Thursday, October 19, 2006

Warcraft: Another Point of View

As promised, from the same guild leadership comes a different point of view which discusses the game in a positive light.

I'm doing the best I can to make sure ALL points of view are featured prominently. I am trying to work with other folks as well to organize their rebuttals of some of the things stated in the article that started this whole wild train a-rollin'.

Without further ado, another guest post from another friend from the same guild.

--------------------------------------------

I never finished a computer game or video game in my life before I started playing WoW. I started dozens of them …. UT, NWN, Donkey Kong, Diablo … and I always got halfway through or close to the end and realized that I was wasting hours a day on something that didn’t matter at all. So I’d put it down and go back to reading or writing or playing music or doing something else that I enjoyed. I figured it was something about lacking that particular chromosome, or possibly being just too practical for my own good. When my friend and co-guild founder convinced me to start playing WoW, I never thought I’d make it to 60. I really didn’t think that the guild we founded with four people (a couple naked dwarves, a human and a naked gnome) after-hours in a little back-office cubicle on Market Street in Philadelphia would get where it is today.

It’s going on two years now, and I’m still playing. Ok, I haven’t “finished” it … Andy’s right about that, there is no end. But why is this game different from all the others that I tried? For me … (personally, not speaking for anyone else here) it’s because it does have an impact on my real life. I got a Masters degree in policy from one of the most difficult schools in the country while at the same time playing WoW and working a part time job. I would come home from a busy day and think about how to use what I learned to make the guild work better. It was a way for me to practice what I was learning and to discover what was involved with leading people (mostly getting all the blame and no thanks, it seems :P). I’ve learned the lessons of clear communication, sacrifice, compassion, tough love ... and balance. I plan to use these skills in my professional life. So in short, I play the game because I get something tangible out of it.

That’s not all. I enjoy it. I like being the very best player I can be; whether I’m playing a priest or a mage or a twink druid, you can bet that I’m crunching numbers and reading theory and strategy and trying to make every action or every cast more efficient. You could say I’m driven, but I feel like it keeps me alert mentally. The same way that I play tetris and bejewled incessantly to work on my spatial awareness, I like reading strategies for boss fights and thinking about new ways to do them and how different people with different specs and strengths can contribute to or change the fight. It’s fun.

I also do it to play with my friends: ones that I would never get to see otherwise because they’re in different states or different countries. I once quit a twink guild because the guild leader said “I don't want people in my guild who have the attitude "screw this guild i'm sticking by my friends" You are NOT welcome in our guild.” (That’s leadership right there, lmao.) Our unofficial guild motto has always been RL > WOW, friends come first. The lesson? If it stops being fun, I walk.

I haven’t given up large amounts of my life to the game. Our guild doesn’t demand a given number of hours or days a week (compared to many raiding guilds, we’re laughably ‘inefficient’ in those terms… but we try to remember that people have lives.) I miss at least one raid a week to go out with friends, go clubbing, or watch a movie with my family. I hardly ever farm. I usually play the auction-house for fifteen minutes before I go to bed at night. I actually gave up herbalism because I didn’t have time for it (and I wanted to DE the stuff my ex gave me when we broke up >.>). If I start feeling frustrated, that the demands of people in the game are getting to high, or that I don’t have anything else to do … I walk away. I go for a walk, pursue one of my other hobbies, or call a friend. Soon enough I’m happy to come back, because I enjoy it and because there are people in the game whom I love and who make it worthwhile for me to play.

Those are my three keys, and whenever someone asks me if I think they should quit that’s what I ask them. Are you getting something out of it? Is it fun? Are you sacrificing things in real life to do it? Basically, do you have things in perspective and realize that it’s a game?

It was on this basis that I told Andy to quit. It’s true! I did. In my opinion, he was taking the criticisms too personally, he wasn’t getting anything out of it (he’s an engineer, not a policy maker after all), it had long since stopped being fun for him, and he clearly regretted the sacrifices he was making in his life to play it. There are many many people that I think can take a lesson from his story, and many stories that are far more shocking and terrifying than the one he told, but the point is the same. Know yourself, keep things in perspective, and keep life in a balance. In all things, not just in this.

So in short, I’m glad Andy quit the game. Our friendship is much deeper now than it ever was before (and let’s ignore for now the fact that I wouldn’t even know him or Yeager or Chuck … or Robert or Brian or Lisa or John or Jim or Shannon or Victor or Kate or Will or Heather or Tim or over a hundred other people if it weren’t for WoW.) It’s a decision that everyone needs to make for themselves, and it’s up to everyone to take care of their own lives. For me, that can include the World of Warcraft … for the time being. ^.^

148 comments:

Anonymous said...

All the time you are putting into WOW, you could be putting somewhere else. The real world has problems. If everyone that played WOW stopped playing it, turned to their neighbors and community and said what can I do to help, that would be an accomplishment. Getting to lvl 60 isn't. In 20 years no one is going to remember you did it, no one is going to care.

Moontayle said...

All the time you are putting into WOW, you could be putting somewhere else. The real world has problems. If everyone that played WOW stopped playing it, turned to their neighbors and community and said what can I do to help, that would be an accomplishment. Getting to lvl 60 isn't. In 20 years no one is going to remember you did it, no one is going to care.
And if she played Tennis in her free time? In 20 years no one is going to remember she did it, because no one is going to care. What about reading? Same argument.

You can apply that statement to any number of activities and unless she suddenly becomes excessively good at that secondary free-time hobby, then no one is going to remember she did it... except herself. That's the key. She's doing it, she's finding value in it, and she's enjoying herself. That's really all that matters, so long as she has everything else in perspective.

Shaun said...

I support your WOW endevaours. You gotta get Curt Schilling and Dave Chappelle in your guild though!

** Shaun **
My awesome blog: ohpunk.blogspot.com

-

Anonymous said...

It's easy to say that. But it's important to remember that the virtual communities we are building now only lack the physical impact of our real communities because those virtual communities are immature. In many ways, the communities are the first opportunity that many people ever have to interact with others from other cultures and lifestyles, and that exposure is not half bad. Besides, tell my retiree friends that these communities are useless...

--Jonathan

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
All the time you are putting into WOW, you could be putting somewhere else. The real world has problems. If everyone that played WOW stopped playing it, turned to their neighbors and community and said what can I do to help, that would be an accomplishment. Getting to lvl 60 isn't. In 20 years no one is going to remember you did it, no one is going to care."

Excellent argument! I'm sure you don't watch any television shows on a weekly basis, allow yourself private noneducational reading time, or do anything that's entertainment for yourself (such as socializing with friends or partaking of a drink or two in a bar). From sun up to sundown, you're out in your community fixing the real world problems. I'm sure no one minds you helping them out of bed at 5 AM and keeping them until 10 PM after a full days' work either.

Let's be honest here. Everyone deserves a bit of leisure time to enjoy whatever it is they enjoy. When it oversteps the boundaries of that time - be it a game, habitual television shows, exercise, crossstitch - is when it becomes a problem.

Balance in one's life is of absolute importance here. An individual has to establish that balance themselves without going off the deepend. Career, family, and leisure have to all be balanced for the individual. When one has a certain segment intruding upon the others is when a problem arises.

Anonymous said...

Well, as far as the first anonymous comment goes....

Humans = Eat + Sleep + Play + Work
Pigs = Eat + Sleep

Substitute and you get:
Humans = Pigs + Play + Work

Now subtract Play from both sides
Humans - Play = Pigs + Work

Conclusion: Humans who don't understand how to play are just pigs that know how to work.

Anonymous said...

Having been in the same guild as both of these people, I have to say the friendship and the family environment completely counter points any real argument against the community itself. yeah people have their ups and downs but by that same token, real world issues and situations have this same swing.

If you don't allow yourself the time to have fun, you really don't live life. I am one of the few people that HAVE left this guild because I had other priorities. I have a 4 month old daughter now, and I also have been vying for a keyholder position at my local gamestop (employee discounts rock), but by that same aspect my wife and I both enjoy playing WoW AND City Of Heroes/Villains when we get a chance. I.E. when the baby is asleep.

I left the guild because I felt I would no longer be a benefit to it, and rightly so at this point. My play time is leisure at best, and when I do come on, its to simply solo grind to 60 to set myself for Burning Crusade's content when it comes out and I can try my hand there.

Anonymous said...

tennis and reading are much better ways to fill your life than WOW. Any other live action on your part to engage humanity in a social way outside of the computer is infinately better. Computers are a tool, they are a way to set up interactions and engage in talk. But what they don't do is play frisbee with you, go bowling with you, have that deep meaningful talk with you in a way that cannot be replicated online. If you delude yourselves into thinking it can then you are already off the deep end. You want culture? travel somewhere. You want to meet new and interesting people? Join a club. All that WOW does is allow you to be lazy and not socially interact on a face to face basis, which says more about you, than about the game itself.
(your retiree friends should go out instead of being shut ins, even handicapped people go out and engage society, there is no excuse)

Anonymous said...

Who on earth is saying you can't do both!?

And no, I know several people that read, read, read. And frankly, reading can be pretty bad for your life to if overdone.

And meaningfull conversations can happen in a chat. Even enlightning ones, saying that they can't is prejudicial and displays lack of intelligence, really.

Anonymous said...

All the time you are putting into WOW, you could be putting somewhere else. The real world has problems. If everyone that played WOW stopped playing it, turned to their neighbors and community and said what can I do to help, that would be an accomplishment. Getting to lvl 60 isn't. In 20 years no one is going to remember you did it, no one is going to care.

All the time people are putting into wow they could be doing drugs, mugging elderly people, murdering people. You assume that playing games only take time away from people who would otherwise be doing good deeds. I personally play as my entire life is on hold whilst waiting to emmigrate.

Anonymous said...

I was the guy who wrote the other article, and I'm glad to see Mr. Yeager and this author post another perspective. This is what I meant when I said WoW does a lot of things right: it does introduce people to a world of new friends they would have never met and allows people to communicate and do things together when vast distances separate them. If people can have fun and draw the line, then by all means, enjoy!

The aforementioned "line" above is the important thing to be aware of, which is really difficult at times to notice. For me, it wasn't like going out and drinking until alcoholism took over (Yeager, it is me - because yes I am talking about Marrones :-p) because it was just a video game and no harm could have ever come of it, right? I let myself get hooked not only to the game itself, but moreso to the people and the guild. When I noticed the negative impact it had on me (mostly at the request of this author, Mr. Yeager, and a host of other friends), I removed myself from the situation. My purpose in writing the other article wasn't to bash WoW, call out people, complain about my life (which is really quite dandy these days), or deny I had a problem (those who say I did, go back a read it again). I just wanted people who may be in the same situation that I was in, where something (anything they may have a problem with) was hurting them and they were either denying or unaware of it's effect, to take a step back and assess their lives and goals and relationships. Nothing more, nothing less.

Ari said...

Mr. Tennis and Books should be slapped upside the head, and in real life so as to provide an "authentic off-the-computer social interaction".

With few exceptions is no such thing as automatic right/wrong hobbies("bowling - good hobby! macrame - very bad hobby! WoW - worse than radiation exposure!) so stop making these stupid snap assessments.

Youngsoul has found hobby XXXX that:
- she enjoys
- provides social interaction with other people
- provided a way to apply her academic learning
- engages her brain in problem solving
- is disengageable when she's not having fun with it

That's a pretty damn good package for any hobby. Telling Youngsoul that this activity is "wrong" just because it is WoW is beyond retarded.

Devon said...

There is certainly something to be said for the social experience that WoW can bring into a person, at the same time there is something to be said for removing oneself from the game, which becomes an increasingly difficult thing for many people to do. I stopped WoW, never having reached the level of commitment offered by either author, because it just lost its appeal. While there are absolutely awesome people playing, there are also a hell of a lot of idiots out there, people who I don't want to spend any time with. There is also just an increasing requirement of time spent, sure a guild leader can avoid farming but the entire guild can't or it will be a useless machine. The game requires a heavy commitment from at least someone to continue to be playable at the end game level.

In reality, if you want to play WoW go for it, but realize that like any other time consuming diversion there is a heavy element of addiction, one that I've felt pull me into it as well. The problem with any addiction is recognition and I think many a WoW player doesn't have the ability to really recognize it, not to mention the very environment of the game and of a guild encourages it. Let's face it, the game doesn't reward the guy with the most successful family, it rewards the guy willing to put everything behind WoW on his priority list. Take it or leave it, WoW can be a huge problem, it needn't be, but it can be.

Michael Teplitsky said...

Hello!

It’s good to see that you posted this piece just like you wanted to.

I believe that any wholesome person must balance their life in a way that allows them to have hobbies as well as relationships, play as well as work and so on.

Hobbies have only two requirements, they must be fun and relaxing and they may not overshadow other aspects of one’s life. Personally I find WoW to be a great pass time and a source of hours of enjoyment. I also work my primary job, contract on the side, go to school, and spend time with my friends, my girlfriend and even my cat.

The people, who fail to keep the balance due to their lack of discipline, are the ones we see on the news, but we are not all like that. Playing too many games is terrible, but we must keep in mind that going on too many nature walks or listening to too much opera is no less terrible.

So as I said before, blaming an activity is simply a way to avoid responsibility, something that has become a prevalent part of our culture. We refuse to see our own faults, we like to pass ourselves as victims and accuse someone else of our misfortunes. In reality, those of us who are not afraid of personal responsibility, those who have discipline and willpower and those who like to control their own lives – never find themselves to be servants to their own hobbies.

Michael Teplitsky.

author said...

"You want culture? travel somewhere. You want to meet new and interesting people? Join a club. All that WOW does is allow you to be lazy and not socially interact on a face to face basis, which says more about you, than about the game itself."

This is *really* freakin funny to myself and anyone else who may know me. I think I'll bask a little longer in the ridiculousness of it! ^.^

Anonymous said...

