I recently read with mounting horror an article about a 15 year old Vietnamese lad who murdered a 7 year old girl for her earrings, so he could sell them to buy more game time on a popular Vietnamese MMORPG. It wasn't World of Warcraft of course, but it hightlights the unspeakable lengths some gamers will go to to feed their MMORPG addiction. I've read some equally disturbing stories on http://www.wowdetox.com/ . This site is great if you feel yourself yearning for WoW, and need a few short reminders why you gave up.
I couldn't have given up WoW so easily without the support of my boyfriend (soon to be husband on 6th August, hooray!) We both quit at the same time - I knew I wouldn't be drawn back in by him as he's got amazing willpower. He's one of those people that can smoke for years and then just drop it one day and never look back. However, he brought up an interesting point the other day when we were idly reminiscing about WoW (not something we do often I must add). You see, he's recently been signed off work with stress due to a boss setting ridiculous deadlines, ringing him up at all hours of the night and expecting him to work three weekends in a row without a word of thanks. My fiance admitted that the mindless, repetitive nature of playing WoW was almost like meditation for him, something that enabled him to switch off from work and de-stress. Could it be that giving up WoW actually exacerbated his stress condition by giving him no outlet to unwind?
It's an interesting thought and I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments. Personally I think there are much healthier outlets for stress. Even if you're hardcore gamers like we both are, there are other games that have a beginning, middle and end, giving you that sense of completion and achievement. I do often feel that something's missing without WoW in my life, maybe I still need to find that stress outlet myself?