Games people play, together.

Games people play, together.

I play World of Warcraft. I can safely say I’m not an addict, at least not now. I used to be, I freely and wholeheartedly admit that. An addiction, for all intents and purposes, is defined as “[the act of being] physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop…without incurring adverse effects”. World of Warcraft, from here on out I’m going to just refer to it as “WoW”, is often called “World of WarCrack”, because it’s like crack in it’s addictive tendencies. I fell victim to the addictiveness of this game, and quit once. I went back, and I think I’m about ready to quit again.I’m not going to go into details, for the most part non-WoWplayers would have no idea what I was talking about anyways. Saying things like “Gearscore” wouldn’t mean much, and it’s fine. The crux of it is simply this… People look at it so much more than just a video game, when no matter what happens, by the end of the day when we all go to sleep at night, it is nothing more than a video game.

There are aspects of the game that make it truly a different experience, like the fact that it’s played online with millions of people around the world. At any given point, I could be talking to people from across the country, or across the world. In that regard, it’s really an awesome experience to be able to meet people that one wouldn’t get to meet usually. I’ve actually made some great friendships on that game, again, from people I never would have had the pleasure of getting to know. I’ll definitely be grateful for those relationships, and the friends I’ve made.

Conversely, there’s also the down side to playing with people. There are a lot (A LOT) of kids who play, and the immaturity is abundant. There are kids who are in leader-type positions of running “guilds”, or groups of players, who really don’t know how to lead at all. They couldn’t lead a row of dominos to fall in a straight line. Seriously. Also, there are the people who take the game waaay too seriously.

Let me reiterate….It’s nothing more than a video game.

There are different types of challenges people can face in that game when it comes to content… and most require the assistance of other people, so there are things for 5 players at a time, 10 players, or 25 respectively. This introduces entirely new problems because now, you’re getting into people having to sign up to go on these runs, and you introduce the concept of “dependability”. Does someone show up for the run they signed up for? Or do they flake out, etc?

These are basic life skills here. Let’s temporarily set aside the “video game” aspect of it for a moment; In general, if you tell someone you’re going to go someplace and then flake out, you look bad. If you agree to help someone with something and you don’t, you look like the douchebag. Applying this to a video game, if you say you’re going to run a raid with some people, and don’t show up, you’re now screwing people over because you’re not there to do the role you agreed to do. That’s perfectly understandable, I get that. What I don’t get, is that people take this so seriously as to let this come between friends.

I’ve always told the people that I play with where I stand on signing up to do stuff: I refuse to put game time on my schedule, because that forces me to play. The first time I played, before going back from my 6 month break, I had a particular weekend where I was off and was down the shore. Weekends off at my job are very hard to come by. I actually had to leave early to get back in time to run a raid, because I’d signed up and said I’d be there, and as it turns out the raid wound up falling apart shortly after it started and my night was basically ruined. I’d decided from then on that I would not force myself to play this game, and that I’d only play when I wanted to, on my terms. I was exercising the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted. Granted, this had some setbacks, I didn’t get all the greatest gear and whatnot, but I really didn’t care. I let the game be just that…a game. I didn’t let it control me.

I am getting pretty sick of how petty people have become when it comes to loyalty on this game. I’m not going to go into specifics, but I was put in a very awkward position just recently, for choosing to stand behind a friend of mine versus others that I really didn’t know. I’m drawing the line here, trust me it was pretty stupid when all was said and done.

In retrospect… when I wasn’t playing wow, there was a lot more going on for me. I was getting more music done in the studio, I was more social with my friends, my family didn’t see me in front of the computer all the time. I found I really didn’t miss it that much. When I went back to playing it, it was fun to get back into it for a while and see all of my old friends, but eventually it started to suck more and more time from my day to day life. I stopped playing once, I think it’s time I stop again, and get my life back.

I haven’t had a personal life in a very long time, a social life, etc. It’s mostly been work and music, and WoW. There are certain people in my life who deserve more attention, that I’d like to focus on and put them first for once, most importantly myself. There are opportunities I should be taking up, there are things I should be doing with my life, and doing for myself, since I’m not getting any younger. I’m almost 29, almost 30, and I’ve got a lot to do still while I’m on this planet. The last thing I want to do is waste the time I have sitting in front of the computer, playing a video game.

Is this my 100% departure from WoW? Am I never going to play ever again? Is this completely it? Who knows. The game is fun, I enjoy it, but I don’t enjoy the petty drama and bullshit that comes with it, and I don’t enjoy the hours it sucks out of my life. I do enjoy the people, and the friends and fun. For right now in my life, I’m not even going to put it on the back burner. Going with the cooking analogy, my meal isn’t turning out the way I want to, so I’m going to turn off the flame and pour out whatever I was making. I’ve still got my ingredients, maybe I’ll give it another go some time soon, but for now I’ll just get some takeout.

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