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Serious: D&D Addiction

Khas

First Post
Please don't flame me, because I mean this seriously.

Lately I have been thinking that I am addicted to D&D. I am in my late 20's, not what you would consider a geek (like that even matters), but D&D takes up alot of my thoughts and time. I feel that it is starting to limit me, limit my topics of conversation and the people I hang out with. This is mainly because I get SO much enjoyment out of it. Before you say to yourself, oh man this guy is just wierd, can you say that D&D doesn't do the same for you to some extent? I am sometimes to the point of giving it up, but it feels almost like breaking up with someone in a way. One forges relationships with the people one plays D&D with, invests money in it, and this stuff almost seems to hold you into it sometimes.

I laugh at those who call D&D evil. It certainly isn't, but it seems TOO fun. Has this ever happened to anyone?
 

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Buttercup

Princess of Florin
I guess I don't understand exactly what your concern is. Consider any hobby, model trains, stamp collecting, knitting. If a person is into that hobby, they will spend a fair amount of money on it, read about it, hang out with other people who like it too, and maybe even join an internet message board devoted to it. So? No one thinks avid stamp collectors are nutty. How are we any different?

Stop worrying so much.:)
 

Wombat

First Post
It is as possible to become addicted to D&D as it is to stamp collecting, car repairs, golf, or even poker.

Yes, it can and does happen. Any interest can potentially become addictive.

This does not mean that you are addicted, just that it is a possibility. My brother, for example, has a huge book collection devouted to the American Civil War, talks about it a lot with his friends, has joined a re-enactment group, etc., but I would not say is addicted. He can talk about lots of other things and if he misses an encampment, he just shrugs it off and looks forward to another time.

So just try the simple solution.

Don't game for a while. Give it a month, two, however long seems appropriate. Strike up conversations about non-gaming topics. I don't suggest 100% Cold Turkey -- it's still okay to check a messageboard now and again, but don't do it on a daily basis; try to do it, say, weekly.

But quite seriously, if you are worried, really worried, get professional advice.
 

GnomeWorks

Adventurer
:steps forward:

My name is GnomeWorks, and I'm an addict.

:steps back:

-----

On a more serious note...

I second what Wombat said. Avid interest doesn't necessarily mean that you're addicted. Try not gaming for a while, though keep in touch with it, and see how that goes.

I wouldn't worry too much about it, though. If you focus on something else for a little while, chances are you'll be able to put gaming aside.
 

KnowTheToe

First Post
As mentioned above, any hobby will liit conversations and interactions with people who do not sahre the same hobby. That is why sports are so popular, it is a hobby/interest that you can talk to nearly anyone about.

Try picking something else you like to do or would like to do and add it to your life. It does not have to replace gaming, but should just be an addition. Life is always worth exploring.
 

Darrin Drader

First Post
I don't think you need to give up gaming for any length of time. If you're worried, just make sure that you engage in non-D&D activities when you aren't actually gaming. Don't worry about your character until ah hour before the game starts. Don't spend a lot of time on the message boards. In short, cut down the amount of time you spend preoccupied with D&D. Go catch a movie, watch some TV, or hang out with friends.

Personally, as a freelancer, it goes beyond a simple addiction and into more of a commitment. The main difference between your problem and mine is that there are definite times when I want to get away from it but I'm obligated not to.
 

Czhorat

First Post
How much time to you play, and how often?

When I was in high school I used to spend tons of time playing. An afternoon after school, every weekend, and would spend free time reading rule books and tweaking my character. In college I got a way from it a bit. Now that I'm married I keep it to once every other week so I can have some time with my wife as well.

I think the best advice is to set a limit for yourself and stick to it. What that limit is depends on you and how many other responsibilities you have. Certainly once a week or once every other week is not excessive. THen take knowthetoe's advice and spend some time doing something else - almost anything else. Learn a martial art. Go jogging. Read some good books. Listen to music. Go out with friends to bowl or play pool or even watch a movie.

In other words, let the game be part of a greater tapestry in your life. If it's not your whole life, you should be happy. If you find you can't game without spending 3 hours a day checkign these message boards, tweaking your character, or joining two or three games so you can play every other day then maybe you should take at least a brief hiatus. In any event, good luck.
 

Halivar

First Post
Dude, it's 12:30. What are you doing here? You should be gaming!

Wait... what am I doing here? Oh quick! Somebody throw me a beholder... I'm jonsin'!!

PS: I had to give it up for two years. I maight have to do it again.
 

Mystery Man

First Post
I assume your asking as a plea for the truth and not looking for sympathy or validation then...

If you're spending your money on gaming products when the money should be going to feed yourself or wife and kids, pay the bills etc.

If your calling in sick to work or school or are losing jobs and flunking out as a result of gaming instead of taking care of your busniness.

If you feel you have to sneak around to game because you promised a loved one you would do something other than gaming.

If your life in unmanagable and out of control because of gaming.

You got a problem and you'll probably have to quit.

