Guest Article: On D2, eBay, alcoholism and the social construct of the Matrix

ConnerMacleod

Diabloii.Net Member
Well, I for one understand his addiction.

IRL I am a recovering alcoholic. April 22nd of last year was the day I took my last drink. I played Diablo on and off for 2 years prior to that, but my addiction got stronger after I gave up alcohol. Problem is my compulsive nature, and like he said, the reward for doing things in game gives me a high.

Since I needed something to replace my chemical addiction, I needed a distraction of some type. So rather than spend 5-7 hours getting obliterated after work while playing D2, I started playing D2 sober. Gee, Conner, can't you do something like exercise or read? Well, I read my personal D2 books (I made it after a long time of online surfing for info) and know about everything there is to know about the game. I read them every night before I go to sleep.

All I can say is Diablo got me through the first 2 weeks I spent shaking and going to meetings. I didn't buy anything off Ebay, but did spend more money on extra copies of the game for my other comps! Same difference.

I wish I could grow tired of playing the game, but building the godliest PKs and chars (I'm HC only) is more fun for me than any other activity. Call me sad, pathetic, whatever, but I would rather be doing this for the time being than wasting my life away with drugs or alcohol. And it's kept me sober ever since.
 

Sammyboyz2

Diabloii.Net Member
surprising, sounds so much like myself. an addiction is exactly what it was. id play for up to 5 hours a day, evn gettin up in the middle of the night just to get a few more hours in. i took a more drastic approach to fix me problem tho. it took over my life so much, in the end i decided to totally stop. i actually spent an hour clearin out all my characters of their items. it was actually quite a fulfilling experience, giving all this equipment to less fortunate starters. although i didnt have all the goldy item such as windforces or grandfathers, i still had some nice stuf. it was great fun. should try it some time
 

KruxDeValor

Diabloii.Net Member
children of the computer age.

i find myself on the plains of despair sometimes. much of the experiences posted i can relate to. i began my adventure somewhere in my early 18's i turned 21 on the 11 of feb. i have deleted all ive had on 3 occasions only to restart within a month or two of having given up. i sometimes will be up all night thinking about different gear combinations for my pk paladin then ill realise its 4am. i have dabbled into ebay but not much. i guess the reason i play the game so much is that, maybe on psychological level everything makes sense. maybe that reality is more appealing than the physical one im in. i have yet to find a reason to make life thats worth while and until that day comes i see myself as a d2 junky. part of me wishes the severs went done perminantly, but then i wonder if i can become an addict to 1 game, what will stop me from being an addict to another?
 

Fib_Dynamo

Diabloii.Net Member
Intermittent reinforcement

The addiction to Diablo II is most similar to problem gambling. There is a way of learning called intermittant reinforcement in psychology that hooks people into performing the same task over and over. In D2, it's the chance of getting something great off each monster. The designers of the game are brilliant, you have to admit.
 

Azonian

Diabloii.Net Member
Heh, good fellowship

Reminds me of GA meeting except instead of gamblers anonyomous..its Gamers lol. Yeah i used D2 to try to avoid my gambling addiction. Less time spent on ways to gamble. I've learned that isnt the best way to deal with it though. Mainly because i'm not dealing with the compulsive trait in me. I've never spent money on ebay but i've spent ungodly amounts of time on d2. Yeah its a curse..good game..i think many agree with me...but very addicting.
Well..i know lots of smokers who are addicts of other things...and they never give it up. I guess what i'm saying is that we arent bad people for not quitting. We just need to think about it..and let it go from there. LOL Dont "try" though..you're only making an excuse for a failure in the future. Do or dont do at all. My clean date from gambling was Dec 12 2003. Still going baby!!! One day at a time. HAH
 

Saint_Hanibal

Diabloii.Net Member
Hah, D2... I've basically lived in Diablo world since 1998(?) , when i discovered original Diablo game. Yeah, i think it's crazy myself. I was 18 when i first tried D1, and now i am 24 playing LOD.