I've played WoW since beta, and am still going...I completely agree with everything BOTH of you say. My guild, the first to clear MC/BWL/AQ no doubt demands a hardcore playtime. I think you have to be a certain type of person to fall into the pitfalls of the 'hardcore mmo' player. I've never played another mmo so I can't speak for how they are, but WoW is definitely loot-oriented and perpetuates this quality. People who want to be 'the best player they can be' as you put it are willing to spend hours/days/weeks grinding rep or an instance to upgrade their gear for a few virtual stat points. Note that I dont judge you, as I have done the same, crunched the numbers, did the math, got the gear. Do you find it ironic that you say:

'I miss at least one raid a week to go out with friends, go clubbing, or watch a movie with my family'

This is typical of a raider, missing one or two raids a week to spend with family is note worthy. I have 150+ days /played and equate that to RL terms...when you think about it, its ridiculous. Everything about this game encourages/forces you to 'keep going keep going'. The more time you put into it, the more you have to lose if you choose to cut back. ie. pvp, raiding. I know personally, I chose to pvp merely for fun....Oh but look, im rank 4 now, might as well try for rank 5. Oh wait, im rank 6 now, I can't waste all that time I put, gotta get rank 7...etc etc until I reached rank 12 and it got to be too much.

What I learned after a few years of WoW? Set your limits...set your goals...reach your goals and be happy. Dont let the gear that is +4 stam better tempt you to scratch the itch.

Anonymous said...

all the time you spend on wow, you could spend on learning something and then you will be acceleerating your career....

wow is A PUREEEEEEEEEEEE waste of your time.

Tomthemage said...

"Anonymous said...
tennis and reading are much better ways to fill your life than WOW. Any other live action on your part to engage humanity in a social way outside of the computer is infinately better.
"


This is something I hear often, but have never really understood. Why is it that video games in general are thought of as negative things/time fillers that ultimately create 350lb creatures of infinite consumption and laze? Why aren't people who obsess over a sport, say swimming, or track, or football, considered just as deviant? We're all addicted to alot of things, like happiness, joy, and perhaps the taste of chocolate, so why can't we be addicted to fun too, regardless of its source?

Vito said...

Maybe you were able to integrate your personal skills in a meaningful way. Thats an exception. Also, don't you admit that you really could be doing things that are more "meaningful". Sure its good to have fun every once in a while but I don't think you should try and justify it. Just admit that you are wasting time and get on with it.

Anonymous said...

I've been playing WoW since the first round of beta and just got my first 60 character was 3 months ago. I've helped in writing popular game interface add-ons. None of this has detracted from my life or job (2 distinct entities).
As for the "get out in the community and do somehting important" or "none of this matters" arguement camps. Get Real. Here's a little dose of realistic nihilism- Nothing matters; Ever. Except for self fullfilment and the perception of fulfilment thru others it all means jack-squat in the end. Spending a few years bouncing from one combat zone to another will tech that real quick.

Michael Teplitsky said...

"This is something I hear often, but have never really understood. Why is it that video games in general are thought of as negative things/time fillers that ultimately create 350lb creatures of infinite consumption and laze? Why aren't people who obsess over a sport, say swimming, or track, or football, considered just as deviant?"

This is because our society is at present obsessed with sports, so don’t be surprised. Apparently some people are unable to comprehend that reading is just as good of a hobby as baseball, while gaming is not that different from reading. Then again, these are the people who most likely don’t read, so having an intelligent conversation with them is… unlikely at best.

I don’t much care for twitch-gaming, but I hold gaming in general to be an art form that incorporates literature, cinema, music and performing arts such as singing and acting into one. Sure enough, most games are junk, but so are most books, most films and most plays.

Sports are of course individually important in terms of health. However, sports as a public spectacle are somewhere between contemptible and pathetic as far as I am concerned. If you look at any televised game, all you will see is a glorified circus performance. Yes, the performers are indeed strong and agile, but their purpose is nothing but immediate entertainment. While books and games may prompt brain activity in those capable of it, viewing sports prompts nothing of the like.

Don’t take this as at attack on physical activity in general. I enjoy being active as much as the next guy, but the current obsession with sports is an insult to anyone's intelligence.

Michael Teplitsky.

Anonymous said...

You Play World of Warcraft? You're Hired!
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.04/learn.html

Anonymous said...

Sorry to point out the obvious but you really cannot compare playing many hours of warcraft to someone who would rather read or play tennis.

Anonymous said...

What would it matter what a person does in their free time? Be it video games, tennis, reading, etc.

It's free time to be exactly that: FREE. Meaning they are free to do what they like. In this case, this person likes to play WoW.

So it is OK to play tennis or read a book, but it is NOT OK to play WoW?

I think you should look within yourself at the animosity that you put in this argumant.


Moderation is key. You can do any activity you mentioned and it not be ok.

IE:

I could skip class for tennis practice ----- not good

I could skip class and read a book ------ not good

I could skip class and play WoW ----- not good.

What's the difference between these sentences?

Anonymous said...

I started playing WoW the day it was released. I have yet to get a character to 60, yet I still love the game. I decided to leave the game about 6 months ago due to the fact I changed jobs and now have to drive over an hour to work (one way). I decided that the free time I now have would better be used spending time with my family. I will eventually go back to WoW when the time is right. With this said I think anyone who judges someone else just because they want to use their free time to play a game is crazy. What right does anyone have to say what is good for someone else? If people would start taking responsibility for their own actions and stop looking to blame the other person for problems we would not have to worry about bettering our communities because the communities would naturally be better. This person has found something that makes them happy and has set limits on when to play and how much time to play. It sounds to me like this person is a responsible gamer. I also agree with the other posters that anything can be a problem when abused. People have to be responsible and know when enough is enough no matter if it is Work, School, or Play. Besides the only person I want to look back and remember I did anything in the future is my daughter. All I want is for her to look back and be able to say I was the best possible father I could have been, what others think of me is of no matter to me.

Anonymous said...

tennis and reading are much better ways to fill your life than WOW. Any other live action on your part to engage humanity in a social way outside of the computer is infinately better. Computers are a tool, they are a way to set up interactions and engage in talk.

The world is changing. The Internet is revolutionizing communications, and the notion of a global culture is becoming more prevalent. More and more people are meeting potential dates online, both on dating sites and in games such as Wow. A lot of these relationships I have seen have worked out, and both parties are extremely happy.

Computers are the primary tool in this revolution, and WoW is as good an outlet of social interaction as face to face. There is no downside to having an infinitely larger number of people to interact with.

Of course, we cannot cut out face to face interaction, but we can supplement it with online interaction, and use both to our advantage. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is, of course, of primary concern and should never be compromised. But I can work all day, go to the gym at lunch, play tennis after work, then come home, have a nice dinner, play some Wow, and then snuggle with my wife.

Anonymous said...

If I like 'wasting' some of my free time in WOW - then that's what I'm going to do.

I work, I vote, and I donate to charity - that's probably more than some of you who say we 'could use our time better' do.

Just because you are workaholics does not mean we have to be too.

Who says I ever wanted to be remembered for playing WOW? I sure as hell didn't. No one is going to remember you for reading this post and posting a comment, perhaps you should use YOUR time more wisely.

In the mean time - I'm conent with what I do.

Anonymous said...

I used to have the attitude exactly like this poster. I didn't think WoW really had an effect on me, I still had a social life, graduated from college, and so on. I quit once in my Junior year and decided 'hey that was too much fun' and went back in a few days. I played WoW very seriously from release until about a month ago, and had no idea just how much I was giving up to play at the hardcore raider level. It didn't ruin my relationship with my spouse or anything that serious, but only after I finally DID quit did I realize just how much I was missing out on. When I did quit, I thought I was just going to take a break, come back for the expansion in a few months, but after just a week or so away from the game, I rediscovered everything I used to do with my free time, and I'll never play another minute of WoW (or any MMO probably) as a result. I speak to a total of one of my former guild mates, from 2 guilds spanning 2 years and nearly 150 people, and he's the one that quit about the same time as me, none of the other 149 or so have any idea how to talk socially with me anymore since we can't talk about WoW all the time. I do feel that the author of this counter post will have a similar realization when he finally does quit WoW somewhere down the road - nearly everyone I've spoken to has, and none of them (including myself) thought I would ever look back bitterly on the time I spent building 'friendships' and raiding.

Anonymous said...

What is your /played, and how many months have you been playing?

Redden - Aerie Peak said...

I have been a WOW player for a little more than 6 months. I don't do it to neglect my children or put off my homeowrk not yet escape life. I play wow because I like the social interation I get for doing so. I play wow to be with my FRIENDS. Not just people I met on WoW although some of them are included, but people I went to high school with that I am trying to reconnect with. I play with people I may never get the chance to see again but can talk to, in real time, on our teamspeak server. It doesn't cost me an arm and a leg to talk to them long distance because of this. It's just an extra $2-3 a month that I don't mind paying because I'm a guild member. It's almost like paying a membership due to a fraternity or sorority. You pay that due so you can spend time with people who have a similar interest to your own. So are you trying to tell me that I shouldn't be in a fraternity? I'm in 3 outside of WoW. I go to their meetings, raise a family, work 2 jobs and still make time for myself at the end of the day to run an instance or farm some mats. I think if you manage your time you can do what ever you want to do. Don't knock the game just because you don't like the things that a few people do. Most of the players in our guild have full time day jobs and families. We still run those long instances on the weekends when we all have time and so far no one, not even my very young child, has suffered any loss. My son loves to sit on my lap while I'm playing and talk to the other members. I think this is teaching him a valuable lesson about computer usage because he, and all other children in his generation, will have to use a computer from a very young age. I teach him what button to press to "make the man jump" or eat or drink and he loves it. The same concept applies to those games designed for very young children like Dora the Explorer or Bob the Builder. I just think this is a game we can enjoy together. WoW doesn't have to be an escape from family.

Anonymous said...

After graduating college I planned on taking a little break from work and school since I worked a nearly full time job and was finishing my degree and minor and maintained a long distance relationship. I decided I would start playing WoW since a few of my friends said it was great. The game sucked me in and my real life started to deteriorate. My job hunt was almost non existent and my relationship was going down the drain. I blame it on the game and I will tell you why. The game is designed so that the only way to succeed is by devoting an enormous amount of time to it. With new content being constantly added there is no way to finish that endeavor either. The developers have this planned and know darn well it works, just like people who market tobacco products. Sad thing is I got three of my cousins and one of my friends into the game. I quit the game about 3 months ago, and it was not until then I realized how bad things were getting for me. I can now see from the outside point of view how bad it is now for my cousins whose grades are slipping in college and friend who has no life but WoW now. For everybody who defends the game to no end saying its social, thought-engaging, and good if done in moderation are all currently hooked. I know because I used to say those same things to anybody who bashed my beloved WoW at the time.

Sally said...

This whole conversation and the various viewpoints presented are quite interesting to me. As a WoW gamer, a full-time and part-time employee and a part-time graduate student, I've been on both the responsible and irresponsible sides of time management.

First, a few disclaimers:
-I'm not associated with the guild in these posts
-I don't have any level 60 characters
-I don't PvP
-I mostly play solo

The point that strikes the biggest chord with me is the debate about WoW being a valid communication and socialization medium. Many of the arguments claim that in-game interaction does not rate the same thoughts, emotions and status as traditional face-to-face communication.

Why not? As our technology evolves, many of us choose to adapt that technology into our lifestyles, and in some cases, to become our lifestyles.

First, it was the telephone with operator-assisted dialing. We no longer needed to walk to our neighbor's to have a conversation. Dial-up modems and services like CompuServe let us connect with our friends electronically. We no longer needed to use the postal service to send and receive written messages. SMS-enabled cell phones and instant messaging programs have even changed the way we write and speak our language. How many times have you seen the acronym "ROTFL" and not thought twice about what the message meant?

Without the internet and electronic communcation technologies this forum for conversation and debate wouldn't exist. All of us, in some way, are drawn to the Internet and use at least some form of electronic communication. It's likely that I've never many any of you in "real life," yet I'm now stimulated to find out other's opinions on a topic that resonates with me. I'm encouraged to see such thoughtful discussion from most people here, and at least a forum for others who choose to speak their mind. Everyone can have a voice on the internet.

Because we've never met, does this make our conversation any less valid?

Simon said...

Retired MMORPG speaker here. The facts speak for themselves: WoW cannot exist as a hobby equivalent to tennis or basketball. 1. Physical activities are good for your health. 2. Physical activities can be played for as little as half an hour a day for rest, and afterward real world-changing embetterment can be done in the world.

I live in Nairobi, Kenya. I look back on the solid months I played MMOs with sadness, that so much could have been done for others those days, but I played 4+hours a day because I wanted to reach level 50.

If I was a WoWer, I would never have had the capacity in my hours to come to Kenya to pledge my life to help the poor.

WoW would be ok if it could be played in moderation, like minesweeper. But it can't.

Anonymous said...

I love lamp.

Anonymous said...

I love the socializing argument for WOW, now for the reality of it...

I played WOW for X amount of years.

After quitting I was missed by guildies for X amount of days.

Followed by X months of withdrawl.

We all love to think how we are so essential to WOW and our guilds.

The mechanics of end game progression bring out the worst of human greed and unethical ambition. I'm not trying to fault Blizzard. How can I be angry with them for making a game people WANT to play.

If you can't sell your soul for shiny purples, due to work/family obligations, or you might actually morally object (ya right), then you have to admit to a small personal defeat... that you know you'll never be the best, or you go the denial route and say "I just play wow for fun".

Now lets picture a typical gamer. He or she strives to win, to finish, to be the best, to have the highest score. Who plays to lose?

Ok, now mix that person with (arguably) the most addictive mmorpg to date.

So... do you know the number of a good thearapist?

Anonymous said...

I like your style. I became the guildmaster of a guild started by friends. And I always tell people that if real life calls, answer it. This is just a game.

I want to become the first casual end-game guild on server. We can take down entry-level bosses in certain instances, but we put no pressure on progress... just when you show up, be considerate of others and not be a dick.

I also agree that I have learned alot about leading and leadership and that it is a thankless job but having great friends surround you is important to keep it on the level.

