RPS Asks: Did You Delete What You Love?


Sat here in my nightmare fortress, watching all my friends tweeting about the soft horrors of modernity, I came to think about the times when I have had to give up on a game because I was too obsessed with it. There have only been a couple of examples of this, but I know I am not alone. RPS chum Craig, for example, recently forced himself to give up his true first-person passion, TF2, so that he could make the most of his holidays. My deletion of my Eve client (moved from one HD to another across five or six years) was a monumental moment that precipitated in a colossal outpouring of elegiac grief, which pretty much constituted my final word on the game. I knew that if I didn’t end it, the relationship would drag on forever as I “just popped in to see what’s going on”, and then come out again four months later having founded a new alliance and led 100-man fleets into inebriated death at 4-am Reyjavik time. I had to delete her.

So I ask, readers, have you ever had to delete what you love?

224 Comments

  1. Text_Fish says:

    My folks tried to make me uninstall Quake 1 when I was doing my GCSEs.

    Sadly (for them) they weren’t savvy enough to know whether I consented or not (I didn’t). :)

    My GCSE results were shit though. But they were tougher back then see, not like those youngins now who get ten A*’s for simply showing up.

    • Novotny says:

      I used to think it a badge of honour to have all id games installed. Up until about Doom 3, then I started getting lax with it.

    • unlimitedgiants says:

      > My GCSE results were shit though. But they
      > were tougher back then see, not like those
      > youngins now who get ten A*’s for simply
      > showing up.

      It looks like your punctuation knowledge suffered as well, because “As” (as in “more than one A”) doesn’t have an apostrophe!

    • Starky says:

      Actually GCSE exams are objectively and demonstrably more difficult than GCSE papers and exams of 10+ years ago – they’ve actually been getting progressively more difficult.

      The key difference I think between now and when I took then in 1998 is that we were taught the subject, and learning how to take and pass the exam waited really until the last 5 months before the exam (starting with a mock exam and then focusing on when was needed from then).

      Where as at least with a few kids I know, they are taught from scratch how to pass the exam. The focus right from the start is on knowing only what they need for the exam and no more.

      So in essence we studied maths, they study how to pass the maths GCSE.

      That said, I ignored all my GCSE’s got fairly terrible results (2 As, 2 Bs, 3 Cs, a F and a G (I’m proud of that G in French, it is actually bloody hard to get a G, usually people get an F or a no-grade) and now at age 29 am having to go back for my degree to progress in my career (Engineering).

    • Ryn Taylor says:

      Don’t worry, people who forgo fun to study for exams end up spending their time correcting peoples’ grammar on the internet.

    • Premium User Badge

      kregg says:

      I was in a similar boat, but at this point I was in First School. Again, my family weren’t savvy enough to realise I’d hidden the folder. Eventually, out of guilt, I admitted to my sister what I did and had to delete the game folder. At first I thought I was going to go mad, but a while after that I was actually OK.

      That, and now I’ve bought the game on Steam (I’m 23 years old). The latest game I had to delete was TF2 since my degree was starting to suffer.

      In the end, I got a 2:2 in Computer Science. To this day I’m still kicking myself for prioritizing games over my university study life.

    • delsdog says:

      I managed to get a G grade too in German and as an added bonus I got an F in French. True story. Yes I did two languages that I was shit at.

  2. jerkstoresup says:

    I’ll be the first to give what is probably the most common answer: World of Warcraft. For me I had about 3 months of playing it every waking hour and then just stopped one day. I don’t mind revisiting other games that I’ve loved in the past, but mmorpgs are either all-in or fold.

    • Binary77 says:

      I’ve purposely stayed clear of all MMOs, especially WOW, because i’ve seen plenty of mates lose their social lives/jobs/degrees/girlfriends to it. I’m prob just being dramatic, but i don’t have that much time on my hands & i don’t want the temptation.

    • Wulf says:

      I wish you were being dramatic. :| But WoW is a special case. If you look at Blizzard’s hiring philosophy they’ve brought on board a number of people who have at least some degree of education with psychology. And WoW was designed from the ground up to be psychologically addictive. For whatever reason (lack of proper werewolves?) it never worked on me. I did, however, lose a number of good friends to it. One of whom I still haven’t seen since.

      Not to mention that whole messy incident where someone played themselves to death/near death, since some WoW gamers tend to do stints of days awake with no sleep just so that they can complete new content first.

      Hooray for WoW.

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      Gassalasca says:

      Yeah, me too. Only it was more like two months for me.

      Other than that, I delete LoL every now and then.

      Worth pointing out though, I never really loved WoW or LoL (especially LoL). I was just addicted.

    • Binary77 says:

      Sorry to hear that Wulf, it’s a strange phenomenon indeed. It’s probably no coincidence that most of the guys that i know to get obsessed with it also have problems with drink & drugs, so i can see how it appeals to people with addictive personalities. I’m not much of a fantasy fan, so it’s never appealed to me anyway, but i know full well how i could get sucked into one if it ticked all of my boxes.

      If Project Zomboid ever evolves into full-blown MMO territory then i’ll be screwed!

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      I think you’re right that some people just have an addictive personality. It can be drugs, alcohol or games…, some people will become easily addicted and others not.

    • Starky says:

      WoW isn’t special in it’s addictiveness, and Wulfs opinion that blizzard are some evil scam artists that designed the game to sucker weak minded people into playing is bullshit.

      Guild Wars, Eve, Counter-Strike, HoN, LoL… Any competitive online will get probably an equal percentage of hardcore addicts (in the sense that they play more hours a day than a full time job would require).
      All of them are designed to keep bums in seats playing the game, and they do this through many ways – and most of them are the exact same psychological impulses that arcade machines in the 80s used.

      The only difference with WoW is that it is so fucking massive, that that percentage of “addicts” totals to a bloody sizeable number of players – I’d wager that any of those games I mentioned above have the exact same percentage of addicts (and I’d wager that is as high as 15% of heavy [6+ hours a day] video game players).

      Besides, I’m in the camp that holds there is no such thing as “psychological addictiveness” in games or media. There may be people who are prone to behaviour that mirrors physical addiction in symptoms, and that may manifest with videogames, as much as it might with drink, drugs, sex, exercise or any activity one can derive pleasure from – and there is an increasing body of evidence supporting this opinion of mine.

