Friday, July 26, 2013

The Day I Fought for the Alliance...And Why I Quit

It all started with The Boyfriend App. I was reading along, a couple chapters in, enjoying lying pool-side and soaking up the sun whilst reading a great book. Then Audrey, the protagonist, briefly mentioned how she used a Linux-based operating system. That's something I've been curious about for a long time. So when I came back from the pool, I immediately started doing my research and downloaded Ubuntu. I've had a lot of fun playing with it. Not sure if it's going to stick, but we'll see.

Regardless, this was the first action of the kick I've been on, which I like to describe as Embracing My Inner Nerd. From playing around with computer programs, to learning coding, to watching Dr. Who (oh, wait, I do that almost every day anyway...), this has been a fun time! But then came...

I decided it would be a great idea to get World of Warcraft. It wasn't entirely a whim. I've thought for a long time that I would enjoy MMORPG games. I also knew that I probably shouldn't, because I'm easily obsessed to the extreme. I watched the entirety of LOST in 2 weeks. Reading all the Harry Potter books for the first took me less than that - and that included finals week in college. Suffice to say, I know that I have a pretty addictive personality when it comes to enjoyable ways to pass my time, especially when they are related to fiction. I had visions of myself becoming a mixture of Felicia Day on The Guild and Penny in that one episode of Big Bang Theory.

But I had a moment of weakness. And yes, okay, WoW has 22 gigabytes of stuff to install on your computer, so my moment was actually quite a lot of hours. Regardless, I woke up bright and early on Wednesday, saw it was ready to play, flailed, and sat down, confident in the fact that I was an adult who could simply enjoy the game without getting addicted (or just not was definitely one or the other).

Long story short, between 7 AM and midnight, I played World of Warcraft for 11 hours on Wednesday. And I thought about it for probably 50% of the time I was forced to be away from it. I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner with one hand while I battled murlocs and delivered invisibility potions to help two forbidden lovers be together. (I can't deny romance even when I should be slaying feral wolves to save villagers instead!)

Then came The Moment.

I looked up, and it was midnight. And I had NO IDEA where the time had gone since 8:30 when I had sat back down to play again. Or, really, since 7 AM. And I realized that I wasn't going to do this. Yes, it was the thrill of the first exposure. I'm sure I would not have played 11 hours a day for the foreseeable future. But I can guarantee it would have been a lot. So I uninstalled every bit of WoW software from my computer.

Here's the thing: With marathoning television shows and books, there's always an end in sight. There were only 6 seasons of LOST. Only 7 Harry Potter books. I'm totally okay with devoting every available moment to them. Because I know it's short term.

But with World of Warcraft, there is no end. There aren't even really good stopping points, because so many of the quests overlap. Leveling up can happen when you're in the middle of a battle, so even that doesn't always work.

I knew I didn't have the time to dedicate to it that I would want to. So I cut the cord.

While I'm fine with adding new activities to my free time (currently watching New Girl and loving it!), the majority is always taken by reading and blogging. And that's the way I like it! If it was something I could play for an hour a few days a week, I would totally continue playing. But I know myself. And that wouldn't happen.

Also, for the record, this is totally a personal decision. I have nothing at all against gamers who regularly play for hours a day. I know the amount of time I spend reading romance novels could be considered wasteful and/or crazy. And I couldn't care less. If gaming is what you enjoy, go for it!

Even after this crazy experience, I'm glad I did it. Otherwise, I always would have wondered. It was so much fun! I'm so glad I got to be Roselaina, a fierce hunter fighting through the woods and mountains of Azeroth. But she will forever stay at level 12, because July 24, 2013 was the day I began and ended my World of Warcraft career.

And yes, for those of you who are wondering, I'm still feeling withdrawal pangs. But they're less severe today than they were yesterday. I'll get over it.

So long, World of Warcraft. It was good while it lasted!

Do you have an addictive personality? Have you ever played World of Warcraft or similar games? Did you have an experience like me? Do you play regularly? How do you manage your time?

Also, just because I'm curious, what are some of your hobbies other than reading? Gardening? Music? Computer programming? I want to know!

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