Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Posted on Jun 4, 2007

Pretty lofty title for a post about [World of Warcraft[(], but I quit playing yesterday, and I feel free today. I got caught playing by Megan, which was the impetus for deleting my entire application folder on the spot. (My Auctioneer data– noooooo!!!!) I had spent some portion of the day attaining level 37 (of 70) with one character and was about to reach level 58 with my primary character.

But instead Mises and Ditholdri of Staghelm have given their lives so that I might live more freely.

What is it about World Of Warcraft that is so compelling to me? I have a long history of being absorbed by video games, so that part is definitely not a hurdle.

Unlike so many other parts of my life, changes in the game are made immediately, numerically verifiable, and easily tested for effect. Along with that, provided that you have a good guide, major upgrades (aka, the next fix) is never that far away.

To be successful at playing World of Warcraft, it’s not enough to just “play through the game”. You have to learn a wide array of skills, and how the different parts of the game (including the other players) interconnect. This is especially the case for Druids, like Mises. Otherwise, as you advance, the game will become so difficult that you’ll be likely to quit. I find my ability to keep up and to get better as I have played more to be quite satisfying.

Why do these things make me happy? Why do they make me willing to fully engage in “battle” game play that’s so simplistic? (Of course, at higher levels, it’s more sophisticated. And I feel it’s simplistic because I’m not that good at it.) Why do I sometimes feel compelled to spend time on a world that doesn’t even have a physical manifestation?

I suppose answering that question would mean this isn’t really a post about World of Warcraft at all. Anyway, more time on the real world (like this blog post?!) from here on out.