suck me into a similar situation again. In the meantime, I’m trying to rebuild my life even though I feel that I’m fighting an uphill struggle now at 29.

Our brains are an electro-chemical system and I would argue that the stimuli that make you feel important and good about yourself can be just as addicting as putting that cigarette up to your lips, especially when you and the rest of the world appear to have given up on each other. At 21, when you still have pretty much everything going for you and life hasn’t completely knocked every one of your plans for the future out of whack, it’s pretty easy to think idealistically about how everyone should be able to feel/be/do exactly like you.”

Why is your experience not ‘real life’?

“Why do people think it’s ‘not real’ if it’s conducted primarily on a computer?

Before Everquest existed, I ‘was somebody’ online – ran a guild on a MUD (although not as big as yours), and eventually even ended up running the MUD itself. There were definitely some stretches where I’d often spend 16 hours a day on the computer.

But I’ve also ‘been somebody’ in real life too. I have a real job with real responsibilities and most of the people I work with I have met once, or no times at all, and interact with almost entirely via computer. I’m also the president of one national non-profit organization with a few thousand members I never see, and run another business with 30,000 customers I don’t see either.

And I find that I often spend 16 hours a day on the computer.

Now, most people would consider my job, my non-profit, and my business to be ‘real life’, and I enjoy them. So why are people who enjoy spending 16 hours a day doing something else on the computer not doing ‘real life’? I really can’t think of anything that’s much different between the 16 hours a day I spend playing networked computer games and the 16 hours a day I spend doing various forms of (enjoyable) work. And while you may have felt compelled to play more everquest because people were depending on you, how is that any different than me feeling compelled to go to work for the same reason?

Computer games are certainly no less productive than the time I’ve spent shooting pool at the bar. But somehow going out and shooting pool at the bar is OK while playing games at home is not – why? Also, why is someone who spends 16 hours a day reading books and/or watching TV considered to be doing ‘real life’? All you’re trading is a networked screen with a non-networked screen or page.

Playing on the computer a lot, in and of itself, isn’t an addiction. It’s only natural that you’re going to do the things you enjoy doing as much as you can, and playing computer games isn’t any different than reading or anything else, except people who do those other activities want to pretend their life is more meaningful than computer gamers I guess.

People need to understand what an addiction really is. If you are COMPELLED to do something so much that it interferes with your ability to pay your rent, feed yourself, or maintain relationships that are important to you, that’s an addiction. If it consumes all of your free time, that’s just recreation. And I think it’s a tragedy to try and label someone an ‘addict’ just because of their prefered form of recreation.

Anyway, the time you spend on EQ was real life. And it wasn’t because you were ‘addicted’, it’s because you enjoyed it. Not playing anymore wasn’t an addiction-ending event; you just stopped enjoying playing so you stopped playing. Simple as that.”

Overreactive Parents

“I think for the most part it’s a result of overreactive parents, combined with what I like to call “baby sitter syndrome” (“Why won’t the public school teach my kids morals?!?! Why won’t the gov’t baby sit my kids?!?! Oh my, my kids are playing video games all the time, and I can’t turn it off because they cry and scream and make a scene! I need a Gaming Clinic/Baby sitter to fix my kids for me!”)

Disclaimer: I don’t have kids of my own so the above is probably warped by views of other people who don’t have kids of their own, not to mention stereotypes are rarely all-encompassing. Don’t take it too personally. I was, however, at one point a kid, and I did have parents (who restricted my video gaming and computer time) so I think I still have some things to say on the matter.

Gaming for me was a phase. I always have enjoyed a good game, but it’s not the same as it was when I was a kid. I would play games for hours on end, but now it seems my standards are higher or my attention span lower, because games don’t tend to “hook” me as often as they used to.

I still enjoy a good game of course, but I think I’m still largely “gamed out” from when I was a kid.”

Being a normal teenager is not a crime or a…

“Medical condition. Before the self obsessed BabyBoomers started raising children the majority of young boys didn’t have A.D.D.. This is all just one more “What about me!” from the BabyBoomer generation. “My kids aren’t perfect! Fix them!” This is coming from the people who invented, “Turn on. Tune in. Drop out.” “Free love” and your classic 1960’s 1970’s do it if it feels good self absorbed generation. As my hero George Carlin put it, “From cocaine to rogain”. “”These are perfectly decent kids whose lives have been taken over by an addiction,” said Mr Bakker, a former drug addict. “Some have given up school so they can play games. They have no friends. They don’t speak to their parents.”” Giving up school? Normal. No friends? Normal. Who didn’t feel isolated in high school? Not speaking to parents? Normal. Sounds like the kids aren’t watching TV all hours of the day and night and the new technology is frightening mummy.”