And when it stops being fun, please quit. Not for me, but for you.

Mark

Anonymous said...

As a former player of WoW I can speak as to how WoW affected my life. A lot of the above comments focus on really basic concepts; if you do X you are Y. So, if you play WoW, you can't help the community. That is total BS and anyone that makes that kind of argument knows it. Life isn't that cut and dry.

The problem that I found with WoW was that in it's nature it caused me to be blind to other areas of my life. I gained weight, talked to my wife less, didn't really care about getting a better job, mowing the lawn, paying bills or cleaning the house. Now paying bills may not be an enjoyable aspect of life but it was a necessity and I ignored it. In WoW's presence in my life it caused me to ignore everything else that was happening.

WoW is EASY. It is always there. Enter a user name, a password and you're online in seconds. You don't have to plan to go out with friends they are always on. It takes no work to get satisfaction out of it and with that satisfaction, at least for me, came a lapse in responsibility.

The post above that discusses an individual's assessment is right on the money. I ignored my assessment for 18 months and now that I'm out of WoW I don't miss it. I do other things for fun that don't cause me to ignore my responsibilities. If you can play, have a family, a job, pay bills, stay healthy and fulfill your responsibilities more power to you. But don't ignore your own personal assessment for "fun". There are tons of things that can be done for fun if WoW is a negative impact in your life.

Anonymous said...

Actually if you played tennis, you would be in better health in 20 years. Your time, is your time... do what you want with it. But I can't help but think part of the reason everyone who plays this game is always talking about their "ex" is because the game itself gets in the way of their relationships... Which is why I don't play the game. Don't get me wrong I am sure banging one out to a pixelized fairy might be swell for some, I prefer tangible.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone is different,
the person who is lazy is going to be lazy with WOW or with anything else.. WOW is just a tool than can be used in many ways depending of the person using it.. if there was not wow there will be people wasting their time with whiskie in front of the TV watching stupid TV programs, that nobody will remember not even you in 20 years...
I myself lucky I have time for GF, for rallys, im involved in politics, I program (and this takes much of my time ) I am a network engineer at work, I skate, I run, I go for walkd, I go out clubbing when a good DJ is in town, I got to bars, I never said no to a friend to go out, and I still play wow, when do I play wow? when others
watch TV I play wow. I dont like TV, I use my " I dont feel like doing anything usefull time" to play WOW, and I am lucky I repeat cause I never had the urge to play more than what I really need to.

so this says.. everyone is different..
not everyone that goes to a cassino or take drugs sometimes is addicted or loose their lifes so as not everyone that plays wow is addicted and looses his life..

hope you get my point.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm honestly getting rather sick of these anonymous "Computers can only waste time. Go outside" comments. I agree, nobody should shut themselves in completely, but I've used the internet to make friends while I'm living in a rather isolated area right now. Guess what? A group of us met to party in Chicago last weekend, and I'm going to meet more of them in a few months in Atlanta. Stop trying to be so high and mighty about the waste of time you perceive the internet to be. For someone who claims that computers are such a wretched facimile for real interaction, you people spend a lot of time here telling us this (^_-)

Anonymous said...

Interesting posts. I guess, like anything, WoW is what you make it (social hangout, evil empire, a piece of software...). If you're obsessive, you will likely play til you have to just quit and never return /gquit.

If you're in balance, you will play when it's fun, and not when you're doing something else. I suppose the thing that I see with people who clique up in whatever pasttime (i.e. WoW, TV, fishing, drinking, running, knitting, etc..) is that what attracts peeps is the enjoyment and the accomplishement factors, as well some people seek socialization or perhaps isolation. To expect everyone to have the same reaction to thier hobby as you do to yours is folly

But then it's "your" folly...

The item in this post that disturb me that are completely beside the point is: judgement! Not what Paladins do, no, I mean people imposing thier lifestyle on others. I'm not sure anyone would really like someone telling them what thier hobby is. I personally have always had computer hobbies, and now am a Systems Administrator at a great company because of it (/thank hobbies). I got into WoW because after my daughter goes to sleep, I can hang out with my spouse (who occasinally plays) and friends (including some really good friends from other states our countries), and meet new friends...we hang out at the bar and drink dark iron ale /lol.

Oh right, my wife, daughter and I are also traveling next week for bout 9 days out of the country (for fun), like we have for the last 3 years. We had a full summer with people coming over for dinner/gatherings, and travelled to the zoo and such all summer to see friends on the weekends, or just to experience something new. Oh, and we both work, but I take off Fridays for my daughter (we go to music class together) and my wife works part time for the same reasons. We dont have TV, and have a date-night once a week.

Oh, did I mention that I have lead RAIDs into Ahn'Qiraj, Zul'Gurub and Molten Core? And, when someone /raid types, "sorry guys, my daughter isn't sleeping tonite", I'm the first to wish them well and "tx for coming, noob!" /dance

So, there we are: personal statement, the evils of judgement, and WoW. I wonder why it's the "new thing" that people dont understand, and strangely I have to think that well, "it's like this everywhere".

Um, not true I've found. I've talked to Chinese that were "working", and others from Australia and Germany that were just hanging out, but "had to go out later", so wouldn't be on long. WOULDN'T BE ON LONG?! C'mon man, BRD is at least 2 hours! Ok, ok, np, /invite bob.

So, is it really that "Americans" are having an issue here? I mean there is absolutely no other aspect of an American life where people are told what to do, think and how to live, or how to behave behave, right? /wtf bubbles

...

But I digress (right? I'm digressing?) Ok, ok, sure I feel like the "Just say NO" era has a hard time IN GENERAL thinking for themselves...but not for others, strangely. /anyway

Whether it's through a computer hobby, a physical sport, a social service, or a political campaign, have fun! Many role models in our history as humans have lacked judgement, so follow thier example, but also follow your own follies since they will be revealing and betterment will surely be yours. If you dont want to play WoW, dont tell others not to. If you want a better world, start with Number One. Heck, you can probably stop there. My spouse has follies, and frankly I fell in love with those and really wouldn't want them to go away...so, I try to better myself, not anyone else. /try

WoW is the new book, or Dungeons and Dragons, or yahtzee. It's social, requires a little talent and imagination, and is a stage for your own personal explorations. 7 million and growing, heck it's nearly a large American city! Will people use it incorrectly? Let me rephrase...has anyone ever read a book on something undesirable and then tried it? Well, even so, we're not going to outlaw writing because of it, right? I mean, beyond all the censorship we have, right? RIGHT?

I want to leave on these notes, and perhaps a little bit of a plea:

Better yourself. Respect others (virtually and physically). Have fun (laugh out loud even...A LOT!)

/bye

Anonymous said...

WoW doesn't decide how long you have to play it. WoW doesn't decide how serious you have to be about it.

A game cannot destroy a relationship. Neglect, insensitivity and selfishness destroy relationships and maybe you're the type of person who would allow a game to bring out these qualities in you, but that's not true for everyone.

Saying an activity is bad, useless or has less merit because some people are capable of abusing the activity to the neglect of other things in their life is ludicrous. Every hobby can be abused in this manner. In fact, you don't even need a hobby to neglect your family and friends. You can do it by just sitting there doing nothing (and plenty of people do).

One does not beget the other. If your relationship fell apart because you wanted to get more "purpz" then it wasn't the strongest relationship to begin with. If your spouse didn't communicate to you the fact that WoW was interfering with your relationship before it became a problem or if you ignored her or didn't recognize this yourself, then those are all personal failings and personal choices that have nothing to do with WoW. It's just a video game and each and every person who plays it has the power to put it down at any time.

How about take responsibility for the things that happen in your life? If you lost your job, you lost it because you were incompetent and neglected your responsibilities. If you lost your girlfriend, it's because you ignored her and didn't spend enough time with her. If you got fat and lazy, it's because you didn't eat right or exercise enough. WoW didn't do these things to you, you did.

author said...

"But I can't help but think part of the reason everyone who plays this game is always talking about their "ex" is because the game itself gets in the way of their relationships... "

Em, you need to read this more carefully I think. You will realize that the ex is the previous poster that *I* broke up with for reasons that were really quite personal, not game related, and really none of your business. I appreciate your thoughts in posting, but wish you wouldn't make blanket statements based on information that you just don't have.

Mikeg said...

Whereas i've never played WoW, I did play the first EverQuest for 5 years and was in a high level raiding guild on Tallon Zek server. I quit several years ago now and really have no desire to pick up another game personally. At one point some of my rl friend decided to play EQ2 when it released and begged me to start playing. I never did buy it and never played more than a few minutes of it. Why do you ask? Not because I don’t find it interesting, it’s that I can’t be a mediocre player and I don’t want to take the time and energy it takes to be a top level player again. I can honestly say that every person takes these types of games to different places within themselves (some get madly addicted and others could take it or leave it). Games like this serve a purpose in your life at that time and I think most people evolve away from them. These types of recent arguments border on the type of arguments I heard when I was younger when MTV came out and people blamed MTV for their child’s problems. You can’t blame Blizzard for making a game that “some” people take to the Nth degree. People need to take some personal responsibility. Games don’t destroy people’s lives; people destroy their own through bad decisions. Alcohol companies produce something that’s potentially addictive, it doesn’t mean you have to drink it, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you have to drink to excess. These types of games can be a blast and potentially a personal growing experience; you can’t fault a company for the shortcomings of a few. That’s my 2cp.

Kevin said...

Many moons ago there was an online service named GEnie, which cost 5 bucks an hour to use, conveniently billed to your credit card. GEnie had email, games, discussions, movie reviews. For it's day it was pretty cool.

I got sucked into a primitive interactive game called Stellar Warrior. You would fly a ship around (all text based with maps drawn from ASCII characters) shoot enemies and conquer and defend planets. Within 2 months my $1,000 credit card had been maxed out as I would come home from work and spend several hours each night playing the game. I was hooked.

It was after my credit card denied any further charges that I finally came to reality. I was spending very real money, wasting tons of my time, and at the end, had nothing to show for it but some fun memories and a big credit card bill.

Oh, I stilled played free turn-based BBS games after that, but only a few minutes a night, and eventually I stopped. That was my painful lesson to stop wasting so much of my life in a pointless exercise.

That's why I've never signed onto any of the newer online games where there's only a low monthly fee. I knew there was always the risk I'd get hooked again and spend a hundred hours a month doing it.

Think of what I could have accomplished if I'd devoted those 200 hours to something productive, like researching stocks, learning a musical instrument, fixing up the house, etc.

Anonymous said...

Think of what I could have accomplished if I'd devoted those 200 hours to something productive, like researching stocks, learning a musical instrument, fixing up the house, etc.

Yes, and as all of us who have been brainwashed my Corporate America, "producitivity" takes precedence over actually having fun, relaxing, or enjoying life. Why? I don't know. You tell me. Why should I be more satisfied by activities that produce things than those that do not?

I have fun playing WoW. I don't garner material gain, and it hasn't taught me how to play guitar surely, but what difference does that make? Will learning to play the guitar make your life better than mine because I spent the time learning to kill Nefarian isntead? Well, doesn't that depend on how satisfying you find playing guitar versus how satisfying I find killing Nefarian?

I live to have fun, not to "be productive." I want to enjoy my life before I die and if that means dumping some time into a video game that doesn't amount to anything except by being particularly good at that one particular video game. So be it. Why is that bad again?

Anonymous said...

This may seem narrow minded but really, WoW is made to be addicting. Blizzard does not care how much time you are playing and they hope you will get more of your friends/aquaintances to play. Real life tells me that many MMORPG players need to get a life. MMORPG games are not that life, the sooner you wise up to that fact, the sooner you will feel "real" accomplishment and satisfaction. Otherwise, these types of games are just as destructive if you stuck a needle in your arm to escape reality.

Anonymous said...

Your time is your time. How you spend it is up to YOU. To blame WoW because YOU spent your time while neglecting RL responsibilites is complete bullshit and immaturity.

Everything has a consequence. For those who's been hardcore addicted and got their RL ruined... then you've gained something out of WoW... It's taught you to take RL more seriously, and spend your time better.

No one goes through life without a fall or two. Get up and move on being a bit wiser about life. The past has happened, now you got your whole life ahead of you to play tennis and read.

Enjoy!

PS I was hardcore, now noob casual due to well RL responsiblities!

Anonymous said...

I play WoW. I play Music in a band. I work a full time job, 40 hours a week. I do contracting on the side for another 10 hours a week. I play sports. I work out. I spend time with my girlfriend and family. I spend time with friends who have physically moved away in WoW.

I have travelled, I have read, I have met people, I've made friends, I've lost friends. I've aged, learned, experienced, and I plan to continue doing this.

I have a fulfilling life, and I only expect it to grow and get better.

Anyone who tells me that my life is less fullfilling because I play WoW can really go take a hike. Everyone is trying to tell everyone else what to do these days ("dont' eat carbs", "go play tennis", "read more books", "go travel", "don't smoke", "don't drink", "join my religion"). I plug my ears and make my own damn choices and live with the consequences. That is what ebeing an adult is all about. I enjoy games, they're engaging, relaxing, entertaining; and I even get some transferabl skills in dealing with people from WoW.

So - quit pointing your f**king fingers and put them to use... I'm not going to tell you what to do with them; just stop pointing them at everyone else.

Anonymous said...

I disagree, I have no problem with WoW. I however hate guilds. To say that a normal person can be part of a guild and not have to spend a lot of time in game is really quite false. If you want to get the gear and make the raids... you gotta show up and show up frequently. Otherwise whats the point of a guild, its for sure as heck not guild chat.

Anonymous said...

Ofcourse it's made to be addictive, it's a business afterall. And the bottom line requires subscribers.

You can call it wasting time, bad habit, spawn of hell... etc. It's still better than smoking, alchohol addiction, drugs no?

If a person is subceptable to being addicted to ANYTHING... there are way worse stuff to be addicted to than WoW.

