How to get time with dad back from WoW?
June 30, 2007 4:45 PM   Subscribe

What should I do about my dad's WoW addiction?

Ever since my little brother showed my dad World of Warcraft, he hasn't stopped playing. This is to the exclusion of almost all time with my brother and I. I've got root access to the router, but I think simply blocking the ports is a bit harsh. Everyone in my family agrees that he plays WoW too much. What should I do?
posted by jkoby to Computers & Internet (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"The" router? Are you sure you don't mean "his" router? Beyond telling him that you miss him and want him to spend more time with you, it's pretty much out of your hands. What he does with his time is up to him, and spitefully messing with his router configuration sounds like a bettter way to get yourself grounded than to convince him to change his ways.

Oh, one other option: you could play WoW with him, if you can afford an account or convince your folks to get you one.
posted by contraption at 4:54 PM on June 30, 2007

Make sure that he understands that everyone in the family agrees about this. Let him know why you're concerned. And be patient, too—you didn't indicate how long this has been going on, but if this is the first exposure your dad has had to a really cracktastic gaming experience he's probably going to have to ease out of it at his own pace.
posted by cortex at 5:00 PM on June 30, 2007

Oh, one other option: you could play WoW with him, if you can afford an account or convince your folks to get you one.

How is this going to do anything but excuse his behaviour and encourage him to ignore the rest of the world? Is the whole family supposed to play some time-sucking grindfest with him?
posted by Mikey-San at 5:01 PM on June 30, 2007 [2 favorites]

Mikey-San: The OP's only complaint about the amount of time their dad spends in-game is that it's interfering with the time he'd normally be spending with his kids. I don't think we've heard enough about this to know if he's got a real debilitating problem, or if he's just spent a few weeks or months getting really absorbed in a new hobby in his free time. If he's not letting his responsibilities slide, and the OP and his/her little brother just want to spend more time with him, then yeah, I think participating in his new hobby together is one way to make everyone happy.

If he is getting himself into real trouble, he's the one who's gonna have to come to terms with that, and forcefully denying him his addiction will only breed resentment. Of course they should talk to him about it, but in the end it's up to him.

As for time-sucking grindfests, I tend to agree but chose to leave value judgments about WoW or video games in general out of it, since lots of people (golfers, Beanie Babie collectors, Christians) seem get a lot of enjoyment out of things I find pointless, and my opinion about the particular pastime in question really isn't relevant to this discussion.
posted by contraption at 5:20 PM on June 30, 2007

contraption, what part of,
"Ever since my little brother showed my dad World of Warcraft, he hasn't stopped playing. This is to the exclusion of almost all time with my brother and I," doesn't sound like he's letting his responsibilities slide?

I totally agree, the change is going to have to come from within. I don't envy the OP, having a father with an addictive personality can be a real big drag. My only advice is: you can't fix him, you can only tell him how you feel, and if he can't fix himself, it's not because he doesn't love you.
posted by Good Brain at 5:30 PM on June 30, 2007

Don't start playing WoW with him. This will not work. Personal experience. Trust me.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:49 PM on June 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

If someone asked "what do I do about my friend's drug addiction?" the answer surely would not be "start doing drugs with him."
posted by The World Famous at 5:52 PM on June 30, 2007 [4 favorites]

God bless! You guys are honestly comparing this guy's appreciation for a game that's new to him, with drug usage? Have you any concept how absurd that sounds?

Dad's not hurting anyone. Is he still bringing home the bacon? If he's playing so much he's losing his job, THEN I might aquiesce that we're looking at a problem. If he finds playing WoW more fun than playing Daddy? I'd call that NORMAL. Give the guy a break.

It took me roughly a year to get tired of City of Heroes. For awhile I was using every free moment I could snag playing that game cuz I was honestly having a great time in there. JKoby's dad will have to experience all the stuff he wants to experience in the game at least once before he's played out, I think. I left CoH when I did most everything that I cared to do in the game.

It's not time for an intervention. He's not an alcoholic, is he? He's not doing heroin. He's not a furry. It could be far worse than having a Dad who breathes for WoW. You think you got problems? My father was addicted to the Windows Solitaire game.

Count your blessings, and be thankful.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:12 PM on June 30, 2007 [4 favorites]

Otoh, if someone said "All my dad ever wants to do on the weekend is restore old cars." I bet you'd be lining up to tell him what a wonderful hobby that is and how he should make the most out of having a cool dad by getting under the hood with him.

