My Addiction Gets Me Through the Bad Days
Everyone has something that they are completely addicted to. Our addictions are usually the one thing that gets us through everything in life. They bring us through the bad days mostly unscathed and provide an extra bit of a boost on good days. Since 2004, World of Warcraft has been that thing for me.
Picture what you’d consider to be a typical World of Warcraft player. I bet you’re imagining someone with no job who lives in their parents’ basement surviving on Mt. Dew and Twinkies. I wouldn’t blame you. That seems to be what most people imagine. That, however, is mostly an incorrect stereotype based on an episode of South Park. In most cases, we have relatively active social lives. We also see sunlight on a normal basis and do things outside of our homes. Some of us are students. Some of us are parents. There are those with standard hourly jobs and those with very successful careers. Even actors like Henry Cavill, Vin Diesel, and Mila Kunis have played at one point or another.
I’m a full-time mom with a full-time job in retail. In 2004, when World of Warcraft launched, I was living in an apartment with my big brother. I was fresh out of high school working as a cashier at a local grocery store and I had no clue what I was going to do with my life. My brother bought the game for himself but told me I should try it out. I created a Night Elf priest named Lunasia on the server known as Thunderlord. He was kind enough to show me the ropes and then left me to play and explore on my own.
Within an hour of starting, I was hooked. I didn’t just quest with the purpose of leveling my character. I made friends, explored as much as possible, and made so many silly mistakes that I’m surprised I ever progressed at all. Hours went by without me even noticing it. If you’ve ever built a house in The Sims, you know how entirely possible it can be to pass hours worth of time without realizing it. I went to bed within a couple of hours of needing to be up for work. After work, I’d come home and get right back to playing. World of Warcraft was the best thing ever.
Now, I may be a little bit anti-social. I socialize at work because I have to. When you work in retail, it is imperative that you socialize with others. How else would you ever get anything done? Outside of work, though, I just cannot be bothered with dealing with other people. By other people, of course, I mean those with whom I do not reside. I want to be left alone. If I’ve had a bad day, that’s even more true than normal. At the end of a bad day, I just want to slay internet dragons and talk to my in-game friends.
In-Game Friends are Among the Best
Speaking of in-game friends, the people you meet in online video games can be some of the best you’ll ever meet. They come together from every corner of the globe to kill pixels and appreciate what Blizzard built for us. Though there are trolls and jerks within the mix, most of the players are decent people. Unlike people in real life, they aren’t judging you based on your appearance. If they’re going to judge you at all, in fact, it’s probably because of your ability to play your character.
Some of my best friends, though, have come from World of Warcraft. There are some I’ve never met in person who are kick-ass people nonetheless. I have gone to the beach with a few. Best of all, I married one of them. Yes. You read that right. I married someone I met in WoW. Funnily enough, there’s a saying about relationships that start in World of Warcraft. “It’s all fun and games until someone buys a plane ticket.”
Always Worth It
While you probably think I’ve wasted tons of times playing this game, I could never say that I agree. For me, the time I’ve spent in game has ALWAYS been worth it. The time I’ve spent there will always be worth it. I’ve had the privilege of being part of something so incredibly vast. And it isn’t just vast in the metaphorical sense. It’s physically vast. Millions of people from around the world play this game. People from all over come together once a year at BlizzCon to show their love for this game.
The art, the music, the encounters, the worlds.. They are all things that serve to make the experience entirely worth while. From my first days in Teldrassil as a noobish Night Elf priest to where I am at now, a Blood Elf mage wandering the Broken Isles, I have always felt that my experiences here were worth every second.
As Blizzard Entertainment goes into the weekend celebrating the 10th anniversary of BlizzCon, I can’t help but tell you how pleased I am with their work. They are absolutely brilliant, excelling in both game development and customer service within the industry. They’re one hell of a something to geek out over.