If the person is enjoying the experience... be it through WoW, tobaco, drugs, alcohol, tennis, reading, (w/e else activity you want to name). It's still their LIVES and their TIME to spend.

If you really want to help change to world. STOP wasting YOUR TIME here complaining about how WOW has ruined you or your friends.

Go help fight global warming.

Go help the homeless off the streets.

Go go Africa and help the poor souls borned into 3rd world countries.

List goes on...

In the end, your time matters to you and your close circle of friends.

Anonymous said...

This may seem narrow minded but really, WoW is made to be addicting.

So is Pac Man, McDonald's Food, telvision, music, books, candy, pornography, and just about any other thing that costs money and provides entertainment.

Every corporation wants to make a profit, and that means getting customers and keeping them -- and encouraging them to reccommend your product or service to their friends. What makes WoW so special all of a sudden that we need to point this out as if it's something new that Blizzard themselves came up with? It's not new.

Real life tells me that many MMORPG players need to get a life.

So do some sports fans, and people who watch too many horror movies or television shows, or people who read too many books or spend too much time building model airplanes or painting pictures or smoking weed. Anyone who does anything to excess at the neglect of other important activities in their life needs to "get a life" (i.e. take some time to reasses their priorities).

Again, what makes MMORPGs any different? Just because it's "cool" to think people who play video games are nerdy and lazy? Go read the market research. It says differently.

MMORPG games are not that life, the sooner you wise up to that fact, the sooner you will feel "real" accomplishment and satisfaction.

I don't know about you but having fun with 39 other people on a rainy Wednesday night is a real accomplishment to me. I suppose doing it playing a video game makes me less worthy of praise than if I had done it getting drunk at a bar or going to the theatre? Why? 'cause you said so?

Anonymous said...

It true you can't blame Blizzard, but no one can say it doesn't possible have some addicting characteristic and to someone with an addictive personality I’m sure it could be quite hard for them to stop. At least there are warnings on cigarettes…

Other’s just don’t care and play because they are selfish. I have no respect for any person who puts their own satisfaction above the more important things. The more important things are different for everyone, but in general take care of your spouse and kids, meet your obligations and don’t be a burden to society.

Play WOW, every moment you have to your hearts content if you don’t have a signification other and can support yourself by legal means.

It’s also not right for someone to tell you how to spend your time. If you’re playing in moderation, hurray for you but for all I care you can go jump off a cliff because it’s not like you deserve a medal.

Anonymous said...

Instead of being here, and posting something about a game related matter, you could be doing what you speak of.

And you are here, and doing not what you talk about.

And it is a curious thing that you think the other people who play wow are less worthy than neihgbors.

Who is a neighbor ? somebody who lives next to you, because they or their elders have bought/rented a place next to you.

The people around you in wow are around you because you have liked them, and chose them to be around you.

Way more important in value scale.

"All the time you are putting into WOW, you could be putting somewhere else. The real world has problems. If everyone that played WOW stopped playing it, turned to their neighbors and community and said what can I do to help, that would be an accomplishment."

Anonymous said...

author said...
"You want culture? travel somewhere. You want to meet new and interesting people? Join a club. All that WOW does is allow you to be lazy and not socially interact on a face to face basis, which says more about you, than about the game itself."


Mr. Tennis & Travel...your hypocrisy is showing. You sign on to a Blog, read it, then comment about how bad it is to intract via computers rather than socially on a face to face basis.

If you're so against WoW due to it's non-Real Life nature, how do you justify your current activity of interacting on this Blog?

Your posting shows more about you than it does about the relative merits of people's chosen activities.

Anonymous said...

It's your life.

Anonymous said...

So many of these arguments seem to be falling into the theme of "blame the tool not the person".

It all comes down to self control really. As with any type of addiction, be it substance related, video game related, porn related, or whatever. WOW is just an outlet for people to interact, escape, have fun - it's a game. Sure it has the potential to suck up a lot of your time and become addictive. So do many things in life. It all comes down to the power of the person to control whether or not they allow themselves to become addicted.

Personally, I don't play WOW, but I play video games. And I know how attractive it can be to zone out and enter a different world for hours at a time. But as long as you have the control to seperate the game from life and to maintain a healthy life in the real world, who cares what you do in your spare time?

WOW is no different than anything else in that sense. Right now the American culture seems to be battling between having a truly free society (which believe me, no society is really) and putting restrictions on things to encourage a "general ideology of how life should be". People see something they don't like or agree with in society, and they blame porn, or video games, or the media, or whatever. Instead of blaming these things, people should be more open to accept things that don't meet their personal standards or goals in life.

What am I trying to get at here? Well, I don't know exactly. All I know is that WOW is a game. If you enjoy it and spend hours doing it, so what? If your addiction to it is causing harm to your friends or family, well have some self control. Take some responsibility on yourself. Don't blame the tool. And without trying to sound hipocrytical, stop advertising "the land of the free" when every day you are trying to push new restrictions on basic elements of life.

Anonymous said...

Quote - Those are my three keys, and whenever someone asks me if I think they should quit that’s what I ask them. Are you getting something out of it? Is it fun? Are you sacrificing things in real life to do it? Basically, do you have things in perspective and realize that it’s a game

I've played for 10 years in MMORPGS like WoW, from Ultima Online to Everquest, have I sacrificed things in real life for the game, sometimes though be it extremely rarely.
I have grown as a person, my true personality comes out more Online and I bring that out in real life
I have long since found my perspective on MMORPGS and play only for the social aspect.

Andy woke up to himself and realised he needed to move on as he couldnt find his balance, I told him that in his farewell post in our guild forum....

I see players like him all the time, I identify with them and understand thier motives for playing, and for leaving when they do

We play cause we can, we live cause we breath, and we socialise in a game or on the street with people we meet because we are social creatures, and WoW is just another extention to use to be social

Play for fun, Play for the social aspect, step back if you find yourself losing yourself within the confines of the game, whatever it is

Andy , We'll miss you in game but will see you around someday, and just think of all the friends you've made in game that you can meet in Real life, isnt that the payoff of the experience

Anonymous said...

"All the time you are putting into WOW, you could be putting somewhere else. The real world has problems. If everyone that played WOW stopped playing it, turned to their neighbors and community and said what can I do to help, that would be an accomplishment."

Arguments like this are silly. It's not as though you have to choose between WoW and being socially-minded. And the vast majority of non-players aren't out there saving orphans. They're likely watching television, eating junk food, shopping at the mall, or other popular leisure activities.

But, since you brought it up, I work 40+ hours a week at a non-profit that fights animal cruelty. At night, I slay virtual dragons. I bet my 'karma' is a whole lot better than yours. :P

Anonymous said...

The real question is are you willing to spend all that time for all that non-existant gear.

It just seems like a waste and in the end you have nothing to show for it.

Six hours spent killed some imaginary dragon. Way to go.

Sure there maybe some social aspect, but it really isn't any less pathetic spending 6 hours in a chatroom.

Anonymous said...

It is my right to judge you and I judge you as.... a loser with a sore wrist and Pringles-crumbs all over your sweaty shirt.

I suggest you watch the season premiere of South Park, you will see your future. Get that bed-pan ready.

Anonymous said...

If you really want to get down to it, playing any game is worthless. It's something that we do to bide our time. Our minds would be put to much better use if we put down the controller(both videogames and TV) and picked up a book, went outside, or made music. I currently play WoW and have since launch. I have ONE 60 Mage and even then, I don't play ever. It took me a year and a half to get built up to that. And now that the toon's there, she just sits. No real epic loot, no nothing. To me, all I'm doing is throwing my money away. Then again, I've always had a problem with MMORPG's. $15/Month could be better spent somewhere else.

Uncle Togie said...

Here's my gripe with overdoing the online games, or anything else involving a screen:

Health. Americans sit on their cans, watching TV, movies, and playing on the PC.

The obesity epidemic can be traced to this.

Sure, I can't say whether WoW is a more valid recreational activity than another... but I sure can say that hours of sitting in front of ANYthing isn't healthy.

Flame On!

Ian said...

And if she played Tennis in her free time? In 20 years no one is going to remember she did it, because no one is going to care. What about reading? Same argument.

20 hours a week.

I agree with the statement that people do deserve some "leisurely time" to enjoy themselves and do what they want. In moderation of course, if I like to drink, that doesn't give me a right to drink for 20 hours a week.

You say "Playing Tennis" or "Reading" wont make a difference. How about doing something that will make a difference? Call up an old friend, ask them how they're doing. Maybe try something new? Thats never a bad thing.

Imagine if you worked out for 20 hours a week. You'd be really healthy.

Imagine if you read new books for 20 hours a week. You'd learn so much more and so many new things.

Imagine if you helped a person for 20 hours a week. Think how many lives you could change.




But hey, this is America, and its my god given right to sit on my fat ass and play a game all day because it gives me a shallow sense of self-fulfillment!

Anonymous said...

So, you have a masters and the best use for it you've come up with is using what you've learned in WoW. Wow, I'm impressed. There's plenty of real world applications one can do with a masters that would be of much more benefit than WoW. WoW is a junky haven. Oh, and you broke up with your ex too, I can only speculate as to why. I don't think it's any kind of accomplishment that you have a masters and the best use for it is WoW techniques. All those 'skills' you state definitely do not meet what the bulk of computer addicts and gamers have, how many people are socially awkward in life because they've lived in a computer world where the social rules are way different. Use your masters for something useful, WoW is not that.

Anonymous said...

I played a lot of Go (a classical game with many similarities to Chess) before coming to WoW. Chess and Go have rating/ladder systems, with people that dedicate their lives to the game as professional or addicted players. I was never a great Go player (about 10k now) - I started old - but I invested a lot of time studying and playing. I think I benefitted immensely from that experience. I know Chess players feel the same way.

The one thing I do *really* take issue with in WoW is that the ranking systems barely measure a set of general problem solving, tactical, or strategic skills. They mostly measure how much you /played. Ideally, you should be able to start at lvl1 and settle on a level reflecting your actual skills in a matter of days, with rises (and falls!) in level being dependent upon the acquisition of knowledge that is applicable to, but ultimately transcends WoW itself.

If that were the case, then being a lvl60 WoW player woul be something to truly be proud of, rather than a sign of wrong priorities. Current games don't have enough emphasis on tying intelligence directly to problem solving, rank directly to command & control skills, or fighting ability directly to the use of optimal tactics.

Think about it for a moment. You wouldn't be a fool to put your International Grand Master Chess rating at the bottom of your resume, or your Dan level Go ranking, or your sports accomplishments. But you are best not telling such people you are a lvl60 WoW player. They would probably have concerns about your dedication to reality!

If MMORPGs managed to tie progress to actual skills, they could earn a place of respect among the world of gaming activities.

Anonymous said...

If you do too much of anything its bad for you. There are plenty of activities out there that attract and absorb obsessive personalities - eating, drinking, reading, fitness, gaming, etc.

There's always people who have a natural talent or edge at something to begin with, which can often encourage them into developing it further. Gaming is no different as skills learned in one game carry across to another - reflexes, problem solving, etc. All of which are good for your brain if not your body.

I can relate to the comments about not finishing a game - I enjoy games but they do become work after a while - and there is no real lasting feeling of accomplishment - though I do still envy other people who have finished them in some ways - and wonder what it cost them in others.

I am intriged by WoW - though i've never played it. I watched a movie a friend had of a boss fight and it looked pretty lame, but they seemed to enjoy it. I have played games that reward more time spent - and they do hook you in and draw your attention.

If you find yourself thinking about something when you are not doing it, your subconscious mind is working on something - and yes it probably is a waste to channel it on individual problems inside a game - particularly as you have to second guess 100 other players at any given time I expect. It does sound stressful.

I'm sure there are benefits of it - if it provides entertainment and fun then why not do it. If it is taking more than 10 hours a week then that sounds high, but TV could take the same - more if you haven't got anything else to do.

Some types of people desire continual stimulation - if they aren't busy they get bored or emotions start to come out - keeping busy is often a good way of ignoring underlying problems in your life.

Games don't take much physical energy so while you can play an outdoor sport for perhaps an hour before you need a rest, you can far exceed that with a game.

I have some friends who come over once a week to play first person shooters - we play for around 3-4 hours and it's exciting and competitive and we can forget meal times, etc. We don't bother with a break every hour or anything like that - and there is no real pause between games. It doesn't seem to do anything other than grow our friendships a bit, and we have a meal together afterwards. I do miss going outside on a nice day due to the lure of the game, but we try to schedule it for rainy days or early evening instead. It does seem to wear out my neck/back and trigger finger - but it doesn't stop me playing even though my joint problems are getting worse. I need to do other things to fix those - lose some weight etc.

Anonymous said...

Equating managing a guild to mangement in RL is delusional. In a guild you dont have to deal with issues such as workers rights , trade unions , labour laws etc etc .
Nor do you have to interact with people face to face ie , explain why mangement turned down a request for a pay rise , or deny a holiday request due to company production requirements
In a lot of companies these days you are sent to various types of management conferences / courses
to help you become a better more effective manager , there are none for Guild leaders

Joby said...

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Hugh "Nomad" Hancock said...

If you're not totally inactive otherwise, WoW is rather better for you, health wise, than most sports.

Contact sports, in particular, are notoriously bad for the body. They place extreme stress on the joints, particularly the knees. Long-term damage from playing soccer regularly, for example, is quite common.

Provided you're keeping reasonably fit (30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week will be plenty) your doctor would probably prefer you played WoW than soccer.

Just a quick devil's advocate position there.

Anonymous said...

Because the "real world" that gamers shoul/need to learn to interact with is so accepting. It's not like people turn to an escape for any reason other than laziness and personal weakness. It couldn't possibly be because some of them have been picked on, tormented and and alienated otherwise from the "real world". Because going out and being ridiculed in person is soooo much fun. Remember high school? With the way some people get treated, it's a wonder there aren't more suicides. Yeah, a lot of those attitudes don't change. Try walking to a park and joining a pick up game of basketball. If you don't look right, you're going to get laughed off the court. So don't even pretend that going out and socializing is some simple, great thing. The second people stop treating people like crap is the second I'll believe that using the game as an escape is false. Until then, I fully support an activity that helps people get through their lives with some degree of happiness.

hale said...

