Explaining that she is "too broke and too cheap" to pay to play Facebook-based games, retiree Mary Kay Caloger has found ways to spend more time -- but not more money -- on her favorite games, most notably "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."
"When I started playing, I realized I could only play one game per day without spending money," she says, explaining that the first game is free and most games after that are pay per play. Paying players can purchase Facebook Credits for more chances to play in any given day; "winnings" are considered "in-game currency" to be used for additional games and game perks only.
So instead of reaching into her virtual wallet for real money, Caloger created two more identities, complete with email addresses and Facebook profiles, who could also each play one free game of "Millionaire" every day.
"I play totally out of boredom," she says. "It makes me feel smart. I waste a lot of time. I really waste a lot of time."
The best way to stop playing too much may be to not start in the first place. However, Shumney says the only permanent treatment for addictions to substances such as drugs or alcohol is total abstinence, yet in today's world, total Internet abstinence may not be practical or even possible.