Hello,my name is Ultan O’Connell,and I am an addict.

Not a drug addict,not an alcoholic,but an addict to Xbox Live.It is a conclusion I only realised 12 days ago.I changed service provider and my new router would not allow me to connect to XBL.No big deal I thought to myself,I can survive without it for a few days till I sort out the problem.

Oh boy was I wrong.I would turn on my Xbox,only to be greeted by the “Cannot connect to Xbox Live” message.I felt uncomfortable not being connected,like something was missing from my games.They suddenly felt empty.The first game I tried to play was Fifa 10.Another notification that I wasn’t connected,I think a part of me died when I saw it.The difference between being connected and not was quickly apparent.No more Live updates to players and teams,no more little scrolling bar that told me who was signing in and out and the latest news.

But the main thing that was missing was the lack of invites to play a game or join a party chat.Usually I am chatting to some friends while playing games,suddenly I was alone.I was isolated from everyone else and I hated it.I realised I couldn’t play these games without Live.Fifa quickly becomes boring when your not playing against others,Firefight loses its magic when theres only one person in the game and I can’t even play against bots in the CoD multiplayer.I came to the realisation that I had not played a game by myself for longer then a half hour in almost a year.

But did this help me to finish the single player games I had left neglected so I could play some online multiplayer?No,indeed it made things worse.I couldn’t bear to play my Xbox,I got withdrawal symptoms when I booted up the system.I died inside when I saw the now familiar notification.So I had to stop playing my Xbox,it was too harmful.I needed to get away.I started to read more and my DS saw some action.I even managed to study a bit.

Then a few days ago,we managed to fix the problem with the router and then just as quickly as it had been torn away,my Live was back and I rejoiced.At long last I could once again enjoy my games to the fullest extent.I could chat with my friends as we tried to survive waves of Covenent soldiers.I could talk smack in CoD again.All was well in the world.

But my time away from Live taught me a valuable lesson.Never change service provider.