Most helpful critical review
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Journey OUT OF the world of Addictions
on January 19, 2011
The second half of the book deals with Van Cleave's journey out of his addiction from World of Warcraft (WoW) and has some honest self-reflection regarding the fall-out from gaming. The first half of the book (Ch. 2-7) however is not at all what I expected as a journey into the dark world of _video game_ addiction. Rather, it includes some grave tales concerning his childhood, many unfortunate misfortunes & misadventures, and a lot of details of his addictions while in college including with sex & booze with a much lesser emphasis on video gaming and gambling. The lack of details into his video game time-sink does not parallel the alarmingly dark nature of his sexual encounters, sexual abuse, and binge drinking. And the chapter about his time as a teacher at Clemson leaves me thinking he was a caring teacher who connected with & saved depressed students and the reason he lost his job was because he saw "Administrator Sally" cheating with a woman on her husband. He writes, "This was the beginning of the end of my days at Clemson" (p. 126). Perhaps these chapters are the side of Van Cleave that is looking everywhere outside of himself for the reason for his addictions or anything but video gaming as the cause of his problems--and therein lies the rub!
There seems to be a journey into a dark world definitely, but it seems to me to be into the dark world of an addictive person(ality) struggling to come clean and be truthful about anything and everything that matters to him. Perhaps this is more the journey _out of_ the dark world he has found himself caught in. I get from reading this book that he is still battling his addiction to WoW because he both says it and shows it in his writing by not really giving the kind of details he gave about other addictions he seems to have conquered (sex, & booze).
The book may be a very worthwhile for others battling any issue of addiction but I must admit that I would recommend it be taken with a grain of salt... that is some of the stories may or may not be true. Van Cleave himself agrees with his wife that he may be "manipulating his memories" with "what seem to be out and out lies" as a way of protecting himself (p. 192).
I thank Van Cleave for reminding me of Yoda's wisdom--"Do or do not, there is no try". I also think the appendices are a great asset to anyone battling the addiction to video games. Wherever the truth lies, I believe he is a talented individual who deserves the very best in his journey forward and out of the dark world of addictions into his place in the sun!