Yesterday I posted an article titled I Kept Playing - The Costs Of My Gaming Addiction." The response from our readers has been so overwhelming that I felt I should take the time to address it.
First of all, thank you all for the kind words and well-wishes directed towards Emily and I. As I said in the article, I've made reference to my time in EverQuest on Kotaku in the past, but being with Emily after eight years and realizing just how big an impact the game had on my life was the impetus for the story.
In talking to my friends, family, and former employers over the course of writing the article I gained a much deeper understanding of how I affected the people around me, doing something I felt didn't matter to anyone but me. It's been a very sobering experience.
Many of you have written to say that you relate to my experience, and in a way it's good to know that I'm not the only one. Of course I knew I was not the only one, but to hear from people who I feel I have a connection to through Kotaku brings it to a whole new level.
Some of you wrote asking for advice on how to overcome your own personal game addiction. I'd say that by even asking for advice, you've already taken your first step. I know the whole "admitting you have a problem" line seems old and tired, but it still rings true. During the period I describe, I never once felt that I was doing something wrong. It was my body, my time, and my money, or lack thereof, which I realise now was an extremely selfish way to look at things.
By just asking the question you're on your way. All I can suggest is that you get friends and family actively involved in getting you away from the computer, the console, or your handheld. Go out of town. Stay at someone else's house.
Mind you, I am not a doctor, or any kind of qualified therapist. Your best bet is to get on Google and do a search. Unless you are addicted to Google. In that case, just ask random people in the street.
Many of you were curious if I still played MMO games, and I do. I've just developed a different sort of personal philosophy towards them in the past few years. I've forced myself to see them as a diversion. I've convinced myself that the next level isn't going to go away if I don't play for a week. I used to worry about friends surpassing me; now I tell myself we're all going to end up at the level cap eventually.
I guess what I really wanted to do in this post was to let you all know that I received your emails, and I've read them as well. If I don't respond personally, it's just because I am incredibly busy playing video games for work. If it helps at all, I'd rather be reading a book.
Oh, and Emily says thank you as well. She was completely tickled by the overwhelming response, which instilled in her a new level of respect for my little writing thing. We've decided that if we ever break up, my next and all subsequent girlfriends will have to assume the name Emily, so the story can continue, shades of the Dread Pirate Roberts.