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My personal stories navigating the divide between addiction to World of Warcraft and my aspirations in "real life." May include unfiltered emotional thoughts as well as arcane descriptions of the WoW game worlds. Originally told from the perspective of a level 60 priest on World of Warcraft's Argent Dawn server.
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Aug. 13th, 2008 @ 05:25 am Fools
I'm still addicted. Even though I know it's wrong. Only the greatest fools repeat the same mistake...twice...thrice...n-times.
-ArgentBury, March 25, 2006
Some things have changed over the past two years. I did some business. I returned to school. I made new friends, even had some fleeting relationships.

But the above has not.

Where do I start? Oh right, playtime:
Priest 1 (70 Night Elf):
Rogue (62):
Druid (70):
Warlock (68):
Priest 2 (70 Human):
Mage (70):
Paladin (70):
Shaman (70):
Priest 3 (62 Blood Elf):
Hunter (60): unknown

11,175 hours logged
Day 1 WoW: 01/07/2005
Today: 08/13/2008
Days Elapsed: 1314
Hours per day: 8.5

Doesn't look like I've really learned. In my defense, I didn't play all of those hours, and some of those hours are double or even triple-boxed (controlling three instances, and thus logging triple online time across characters), but the former accounts for at most 60 days played, and the latter is probably less than 2 days played.

Welp, that's me checking in. How are you?
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Mar. 25th, 2006 @ 02:11 am The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Hey I exist!

It's been a while since I've written to you, my little journal. I've been avoiding you because I've lied to you. I said I'd quit and I didn't.

So it goes.

Since the last time we've met, we've seen good things, bad things, and well...very bad things.

Good Things
I have not one, not two, but THREE jobs!
Two jobs tutoring. One pays $17/hr, and the other pays the colossal sum of $30/hr. And the time passes real quickly while I'm tutoring. The kids I've worked with so far have been pretty motivated, or at least I've been able to connect with them. Rewarding. The third job is helping my mother start her own business. Crazy!

I'm supporting myself. I moved out of my parents' house (22 is a pretty good age for that) and am renting a room in a pretty sweet condo here in Southern California. Freedom feels pretty cool, if not for its own sake.

My guild is doing real well on Argent Dawn. We're the cutting-edge uber guild for killing bosses first. My priest has some pretty uber pvp and pve gear.

Bad Things
I quit school for a while. My heart wasn't in it and I just wasn't trying. And I haven't gone back yet. So no college degree for me. I think I should go back, but it's an uphill battle internally. In my naivete, I thought one day I'd be suddenly motivated to go back. The magical moment still hasn't materalized. And I don't think it's happening.

I hardly meet any new people. Compared to college, this sucks royally. In addition, the people that I know seem to have divergent interests now. Besides drinking, what else is there to do for fun? I'm still trying to answer this.

Blizzard never did hire me. I half-ass the jobs that I have now. I haven't learned anything new in the past 6 months. Okay, I did learn a little accounting/Quickbooks.

Ugly Things
I have a stupidly large playtime number. I'll let the pictures do some talking:
Priest (Level 60):
Druid (Level 60):
Rogue (Level 60):
Hunter (Level 60):
Total Hours: 3,828

Here's a very depressing chart:
WoW Day 1: 1/7/2005
Today: 3/25/2006
Days Elapsed: 442
Hours Played: 3,828
Hours Per Day: 8.66 (wtf?)

I think I've played so much WoW that it's negatively affected my personality. I don't feel as adept in social situations, nor do I feel like I can relate to people IRL like I used to. The lack of satisfying connections IRL is probably the thing that I miss the most of my pre-WoW life.

I can't think of anything fun to do besides WoW at this moment. And WoW isn't really that fun anymore.

I'm still addicted. Even though I know it's wrong. Only the greatest fools repeat the same mistake...twice...thrice...n-times.
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Sep. 5th, 2005 @ 09:44 pm reflection
So if you are trying to deal with the problem of Internet Addiction, or any addiction for that matter, you should ask yourself the following questions:

1. What stress management skills or life management skills do I lack that led me to become addicted?
2. What problems in life do I have that my addiction helps me to avoid or to "solve."
3. What would I need to learn how to do in order to let go of my addictive behavior?
4. What "benefits" or payoffs am I getting from my addictive behavior?
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Aug. 14th, 2005 @ 04:59 pm bleh
I had this huge fight with my dad about video games last night. I'm still sorting out in my head what I want to do about it but point being I'm kind of stressed out at this time. I'm still not sure what to say about it so let's talk about some non-gaming stuff.

