IRL – In Real Life: A Short Documentary About Online Game Addiction [Video]


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After losing six years of his life on World of Warcraft, third year film student Anthony Rosner decided that enough was enough and started living in the real world. His documentary, IRL, takes a look at the effects MMORPGs can have on people and show that there is hope at the end of the tunnel.

“IRL – In Real Life” is a short, light-hearted documentary looking at the effects of World of Warcraft addiction, produced as part of a 3rd Year Film Production project.

Thanks Darth Roxanne!







8 Responses to IRL – In Real Life: A Short Documentary About Online Game Addiction [Video]

    • Keep in mind that he didn't seem to suffer any withdrawals. I understand that playing games can be destructive, even compulsive, but apart from some similarities between a certain facet of gaming and gambling there has been no link between addiction and gaming. Its still definitely a point of contention, but without further information I'm left with the sense that he just flipped a switch, traded one life for another, and that was that.

      • This is an excellent point. I've played WoW on and off since it launched, by biggest gap being when I was stuck without broadband for 6 or so months. And while you can miss it, there's certainly no withdrawals.

        Even now I'm playing SWTOR, I'm playing way too much then an active social life would allow (unless you didn't work) but theres no withdrawals when I can't play as much as I would like.

        I find MMORPGs do suck you in, you do want to play more of them and you can let them take over your life but on the other hand quitting IS actually far easier then anything else I've heard described as addictive.

        Although, I did manage to date while playing WoW, and even a year into playing I managed to get a new girlfriend into playing WoW (she's now my wife, and still playing WoW). But to be fair, I never managed anything close to his success in-game, he played a lot and played WoW.

        Eventually I will have to give up MMORPGs all together as I don't think it's going to be suitable to parenthood which we are thinking of. But then I think I'll just revert my gaming back to FPS games.

  1. I really enjoyed this movie. I am now a 42 y/o male with 2 kids.

    I played in Alpha, Beta, and through the first 4-5 months of the Burning Crusade. I call those the good ol' days because I logged on when they gave me a 7 day "come back" offer recently, I didn't even recognize anything. I did a Van Cleef run for fun though, because I remember the awe the first time I went into that cave with a ship (very much like the Goonies).

    It was tough for me to leave as I would just login to farm if I could. Not even to raid or to do instances. Then I got laid off from my job (the company I worked for laid off about 7,000 that day). It was then I quit WoW because I realized I haven't updated my skill set since I had started my last job. That and my wife was a major nag. :-)

    I like the fact that he didn't blame Blizzard though like a lot of others usually do. They know what they are doing and purposely make it a world you want to go back to and be with friends, but they want to make money first. So yes, they are in it for the money, just like any well established company should be doing. They employ people and they do contribute to the entertainment of society. It is a good value too. If you go to a movie, you usually spend about as much as a whole month of WoW.

    Sad thing is I still feel the pull now and again, I really think it is an addiction, a pretty strong one.

  2. You don't have to quit. He said it himself, the game keeps on going and your character is always there. Just space it out over time. You don't have to hurry to toward the end of something that never ends. In my own 6 year WoW career, this is why I seldom ever join hardcore raiding guilds and the like. It's far better on YOU and YOUR LIFE to be a casual player, no matter how much grief they get from the hardcore players. They're just jealous of your active lifestyle.

  3. I used to MMORPG, but after a while I realized it was taking up too much of my time and I couldn’t turn it off because others were relying on my to raid, so I would feel guilty for not logging on.

    I got over that when I realized I have much more commitment to those in my life.

    I still game a lot, but now I stick to games I can save and put away anytime, as my “real life” people come first.

  4. Rosner is wrong about one thing. He did take a marketable skill away from his time with WoW. He learned to recruit, organize, train, coordinate, schedule and resolve conflicts for a large number of people (at least twenty-four) in widespread locations (at least two countries and time zones) through the use of electronic communications in order to meet, advance and exceed the goals set forth by the organization he founded. (At least that's how Guild Leader is presented on my resume.) Anyone who doesn't recognize that as a marketable skill in the modern world is a fool.

    I'm also curious as to how many hours of enjoyment he received for his five hundred pounds and if the cost-per-hour would be more or less than other entertainments, such as spending time at the pub with mates.

  5. That's a great documentary, really enjoyed it. MMO's don't have to be so bad as long as you don't take it serious and become a hardcore raider. There's plenty to do casually without it taking over your whole life but it can become addictive if you are not careful/