My name is Jeremy, and I’m a WoW addict.

I haven’t touched WoW for… I don’t really recall, maybe six months.

I started playing a bit over six years ago. I tried to give up several times, but like any addiction it’s difficult to do so. Blizzard through WoW had created a virtual Skinner box, a Pavlov’s Dog experiment, designed to keep all of us interested just enough to keep us paying the monthly subscription. However, I cannot lay total blame at the feet of the developers. Mike Fahey on Kotaku wrote an excellent article about his EverQuest addiction, in which he quoted Dr Hilarie Cash, executive director of the reSTART internet and gaming addition recovery program: “Some blame can be laid at the feet of developers, making a conscious effort to make their games more addictive. It’s analogous to the tobacco industry, trying to make tobacco more addictive. It works to their benefit. That having been said, it’s up to the individual to take responsibility for how they play.”

Unlike Mike Fahey was, I’m what they call a “functioning addict”. I hold down a job, I support my family, I “function” as a “normal” member of society. It’s just that every spare moment I had I would be on the computer playing WoW. If I couldn’t do that for a while, I would get grumpy, sullen and snarky – classic “withdrawal” symptoms.

It’s taken me a long time to reach the conclusion that I am addicted. In the Season 3 episode of “The West Wing” titled “Bartlet for America”, Whitehouse Chief of Staff Leo McGarry describes how it feels as an alcoholic: “I don’t understand people who have one drink, I don’t understand people who leave half a glass of wine on the table, I don’t understand people who say they’ve had enough. How can you have enough of feeling like this? How can you not want to feel like this longer? My brain works differently.”

My brain works differently.

There’s an excellent article on detailing “5 Creepy Ways Video Games Are Trying to Get You Addicted” and it was this article that finally convinced me that yes, I am addicted. And to write this post.

I’m Jeremy, and I’m a WoW addict.