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Serious: D&D Addiction

Christian Walker

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

I wouldn't sweat it. I mean, are you skipping work to game? Are you buying minis and dice instead of paying your rent? Are you insisting that your lady friend call you Balkor the Impailer when you two are in the sack?

Even if you answered yes to any of those, I wouldn't say you were an addict. I'd just say you need to make better choices.

Regarding the limited conversation topics. You, like me, are a man. If a conversation doesn;t involve my hobby (D&D), sports, or work, I'm really not into it. Men aren't world class conversationalists. That's why we grunt, point, and hine the pratice of selective deafness to an artform.
 

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Loki3

First Post
Lets see here...........

A. I have a job.
B. I have 2 daughters.
C. I play AD&D once a week.
D. I am a member of 5 forums, and own one myself dedicated to D&D and RPG's.

Do I think alot of AD&D yes I do.
Do I troll forums ALL the time about AD&D yes I do.
Do I make maps, and jot down ideas all the time about AD&D yes I do.

Do I have a problem. NO I dont.

Why.? Simple.
Because even though I love the game, and even though I play it alot and think about it alot I realize I have other things and responsibilites also.

I dont know you nor do I know exactly how much you really think and live it, but the key is balance. I have several hobbies AD&D is my main one. I do other stuff also its just that AD&D is the most enjoyable thus I do it the most.
 

Breakdaddy

First Post
I check these forums almost daily, sometimes several times in a single day. I have 6 shelves of RPG material (mostly D&D) and most of my friends play or have played D&D. I dont think Im addicted to the game. I can talk about other things. But I sincerely enjoy hanging out with people who share my interest in D&D and RPGs in general. I dont see anything wrong with that. I think its just human nature to want to hang out with people who share common interests with you.
 

Philip

First Post
Khas, from what I have read I don't feel you are addicted. Having an addiction is not a matter of how much time you spent on something, or how much fun you are having doing it, but what function it has in your life. I always use the following simple rule;

You are addicted to something when NOT doing/taking that something causes you to feel bad.

If you get agitated when you can't play for a few weeks, if you get bored when your friends don't want to have conversation about the game, then you should watch out. If that's not the case, then by al means enjoy your fun while it lasts!
 

pogre

Legend
You know I am less concerned about addiction than the focus on a hobby. I sometimes wonder what I could do if I focused purely on being great at one thing. I spend countless hours working and thinking about games - I worry about that investment from time-to-time.

I saw a 60 minutes interview with Bill Parcels a few years ago and they asked him why he was a good football coach. He responded that he was not a very interesting or well-rounded individual - all he thinks about and works on is football. Focused passion like that amazes me. If Coach Parcells was well-rounded I doubt he would be a great football coach.

I wrestle with this allocation of time for hobbies, which is probably the greatest waste of time one can indulge in.

I have to think about this some more...at my painting desk.
 

fusangite

First Post
"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom."
- William Blake, Proverbs of Hell

I have a highly addictive personality. But I find that addictions to hobbies or other not strictly physical things are best dealt with through indulgence than abstinence. Try playing too much. Chances are that you'll get a little tired of gaming so much after a while. If you're still just as immersed in six months from now, consider someone else's suggestion but I find that obsessions/addictions to things other than drugs, usually work themselves out.

Oh, and if you're in your early 20s, please take my advice to heart. Everyone assumes that people in their early 20s behave in an addictive fashion and makes way more allowances for it.
 

caudor

Adventurer
pogre said:
You know I am less concerned about addiction than the focus on a hobby. I sometimes wonder what I could do if I focused purely on being great at one thing. I spend countless hours working and thinking about games - I worry about that investment from time-to-time.

I saw a 60 minutes interview with Bill Parcels a few years ago and they asked him why he was a good football coach. He responded that he was not a very interesting or well-rounded individual - all he thinks about and works on is football. Focused passion like that amazes me. If Coach Parcells was well-rounded I doubt he would be a great football coach.

I wrestle with this allocation of time for hobbies, which is probably the greatest waste of time one can indulge in.

I have to think about this some more...at my painting desk.

Wow, what an insightful post. After reading it twice, I realize that I wrestle with the same feelings every now and then.