I hate but love this game, what else can be said?
 

chubbypuppy

Diabloii.Net Member
Ebaying and addictions

I used to a lot more addicted to Batmud (online MUD based on Finland), spending all my free times (and not so free times) on it. The main reason there was the social aspect. Diablo doesn't hold such a social aspect for me, since I generally play by myself. Even if I join public games, it's pretty anonymous. Right now I play Diablo because there's really no other game out there as interesting.

Regarding Ebay though, I personally measure it in terms of entertainment dollars. It's true what the writer said that you can buy a mini vacation for a few hundred dollars (which might buy you a few days somewhere, nothing luxurious). But the same few hundred dollars buys you a few hundred hours of enjoyment, so I believe the entertainment cost is less per hour. I pay $8-$9 dollars for a 2 hr movie. I pay $40-$70 for a 2 hr lunch/dinner. Ebay items just seem so cheap in comparison at times. I do have noticed the tendency to impulse buy, as in "oh that XXX is such a bargain", but then I buy it and thinks "I hate that class, why did I get this piece of poop".

From my MUDing experience I know the dangers of addiction. When my friend gave me a copy of Everquest I gave it back to him immediately. I believe Diablo is less socially enforcing, but maybe that's because I haven't really bothered to make friends there, and when people ask me to be on their friends list I refuse (too much spam).
 

vyteri

Diabloii.Net Member
excessive time and money

I can certainly relate to this article. Having played Diablo 2 LOD for around 2 1/2 years, and have very little patience for magic-finding, I have found myself spending hundreds on ebay. I play hardcore, so the best items are needed, and are more expensive.

I was still playing softcore (played sc for about 1 year) when I bought my first item: a windforce. It was $30. This was before pindlebot took over the realms and lowered the price of everything. I proceeded to build an entire account full of godly items and level 95 plus characters. 3 level 99's in hardcore to be exact. The time I spend playing often eclipses 10 hours a day. Mostly when I should be sleeping. Though I play only about 4 days a week, when I play, I play until I HAVE to close my eyes. Then I go to work on 2 hours of sleep, then to school. Thinking about Diablo the entire time of course.

Since the release of 1.10 I have found that I am becoming a little tired with the routine of the game. Making new characters takes a little longer than before, so I just don't do it. As it is, I have a level 96 hardcore character. The weeks spent getting to that level seem wasted now. I am happy to be playing less, though, I look back, at all my ebay transactions, the paypal payments. It totals over 2500 dollars. My car could be paid off by now. It is a matter of will-power with regards to not buying those extra runes that I don't need, or that new elite unique that I have no use for. But it is so easy. And so I have worked for cash, that I never see. It is in the form of pixels. Just last night I dropped maybe 50 items onto a lvl 80 character that I dont play, and watched her die.

How liberating.

I remember back in 1.09, I had a sorc who was constantly PKed in cow runs despite my best efforts. Level, 91, 92, 94, 97. I always had to remake her, and buy the same items over again. Running myself in a circle. One I always came back to, day after day. Now I am happy with the 4 ladder characters I have. No mules, no extras. Just 4 characters. No need to buy anything new, no need to spend hours running through act 1 trying to get to lvl 20. But I do still buy items. Maybe for mercenaries. Afterall, they should be godly too, shouldn't they?
 

Sv_Lorax

Diabloii.Net Member
I have been playing Blizzard games since the first War Craft came out and I gotta tell you LoD is the most addictive. I agree fully with what everyone has said so far (although I have never been to ebay nor will I for fear of something horrible) and being an addict I know. I have been addicted to drugs, alcohol, and gambling and they all have come and gone. I know that I have replaced my habits with the game and I must say that I am happy that I have. If this is an addiction for us all then be happy that its not one that physically destroys your body and mind. Socially yes, but then again so do all addictions! Besides, weren't we all addicted to other Blizzard games? Didnt we grow out of those? :drink:
 
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