Back To Work, Back To WoW

I’m back to work today after a nice 13 day break. It’s funny how quickly one gets into “holiday mode” – I had every intention of being busy and proactive during my time off but ended up, not surprisingly, slobbing around the house for the entire time. It was awesome :)

Now that I’ve returned to the office and I’m back into my normal workaday routine, I find myself being pulled slowly back towards World of Warcraft. I’ve finished my sordid love affair with Dragon Age: Origins and although I’m trying to spark up another romance with Fallout 3, I find myself drawn to the predictable and familiar warmth of World of Warcraft instead.

I have a theory that a lot of MMORPG gaming is very habitual in nature. Unlike single player games which will ultimately end, MMOs can last quite literally for decades (as Everquest has proved). This makes them very easy to incorporated into your daily routine and are easy to plan your life around them. Get home, watch some TV, eat your dinner, log on, chill out and play with your cyber buddies.

World of Warcraft is also particuarly good at being familiar and comforting. It’s not a challenging game, it’s not stressful or complicated, it’s just relaxing… like a good bath. It’s also very easy to dip in and out off and is perfect for a small slice of quick gameplay during the week or a bigger, more involved session on a weekend.

I know that MMORPGs are ingrained in me as part of my daily rountine and common habbits. In many ways, that’s a very comforting thing. It gives me something to think about during the day, look forward to when I’m stressed or busy and it’s a constant protection against boredom. On the other hand, it’s also quite destressing to think that I’m a slave to my habbits and gaming needs. Sometimes I just want to throw off the shackles and run free in the wilderness, giving up my life in the city to live in little hut somewhere. So long as my iPhone got a 3G reception that is.

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  1. I wish I could find that balance in my playing where I looked at it as a hobby. I want to work a Paladin up in WoW, more than that, I want to dualbox the Paladin with a Mage. But I can’t bring myself to because every time I get in that mood, I always end up wanting to raid hardcore, and I just can’t do that to myself now.

    I go back to work tomorrow night, and I hope that this semester lets me find a nice balance in my life between gaming, writing, reading, and life.

    • Gordon says:

      I suppose I’m pretty lucky in the fact that I’ve always been able to control my gaming urges. I think I have an internal clock in my body that just goes off after a few hours in front of the computer – I really tire after a while and lose focus and just have to go away and do something else. It’s always stopped me from being totally sucked into games for countless hours on end.

      • I’m very easily sucked into anything I do. I like to think of that kind of hyperfocusing as a strength, but when it comes to gaming and hobbies, I find it’s all too easy to pick a single thing and obsess over it.

        • Gordon says:

          I admire people who can hyperfocus but it’s certainly a double edged sword. Same goes for people who are very competitive or work-a-holics… there’s always a positive and a negative side. At least you know what your downside is so you can control it!

  2. Jackie says:

    That’s exactly how I feel about Everquest 1. No matter how many times I want to leave, it’s warm embrace always takes me back. I sort of have a love hate thing with EQ1. ;)

  3. Masaq says:

    “I have a theory that a lot of MMORPG gaming is very habitual in nature”

    Ya reckon? Perish the thought!

  4. xXJayeDuBXx says:

    I think all governments should mandate that Fallout 3 must be played and finished, because it’s that good.

    Ah yes, the familiar warmth of WoW. I think it is something we all experience every now and then when it comes to games we really enjoy. I certainly have that feeling with WoW myself, but also in an offline game, Max Payne 2. If I am bored and can’t decide what to play I’ll just fire up good ‘ol Max, cause I know I will enjoy it. Not sure if that is actually the same thing…

  5. Longasc says:

    Is there not a difference between WoW pre-LFD tool and WoW today?

    OLD WOW: Auction House -> Daily Quests -> Daily Heroic vs
    NEW WOW: Auction House -> Random Dungeon Queue

    I know this habitual gaming, unfortunately some self-analysis shows me that it is an addicted waste of time and that it would be a shame if I had nothing better to do. Yet I did this too and I am not going to condemn this habit. But I really feel the ned to argue against game design that caters to the most primitive parts of my simian brain.

  6. Longasc says:

    And notice, I did not even remember the time before TBC came up with Daily Crap. It was time of horror, people had to think about what they actually want to do after logging in! ;)

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