There was a time in my life that was wasted on doing nothing but playing games. At the time, my former significant other and I had a PlayStation 2, which was pretty awesome, but it was nothing compared to what I believed was the best game in the universe: World of Warcraft. I didn’t work. I didn’t go to school. My partner at the time worked long military hours, and sometimes he was away for weeks at a time for training purposes. Well, that left me and the computer…and World of Warcraft.
I played everyday. I played for hours. And you know, nothing seemed wrong with it at the time. I even had some people in the game who fell in love with my Human Paladin. Ah yes, he would send me love letters and random trinkets he would find throughout his journeys. At the time, I thought it was cute in a way and somewhat flattering…but when I look back on that, (being the rational person I feel to be today), I see that the whole thing was ridiculous. Plain ridiculous.
I had a character that I taught how to fish in the game. I remember having my character sit on a fishing deck and cast a line, which lasted for hours. Yea, to get the good fish, you had to fish for a long time. While you’re playing World of Warcraft, I think you forget what reality is. It’s just you, you and your character. Or you manifested through your character. Whatever it is, it’s really weird now that I think about it. And it’s very wrong. I did a little light research online, and discovered that there are actually addicts of World of Warcraft. There is a whole website dedicated to postings of anonymous users that write about their triumphs and failures at cutting the WOW habit. It’s affecting people’s lives in a negative way. It’s funny how seemingly harmless a game could be, but how tragic it’s results could be. I heard a strange audio clip on the internet recently of a young man and his family having a terrible argument concerning WOW and him waking up late for school. The boy went ballistic, the parents were infuriated, and the family was just….in pieces. Can a game really do that? Well, the simple answer is yes. The more one becomes entangled in a fantasy world, the harder it is to get back to reality.
In the game, in order to attack a character you have to right click on them and then a red circle appears at the feet of the enemy. Hell, I used to imagine right-clicking on people in my own life that I despised and casting some wicked mage powers upon them. “Yea…a little bit of a fire blast, some arcane shots….maybe a few blows to the head with my staff….”
Now THAT is sad.
I actually leveled up my little cute pig-tailed gnome mage to level 40, but then I had to give the significant other “the boot”, and he took the computer with him, so I never saw my little gnome friend again. Recently, however, I did download the trial version. I thought it would be as neat as the first time I became immersed in it. It’s actually a little stale. I don’t know if it’s because I have so much going on in my life right now…a husband in the military, a relocation placement, job transfers, what have you…but for whatever reason, World of Warcraft isn’t what it used to be. And to be honest, I’m relieved. I’m relieved because that means that I won’t secretly fall into that strange trap of fun and fantasy that seems to grab people from the get-go.
I’m just glad I’m not one of those people on the forums writing about how many times they uninstall and reinstall the World of Warcraft game. Yea…I’d rather be addicted to Starbucks. At least I can share a cup of warm coffee with a warm-blooded being as opposed to interacting with fantasy characters which, in the end, will bring you nothing but regret.