My wife was terrified when I first brought up playing WoW. I love video games, always have, always probably will. We have both been divorced in the past, and she has been very involved with divorce support groups both online and off. She has only heard of WoW in a very negative light and how it can “split” people up.
I think WoW gets a really bad rep from many misconceptions. While the game can be addicting and time consuming, it is up to the individual to learn time management and prioritize their life. Same thing with relationships. I read it over and over how people have to quit the game because their personal life is suffering. What about balancing things before it gets to that point?
As far as losing your spouse because they found someone to cheat with online, I believe that is complete BS. It has nothing to do with the game and everything to do with a bad relationship. It is like blaming the car in a drunk driving accident, or the gun in a murder case. WoW is a tool that gives people the ability to communicate with other humans… just like a chat room or a bar would.
The secret to balancing things in real life for me is not clear yet. I think I do play a little more than I should, but it is the perfect stress relief for me. I also find the management aspect of raiding fascinating as well as the very rewarding acquisition of a rare item.
I still feel like I prefer real life interaction with people to WoW. I much rather go see a movie or go bowling with friends than raid… however the pull to do the other is stronger than I would have originally expected. In the end is a matter of choice, I chose to value real life interaction more than in game, I like to talk to people in vent and know the person rather than the toon. I like people, I enjoy people, and the RL relationships will always be more important than anything the game can provide me.