IRL 2.0: The Voice Of A Former Warcraft Addict

IRL 2.0: The Voice Of A Former Warcraft Addict

"I had to quit the game to save myself", Rosner admits.

There are things you do because you want to do them, and there are things you are compelled to do, as Anthony Rosner, former leader of the guild QT Yacht Club, discovered. Being a gamer is still part of his identity, but he's not the hard core raider he used to be, and he turned his experiences into the video IRL. That earned him plaudits and fame, but then a new Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, came out. Up to that point things had followed a pattern: each new expansion had pulled Rosner further in, eating up the hours in his day, costing him in real life. Would the same happen again? Have a look at IRL 2.0, and find out.

"I play on and off," says the man who still kills Kael'thas each week, but he's long since given up the second job that Warcraft had become. He doesn't want guild responsibility, and cites his experience as a guild leader as part of the larger problem. It was the leadership role that really ate Rosner's life; the launch of Burning Crusade, and the prospect of having to abandon his guild to go to university, was what sucked him in the first time. He doesn't play on the same server, and deliberately renamed his character to avoid associations with his old persona. "I I don't even have his name reserved on my old server anymore, so I wanted to just let it go," says Rosner.

There's more to come from Rosner. He wants to look at how gamers are portrayed, and at violence in gaming, but those are projects for the future. Right now he's happy to be a casual Warcraft fan with both feet firmly planted in real life.

Source: Joystiq

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WOW I have to admit this hit me like a ton of bricks... His story is my story too... I Joined in Vanilla..... played casually thru the Burning Crusade... In wrath of the lich king... something happened to me too.... Achievements, Raiding, and Mount Collecting.... Right through Cataclysm - and into pandaria up until about 6 months ago..... I was a demigod ingame.... with a ridiculous amount of rare gear, Gold, Pets and mounts..... but spending too much time ingame was affecting my social life too much..... and making it a little hard to focus on work.... Pulled myself out... like Rosner I couldn't delete my char... but I let my account lock itself... and although I'm tempted.... I haven't reopened it yet........ Brilliant video..... Left me speechless.....

Great video and I'm glad he was able to get his life back together.

It's nice to see that he's turned his life around. It does make me wonder, is there a WoW Addicts Anonymous group out there? I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who could use such a thing and even learn from videos like this.

Let this be a clarion call to all gamers on just how dangerously seductive these kinds of games are. It comes as no surprise that many of these MMOs main focus are on adding content that is in many ways similar to online gambling.

The sooner the world wakes up and starts seeing these soul sucking monstrosities for what they truly are, the modern day equivalent of the opium dens of old, or the crack houses of the recent past, the sooner the healing can begin.

These vile cancers need to be excised from the obese and ailing body of modern digital society. These addiction enablers need to be toppled from their golden thrones and run out of town on a rail. Them and their silly pandas.

Psychobabble:
Let this be a clarion call to all gamers on just how dangerously seductive these kinds of games are. It comes as no surprise that many of these MMOs main focus are on adding content that is in many ways similar to online gambling.

The sooner the world wakes up and starts seeing these soul sucking monstrosities for what they truly are, the modern day equivalent of the opium dens of old, or the crack houses of the recent past, the sooner the healing can begin.

These vile cancers need to be excised from the obese and ailing body of modern digital society. These addiction enablers need to be toppled from their golden thrones and run out of town on a rail. Them and their silly pandas.

Or not. Holy shit that's heavy-handed.

I can certainly understand this video, and I've been close? to that, but it had nothing to do with WoW, but a lot of other games. When I started playing WoW, it actually took me out of a very depressing rut when I was younger, and the friends I made on there actually made me feel a lot more driven to do something outside of online gaming. It's one of the bigger reasons why I ended up meeting a lot of my best friends that aren't even remotely related to the game, because I wasn't afraid to have a conversation anymore. And some from the game I've met as well.

This story is understandable, though. When you head a small community on WoW as a guild lead, the pressure is on you that everything is running well. I can't imagine that kind of pressure when paired with having to do multiple things that have to do with your actual life at the same time, even being a friend to one of them doesn't really display much, especially if the guild size is large. I'm glad his life got better and that he can play in moderation and sustain himself outside of virtual reality. Ultimately the choices you make drive where you take your habits, that's all this is trying to say. I think the primary focus should be not to get drowned in anything to a point of no-return.

