18 October 2006
I like computer games.
I like them a lot.
In fact, I grew to like one game so much it may have damaged my life. I am talking about World of Warcraft. It is an immersive, exciting and engaging environment which will suck time out of your life like a turbo-charged Hoover.
It was only recently that I realized how hurtful the game had been to me. In fairness, I was not a "dedicated" player, having only played on and off throughout a week. But given my other commitments, which were legion, it was time ill spent.
Why am I telling you this? It was this post at Soul Kerfuffle which made me stop dead in my tracks today and say.
"Crap, that could have been me."
In fairness, I broke off this heinous relationship about a month ago, but the residue lingers. I originally signed up in April of 2005. I had one character who made it to level 43, pretty low considering most get to level 60 in less than a year. But this is beside the point.
The game provided escape. It allowed me to escape from a lot of unpleasantness. It made me feel like I was accomplishing something, when in actuality I was not. I did write some good side stories, that at least felt good, but overall the time was idled away. Almost as bad as watching TV, but worse because the interactions forsook the flesh and blood of those near and dear to one.
So here I blog, that may be worse. But it seems manageable (I can quit anytime!). At least Citizen Une never said "I think you may have an addiction problem with blogging" as she did with WoW. I dismissed her comment at the time, but now I think she was right.
WoW is a great game. It is a triumph of computing and creative genius. It may form the basis for a broader virtual world where people can work out real problems. But it was too seductive for me. I never spent a whole day playing, but I know folks who did. They also posted on the forums, maintained fan sites, wrote stories and generated art.
Creative to be sure, but not of this world.
Ironically, in the cancellation process, Blizzard asks why.
One of their choices is addiction.
I pulled down the selection and submitted my confession.
Boy it's bright out here.