      That players cannot be addicted to games, but the appearance of addiction may be a symptom of other psychological issues (depression being most common), and as the post above says, it is common for such things to be narcotic.

      Games are designed to bring pleasure, be challenging, cause the body to tickle us with those lovely chemicals we all are addicted too by biological design – some people are just more addicted than others.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I’m not really susceptible to MMOs just because the concept of playing a game that has no end just doesn’t appeal to me. I might be old fashioned, but I still primarily play games for story and atmosphere. But most MMOs are very, very, “gamey” which doesn’t appeal to me.

      Plus, there is also just seeing what happens to people who play it. I worked at a job a few years ago where EVERYONE played WOW and this was ALL THEY TALKED ABOUT. It was mind numbingly tedious hearing them drone on and on about it and just turned me off to the game completely without my ever having to play it.

  3. Jumwa says:

    I suppose World of Warcraft should’ve qualified for me, with the five years of time invested, the numerous good friends I made in it, the guild I spent four years co-leading since founding. But truthfully, once I quit the game the only thing I was sad to see go was the instant means of connecting and doing things with those friends, and many of us have made great efforts to stay in touch and play other games together.

    The deletion itself surprised me with how anti-climactic it was. I suppose my like of the game was long dead by that point, subscription only buoyed by the network of social attachments I had made through it.

    Though I do tend to agonize over clearing out good single player games I really liked but am not too likely to play again any time soon. My hard drive could use a thorough cleaning of said titles, but… I am reluctant to see them go, regardless.

    Delete Just Cause 2? But what if I should receive a sudden pang to play that wont wait for a re-download!

    • gummibanane says:

      I understand exactly how you feel Jumwa.

      I too was very involved in a small, yet friendly “social guild”. We all became good friends very fast and I and my Brother (who also played in that guild) are still having regular contact with our old guildmates, despite living more then 300 km away from each other.
      We even were invited to one of our ex-guild-buddy’s weddings earlier this year, although we both stopped playing WoW almost two years ago at that point.

      At the end I only despised the game and it’s jaded community. So I can’t really say I left it heartbroken.

  4. Farkeman says:

    I delete nothing , I bought 2TB hard disk for a reason !

    • Trelow says:

      Between Steam, D2D, GoG, Origin, GamersGate, Amazon, Greenman, and others, I’ve got 2TB full of games now. I need to break down and uninstall some.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    WoW was eating my life a couple of years ago. I had trouble sleeping, and it had started to affect my work and my relationships. I felt miserable but still couldn’t stop playing. A harddrive crash saved me, I threw out the box and swore to stay away from mmorpgers from then on.

    It felt SO DAMN GOOD going for a long walk in the sun the next day.

    Edit: I deleted Dungeons of Dreadmore recently, because I started to get that “I can’t stop and it’s endless” feeling from it. Perhaps that is why I like story driven games so much these days. It is going to be a focused experience, with a clearly defined ending.

    • Wulf says:

      Haa… haha…

      Not laughing at you, here. Not even remotely, believe me. No, it’s just… I wrote a slight rant about this a while ago. It’s not something that WoW-heads will admit, but WoW is designed from the ground up to be psychologically addictive. The kneejerk responses I get when I point this out remind me of those responses one gets when they tell a smoker that they’re addicted to cigarettes and that they simply can’t stop, it’s beyond their will to stop, and they just don’t realise that. And that it’s going to take some massive effort on their part to even realise that they have a problem. WoW is like that.

      Part of the rant though covered how WoW does not provide people with a sense of closure. This is why I chose Guild Wars over WoW, way back when, and other games as opposed to WoW. The thing with WoW is that you get locked into a gear grind, repeating instances over and over, but you’re never done. There’s no clearly defined point where you can actually realise that there’s no more and that you’re done with that game. And because of that I’ve seen people put more and more time into it, trying to reach that point where they feel they’ve ‘completed’ it. I try to explain to them that they’ll never get that sense of closure from WoW, that they need to go cold turkey, but they just won’t listen.

      See, with Guild Wars, its campaigns, and its expansions, you have exactly what you pointed out there, and another thing I touched upon in my rant: You have a clearly defined storyline. You have a start, content in the middle, and you have an ending. You can tell where it ends and you know there’s no more, and that that’s that. So to speak. There is no one else to save, there is nothing else to do, and anything after that point would simply be forced. See, this is why I trust ArenaNet with Guild Wars 2, because I think that they’re going to give me an ending, just as they’re giving me a personal storyline. Really, the personal storyline thing isn’t that different from the campaigns in Guild Wars. Not that different at all.

      But WoW creates this… psychological addiction that the weaker willed can’t avoid, no matter how much I’ve tried to talk them out of it. And one thing I often get is that they want to just reach some point where they feel there’s nothing else there. A point of completion. A point where they can just put the game down and stop. See, when you have an ending, that’s like saying that the story is over and it’s okay, you can stop now. But what WoW does is… it’s like forcing you to read the last three chapters of a book over and over and over and over. And maybe some day… maybe some day… you’ll be awarded with an ending.

      See, that kind of mind-hacking I just don’t think is cool. It’s dirty. It’s taking advantage of human nature and the desire to see things through to the end. If you get into something like WoW then you can’t get out. And as I said… I literally begged some people to at least try to give it up. I saw people whose health and life was suffering just because they couldn’t unhook themselves from that damn con. WoW sets a precedent that shows factually that games can be designed to be as psychologically addictive as any narcotic. People need to understand that this is the case and not hide their heads in the sand. Any game these days that talks about things like ‘end game raiding?’ I just avoid it like the plague.

    • Starky says:

      Wulf you are so full of yourself it is unbelievable.

      WoW creates a psychological addiction that the weak willed can’t avoid? Even with your mighty and valiant efforts to save educate them? This coming from the worlds blindest and most evangelical guild wars fanboy is amusing – guild wars is a great game, and GW2 will be too but seriously give it a rest.

      WoW designed to be addictive? Give me a fucking break.

      WoW wasn’t designed “from the ground up” to be addictive – it WAS designed from the ground up to be fun, and accessible – I’ll grant you that after it became a massive insanity sized success blizzard hired some people with knowledge of psychology in order to keep it there, but you say that like it is seom evil manipulative thing?