Psychobabble:
These vile cancers need to be excised

Holy shit, dude! Are you even listening to yourself? Yes, it can be easy to get sucked into an MMO (or any game, really), but we don't exactly need to march to Blizzard headquarters with our torches and pitchforks over it.

It's a good video, but it seems he's a few years behind on the whole addiction vs. compulsion thing. It's been long-since established that video games can't be addictive (since quitting them doesn't cause any adverse effects on one's health in the same way that some drugs can literally kill you if you try to quit them cold-turkey), but what they do is give you a sense of satisfaction that you aren't getting from the day-to-day routine; and that's what makes them seem addictive.

WhiteTigerShiro:
It's a good video, but it seems he's a few years behind on the whole addiction vs. compulsion thing. It's been long-since established that video games can't be addictive (since quitting them doesn't cause any adverse effects on one's health in the same way that some drugs can literally kill you if you try to quit them cold-turkey), but what they do is give you a sense of satisfaction that you aren't getting from the day-to-day routine; and that's what makes them seem addictive.

Sadly, there's still a push to have game addiction officially classified in some important medical psychology listing of what is and isn't an addiction. Even worse, I learned about this push from the psychology teacher[1] in my game dev course that believe's game addiction is a real thing. He's convinced that people can get addicted to the dopamine we create naturally when we play games. His 'opinion'(I hated the way he talked, constant false neutralism presented in a way to lead students to his side of the argument) was that players needed longer play time to continue to be able to get their rush.

....... I hated that class.

[1]Prof wasn't a gamer and his class wasn't core to the course, it was still a required credit though.

EDIT: Wow, gotta proofread better... "...when we games.". Well, fixed now.

Ex-Wow players are the vegans of the videogame community.

For someone who made the choice to stop partaking they sure can't wait to tell you how long it's been since they did.

All snarkiness aside...I get it. Some folks have addictive personalities and don't deal well with these kind of situations. I'm glad he got his shit together and I'm glad he's not ruining his life.

Not sure he needed to produce a video about it but it's no skin off my back if he does.

Diddy_Mao:
Ex-Wow players are the vegans of the videogame community.

For someone who made the choice to stop partaking they sure can't wait to tell you how long it's been since they did.

The difference being that no one's life was ruined because they couldn't stop eating steaks. Vegans are just obnoxious when they go on about how "great" they are for not eating meat. When someone talks about quitting a game, it's usually a "here's how I struggled through this part of my life" story, which can at least have value for other people to learn from.

Edit: And just a note, I have nothing against vegas; what you eat is your business. It's just when they start getting all self-righteous about it and/or acting all disgusted whenever they see someone eating meat that they get under my skin.

Psychobabble:
It comes as no surprise that many of these MMOs main focus are on adding content that is in many ways similar to online gambling.

I think it's the social responsibilities that get people addicted, more than the boring-ass grindy gameplay.

Being in a guild, where you're depended on and valued by your teammates, can be intoxicating.
It's the same reason people become workaholics.
Or gambling addicts: if you look closely, there's usually a community of gamblers they're involved in. The other regulars at the races, or whatever.
People just want to be appreciated by other people.

WhiteTigerShiro:
It's a good video, but it seems he's a few years behind on the whole addiction vs. compulsion thing. It's been long-since established that video games can't be addictive (since quitting them doesn't cause any adverse effects on one's health in the same way that some drugs can literally kill you if you try to quit them cold-turkey), but what they do is give you a sense of satisfaction that you aren't getting from the day-to-day routine; and that's what makes them seem addictive.

Just because the withdrawal symptoms of WoW addiction or MMO addiction in general are not deadly doesn't mean they don't exist.

I have met people who actually had physical withdrawals from not playing (massive headaches, severe anger issues etc....). YOU may not have had to deal with them.... but there are those out there that have.

Psychobabble:
Let this be a clarion call to all gamers on just how dangerously seductive these kinds of games are. It comes as no surprise that many of these MMOs main focus are on adding content that is in many ways similar to online gambling.

The sooner the world wakes up and starts seeing these soul sucking monstrosities for what they truly are, the modern day equivalent of the opium dens of old, or the crack houses of the recent past, the sooner the healing can begin.

