5 Steps to Break Your World of Warcraft Addiction

Yep ... this is what you're spending your life doing.  Making a stupid elf cartoon with a glowing stick.  Think about it.
Yep ... this is what you're spending your life doing. Making a stupid elf cartoon with a glowing stick. Think about it.

I am a gamer. I have played games since I could hold the original NES controller in my hands and mush the buttons. In high school, my first job I had was working at a computer game store. To this day, I love games ...

... but I, like many, had fallen prey to the enormous monster that is World of Warcraft.

This game is SO MUCH FUN!!! Until you realize that you have no friends that know your real name, your girlfriend dumped you 5 months ago (but thats ok, because now you're married to a night elf hunter ... and we all know that NE females are the best), and your skin blisters from the sun when you leave your cave to venture out for a McD's snack wrap and an oversized diet coke. You would call your real friends, except the phone company shut off your service because you haven't paid them in 4 months. But hey ... its hard to pay the bills when you lost your job because your guild was about to down a new boss and you wanted that "epic" piece of armor ... too bad that rogue rolled a 100.

WAKE UP!

Your life is slipping away from you because you are addicted to World of Warcraft. But don't worry - there is still hope for you yet. An addiction doesn't just happen overnight. It creeps up on you. Here are 5 steps to help you beat your addiction and regain your life (and some self respect) :

How much time do you spend playing World of Warcraft?

  • A couple hours a day.
  • Weekend warrior only.
  • I've lost my job and significant other.
  • More time then I'd admit in a stupid poll.
  • Real life? Whats that?
  • The only way my friends can get a hold of me is through in-game mail.
See results without voting

1. Find an inexpensive hobby that forces your to go outside (and maybe interact with other people).

Inexpensive is key in this step. One of the number one reasons most people who have hit hard times develop a World of Warcraft addiction is because, "everything else is so expensive. World of Warcraft is so cheap for the amount of play I get out of it".

Well, do this. Go back to what you enjoyed doing before  you first logged into the world of Azeroth. Sign up for a cure the cancer walk, dust off your old bike, pick up your old guitar ... for the love of god, GO VOLUNTEER somewhere! Thats super free! Look, you're not making any money sitting on your butt playing a video game - so you might as well not make money elsewhere ... but at least be doing something productive.

I took up Archery. For a few bucks I had a junior bow, some arrows, and a glove. For a month straight I just went outside into my backyard and shot arrows for 2 hours. Not only did I fall in love with it, but I have since joined an archery club, made new friends, and go on regular weekend excursions to shoot at local gatherings.

2. Uninstall World of Warcraft from your computer.

I've heard a lot of people say, "You don't have to completely uninstall it. Just have some willpower and tell yourself you're not going to play."

WRONG.

You have an addiction. By its very definition, you can't control your desire to log on "just for a few minutes". So remove the temptation. World of Warcraft is a huge game. If you uninstall it, you're much more likely to go out and do your chosen activity than wait the 4 or 5 hours it would take to download it and all of its patches again.

What you don't have to do is delete all your characters and gold. Leave yourself the hope that "one day you can return" and you're much more likely to take the advice in Step 1 ... at least to experiment. Most people think that the only way to break their World of Warcraft addiction is to delete their characters ... but the very thought of doing such a thing prevents them from taking that step. So don't delete your characters. Just remove the game from your computer. Now you've made it much much harder to just "log on for a few" - and you're much more likely to break your addiction.

3. Tell people in real life that you are quitting World of Warcraft. Don't tell your guild.

Face it - you're addicted. So, chances are all of your guild-mates and other in-game friends are as well. If you really want to break your addiction they are the last people you'll get support from. Mention in guild chat that you are quitting and you'll receive nothing but reasons why you should stay. If you're serious about it - then just do it.

But do tell people in your real life. Friends and family that have seen you decline from your World of Warcraft addiction will be overjoyed and support you in your decision. They'll most likely start inviting you over again ... hell you might even get to eat better food than 24/7 McD's!

