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Medievia Addiction - A Real Danger?

Typical thoughts from an addicted player:
"When I first started playing Medievia roughly 2 years ago, I was
introduced to a game environment which I quickly found to be extremely
compelling. The ease of interacting in such an intensely social
environment with few inhibitions held enormous appeal for me, as I often
found this kind of interaction difficult in my "real" life. Having just
moved to a new city and having few friends, my fascination with Medievia
grew and I quickly found myself typing away hour after hour, regardless of
what other responsibilities I had. After a solid two years of constant
playing, I started to realize how I had tried to shut myself off from
reality. My problem was not that I really enjoyed the game; my problem was
that I wanted it to be a complete substitute for reality. Eventually my
fascination lessened and I started to play less. But not before I had
learned some harsh lessons."

You'll often hear Medievia players joke about being "addicted" to the game
("I'm trying to cut back to just 12 hours per day") and, while it is
probably true that most players are not actually "addicted" to Med, the
bottom line is that spending too much time at it can actually be harmful.

Here are some things to watch for which may clue you in to a potential
Medievia "addiction":
- Do you find you become anxious, irritable or angry if you are unable to
  play, for any reason?
- Do you find that events which take place in Medievia seem more important
  than those in your real life?
- Do you spend six hours or more every day playing?
- Do you find that you continue to play, even when you are upset or
  frustrated with the game and not really enjoying it?
- Do you often rearrange plans in your real life (such as cancelling
  meetings with friends, etc) so that you will have more time to play?
- Do you often find yourself short of time to do important things, such as
  schoolwork, because you've spent a lot of time playing?

If these statements tend to be true for you, then the amount of time you
spend playing Medievia may be affecting your life in a negative way. Here
are a few steps you can take to prevent a potential Medievia addiction
from having a negative effect on your life:
- Set a time limit for the amount of time you will spend playing each day
  and stick to it, *regardless of what is happening on Medievia*.
- If you have work or studying to do, finish it first before you start
- Avoid telling your friends, "I-just need to take a quick break to do my
  (eating, laundry etc)."-If you tell your friends you will be back soon,
  you will be rushing to finish whatever you need to do because you'll
  feel guilty if you can't rejoin them.
- When you have an important task to accomplish, log off from the game
  completely instead of going AFK This way you will not be tempted to
  return to the game before your work is done.
- Try to divide up your "social" time between your friends on Medievia and
  your friends in real life.
- If you have to choose between spending time with people on Medievia and
  spending time with people in your real life, spend it with people in
  your real life.
- Set aside a day when you have few responsibilities (e.g. Saturday or
  Sunday) and try to do most of your Medievia playing on that day.
- Even if you do have a lot of free time, don't spent it all playing
  Medievia. Divide up your time between playing Med and reading,
  exercising, hobbies, etc. Remember that variety is truly the spice of
  life and that spending too much time at any one thing -regardless of
  what thing it might be- is usually harmful.
- Only play Medievia when you really feel like it, and when you get
  frustrated or stop having fun, quit playing and come back another day.
  Medievia can be an extremely fun way to pass spare time during the day,
  but remember that it is meant to be a form of entertainment, and not a
  substitute for any part of your real life.