But is it really a waste of time? I think back over the great games I've had, the friends I've met, and the all those rainy days I spent focused on my hobby...dreaming up exciting adventures to share with others. Yeah, there's always going to be an opportunity costs, but I think most of us gamers will look back years from now with no major regrets. Having fun with friends is life well spent. However, I do have to remind myself of this every now and then.
 

pogre

Legend
caudor said:
But is it really a waste of time? I think back over the great games I've had, the friends I've met, and the all those rainy days I spent focused on my hobby...dreaming up exciting adventures to share with others. Yeah, there's always going to be an opportunity costs, but I think most of us gamers will look back years from now with no major regrets. Having fun with friends is life well spent. However, I do have to remind myself of this every now and then.

Excellent points. I agree time spent with friends doing what you enjoy is well spent. It is also worthwhile to reflect on our time and push forward without regrets - much as you pointed out. As usual, it's all about healthy balance.
 

Not to get overboard with semantics, but this is not addiction, per se. Nicotine, alcohol, heroin, those are addictions. Clinically speaking, what you are talking about is a compulsion. It's not a fine line.

Not a doctor, just a Concerned Citizen.

I think most parents would be happy to have children "addicted" to D&D, as opposed to TV, video games, or pro wrestling :). It's inherently social, it teaches math and probability skills, improves language and vocabulary, promotes non-linear thinking and problem resolution, and teaches one to set goals and achieve them. I not only think it's healthy to play, I think it should be taught in schools alongside gym and home ec.

"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom."
- William Blake, Proverbs of Hell

"Dude, is the wisdom bonus from that palace inherent or enhancement?"
-Me, just now.
 
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Cyronius

Villager
Im Really worried I might be addicted to D&D too. I get no enjoyment out of life unless im playing it. I am so attached to my character that I want to be them and fantasize about it. Its becoming a genuine problem and not playing because my DM cant dm for an unfortold ammount of time is making me just not want to be awake.

So unless you have these problems i think your okay and can function on a basic level even while playing DND
 

I think @khash doesn't have an account anymore? I would love to get an update after 18 years!!!

I feel like RPG's are such a fantastic mode of escapism because they combine rules sets, which are fun to think about, with narratives, which are fun to think about. During times when I have struggled to control the narrative or rules of my own life, I tend to think about D&D obsessively. But when I'm actively occupied with healthy hobbies and a creatively demanding job, I think about D&D an appropriate amount as I would any hobby.

That said, when I'm biking to work and climbing a big hill, thinking about D&D gets me through it every time!
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
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?
Anything can be addicting. A lot of us here are probably addicted to D&D (or the broader TTRPG hobby) but don't necessarily view it as a negative (even if it might actually be a negative). We might instead say we're obsessed . . .

Having D&D as a major lifestyle hobby is perfectly okay, being obsessed with the game and spending a lot of time playing, and a lot of time outside of actual play thinking about it . . . that can be okay too. But yes, you can certainly cross the line over into addiction if you are neglecting other aspects of your life . . . your job, your family, other interests.

I've known folks that I'd say were addicted to the game, and it did have a negative impact on their life. These guys prioritized D&D over jobs, over relationships, and spent money they couldn't afford on massive collections of books and collectibles. They had mental issues that they were not addressing, and could have used counseling. But they didn't see their behavior as addictive, they were just "super fans", and never sought help (while I knew them).

But D&D can be a healthy source of, not only entertainment, but social interaction. Are you making friends with the folks you play with? If you are not neglecting job, family, and relationships . . . but you spend most of your "leisure energy" on D&D, that's okay! Also consider it might be somewhat of a phase, and you'll "calm down" after a while and seek out other interests. Even now, in your "D&D manic" phase, I'd recommend pushing yourself to find some additional hobbies and outlets for social interaction outside the game.

Are YOU addicted to D&D? We can't really judge based on your post here, you're probably fine . . . but it's worth thinking about. If you are truly worried, get yourself into some counseling.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
Im Really worried I might be addicted to D&D too. I get no enjoyment out of life unless im playing it. I am so attached to my character that I want to be them and fantasize about it. Its becoming a genuine problem and not playing because my DM cant dm for an unfortold ammount of time is making me just not want to be awake.

So unless you have these problems i think your okay and can function on a basic level even while playing DND
Huh, didn't realize this was an old thread from 2003!

OP might be okay, but I would highly recommend you seek out counseling @Cyronius.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
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?
You asked a serious question and therefore deserve a serious answer. There are a couple of things that you should maybe be aware of.

