March 2, 2009

Please note that this post actually has nothing to do with the loot system.

First of all you’ll notice that there hasn’t been a post over the past few days, normally I skip weekends due to playing but I had a busy week last week in terms of finalising some projects and that detracted from blogging. As my reading figures average an amount you can count on one hand I also seriously considered dropping the blog altogether. However, certain events recently have meant that I’m going to keep at it for a bit even if nobody actually bothers to read what I rant about.

My goal for the weekend was to hit 75, highly achievable if my ISP hadn’t decided to turn itself off yesterday, I am on the brink of the level and an hour or so would have easily seen me grabbing it and being on the homeward stretch. I’d also installed WoW on my work laptop as we were going to my wife’s parents for dinner last night. I hoped to use their wireless network to get in some time playing while she sits around doing her school preparation. Let’s just say that it didn’t work out either. A proper days playing probably would have seen me to around halfway to 76, I know I’m getting rested to make up for it but frankly, I’d rather be playing and have that level. I want to get up to 80 to play with friends again as I do feel like I’m once again out in the cold as the noob who isn’t 80 yet.

There are a few articles doing the rounds at the moment about a Swedish study on the addictive effects of WoW. This will come as no surprise to long time followers/subscribers. MMOs have always been regarded as the Devil’ s own sphincter marmalade. Good for nothing other than the corruption of youth, the destruction of families and fostering belligerence and malcontent. My personal opinion is that the game does not create this scenario, it is more down to the person playing it. Sure, there are many symptoms that would seem to suggest addiction, I even know a guy that has admitted he is addicted, however, many people can and do break free of their own free will. Addiction is supposed to alter thought processes so that nothing else can take priority over the addiction.

I can see from my own example above that the fact I had to go a whole day without WoW and my resultant bleating about it to the four corners of the Interwebs could be considered a symptom of addiction. Obviously I see the irony of coming to my own defence here but I’d like to give you some more background. Is it that I feel the “Need” to play? Or am I being “Greedy” in just wanting more?

Time for some personal admissions. I exhibit some very odd behaviour as a person. When I am doing things I tend to plan out how I wish to spend my day and the things I want to accomplish, there is always one area of my life that is kind of a “crutch”. Something that will dominate all other interests for a time and this can change quite often, obviously I am not addicted to six or seven completely different things. So, when I plan out my time (in my head) for what I want to do I can extend those things, cut them short or even swap around planned items without a problem. However, if someone external to myself comes up and drops something in there I go into apoplexy. For instance, I’m doing something like painting some Warhammer models, catching up on Battlestar Galactica, or even playing WoW, plus any number of other things I choose to spend my time on. Now, if my dear wife was to come along and say “right, we need to go to the shops to get item X” my brain just gives up and goes “but, we can’t do that, we have all this time planned for activity Y that is more then likely completely inconsequential to what we are being asked to do with our wife but still, we had our time planned out and now this new thing is…” BZZZZZZZTTTTTTTTT (the sound of my brain frying itself).

So, Sunday comes and the Internet is off, not only can I not do anything at all online, but my perfectly achievable goal that I almost got on Saturday night before we went out is now completely unachievable and is delaying my perceived rate of levelling meaning I am now even further behind the friends I want to play with (who are all 80). I don’t consider this to be an addiction therefore, WoW is my current crutch, these crutches can last for a long time, especially if I’m really enjoying what I am doing and my Shaman is providing the kind of play experience from the game I am after.

I did manage to play a bit of Dawn of War 2 between checking to see if my internet had come back on (it didn’t). I just hope to goodness the damn thing is working tonight. Monday isn’t a WoW night at all normally but I’m going to bung something in the oven for dinner and grind my little heart out to 75 to try and at least have a semblance of recovery from missing so much yesterday.



  1. Interesting that i would find this article just a couple days after my buddy posted this one. Seems no matter how long MMO games are around, somebody will believe they are destroying society.

  2. When I read and commented on Velinath’s post I had completely forgotten that I had written this post. Still, society always needs a scapegoat to pass the buck for any failing of society, in the 60’s it was rock n’ roll, in the 80’s it was movies and now the cycle has moved on to video games. As each generation comes with some new form of entertainment society is willing to blame it for the same human failings that have existed throughout history.

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