O Game of Mine

Yes.

Yes, I am aware that BRK is quitting WoW for at least three months. Honestly I think he should give it up forever and never look back.

Before you *gasp* and *oooo* at me, I’d like to say a few words.

Firstly, this post is not to bash anyone or anything. It is simply a slap on the wrist for those who need it. I already said what I wanted to say to BRK and wished him the best.

There are requirements for playing this game. I will list them below.

  • Windows XP SP3 or Vista SP1 (Windows 2000 no longer supported)
  • Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1.5 GHz (up from 800 MHz Intel/AMD). Dual-core recommended.
  • RAM: 512 MB/1 GB for Vista, doubled from same as previous. 1 GB/2 GB recommended.
  • Video: GPU with hardware transform and lighting and 32 MB VRAM, same as before. Recommended 128 MB VRAM.
  • Now, where in here do you see “Forget about the important people in your life, forget about your physical and mental health, forget about your daily responsibilities, and forget about having a greater understanding of your natural world”?

    This game, however fun and involved and social it may be, is still ultimately just a game. A damn good one, perhaps. An entertaining one, certainly. One that can cause you to build little walls around your brain until you can think of almost nothing else. Time to get the wrecking ball.

    What is a game?

  • A temporary emotional or mental escape from reality
  • An interactive way to sharpen certain mental skills and hand-eye coordination
  • In this case, a way to meet different people you may otherwise not have met
  • A passtime for moments when there is nothing important to do
  • If you are using this game for a reason that is not one of the above, it’s very possible that you have allowed yourself to build those walls quite thick. If you believe that finishing dailies is more important than heating up some fishsticks for your 4-year old, it’s time to reevaluate your life. If you care more for the people in your guild than the people you’re responsible for feeding, clothing, and nurturing, you have a very serious problem, and again, it’s time to reevaluate your life.

    I love this game. I love the people. I love the lifestyle and the fact that it fuels other hobbies in my life such as art and writing. As I’ve said, I love how expansive it is and how involved you can become. But finding someone important to you, promising to tie your life to theirs, and cementing it all with a beautiful, inquisitive child completely destroys any real import you could have placed on the game. Or at least, it should. WoW can work for some people, if those people know how to use it. However, certain situtations demand a lack of anything similar to WoW.

    For instance, a single man (or woman) who wants nothing more than to find someone to love and create a life with, and inevitably spends more time on WoW than on searching for that person, and devoting that love to parts of the game instead of a flesh-and-blood human being. Instead of finding the right person and creating something beautiful, he logs into WoW each night and flirts with the 19 year-old Night Elf druid who already has a boyfriend and has just started college. It’s easier, quicker, and he’s much less likely to fall flat on his face in front of a beautiful woman. This is ultimately self-destructive, and a sad situation that he will most certainly become addicted to. He believes he has created something meaningful, believes he is slowly on his way to perhaps reaching his goal of not being lonely anymore, and is, in reality, simply in denial.

    There is also the situation of the “bodily neglect” individual. Because this overweight or undernourished individual has fallen into a pit of helplessness and has chosen to simply lie there and moan instead of building a ladder and climbing back out, he (or she) has found this game to occupy the time. Instead of being fit and healthy in real life, he can create an infinite amount of extremely healthy and fit looking characters, who are able-bodied and heroic and can do all the things he wishes he was capable of in reality. And because eating properly and pushing his body is simply too much effort, he is content to sit on his flabby ass and watch the toned ass of his running avatar. He will soon die young of heart disease, or have extensive knee surgery several times a year. It’s also quite possible that the Bodily Neglect individual is also the above-mentioned Single individual, because most lovers look for a sense of purpose in a mate.