      You are kidding yourself if you think for 1 second that all games from the beginning of gaming haven’t been pulling those tricks to make games enjoyable, thus addictive. The entire fucking 80’s arcade boom was built upon that, tricking gamers into wanting to spend more coins to get a bit better, get a slightly higher score…

      Bottom line is nerds create games for other nerds (and as a nerd myself I love this), but as gaming became more mainstream the industry needed to turn to people, experts in other fields to attract non-nerds. Psychologists, sociologists, architects, authors, engineers (non-software kind), hell even teachers all have found rolls in the industry in order to make games more appealing to wider ever expanding audiences.
      Hiring people with the expert knowledge to make things fun, enjoyable, and something people want to watch/do/pay has been part of every industry from the beginnings of capitalism, especially any entertainment one.

      I’m an ex-WoW player and ex-smoker (and literally decided one day 18 months ago to quit and have not had one since) and WoW is nothing like smoking, there is no physical need, there is no psychological addition*, or the physical manifestations of that addiction, you really need to come down off your high horse and lose the smug sense of superiority you clearly have over those poor addicted WoW players.
      *No more than any other game, and entirely depending on the personality – WoW has no special tricks that games haven’t had for 20+ years.

      I honestly don’t know why I am typing this though, maybe for other readers benefits as you’ve got about as much ability to discuss WoW, Blizzard and Guild Wars as a creationist has to discuss evolution.

    • 1R0N_W00K13 says:

      Lay off on Wulf a little, he had some good points, and you’ve jumped to the all-too-often conclusion that because a game didn’t demonstrate a particular facet of itself to you (in this case the idea that WoW is psychologically addictive) then that part of the game doesn’t exist. I’d say it’s equally bold to claim your experience with the game is by default the same as everyone elses. As far as I can see it, what Wulf is saying rings true. MMOs are designed for persistent play and addiction most certainly encourages persistence. The game’s levelling and class systems are structured to keep feeding you more and more to keep you interested; it’s the same mechanic used in COD with the perks system and that’s why I know far too many people who think prestiging is the crux of life itself.

    • wonderpookie says:

      @Lars – “Perhaps that is why I like story driven games so much these days. It is going to be a focused experience, with a clearly defined ending.”

      You’ve just put into words what I have been feeling for quite a while now in the build-up to my becoming a dad with all the time constraints that will inevitably put on my gaming. This feeling of frustration and unease whenever I try to get into a new game, that I couldn’t quite figure out. I feel enlightened and unburdened all of a sudden. Thanks brother!

    • Starky says:

      @1R0N_W00K13

      If it was anyone else that post would be too harsh and I’d have given them some benefit of the doubt, but seriously Wulf has a long history here at RPS of evangelizing Guild Wars while insulting, mocking and belittling WoW players, making up crazy bullshit about blizzard, and basically hating.

      It gets tiresome, and the smug superiority gets my goat, I don’t even play WoW any more and have some very severe criticisms of Blizzard and the direction that they went with it – but Wulf is seriously mental when it comes to any Blizzard related topic, post or subject.

      Just search Blizzard here on RPS and I guarantee it won’t be long before you find some posts of his, and see what I mean.

    • Italia says:

      The argument that because another game has an equal percentage of players who are as “hardcore addicted” as those who are addicted to WoW is an invalid argument. You’ve outlined why yourself, WoW has a rediculously larger following than any other MMO has previously imagined. Although the percent of people who have their eyeballs physically glued to the screen so that they do not miss a beat IS the same, that actual number trumps by the millions.

      The psychological underlie of the game is incredible, you reach a point when you’d rather accomplish things in the game rather than real life, even when you can see that each probably require equal effort, in some cases the real life objective requiring FAR LESS. Let’s say..taking out the trash, or stand in the crowd as your raid assembles for Nefarion for thirty minutes and you feel the need to hear everything on vent. So your ass stays glued to the chair. DUN DUN DUN, what happens to the trash..

      Find out next week!

    • Jake says:

      “But WoW creates this… psychological addiction that the weaker willed can’t avoid”

      @Wulf – You know how WoW does this? By being a really fun and rewarding game. I am genuinely sorry you didn’t get into Warcraft because it sounds like you are all for MMOs in theory, and the best thing an MMO can possibly be is addictive. Addictive is synonymous with fun for computer games – there isn’t some sort of addictive personality that falls victim to manipulative game design and while the manipulative daily quests and the loot grind provided a demand on me to keep playing I also found that the content and the challenge provided me all the fun I needed. I don’t know of anyone that kept playing and wasn’t also having fun. Hell, after a while I gave up on the grind and just purely did the fun bits – I was loaded, it was fine.

      When the game started to die off (Coliseum, woo), the players left. If WoW had some better werewolves I am sure you would have managed to find your fun there – I suspect you just have slightly different criteria than a lot of people.

      I played WoW from launch. I led a guild that was at the cutting edge on my server. It was very rewarding dealing with all the complexities and demands that came with being the main tank and the guild leader of a hardcore raiding guild. It is not ‘weak will’ that caused me to enjoy this, it is the fact that it is by far the most demanding and involving game that I have ever played (Neptune’s Pride does compare but on a much smaller scale). I loved the challenge and I miss it. That was the game, for me. Not levelling up my 10th alt, or coasting through my millionth AV.

      I gave up smoking. It was really easy. I gave up WoW. It was really, really sad. It’s not something mindless like a chemical dependency, or a lazy impulse or a way to fill empty hours, it is the fact that you have friends and you have a history of accomplishments – your character has a history. And I mean real accomplishments, not merely playing a lot or catching 100 fish, but actually achieving difficult tasks – racing for an Illidan kill for example. Show me one other game that is as difficult or rewarding as killing heroic 25 Anub’arak (this was the last thing I did of any value in WoW, in the top 200 worldwide). I hope that Guild Wars 2 will be even a fraction as well designed as WoW when it comes down to the bare bones of it all. I also dread that it will suck me back in to a raiding game.

      I realise this makes me sound like a fanboy. I have no doubt WoW is addictive. I just think it is fucking condescending to say that people are addicted because of their supposed weak will. You must have a low opinion of people if you think that WoW players are simply manipulated into playing. Honestly, your post is maddening. If I was weaker-willed I would have written a lengthy rant in response… oh wait.

    • Starky says:

      The argument that because another game has an equal percentage of players who are as “hardcore addicted” as those who are addicted to WoW is an invalid argument.

