Thursday, October 05, 2006

Addiction to Mudding

I wasn't surprised to see an article about addiction to mudding, but was slightly surprised and pleased (but with some guilt) that it was an addiction to SlothMud III. It's a good read and may help anyone who is playing this game get the perspective of another person affected by a gaming addict.

Here is my experience as a player of this game. I don't play at all anymore for many reason, but fighting addiction is pretty low on the list. The main reason is that I don't have enough time in the day to do all of the things I enjoy to do, so playing the game has gone way down the prioritization list.

I once struggled with gaming addiction as many of the long-time players of online games like SlothMud III have. I spent a good portion of time during my second year of graduate school balancing "exp runs" with experiments and research. I used the university network while I was at school and used the university dial-in when I was at home. This got to be a bit hairy since in that day there was a 1-hour usage limit and it would kick you off. There was also a limited supply of dial-in ports and a large demand for them. I would have to time my connection so that I would disconnect during a regen that happened between 50 and 53 minutes after I last connected.

Wow, it was a huge relief to start paying for dial-up which we eventually did. I "needed it" so I could "continue the day's simulations and coding" from home. I occasionaly did that, but I'll admit to really wanting it to mud. My wife knew of this addiction, and she rightfully complained about it to me, but it wasn't a too big of a strain on our marriage for whatever reason.

I was highly organized in my play (at least I felt like I was and was sort of proud of it).
  • I had scripts that did a lot of pretty cool things at the time.
  • I had all of the maps printed out and organized alphabetically by name. (There was only one continent at the time, so I never got to breaking it out to continents with tabs, but oh, I would have gone there.)
  • I had goals for equipment and did my best to learn the areas where they came from.
  • I logged fights to see where things went wrong.
  • I had a list of names of pthiefs and who they had stolen from for reference.

It was a mission to play the game well. Don't get me wrong, though, one of the things that drove me to this level was the people in the game doing the same thing. I'm somewhat obsessive compulsive mixed with competitive over achieving. This is a dangerous combination with a game like this.

Fortunately, I wised up after a while and went cold turkey from playing. It hurt for a while and there were definitely substitute games that occupied some of my time, but I managed to graduate within a reasonable amount of time overall. I do attribute a lot of good things to my mudding addiction which I won't try to justify in this post.

I mainly post this, since I have been doing a lot of stuff for the mud in the past 6 months and it came to a head this past weekend with the opening of the website and the corresponding quest. I was spending a lot of time in front of the computer and not spending as much time with my kids as I normally do. My wife correctly called me out on it and it has made me aware that I am somewhat addicted to being an administrator on this mud. It's a different kind of addiction, but it is there none-the-less. I don't intend to quit cold-turkey or necessarily cut back on what I do. However, I will be vigilant that it doesn't encroach beyond this into my personal and work-life.

1 comment:

Autolycos said...

I actually know who wrote the article on Associated Content.. I also know whom she is referring to.