This is something I hear often, but have never really understood. Why is it that video games in general are thought of as negative things/time fillers that ultimately create 350lb creatures of infinite consumption and laze? Why aren't people who obsess over a sport, say swimming, or track, or football, considered just as deviant?

-Sports- are recreational, but the image of -exercise- in our society is largely of a penance that everyone must take upon themselves. As a society, we're very fond of doing penance and tend to respect people who do. I theorize that it's because the modern world (especially America) largely splits the difference between hedonism and puritanism: technology has given us comfort from the ravages of nature, but we're uneasy with the idea of living comfortable lives, so we fall back on symbolic struggles, like sports, to simulate the physical struggles we've largely transcended as a species. Video games, because they are a thing of our technological present and can be done sitting down, simply don't have the element of splitting-the-difference that physical sports do.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how much passion is poured into the comments about a video game.

I am avid WOW player. I manage to balance my family life with my beautiful wife and my amazing children. But I can see where some people have issues with balancing it just like the folks who can't balance a check book.

Everyone is different, and everyone finds satisfaction and filfullment from different activities. It's not right or wrong, it's just different strokes for different folks.

Let's all be thankful that marriages don't have a /mquit command likes guilds in the game do. We'd have a lot of failed marriages. It might not be a bad thing to have an environment online to practice communication and relationship building. I've watched kids mature from a communication stand-point, couples unite, and total strangers become friends in WOW. There's good and bad with everything. WOW is no different...

MiniCoolva said...

I often played warcraft,but now i don't wanna play it,because it wastes my time,and i will get nothing from the game.

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Rogue said...

Great read! I haven't read any of the comments here but just wanted to say..

Off in another forum, in an unknown corner of the 'net universe, some friends and I were having an argument about the article "Warcraft: The view from the top."

I was shocked when I read it. I'm glad your friend has moved on for the better. It's what I would do if the same happened to me! I don't think it ever would or could though, because of the exact things that were said here; which is the same reaction I had when I read the article.

The only problem as a friend pointed out to me however, is that striking the right balance really isn't always easy. MMOs as a form of entertainment is a tricky fiend, and the original blog post on this subject said it: playing can give us a false sense of accomplishment.

Sometimes the best cure is to just completely cut the poisons out of our life, especially the ones that we don't view to be as bad as they really are. Congrats again for your friend on quitting.

Dr Nic said...

Good man yourself! Balanced and intelligent. I think the only thing that annoys me more than WoW addicts are reformed WoW addicts and the constant cries of "you must quit! it's eats you starting at your bottom".

Anonymous said...

Great opening article.

Many posters have stated they look back with sadness on their time playing WoW, personally I don't think I could ever take that point of view. I've just had way too much fun with the game.

The amount of social interaction has just been a blast, every time you team up with different groups your meeting new/different people, different ages & different attitudes. (There is just no way I could talk/interact to this many people via any other online method)

Your constantly trying to figure out which players are male or female, whether you should taking a leadership type role or be the one taking orders. And raids with the Guild are just hilarious, (we're fortunate enough to have a very funny raid caller).

And for some background info: I probably spend around 3 nights a week playing WoW (maybe 4-5 hours on each night), go to the gym twice a week, cycle probably 4 hours per week & catch up with RL friends twice a week. I work part time, and also co-own a separate IT business.

I think all that WoW has done is reduce the amount of time spent playing other PC games.

Am I addicted to this fun, maybe, but then I've also been addicted to work in the past (7 day weeks, 14 hr days, for 2-3 month stretches etc.) And I hate to say it but you get more gratification with sticking with a raid then you do with getting a software system up and running within its budget & timeline constraints. Maybe that’s because everyone’s online to just have fun and people work because it’s required & expected. If anything I look back at the amount of time I spent at work with regret. I could have been doing other (more enjoyable) things with my time, be that PC gaming, sport or socialising.

Well that’s my point of view.
Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

amen to that man it's awesome to see some positive comment on wow vs rl. I play wow casually and I will put rl stuff before wow but I am the addictive type so I always just watch out for getting too into it. Good to see some people enjoy the game while putting rl first before wow.

Anonymous said...

hehee, yep, sounds like the same sort of self justifying fluff that I used to spout when I was beingdefensive about my drug of choice.

It doesn't affect me in anyway whatsoever, I can give it up annnny time, but y'know, I sometimes have to cut back a bit to enjoy real life, and y'know, I even had to stop mainlining as it was taking so much out of me and like cost a fortune. But hey, it's not affected me at all and I'm really successful and secure in what I do now...

Wow! Honestly, if somebody says 'its just a game but it affected me bad' and you feel the need to bare your soul to that extent, uhm, yeah, you need to try going cold turkey and *then* saying it's not affecting you.

Have fun tho! That is what it's all about.

Anonymous said...

Dilbert says it all

Blagoja Evkoski said...

http://marvellousmacedonia.blogspot.com/

R2K said...

: )

Anonymous said...

This was linked from a guild mate on our guild web site. Made me think about all the time I have spent in game. I play with my two teenage sons. We play together side by side. I have seen good things and life lessons learned from this game. I have seen my sons respond to unfair or mean situations and learn from them. I have been very proud of them to see that in many ways they are better than I am in concern for other people. While this game and others like it can be addictive the real life experiences that many young people can get from this are valuable.

Anonymous said...

What about all those other kids. The ones that get obese while ganking lower level toons, and valubale interaction? is that what they call chuck norris jokes nowadays?

Anonymous said...

tottaly agree with you. if you enjoy - do it id you dont - dont do it.

Anonymous said...

hmm. meaningful conversation can and does happen. I mediated for a married couple having real life problems while we were in game. it was a great neutral ground for them to discuss things while they were seperated. Allowed them to interact in a non-comittal way and become friends again. We are all convinced that their marriage was saved due to the unique suggestion that they work it out online.

Anonymous said...

Those who play WOW all the time most likely don't notice their own changes. Much like an alcoholic they don't think "they" have a problem.

Step back, look at yourself and others you know who play WOW. Take a tally of how many people were better off before WOW and how many are better off while playing WOW. There lies your answer. In my situation almost everyone I know playing WOW has given up more than they have got in return.... College... raising a family... working hard to get a better job....none of which WOW has helped, only hurt.

People who play WOW are not giving up "drug" time to play WOW. So that argument is ludicrious. The original article was referring to those in major guilds that have to keep on raiding and take time away from life to do so. They are substituting WOW for what would normally would time to better their lives.


But if having a large E-Peen is your thing... go play WOW!

One last thing... to the guy talking about the benifits from WOW.... how many of those can you list on your resume?

Anonymous said...

Blizzard should start a new advertising campaign :) WOW helped save our marriage! Marriages saved - 1, Marriages ruined - countless.

Anonymous said...

the blizzard games are ruining marriages and lives -
i even knew my child had started playing the game before she told me
- out of the 10 demons of the Chaldeans of the Bible - 9 can be found in the game
- it's a portal all right - right into your homes and your lives -
and try getting information on the company -
i believe a blizzard anonymous - like an aa should be started -
people become addicted and don't even realize that they aren't getting human contact - contact on line is not contact with a human

Anonymous said...

if anyone is interested in starting a page on the addiction of blizzard games - chibiinu@aol.com

The Yacht Broker said...

93 comments!!!
Quite impressive.

Anonymous said...

The author is an absolute WANKER.

It's a game. If you feel you need to play it 500hrs per week because you can't function in the real world and need to be a "good leader" to a bunch of dribbling, spotty 14 year old Korean schoolboys you have bigger issues to deal with than a WoW addiction.

I'm a husband, father, I work 50hrs per week, a musician and poker player. I play WoW quite regularly and have since day one and still find myself able to function in society without my so-called "real life" falling apart around me.

SpiderHam said...

"the blizzard games are ruining marriages and lives"

Have we lost all touch of our senses? I used to hear this argument for players of Dungeons and Dragons. It has never made any sense. Why must we always throw out a scapegoat for our problems? WoW is a game. Not a satanic plot towards world domination, not the wrecker of every home and family. Its a GAME.
The fault of a failed marrage is in the people who are married, not in the game. Why some people can't take responsablity for their lives I will never understand.

sykz-of-azure said...

Nice! Some people just need to cut off from video games from time to time!

J-Bunnie said...

What ever some one decides to do in their free time is their own buisness.
If its not disrupting the community, or causing a public disturbance, let them have their fun.
Whether they get heavy, lazy, slow, and dumb or fit, full of energy, quick and intelligent, in the end its their own descision.
And who are we to tell them if its right or wrong.

There are thousands apon THOUSANDS of people that will never be rememberd in 20 years. This blog itself won't be remembered in 20 years. But for the time being it serves as a quiet activity, which most people would consider fun.

Anonymous said...

Just a question, and an honest one, at that:

What is the difference between someone who plays World of Warcraft (or any other MMORPG, for that matter) for 2 hours a day, and someone who browses internet forums and blogs for those same 2 hours a day?

From my perspective, there's very little difference. The forum-goer has, perhaps, a broader audience and range of views that they encounter, while the gamer interacts mostly with those playing the same game as they, which limits their interaction noticeably.

On the other hand, one doesn't tend to read things on the internet that don't pertain to what they're interested in, just like in that so-called "Real Life", people tend to surround themselves with friends that they enjoy the company of, whenever possible.

We pick and choose our entertainment. I can't claim any grandiose titles. I'm not a sociologist, or a psychiatrist or doctor of psychology. I'm not a guild leader, or a hardcore raider. I didn't play in the beta. I don't play competitive sports, past college, though I do keep in shape. I'm just a guy who likes to relax.

To me, there's no difference between playing a video game, watching television or a movie, or reading a book for relaxation. Mind you, my tastes in literature tend towards the fantastic, especially science-fiction, and I have a weakness for "potboilers", so I'm probably quite wrong in thinking so.

In the long run, I tend to agree with a camp of people who believe that social and group activities are more fulfilling than solo activities. My personal worldview makes little distinction, however, between social activities in person, and social activities through a virtual medium. There are aspects of interaction which are present in both, and each medium lacks something the other has. In this light, playing a communal video game such as World of Warcraft is actually more edifying in the long run than, say, reading Tolstoy, since even though millions of people, possibly billions, have read Tolstoy, it's rather hard to read TOGETHER with someone.

On the other hand, Tolstoy has endured the ages. Azeroth has not. World of Warcraft is a product of popular culture, and probably destined for oblivion in 4 to 12 years, as most computer properties have been during the brief history of electronic entertainment.

It really comes down to a question of taste, as long as it is pursued in moderation. The dangers of too much WoW are largely indistinguishable from the dangers of overindulging in any other hobby: Too much reading and your eyesight is ruined, your social circle shrinks to include those with similar tastes, and your health declines. Too much of a specific sport, and while your health may not decline, the topics of your conversation will limit themselves, and you will become anathema to anyone who does not also religiously follow your sport. Too much WoW, and your health fails, your circle of friends shrinks, your vocabulary is affected.

Too much "productivity" in your career, and you become an incredibly banal person, with pasty skin, bad health, and no social life to speak of.

I'm incredibly biased, and hugely judgemental. I'm totally unqualified, and highly elitist. I'm pretty sure that if anyone reads my incoherent ramblings, I'm going to get lambasted up and down this place we call the internet...but my opinion is simple.

I think we ALL need to get out more and put our own affairs in their proper place before ridiculing others for their practices. Relaxation is relaxation. How we get it is up to each individual on their own. It's only when the relaxation threatens our growth as people that we need to look out for problems, and frankly, there really is enough time in the day to both relax and better myself.

I'd probably be a better person if I found bettering myself relaxing, but I prefer reading Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Ahh, the guilty pleasures of the potboiler.

-Steve

slightlyoffbeatpointofview said...

hey, i wrote a paper for my english class about the potential abuses of MMORPG's. Maby its worth a look?

Anonymous said...

First off, congratz to those who have been able to pull themselves away from an addicting situation. Having been there many times (slow learner), I know what it is like, and how hard it can be. And for those ripping on the 'quiters', they realized they have a problem. And if something as little as them quitting a game causes such a big uproar....well, as my Psychology teacher says: "If the reaction is bigger than the action, then something is wrong." Now I realize you can play the game, possibibly even the endgame, and not be consumed by it, and even have a healthy balance. However, the majority of people (over 80%) that I've met in game do not have that balance. It does happen, but is rare.
But it is interesting how everyone says this about WoW, and doesn't mention NVN, Oblivion, FF__, Diablo/D2, Starcraft Rp'ing, CT, HLF1/2, ect, ect, ect.
Sure you have a few people here and there, but everyone's jumping all over WoW. Not to say it isn't bad, but what about the other games that are doing the same thing?
I have had to pull out of several games several times for the same addiction reasons as others pulled out of WoW, yet there is no large uproar about it. If you are going to look at how games/MMOs/whatever are addicting, you should take into account all the games that are, not just WoW.
Yes, WoW is the largest, and thus easiest, example, but keep in mind there are other games that do the same, or even worse mental, physical and social damage. They just don't get the same amount of attention.

Anonymous said...

Nice viewpoint on how WoW has affected your life. I also have a hard time finishing any sort of game, however it applies to WoW as well unfortunately. Although it was fun to groups with friends and just hang out while doing stuff, there came a point when I realized that the game itself was not as great as the people I knew through the game. That being said, I don't play the game anymore, but I do still talk with the people I've met in WoW. RL>WoW, and friends are the best things to have in life...once again, nice post ^_^

Anonymous said...

Well I would post something intelligent about the whole issue...but instead:
P3N1S LOL!!


