Although this is my first soapbox I’ve decided instead of taking the usual rant direction of a soapbox, I will take it in the opposite direction… asking for help.
A work colleague (lets call him ‘Bob’) whom at the time was a fantastic fellow techie, always on time, very helpful, in a good relationship and a all-round nice guy, spotted the figurines on my desk, one thing lead to another and we started chatting about… The World of Warcraft, he had oddly only vaguely heard of it, and since I hadn’t played it in over 2 years I was quite happy to offer him my copy… So after a couple of days I scrounged up my copy of WoW and gave Bob the installation CDs + a Trial CD-KEY, and I told him he’ll enjoy it.
Fast forward 4 months, Bob is now one of the most unreliable people I know, he’s rarely on time for anything work related, he always IMing his guild mates at work, he’s packed on the pounds, anything you say to him barely gets a response and worst of all his partner of over 3 years has left him… I was never friends with his partner so I can’t really ask her what the caused the meltdown of their relationship but I think I could safely hazard a guess that it may be WoW related…
Now two weekends ago I went to his house for the first time in months, and it was clear that he did very little except play World of Warcraft, it looked like he hadn’t eaten a proper cooked meal in months, his house was full of McDonald wrappers (unsurprisingly McDonalds is just across the road from where he lives) and there was literally a 5cm thick layer of cigarette butts covering his entire desk, honestly If I hadn’t seen it for myself I wouldn’t of believed that such a train wreck could happen over such a short period.
I asked him if he ‘may’ be playing Warcraft a bit too much, but in response he got clearly agitated that I dare suggest such a thing, and I could feel the entire time I was at his house he was waiting for me to leave so he could get back into the his own World.
I feel partially responsible for hooking him up with an ‘addictive substance’, and it seems that he’s … overly addicted to it to say the least. Unquestionable it’s ruining his life, his health, and no doubt he wont be holding onto his job much longer if this continues…
But on the flipside it’s quite clear that he’s very passionate about Warcraft, he’s seem to of found a great guild, he treats the guild members almost as his family, and he really… really enjoys playing the World of Warcraft. Obviously this would be great if it were handled in moderation but due to the ultra addictive nature of the MMORPG grinding model it’s very hard to keep a grasp on reality while seriously competing in a MMORPG.
Thus it leaves me in a bit on a conundrum, he’s having what he views to be the time of his life and I don’t want to ruin something he’s clearly enjoying it… but I also don’t want him to see him ruin his life for cruddy levels, ranks and items which honestly have no real world worth.
So my question is to the Limiters, has anyone ever tried to do a MMORPG intervention? How did it go, and any advice on how to approach the topic of getting someone to distance themselves from a World they love?