That’s the warning label distraught mother Elizabeth Woolley wants put onto massively multiplayer online role playing games like EverQuest and Dark Age of Camelot. Why? She claims that her 21 year old son, Shawn Woolley, was so addicted to EverQuest that he committed suicide. Now she plans to sue the makers of EverQuest, and probably everyone else who makes MMORPGs, for both money and to force them to include warning labels on the packaging.

Nevermind the fact that this guy was already known to have a number of mental problems which he refused to get treatment for, the fact that he was so engrossed with the game is enough to get lawyers comparing the addictiveness of the game to that of cigarettes or recreational drugs. Granted, those of us who have played EQ have jokingly refered to it as EverCrack, but it hardly compares to the situation with the tobacco companies as one lawyer is quoted as claiming:

“I am sure we are going to find things akin to the tobacco industry memos where they say nicotine is addictive. There is a possibility of a class-action lawsuit.”

Give me a flippin’ break. Sure, there are a number of people who have allowed this game to ruin their lives by dropping out of college or losing their jobs or what have you because they became too addicted to it, but that would be true of anything they allow themselves to become addicted to be it games, sex, drugs, alcohol, or twinkies. I’m certain that a big warning label on the front of the game is going to solve all our problems by causing people with addictive personalities to stop and think “Whoa! I could become addicted to this game and kill myself! I better not buy it!” Right, and next monkeys are gonna fly outta my butt.

First spotted this over at kevin kearney’s site.


  1. Two years ago I was so addicted to a MMORGP that I dropped out of school =/ when i saw that i was going down hill last august really bad! i was up until 5 am everynight when i was playing in game in massive combat i would have a huge rush my heart would beat extremly fast i couldnt get enough of it so in august i stopped playing the game and have stopped playing it since but u know what it took for me to stop playing the game? I sold my game account, threw away CD’s and formated the HD

  2. ///  As strange as this will seem to you the people who have serious mental problems with any on line game have true addiction but it is not caused by the game, the player or the Internet. It is known problem in civil engineering related to human physiology, subliminal sight, and peripheral vision reflexes. The human vision startle response is a peripheral vision reflex and the brain system that generates that reflex is the one which causes the problem.

    The problem involves the design of your work station, how you set up your computer. Bottom line is put the CPU and its blinking hard drive busy light under the desk. That placement is required in Cubicles and System Furniture Workstations. This was discovered over fifty years ago, long before computers were invented. The solution is called Cubicle Level Protection and is used in millions of offices world wide.

    What this means is that everything goes exactly wrong and remains that way for about ten days this can happen to you.

  3. The above comment and the link it provides strikes me as more of a sales pitch than anything else. Regardless, I did find your website pretty damned amusing.

  4. When I was 16 I was addicted to pso on dreamcast. I droped out of jr high and I finnaly reached lv 100. I enrolled back in school.Now am 21 I finish highschool I live home with my mother and I own over 2000 ps2,x-box,and gamecube games all an all .Am not addictted I just like to collect games like comic books

  5. Since 2003 when I posted the original comment above my site has advanced and there have been many other incidents that point to Subliminal Distraction as a cause. The Virginia Tech shooter for one. Although a video game player, Cho set up the special circumstances for SD exposure when he used his laptop to study in the suite common room where roommates walked by ignoring him. That’s a description of Subliminal Distraction exposure.

    Mass shootings seem to be cases of sociopath meets subliminal distraction. Other potential outcomes are Dissociative Fugue, suicide, and mental distress we call mental illness.

    In Japan a video game player rented a truck, drove it into a crowd, jumped out and stabbed seventeen killing seven. This violence happens around the world.

    Many of the events never make national news so that we are unaware of them unless we set up the Google Alerts for them.

    Remember it’s not the video game, no matter how violent the content. It’s repeated failed attempts to trigger the vision startle reflex. The subliminal appreciation of threat will eventually color thought and reason.

    Using a computer in a heavy traffic situation is one way to get exposure but the phenomenon was discovered in the 1960’s before computers existed.

    Nothing is sold on my site, the information is free.

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