This is the second Call of Duty "hate editorial" we accepted to be published, simply due to its imagination. We're going to assume that the author isn't actually living under a bridge at this moment in time, and just commend him for his effort. There's no doubt that online addiction is a reality, after all.
Anyway, congrats to Eric Wilderman aka ZenChichiri!
People have always told me that when you make a mistake, you learn from it and move on. Unfortunately for me, the mistake I made snowballed wildly out of control and now here I am cashing in food stamps as it's my only source of sustenance. It wasn’t always like this. I used to have a decent (albeit boring) job as an intern at a law firm and I was set to marry my fiancé (now ex) next year. My future was looking bright until “it” happened.
The catalyst that can most easily sum up the source of my problems is a three-word title that I would come to loathe just as much as I loved: Call of Duty. It started when a gamer friend of mine was recommending games that he thought a “non-gamer” like me would be interested in. He was always trying to get more people interested in his hobby because he felt that more of the world should experience gaming. I had the extra money for a console and no real hobbies, so I took the plunge and bought a PS3 along with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. After all, what was there to lose?
…a whole lot apparently. It started innocently enough. I would log on for a few hours a week and play some multiplayer with my friend but would often get frustrated because I was new to gaming. However, as I started getting better, it steeled my resolution and I would often log in at times my friend wasn’t even on. I soon easily outranked him, and was quite proud of myself for it. After all, he had been a gamer for a long time!
That’s when things started to spiral out of control. Like I mentioned, my job was a bit on the boring side, so I wouldn’t really think twice about calling in sick to log a few extra hours. My fiancé liked how I finally had a hobby at first, but when I started blowing her off regularly, she got upset. I kept on telling myself that she would get over it, and I would make it up to her later. That “later” really did keep on getting later and later, until our eventual end.
At this point I was pretty good at the game. There were regulars that I met in matches that would team up with me and we would slaughter others. The ages ranged from kids to adults, but it was mostly teenagers I would meet online. While their language was vulgar at times, they tended to be the best players because they had the most time on their hands. I wanted to play with the best. I even stopped playing with my friend because he wasn’t very good. He played other games too much for him to become as good as I was. I never understood why people would play more than one kind of game because it would be impossible to master, as well as being a bit on the expensive side.
I was overjoyed when Modern Warfare 2 came out because it was pretty much the same game, but better! When I put it in I immediately went online with it and was ranking first on the scoreboards. I lived for killstreaks and didn’t even care if our team won the match. I just wanted to have the best kill/death ratio to prove that I was better than everyone.
I reacted the same when Black Ops came out, but that’s around when I lost my job for being late and absent so many times. At the time I didn’t even really care, though, and just moved in with my parents so I could live for free and have more CoD time. My parents eventually caught wind of why my fiancé had left me and I had lost my job, so they told me that I needed to get a job and stop playing games, or they would kick me out. They did just that.
Now I’m on food stamps living on welfare out of a rundown duplex in a ghetto. It took me until this moment to realize I had lost everything. A bright future, a loving woman. I lost it all to my addiction to an online shooter. The funny thing is even at that particular moment I still wanted to login and get my final prestige. That wore off over time the longer I went without the game.
This is my story. I hope nobody else follows in my footsteps, but with the following I know the game has, I can’t be so sure. Once others start losing themselves to it, I hope the world takes notice. Even better, I hope my words may reach these troubled souls in time…