      It would be hard to invalidate that as an argument when that was never an argument in the first place, it’s a supporting statement for another argument. The argument that WoW is no more addictive than any other game of it’s ilk.

      15% of 8 million, is just as addictive as 15% of 200,000.

      So if 15% of WoW players are addicted to an unhealthy level and 15% of EvE players are also, then both games are exactly as addictive as each other.
      WoW is simply more popular.

      Which makes it stupid to demonize WoW as worse – when it is simply the largest example of a problem with people, NOT a problem with the games themselves. It is a symptom, not a cause.

      Again my argument is that Dwarf Fortress, League of Legends, Modern Warfare, hell farmville.. are all equally “addictive” and the fault doesn’t lie with the games, but human nature itself.

      Let’s say..taking out the trash, or stand in the crowd as your raid assembles for Nefarion for thirty minutes and you feel the need to hear everything on vent. So your ass stays glued to the chair. DUN DUN DUN, what happens to the trash..

      I think most people would agree that spending 30 mins before a raid chatting and joking with friends over vent isn’t something only an addict would do, or doing the same in EvE while waiting for your corp to organize for a group task. That is the joy of MMO’s to be social, to talk to people – it allows even the boring parts of a game to be amusing.

      Taking out the trash is a chore, people have been conveniently forgetting about chores for more entertaining and fun activities since the beginning of time, long before video games existed. Speaking for myself I’m just as likely to delay, put off or even forget a bothersome task for a movie, a sport, a drink with mates or anything entertaining or fun now I no longer play WoW as when I did.
      Again human nature. WoW cannot be blamed for human nature, and every other game (in my opinion) is actually the same.

      All WoW is is a big fucking highlighter, because it is so massive it makes it so that anyone can see these issues – but these issues exist for ALL games, WoW isn’t special or unique, just the biggest example available.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Facebook games are the same.

      And I think they are much more insidious, even, as they target a demographic who traditionally never gamed and thus they aren’t as savy about video games and how they work.

      My mom, for example, is totally obsessed with farmtown now. She’s 59 years old and never played a game in her life, but then she got on facebook and she plays quit a bit now. Of course, farmtown totally sucks as a game and there are way better ways for her to spend her time if she wants to start gaming, but she really doesn’t know any better just because farmtown is literally the first video game she’s ever played.

      Those games are really blatant about it, though. Like, for example, they force you to log in a few times a day just to ensure that your crops don’t die and whatnot. Punishing you for not playing the game is a whole new low of psychological manipulation, I think.

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      Lars Westergren says:

      @wonderpookie

      Happy to help. :)

      @Juan Carlo

      >they force you to log in a few times a day just to ensure that your crops don’t die and whatnot.
      >Punishing you for not playing the game is a whole new low of psychological manipulation, I think.

      Well, Tamagotchi was launched in 1996, so that mechanic has been around a while…
      Also, I think your mother IS in fact gaming, even though it is not your type of game.

    • Carolina says:

      I’m with Starky on this. Not on the Wulf thing, since I don’t know him, although he does sound self-righteous and condescending with players of a MMO than isn’t his favorite.

      People get addicted to all sorts of things, some of them being actually positive and enjoyable per se —like sex, or exercise—, and that’s because their own psychological issues, not the activity itself. Of course WoW is designed to be fun and rewarding, since the whole business model is based on a monthly subscription, but calling that a Skinner Box for human beigns is just a tinfoil hat conspiracy theory.

      And it’s even more silly if you think other MMOs are essentially different from that. In fact, WoW does bring closure to its main storylines, even the ones which started in Warcraft 3. The Burning Legion was defeated once again. Illidan is dead. Arthas is dead. The Scourge was brought under control. The story that began with Warcraft 3 is basically over. New stuff happens, of course, because it’s a World; that’s the whole point of it. But as always, events come and go, the good guys win at the end and the bad guys are eventually killed —and looted—. And the world goes on, like you would expect. History didn’t stopped once WW2 was over either.

      My point is, don’t blame the game, blame the players and their mental issues. I feel bad for your friends and the people in this thread saying that a game cost them a girlfriend, their work or damaged their relationships, but they are kidding themselves if they think that a simple game can have such power over their minds, and they probably need to examine their lives before throwing away a disc and saying “yay, I’m fixed now”.

      But hey, who knows, maybe that works for them. Some people feel better going to tarot parlors, after all, regardless of how stupid it is.

  6. corbie says:

    Civ. The sobering moment came when having to sign for a parcel after a weekend bender, wild hair and wilder eyes, clad in nothing but a dressing gown.

    “Good night?”

    “No, it’s those fucking Zulus.”

    I’ve never seen a postman move so fast before or since.

    After I got shot of Civ I managed to find girls and all sorts of bright and shiny real-life things.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      Same here, I’ve taken to not even starting a Civ game during semesters. The last game I deleted (or rather, did not reinstall after reformatting) was Civ4. Before that, probably Medieval 2: Total War.

      Damn, I love turn based games! :) / :(

    • McNab666 says:

      As a postman, that just made my day, I thank you.

      (and yeah, I’ve been the same with Civ before, though SMAC was probably worse for it.)

  7. Makeshifter says:

    After 6 years of EQ, maybe 4 solo and 2 in a guild, in the middle of Depths expansion, after a raid, being the only bard that would show up, i just quit on the spot, and deleted the game from my computer, and i never went back. All that time, energy, and knowledge lost. It took me awhile to find something new to play, something casual, never again to go into a game where we raided every day. Now i just play casual MMO’s so i wont get obsessed again.

  8. TheDreido says:

    I generally don’t get that attached to games. Sure,there are certain games which do eat time like [phrase censored], but if there is something I really need to be doing which is more important, then I just do that first.

    I also often get bored of games before I can reach the state that I would need to delete it for my own protection.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Damn it! What was the censor?! I need to know! Was it ‘a fat man eating cake’?

    • Kent says:

      Yeah, it’s like that for me too. The only game that I can honestly say that something similar has happened with would be Mass Effect 2. Which ate time like bloody hell, but I realized that and decided it was time to finish that game.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah. Civ IV or SMAC or OpenTTD might swallow a weekend, but then it’s over for a while.

      And the glory of the F2P MMO is the removal of any “you’re wasting that monthly fee” pressure, so I can dabble in Champions Online when and only when I want to actually do some super-BIFF crimefighting, not the terrifying job-like compulsion most people seem to suffer from the beasts.

