I am a big dork. Starting on November 23, 2004... i was hooked to the World of Warcraft. Now this really isn't something that i like to brag about... in fact... there was a period of time where i would very hypocritically make fun of a "friend" who would do nothing but play WoW... but go home to pretty much the same thing as him. This is not something that is looked upon as "cool" or "useful" in the real world. This is a hobby of mine that i am not proud of, but still find a huge amount of enjoyment out of... So... in defense of this habit of mine that is not quite the healthiest of all, i will attempt to explain the ins and outs of what makes this game so addicting to the layman... or laywoman... whichever you prefer to be today.
As i said before... i started playing this game when it came out on November 23rd, 2004. My first character (named Babyo) really didn't see much playing time, as he is only level 38 (out of 70). I played this character to about level 24 until i decided that school is more important than WoW, so i cancelled my subscription during the semester, and finished up with said semester before i decided to pick it up again. Upon starting again, my certain class was an overplayed, overused, over everything in the game... so i asked my brother what new character i should start. So i created my current character Lloydxmas... (code for Lloyd Christmas, the main character in Dumb and Dumber). I've played Lloyd from pretty much that point on. In fact, i have 78 days, 14 hours logged on this character. Out of 1050 days since the game has been released, this is a fair amount of time i've spent in front of my computer (and why i don't look like i did in high school anymore).
So what makes this game worth all the time spent? I've invested a lot of time in this game and when i'm playing, i FEEL like my character. I feel powerful. I can kick some ass. I can approach anyone 1v1 and feel like i can take them down. In real life... i avoid conflict, i could probably be beaten up by a 4th grader. I've never been in a fight, and when things are looking like they are going to escalate into a fight, i am a flight kind of guy... I like to talk my way out of situations, and if that doesn't work, i'll walk away... or run away... whatever it takes. But in this game... i can engage in battle, without any real fear of getting hurt, or spending time in the hospital, or spending time in jail...it really frees me in ways that i can't in my real life.
I realize that this might sound crazy to some people reading this... but the game still gets my heart pumping. Just like a real confrontation would in real life, my heart starts pumping when it gets down into the dirty. There really is no feeling like being attacked at half health and half mana (the stuff that lets me damage the opponent) and coming out on top. It's a feeling that i really don't get to experience anywhere else in my life. It's a pressure situation... and in anything else i've done in my life, i don't really get pressure situations... i don't do sports, i don't do racing, i don't do surgery(thanks scrubs for giving me this reference)... the ONLY pressure situation i have where it's decide... or lose... is in this game.
I've played basketball, i've played baseball... there have been times where the clock is running down... or the inning is almost over... and my heart doesn't start racing like it does sitting here. I guess it really boils down to the fact that i didn't ever really care about baseball or basketball... it was just something to fill up the time... I feel like it's something that i'll never really be able to show or demonstrate to the outside person...
I'm sure my brother has had that feeling, but how do i show this? Maybe its like laying your eyes on the mona lisa for the first time(thanks jessy for THIS reference)... maybe it's like winning that spelling bee you've been training for... maybe its like seeing the looks of your kids faces when santa brings exactly what they wanted (thanks mom and dad)... maybe it's like seeing the looks on your kids faces when santa brings what they weren't expecting (thanks again mom and dad), maybe it's like hitting that perfect drive off the tee... maybe it's like writing a song without even thinking about it... maybe it's like finding that treasure under the ocean you've been searching for, maybe it's like learning how to ride your bike without training wheels... maybe it's like realizing that you can do much better than what you're doing... maybe it's like hating a class during the whole semester but then realizing once it's gone you miss it... maybe it's like 3 part harmony... I'm not really sure... but all i know is that the people who play World of Warcraft have all felt it.
It's this thrill that i get every so often that makes me continue to play this game, and i hope that when you are doing what you enjoy, you get that same feeling that i do when it's all going right and you're in your zone. So go find that thing that makes you happy, and do it, because that's all we have...
...well that and chipotle.