Posted on February 16, 2008, Stephany Ex-Blizzard Employee Divorces Husband Over WoW
A California resident who once worked briefly for Blizzard has recently divorced her husband of six years because according to her, his addiction to World of Warcraft ruined their marriage. Never having played the game herself, 28 year-old Jocelyn stated that her husband Peter’s crippling addiction to the game became more than she could handle.
“He would get home from work at 6:00, start playing at 6:30, and he’d play until three a.m. Weekends were worse — it was from morning straight through until the middle of the night. It took away all of our time that we spent together. I ceased to exist in his life.”
Having been friends with Peter since the age of 13 and married for six years, it only took a paltry nine months for the marriage to collapse after receiving the game as a gift from her.
“I bought the game for him for Christmas 2004, when it first came out. By May we had our first serious discussion about where our marriage was going, and by September I had moved out.”
Having had many discussions on the fact that WoW had taken over Peter’s life, Jocelyn tried to intervene and schedule “together” time with him – to no avail. On one such occasion, she had set aside 30 minutes to watch a favorite TV show together, but he refused because he was in the middle of a raid and could not understand why she was upset that he stood her up. Eventually, Peter’s domestic duties also began to suffer for the game as he stopped paying bills and refused to do his share of the housework.
Although a gamer herself Jocelyn has never played WoW because she recognized the fact that it was a game that would never end and therefore did not wish to play it. She also states that WoW was the sole catalyst for the divorce and is still highly emotional about its impact on her marriage.
“I’m real, and you’re giving me up for a fantasy land. You’re destroying your life, your six-year marriage, and you’re giving it up for something that isn’t even real. [Blizzard] build it in such a way that you have to keep putting more and more time into it to maintain your status. I remember thinking when I was married that it was downright exploitative to people who couldn’t control themselves in that way. It’s set up like a drug.”
Because of the emotional scars of the divorce and the reasons surrounding it, Jocelyn has stated that next time around, she will stay clear of gamers.
While this is indeed sad news for her and her ex-husband you cannot put the blame solely on WoW. Granted, it has proven to be a highly addictive game for some people, but you have to consider their personality and their choices. Someone like Peter more than likely has a mental issue and has a problem with addiction. Who is to say that he does not have some other forms of addiction as well? His addiction could as easily have been pot, liquor, porn or meth – if she were to have brought them into the house it would have been a different addiction instead of gaming. You have to go to the underlying source and peel back the layers. Was he unhappy in his marriage to begin with? Was he miserable at his job? Was he highly depressed? Was this form of escape a way to keep from coping with the living hell that his life had become? All of these plus family history can become contributing factors to any sort of addiction.
During her interview with Yahoo! Games, Joycelyn never stated or hinted around about counseling. Did the two of them ever discuss the possibility of therapy? Did she ever consider canceling their internet service, his Blizzard account and throwing his WoW disc in the trash? No one knows the full story of why their marriage collapsed or if anything was done to try and salvage it other than “together time” to watch TV. We may never know, but while this news is indeed sad for the both of them, I mostly feel sorry for Peter because he needs help before his life becomes a vicious cycle of self-loathing and addiction to something worse than a video game. Blaming it all on WoW is just ignorance.
Source: Yahoo! Games