I Need to Be WoW’edPosted: June 12, 2013 Filed under: Culture, Internet, Musings | Tags: addiction, culture, entertainment, life, MMO, World of Warcraft, WoW 5 Comments
It’s been over a year and the cravings are still coming. In fact, of late they’ve been more and more frequent and perhaps even a bit stronger. I think about it at least once a week, and sometimes every day. Sure, it’s worse when I’m bored, but even when I have things going on, it still crosses my mind. “How bad could it be? Just a little bit. I can handle doing just a little bit. I hear they even let you try some for free now.”
Cold turkey sucks.
I’ve quit cigarettes, caffeine, even biting my nails when I was a kid, but somehow the one I seem to be having the most trouble with is World of Warcraft.
Maybe it’s because there’s something missing that I don’t feel like I’m getting in some other way. WoW offers the easy taste of victory early on, with just enough challenge to keep you coming back, and it keeps scaling up to keep the challenge fresh. Sure you can say that about any game, but the folks at Blizzard have it down to a science (quite literally, I’m sure). There’s also a false sense of accomplishment and reward built right in, so you don’t even need to pat yourself on the back; they’ll do it for you. They even let you get something approaching sociability, although the sad truth is they haven’t yet found a way to fix human behavior in an anonymous environment (but they do a better job than most).
Maybe it’s because WoW came to me at the right time in my life (that’s what My Not So Humble Wife suggested). She has a point. When I first started playing World of Warcraft I was feeling lost, alone, and in need of something to make me feel good about myself. I didn’t feel like a success. WoW gave me that. Sure it was an artificial sensation, but Twinkies are full of empty calories and I love them too. WoW gave me so much of that that I spent as much time playing it as I would on a second job, only I paid them for the privilege. Is it a coincidence that a couple months after quitting WoW I started a blog? Not in the slightest. And I still have more free time (most of which I spend with my previously neglected wife).
Maybe it’s because I’ve got an addictive personality. I love to gamble, so I stay away from it. I love to smoke, and I’ve quit more than once (with varying levels of success). I’ll even get hooked on a song and listen to it over and over until I drive the people around me nuts (just ask My Not So Humble Sister; better yet don’t, I don’t need het to be reminded). I’ve thought that if I could find something positive to fill that void (like blogging) it would be enough, but it’s like exercising to get over craving a cigarette. You can only do it so much before you get tired of it, and you still want what you want.
Ultimately I need something to take my mind off of it. I need something that will thrill me, something that will grab and hold my attention long enough to make the cravings go away, I need something so powerful, so wonderful, so fantastic that it’s completely irresistible, to me anyway.
I need to be WoW’ed.
I’m awed by this and I’m not sure what WOW is.
World of Warcraft (WoW), also known colloquially as “World of Warcrack” due to the somewhat addictive nature of the gameplay, is a massively multiplayer online game. It’s a lot of fun, but if you do it too much it can take over your entire life (all your freetime, your relationships, etc.)
Hi, my name is David and I’m 4 years WoW-sober. Is that a real term? It should be.
Hi, David. Congratulations on staying clean for so long. Does it ever get easier? I still think about my 85s every few days…
Eventually, at last this was the case for me, the people who made the game so much fun are long gone and have moved on as well. I actually still keep in touch with some of those people; I just can’t imagine going back and starting over. I occasionally remember some of my more amusing shenanigans, but I never forget that they’re not duplicatible (nor would I want to). So in short: yes, it does get easier. Once I got past the first winter holiday season without logging in at all, I knew I was free. 😉