  9. nrvsNRG says:

    After a pretty nasty break up with a previous partner many years ago, i let myself slide into an unhealthy relationship with my PC in general, covering more than just one game, but EvE being one of them.After a year of pretty much constant gaming and internet shenannigans, i had to leave it all because i could see where it was headed.
    Moderation FTW

  10. Flameberge says:

    Actually, no.

    That’s not to say a game has never taken over my life: Planetside, Morrowind and the first Everquest have all had a feverish grip on me at one stage or another, but in each I eventually drifted away – it may have been many of hundreds hours later, but there always seems to be a point I reach where I’ve had enough of even the games of which I am most fond.

    Similarly, I’ve not put a game in front of an actual social life since I was a wee nipper. I remember becoming completely obsessed with papyrus simulations in the mid 90s: specifically the first NASCAR Racing, and Indycar Racing II to the extent friends would knock on the door to play down the park, and my 7-8 year old self was too busy trying to tweak my camber settings on Michigan International Speedway. I eventually lost some friends due to no longer being around – so I learnt that lesson as a child, and managed to not repeat it since.

    • Reapy says:

      I think I basically started typing this post and stopped, but I had exactly the same reaction. I think I really got hooked on games when I discovered the internet, kali, and warcraft 2 all at once. At that point I really didn’t have a real life to wreck, so that obsession actually started opening social doors for me.

      Later on I upset a few girlfriends here or there by not paying attention on the phone or taking like 5 seconds before responding to things. I quickly learned to just turn the monitor off if was in an MMO or quit/pause the game I was playing when talking to someone else.

      Honestly I miss the feeling of finding a game that makes me want to wreck my life in order to spend time with it, which is awesome… but I’ve learned my lessons and really understand that games sit there and are waiting for you to play them whenever you want. There isn’t a time limit, they won’t go away, they won’t let you double click the icon to start them up because you neglected them.

      When you have that firmly in mind, it is trivial to just stop playing and do what needs doing in life, and come back to them when you have more free time.

  11. MartinX says:

    Counterstrike nearly added a year to my degree, had to go cold turkey there.

    • noom says:

      Is that all? I think I lost nearly 5 years to CS1.6

    • sharkh20 says:

      Counter-strike will never ever get deleted off of my PC. After 11 years, It is still my favorite game to play. That is probably unhealthy.

    • ankh says:

      word

  12. Wooly Wugga Wugga says:

    Does the porn collection count?

    Ok, no.

    Well I haven’t felt that addicted to a game for a very long time. The last one I can remember was probably X2 : The Threat. Before that Sim City 2000 and Civ. Must have been 15-20 years ago.

    • delsdog says:

      The porn collection has taken a massive drop in my time since a certain site got taken down and another famous one chucked me off for dl-ing too much at once.

  13. Xzi says:

    Can’t say I have. I have all my favorite games still installed to this day. But even my favorites I’ve only played through maybe three times each. Can’t say there’s ever been a multiplayer game that I’ve really been “addicted” to. I played WoW for two years and I play a decent amount of League of Legends now, but it doesn’t interfere with anything else. As a matter of fact, I’ll sometimes stop playing for the day after just one match because of the frustration that results from getting thrown on to a team full of noobs.

    I probably have the most play time on Warcraft 3. Because I loved the campaign, loved online competitive play, and loved the thousands of custom maps released over the years. Was always something to keep that game fresh. Starcraft 2 doesn’t quite seem to have the same magic. The loss of hero units had a big impact on both ladder play and custom map creation.

  14. Metonymy says:

    Neptune’s Pride. The “RTS” that takes weeks to finish. I believe there was a cringing sob story on this very site, about how the editors weren’t man enough to finish a game by crushing their friends’ skulls in.

    Sure, I enjoy the game, and I tend to succeed at it. But, I was monitoring the game every 30 minutes, all day, every day, and precisely tweaking every battle so that I achieve maximum efficiency. I finally accepted that I was only winning because the other players -weren’t- doing this. I was the winner because I was more pathetic than my opponents.

    Walking away from that last game, which I was also winning, by the way, (teeth clenched) with the resolve to never play again, still haunts me to this day. The poor computer player that took my place had no idea how to dispense with mercy, and lie to his merely human opponents for his own personal glory.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      I read this article, and I thought, ‘nah, nothing really, I mean I’ve loved games, and given days and weeks at a time on them, but not one in particular I felt I couldn’t leave alone’, but then I read your comment, and it all came crashing back.

      Neptune’s Pride gets a second from me. I loved that game. I only played it for a few months, and I was playing amazingly, winning all over the place (although I think it was more about my master-negotiating skills than being on it all the time every time), but I had to make myself stop. When things got towards mid- or end-game, my sleeping schedule would become so erratic (and it’s normally really really erratic as it is) that it was messing up my life. I would sleep in three shifts for two-three hours at a time so that nobody could launch a night-attack on me. I would also refresh the page about a million times a day, and spends forever agonizing over tactics, and writing long messages to other players in-character, and putting together intricate plans that took weeks to come together that would turn everyone against one-another so that I could mop up the rest, and making sure that I had a decent enough rapport with pretty much everyone to make it less likely they would attack me!

      Oh God! I want to play again! I never had the chance to play with my friends. Maybe I’ll do that. Only allow myself to play if I play a game with my friends. It is, after all, a magnificent game, and against friends it would be so much better, and I wouldn’t be so worried about sneak attacks while I’m out partying because my friends would be out too.

      On a side note, Tribal Wars messed me up for three weeks or so. Co-running a Tribe, and doing massive amounts of admin etc. for it really messed me up. It was great fun in a way, but I hate making that commitment.

      *EDIT* – I’d also like to mention that there has never been another game for me that makes you feel so smart when you succeed as this.

    • Squishpoke says:

      DeathHamsterCDude:

      Try DEFCON. The politics of DEFCON is similar to Neptune’s Pride, except the games go by quicker, forcing you to think on the spot. Different flavor/gameplay style, yes, but I think the basics are similar enough to warrant a try. I do like Neptune’s Pride’s slower game time, though, since I enjoy having plenty of time to hatch plans. But, on the other hand, I also like trying to adapt quickly to political situation in DEFCON, as well.

    • Reapy says:

      It sounds like when we describe our playing experience we need to start putting “Trigger” warnings in it like you see on pages with people trying to overcome psychological disorders.