    Then there’s the family man (or woman). He’s got kids, he’s got a wife, he’s got it all, including a job with long hours, medium pay, and the recipe for headache and boredom. So what does he do? He becomes involved in the game because he can be successful there. He can be rich, he can win wars, he can prove his worth to millions…or at least dozens. In reality, he should be proving his worth to his family. He should be coming home each night and eating a good dinner with his loved ones, learning about what they did that day, planning future getaways, getting involved in his child’s future (but more importantly the present – a game of catch, perhaps?), rubbing his wife’s feet because she’s just spent an hour cooking him a lovely dinner immediately after picking up little Johnny from baseball…THAT is how a man with a family proves his worth. He brings home bacon, he gives support to family not just with that bacon, and he devotes his life in ways only a husband and a father could.

    Let’s just ignore the fact that there are many more types of people who play this game that really should not be playing it, at least not to the extent that they are. But there is nothing, NOTHING that sickens me more than this scenario I’m about to mention :

    It’s 6:00 in the evening. I’ve just logged onto WoW after dinner and hop into vent. There’s some random chatting between a few members, and then suddenly I hear –

    “Goddammit, I’m busy! Make your own fishsticks. Where’s your mother, can’t she put them in for you?”  — We learn later that his little boy is 6 years old. His wife also plays WoW, and is in our guild.

    A pause and then as he speaks again, we hear incessant wailing noises in the background which we then realize is a small baby.

    “Arrgh, seriously, I just fed the damn thing and he’s crying again. Sorry guys, BRB.”

    Sorry guys? SORRY GUYS?! YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO HAVE CHILDREN, YOU SORRY EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING!

    The sad thing is this :

    It is NOT the game World of Warcraft that causes people to behave this way. It is NOT some kind of super-addiction that’s uncontrollable and unavoidable.

    It is you.

    It is your underlying personality that causes you to cling to the game, for whatever reasons you do. It is YOU, YOUR PERSONALITY that causes the issues in your real life to exist. If it weren’t for World of Warcraft, there would be something else – something else to escape with, something else to avoid, something else to earn “more-important status” in your life. There is little more I hate than hearing “It’s this addicting game, ruining my life, causing me to do this and that” like “I’ve neglected my family because this game is too involved” or “I don’t have time to exercise if I raid each night”.

    There is ultimately a decision, and YOU are the one who makes that decision. If you didn’t play WoW, ask yourself what else would you do? Would you really suddenly remember your family and start playing ball with your son, or would you simply turn on the TV and start watching Life with the Kardashians? Would you really go to the gym, or would you lie in bed with Cheetos and watch the football game?

    I commend BigRedKitty on taking the first step to change in his life : admitting fault.

    You cannot change if you cannot realize AND ADMIT TO your own shortcomings. The Blame Game is for young children and people who get paid to play it. The rest of us must have a sense of responsibility. Do not blame this game for your real-life problems, for not realizing your own dreams, for having no true drive in life, or for being unattractive or unhealthy. Do not blame this game for your lack of initiative, for your obsessive behaviors, or for your failure to provide the proper nourishment for your family.

    BRK – thank you for realizing this truth, for facing it, and for fixing it. And take heart – we truly enjoy this game on innocent levels, and millions can play it to their heart’s content and still keep a normal, wonderful life in check, fiery redheaded wives and all.

    It is the simple concept of Balance that needs to be addressed. Balance all aspects of your life and you will always be happy. And as some philosophers claim, I truly do believe that Happiness is the Highest Form of Wisdom.

    If you are already quite happy with your lot, congratulations and keep it up! But if you are not, as many people are not, I recommend a healthy dose of balance, and perhaps a brick to the head in the hopes that it jogs that under-used portion of your brain. You know, the one that says “THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE AND CHANGE STARTS WITH ME!”

    Take pride in your life, not just in your successes but also in how you deal with your failures. I hope this has been a good read for you, and I wish you all the best of luck in whatever you strive for.

    Much love,

    Nassira

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    ~ by Kelly Jennelle on April 2, 2009.

    29 Responses to “O Game of Mine”

    1. Great post Nassira! So true as well. I had to take a 3-year break from WoW before coming back, and now that the game has more for the casual player it can be fun for me for the hour or so I get on a night. I hope more people take up the attitude towards the game that you have!