Print this off and put it on your fridge.  Be proud of your first real achievement in a long time ...
Print this off and put it on your fridge. Be proud of your first real achievement in a long time ...

4. Cancel your subscription.

The last thing you want is to see on your bank-statement is that you just paid for another month of the game that you are trying not to play. First off, if gives you a reason (however a lame one) to re-install the game and play "just a little more" since you already paid for it. Once you decide to quit and after you have uninstalled the game, go to the World of Warcraft website, manage your account, and cancel your subscription. Don't worry ... none of your characters will be lost (so you can retain the hope of returning one day). You just won't be able to log on anymore - even if you have a moment of weakness at a friends house who's computer has the brand-new expansion.

Step 5. Print off your "Your Subscription Has Been Cancelled" Page and hang it on your fridge.

Remember when you were in kindergarten and your parents would post pictures of your achievements on the fridge no matter how small? Well this is a big achievement - so don't be sad ... be proud. Hang it up as a daily reminder that you had the strength to truly defeat the World of Warcraft and regain your life.

Now go forth, and begin the best adventure ever ... Real Life! Earn real money and earn real achievements. They can be small achievements at first (like taking a shower) but eventually, you'll get back to enjoying the smell of fresh air (and clothes) laughter from real friends (lol), and you'll soon wonder why you spent so much frickin' time throwing away your precious life.



Join Me On My Adventure!

Follow along as I experiment with living onboard a 27' sailboat in an attempt to discover the balance between wants, needs, personal growth, and what really matters in life.

In Search Of The Sea : Sailing and Simple Living In Our Complex World


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Comments 6 comments

quotations profile image

quotations 5 years ago from Canada

It is sad to see that so many people are actually addicted to a game.


Fortadam profile image

Fortadam 5 years ago from Portland Oregon Author

YOU ARE MY FIRST COMMENT EVER!!! That's really exciting. It makes me want to ... write ... more. This might be, dare I say, more addicting than World of Warcraft ... (And no, I don't have an addictive personality).


SikAnTwisted profile image

SikAnTwisted 5 years ago from Columbia, SC

No matter what you do, you will always return back to World Of Warcraft. Or at least thats what I have noticed, been playing since Beta :P


Fortadam profile image

Fortadam 5 years ago from Portland Oregon Author

Playing the game isn't the problem. I do have been playing since it started, and have re-activated my account. The problem is when you get addicted to the game and it becomes more than just a form of entertainment.

I lost relationships, a job, and almost dropped out of college before I took those 5 steps. Now I have my own business, my own home, and a ton of wonderful hobbies that keep me busy in the real world. Now I can play WoW every now and then just fine.

Playing the game as a game is fine. It's the addiction that will undo you.


sumosalesman profile image

sumosalesman 5 years ago from Somersworth New Hampshire

I heard setting parental controls to a pitiful amount of daily time, then dropping a potato on the keyboard when resetting the password, was a pretty good way of cutting down involuntarily.

One thing that got me out was the amount of abuse I got my first time through Icecrown Citadel. I recommend pugging a high-level raid to anyone who needs a good reality check. I got to see how miserable and time-soaked other people were too and I wound up giving away my characters to someone else. I did have a relapse with DDO but I got another somewhat newer computer for $150 and haven't played anything but Armor Games. It's great having a system that isn't clogging due to gargantuan MMORPG downloads. I've used Leechblock, a Firefox add-on, along with Window/Tab Limiting Extension to keep substitute temptations in check. It's been great just turning my computer on and (usually) going straight to a small group of minor money-making opportunities instead of giving a month's time away for $15 or less.


Fortadam profile image

Fortadam 5 years ago from Portland Oregon Author

I completely agree! Have an escape is nice ... But when real life becomes your escape from you MMO life, then things have gone too far! Bravo for finding ways to be productive with your time :)

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