      *WARNING STORY CONTAINS STRONG TRIGGERS INVOLVING NEPTUNE’S PRIDE!!!* :)

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      @Squishpoke – Oh yeah, I know Defcon. Also something similar is Galcon, and I love them both. But the fact is, as you’ve mentioned, the main drawing point to Neptune’s Pride is that it takes so long to do ANYTHING. Three or four days go by at the start of the game before you even get the chance to attack someone else, and the way I play, it could be a week. Then you spend hours and hours planning intricate strategies, and talking to one person like they’re your only friend, while doing the same to their worst enemy, and making sure nobody knows about that. That being said, I always have one or two players that I am flat-out allies with, and I make sure to have a really good alliance with them. Same goes for enemies. You need something to pull together against, so you always have to have at least one enemy.

      What way do you guys play the game? I go flat-out economy for the first two days at the least, more if I can get away with it, then one into science, and then weapons or speed depending on the situation I’m in. But economy all the way for the first week, and by then you’ve got more than enough to catch up to everyone else in other tech. Some games, I’ll have nearly twice the economy to the next guy about a week in.

      Ah! Neptune’s Pride!

  15. Unaco says:

    Morrowind. 18 months of playing and modding and I had a fantastic game going on. But I had to move on… make time for work, and make space for other pursuits. Been sorely tempted, many a time, to reinstall it, but I know I’d never get it modded back to the way I had it.

    I remember one of my early Pentium machines only had a 1GB Hard drive. I was often uninstalling something I loved to make way for something new, towards the end of it’s life, as games were getting bigger and bigger in their installs, and I could only have 1 game installed at a time. I had a lot of floppy discs with save games on.

    • db1331 says:

      Hi old friend. I miss you. We should meet for lunch one day, just to catch up:

      link to youtube.com

      Disclaimer: Do NOT install that. It works like a charm, looks beautiful, and for several days caused me to drop every other game I was playing at the time.

    • Coins says:

      I think the biggest thing keeping me from reinstalling Morrowind is that it looks shit. Sometimes, aging grahpics really are a boon. Although that pack does look amazing.

    • db1331 says:

      That video doesn’t even begin to do it justice. It’s truly a sight to behold. Some of the best looking water I’ve ever seen in a game.

    • Coins says:

      Oh no, it has a gameplay pack as well! I hate/love you. Well, I still have vacation, time to find those cd’s again…

    • db1331 says:

      It has EVERYTHING. It even overhauls the two areas from the expansions. The depth of field is what really sets it off though. You can be looking at an NPC face to face, and if you turn your focus to a building just a ways behind him, his face in the foreground goes just a little blurry. Obviously the distant lands have that nice DoF effect too. Enjoy your coming months in Morrowind!

    • povu says:

      There are two games that never leave my hard drive, except when I’m reinstalling them. The first is Deus Ex. The second is Morrowind.

    • Doesntmeananything says:

      No, the gameplay overhaul isn’t out yet, and probably won’t be for a long time. That’s why I’m not rabidly playing the game at the moment. It’s also worth waiting a bit because soon autopatching is promised to be added, along with plenty of enhancements of installing process, so setting up the mod will be even more easier. I suggest you spend that vacation like a normal man for the time being.

  16. avar1ce says:

    Years ago I deleted Dota, and then HoN a few later than that. Loved both games! Too bad I didn’t have good enough friends to play with me to enjoy the game. The random crowd is the worst of any multiplayer that exists since the beginning of time..

    • moyogo says:

      Seconded. Dota for about 4 years, HoN for 1.5. Still love that type of game, but the only good community I ever found was in the beta testing – I couldn’t keep up the time commitment for beta.

    • Aankhen says:

      I had to quit DotA too after a year. I realized playing strategy games online just isn’t for me—I can’t in good conscience tell the people around me, “Don’t expect me to do anything whatsoever during the next hour”. (Which was really more like the next two hours, at least, because of all the quitters. Ah, Garena.)

  17. wccrawford says:

    I once had a beautiful, naked woman (my girlfriend at the time) climb in my lap while playing an MMO. I kept playing.

    I’d like to say that was my realization that games were destroying my life, but that realization has yet to come.

    However, I don’t get nearly as addicted as I used to, and I actually have non-gaming hobbies and a (new) girlfriend.

  18. AS says:

    Dota. That hellspawn of a game has prompted me to install and remove WC3 so many times, and I still love it – maybe the friends that I play Dota with more than the game.

  19. noom says:

    I’ve now quit playing Left 4 Dead a total of 3 times. Yet again caved a couple of months back and started playing again. Have a true love/hate relationship with that game. The hate mostly comes from the community; it’s incredibly rare to get a pub game without people giving each other shit.

  20. Taverius says:

    Nuked EVE clients and accounts.

    Best damn decision I ever made in my life.

    • mandrill says:

      I too have taken the step of removing my EVE client from my machine after using pretty much the same install for the last 7 years. It was getting to be too much like a job and it was making me angry and bitter (didn’t help that I’d started hanging out on Scrapheap, now Failheap, Challenge).

      I do worry though that as soon as the next great leap forward (Incarna doesn’t count, but Apocrypha and Trinity do) comes along I’ll go crawling back. I hope I’m strong enough to stay away.

      I still follow what’s going on in the game, and am still in touch with many of the people I played with. That’s what made the game for me anyway, the people, it got to the point where the game was actually getting in the way of that.

      So, my name is mandrill and I am an EVE player, it has been three months since I last logged in.

  21. Theoban says:

    I deleted my Mass Effect 2 save games because I thought to myself ‘oh, I’ll play it through again. That’ll be fun’. NO. GOD NO. Looks like I’ll just have to guess what my Shepard was like for Mass Effect 3

  22. JohnnyMaverik says:

    There are two games that have had such an affect.

    The first is Morrowind. I’ve played it for several hundreds of hours and have never finished the main quest because I always want to try and do absolutely everything in that game. The obsession with my play through being perfect got to the stage where I’d happily turn on the game, spend as much as three hours bringing unwanted loot to the scamp in Caldera, trading, going back for more, rinse and repeat, and that’s all I’d do for that whole play session, with out even a hint of complaint or boredom, because I felt like it “needed to be done” (if you ever find yourself saying or thinking that about a game, stop playing). Pretty sure I lost two whole summer holidays to it in my school days not to mention the havoc it used to play with homework.

