The purpose of this grounded theory study was to describe the experience of people who struggled with self-described addiction to World of Warcraft™ (WoW). WoW is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), and many players have shared their stories of compulsive use and recovery efforts on two different websites: www.wowdetox.com, and a Reddit forum called /r/noWoW. We analyzed 140 unique posts on these sites to develop a process model describing how posters experienced addiction and recovery from WoW. We used grounded theory methods to create a model with categories including, time sink, impairment in work and relationships, and realization of loss. The process of recovery from compulsive WoW use included a series of realizations and the gamer “coming to themselves.” Implications for clinicians and researchers who study internet gaming disorder and related issues are offered.


addiction, grounded theory, MMORPG, internet gaming disorder

Author Bio(s)

Jayson Carmona, M.S. and Jason B. Whiting, PhD are with the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Brigham Young University. Please direct correspondence to jaysoncarmona@gmail.com and jason.whiting@byu.edu.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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