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LotRO addict


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I have already posted it on other discussion board for gaming addicts, but since it expresses my feelings perfectly, there is no need to rewrite it, so I decided to paste it here. Thank you in advance for any feedback :)

Hello, LotRO addict here!

I am addicted to the game Lord of the Rings online, I found out about this game in an on-line course about Tolkien, "Online games, Literature, New Media and Narrative" at Coursera. I have been a Tolkien fan for ages, and this was the only Tolkien MOOC which I could find. The professor in the course was showing snippets from the game, and it was fascinating for me as a Tolkien fan, and I wanted to play this game and "experience" Middle-Earth as if I were there, immerse myself in my beloved fantasy land as never before. What is significant is that I have not played any games previously and generally considered them a silly and brainless entertainment. But as I started playing LotRO, I was more and more attracted to this game, mainly because it was set in Tolkien's Middle-Earth which I was a fan of, and I liked the graphics very much. From August when the course started till today, I levelled up my character to 35 level, and it was the first MMO game I played. I believe MMO are the worst kind of games, they are very time-consuming from their very nature, because just to get from point A to point B in the game it takes a lot of time, so they are not like some other games you can play for a little while, if you do so, you simply achieve nothing in the game. It is not Tetris you can play for five minutes and then quit.

So first I was playing the game quite a lot, maybe four-six hours a day, and at first I was not worried because from time to time I have these fascinations, like a new book or a film, which lasts for a very short time and then disappears out of its own accord, and this is an example: I had it with the Hunger Games trilogy, I simply read all the books in three or two days, then watched the movie, read all about it on the forums, devoured fanfiction, fan music etc. and after some time I suddenly lost interest in it completely, and now I don't care about it at all. So, I hoped it would be the same with the game and that it will gradually bore me and I would quit it after some time, just like it happened with Hunger Games, without doing anything in particular to stop myself from gaming. I believed that the game is attractive to me only because it is so new to me, and as soon as the newness would wear off, I would quit it. At first I was playing 4-6 hours daily, later I played from time to time, not every day, but every two days, for a 2-3 hours in the evening. The longest I went without the game was I believe five days. Today I decided to call it quits and uninstalled the game - I believe it is the best option, just to get rid of the game instead of reducing the time spent playing, because if one does not get rid of the game, it will continue to tempt them. The installation file of LotRO is quite large, so once it is uninstalled, I would have to go to great lengths to download it again, and I hope I would be to lazy to wait for the download

The game did not cause much problems in my life, I am currently unemployed, so I guess I started playing out of boredom and to experience something new. The rationale behind my playing which I used to justify myself was that I want to find a job as a game translator and to do so, I must needs know something about games, I cannot just start doing something like this without having played a game. But now it's enough As I mentioned, I am currently unemployed, I graduated from my studies (where I always was a good student), so the game was not interfering with my job or studies (anyway, I would have never put a game before getting good marks). The problem is I am terribly shy and I do not have any friends, except one friend who is my pen pal (or rather e-mail pal) - I noticed that I began to neglect writing to her because of the game. I also read less than before, and I have always loved reading. I am an adult but I am still living with my parents due to unemployment, and my Mum was sometimes worried about me playing too much. I used to play for three or two hours in the late evening, let's say until midnight but I never pulled an all-nighter playing. It also seemed to me that it is easier to fall asleep after I have been playing, since I was relaxed then. The game helped me to relax, but I also noticed that it caused some eye fatigue, after playing my eyes were itching, it was much more intense after playing that doing something else on the computer, such as watching films or writing e-mails, and it made me decide to quit the game. Also, I spent a lot of time fantasising what I would do next in the game, where I would go with my character, which quests would I accept. I watched a lot of walk-through videos and read the game encyclopedia to find out how to do certain quests - symptoms of being addicted.

Now I wonder if I have not overreacted, but I try to keep these feelings at bay and I have decided never to play the game again, though I already feel I miss it.

Sorry for grammatical and lexical mistakes, English is not my native language; I live in Poland.

I pasted it here since nothing significant really changed, and this post describes my gaming experience quite aptly. I started gaming when I was 29 after attending the online course, and since summer 2014 I played on and off - when I played, I used to spend a lot of time on the game, but I did not neglect my duties in any particular way, though I read less, which started to bother me. Since this post quoted above was written, I returned to the game a couple of times, though every time I returned I spent less and less time playing. I played since August 2014 but there were some breaks in my gaming, a month when my laptop broke down, another month and a half when I gave up gaming for Lent. And now I have not really played since the beginning of November. I do miss the game sometimes, and I am still not sure whether I was really addicted to it. I also have dreams about the game quite often, though in these dreams the game looks quite different from what it is really like. I used  to watch the LotRO videos to learn "what happens next" but I try to avoid them now as I guess it can be detrimental to my giving up the game. The thing is I did not grow up with computer games, and I got hooked on the LotRO game because I was a Tolkien fan long before I even heard about the game, and it was the possibility to immerse myself in Middle-Earth which attracted me so much to the game. I tried some other games such as Dragon Age but played them only for a short while before dumping them completely. It is only to LotRO that I kept on returning. Since I decided to give up the game (it is really only one game in my case, not gaming in general), I also try to stay away from Tolkien's books and Peter Jackson's films as it seems to me they may trigger my interest in the game. The thing that worries me is that I believe my passion for Tolkien's Middle-Earth has to go together with the game if I am to be cured of it. What do you think of it? Do I have to steer clear of Middle-Earth books and films to free myself from the game?

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Hi Primmulla, welcome to the community!

To keep track of how you're doing after you quit, I'd recommend writing a daily journal if you haven't already. Perhaps my own might give you a little inspiration to show what it's like further down the line: http://forum.gamequitters.com/topic/235-my-journal-alex/?page=1

I wish all the best for your recovery!

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