An excellent article on lesessais.com about the issues dealt with people trying to quit this game:
Here. Bear with me. Let me describe an emotional state, and you come up with the cause. First, emptiness. Emptiness like hunger, ravenous hunger; emptiness like the blackness that descends behind closed eyelids at the crepuscule before sleep; emptiness as need; emptiness as blind desire; emptiness visualized as a gaping hole where the heart once held court. Then, regret. Regret for loss, regret that the emptiness exists, regret that the memory of what once filled the hole—the heart, now, the heart, remember—lies dead and dies more each and every passing day; regret that the knowledge of what other people do to fill up their life has been lost along countless missteps and misspent hours trying to find the path on which you once, as a child, so deftly picked your way; regret that something is gone and has left an emptiness as deep as the blackest reaches of outer space. Anger, next. Anger that emptiness is remembered with regret; anger at the witless world that allowed such a gain that could become a loss that could be defined as emptiness with vast regret; anger that you, who once were so strong, so supple, so springboard-ready to bounce back to a mean emotional state, a psychical purpose, can see yourself suffering and maundering over the black heart, its regretful state, and your pointless rage. Despair, finally, that you will ever be another way.
Love, you say? If you did, and I hope you did, then you got it right, at least in purpose and point of origin, for though it smacks of the lovelorn puppy dog ministrations of a mooney-eyed lover, the emotional state I described was of an addict’s absence of soul, of spirit, of the will to experience. Which is to say, they are not all that different.
Unhealthy obsessions, selfish solipsism…the fables and myths that give us succor and teach us morals warn against anything so monomaniacal: it is hardly necessary to think of Narcissus to extend any story’s teleology to death by personal infirmity, moral laxity, or, quite simply, gazing too long at a mirrored self. Love, the quaint excuse for the angst-ridden teen’s outrageous outcries—the union of two souls! Death by dissolution! Not life, no, but bliss!—is seldom more than a mirror made to trick the viewer into seeing a better self. What of other mirrors? Other tricks? What of those that mask the truth but lightly, and in the dancing points of light you can see the fiction, the misdirection, life not lived but carefully avoided, painted in unearthly colors and brighter, happier, than even the most stunted man-child could ever want life to be? We could say that the infirmity is weaker, the morals ignored with more purpose and pain, the waters of immurement approached with more knowledge, dire knowledge, that it is death the soul seeks.
All this is pretty heavy-handed for someone talking of love. Still more for someone speaking of a video game. But there it is. Here. Where love once filled the hours of thousands of men and women who had nothing else to divert their attention away from the painful, plodding progress of life as we know it, we have a game. To be sure, there are other diversions, some do drugs, others take to drink, but for general amusement, for avoiding thinking, there have always been games and activities meant to satisfy other base yearnings—accomplishment, pride, mental facility, physical prowess, social adaptability—but no game quite like this…