Game Addiction?

“We used to call this neurosis. The actual neurotic behavior isn’t really all that important. What is important is addressing the underlying causes, which often have little or nothing to do with the resulting behavior. This guy obviously has a problem, but obsessive gaming is just the symptom. He could equally well be compulsively plucking his eyebrows or watching TV.”

Mmmm…

Good Times

It’s times like this that I absolutely love the internet. I knew the very second I saw Zidane flat-out own Materazzi that it would become an instantaneous meme, and it is! Not that this is a hard prediction to make, but it’s insanely fun to watch stuff like this evolve.

For those of you losers that didn’t watch the World Cup Final, Zidane, one of the best soccer players of our time, used his massive bald head and headbutted a notoriously retarded Italian player, Materazzi, in the chest. Materazzi is reknowned for being a general piece of crap, and in this instance, he most certainly groped Zidane’s nipple (and that’s about the most eloquent way I could put it), and rumor mills say Materazzi used a racial slur concerning Zidane’s sister.

Zidane probably lost the World Cup for France, seeing as the ensuing red card took him out of the final shootuout. Sheer morale and the loss of France’s greatest player could most certainly be attributed here, although whats-his-face may still have hit the crossbar. We’ll never know now, will we Zidane? I’m positive France would have won if it had gone to Sudden Death, especially based on how Italy was playing, even while Zidane was out.

The truly great thing here is the immortality Zidane has reached via the interwabs. YTMND is, of course, the first out of the gate with the hilarity here. One, Two, Three, Four, Five!

I shall update with new hilarity as it is found. Also, the videos of Zidane headbutting may become harder to find, some of the better ones are being removed for copyright infringement.

This is not a Brothel

I’ve been increasingly frustrated lately over the fact that if I write something that I actually, truly care about, it is guaranteed that at least one, and probably two people will say they didn’t read it and/or don’t care. I don’t understand this – if you don’t care, then I don’t care to hear about how you don’t care. Seriously. It’s just obnoxious and, in the end, really just angering when people tell me they don’t care, when I never asked them to in the first place. Yes, I like it a lot when people read what I write, and it like it even more when people respond and discuss what I write. I know I can’t get you to be interested in everything that I am, but at least let me try?

A good example here would be if I wrote about the fundamental differences in the combat engine and character development between Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy IX, and what Square-Enix has to do to maintain the proper formula in the future without abandoning the basic idea of the TBC RPG. I can predict the following: Paul would probably respond by saying the FF7 sucked, but then continue to comment on what I wrote. An acceptable response. Someone else would say he stopped reading after the first paragraph. Someone else would say he never played FF7, and someone else would say he hated FF7 and/or FF9, with nothing else to add to the conversation. Someone else would say I have no life, and she would be right. And Ryan would probably leave some gem of wit, unrelated to the topic, and yet hilarious. Also acceptable.

I can handle getting fewer than ten comments on any given post, but if you look at each of those comments, not many actually stimulated true discussion of any kind. The actual number of comments lies somewhere between zero and two. I look at blog posts much the same way I look at books. Say you read the first chapter of a book, and you don’t like it. Do you proceed to write the author about the fact that you didn’t read his/her book because the first chapter sucked? Or do you write the author about how you didn’t read the book because it wasn’t about a topic you were interested in? Probably not.

Now, you might write the author after reading the whole book to disagree, or to critique the content or writing, or something. You might even go talk about the book with your peers, discussing its finer points or debating whether or not it sucked. Bottom line, you don’t actually talk about the book unless you actually have something to say. That’s what I’m asking for here.

That said, I’ve been considering a number of things. How about podcasts? Podcasts, as in, me, talking about something for 5 minutes, and then sharing it for you to hear. I thought this would be a fun thing to do, but, I won’t bother if everyone says no. Podcasts are fairly easy to do, so it’s not a question of effort. My bandwidth is large enough to support this, especially considering that the mp3s would be, at most, 3 or 4 MB.

I’ve also been considering starting a totally separate blog to talk about games and whatnot. Honestly, I’d love nothing more than to talk about games all the time to you, but as said before, I can’t get you to care. Alternatively, I could just post anyways and you could not read them. That, however, seems like it degrades the overall quality of the content here, mixes things up too much.