Ex-WoW player myself. :P

Anonymous said...

guys its possible to have a life and play WoW i only play for like 2 hrs evrey weekend and im lvl 60 its not like this:"hey jim i just got WoW" "really? cool" "yeah im gonna pl;ay it now" *2 min. later* "WHAT!? WHAT DO YOU MEAN I DIDNT GET CREDIT FOR THAT WHAT THE F**K IS THAT ABOUT? realy some poeple let it consume their life and blame guilds and other players for it the truth is:ITS THEMSELVES and like moonhtayle said noone will remember you playing tennis or footbal for like 4or5 hrs a day after 20 yrs.

Keeneye said...

discussion is pointless...
for to understand the other one you haveto be the other one...

Anonymous said...

The internet is the new Real Life. How this affects us psychologically and physically, only time will tell (since obesity was a problem before computers really took off in the mainstream.)

I was a...not hardcore, but a guildmaster of a casual guild in WoW, playing every night for the most part, and eventually it got too much. (Partly due to health problems, so it's not 'all Blizzard's fault.) I've now deleted that character and only play very occasionally for an hour or two with real life friends. I don't necessarily think I 'wasted' my time there - it did what it was supposed to do, entertain me in my leisure time - but I think I'm glad I'm 'out' now.

Oh and psychologists will tell you that it's important to include activities which do provide a real sense of accomplishment - even something trivial and mundane like washing the dishes - as well as fun, throwaway activities in order to keep up good mental health. You don't have to spend 23 hours a day saving the world, the important thing is to find the balance.

Anonymous said...

Funny discussion..imho it's all pretty clear really. MMORPGs are an okay pastime, and they have some positive effects (moderate ones - mainly making friends and learning other languages/social skills. all of that can also be done offline). However, their addiction potential and the sheer time pressure put up by the raiding/guild/linkshell/whatever social structures the MMORPG in question has, are pretty bad (however still a matter of choice - the game designers are not to blame).

This comes from a very longtime Final Fantasy XI player (70 days playtime...that was 3 years ago). I've pretty much said the same as the author to my then-HNMLS..just 2 years ago. Nowadays I still use the game, but more as a chat program with faraway friends and for small casual fun activities. Nothing wrong with this.

InkedMom said...

I would like to address the above comments that say that WoW teaches nothing and accomplishes nothing in real life.

For a little background, I've been on-line gaming for about twelve years. I started out playing, and later running and owning a MUD (multi-user dungeon). From there I progressed to Everquest, Everquest II, Guild Wars, and currently, World of Warcraft. Let me run down the list of things I've gained or lost from being involved in online gaming in one form or another.

During my time gaming, I have managed to:
1. Write and edit a novel, which was a personal dream of mine;
2. Write, edit and publish several short stories;
3. Write, edit and have published an essay in a book sold to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina;
4. Get married to a man who enjoys gaming as much as I do; and
5. Have a child and raise him in a loving home.

Those are just the things that I have accomplished on my own since I have been gaming. Things that I have directly drawn because of my involvement in gaming are:

1. A family who has become a family friend, whom I met online;
2. A basic knowledge of computer coding, which I would have never even attempted had it not been for MUDs;
3. Critical thinking and strategic thinking skills;
4. Social interaction skills;
5. Child care tips and advice(when my mother couldn't help);
6. Elightenment and inspiration on every topic from religion to politics to how to cook a good lasagne (which is good for a writer); and
7. A group of people I can turn to when I need a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to have a laugh with.

And finally, let's look at what I have lost by playing online games...

1. 45 pounds (thanks to the encouragement of my online and real-world friends, as well as my family);
2. Diabetes (thanks to losing 45 pounds);
3. $15.00 a month; and
4. A little bit of time (about 2 hours or so) after my kid goes to bed that I would otherwise spend zoned out in front of the tv.

Now, I'm not saying that online gaming in any form is necessarily a good or bad thing. In my experience, it's about boundaries, priorities, and your own temprament. You can make an online gaming experience what you want of it; If you would like for it to be a complete time waster that won't matter in the morning, it'll be that. If you want to learn something from everything you do in life, online gaming can be that, too.

Personally, I don't allow gaming to impede on my life any further than what I'm comfortable with. I've never had my son ask anything of me that I wasn't prepared to give, whether I was "busy" online or not. I've managed to continue writing, my life's passion (outside of the child and husband) and even used my gaming experiences as a source of inspiration for my writing. I may never be famous, but I enjoy doing what I do - be it gaming, writing, cooking, learning, raising my kid, fostering my marriage...and if I get something out of it and hurt no one in the process, where's the fault?

PLuto's Dad said...

Heh last I checked reading involved zero human interaction. What is much more fulfilling? Spending all your time on the internet (not face to face) pointing fingers and lecturing others. Now THAT is real social progress!

Kella said...

Americans watch an average 26 hrs of TV a week but I don't see people staging interventions. Imagine if I told you I play 26 hrs of computer games a week - most people would tell me I was addicted or I needed a life or a new hobby. It seems like those of us who enjoy gaming just can't win - we're either addicted or in denial and of course we're just wasting our time not benefiting society 24/7. Now I am not a person who has ever been described as a gamer... terms like "sorority girl", "finance nerd", "bookworm" are more likely to crop up. But I have always enjoyed a mean game of Tetris or Sonic the Hedgehog or even Duck Hunt and when my boyfriend introduced me to WoW I found I really enjoyed it. A year later I have two level 60s and belong to a casual raiding guild. We have two rules 1)Real life comes first. 2) No drama. I can vouch that gaming hasn't hurt my work, my relationships with my boyfriend, friends, family, and if anything has sharpened my mind more that many other mindless activities by TV that are not judged so harshly by society.

Don said...

I think the right Ancient Greeks had it with their adage, "all things in moderation" (the problem with the greeks is they took the 'all things' to extremes!). Any activity can be detrimental to one's *being* if taken too far... and 60 hours a week on a computer game is just that. Once any recreational activity negatively impacts things that really matter (ie. Family, friends, work et al - *life*), then folks need to re-assess what is happening.

Anonymous said...

my problem with all these posts are the "absolutes". not everyone who plays WoW is a hopeless addict, and not everyone who plays is a rational person who understands that this is a game. i truly believe that most players are not of these extremes, and that they fall somewhere in the middle - between 1)wanting to be the best and 2)feeling guilty about sitting in front of the comp for 3 hours. this is the kind of player i am.

i am a female WoWer (a true rarity) who thouroughly enjoys raiding and PvPing. i like getting better gear, and i like that when people group with me they know that i will play my class the way its meant to played and will perform exceedingly well. however, i'm also a great friend, lover, musician, artist, thinker, etc. my house is clean, and i have a 4.0 average as a senior in college. why am i patting myself on the back? to show that there are some of us who understand that there is a real life outside of WoW. all of us have gotten blurred my the notion of getting their tier3 sets and not wanting to stop until mission was accomplished. however, i have realized that no matter how great i am at this game, and no matter how great my gear is that it doesn't really make a difference. my life is no better with the best gear. does that mean that i stop trying to be the best warlock on my server? absoltely not. however, there is a sense of moderation present. you can be a hard-core gamer without losing your perspective on reality.

my guild is currently a member of an alliance with a few other "casual" guilds. these are people who don't raid everynight, and who "have a life" that takes priority over the game. this alliance has given us the chance to do all the end-game raids(progressing through Naxx now)without having to play every night for 4-6 hours or be a "hard-core" gaming guild. it's bloody fantastic. i can go to AQ40 one night, but am not obligated to go every night. a lot of the hard-core guilds laughed and said we'd never be able to clear through MC if we're switching people all the time, but now we're all the way to Naxx. you can get the best gear and have a real life. it is totally possible if you remember that it's just a game.

Stuart's Philosophies said...

Hi! Thought you guys are great at your WoW stuff. Bet it wouldn't be the same without you.

Maybe consider monetizing your knowledge from internet marketing? I know some guys who are internet marketing experts who might be able to chip in and help.

wow-gold said...

Yes their are a lot of problems in the world, but why should someone be able to spent his leisure time how he wants.

And yes I agree, playing World of Warcraft has may benefits that far out weigh any negative ones.

Anonymous said...

I've seen many people here post that WoW is simply a "worse use of time" when compared to practically anything else. Often this has been done without explanation. Just because it is the most common view that video games are an unworthy use of time, does not make it right.
To even begin to talk about worth is stupid. Show me the chart that lists what all activities are worth. How many points does working get? You make money, it must be worth a lot! How about sport? Running around, getting fit, gotta be worth something.
How about value? Similar word. How much do you value your time? Is it worth spending every possible second on "self improvement"? More money, more friends, fitter body, smarter brain. How much do you value your happiness? Is it worth spending all your time trying to "win" life? You can't win life! Everyone knows that! You should quit, it's useless playing.

The argument I'm making is a stupid one, most of the ones here are. Besides? What do you care if someone f@#%s up their life because they became addicted to a computer game? It's their problem. Are you so insecure about your own life you have to tell others what is wrong with theirs. Reassuring yourself that your life is fine by drawing attention to the 'flaws' in other people's lifestyle is not healthy, it can lead to serious problems, much like say... playing too much WoW.

But of course, you have an argument that makes you right and me wrong. I hope it makes you happy.

Anonymous said...

After reading the comments posted I think that all of them are valid and useful at least for me.

I'm not a WoW player... I'm the wife of a WoW player and through your comments I've tried to understand many things.

I don't really think that this play can be compared to playing tennis or football or reading ... They are different things and I wouldn't dare to say which is better. What I do know is that when a person is hooked by this play (and I think this is something wanted and pursued by the ones who created it) he or she do not understand and/or see how it can influence on some others that are not playing that is why it is so difficult to quit it. Is like when you use drugs ... when you are in you cannot see it in perspective. The problem is not even that you are loosing time without helping others, but that you are even hurting others.

I don't think that this happens to all players but, as it has to do with a play that want people to be trapped into it ... this happens to many of the players and if it wasn't so, we wouldn't be speaking about it here.

Some of you say that you noticed that you were loosing things or relationships in the real life ... but do you really know how much does it hurt when you are just watching how a relationship gets deteriorated without being able to do anything because the other person is not reasoning in your world, he has gone to another world with different rules and thoughts.

I think that everyone should have his/her free time to do whatever makes him/her feel happy. My husband has always played many computer games and I was truly happy seing him happy but with WoW his life changed and also mine. We used to have a very nice life. Those kind of lifes that makes you think that you must have done something right ... but WoW changed his priorities, our conversations, even his mood. He was always in a hurry to keep on playing. He had to keep on playing because he couldn't let the other players down ...

Finally he quit and it is great how our life has come back to us. Nevertheless I think he does not even imagine how terrible it was for me. The other day he told me he might play again but not as much as he used to ... I don't know if he can really control it. What I do know is that I'm terrified because of it. It's like a drug ... you think that you can control it until you can't and everything is lost.

Anonymous said...

I dropped the game cold turkey back in September. Why? My family was overly concerned. They thought I was addicted. From their perspective, I certainly was a different person than before, as I spent much more leisure time inside instead of playing basketball daily outside.

Though I felt I was doing a fine job of balancing priorities with fun, the feeling wasn't mutual. My scores at the Tech school didn't suffer. My job didn't suffer. I had plenty of friends, some who played and others who didn't. Still, I didn't fit the bill of what my family sought in me as a young adult. So after some serious deliberation and unsuccessful attempts to sway their presumptuous hearts, I stepped away. I did it for them, and to this day I still feel it was a completely accommodating gesture. I did it entirely for them, neglecting my own desires in the process. Hence why I'm here. Visiting forums and blog posts about the game help me cope with the fact that I give up something I found an almost insurmountable enjoyment in.

The lesson: People are who they are. Their inert characteristics will linger through whatever activity or occupation they choose to partake. As has been said numerous times before in previous comments, it is entirely up to the individual to maintain that crucial level of awareness when taking up anything habitually. That said, the labelers need to stop categorizing the hobbies and start helping and educating themselves and others on their own capabilities as free-thinking individuals.

Take care of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Agree with what Moontayle has said. I admit that I play world of warcraft as well. Perspective is important in games like wow. It's not just THIS game that you can lose yourself in. Anyone can lose themselves in any number of activities,from books, to roleplay, to the mush a friend made two years ago.

It's called self control. Know who you are, what your limits are, and make them, then stick to them, if you can't handle it, then leave.

Anonymous said...

To the people saying that time played in WoW could be spent doing something else, I agree. It could be. But why? Having read through the comments I can say that I play tennis, swim, read books, travel, do charity work, and hold a fulltime job. And WoW is more fun, and gave me a bigger sense of accomplishment than all of those things. Is that sad? Yes. But its the truth. I chose WoW over all those because i simply like it more. Is that not enough?

I admit I was addicted, and it was frightening how much time I spent on the game. Unlike the people who talk about balance, my time was heavily spent on WoW. It took a moment of insane willpower to delete the game and trash the discs. Having been free of WoW for 3 months now I can truely say that I am not enjoying any moment of it. Is life just not allowed to be that fun?

Anonymous said...

hm.. to clarify the above post i didn't quit my job to play WoW. I just spend a larger proportionate amount of time on the game than most people would think prudent.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nickyee.com/hub/addiction/addiction.pdf

EQ 5 years 365 days /played not including twinks said...

Someone said that the people you see on the news are the people that can't delegate their time correctly, but this isn't true. The people you see on the news are mentally ill not due to WoW. WoW or any other MMORPG mixed with mental illness can be a deadly combination, but in no way is the game solely responsible for tragic news stories.