    The other was cm 03/04. broke up with a girl friend over it because she tried to make me choose between giving her 100% attention during phone calls (which to be fair to me were daily and lengthy) or not playing the game, which I really did play constantly for about a year. By constantly I mean I played it up to the moment I went to sleep, used to get up in the middle of the night to press continue, play in the morning before school, spend time at school browsing forums for tips on great players and strategies, come home and play until bed. It became my life for long periods of time, and my poor computer would be on for weeks with out a shut down in the holiday periods. Yes I realise how sad it is loosing your life to a championship manager game, but I did.

    Finally there was Civ 3, which I actually started to play about a year before civ 4 released, but quickly stopped because I could tell after only a couple of days that it was going to be the end of me if I didn’t say no.

  23. MildMannered says:

    I sold my UO account to a fellow student. This was back when being a grand master in a single skill meant a lot. My main character, Matthias, was a GM twice over. Countless hours had been pored into this game, but I knew the ride was over. Most of my friends had moved on to bigger and better things. EQ being the primary culprit for many of my comrades departures. So, before the empty houses and desolate guild rosters took away all my happy memories, I sold my account and said goodbye to an old friend. I found out after the sale that the student was buying my character simply for a house I owned. Real estate was at an all time premium. He sold the house, transferred the funds to his character, and Matthias was never seen on Great Lakes again. I wish I’d taken him dungeoneering one last time. I wish I’d rushed head first into the darkness of Destard, halberd swinging, to meet my death at the hands of the drakes and dragons within. I would have quit a moment before screened turned grey and colorless. No ghostly afterlife this time. A true death; a good death. Not the purgatory he suffered.

  24. GenBanks says:

    I’ve considered, a few times, going all the way and not just deleting an individual game but selling my entire computer and giving up gaming completely. Then maybe buying a mac or a netbook for boring tasks and facebook. Never actually gone through with it though.

    • Bostec says:

      I have greatly considered this, espiecally with todays DRM, I have even considered cutting my internet cable, ah to live the life off the grid. I have weak willpower.

    • Jesse L says:

      It’s worth trying for a week now and again, just to see what your life resembles when you’re not looking at a computer all day.

      I went on a long vacation this summer and didn’t look into any kind of screen for about ten days. It was a good time. When I have friends and family around I don’t miss electronic entertainment at all.

    • Bostec says:

      I have done this, went on hoilday a couple of months back. I suppose it felt alright, I was reading a lot, a little bit restless but I never had a craving to or even think about going on a computer but of course when I got back, it was a 500 pound elephant in the room. Ah well.

  25. Makariel says:

    World of Warcraft. I needed to get away from it so I deleted it and gave the game discs away. There is no proof in my flat anymore I ever owned WoW.

  26. Sorbicol says:

    Championship Manager / Football Manager. There is a reason why I no longer buy this game. FM05 Nearly cost me my job, and then Girlfriend.

    She’s now my wife so I must have done something right

  27. Bostec says:

    I deleted TF2 in a drunken rage 2-3 sweeks ago. Before that was Football manager 2009, I can not play another Football Manager, and before that was UFO:Enemy Unknow, that was a real killer, due to my PC desk being broke I played that game on the floor and i banged my fists on the floor and I fucked up my right hand a bit, I can not handle the losing, I shout and and I swear and I say bad things to the girlfriend. I think bad thoughts, it is not good. I still have the craving of TF2 but I resist! Now i’m playing Harry Potter and think about Coleslaw and Marshmellows. All is good.

    • Demon Beaver says:

      So you’re that german kid from the video?

    • Bostec says:

      If you’re going to joke about my post at least make it so that I can crack a fucking smile at it, this shit is unacceptable.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Whoa there now—don’t go breaking your hand again over comments on the Internet.

    • Bostec says:

      Na, not tonight, not even a crack on the face, on the Internet.

  28. skinlo says:

    Nope, I get bored of any game after too long, different lengths for different games. I have never played a game over 350 hours though.

    • felisc says:

      Yep, same here.
      I’ve never been bound that long with a game.

  29. mr.ioes says:

    DotA, twice. Lasted no more than one week in both cases until I had to reinstall.
    Diablo 2, numerous times, can’t remember. But It never lasted as long as it did the first time. It gets old, thankfully.

  30. YourMessageHere says:

    I don’t delete stuff, but moving 5000 miles from my main PC did manage to cold-turkey me out of gaming generally for some time – at least until I had free time and realised that I could run Half-life at minimum settings on an EeePC 701.

  31. MOKKA says:

    It came pretty close with my Guild Wars Account. I was so hooked on this game, that I didn’t bought any new games for about two years and within this two years I played this game for at least 3 hour a day, oftentimes way more than that (my personal records stands at 13 hours nonstop). But just as it started to become really nasty (I completely wasted a whole Semester at Universitiy) I somehow lost interest in the game. Shortly after that I bought a new PC and didn’t even bothered installing it.
    Well now, since there’s GW2 on the Horizon and some new content I play it from time to time but not very much, since I did everything I wanted to do and see no purpose in doing certain things more than once.

  32. Batolemaeus says:

    I deleted about 30gb worth of Eve clients, test clients, various bugreport data including several gigs in crashdumps and video documentation after it became clear that Eve wouldn’t receive any game design attention and would be milked with an incompetent skeleton crew until it dies.

    I loved Eve, but I pulled the plug after being disappointed too often. Considering what kind of news still reaches me, I made the right decision. Sometimes it’s better to end it while it still has some semblance of a healthy relationship. Should’ve quit for good a year earlier than I did, but it was still a good decision.

    Now that I’ve got some distance, I can laugh at CCP being horribly inept and ruining the game for my friends instead of being on the receiving end.

  33. Mitchk says:

    I can’t really say I’ve been addicted to any one game, or had to delete an account to peel myself off it. Games have come and gone and some of them I’ve sunk a silly amount of hours into, but after a while I just seem to lose interest and not play them any more. However I’ve had many nights where I’ve stopped up way too late playing, and then cursed myself at work the next morning asking myself “why the hell did I bother”.

    I remember me and a few friends all getting MW2 and hammering it pretty hard, to the point where it started breaking apart our group of friends. We would organise nights out as a group, and people would arrive hours late or even not turn up at all, from ‘just one more match’ syndrome. The ones in the group who didn’t play games took the most offence to it, and it created a lot of arguments. When we would all finally meet the conversations would constantly turn to CoD – killstreaks, epic kills etc. Again it wasn’t well received.