1. Online interaction. Social media and forums like this one can absolutely be addictive. When you reach out to someone socially and they respond you get an instant hit of endorphins. Someone wants to speak to you and that makes you feel good. It doesn’t matter if they’re agreeing or not. It’s the same reason dating apps are popular with people who don’t go on dates. No one wants to be ignored and whether you’re engaging in a forum, or discord or in an online game you’re are going to be attracted to getting more of the same. Everytime someone likes a post or upvotes you, you get an endorphin hit.

2. Collecting. There are whole TV shows about collections that describe how peoples collections have gone beyond simply wanting something nice and slipped into an obsession. If you’re finding yourself buying things you don’t need, or getting buyers remorse soon afterwards then maybe you have got a problem with collecting. I know I certainly collected Warhammer to an unhealthy degree and to financial detriment. Ok so I could afford it, but at the same time I don’t own my own home. If I saved the £20k ive probably spent on gaming over the last 20 years, maybe I could. This is extreme but it’s all relative.

3. Reality & Fantasy. This bits probably the controversial bit. Gaming is fun, it is entirely designed to be fun and engaging and take you out of current situation. Which is great at times. But it isn’t productive. It won’t make you successful, any more than playing Call of Duty or Minecraft will. Maybe it would be amazing to be a financially successful games designer or a online game streamer but the reality is for most of us that will never happen. As my grandma would say. “Playing games is all very good, but get outside a bit too”
 

Im Really worried I might be addicted to D&D too. I get no enjoyment out of life unless im playing it. I am so attached to my character that I want to be them and fantasize about it. Its becoming a genuine problem and not playing because my DM cant dm for an unfortold ammount of time is making me just not want to be awake.

So unless you have these problems i think your okay and can function on a basic level even while playing DND

I'm not a therapist, but the general rule of thumb is that if some aspect of your life or behavior is causing difficulty in your ability to function in everyday life, then you may have a problem. Because humans have their own agency, it's very complicated to tell when someone has a problem except for how much it impacts their ability to function in social, work, and psychological ways.

If you honestly feel like D&D is affecting your ability to live a normal, happy, and productive life, you should almost certainly seek professional help. You're not having a problem with D&D, you're having a problem with life that is exhibiting itself through D&D. That's okay. Life is really hard and we all have difficulty with it. But you're well beyond the scope of the kind of help you can really get from a web forum.
 


aco175

Legend
Lets see here...........

A. I have a job.
B. I have 2 daughters.
C. I play AD&D once a week.
D. I am a member of 5 forums, and own one myself dedicated to D&D and RPG's.

Do I think alot of AD&D yes I do.
Do I troll forums ALL the time about AD&D yes I do.
Do I make maps, and jot down ideas all the time about AD&D yes I do.

Do I have a problem. NO I dont.

Why.? Simple.
Because even though I love the game, and even though I play it alot and think about it alot I realize I have other things and responsibilites also.

I dont know you nor do I know exactly how much you really think and live it, but the key is balance. I have several hobbies AD&D is my main one. I do other stuff also its just that AD&D is the most enjoyable thus I do it the most.
This is mostly me as well. I told my wife that I D&D with my father and play golf with her father. I come home every night and do not smoke crack, so she is doing ok.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I never talk about my hobbies to people who don't participate in it.

I would rate gaming as my third or fourth favorite hobby.
Yeah talking about TTRPGs or firearms/shooting with people who don't participate in those hobbies can lead to awkward social situations.

I don't really have other hobbies. If I'm addicted to anything, its work. So much of my out-of-work time is spent on work-adjacent activity: learning a new technology, getting a new certificate (maybe I'm addicted to having my CV or business card look like alphabet soup), reading a treatise.

TTRPGs are the cure to my addiction. Something interesting enough to draw my attention away from building a new VM etc.
 

Yeah talking about TTRPGs or firearms/shooting with people who don't participate in those hobbies can lead to awkward social situations.

I don't really have other hobbies. If I'm addicted to anything, its work. So much of my out-of-work time is spent on work-adjacent activity: learning a new technology, getting a new certificate (maybe I'm addicted to having my CV or business card look like alphabet soup), reading a treatise.

TTRPGs are the cure to my addiction. Something interesting enough to draw my attention away from building a new VM etc.

I used to be that way, too (about work). It took me a long time to ease into other interests.
 


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