My name is Lianna Brinded and I am a game-aholic. I am proud that I have several level 85 characters on World of Warcraft, have owned pretty much every Sega, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony machine at one point, have made many friends across the globe online and have avoided having the displeasure of meeting too many weirdos.

But as much as gaming is a fantastic digital age pastime that can unite millions across the world and allow you to develop honed-in, lightning-fast multi-tasking skills of a ninja, it can have dire consequences that can ruin your life.

Job Centre
(Photo: Reuters)

Losing Your Job

An avid gamer would tell you that being a proper gamer and not a noob is a full-time job in itself, but losing your real life job over it may make you reassess your priorities.

According to a recent survey by HR News, the most popular reason for faking a sick day in the UK is to play video games.

Nearly 75 percent of men in the survey admitted to having faked a sick day "in recent years," while 24 percent say they lie about being sick so they can stay home to play games.

You only have to google "losing job because of video games" to see reams of people who have lost their jobs due to video gaming addiction or fatigue brought on by hours upon hours at the monitor.

Divorce wedding
(Photo: Reuters)

End of Marriage

Unless you are lucky enough to find a partner who loves gaming as much as you do, your need to skip a romantic meal or watch a movie to level up your in-game character may end your marriage.

Despite the rising level of female gamers year on year, the number of women citing "playing computer games" as a main reason for divorce has risen too.

In Japan, a recent survey asked 721 divorced women why they split from their other half. Playing computer games was the fourth most common response, behind adultery, alcoholism and overspending.

In 2011, Divorce Online found that 15 percent of women who cited unreasonable behaviour for ending their marriage, said they felt that their partner put gaming before their relationship.

This is a massive rise from the 5 percent who cited gaming as reason for divorce in 2010.

The wives mainly blamed the massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) World of Warcraft and Call of Duty for their troubles.

I guess they didn't appreciate getting up at 4 in the morning to grind for gold as important or fair.

World of warcraft wow gamers
(Photo: Reuters)

Death of a Social Life

I suppose, closely following on from the previous point is the death of a social life.

Well that depends what you count as a social life.

Whether its playing a MMPORG or Xbox Live, it's pretty certain that you can and will interact with real people, just you can see them or touch them or even be on the same continent as them. While many people have successfully garnered fully functioning friendships and relationships through gaming, there are more stories about those losing touch with friends and family in real life - or IRL - because of joypad or mouse.

While many people have managed to fit a work life, social life and love life - and of course occasionally exercise - into their daily routine, apparently some people want to blame the games themselves for turning them into a reclusive loser.

So much so, that one WoW gamer, is suing the makers of the game because "he has no life".

In 2009, a UCLA graduate sought $1m in damages, accusing the game developers of "sneaky and deceitful practices" for turning him into an agitated gamer who "relies on video games heavily for the little ongoing happiness he can achieve in this life, via the gaming medium".

Internet cafe
(Photo: Reuters)

Actual Death

Make no qualms about it; gaming can get very addictive. There are addict forums and actual charging therapists for such an ailment.

Games like MMPORGs do not have an end game - you can spend hours, days, weeks, years bettering your character, doing quests, completing achievements - the list is endless. I, like many others, have spent untold time and Saturday nights staying in going on a quest or a raid, or have woken up exceptionally early to avoid peak times when the server will lag.

So it's no surprise that, as with any hobby, some people take it just a bit too far.

Recently, a 15-year old Ohio schoolboy was taken to hospital for apparently going on a four-day Xbox gaming marathon, playing Modern Warfare 3. While the doctor and his mother have told the press he is expected to make a full recovery, this mum did confirm that she has taken away his Xbox.

But it hasn't just resulted in illness, some hardcore gamers have given their lives to it.

There has been a spate of deaths in MMPORG gaming in Asia over the past few years, which is unsurprising considering you can earn a fulltime wage and sponsorship playing in PvP (player versus player) tournaments online.

One of the top players in Starcraft, Korean Lim Yo-Hwan earned over $400,000 until he "retired" in 2010.

As an example, during a Chinese national holiday, one 28-year-old WoW gamer died after playing the online game" for several days. This was followed by another death in similar circumstances shortly after.

Over in Korea, a husband and wife faced criminal charges after their baby daughter died when they left her alone in order to play World of Warcraft. Police said the parents left their four month-old child alone in a bedroom while they went to play the MMORPG at a local internet cafe.

In New Taipei City a 23-year-old man died in an internet cafe after 10 straight hours of gaming and apparently fellow gamers disregarded his corpse while the police investigated.

Lianna Brinded is senior business reporter for IBTimes UK

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