O Game of Mine
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.
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?
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.