Sunday, April 8, 2012

Confessions of a Video Game RPG’er

Hello blog-o-sphere! Since I haven't given you anything meaty to chew on in a few weeks, I have been holding onto this one for a while and finally decided to let it go. Let me know what similar experiences you may have with regards to video gaming.

Dungeons and Dragons Online Load Screen
I can say that honestly, I have an addictive personality…without question. When I smoked cigarettes (up until about 2004-2005ish, I can’t remember when I quit), I was all in! I smoked something fierce. It wasn’t until I decided that enough was enough that I quit. And in all honesty, I would have started back up again if it wasn’t for my son’s face when he told me how proud he was of me when I did it. But, I digress. Point is, I did the same thing with video games.

I played Neverwinter Nights, Diablo 2, Temple of Elemental Evil and even tried Dragon Age recently (just to name a few) and LOVED them. Then I was addicted to the MMORPG’s. I played Dungeons & Dragons Online and eventually migrated to the grand-daddy of all MMORPG’s: World of Warcraft (Or, World of Warcrack as it is affectionately known in certain circles.) I did not play them; I immersed myself in them.

A WOW Screenshot for guild website Home Page
Here is the allure of it: Go to your PC, log in and get immediate gratification. You do not need to wait for other people (for the most part), and you can work at your own pace.

Table top gaming, of which I am a huge fan, requires patience, teamwork and social skills to get the most out of them. Video games can be played alone. It is a strange, sexy and compelling dynamic. And again, keep in mind that these are my experiences, yours may be completely different.

I played these RPG video games to the point where I wanted to be in their worlds more than my own. I was to the point where I cared more about how much gold I had than how much money I had in my own checking account. It was bad.

My point of this is to be careful. Know your own personality. Know your family needs. Make a schedule and stick to it if necessary. Video gaming is not worth losing your family, girlfriend, boyfriend, loved one.

Also, and this is a BIG also: I do not blame the video game companies! I cannot state that enough. It’s not their fault; it was mine! I am taking personal responsibility for my faults and addictions. On a side note, just because some bands play devil music does not make me want to worship the devil. You decide what you do. Always. Capishe? You are the captain of your own brain-ship; drive it responsibly.

There you go. I shared my experience and said my peace. I will probably expand on this in later blogs or re-hash certain experiences with you all too if you want to hear them.

Now, does anyone have a similar experience that they can share?

Of course you do—Lemme’ hear ‘em

I hope you enjoyed the sample! See you in Wothlondia! Cheers!

Please visit MY HOME PAGE to enjoy an extended reading experience, see direct links to purchase my full length novel, Covenant of the Faceless Knights, the short stories: Wothlondia Rising, and to see what else Ashenclaw Studios, LLC has in store in the future!

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2012 unless otherwise noted.


  1. I feel your pain. I'm a reformed and recovering WoW addict. 2 years clean lol.

  2. I had a similar experience. I still dabble in DDO at present. The games are addictive, but what makes them worth staying for, IMHO, is the social experience of the guild. I had a really good group of guildmates, and a very charismatic and fun guild leader. The game just hasn't been the same since we all went our separate ways, and I don't really stay for very long anymore. But I am happy to have met you all and made new friends. Happy Easter BTW, G. ;)

    愛 平和 祝福

  3. Lanie and 説得, thanks for stopping by to comment!

    Lanie, I hear you. If I could actually work, write and play games, I would. But, I yet do not trust myself to play the games yet. I may try to do it again in the near future again, but for right now, it is all about the writing for me.

    説得, it was of course wonderful to meet you and all of the others that I have had the pleasure of gaming with in the past. All of you have had an effect on my life in one way, shape or form and I certainly miss spending the time with all of you~ Mark, Lar, Dave, Jon, John, Becky, Carter, Blee, Tony and all of the folks from Saint Johns, New Brunswick, Andy, Cole, Scott, Rob, Zach, Jerome, Matt, Mike, Justin and Angie, Lou and everyone else. I wish I could name everyone. These are just a few of the names of people that I remember that made me smile on numerous occasions. You guys made it so much fun...too much fun, some would say! the social aspect is what really made me come to the PC and log in every day for so many years. Hopefully we can do it again one day!

  4. I want to mention that several years ago I did some freelance writing for an entreprenuer who had worked in the MMO video game industry. According to him, the games are designed with the aid of psychologists in order to make them addictive. So they are addictive by design. I'm not saying that this is entirely nefarious. The game publishers are trying to make a product that people will like and want to play (and pay for) on an ongoing basis. Please don't think that you got addicted because you are an addict. It takes 2 to tango and games, particularly massive multi player games, are specifically designed to deliver gratification and trigger desire for more. The application of just the right amount of challenge in the game followed by the happiness of reaching a goal are powerful psychological attractants. We all want to feel like we can accomplish something.

