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 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.

Psychology Technology

Posted on Tue Jan 11, 2005


My husband plays WOW. He has been playing for three months now. He is addicted. He has shut me out and has became very short tempered if I speak to him. He never goes anywhere with me. All he likes to do now is play the game. Now I have noticed money coming out of our account where is is buying things to play in the game. They sell like gold, etc.. I could not believe the money a grown man would spend on a make believe item. He spent in 3 weeks $157.00 and his $15 to play online. It is way out of hand. He only chats to people on the game and after 21 years of being married, he could care less if I was around. He also has no desire to read his Bible or go to Church with me and our Son. I have had not luck getting him off. The more I say the more he plays. So beware may loss a husband to a computer.
If I leave him, I know this, I will not date a man that plays online games!
Posted by Susie  in  TN  on  Sat Jan 28, 2006  at  06:35 AM
Hello Susie,

Thank you for your comment. I am sorry for what is happeing to you, your husband, your relationship and to your family becasue of WOW.

Hopefully you will visit our website on-line gamers anonyous, for more support for this - and our message board -
There are a couple of sections on the message board for family members. Please start by reading the messages that are "tacked". You are not alone in this, Susie. My 21 year old son committed suicide after becoming addicted to the game of Everquest.

I hope to see you on the board.

Liz W.
Posted by Lizwool  in  Harrisburg, PA  on  Mon Jan 30, 2006  at  05:22 AM
"Just before xmas I bought pottery wheel, kiln and lot of clay, glayzes etc. after three weeks I cannot stop throwing pots. This stuff is also very addictive. Should it be prohibited? I guess not It is just a good hobby. Some people cannot stop building, painting and palying with little and big cars, planes. Computer games basically are same thing."

They become basically the same when your only friends are other potters, and when you go to the kiln house to fire your pots everyone wears elaborate costumes and uses aliases to conceal and/or augment their real selves.

The social aspect of online games is what makes them so vicious. Years ago if you were a huge nerd, you had very few friends and you knew it because you didn't leave your house much and so you didn't very many people. These days you can be a huge nerd but within the space of an online realm feel strong, sexy, charming, wise, and be admired by hundreds of your peers for these traits. Who needs to leave home and deal with being ugly, awkward, short etc. when you've got that?

The road starts by playing it for fun. The next step is foregoing other forms of fun in lieu of the game (because it's just that fun). The next step is sacrificing not just your fun, but your money/opportunities/grades/whatever to dedicate more time to the game (because now the game isn't fun if you aren't the best at it).

The last step is when your physical body and life start to feel like a drag on the "real" you that only people online get to see and enjoy the company of. That can take a long time but it doesn't necessarily. Given enough time invested into an online persona-- time taken away from real life issues-- it could happen to anyone.
Posted by Steve  on  Sun Feb 05, 2006  at  09:06 PM
Isnt the OLGA Created by the mother of Shawn Woolley ? the kid that shot himself because of EverCrack.

Might also try looking up this type of stuff in Wikipeida.

I know these things are real, i've writting a report on it, and i, have suffered from it aswell.
Posted by Kage  in  Idaho Boise  on  Wed Jun 21, 2006  at  03:27 AM
Should videogames be banned in canada?
Posted by Ryan H  in  canada  on  Fri Sep 15, 2006  at  12:31 AM
What a very stupid and vague poll that is. Their disclaimer says: "This is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate." Being an avid video gamer myself, I've learnt to Never trust newscasters when they talk about video games and violence (like they-CTV-just did in their newscasts about the Dawson events). Everything they say is heavily onesided and vague, like that poll.

And I just voted "Solf Freely."
Posted by Sil  on  Fri Sep 15, 2006  at  12:57 AM
After seeing this is confirmed I have to say bravo. Over the years I've seen a bunch of freinds with internet addictions to varying degrees and forms. I've known people who have destroyed serious relationships even gotten in major trouble with school because they spent to much time online and not enough dealing with the real world. Despite what some people are saying on here the truth is that the AA style has helped people. Its interesting that when "logic based" ttreatment groups have formed they don't work as well as the AA program and its basis in recognizing you need some thing greater then your self to beat addiction. Frankly I think its an ego issue. A lot of people don't like to admit there are problems they can't solve themselves so they dismiss the effectiveness of this kind of treatment.
Posted by Kevin  on  Mon Feb 05, 2007  at  12:39 PM
Hello, Thank you for posting here. I wanted to respond to you. Our organization and website are still very much ALIVE. The url is

I hope to see you there.

Liz W.
Posted by Liz W.  in  Harrisburg, PA  on  Tue Aug 25, 2009  at  06:38 PM
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