MMO addiction.

  • Thread starter chayced
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  • #26
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Wow, I'm blown away that people can spend so much time on these games! That's nuts!

I waste a lot of time on PF, but at least that's doing something educational.
 
  • #27
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I think you're being a bit too pessimistic about the situation by making such extreme comparison. A brother who ditches their goals to live at home and game is problematic because such a person is not bringing in income for the family while is being another mouth to feed. (I'm assuming you're financially stable) as a stay-at-home mother, your wife has a lot of time on her hands and "nothing to do" after finishing her responsibilities (cleaning the house, feeding the kids, etc).
You bet, so I should just get a job with much less responsibility so I am only skating by because it's all I need to do? We are financially stable because I work my butt off. I've offered to become a stay at home dad several times, all she has to do is start earning more money than me. I'm even a pretty fair cook.

Being an MMO player myself, a huge contribution to all MMOs players that keep them hooked is not the game but the social interaction with others. And unlike real life social interactions, in-game EVERYONE has something in common to talk about and keep the conversation going. They can talk about anything in the game: the game's economy, the game's company, the gameplay itself, etc. You can't get that kind of interaction with a stranger on the streets. So perhaps to get her away from online gaming, you can try what some here already suggested: going places as a family such as camping, malls, amusement parks, maybe invite friends and relatives to come along.
She talks about the game when she is away from it. It's one of the few things we regularly talk about. I don't see how a family outing is going to help, and you try planning one with 3 young kids. It's worse than planning the moon landing just to get out of the house for the weekend I can only imagine trying to get a week away.

I would take the kids on a two or three day mini-vacation(not too far away), and see if she even notices that ya'll aren't there. When (or if) she calls your cell phone to find out where you're at, tell her you asked her if she wanted to come but she was too "busy". Maybe even tell her that ya'll aren't coming home until she gives up the game for good.
She does notice. It's not that bad, but I could disappear for about an hour and a half while she is playing. Also if the kids are quiet for more than 30 minutes she goes to investigate. As for a 'It's the game or us.' ultimatum, I don't force those decisions unless I already know the answer.
 
  • #28
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I think some people are being unnecessarily harsh in their judgment. It's just a game, not a drug addiction. I think chayced is more worried about getting her to do something more productive that she actually enjoys instead of something she enjoys but does nothing for her except suck away her time.

Chayced, this is a situation a lot of spouses are faced with. My friend got married young and even though her husband goes to work and earns a decent paycheck (and is a nice person and father), she's still sad that he chooses to spend hours a day watching movies and playing video games instead of getting a hobby or skill he loves. It's more a frustration at the waste of potential than "Oh, he sucks because he sits in front of the TV all day."

Unfortunately, you can't change people if they don't want to change. Fortunately, you seem like a decent chap and I'll bet if she expressed a wish to actually do something with herself, you'd support her. I would ask her what she wants to do with her life or her goals or anything really, until you get an honest answer. "I want to play video games all day" and "nothing" are not honest answers. Everyone has little pet desires that they'd like to pursue, so encourage her to do that. Does she want to go back to school part time? Check out local community colleges. Does she want to learn how to do something like, I don't know, learn how to bake bonsbons or how to flyfish or anything at all? Then look at practical ways to make it happen. I don't think she'll ever quite cold-turkey but if she finds something else to occupy her time or something else she can focus on then she can cut down on the MMO significantly.
 
  • #29
Pengwuino
Gold Member
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I think the fact Chayced mentioned that he feels neglected is a giant red flag. The situation might require professional counseling. Everything else seems fairly minor but if it could actually affect the intimacy of your marriage, something's wrong, and the little tricks like going out for a weekend to see if she notices or tricking her into not playing aren't going to work.
 
  • #30
russ_watters
Mentor
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School, homework, sleeping... it is possible that there is plenty of time in the day that she does not need to spend with the children. Of course we don't know how old they are so its hard to determine.
When the OP said "3 young kids", I assumed that meant that at least one was too young for school, which means 100% constant supervision. Chi Meson's wife can't go for a run when he's at work, for example (also, writing a blog doesn't take 100% of your attention, unlike most video games I know of).

And "3 young kids" means none are teenagers, ie, none are old enough for real homework.
 
  • #31
russ_watters
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Well, she certainly used to have dreams and ambitions.
Still operating on the assumption that your kids are not in school, when your kids do go to school (or worse, college), she's going to be left with no life whatsoever. My mother was that way (her only life was being a housewife, I mean) and though she found aspirations and hobbies later in life (she got a college degree at age 50! and plays golf and bridge excessively), she hasn't completely recovered from the sense of uselessness that that caused. She needs a social life and a life plan now or she'll regret it for the rest of her life.
Could be true, but no way of treating it without her admitting to it. The only signs of depression I see happen when she can't play the game for a period of time.
Which is a real symptom of depression. She doesn't have to admit it though, she only has to trust/love you enough to seek consultation with a psychologist. The way you frame the issue is to make it all about you: "Honey, I'm worried, go talk to a pshrink for me so that I am not so worried about you." Make it sound like you are the one with the problem and she can just spend 1 hour confirming that you are crazy to solve it. Then you let him/her convince her it's a problem.