    Fortunately everybody managed to break their bond with it eventually and we all lived happily ever after. It’s pretty embarrassing when you look back at it, but at the time you’re just oblivious to it all. It’s amazing how ‘locked on’ you can get with games.

  34. egg says:

    Tiny Tower!

    Yes, I am sorry. Yes, it is a shame. Yes, it is an iPhone. And no, I haven’t really deleted it.

    But I swear sometimes I kinda feel like a I want to! Really!

  35. Vinraith says:

    I’ve had a few games I’ve played a LOT of (Morrowind, Guild Wars, Europa Universalis 2, SotS, AI War) but even in the case of titles I’ve played for thousands of hours, it’s always very broken up and spread out. Even with Morrowind, the worst of that lot at several thousand hours, that’s a month or two long burst of playing every year or so, not a continuous obsession by any stretch. Consequently no, I’ve never had to delete something to save myself from it. I get tired of even the stuff I love most, at least for awhile.

  36. Joc says:

    I lost a very amazing girlfriend to my obsession with clawing my way up the UK CS ladders. I was good too, in a great team, but I was kidding myself thinking that I was ever going to be *that* good. I didn’t save her, but as a result of her leaving I did save myself.

    Ridiculous. The worst thing is I definitely knew it was ridiculous at the time too. At least I learnt my lesson.

  37. Maximinus says:

    Minesweeper. It prevented me from doing anything else, working at home. My best time was 71 seconds / expert mode. Fortunately, windows will resintall it after a reset.

  38. Bobsy says:

    Never had to press the delete button so dramatically, but I’ve forced myself to let things slip away when their time had come. Most prominently was Baldur’s Gate 2, which I conciously decided to stop playing over and over, so I could get to play some other games at long last. Also because I was annoying the crap out of everyone by only ever talking about it.

    And more recently, stopping playing WoW was a great relief. It has a habit of replacing all other games in your gaming day, which is really crap of it. I moved to a place where I couldn’t get online, and suddenly all the games I’d had piling up just… went and offered themselves to me, the bunch of harlots.

    • Arona Daal says:

      You must gather your Willpower to venture forth!
      You must gather your Willpower to venture forth!
      *g*

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      It’s strange how a game can do that. While I was playing WoW I played *no* other games. Got a gap of about two years were I didn’t play any of the games that came out because I was only playing WoW.

      Played through some of the better games after my WoW phase though so I did end up playing games like Bioshock.

  39. KauhuK says:

    I play quite a lot and many games too. But never has my gaming been that obsessed that I would need to delete a game. Sure, it helps to not have a girlfriend to game much but I think it would be for the better to spend less time on computer. I just dont like the idea of making profile to a dating site.

  40. Hobzy says:

    Battlefield 2 via COD et al led me into a nightly feast of beer, crisps and swearing with the other bored 30 something dads in a clan, until a few of us realised that we were taking it far too seriously – which was the whole point we had formed in the first place to have somewhere to prat about – and giving up pretty much saved my marriage; no exaggeration.

  41. Erithtotl says:

    I ended up giving away Civ 2 to someone at work because I was getting so little sleep I couldn’t function.

  42. Enikuo says:

    Nope. I play them until I hate them and never want to see them again. Then, I breakup with them properly, with a rage quit or an angry forum post.

  43. Ultra Superior says:

    Guildwars. RPS swallowed my post.

  44. Om says:

    I have to delete Football Manager whenever there’s something in my life that positively must be done. Otherwise the rise through the French lower divisions is simply too appealing

  45. Zeewolf says:

    No, never.

    I mean, I’ve unintentionally deleted save games and such which has caused some sadness over the years, but I’ve never been so obsessed with any one game that I’ve felt I had to delete it to move on. That doesn’t actually mean I haven’t been playing certain games (Civ, TM, Minecraft,…) far more than I should, but it’s always come to a natural end at some point.

    Edit: I guess it helps that the last MMO I played was Anarchy Online, back when it was a subscription-based game. I pretty much realized back then that a) MMOs would never become the thing that I dreamt they would be back before I had any experience with them and b) I get addicted enough to singleplayer games and don’t need that shit in my life. I mean, I’ve got games to play, places to be, et.c. Can’t waste my time on WoW or whatever.

  46. cafe says:

    ultima online :( ahh the memories

  47. FriendlyFire says:

    I wish I had the strength….

    I’ve been stuck with Freelancer ever since its release way back in 2003. Deleted the game far, far more than once but it’d always call back and suck me back in. Ironically, every single person that I know who’s played this game for more than a few days is irreversibly bound to it in the same way. They’d say they quit and then you see them popping back again and again weeks or months later. It’s worse than drugs because you don’t even have a cost to lambast yourself about, so quitting is nigh impossible :(

    Instead, I keep on modding the game. Must… Mod…. More… Ah shit.

    • Tams80 says:

      I was addicted to the demo. Even when I completed it, I just aimlessly traded and hunted pirates for days on end.

      I must try the full game. The mod scene certainly is interesting and the game is brilliant. Then again I shouldn’t as computer games seem to be the only thing I can become addicted to.

  48. Adekan says:

    Ironic that this should appear no more than a day after I nuked my World of Warcraft folder. I hadn’t been subscribed in nearly a month at any rate due to complete lack of interest in the game, but I decided to log back on and try to just ” have some mindless fun ” before my account ran out, whilst listening to a podcast.

    Unfortunately I made the poor decision of choosing to enter an arena team, which immediately reminded me of exactly why I had cancelled in the first place. Total time from launch to deletion: Less than 13 minutes.

    I suppose it wasn’t exactly something that I loved, but I had been playing it on and off for a long time at any rate.

  49. Deepo says:

    I deleted Origin today, so no, not really.

  50. nootron says:

    This story should be titled “Did you delete the MMO that you were addicted to?” because, lets face it, that’s the only real context where teetotaling is the only option.

    Most recently, I found myself cookin’ up with Realm Of The Mad God every night for a week straight. You can’t delete Flash though, so I am just relying on good old-fashioned self-control now. But I ‘deleted’ it in the sense that I deleted all my level 20 chars and the bookmark and swore it off forever.