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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WoW Article: World of Warcraft-avoid addiction

Video games can be a great thing. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of me and my dad playing "Super Mario Bros." on the original Nintendo for hours during the winter months. My brother and I still play "Super Smash Bros." on my N64 when we're both at home.

However, video games also have a dark side, a seedy underbelly that can leave even the most jaded of gamers wasted and useless. A side of gaming that can trap people, awash in a sea of digital addiction. The sinister epidemic in question? "World of Warcraft."

Game company Blizzard Entertainment premiered "World of Warcraft," or "WoW," in November 2004 with much celebration. Already rabidly loyal to the company, fans of Blizzard were excited to see how the "Warcraft" world was going to look up close and personal.

The game, a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, or MMORPG, brought thousands of players together to share a game experience in the exact same world.

Games like this existed before, such as "Everquest," but none had the backing of a beloved company like Blizzard. Neither did any others have such a rich history, courtesy of three prior games, to build upon with a new story.

Not all would stay as idyllic as this though. As the game progressed and more people began playing, it began taking over their lives. People would forsake everything else, family, jobs, school, spouses, even their own children, just to keep playing the game.

I had seen it happen to my own friends, and eventually, even I fell into the trap. I spent six to seven hours a day playing it, and I was on the low end of obsession. Stories abound the world over of people literally playing for so long they died of exhaustion.

Well, I'm here to help. I managed to escape the time sink, and am quite well away from it today. If you have let "WoW," or any other game for that matter, take over your life, here are a few tips to help you

regain control.

1. Simply cancel your account. This may seem drastic, but sometimes it is the only way to keep from playing a game. If there isn't a game available, it doesn't matter how much it tempts you: you can't play it.

2. Strictly limit your playtime. Set a timer when you begin, for whatever amount of time you wish to play for, and immediately stop when it goes off. You will train yourself to be able to quit at any time.

3. Don't get involved in any long tasks in the game unless you are sure you have time to do them. If you have class in an hour, don't start trying to find a group in the game to do anything. Start getting ready to quit.

These three things helped me immensely when I had to break my habit, and they should help anyone else as well who wishes to quit.


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