Anyway, some hopefully useful advice: Pick one thing you'd really like to do with your dad every weekend. Try to pick something you think he'll enjoy, too. The first weekend, try and make it something you have to get tickets for. Then just drag him out to do it... you're lucky, since you can get away with saying things to parents that you can't get away with saying to, e.g., a significant other. (But daaaaaad!) If he refuses point blank or if he makes a promise and then bails (more then, say, twice a year) he's an asshole, and I'm sorry. Otherwise, if he does go for your weekend activities, let him WoW in peace.
posted by anaelith at 6:26 PM on June 30, 2007

Convince him to join a clan/guild that sucks. It will suck the fun right out of his gaming experience.
posted by mezamashii at 6:28 PM on June 30, 2007 [3 favorites]

Some of you seem to be taking this personally, and it has nothing to do with you. The poster misses spending time with his Dad, and asked for ideas on what to do.

I'd like to know a little more, like how old you and your brother are, and how long your Dad's been playing WoW, and whether or not anyone's said anything to him yet.
posted by iconomy at 6:34 PM on June 30, 2007

The thing is, WoW is designed to be an addictive game, ZachsMind. You're not going to be able to to do everything you want in the game and then leave, because there are always new things, there is a very very large human aspect of it, and your guildies start mattering more than everything else. Sure, there are worse problems than WoW, but that doesn't mean that WoW is not a problem. It most definitely is.

An addiction is an addiction, no matter what the substance is. A heroin addict is only hurting himself, too, in the basest sense. This video game addict, in particular, is hurting his family as well.

Speaking as someone who pretty much lost a best friend to WoW over a year and a half ago, I say intervention is good, and intervention needs to happen now. We were all originally happy that the friend in question found something she could relax with as she had a lot to deal with. Within a few months, she withdrew from all social interactions and the few times she still talks to me, she talks of WoW in utterly unintelligible terms. Her original argument was that she played WoW as she had nothing better to do, but she's now logging upwards of 5 hours a day on it, more now that it's summer.

Listen to cortex. You won't be able to cure him. He needs to snap out of it and realize what he's doing to you guys, and that's the only part you can help with.
posted by Phire at 6:34 PM on June 30, 2007

you know what, satisfying his pleasure for the game comes second to satisfying his responsibilities as a parent. it's one thing to make time for yourself and the things you enjoy, it's another thing entirely to do this to the point that you are excluding your family.

the fact that this question was posted at all tells me that dad has checked out bigtime. when was the last time you heard a teenager complaining that his dad didn't spend enough time with him?

jkoby, i would have your mom raise the issue with him first--it's her job to make sure the parenting gets done. if that doesn't work, then you and your siblings should say something. if there's still no progress, discuss with your mom how to proceed--whether to block his access or get counseling or set ultimatums.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:02 PM on June 30, 2007

[a few comments removed - take your continued axe grinding to email or metatalk]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:13 PM on June 30, 2007

I think the question is whether or not "too much" means he's not doing enough for his obligations to the family or not. I mean, once he gives a fair amount of time/effort to the family (and any other obligations he has), the rest of his time is up to him and even if *you* think it's "too much", you need to just him do what he wants and not interfere in some devious or passive-aggressive way.

The key question here being, how much of his time is it fair that he devote to others? That's something that ultimately your family will have to decide for yourselves. If he gives you guys what is agreed to be fair, let him have his pastime.

Regardless, you should handle this delicately because he might feel threatened if you go about it the wrong way (accusatory and confrontational), and that might cause him to get resentful. I don't think you want that.
posted by marble at 9:32 PM on June 30, 2007

I don't think the question here is wether your dad has the right to play that game or not. We don't have enough information to be the judge of that.
I think it's a question of balancing the needs and obligations of members of a family. So the first option would be to sit down and talk. You don't mention your mom, but if she's around it would be best to involve her in the talk.
If she's not around and you feel your father does not listen maybe there's a suitable third party you can turn to; like your grandparents; his parents?

I'd advise you not to mess with the router; you run the risk of creation a real messy conflict. Discussing the problem and stating your needs is the way to go.
posted by jouke at 10:24 PM on June 30, 2007

The best way to cure someone of a game addiction is to reduce his life so far that he has to redo large parts of the game. Totally kills interest.
posted by markovich at 4:15 AM on July 1, 2007

Talking to him/trying to schedule time together ahead of time would be a good start. Sabotaging something he finds enjoyment in is a shitty thing to do, especially if he works hard all day and this is his method of unwinding.
posted by saturnine at 7:44 AM on July 1, 2007

There's a great show called "Intervention" on A&E. It talks about people who are living with addictions from cocaine to food and the people that love them. It addresses all sorts of issues about the addicts' inner world and how to relate to them.

If you have access to this network, I HIGHLY recommend you watch it. If you see yourself in the addicts' loved ones, you may want to get help for yourselves (with or without TV cameras).
posted by muddylemon at 1:36 PM on July 1, 2007

Sorry the above entry was entered on my fiance's account. This is mynameismandab.
posted by muddylemon at 1:39 PM on July 1, 2007

Here's my take: HELP HIM GET TO 70!

The game gets so boring so fast at that point, he should be over it in no time.
posted by Palerale at 6:07 AM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

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