  5. It can be the same with writing. There are times I'd rather be in my made up worlds than in the real one. When I get to that stage, I realise it's time to take a break and remind myself how amazing my life is, despite the stresses and problems that are all part and parcel of it. Family is far more important than anything else.

  6. Tracy and Steph, thank you both for stopping by to comment!

    Tracy, I understand what they are doing and I also understand that they are doing their job extremely well. I know that they build them to be addictive and it certainly does not help. I liken it again to cigarettes, because that is another addiction that I bested personally. I know they are addictive, damaging to your health and deadly to use, but I did not care. That being said, I am glad that we actually have proof from someone that worked in the field! It is validation to anyone who was wondering about that!

    Steph, thanks for the advice on re-booting into a reality check! That is amazingly insightful and accurate. And yes, family comes first, no matter what.

    Thanks again for stopping by and I look forward to sharing thoughts with you both again soon! Cheers!

  7. I definitely feel this! I'm a current WoW addict, but I've managed to keep it to a schedule that's almost reasonable. Before that, I was addicted to Star Wars Galaxies (back before they ruined it). Talk about a time sink! That game stole my life, and I didn't even care. I'm glad that's over...and I'm glad SW:TOR isn't nearly as addicting lol.

  8. Melinda, thanks for stopping by to share with us! Video games, along with TV, Movies or any other hobby for that matter can certainly be addicting. Video games, especially ones so engrossing as MMORPG's can be even more so. I am glad that you are able to keep your gaming under control now! Thanks for the comment and I look forward to future posts! Cheers!

  9. Used to be a WoW addict after splitting with my ex, run a guild, lead raids, farmed pvp hk's. Fortunately I met my next and current girl friend who I've now started a family with and saved me from the WoW addiction. Those games are addictive, I still play games but more casually now and stick to a 2 gaming nights a week kinda thing which works for me. I get my fix from that.
    WoW did do a couple of good things for me tho. I met some new friends who are now regular real life friends and one of which is my best mate. And it stopped me going out wasting money which allowed me to save most of my house deposit in two years. Thanks Blizzard :)

  10. Veiledbunneh, thanks so much for stopping by to share your experience with us! I am glad that you have adhered to a schedule of late and also that you have a casual mentality when gaming. It is pretty awesome and you are lucky to have met some real life friends through the game and enough cannot be said about how cool that is!

    Also, my brother-in-law and I played Diablo 2 together years back and also saved money for our respective homes, too! Funny, right? Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by and I look forward to more in the future! Cheers!

  11. I can't ever play again. In true addict fashion, I will play to the exclusion of everything else in my life. It's the only thing I've ever been addicted to other than coffee and nicotine.

    On a side note, have you seen the show "The Guild?" It's on netflix, and absolutely hilarious. It was created by a girl who played WoW. Kind of made me want to play again, but I know my limitations. :)

  12. Hi, LAnie and thanks for stopping by! I feel your pain. I understand completely what a life-changing game these MMO's are. They consume you and distract you with things that you place false importance on and then leave you a hollow shell a few years later! The only reason I would go back myself would be for the people.

    And yes, Her name is Felicia Day and she is extremely funny, quirky and talented. The Guild is a very funny show. It is good that you understand your limitations. It is a step beyond what a lot of others do not take. I wish you luck in your fight! Cheers!

  13. I really enjoy video games, and have found that with enough discipline, I can actually pull inspiration for writing out of them. Quite a bit of thought goes into some of the more popular games. Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls, even WoW, all of them have stories to follow, and all of them are designed to pull you into that story. This is something every writer desires with their book, and because of this I have found that using these stories has inspired me to continue creating my own stories. The problem of course lay in the fact that at times, the "fun" of playing over takes the "need" to work, but I think that can be true of any hobby.

    The key for me is to always remind myself that all of it is just a game. There is no actual value or importance found in it. Therefore it should not take priority over the things that do have actual value and importance in my life. I will admit that there are the days where I say, "Screw it, I want to be lazy today," and just play video games. I just keep those days far, far apart from each other.

  14. Thanks for the reply, Jeff. I feel your pain. I am playing another game off and on and it can certainly be addicting. I enjoy the social aspect of the game more than the game most of the time, but it is tough. Best of luck with your choices as well moving forward. :)