    2. Well written and well thought out.

      I have seen people get way too involved in many things over the years. Video games is just one of them. I have seen people obsess over fishing, bowling, bar hopping, even writing. Anything taken to an extreme is unhealthy.

      As you said, Balance in all things.

    3. This post says quite a lot about your character, ma gel!

      Terrible Rewall rabbit accent aside, this article says a lot of true things… namely that of taking the blame.

      It’s not easy to take blame, especially when you’re a defensive person like myself. I don’t like being blamed for anything negative, and I love praise. I also find it hard to take blame when it is needed.

      When you do take the blame, however, things fall into place. I have my first girlfriend for over a few years now, I am enrolled into a U, and I am happy.

      It’s necessary for people to realize that taking blame is the only way you can live with yourself. When you don’t take the blame for something, you begin to hate yourself for it. It’s a terrible feeling, and it’s even worse than taking blame.

      As BRK said, and as you have eloquently put, Balance is necessary. Too much of anything is a bad thing.

    4. “When you do take the blame, however, things fall into place”

      Yes. Very well-said. ❤

    5. I think you may be speaking more out of personal frustration that actual desire for others’ well-being. You characterize an obviously unhealthy person who prefers to play a game than make food for their children, but that’s hardly typical.

      Instead of aiming your message of “things need to change and it starts with you” at your blog readers, you might want to redirect this message to whoever it is that’s really the reason for it.

    6. I think you misunderstood the nature of my post and the fact that it was not directed at anyone, nor was it meant to imply that everyone who plays has issues that must be addressed in life. It is just a rant and a way to share my feelings to everyone, and especially those who I’ve met that truly do need some perspective if they wish to be happy like they desire.

      I was not aiming for the typical – sorry for the misunderstanding there.

      *edit* Hmm, re-reading your comment, I’m a bit confused. There is no one single person I know personally who needs to be hit with that brick – my frustration stems from nothing more than an excess of stories involving people who cannot claim responsibility for their own actions. Also, all mentions of lovely BRK are respectful, and I was implying that he is an example of what others stuck in a life-rut should be doing. There is nothing sexier than a man who admits his mistakes and attempts to correct them.

    7. Great insight and post. Thank you for being so bold.

    8. Maybe Blizzard should make this the EULA… just a thought. Ah crap… that wouldn’t actually work, because only 1 or 2 people read those things.

      Either way, excellent, excellent work!

    9. LOL I had to look up EULA and then I realized that because I never read them, I didn’t even know what they were called. Whoops…

    10. “It is your underlying personality that causes you to cling to the game, for whatever reasons you do. It is YOU, YOUR PERSONALITY that causes the issues in your real life to exist. If it weren’t for World of Warcraft, there would be something else – something else to escape with, something else to avoid, something else to earn “more-important status” in your life.” – Nassira

      Well said, Nassira. One of the best statements I’ve ever read about taking personal responsibility for your actions. Your post gave me pause and made me reflect on my priorities and boundaries – or lack thereof. Thank you for the frank and insightful words.

    11. ❤ I’m glad you enjoyed it. We’re only human, but so long as we try to live this way as best we can, it’s enough. Sometimes it’s hard, but mostly it’s healthy.

    12. Well said i think this post will be a well needed wake up call for many people and a wonderful post in general, have you ever thought of writing a book (A serious topic like this but not fiction) i have read several of post like this by you that are wonderfully worded and get the point across very well.

    13. This is a great post. You put it so eloquently. I am pasting a link on our guild website. I am fortunate to be in a casual guild that have embraced this philosophy.

    14. Great post Nassira!
      It’s really great that you also addressed this “addiction” problem.
      I also “blame” the mechanics of MMORPG’s – back in the old days – with single player games – you just pushed “save” button and do your thing when something emerges (“can you come here honey for a second to help me with that?”). Nowdays – during kiting adds on Gluth – you feel obliged to stay by your PC and do your job since other 24 players expect you do it. The biggest problem is that sometimes you just have to “sit there and do your thing” – while you should do “simple things that mattter in normal relationship”.