I have a more tragic story than both blogs. I was going to high school when I first started EQ. I gradually started to fall asleep in class because I would stay up playing EQ all night(something I never even thought of doing prior). I was an A student in honors classes. Problem is I was never a social person. I never liked people and kept to myself. I had trouble talking to people directly as a matter of fact and I had no friends. After doing some self research (years later) I guess I had what is called forced speech which is a sign of schizophrenia. Whether I'm schizophrenic or not I don't know, but I am not normal. When I first started playing EQ it was amazing and I was hooked at first by the game, but I stayed because of the interaction with people that I was able to do in game that I wasn't able to do out of the game. I ended up leveling to the max level and joining a great guild. I wasn't even in a hardcore guild we only raided 3 nights per week for a few hours compared to many other guilds daily raid schedule. I ended up not graduating high school because one day I just stopped going for whatever reason and it was only 4 or 5 months until graduation. I played EQ for the next 5 years. Out of those 5 years over a year was actually spent logged in and playing. I wasn't even the most hardcore either because I always made an effort to make it seem like I had a real life going on by only logging on at times that seemed appropriate. Truth is I had no real life going on other than EQ. I never had a job, I didn't graduate high school, and I didn't even leave the house for most of those 5 years. Probably wondering what my parents were doing? Well when I started EQ my mother was a drunk and that was pretty painful. About two years after I had been playing EQ she gave up drinking like it was nothing. This made me really happy, but I was still hurt. I still remember my first day of high school when I was late because my Mom was still pretty much drunk in the morning and forgot to wake me up. Another few months went by and I continued to play EQ. My mom seemed fine, but later I found out she had been doing meth with my older brother. The day I found out I literally went crazy and flushed it and broke the pipes and locked us all in a little room while my little brother was at school. I begged and pleaded for them to stop for the sake of my little brother since he was still in high school and I knew how much he needed his mother from my own experience. I told them I would quit EQ and I would help them anyway I could also, but they refused. It was at this point that I stopped caring about pretty much anything. For the first time in my life I had put my heart and soul into a big speech and plee for them to stop and they just brushed me off. This wasn't easy for someone that had trouble talking or showing emotion in the first place. So I stopped caring and kept to myself. I played EQ for another 2 or so years before we sold our house and moved because we couldn't keep up with the mortgage payments. We got like 200,000 or so from that and moved into some option to own house. This wasn't a good decision it was out of our price range considering my mom was out of work due to workman's compensation and I was pretty much unable to work because I had stopped caring. My mom was still doing meth and we bought my older brother a trailer and he was still doing it, but not near us. My mom would still drive and give him money everyday and they would get their stuff. I sat at our new house playing EQ as usual. This time I had a nice room and a new computer and a computer desk. We ended up getting kicked out of that house and had to move into a trailer next door to my brother. Later my mom said she only got that big house out of our price range because she thought that it would motivate me to do something. I didn't talk to her about my feelings - she didn't know I had stopped caring. She eventually sometime during our stay at the nice house stopped meth and my brother did too. They still get pain pills, but that isn't nearly as bad as meth as far as making them act differently. I still played EQ when we lived in the trailer for a few months, but eventually I gave it up when everyone else gave up their stuff.

I am however finding it very hard to get into the real world. I pretty much went 5 years without existing in this world. I'm still anti social, I still can't really talk to people, I feel great anxiety when I go outside. I was always a little bit like this even when I was going to school, but all the time inside didn't help it much. I really don't know what I was trying to say at this point. I am finding it helpful to tell my story though. I guess a few things to think about would be if I was showing signs of this type of behavior before playing EQ did EQ just make it worse or would it have always gotten this bad. I don't know.

To this day I have never had a job although I've had a few interviews, but always been rejected no doubt because I'm just not a good speaker. I am going to school online for computer programming now, but even that I have never really cared about. I'm just doing it to do it I don't even think I'll be able to use it with how anti social I am. It seems after all that has happened I really don't care about what happens anymore. I'm just living to live despite anything that happens. I don't do anything to change things and I don't have any fear about becoming a failure or a bum. (which I've also read is a sign of schizophrenia). I cared so little during my EQ playing and even now that I really wouldn't even care if I couldn't have played EQ. I'd sit and stare at the wall and not care much one way or the other. Sometimes I feel like just getting up and going outside and leaving all this behind even if it means being homeless. I feel like just walking and walking and walking away.

So was I mentally ill to begin with, did my life experiences drive me to be like this, was it EQ, or am I not ill at all. I don't know and I really don't care although it was good to write this because I've never really shared my thoughts or experiences with anyone before in real life or virtual life. So thanks for listening.


PS. My little brother didn't graduate high school either. He was an athlete and never did good on academics. If there was one thing I wish I could have done in all that time it would have been to do his school work for him or otherwise help him with academics so he could at least play high school football/basketball because I think he really was good enough to get an athletic scholarship or be in the NBA or NFL.

WoW this hurts said...

WoW ruined my life. It's that simple.

I was an aspiring rockstar, a star athelete, president of my college class, and a Dean's List student double majoring in micro biology and mechanical engineering. One day, I cam back to my room to see my roommate had bought a new computer game. He asked me to try it. I did.

Needless to say, it has been a downward spiral ever since. As I reached level 60, I began to raid. The time commitment to my guild (of which I was an officer) shot my grades into the deepest of holes. I had to give up my double major and switch into communications with all of the other kids who played WoW. After missing a number of school-sponsored events for raids, I was impeached as the president of the school.

In order to keep up with the demands my guild put on itself in regards to raiding, I started taking speed and modafinil to stay awake. I'd kick it with caffeine pills on particularly long sessions. Eventually I began to waste away and didn't even try out for the spring baseball season. I ballooned from a svelt 180 lb to a massive and flabby 245, despite the speed and caffeine.

I eventually met someone on line. I had a real connection with this beautiful nightelf, who seemed to be able to get right inside my head and figure me out. Eventually, my girlfriend caught us cybering. She left me on the spot after about a year of putting up with my crap. But that was ok, my nightelf lover helped me through the difficult time.

I eventually planned to meet my night elf lover. We made arrangements to meet up in a local bar. Miraculously we lived on opposite sides of the same city. We met up at a trendy bar for drinks and hit it off great. We drank champagne and danced all night, under electric candlelight. I didn't even think about how aweful things had been over the past few weeks. Just that I was here with my loving night elf and we would be able to love and raid together forever.

She picked me up and sat me on her knee, and said dear boy won't you come home with me. We went back to her place, and she told me she'd give me a massage. About half way through I felt something poking me in the back. Long story short, my tall and beautiful night elf was a post-op transvestite who used to be a married man with 3 kids. (S)he decided upon playing WoW that he was truly a woman, or to be more precise, a night elf woman, and thus he began surgery. We have been together since that night.

The end of this story is infact a sad one. We began raiding in the same room and making love after successful Naxx runs, my my lovely night elf was usually cold and unforgiving when we wiped or when (s)he was passed up for loot. However, the relationship worked and we moved in together.

Until I outbid her with DKP on a chromatically tempered longsword. I was a sword-specced rogue, so it made sense. (S)he was also a rogue, but hemo spec, and obviously just wanted it to be a bitch. Snide comments turned into heated words which escalated into a fist fight. As demure and beautiful and gentile as she was most of the time, this battle brought out a more "manly" side of her.

Eventually our fist fight caused us to tumble over the couch, knocking over a end table and ashtray. In our anger we didn't notice the floor had caught fire. I was able to grab my gaming laptop before jumping out the third story window to safety. I landed on my back to protect it from impact. I was unable to reach my night elf in time to save her when I ran back in.

We had an ingame funeral for her (and her alts), and it was very sad. Our next Naxx run will be in her honor.

Anonymous said...

I play Wow, and am a married man with 4 children. I do not log on until the kids are going to bed at night, except on the weekends. On the weekends, sometimes I play a lot, sometimes I play very little. As I always tell my kids, family comes first. And the most important rule of gaming is thus: When it stops being fun, it is not a game anymore. Put it down and do something else. Some nights I sit down in front of my PC, look at it a minute, then get up and watch a movie with my wife. Some nights I end up logged off due to being AFK (My wife knows how to distract me :) ). I guess what I am saying, is to balance it. Remember that you need to have time for everything in your life, not just the game, not just work, not just any one thing. Balance it out for a healthy mental and physical life.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry if this doesnt get read. but it needs to be said. WoW is a game, that is all, if you realise you are loosing things because you keep feeling the need to 'play', slap yourself, the trick is to wake up (like the student in class who is constantly jerking himself up)before you are lost forever

Anonymous said...

I agree with so many of the comments on this blog, props to all who speak of balance! As for Captian Community and the Tennis Commando....you people bother me...why? Simply because your bashing people for there computer hobbies, calling them "a complete waste of time", when you yourself HAD to be on a computer, "wasting time", in order to respond to ANYTHING HERE!! Why wernt you out playing tennis....or helping the community?? Your hippocritical, unintelligent, slander is dismaying.

Anonymous said...

Look, WoW is pretty ok as long as you have fun. You gain alot of new friends and do something you enjoy. But when you start using up insane amounts of precious time to go raiding instead of doing something that matters (like your job) that's when you have to start looking at yourself. You should really check out your playtime and think, "what else could I have been doing?" I mean sure, reading for that same amount of time really won't do that much better, but what if you used that time for something else, like working out, or talking to your RL friends? Think, you could be scoring a chick instead of scoring some phat pixelated loot that'll become useless later.

But really, all I'm saying is that it's fine up until the game starts to manipulate you. When it gets to the point where it's shifting your path of life into a downward spiral, you should really consider doing something else.

Weeeeee.

Anonymous said...

Well guys, my cousin is losing it. I don't know what to do, he can't talk to people in person because he doesn't know how. His life is going down the drain. I understand you all say "blame the person and not the game", but where would we be if there wasn't WoW?

First of all, this blog wouldn't have anything on it. All you bloggers would be off wasting your time doing something else.

Second, none of you would have lives. I guarantee you would just sit there wondering what to do with yourselves. You say you could have a life if you wanted one. You say you could be someone. You say you could help people. Well, show us. Prove it. Go find something else to do. I DARE you.

----

I can't help but feel like you are all hiding from your problems. Yes WoW IS a scapegoat. The game creators probably didn't have this in mind when they created the game, but it has become something bad. It may have started out as something cool, but look what it has become. It is really sad.

It ruins relationships, jobs, families, friends, and marraiges. It ruins people. I'm not joking, take a look around.

Most of you who play WoW have NO CLUE what is happening around you, Nor do you care. There is a fine line between doing something fun, and addiction. I will tell you this, you have all crossed into addiction.

Once I post this comment there is going to be a million people telling me to go get a life; to go get off my computer and do something worth while; to go help someone; or possibly to even go kill myself. Who knows? I will tell you what though, I'm going to go do just that. I'm not afraid to. Let's see all of you do it? That's right, I'm calling you all wusses. So?

The reason people like me post things like this occasionally is because we're worried about YOU. All of you. We're worried about where this world is headed.

So don't you all just tear me down because I want something better for you. All I'm trying to do is get you to WAKE UP! Realize where you're headed.

Benjamin Franklin once said:

" Don't Squander Time. But dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of."

To make it easier... WoW = Squander, and squandering is wasting time.


Here I go, I'm going to go buy my little sister an ice cream cone. I'm going to go play monopoly with my little brother. Maybe I'll go work and earn some money. I'm going to go interact with people verbally, yes, talking with my mouth. Face to face. I'm going to go comfort a friend. I'm going to go live a life that I can be proud of. I'm going to live period.

Good luck people.

-Someone who cares

Anonymous said...

Just quit WoW after getting straight B's...i usually earn all A's or A's and B's...the game fucking consumed me...when I played I felt like a damn loser for a while because I got scared of the real world because I had wasted my time trying to act all cool on WoW...I always tried to seem like some awsome B.A. on the game, which isnt me at all...Im glad I quit and I think you should too :-)

Anonymous said...

Lol, what most people are saying here is that spare time is evil and you should work for a bit more paper for a corrupted goverment.

Yarr said...

I play WoW because I WANT to play WoW. Oh, sure, I could go out and get drunk, hang out with the sheeple, go throw some rocks at senior citizens while drunk, but why? Why should I do something I don't WANT to do on MY free time? It makes no sense! I play WoW because I enjoy it. When I don't enjoy it any longer, I'll quit and find something else to do, be it a new game, writing, playing music or drawing.

Let people do what they enjoy and stay the fuck out of their cases.

escape said...

to all the people that play wow and dont spent to much time on it yet still are raiding gruul and have top ranks in PVP i just wonder how do you do it? cos when i was active and a gm(yes we cleared bwl) i did spend most of my time online solving problems and facilitating for others. and the best people in the guild did use alot of time grinding pots etc.. now after tbc with fewer people and enourmousley more gear and pots to get farmd( things like heroic keys... well it requires no skill just that you bother to do the same instance over and over like 100 times) takes time..there are no shortcuts for getting those heroics,likewise unless u farm gold for pots or buy gold there are few ways of obtaining those pots you need for a good ride unless you farm and that takes time.ALOT of time.
So i can only conclude that if you are a member of a serious raiding guild(especially before they removed the later attunements) you will have to spend ALOT of time on wowo to get all these done and that will take alot of time away from doing stuff like just go down town and eat icecream with ur bf or have a barbecue with ur mates.. ofc not everyone thinks that are important things in life... but when it comes to the point when ur buddies call you and say wanna do something and you say no cant have to farm for tonites ride, maybe you are hooked? its kinda the same as being a fanatic footbalfan? calling your pets names as giggs and scoles?or was it nefarian and firemaw?

Anonymous said...

So many arguments on either end of the spectrum makes it hard to decide whether to defend myself of say GJ to those that manage to balance WoW and the real world.

I've been playing WoW for over 2 years, but I've gotten to the point I only play 12-14 hours a week, which some people think is lame. No offense to them, but for some of us, WoW is not an all consuming passion. I've managed to hold down a full time job, finish grad-school part-time and occasionally pick up another part time job while playing WoW. I have a lvl 70, and it took me 6 months to get there after TBC came out. I don't have the skills for my flying mount yet, I'm not keyed for Kara, and I don't have any epic armor, but I'm cool with that. I play WoW because it's fun. I get to chill with my online friends when they're on, and I even talk to some of them outside the game, but in the game I level (alts now), I farm, I PvP, and if the urge strikes, I run an instance. Of course there's no end to this game....how would Blizz make money off that? If you're looking to reach the "end" of the game, and you just have to finish, you really shouldn't be playing a MMO. And if you're not having fun, it's time to put the game down. I generally stick to weekends when I start burning out, pick up a book, go on vacation, or work on leveling up my skills with a real-time/real-world hobby. WoW in and of itself is not addictive, it's the way you approach the game that makes it addictive.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Blizzard have to provide more hardware (servers, disc space, etc.) the more hours individual subscribers play? Wouldn't it be to their advantage if all players were casual, ten hours per week or less, rather than 30+ hours per week? I'm just wondering if one can logically support any argument that Blizzard somehow wanted people to be this involved in the game.