Finally, I will revamp the design eventually. I’m getting way bored of the current look, and you can be assured that things will change. It might happen soon, it might not. I’ve technically got a lot of work to do to catch up from being sick, but then again, I’ve stopped caring about school again. It’s all up in the air.

And I promise, I will post about Oblivion. Just not yet.

As a wise woman once said…

“These are like therapy.”

Obligatory Bash.org quotes! Seperated into geek and non-geek, and more offensive ones are just linked.

Warmaster_Horus: But some of the stuff you can do with mayo is good
NiTessine: Yes. Like assassinations.
Mithran: You assassinate people with mayo?
NiTessine: Nobody ever suspects mayo.

Sefy89: God my mom wont stop yelling
Dested: wat did u do this time?
Sefy89: i called her lazy and told her to get up and do some work
Dested: …doesnt your mom have a broken leg?
Sefy89: thus the noise

McKhaos: this guy asks me
McKhaos: how many people work in your company ?
McKhaos: my answer
McKhaos: about a third

Chronic Munchies: imagine if anne frank had a BLOG instead of a DIARY
Chronic Munchies: currently listening to: nazis pounding on the door
GenAmonX2K: Current Mood: concentrating

donchongo: i wonder what possesed some one to invent play-doh and silly putty
Wildfire: poop dries out to fast
donchongo: that really put a screeching halt to my thought process

* Porter is now known as PorterWITHGIRLFRIENDWHOISHOT
Strayed: he shot his girlfriend?

testman: i asked my girlfriend to come home to watch the last samurai
testman: and she answered “i’d like to, but i didn’t see the first ones”

hahacornut: I need visual aids for my presentation tomorrow
Narcissus: go to visual africa

[geek]

* Mapionetka then wonders what the hell he is going to do with his 32mb mem stick
ginji: stick it where the sun doesn’t shine Mapionetka ?
Mapionetka: in my computer room?

DmncAtrny: I will write on a huge cement block “BY ACCEPTING THIS BRICK THROUGH YOUR WINDOW, YOU ACCEPT IT AS IS AND AGREE TO MY DISCLAIMER OF ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS WELL AS DISCLAIMERS OF ALL LIABILITY, DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL, THAT MAY ARISE FROM THE INSTALLATION OF THIS BRICK INTO YOUR BUILDING.”
DmncAtrny: And then hurl it through the window of a Sony officer
DmncAtrny: and run like hell

tdo: i was helping my tech teacher out a few days in july or so
tdo: and i got some calls
tdo: from potential customers
tdo: and one of them was this little boy who couldn’t have been more than six or seven
tdo: and he was almost in TEARS
tdo: “everything i type is in caps what do i do my moms goinng to kill me”

[/geek]

http://bash.org/?577458

http://bash.org/?576018

http://bash.org/?575362

http://bash.org/?572066

O.o

Measuring the fame of a game is a hard thing to do. Everyone has different opinions, good and bad. But I think I’ve found a way to really get a basic measurement on a game’s fame. I call it the google. Measured in millions of search results, you can quickly find exactly how famous a game is. The key to this is using the exact phrase operator – “(insert query)”, it automatically removes all the DEFINATELY unrelated search results. For example, it changes the query ‘half life’ from 11.4 to 3.61. Those other 7.79 all just contained the word half or life. Obviously unrelated. But on to the point – I’ve measured all the games I own in googles, and some of you may find the results interesting. What you see (excepting the colon) is the exact query, only without the “_” operator.

Halo: 2.54 (see comments)

Total War: .929 (“Total War” game OR PC OR RTS OR rome OR medieval OR shogun)

Ninja Gaiden: .306 (“Ninja Gaiden” game OR xbox OR tecmo OR team OR ninja OR ryu OR hayabusa OR nintendo OR microsoft”

Fable: .667 (using “Fable” game OR xbox OR molyneux OR lionhead)

Dead or Alive: .551 (“dead or alive” game OR xbox OR fighting OR nintendo OR playstation OR Ultimate)

Grand Theft Auto: 1.92 (“Grand Theft Auto” game OR ps2 OR xbox OR PC OR tommy OR vercetti)

Starcraft: .7 (using “starcraft” Blizzard OR RTS OR PC OR game OR protoss OR terran OR zerg OR brood OR war) (also remember this thing was made in 1996, so the popularity of it faded before websites were as easily made/maintained)