Today I went biking. If you're looking for a way to get active I encourage it because (1) it's easy and (2) you can see results really quickly. personally I enjoy just looking out the window when driving and so watching the scenery change and being around people while biking is rewarding to me. incidentally this is one reason why I hate jogging. beautiful scenic path here.

I was able to go with a friend of mine, who was a beginner, so we rode at a nice relaxed pace. we chatted the whole way through, which made the time go quickly. I'm still feeling the endorphins, the natural chemical rush, and it feels good. probably much healthier than my famous wow binges. woot.
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Aug. 11th, 2005 @ 04:41 pm leaked picture from new battleground
arathi basin.

you saw it here first.

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Aug. 9th, 2005 @ 04:28 pm You've Got Responsibilities!
So, looks like I got hired. No, not for Blizzard: as a SAT tutor for Kaplan. Filling out an endless amount of forms now. Hope training starts soon. One of the funny things is that I haven't even heard anything about pay rates yet.

Previously (normally?), I wouldn't look forward to responsibility like this. But I feel like it's important to work. I feel like I need to prove to myself that I can work and play at the same time.

Yes, I started playing again. I feel thrilled and at the same time v. embarassed. Especially talking to you, the blog reader, since I started this blog out of "quitting". Call me a quitter at quitting, I guess. So yeah, very mixed feelings. But I think I can keep my playtime to under 20 hours a week. Which reminds me, I'm going to start recording things.
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Aug. 8th, 2005 @ 10:08 am the plan to play
so I'm working on coming up with a plan to play. the idea is to play without getting horribly addicted and racking up ridiculous playtime numbers like before. My belief is that I can't just say I will play less; I need to change some fundamental parts of my life. Nick Yee's work helped me provide a framework for expressing my ideas. let me introduce his table:

Basically he categorizes everything that's cool about a MMORPG into three things: Achievement, Relationship, and Immersion. The way I see it, I want to play for the reasons in the middle column, not the right column. To be very honest with myself, while I enjoyed the middle column reasons (e.g. achievement), I was satisfying many of the right column desires (e.g. proxies for RL relationships, compensating self-esteem).

I'd like to change that, so working on obviating the need for right-column motivations. How?

  • Achievement: Put RL achievements first. Stop fucking around, surfing WoW-related websites, when I could be researching future opportunities for my RL achievements and career. Build self-esteem....somehow.
  • Relationship: Find a new social life. Obviously my current social life isn't cutting it for me. I think this means meet new people and get in touch with old friends that I enjoyed. However this is going to be harder because when all my college friends go back to school later this month, I'll be kinda alone here in Orange County. So it means find dependable local friends.
  • Immersion: Recognizing I have RL problems. Confronting them rather than "escaping" via game.

I've created a solid academic plan to get me out of school with a degree and got it approved by my department in Berkeley. I'd rather be a geography major but the median income of previous graduates in the Operations Research major is 54k. I'd be real happy with that (versus geography at 35k).

At this point in time I need to be prepared for the academic grind that will hit me in Spring 2006. Basically that semester I'll be going back to Berkeley for school for my last semester and I will need to take TONS of class. My concern right now is getting myself in a proper mentality to be prepared to kick ass that semester.

Hmm, I forgot how WoW fits into this. Does it?
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Aug. 8th, 2005 @ 08:37 am bad impulse control
I think I'm going to renew my wow account. I am bored and agitated.........and not much to do atm.

le sigh.

I'm telling myself I'll limit my play. Just sign on for raids for example. That's like 15 hours a week.

I'm kind of disapointed with myself.
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Aug. 7th, 2005 @ 06:46 am Gear
I need to wave my e-peen.

Bury's virtual accomplishments insideCollapse )
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Aug. 7th, 2005 @ 06:00 am glory days
I'm almost 22 now, and nearing the fifth year of my undergraduate college education. When I was a freshman in high school, I used to play football. Now, mind you, not starting quarterback or some other semi-glory position. But pure benchwarmer and occasional water-retriever.

And yesterday I caught myself wearing my high school football T-shirt. again. in public.

I suppose it's only human to be caught in such nostalgia. After all, in Married with Children, the old fat guy sometimes relives his football great days.

Except he actually had great days.

And so I wonder if I bring myself to a newer low when I find myself reminiscing about the same with my 60 Night Elf priest. Mmm, the epics. Mmm, the pvp knight rank. And mmmm.....being on the raid that first killed Onyxia, Lucifron, and Ragnaros on our server.

And then I think...did I really have fun?

I guess. Well, yes.

But do I wish I stopped to smell the flowers along the way?


