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Online Gamers Anonymous (Status: Not A Hoax)I came across the On-line Gamers Anonymous (OLGA) site recently and can't make up my mind whether or not it's a hoax. It's a site "of, by, and for on-line gaming addicts." Some of the stories shared on its message board seem a bit farfetched. Take, for example, the tale of Tommy, a former EverQuest addict. Tommy complains that:
Before EverQuest I used to have nearly a perfect life, I was living the american dream if you will. I hade a wonderfull job, a great house, a beautiful and lovely wife and most importanly my 2 beautiful little girls wich I love dearly....now I've lost everything because of this game.
As he relates his tale of woe, Tommy shares one unforgettable detail with us. He says that in the depths of his addiction it became so hard for him to tear himself away from the computer that:
I decided to set up a little pot in my computer room so I wouldn't have to get up when I needed to go pee, as much as this may sound ubelivable I can assure you it's the truth.
One thing that made me suspect this was a hoax was that there have been other gaming addiction hoaxes, such as Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence. However, after reading this article in Wired about gaming addiction (by Daniel Terdiman), I'm inclined to think that OLGA may be real. Terdiman relates how hard-core gamers can begin to have problems separating the game from reality. One lady describes swerving her car around the road because she thinks she's still playing a game. Another lady, a Sims player, sits at her computer thinking 'What percent of my bladder is full?' instead of going to the bathroom.
So what is it about gamers and their reluctance to urinate? I'm now imagining thousands of solitary gamers sitting there with pots in their rooms.
Update (09/19/2005): The owner of OLGA has stated that it is "a REAL service provided for people who are addicted to computer/video games and have no where else to go."
Update (13/2/2007): OLGA has now moved to a different website.