I am permanently quitting Armageddon.
This is not a new or sudden choice for me; though what made me leave at this time is the culmination of long-term frustrations with staff over the last six or seven RL months. I do not care to elaborate on those at this time. I do thank staff, however, for working with me to resolve and store my character, helping me to take extra steps to help finish my characters' PC story.
My advice to the GDB at large is that if you have a good, supportive staffer that enables you, that encourages you, that you refresh your email just because you look forward to seeing their reply to your requests: Send them kudos
. Let them know how wonderful and amazing they are.
However, my decision to store, while influenced by the last few months, is ultimately not about staff at all. It's about me. And this post to say good-bye? It's really about you.
We jokingly call this game “Crackageddon” because of how fun and addictive it is. I know that for me, and many out there, there's a painful truth behind that. It's easy to lose yourself in this wonderful, immersive world of ours, to prioritize your character over getting out and about in the world, over seeing friends, over doing what you have always dreamed. It's easy to ignore this and make excuses, and pretend you are not addicted.
The truth is, I cannot stop playing Armageddon if I am having fun. I will log in during the week for five or six hours every day. I will stay up until the early AMs despite having work. I will spend my waking moments thinking about what my character will do next, planning and obsessing when I am not near a computer.
This is why I am quitting. Because from now on, my life will belong to me, not my character. Because from now on, I am going to prioritize my dreams, my friends, my goals.
Many of you may laugh and wonder how someone could be this bad, this crazy, about a game. But I am not the only addicted player
. I am not the only one who pours so many hours into this game, who neglects friends and family.These are the signs of addiction:1. Salience – The activity becomes the most important thing in an individual's life.
- Cognitive Salience – When an individual often thinks about the activity.
- Behavioral Salience – When an individual neglects basic necessities, such as sleep, food, or hygiene, so as to perform the activity.
If you are regularly putting off sleep in favor of playing Armageddon, this is you. If you cannot stop thinking about Armageddon, if you constantly dream about what your character will do, this is you. If you would rather do Armageddon over nearly anything else, this is you.2. Mood Change – Subjective experiences are affected by the activity.
If your mood matches how things are going for you and your character in Armageddon, this could be you. If actions of other players or staff have the ability to either make you extremely happy in your life as a whole, or extremely angry and upset, this could be you. If your mood because of something that happened the last time you logged in follows you around, to work, to school, when you're doing other things: This is definitely you.3. Tolerance – The process requires continually higher doses of the activity to achieve the original sensations.
Armageddon is a game driven by people. The high that it gives often results from finally connecting with the right people. If you feel antsy if you don't log in, but when you do will commit hours of your time to staying in the game, just hoping you'll find the right person to make it fun, then you qualify here.4. Withdrawal Symptoms – Negative feelings and sensations that accompany not being able to perform the online activity or termination of the online activity.
If you need to log on every day or you get antsy, this is you. If you will occasionally do other activities first, but it only serves to remind you that you haven't logged in yet, this is you. Sometimes, it is possible to go without logging in for awhile, if sufficiently distracted. This can be a way to lie to yourself that you don't really have a problem. However, if you are routinely logging in for hours a day, and this is the primary thing you want to do: You do have a problem.5. Conflict – Interpersonal or intrapersonal conflict caused by the online activity.
- Conflict is often accompanied by deterioration in school or work results and abandonment of previous hobbies.
Think about back before you played Armageddon. For many of us it may be multiple years; for me it is almost a decade. What did you do with your free time then? What did you love to look forward to doing? For me, the answer is writing and drawing, by in large.
If you have ever had Armageddon get to the point where it is causing a lack of focus on your school work, you are addicted. If it is causing you to have a poor sleep schedule, if it is making you not do as well at work... Do not try to pretend this is otherwise, if it is happening. If this is happening, your life and priorities are out of perspective.6. Relapse – The tenancy to return to addictive behavior even after periods of relative control.
When we say that Armageddon is an addiction, I like to think of it like being an alcoholic. Maybe this isn't true for everyone; but it's true for me. If you are an alcoholic, you don't tell yourself that just one drink is okay. You don't tell yourself that you can drink in moderation. If you do tell yourself these things, you will end up drinking again. This is true with Armageddon. Please, do not let it fool you.
I realize that not everyone is an Armageddon addict. There are some of you who can genuinely play this game and enjoy it, and not let it take over everything in your life. That is wonderful, and if that is the case, keep playing. However, I know I am not the only one out there with this problem. If this is you, quit.
Don't do what I did. Don't tell yourself “I'll quit when this event happens”. Don't pick a future date. It is tempting to want to see certain things resolved and finalized, and I've been there too. I've been there for a very, very long time. But the truth is, if you are an addict, this is a problem right now
. It will be a problem for as long as you allow it to be one.
Quitting is hard. But if you are determined, you can do anything. Even leave this game.
I am taking the steps I need to insure that I will be permanently leaving: I will ask staff to ban me from both the game and from the GDB. It is possible I will eventually return to the GDB, but I won't be playing again.
So I say good-bye to you, the people I have made so many stories with, and had the pleasure of meeting so many characters of, the people I have argued with and discussed with here on the GDB. Don't think of this as a sad parting: Instead, know that I am doing something good for my life.