These vile cancers need to be excised from the obese and ailing body of modern digital society. These addiction enablers need to be toppled from their golden thrones and run out of town on a rail. Them and their silly pandas.

Yeahhhhhhh....... no. I don't mean to sound insensitive here, but that's a load of melodramatic.... crap. I'm sorry.

Clearly, you do not like passionately and absolutely despise MMOs. That's fine, but with that level of unbridled hatred, I don't think I'm far off in asserting that there's nothing I could possibly say to convince you otherwise. Correct? Okay.

But, for some reason, I'm gonna try... sigh.

I wouldn't compare them to "Cancer," "Soul sucking monstrosities" or "Opium dens." That's hyperbolic TO THE MAX. That's about as bad as calling someone you disagree with a Nazi. That being said, I don't think MMOs are TOTALLY innocent, but I think it's more the social aspect that people can get addicted to. People depend on you when you run a guild, and it feels good to successfully run a large guild and keep everyone happy. It's probably a feeling not unlike running your own successful business, but with lots of good friends. Who'd wanna leave that behind? It's not so much the MMO itself, but the bonds you form within it.

So I'll just leave you with this:

MorganL4:

WhiteTigerShiro:
It's a good video, but it seems he's a few years behind on the whole addiction vs. compulsion thing. It's been long-since established that video games can't be addictive (since quitting them doesn't cause any adverse effects on one's health in the same way that some drugs can literally kill you if you try to quit them cold-turkey), but what they do is give you a sense of satisfaction that you aren't getting from the day-to-day routine; and that's what makes them seem addictive.

Just because the withdrawal symptoms of WoW addiction or MMO addiction in general are not deadly doesn't mean they don't exist.

I have met people who actually had physical withdrawals from not playing (massive headaches, severe anger issues etc....). YOU may not have had to deal with them.... but there are those out there that have.

Yes, and a few people who have played videogames went on murder sprees, YET, that doesn't prove a damn thing. Name a thing. Anything. I guarantee you that there is at least one person out there who is actually addicted to whatever you named, to the point of actually feeling withdrawal symptoms when he stops doing that thing; that doesn't automatically make that thing addictive. So by your logic, videogames ARE murder simulators, because apparently an insignificant minority of a group is a good way to gauge the entire community.

WhiteTigerShiro:

MorganL4:

WhiteTigerShiro:
It's a good video, but it seems he's a few years behind on the whole addiction vs. compulsion thing. It's been long-since established that video games can't be addictive (since quitting them doesn't cause any adverse effects on one's health in the same way that some drugs can literally kill you if you try to quit them cold-turkey), but what they do is give you a sense of satisfaction that you aren't getting from the day-to-day routine; and that's what makes them seem addictive.

Just because the withdrawal symptoms of WoW addiction or MMO addiction in general are not deadly doesn't mean they don't exist.

I have met people who actually had physical withdrawals from not playing (massive headaches, severe anger issues etc....). YOU may not have had to deal with them.... but there are those out there that have.

Yes, and a few people who have played videogames went on murder sprees, YET, that doesn't prove a damn thing. Name a thing. Anything. I guarantee you that there is at least one person out there who is actually addicted to whatever you named, to the point of actually feeling withdrawal symptoms when he stops doing that thing; that doesn't automatically make that thing addictive. So by your logic, videogames ARE murder simulators, because apparently an insignificant minority of a group is a good way to gauge the entire community.

ummmmmmmmm.......... WOW.......... I have no words.....

If gambling can be considered an addiction, so can gaming. I don't agree that gambling should be considered an addiction and rather there should be a better way to separate the formed habit from chemical dependencies, but if the way they are classifying things is that gambling can be an addiction, then so be it, gaming can hit the same notes.

Wait, no, a quick wiki explains that it is classified as an impulse control disorder. It is just called addiction because of similarities to actual addictions and because the word is synonymous with the behavior. I am ok with that. We can start to call it Pathological Gaming.

On topic: eh? Not really sure I care too much to be honest. Sucks he got that far in and great his is getting out. Not sure a video series or anything like it is really needed. Also sort of have to say his opinions on some things, such as violence or addictions, I would scrutinize. Just a general concern that their personal experiences would heavily bias their personal opinions, in the same way surviving a cult might create a bias against organized religion itself.