Anonymous said...

.........gay. wow sucks. the end.

Anonymous said...

my boyfriend was up till 5am last nite,playing w.o.w. our house is a mess and there are alot of projects that need finishing. i have been stuggling with his addiction for almost a year now. he doesnt think anything is wrong. i dont really know what to do, i want to marry him and he is an incredidable man when he is not playing w.o.w. i totally respect his right to play video games but his one is too involved. he cant just get up and walk away from it. it makes my life very lonely.do i need to stop paying the internet bill? and cancel our internet connection ? at this point it seems to be the only solution. but if i do it will upset him and thats not what i want....

Anonymous said...

to all those ex-players that quit wow and that are so high and mighty, preaching on us addicts....

Why are u still researching WoW and posting about it, when you said uve grown out of it/are over WoW?

Raven said...

hey im new to wow and wondering if this horde leveling guide is the best leveling guide should i buy it to reach level 70 as fast as i can to play with my friends?

Anonymous said...

Let's talk about the importance of exercise!

uh-oh said...

I have quit after 150 days played, and realized the hard way, that sitting in front of a box with pictures of fairies and dragons, while making "fake" friends is a waste.

Anonymous said...

I've been with my boyfriend for 5 years, and finally dumping him because of WoW. He's been unemployed for years because WoW is just too important. He doesn't have a job, but zero time for me, ALL of it is spent on his computer. So now it's time for his girlfriend to dump him, his house to be foreclosed on, and his family is turning their backs on him. 35 years old with a J.D. that's gone to waste-what a loser. I have 182 days /played on just 1 of my 70's and I'm able to walk away just fine. Hate the game, not the player.

daria said...

I have never missed something like this. It's a drug for me. I've never had those either. I was every straighted laced, perfect knot of a lady.

I miss bella, and cotton (yes you, mr. planner), and kyoske, and hartha... and so many others. I miss them. Not so much the game. It was nice feeling useful.. well.. something that ended, helping folks achieve small victories, quick smiles after a small trial :) I loved it. I miss it.

It wasn't useless as a game. I met the man I love on wow. Strange. Never thought that would happen. Sterno. I always hoped someone would exist who was something like he was. My life today exists as it does because of wow. I will use my time and continue on my path that never would have occurred without it. I'm lucky though, most love occurrences in wow occur with wow. That is what you talk about. It's what you do. Afterwards some folks find they don't have anything similar to talk about. It's hard dating across that much time, without anything to base conversation about.. different friends, homes, weather, lifestyles. Wow brought a multitude of folks to a table.. and erased anything they did before wow and sometimes what they were on the path to do... Yet, it was interesting from a social standpoint. Just amazing logging into a network for 8-70 year old folks and spending an amusing day or even night with them. Chatting, picking up pieces of lives. Enjoying each one and each moment. Reading these stories, I keep thinking how many of these folks I would have loved to meet in game. Some of the personalities shaped by responsibilities, hope, doubt, etc.. just really powerful. Mini lives. I loved it. I still will.

I do think that some of my time could have been spent less tired. Always late at night staying up with the west coasters. Bleh. Or studying. It's hard to do wow and pursue post graduate training, yet I did. Not always making the best choices. I may have done better in my studies without it. But I would have severed it if it killed a dream. And did when I ran out of time. Although it was very sad to do so.

As I live and breathe though, I wonder what they are doing. I miss the server I was on and the guild I was a part of, although it broke apart and doesn't exist anymore. I will remember it.

I played it and cared about each and every person in the guild that I talked with. I loved one and hope to marry him and have a few pink kids maybe named after a screen nick. *shrugs* Continue making great works, help my community and volunteer.

The friends I made, continue playing without me. Strange how few remember or know me when they switched servers.. they have new friends and new folks to fill the ranks. Our conversation is strained at times.. because what we shared were minds and a game. Conversation topics are limited now. Without the game, the distance and space between us seems greater and greater. There are only so many times an exploit can be discussed, or discussing another of the forgotten. A few I managed to keep in contact.

I still miss the others.

If they read this, I miss you.

Wow was beautiful in it's creation. I can't wait to see what else the gaming future comes out with. Slashdot and other online personal sites with multiple subscribers and discussion forums are great.. and there will be more. programs like xfire will hopefully not kill your computer one day and friends you make gaming, will continue to be friends.

Gaming friends may one day become more "real" and communities like that will become more normal. It will be interesting. Hopefully though folks still get to see sunlight. I don't think human bodies were meant for these practices, although it seems our minds are more than capable.

Currently it's sad, because gamers who got connected by this instance.. aren't any longer. It makes the end feel more like an end. Strange how that comes to pass.

I'm happy it existed. My life is different because of it.

I still would be playing if my guild still existed, but once it started to collapse... it was hard to put the heart into the next one.. no matter how exquisite it was, or how amazing the players.. to believe, put the effort, to get as attached...

It was such an interesting time. It changed my perspective on many things.

I hope my tirade made a modicum of sense. It's bedtime. Finally.

Nide of lightninghoof and subsequently, blackwater raiders

warhammer said...

yeps, its time to leave wow and move on with life. hehe as in time for a new game like warhammer.

Anonymous said...

My bf plays as a f/male character. What does that tell say about him?

Landazuri said...

Well, after reading this posts I feel a bit confused. I'm afraid this has to be with videogames, not specially WOW, but people focus on it because it's the most played MMO, and it has been on the market for 4 years, and that makes the difference.
There were similar reactions to other videogames like Carmageddon (it makes people run over others in his cars), GTA (it makes people want to be gangsters) or Final Fantasy (in Spain media said that it made people want to be assassins); this negative, toxic and anti-social consequences were also assigned to cinema in its beginnings, to fantasy-based literature in the 30s (ask ER Eddison), and even to some theatre plays in Ancient Greece&Rome times. It's part of the eternal arguments: work/job, lifestyle, sexual orientation, immigration, parental respect... and in the end, it's more or less the same over and over again: "it's not my fault, it's others/society/corporations/..."

I am 27yo and have been playing videogames since I was 9 (this means Master System, Game Boy, SuperNES, PSone, PStwo, PC, and Wii) as a hobby, and "miracoulously" I have a job, live with my gf, visit my/her parents every week, go to cinema, see tv shows, play football/soccer... and I play WOW since april 2005. I never have been to a raid. I even lost a year because I had problems with my PC and Internet connection. That wasn't a drama. Now I have founded a guild with some friends, and we are recruiting mature people who plays 1 or 2 hours a day and wants to do instance on weekend nights, without pressure or need to go hardcore or hit endgame. Maybe we'll go someday, but most probably in cooperation with other similar guilds. I want to see game content, but my life doesn't depend on that; if that moment comes, I'll quit. Mathematic.

The one who addicts is because he/she has an easily addictive personality. Alcohol, cigarrettes and coffee share the same mechanics, but everybody says the worst thing to do with those addicts is to leave them alone, to isolate them. Why not with videogames? The addict has to realize the situation, decide to take action and finally do that. I encourage addicts to anything to do it, and also to its familiar environment to help in the process. We havelots of addictions waiting for us in every aspect of our lives. Drugs, sex, alcohol, but also coffee, shopping, tv, internet chats,... I guess there are complaint-a-holics out there too.

We just have to know our limits, and you can bet it's not easy, and get to know ourselves the more the better. The Bible wants us to look into ourselves before blaming others. I agree, though I'm an atheist.

This has been tough, I congratulate and thank you for reading.
Sorry for my English and greetings from Spain.

Tundrarain said...

To All of You Who Want to Bash WoW..
Here's a news flash for you..to each his (or her) own. It is not your place or anyone else's to decide what makes a person happy or what is worth while to one person.
And before you ask..YES I PLAY WoW!! BUT I have not lost anything in my real life due to it. I work a full time job, I'm a full time (single) mother (no I'm not single due to the game) of 2 children (who both play moderately), AND I'm a full time college student. In all reality I play about 10-12 hours total a week, and I have 3 high level characters and I'm a guild officer. I am physically fit and, get this, I'm HAPPY. WoW is my little break from the stresses of all the responsibility that I have, and I have many friends on there. Many of the people I have met gaming are also people whom I work with, and I have met many of the others I associate with.
I'm sorry if you feel that your way of thinking is all that is right, but I have a serious question for you....who made you the almighty judge? Do you not have something you enjoy doing? Or are you just jealous because we find love and enjoyment of something so trivial? It's sad that you can find nothing better to do with your time than wasting it telling us what we are doing wrong.
Tundrarain "Altar of Storms"

tv antenna said...

If it's been two years since you started and you haven't stopped playing ever since, then that's even more reason to not want to play it ;) I've wanted to play WoW for a WHILE now, but I just don't have the time and am too worried I'll be so addicted I won't get any work done. I work from home on the comp, too, which will make it even harder.

To all the WoW haters, seriously.. grow up. It's easy to point the finger at someone for doing something, but take a long hard look at yourself and evaluate your life. You don't partake in any activities? You don't indulge in a good book, a night out in town, or a fancy dinner?

Anonymous said...

I have read the first 40 or so responces and then got bored
cant help it :P

But in responce to the Wow Bashers
wow, thats alot of animosity coming from a post
I understand the arguments having heard them before.
But As many other posters have said they still have time out of game in real life.
I play wow and still have plenty of time between preparing for a musical. and studying for school. honestly? Wow is just a good time for me im not a hardcore anything in game. It is mostly just a social adventure for me. I enjoy meeting so many diffrent people who come from many diffrent places and backgrounds. I have made friends who i talk to to in RL now that I talk to on facebook.
and for me most of my friends in RL play WoW so its a time for us to talk and enjoy something that we have in common. and hey! every once in awhile we will meet up somewhere and play soccer.
we do have out of game lives and stuff we do besides the game.

"All the time you are putting into WOW, you could be putting somewhere else. The real world has problems. If everyone that played WOW stopped playing it, turned to their neighbors and community and said what can I do to help, that would be an accomplishment. Getting to lvl 60 isn't. In 20 years no one is going to remember you did it, no one is going to care."

to this poster. 20 years is a long time wow has only been around for what? 6 years? no not even? Your friends change in 20 years and jobs change everything changes. people wont remeber you even in real life after 20 years.

Anonymous said...

I just got into an argument with my gf because 'she hates WoW because it absorbed the lives of some of her friends 5 years ago.' She feels very passionately about this and insists that i'm insensitive, uncaring and pretty much a bastard because I started playing this game knowing full well how she felt about it.

FYI, I downloaded the game 2 days ago.

I find this to be especially funny because i've always enjoyed computers. And she knows it. I basically cried to my family back in the late 80s to buy a computer 'to do school projects on'. It cost like 3 grand and didn't even have a hard drive, just 3.5" floppies. Good ole IBM. Sure i did school projects on it, but i really just wanted to play ZORK. :P I then convinced them to buy a Dell Pentium 200mhz for 3 grand. Tied up the phone line all day downloading the Diablo trial on a 56k modem.

Long story short, i've always gotten sucked in to games, but have always been a fully functional member of society. I have a bachelor of science, did marine biology in trinidad and tobago, sold advertising space in prominent US newspapers from South Africa and Turkey, worked for a Swedish investment bank, got my MBA and now own my own 2million dollar / year company. Surely, if i'd been so fully absorbed in gaming and utterly careless about my future, i'd never have gotten where i am. In my mind, balance is key, but sometimes balance can't be viewed in a moment to moment snapshot. I've had times in my life where i had more free time and have been able to allot that free time to gaming. In times where i'm focused on building a better future for myself, i've always had the ability to shut out the gaming. I've never given a rat's ass about being the best in the games, just about doing my best in life at any given time. If i sensed something slipping, i'd course-correct and move forward.

Bottom line, Balance. I've read it throughout this blog and its truly the most important thing in life. Anything that absorbs your time in a way that makes other aspects of your life that matter suffer... course-correct.

Random thought: I'd love to learn guitar, and i swear if i'd spent as much time learning real guitar as i've spent becoming above average at guitar hero... i'd prolly be lighting a campfire right now strumming the chords to 'koombaya'. Does it detract from the fun i had playing guitar hero? no. Do i nevertheless wish i could play a real guitar? Yup. Maybe not koombaya though :).

In closing... I found this website because i googled "does playing world of warcraft ruin lives" out of curiosity, following my girlfriend's argument that WoW does just that. Now i don't know how you all got to this page, but i can only imagine that it was because you or someone you know are/is ruining their lives as far as you can tell. At the end of the day, everyone is their own personal "blank" control board". I know some addictions go above and beyond self control, but in this instance (and in my instance in particular) where you're playing a game where you can connect with real-world established friends who live far away from you... and you're having fun... eff the world and its opinions...especially if they come from an unreasonable girlfriend :P. Have fun, connect and catch a level or two in the land of makebelieve. Just keep yourself in check when you start losing sight of what's really important - livelihood, family, friends, health etc. Its not always easy to push away, but it should be obvious when that time comes. Good luck and have fun, for the love of (insert your god's name here). peace, Pierre

ps. from the posts i've read, there are clearly some intelligent people defending their playtime. at the end of the day, isn't it every sane mind's right to choose for themselves how they spend their time? Don't judge, lest you choose to be judged.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous/Pierre (8/01/2009 5:30 AM) with the "unreasonable girlfriend":

You ARE an insensitive, uncaring and pretty much a bastard because you started playing WoW knowing full well how she felt about it AND because you condescendingly dismiss her as unreasonable.

I hope she dumped you.