I had a rough time in college and played way too many video games and had a bad social life (and bad grades). The weird part was, I knew exactly what my problem was at the time, but couldn't solve it. I suppose that's the definition of "addiction". I probably play less than 4 hours a week now, but I do notice that if things are going really badly for me, that increases dramatically.
 
  • #32
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I might offer a suggestion: go on a really long vacation (or multiple vacations with really short breaks in-between) during the summer for 2 years in a row.

I used to be pretty addicted to this game, and I found that that after taking a summer away from home, the game suddenly got boring. Funny how that works. Now I haven't played the game actively in about a year.

I have also found through personal experience that it is very easy to suddenly drop a game should something particularly bad happen to your character, if you get my drift :wink::wink:.
 
  • #33
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I used to be pretty addicted to this game, and I found that that after taking a summer away from home, the game suddenly got boring. Funny how that works. Now I haven't played the game actively in about a year.
True, but be prepared for the first week to not be much fun. I have been an avid gamer for years and I remember being addicted to games and it affecting relationships. There were times I would be removed from the game and it was all I thought about and I wanted to play so badly.
 
  • #34
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True, but be prepared for the first week to not be much fun. I have been an avid gamer for years and I remember being addicted to games and it affecting relationships. There were times I would be removed from the game and it was all I thought about and I wanted to play so badly.
Well, I spent the summer at a cybercamp learning 3D modeling. Suffice it to say, it was a sufficient substitute for me, and I was REALLY addicted to that game.
 
  • #36
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I have also found through personal experience that it is very easy to suddenly drop a game should something particularly bad happen to your character, if you get my drift :wink::wink:.
Sabotage would be viewed as a personal attack. It's below the board and I wouldn't consider it as an option. If the game is threatening the relationship or the children's development, and no other method works then setting parental controls or stopping payment of the bill on your credit card would be better options. Sneaking around destroying things is pretty much the death knell for trust.

chayced, does your wife have any friends or family that she maintains relationships with in reality? If she doesn't then she needs some. Perhaps arranging some kind of regular social gathering would help her make friends outside the game and reduce her reliance upon it. Think about a neighborhood pot luck, invite some friends from work and their spouses and children over for dinner. Keep in mind that this game is her main social network. If you want to limit it or remove it then it needs a replacement.

Your concern that you feel neglected is more important than this game. It could lead to serious relationship problems. If this is the case then she needs to know it, and the sooner the better. Tell her clearly what your needs are while being considerate of hers as well. Be helpful in arranging that both your needs are met. Make it fun and cooperative. You can be insistant without making demands or being angry. Think of it as flirting with your wife. Let her know that you love her and want to spend more time with her even if its something as simple as dancing in the kitchen or snuggling on the front porch. It's all foreplay and makes her feel desirable. If it's done right the game doesn't stand a chance.

The development of the children is probably the biggest concern here. Russ is right that they need more than just regular meals. They have each other to play with so that helps, but mom should be an influence in their life and not just the person that cleans up after them and prepares meals. I don't know if that is the case, and I know nothing about raising children so I'll leave it there. It can be a very personal issue. If it is an issue then keep in mind it is for the sake of the children and not a tool for leverage in another argument.

Ok, I've said too much already. Time for me to spend a few hours splattering zombie brains on some virtual scenery. I used to play MMOs, but I got tired of dealing with all the inventory and perturbed players. So I didn't know that the kick ability doesn't stop a druid from shapeshifting. So what! At least I know how to spell loser and rogue. That gets old real fast.
 
  • #37
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I was kidding about that part. My only suggestion was the vacation thing.
 
  • #38
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Sabotage would be viewed as a personal attack. It's below the board and I wouldn't consider it as an option. If the game is threatening the relationship or the children's development, and no other method works then setting parental controls or stopping payment of the bill on your credit card would be better options. Sneaking around destroying things is pretty much the death knell for trust.
Remember this is my wife and not my child. About all I can do is cancel our Internet service and even that will be seen as a personal attack. I tried using a parental control program but she hated it and resented me for it. When forced to control her addiction she acts like she has complete control of herself just long enough for the controls to be lifted, and then she accuses me of treating her like a child when she is a grown woman and can control herself. Then she goes back to her normal routine.

chayced, does your wife have any friends or family that she maintains relationships with in reality? If she doesn't then she needs some. Perhaps arranging some kind of regular social gathering would help her make friends outside the game and reduce her reliance upon it.
We have been living in our town for two years now and only know a small handful of people. As nice as it would be to make new friends, it is quite difficult to get out anywhere with three kids. Also it doesn't help that her game is the biggest thing she talks about.

The development of the children is probably the biggest concern here. Russ is right that they need more than just regular meals.
In my wife's defence she spends about 5 hours playing after the kids go to bed. From 8pm to 1am is her gaming time. She also spends around 4 hours playing during the rest of the day, so she does really spend time with the kids, it's just when she is online during the day she is not that attentive. It used to be worse, but we compromised and now she gets to have her designated play times during the day as long as she gets stuff done during the rest of the time. So I guess the real loser here is me since the only time I can possibly spend with her without the kids is eaten by the game.

Thanks for the input. Marriage counseling is sounding like the best option at this point.
 

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