Obviously we've all heard more bad stories about WoW rather than some good but hopefully you can read mine and take away from it what I consider a happy ending.
I started playing soccer when I was four years old, had played center full back and sweeper. In high school I was captain of the soccer team for three years straight, played for my provincial team, and tried out a few times for the Jr. Canadian team. In my senior year I was hit in the air and spun as I landed on my right foot. So my body spun but my leg stayed planted on the ground, which led to every tendon and ligament being torn inside my knee.
I had surgery to try and repair my knee and by most standards it was successful, I can now at least jog and walk normally but could never play soccer again. For 14 years of my life I had played soccer and it was my release from the worries of life, parents divorcing, school becoming overwhelming, everything that plagues a teenager.
After that accident I didn't have that release anymore, and I started to fall back on other things to give me that release. Would party more than usual with friends, would drink more than what would be a good amount, smoked more marijuana than Willy Nelson, basically I hit rock bottom.
After barely graduating high school I went to work at a local retail store as a car audio installer. A few of the guys there were playing a video game called World of Warcraft, at first I thought it was a pretty cartoony looking game and didn't want anything to do with it. But after being talked into it I tried the game out and actually liked it. Soon there after I had bought my own account and began playing. Six months later I was a class leader in a Molten Core guild on the verge of killing Ragnaros with the guys that I worked with, that night Ragnaros died and me and my friends got together for drinks after. I personally did not feel that sense of accomplishment or release from reality where all I thought about was the task at hand till that very moment where I was raiding with friends, not since playing soccer.
And so for me raiding in WoW provided for me that release where I don't worry about my schedule, bill's, etc. Mind you I work full time, pay my bills on time, and still have an active social life. I'm just saying that it filled that hole that not being able to play soccer had left.
In the end I kept raiding into the expansion, went on to kill Illidan while he was the final boss of the expansion, and only now have taken a break to focus on other things in my life. When the next expansion comes out I plan to play that, keep on raiding till nothing is left, and devote my time again to something else. Its nice being able to balance the both, and I hope everyone that may be fighting an addiction to a video game can find their balance.