If you have to think about quitting because of any of these issues and are terrified, you have a problem and will most likely have to quit.

If none of these apply then you gots nothing to worry about.
 

jester47

First Post
I would not say that I am addicted, but rather annoyed by my enjoyment. Looking back on my life, I think the one mistake that I have made was letting my hobbies mess up my grades. Right now I am working hard to set things up so that I have an ongiong FR campaign that people can play in any day any time. I have a big binder and I am putting all my favorite published modules in it. I keep track of what has happened, where things are and generally what is going on. This way I am not always designing stuff. I just don't have the time or inclination. Once I am done with it, I will not have to do that much work to DM.

A lot of what John Four has put out and gathered has helped tremendously. I have cut my prep time and the way I run the game is far smoother than I did before.

In that respect, I think DMs deal with the addiction factor more than the players. And there have been several times when I have wanted to step down as DM just to get more free time.

Thinking about that now.

Aaron.
 
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Elric

First Post
I find that many things are addicting. Exercise, for example, seems to be subtly addictive for me, but in a good, not unhealthy, way. I would think that the same would be true for other "addictions" as well. For me, some sign of addiction doesn't have to be a bad thing.

I think that I am probably not addicted to any form of gaming, but I am subtly addicted to the intellectual stimulus that it provides. If this is the case, then gaming would be very similar to exercise, but for the mind instead of body. Hope this makes some sense.
 

maddman75

First Post
I am hardcore addicted to a game, but it isn't D&D. It's Civilization III. Now many people will talk about the allure of Just One More Turn on this game. But I've found I *can't* play it casually. It goes beyond thinking about it at odd times during the day. When I'm on a Civ3 bender, it's ALL I think about. every spare moment is playing civ3. Get off work, play civ until time to sleep, rinse and repeat.

It was just sucking up too much of my life, and I can't play just a bit. So I uninstalled it.

But unless your D&D fixation is that bad I wouldn't worry. You could probably help things just by getting into another, unrelated hobby. Just something else to pass the time :).
 


Tallok

First Post
I can identify, I have the same problem, but with message boards and music, so how do I go to a good school and get good grades? Oh yeah it's that not sleeping thing, don't try it
 

Khas

First Post
Well, I am the DM so I have to do more than think about my character an hour before the game. No, I don't spend an excessive amount of money on the game. I just find that sometimes I would rather stay in and work on my game or read message boards than do anything else. I game every other week but spend a few hours each night working on my game or reading message boards. My job hasn't suffered.
 



Magic Slim

First Post
The realization that you might have a problem goes far into showing that you don't want to have that problem and will find a way to get it under control before it really becomes a problem...

It's easy to become passionate about such a great hobby. I know I go to sleep sometimes thinking about my game (as a DM) or my (many) characters. During class (I'm working on my masters) I take notes and think up of plot elements or character concepts when the lecture becomes boring. I have spent, in my life, in the upwards of 5,000$ on gaming material (probably). Most of my close friends are people I game with (they were gamers before I met them or I have converted them to gaming).

Hm. What was my point again?

Oh yeah. My life is not limited to that. I play music. I watch movies. I write non-gaming stuff. I have a girlfriend that doesn't game. I go out with my gaming friends and we don't talk about gaming.

It's all about balance, and only you can bring that balance to your life.

You don't seem like an addict. In my opinion, you won't become in addict, because you know you could. Work on balance, and you'll be fine.

Slim

PS: My civIII was UO in college.
 

Tyler Do'Urden

Soap Maker
BOZ said:
sounds like how i was on civ2 ;)

Was? I still am hooked on Civ2... none of that cruddy Civ3 for me... (Civ3 lacks my favorite element of Civ2- the extensive module-building and customization...)

As for D&D addiction, I used to think that I had a strange addiction, and then I looked at my father- every evening, he's either watching a sporting event on TV, out golfing, at the ballpark or arena watching a game, reading Sports Illustrated, or headed off to an Indian casino with one of his buddies. And he still finds plenty of time to spend with his family and maintain a successful career.

So he has his gaming, and I have mine.

But I do think that there is a limit. Some of my friends fit the "gamer nerd" stereotype to a T- they never really talk about anything else, they ignore basic hygene, they pay no attention to the opposite sex (unless that attention comes in the form of Internet porn), they can't maintain an academic life or hold a job for very long... these are the kinds that are worrisome. But as long as you can hold a job or maintain your grades above failing, and are able to carry on conversations about other things, it should be fine. Try taking a week or two doing something else... for the last month, I haven't run any RPG's, have played maybe one session, and the extent of my gaming involvement has been reading ENworld every couple days- and I'm finding no lack of other activities to fill my time.

Really, contrary to the beliefs of some, D&D nerds are no different than hardcore fans of other types. But if that's all you are, you can be rather dull. Ever tried chatting with an obsessive "motorhead"? What about a football "superfan"? A romance novel enthusiast? They're all just as bad. There is a line between enjoying something, and enjoying something to the exclusion of everything else.
 

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