Warcraft: 1.34 (“Warcraft” blizzard OR RTS OR game OR PC )

Rainbow Six: .749 (“Rainbow Six” game OR PC OR xbox OR FPS OR tom OR Clancy’s OR ubisoft)

Splinter Cell: .904 (“Splinter Cell” game OR xbox OR PC OR ps2 OR gc OR gamecube OR sam OR fisher OR stealth OR ubisoft OR tom OR clancy’s)

Final Fantasy: 1.85 (using “Final Fantasy” game OR playstation OR ps2 OR PC OR square OR RPG)

Keep in mind that some games don’t work under this method. Ex: Mario. That will give you approximately 11, but the vast majority are about actualy PEOPLE, so you can’t count that as accurate. Halo and Half Life both have a healthy chance of being inflated, due to the names. Halo is gonna bring up stuff about, well, halos, and Half Life is gonna bring up sites on chemistry and radioactive substances, so it evens out, essentially. Here are some other interesting queries I did.

Half Life (as a note, this did also include the hyphenated form of the name, so those weren’t omitted): 2.76 (see comments)

Zelda: 1.33 (using “Zelda” game OR link OR miyamoto OR Nintendo OR gamecube)

Metroid: .486 (using “Metroid” prime OR samus OR Nintendo OR gamecube OR game)

Diablo: 1.21 (using “Diablo” game OR Blizzard OR PC)

Gran Turismo: 1.15 (using “Gran Turismo” game OR ps2 OR playstation OR racing OR cars)

Myst: .562 (using “Myst” game OR PC OR xbox OR ubisoft)

Metal Gear Solid: .986(using “Metal Gear Solid” game OR ps2 OR playstation OR snake)

Resident Evil: 1.47 (using “resident evil” game OR playstation OR ps2 OR PC OR gamecube OR gc)

Unreal Tournament: 1.27 (using “Unreal Tournament” game OR PC OR FPS)

Let me know if I left any big franchises out, I think I got most of em. I didn’t try Doom because of the horrid innacuracy it will bring up, there’s too much other stuff you can pull out of that. Just on the first page of results there were two unrelated links.

EDIT: I’ve changed all the searches with said queries, I think it really represents everything MUCH more accurately.

>.<

WARNING: This is a lot of ranting.

I dunno what happened, but come 9:00, a mood swing came upon me and I feel like absolute crap. I have an idea why, and I feel like rambling. It’s 11:45, and I would talk to a friend over IM if I could, but, none are available. Despite the fact that Christmas break finally arrived, I lie here incredibly anxious. About what? Absolutely nothing. For some reason, I started think about my past. 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. My equivelant to the “Dark Ages”. Most of you don’t know that much about me, and I am to blame for that. I don’t tend to share much about my past. Most of you probably don’t know I was born in Mississippi. Or that I had white hair when I was 4. Or that I have 2 brothers, and 2 dogs. Little stuff like that. But this part of my past defined me in a way I really couldn’t expect at the time. How could one game do that to a person? You might be amazed.

The name of the game: SK, short for Shattered Kingdoms. That genre of games is defined as a MUD, a (M)ulti (U)ser (D)ungeon. These games are text only – no pictures, or sound, just words on the screen. But those words mean so much. The game is defined as an RPG, a Role-Playing Game. For those of you who don’t know, these games are the most addicting, they have the largest player base, and they just get better and more addictive with time. In them, you play a role, in a sense, you act out as another person. These games vary, from modern, to futuristic, to medieval, fantasy, star wars, you name it, it’s there. SK happened to be fantasy.

My dream come true, when my best friend Daniel introduced it to me in 5th grade. I don’t blame him at all for my getting addicted, because neither of us knew exactly what the game was. For the most part, at the time, we just played so we could gain levels and get our characters real strong and powerful. Very innocent. But somehow, it grew more and more fun. I’d get on after skool, on my old dial up modem, and hog the phone line for 6 hours. Then my parents would kick me off because they realized I had been using up the phone line all day, and the cycle repeated itself. Come 6th grade, I homeschooled, and we had moved into our new house. We remained on dial up, but they resolved the solution with two cell phones, which helped them, but not the people trying to call us. By then my life consisted mostly of my schoolwork, SK, and my 4 or 5 friends that also homeschooled.

