Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Response to My Boyfriend won't quit World of Warcraft!

It is odd, I recently started playing wow again after having played on and off casually. I did play a LOT for a short time when I was depressed, but I set goals for myself, and when I met those goals, I was no longs interested in playing. Now this time, I am not playing every day, but it has made me quit smoking. I noticed that I smoked when I was bored, and that is all it was. Now when I am bored, I jump online, play an arena / pvp match, grind a few quests and then sign off.

Addiction is a difficult thing to break. Addictions are a place of security and consistency. They are something you can get a predictable response from in what he expresses is an unpredictable world in a way.

I have seen many people / girlfriends loose people to wow. I have argued, to be honest, that it can be that wow sets a high bar. It can actually be more stimulating than the average relationship. You do sound like you care, but I think in order to be successful you need to know what you want from this. Why do you care? Is it only that he is a human being? Was he supportive of you in college in a useful way? You need to identify what you want more than a chance to pity him.

It may seem far fetched, but he has told you what he wants, even if it seems "unrealistic". He is an abc that wants to visit his native country. There is nothing wrong with him disliking this country and wanting to go to china, even if it is a little out of immediate reach.

I would suggest getting engaged with his interest in wow. Don't psyco-analyze him, just ask him what he is doing, and what he hopes to accomplish. If you are worried about coming off as a noob that doesn't understand, get to know some of the lore; wow is very rich with intermingled stories that have been a long time in the making. warcraft as a story is 15+ years out there. Get to know some of the stories, and ask for his feelings on some of the conflicts, or how a particular conflict may get resolved.

If you can identify with the goals he is setting now, and he can recognize the accomplishments he is making, I think he would see that he is able to achieve goals hie sets for himself. The problem with an addiction or any habit is that you can't set a goal to NOT do something, cause that isn't anything at all. You need to set a goal to DO something, or better, accomplish something. wow sets little achievements that are attainable in an entertaining way that is rewarding and often requires team work. Going out with friends, or sex, or partying are fun and pleasurable in their own way, but they are not goals, they are things. They can be rewards between accomplishments to reward ourselves, but they are not accomplishments in and of themselves. This is where "real life" can be a depressing challenge next to the attraction of wow.

I believe that if he can more closely identify with his goals, he may stop making them so lightly, and take more pleasure in the completion of his goals, even in the mean time it is only in the game. I would bet that as he sets goals for himself that as he accomplishes them, he will feel more "finished" at the end of his gaming sessions.

I think you can see at this point where goals become their own limits and how steps can be taken towards his real goal of going to China. Also, China has some of the best Internet in the world, not to mention they they have the first real clinics for treating gaming addiction as its own thing that needs specialized attention.

It sounds like he wants to break the addiction, but that the game plays an important role. He also has aspirations. The connections need to be made that will give him choices to empower himself, and do what he wants to do in his life.

If you want to comment back about my suggestion (or anyone else) going to post this to my blog. nakedpenguins dot net. Hope you can add this to the many other suggestions you have received, and hope you found the perspective yo were looking for. Good luck.

No comments: