My World of Warcraft.
My World of Warcraft.
I’ve been trying to find the time to put my jumbled rambling thoughts into line and into a post for a while now so here’s hoping this goes ok.
I began playing back in the early days and while I’ve had my spurts of time of here and there I have pretty much had a subscription running the entire time. I have spent hours upon hours dedicated to my characters in particular my main character Hugebloke the amazing dreanei shaman.
I have done nearly every quest in the game; I have seen the sites and done the raids. I’ve defeated bad guys atop temples and gone fishing in the most serene vistas I’ve ever seen. I’ve accomplished great feats and died doing the most ridiculously easy things you could imagine, but the fact is…there is always a reason to come back. The game has given me so much I decided it was time to figure out what it is that has kept me coming back. What has kept me so involved and interacted all these years.
At the height of this game in the Wrath expansion (woot woot) there was 12 million (give or take) active accounts. Now that is a metric shit load of people playing. Imagine 12 million different personalities giving life to characters in the game and you begin to realize why the community is such a mixed melting pot.
As a simple example you will have the trolls, the comedic geniuses spamming trade chat with anal and chuck Norris jokes, the savvy business men trying to conquer the world via the auction house, tomorrows great leaders raid leading 10/25/40 other people to greatness, the dirty trollop shaking his or her money maker on the mailbox for gold, or that guy that just has to leeroy everything in sight.
The WoW community is literally made of up every type of person you can imagine and I think that’s half the reason that it works so well and I keep coming back.
After playing the game for a bit you will ignore the ones that annoying with their vile tongues and sense of entitlement (something I am seeing more and more of lately) and you will learn to really enjoy the company of those that you see eye to eye with.
When you spend so much time in a virtual world with people, you begin to learn more about them. It’s when you start know the person behind the character a bit more that you become attached to not only your character but theirs as well which in turn leads to friendships off screen.
I have met so many people from playing WoW it insane. Even if our interaction is via Skype, or vent or actually meeting some other players in person, it’s that level of interaction that keeps me coming back.
Now this isn’t going to be the case for everyone out there, but I know it’s the case for a lot of people.
The variety of people that I have met from the game is incredible. People that I would have not otherwise met because we simply don’t move in the same circles. Some of these people have turned out to be complete fucktards and then a very select few I consider so close and so amazing that they flew in from all over the country to be present at my wedding earlier this year and I consider them some of my closest long distance low maintenance friends.
Everyone has their own reasons for playing WoW, while most would just put it down to “I enjoy the game for …….reason” I think there is a lot more to it. I think deep down most people wouldn’t admit it but they play for the sense of community as well. They long for that interaction with other people in the unique ways that WoW enables.
Ok so yeah its lead to a generation of keyboard warriors who literally think they are the greatest warrior in all the land and can flame and abuse anyone they like…..until mum tells them its dinner time and they have to go wash up. But it’s also been an outlet for so many via the community it provides.
I have seen first-hand the variety and here are a few examples of different types of people and reasons:
The single mum who was abandoned by her former husband because their child was special needs. She used to have a night nurse for him 3 times a week so she could have some downtime from her near 24 hour constant care. She never liked to be too far away so playing wow enabled her to have interaction with other adults while still being at arm’s length should she need. She rarely did anything other than level and picks flowers and tells filthy inappropriate jokes in guild chat but that was her outlet.
The agoraphobic early 20s bloke that couldn’t leave his house at all. He was afraid of people and the outside world in a physical sense. He was the nicest lad I’ve ever met on vent and Wow provided him with a means to feel normal in mixing with others. While he couldn’t bring himself to go outside, WoW gave him a place to explore and be outside in a virtual sense.
The fresh retired cop who had no idea how to spend his days until he found WoW.
with a lot of time and nowhere to go in particular, the guild gave him a sense of belonging and something to do, he enjoyed being the old respected guy that everyone turned to because simply put, he had the time to learn the game in and out.
The young girl that used WoW and our guild as a sense of escapism from reality. She was deeply depressed at not having achieved anything in life like the rest of her family, she suffered all kinds of medical issues because of it and her social life suffered. While she recovered we as a guild gave her safe place where she could speak her mind. She came with us on adventures and got that sense of achieving something from our raid progression, dinging achievements and getting her first legendary.
And scarily enough there is people like me.
I fit into a bunch of different categories. I have been that guy on nightshifts that had nothing to do but play wow and talk to people. I have been the guy that was deeply depressed and found my only success or sense of achievement at the time in smashing through a raid boss. I have been the guy too fucked up with a back injury I can barely scratch my own butt let alone go out and have a social life so I relied on wow to be my social interaction.
The fact of that matter is that everyone has their own reasons for playing but also playing their characters the way they do. But it’s the fact that we do it together that makes it so consuming.
Like I said, this won’t is the rule of thumb for everyone. But for a large proportion of people I believe this to be the case. Especially when you get to the end of an expansion like we have recently and there is little left to do. It’s the people that you enjoy interacting with that make it so enticing to come back each day. You crave the interaction in whatever form for whatever reason. Even with the game being chock full of elitist assholes lately (whom I’m sure have their own reason for being like that, perhaps some power trip ego boost megalomaniac complex or something?) but those people don’t phase me too much anyways. Simply if you don’t get along with someone in the game it’s no big deal, you delete them of a friends list or don’t pug with them again and it’s no biggie. But if you find a good group or a good guild, and become invested in it then it can literally change your life.
These are that people that make you laugh, make your cry with happy n stupid, you achieve great feats with, you work with each other to solve the game problems and sometimes help each other through real life problems. You develop friendships and sometimes relationships, (I’ve lost track of how many people I’ve heard of hooking up or getting married from meeting some in game).
These people become the one you open up to about personal shit because it’s easier than doing it to someone face to face. They are the advice givers and the people that amaze you with just how stupid or hilarious they can be. They are the ones that you go on epic adventures together or just sit in the middle of trade district in storm wind doing absolutely nothing because your too busy talking in guild chat or laughing on vent. They are the people that help you beat Swifty’s ass and turn you into the greatest gladiator of the arena ever, or the people that you sit on Skype with until 4am because you simply can’t get enough of their “foreign” accents and hilarious jokes.
They become your family when sometimes your real family is lacking, your global friends and your team mates.
These are the things that make up the community I am a part of. These are the reason I keep coming back each day for hours on end.
It took me a bit to figure out and realistically I’m only scratching at the surface of a huge topic here.
It boils down to why wouldn’t I want to be a part of something that means too much to so many people in so many different ways? Yeah I get pissed off when people say to me it’s just a game. For me it’s my life.
It’s no different to a car enthusiast or a die-hard sports fan, an artist or model maker.
This is my hobby, this is my life…..this is my world of Warcraft.