Everything continued as normal, until the summer after 6th grade. I discovered the wonder of “females” in my reality world, and realized that being the addict I was, no such thing would ever be meant for me. But of course, you can get married in SK. Here lay my true downfall, as it were. Now, in the game, I played a rather respectable character known as Salaria. He was a priest, as well as the high priest of his “diety”. I took a lot of pride in him. But when this wonder of “females” came into my life, I realized, I need to get rid of this addiction. So, after two hard years of work, I just deleted him. No turning back. Cold turkey. I didn’t look back for another 6 months.

But, a month or two into my 7th grade of school, I became restless. Girls weren’t paying attention to me, despite the fact I’d given up SK. And, one bored weekend, I created another character. It stayed perfectly innocent, killing for levels, etc., until a month or three later. I decided I’d try and find my good old character a girlfriend. Now do understand, I had no intention of doing what RPG gamers called “MUD Sex”, which is, if you don’t understand that, is basically cyber sex. And I never did, I feared it like the plague, and thus I avoided it completely. But I got him married, and I was happy. But the problem is: by this point, I was back up to playing 4 hours a day. Once the summer came, approaching 8th grade, I created 2 more characters. And played them all. One particular character, I wanted to get him a girlfriend. Here I describe why this game is so disgusting.

I WAS that character. In every aspect, I made him like me, and made him what I wish I could be. Now when I made a character exactly like me and my desires, I was prone to be attached. So I became attached. But then when I actually treat that character’s feelings as my own, then it becomes much more problematic. He felt pain, I felt pain. He felt rejected, I felt rejected. So when I stumble upon a potential female I could mate him up with, and she isn’t really very accepting, well, I didn’t take it too well. I’ll just leave that I got sick for a few days with no illness in particular. So when, at this point, my very health, besides the fact I never ate, is in danger, would this not wake someone up? Apparantly not.

Now, with nothing to do except sleep, eat, and SK, I played 18 hours a day. Removing days I went to my friend’s houses, and days I had to work with stuff, that leaves me about 50 hours a week minimum, on average about 75 hours a week. Calculate 75 hours a week to an entire summer, using 4 weeks a month, and stratching out to the beginning of 8th grade, that’s WAY over 1000 hours, almost to 1200. 1200 hours, one game.

I never really planned on quitting. But Daniel, Jesse, Emma, and I went to Word of Life that summer, for a week. This is a Christian camp, that teaches Christian principles. And when they tell you, that you should be living your life for God, I kinda thought “Wait a second. I’m not doing that.” Spending And thus, I shrugged my shoulders, and went on. Daniel, however, realized what we were doing. All day and night for a game? A game? A week after camp, he quit. He strongly encouraged me to do so, as well, but I didn’t until a month after. But that month I continued playing was absolute horror. I was addicted to the game, but the addiction just wasn’t satisfied, but it’s not like you can play more than 18 hours a day. So I just went on. But then I realized “Wait a second. A: This isn’t pleasing God. B: This isn’t pleasing my best friend. C: It isn’t pleasing me. D: It isn’t helping me, God, or anyone else.” With a good bit of help from Daniel, I stopped.

I deleted all my characters with a one day notice to all my fellow players. I kept contact with two of the people I played with, however. One of them, Jaqcueline, whom one of my characters married, was never addicted in the first place, and only continues playing in her small amount of spare time, but she bothers less and less. The other, whom I’ll call Shabbu, just grows more into the game. I can’t talk to him anymore, because he is always busy RolePlaying with his fellow players. The affect of the game.

Before the end of 8th grade, I did go back, once. “Shabbu” convinced me to go back once. But I just wasn’t interested. This, I would consider, a miracle from God. A moment before I entered the name in, I couldn’t wait to start playing again. That same hunger was in me from before. But I played for 2 hours. I logged out. And I just forgot.

I hate thinking back to that time, ashamed of what I did, or, what I didn’t do. I wasted so much time, so much of other people’s time playing it. I still feel it’s effects reverberating in my life. The only good thing I retain from it is literary skill. My vocabulary was widened a HUGE amount, as well as my writing skill.

I still wonder, sometimes. Did those players know they died to a 12 year old? When I told my player friends my age, they told me: “I thought you were 21….”

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my rant.

Note: That 1200 hours was only one summer. I spent approximately 4000 hours of my life on this game. 4000 hours, or 167 days, or 24 weeks. In exact timing, I played 23 weeks, 5 days, and 16 hours.