Of course the general public gets a tainted image of MMO's when the most prominent stories about them are sob stories from weak-willed slugs like this pathetic specimen. Some people are just lack willpower and are prone to addiction - if this guy had been a recovering alcoholic/drug user, nobody would have ever heard about him.

Addiction isn't just the province of MMOs. I've wasted weeks in Skyrim or in the Rook Islands that I could have spent being more productive. Being a gamer and having ambitions to fulfill can be a hard thing to keep balanced. There's entire weeks where I'll get my non-academic activity fix from Netflix or casual games because I'd honestly rather focus on my thesis. There's others where the allure is just too strong and I have to dig back into Skyrim or Fake Steelport or Crysis 2's ravaged New York.

What helps me is making the effort to consider gaming as something that's not so much a worthwhile way to waste a whole day with, as a reward for my hard work. I've written five pages today? Cool. I get to forget about my due dates and all of my adult-life requirements for a few hours, at least until supper. The more I write, the more I research, and the more I look forward to my rewarding myself. Humans are Pavlovian creatures at heart, and I found this helps immensely.

It also helps in that it gives gaming a sense of worth or importance. Being able to drown entire months into single playthroughs cheapens the experience, in my opinion. Take any game and go on a binge and you'll soon start to feel like it's drudge work. Take the same games but intersperse them with other activities, and you get engrossing experiences that last only so long as they're intended to.

runic knight:
If gambling can be considered an addiction, so can gaming. I don't agree that gambling should be considered an addiction and rather there should be a better way to separate the formed habit from chemical dependencies, but if the way they are classifying things is that gambling can be an addiction, then so be it, gaming can hit the same notes.

Except that officially, gambling isn't addicting, either. "Gambling addiction" is just a colloquial term that's used by the general populace, while the professional world refers to it as an impulse control disorder. And while an ICD can cause many similar behaviors, like being unable to stop the habit in question, the difference is that quitting is more a matter of willpower, as compared to addiction where your body can shut down from the shock.

MorganL4:

WhiteTigerShiro:

MorganL4:

Just because the withdrawal symptoms of WoW addiction or MMO addiction in general are not deadly doesn't mean they don't exist.

I have met people who actually had physical withdrawals from not playing (massive headaches, severe anger issues etc....). YOU may not have had to deal with them.... but there are those out there that have.

Yes, and a few people who have played videogames went on murder sprees, YET, that doesn't prove a damn thing. Name a thing. Anything. I guarantee you that there is at least one person out there who is actually addicted to whatever you named, to the point of actually feeling withdrawal symptoms when he stops doing that thing; that doesn't automatically make that thing addictive. So by your logic, videogames ARE murder simulators, because apparently an insignificant minority of a group is a good way to gauge the entire community.

ummmmmmmmm.......... WOW.......... I have no words.....

By all means, man. Present me with the evidence that a majority of people quitting WoW exhibit physical withdrawal symptoms. Until then, your argument carries about as much weight as Jack Thompson's do.

Whenever I see things like this I'm always reminded of the loading screen text WoW has itself:

"Remember to take all things in moderation, even World of Warcraft"

and

"Bring your friends to Azeroth, but don't forget to go outside Azeroth with them too"

... I don't mean to be insensitive and maybe there is a larger issue here but isn't it an issue of self control, I've played the game for 8 years, its never stopped me graduating university, getting a job, house, having relationships etc.

Highly doubt companies like Blizzard are these evil corporations, twisting their mustaches and wanting this sort of thing to happen. They just made the game they wanted to make.

I'll reluctantly watch the video and I do feel sorry for those who have problems, I hope they manage to address them but perhaps its more the person and not the game?

Seems that WhiteTigerShiro got this pretty much under control. the whole addiction thing is getting out of proportion. now you can get addicted to walking apparently.
Ive been there, with a different game than WOW (wow didnt exist then), but the idea is the same. Im glad i decided to take a hold of myself. And i have to say it is solely a matter of your own will. if you do not want to change no amount of externam abuse will change you. sure they can lock you up for life without acess to a computer, wont make you stop wanting to play that game though. will is you using logic to prove yourself why you should not do that.

 

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