It's not a conspiracy, it just feels like one.
Of the last ten weekly roleplaying game sessions, we've managed to play on three. Between the holidays, illnesses, visiting girlfriends, and other causes, spread out over the entire group, we've flat-out cancelled seven out of ten. Next week is already pre-emptively cancelled due to the Stupid Bowl. And with another third of our group recently succumbed to the WoW zombie cult, my hopes for this turning around are dwindling.
When we do play, out of a seven-hour block of time, we usually get 3-4, tops. It takes minimum 2 hours, more often 3, for us to get through late arrivals, eating lunch, watching unnecessary TV, and assorted socializing. We often end an hour early too.
Where MUDs used to be a source for a cheap substitute, my terrible luck with them has rendered them unhelpful. I'm only playing one right now and that one is not really there for roleplaying. (And what little roleplaying I can get out of there is currently stymied by the eternal impossibility of getting a bunch of people to show up at the same time to do something.)
My efforts to set up an experimental conventional roleplaying game in SecondLife, as a means to fit roleplaying in when time and distance don't permit the old "gather in a room" approach, have completely come up dry. I could only get five people to even start on being interested, and I have not found a time that can get three of them, let alone all five. It's pulling teeth to even get anyone to say something as simple as "Saturdays are good but Sundays bad for me". I'm pretty near to giving up the ghost on it.
O roleplaying, why hast thou forsaken me?