      BRK’s decision is a good opportunity to reconsider our values and priorities.

      Thumbs up for your post.
      Thanks

    15. PERFECTLY put. Thanks for posting your thoughts on this.

    16. […] O Game of Mine @ Diaries of a Marksman Hunter I feel like this is coming directly from me – I completely share Nass’s opinion on the balance of life and game, and the fact that the game isn’t as much to blame as people think.  Great read! Highlights from the Blogosphere is my weekly Friday post to share some of the interesting, funny or informative blog posts I’ve read over the past week. […]

    17. Truly great post. You must be a conservative. What with all of the “take responsibility for your own actions” bit and all. I likey.

      Love your blog, Nass.

      🙂

    18. *blush* Thanks, everyone.

      @Eillarius – Conservative?? ME?! Haha…not necessarily, but I certainly do believe everyone should grow up and suck it up in certain areas of life. The rest of it is fair game. 😉

    19. Can i haz fish stiks?

    20. I’m surprised you didn’t ask for a fish taco.

    21. O.o Naughty naughty. Nass you have such a dirty mind.

      I like it.

    22. ah Ha! it makes sense now.
      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=nassira

    23. Perfectly put statement. Oh and btw i lol’d hard @ perzyx

    24. Haha no sweetie. I did a search on Yahoo for “Nassira”. I was just curious if it had a meaning to it. And that was what came up… look at the entry again… it says “by Juan Webster, Feb 6, 2008”. I didn’t even know you way back then and my name surely isn’t Juan.

    25. That post totally rocked my socks.
      You’re amazing.

    26. Hahaha! You’re amazing for using the phrase “Rocked my socks”!! ❤

    27. Taking responsibility for one’s own actions is one aspect of maturity, and so is coming to the realization that life is a series of trade-offs. You CANNOT do everything, and the choices you do make necessarily foreclose on other possibilities. If you have four hours of leisure every night, and you use those hours to play WoW, you are at the same time choosing not to study, read, exercise, etc.

      I’m not saying that WoW is a bad choice, but what are you giving up? At least make that decision consciously on the front end.

      In my opinion, the most insidious thing about WoW is its potential for serious time suckage — and the sad truth is that you can’t really progress in the game without investing some serious hours in leveling, gearing, raiding and dailies.

      Nassira is right: it’s a game. And your life is finite. You get about half a million waking hours on this earth. How many of them do you want to spend camping for a Spirit Beast?

    28. The problem is this game is more like a drug than a leisure activity. People with drug addictions do not “choose in advance” that they want to spend all their leisure time drooling in a dark room with needle marks in their arms.

      Many people start playing Wow as a game, casually. Then at some point they forget when it went from casual to them being consumed. For a while I was consumed by the game. I started playing Wow at work and stopped hanging out with friends or dating.

      The problem is, like a drug, once you look back and realize that you have been consumed by this game and are now addicted, how to you put it down and get away? Smokers addicted to Nicotene know how hard it is to quit smoking cold turkey.

      It is sad but true, that many people who are addicted to Wow, the ones who can play from the second they wake up on a Saturday to the second they go to bed, will have a very hard time quitting. It happened to me and when I would close my eyes all I would see are mobs, and raid instances, and loot, and scrolling combat text etc. Your mind gets used to the constant stimuli and now anything that is short of exciting is now incredibly boring. I would find myself out at a bar with a friend, and yawning. Then when I get home and log into Wow, I am now wide awake and alive.

      Fortunately I managed to get away, and now am able to play the game as a game and devote many hours to my RL. Since raiding takes about 3 hours to clear all content including Sarth 3D, I’m ok. Once Ulduar comes out however I am worried about getting sucked back in. I might try Nicotine patches and see if it helps the craving for raiding if I start having problems again.

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