Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft is hugely popular and seriously addictive. Speaking of which, addiction to computer games can prove to be seriously detrimental to one’s health in many ways. If you are victim of such an addiction, especially World of Warcraft, here’s how you can overcome it.
Addictions … started out like magical pets, pocket monsters. They did extraordinary tricks, showed you things you hadn’t seen, were fun. But came, through some gradual dire alchemy, to make decisions for you. Eventually, they were making your most crucial life-decisions. And they were … less intelligent than goldfish.
― William Gibson, Zero History
Far, far away from reality there exists a world created and protected by the like-minded. It is a home to every person on the same mission, seeking the same place, and trying to a live a heightened living. To many it is a refuge from what exists outside it, a private alcove that opens up for them with just one click and closes down every time they decide to leave. The similar inhabitants and the sense of achievement and fulfillment this far-away fantasy land provides becomes a motivating factor for many to live there. And this keeps many stuck in this virtual world called World of Warcraft for a long, long time. No matter how great this place seems, the problem is that it is unreal; a mere work of fiction, incapable of living up to actual human needs.
The recent past―with advances in the arena of computer gaming―has seen many attempts by designers to lure gamers into a world that is forever meant to remain untrue. Unfortunately, with every successful attempt by these game designers, they re-bottled the old problem of addiction through a virtual world. Of course there are addictions, such as exercising or reading, that affect positively, but addiction to a computer game, such as World of Warcraft, holds nothing much for the player. If you find yourself questioning your stance with the game, or have a friend who needs an intervention, this is what you need to do.
Tips to Overcome World of Warcraft Addiction
The solution to every problem begins with its acceptance. Thus, an addiction is no exception. To deal with your addiction to this game, you first need to accept that it is a problem. Identifying it as a problem area of your life will help you get a perspective of troubleshooting the situation. Being aware of your compulsion to play this game and recognizing that it is becoming a hurdle to live your life normally, such as not being able to determine the difference between real and virtual, will give you a starting point to design your solution.
Why Did You Start
Often addicts put up a defense of how their addictions are not really addictions. A simple test to determine the importance and the bearing of your habit on your lifestyle is to ask yourself why did you start doing it in the first place. If the answer to this question is relevant even today, then there isn’t a problem. However, if the answer varies, then this is something that you have to proactively think about. To elucidate this point further, ask yourself why did you first start playing this game? Suppose the answer is peer pressure (or if someone introduced you to it) or boredom. Now, are these answers relevant at this moment in your life? If the answer is negative, then you have to move on. Oftentimes, we stick with certain habits despite exhaustion of their primary reasons. When these habits turn into addictions, it is time we begin reversing them.
Call It Quits
Coming to a decision to end something is always an act best performed in solitude. An audience never helps. So, this time when you have decided to call it quits, just do so. Instead of doing it step-by-step, simply log out and deal with what has to come. Avoid telling your friends about your decision, until you have dealt with it completely. This will save you the need to explain yourself, and the possibility of unwanted peer pressure to reverse your decision.
Plan of Action
Once you have called it quits, you will surely have a lot of time on your hands. Chart out a plan of action of the things you can do, things you have missed out on, or the things you would like to do in this time. Pick outdoor activities as opposed to indoor activities such as watching movies, reading a book, or other such things. Meet your friends, spend time with the family, play a sport, join a hobby class, learn a language, or pick any other activity that will promise you constructive creative usage of your time. Surely, as you withdraw from playing World of Warcraft, all of a sudden, you will experience a cold turkey. You will miss those people and the relationships developed with them. But finding ways to substitute all of it with the real people in your life is the only way of getting over the game addiction.
As you successfully start going back to your real life, one day at a time, wean off completely from the game. Call it quits completely by selling off your account. With several people who would want an established character, there will be many who will pay you for this. Not only will this end your ways of going back to the previous virtual life, but also give you an opportunity to make some money! If selling it seems like a difficult thing to do, play the game to a point of burnout. One last revisit to the game will make you realize that winning that gold, levels, and creating that life, is pointless. After all, it is equivalent to a dead man’s possession who cannot use it. Eventually, what is real, only matters.
As you outgrow the game, you will realize the things you missed out on. Constantly keep making a conscious effort to do something new, to tap into your vast potential, and channel your inner energy towards a more real use. Overcoming World of Warcraft addiction is more about realizing that everything that this game provides you with, is momentary. The fleeting nature of its rewards is the reason why you need to seek things that are more substantial and everlasting.