And in retrospect, I realize that I was on a RP server doing very little RP. While I was drunk with WoW addiction, I justified it by saying "RP server = less assholes". But now that I have some perspective, I feel kind of guilty. I feel like I contributed to a certain "hardcore" mentality that detracted from the role-playing possibilities on Argent Dawn.

Bury lets out a long, drawn-out sigh.
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Aug. 6th, 2005 @ 05:19 pm New WoW Battleground!
Looks like there's a new BG coming out soon. Tempting....one of my gripes with WoW was the bad PvP system and battlegrounds (and also the fact that we could never ever get AV to spawn on my server when I was queued).

Anyways, Arathi Basin: go to the bottom of this link.

More spoilers from the Argent Dawn forums:
I've seen Arathi Basin using my.... methods. It looks fun I suppose, if a bit bland at the moment.

Two town halls facing each other. One's shiney and new, the other was torn from Tarren Mill. I guess this is going to be Undead vs. Humans. The human Hall is in the North, Undead in the south.

The map looks to be half the size of Alterac Valley. The main environmental obsticle is a river that runs down the middle of the map that can only be crossed at certain bridges (banks are too steep in most places). The river runs awkwardly so that on one side of the Hall there's a bridge and then all land to the enemy hall, where it's reveresed on the other side (land all the way to the bridge right next to the hall... dangerous chokepoint).

To the west up on a hill is a lumber mill. The terrain is just like Snowfall GY in AV (two steep paths leading up to it). To the east is a gold mine that's VERY low in the ground... in fact the path that runs next to it is very high above it. Equidistant between the two halls in the middle is a Blacksmith on a raised piece of land in the middle of the river that can only be accessed by the bridges.

Each Hall also has objectives right next to their hall. The Undead have a farm and the Humans have a stable.

Oh, and there's a GY next to EACH objective on the map. No matter where you res, it's not a long trip back to the battle.
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Aug. 5th, 2005 @ 11:48 pm friday night
feeling kinda lonely. the prospect of hanging out with the people I know locally doesn't really turn me on. wish I had wow.
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Aug. 5th, 2005 @ 08:05 pm wisdom from the forums
thoughts from camping the WoW forums:

Yes, I still read WoW forums. *cries*
Arianna said:
While I don't care about personal fame or glory in an MMO, knowing that one day everything you've invested into a game will just vanish is sometimes unsettling. But then I remember I'm just playing for something to do right now; to kill time. If I were playing to leave a legacy, I think I'd have gone insane by now.
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Aug. 4th, 2005 @ 09:17 pm reflections part 2
Entering the WoW world used to be such a rush, because I felt like I could do more than I could in real life. Empowering, in such a strange way. I could log on my priest, coordinate people to defeat challenges, help people find solutions to their problems, devise market strategies for personal profit, and hang out with friends and people who respected me and vice versa.

Today, I got up late, screwed around doing god knows what, waded through my school's bureaucracy, went to a job interview, ate some fatty fast food, and am going to half-heartedly watch a movie at my friend's place. Just much less grand. And I'm certainly not saving the world.

One is exciting and imaginary, the other mundane but real. I suppose it shows how easily I can lose myself in another world, a trait I believe I developed when I was elementary school where I would lose myself in books.
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Aug. 4th, 2005 @ 04:12 pm war3
Last night, tried to distract myself by going to a friends' house. we turned out to be royally bored so I came back. read the wow boards and those of three guilds. then decided to play Warcraft 3, WoW's predecessor and the source of much of the game storyline. Turns out I suck badly, and I didn't really like the game. but to allay my anxieties, I just kind of hammered at it and got a tad better.

Anxiety seems to be a common issue here over these past days.

thanks for your support everyone. I'm making myself go biking for exercise now.
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Aug. 3rd, 2005 @ 09:42 pm sleep schedule
woke up recently.

my sleep schedule was frequently a casualty of wow. I'd play til the sun came up....countless hours. last night I worked on my final paper for a class and I was pretty much done by 2a, but a combination of anxiety and habit kept me up til 12 noon.

It's 9:30p and I just ate breakfast.

I had some pangs of withdrawal last night. went to the billing screen and checked out the options for renewal.

I also sent in my application for the game tester position.

anyways, going to try to keep myself occupied by going out. I don't really want to--I feel a sense of inertia--but I guess I should.
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Aug. 2nd, 2005 @ 03:31 pm Disconnected
Looks like the jig is up, finally. Can't log into forums. I assume this means I can't log into the game. I passed through the forums, just reading, wanting to reply, and forbidden by the server.

It's probably for the best.

Anyways I have a take-home paper to do. I miss you guys.

PS - I leave you with this classic cartoon.
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Aug. 1st, 2005 @ 11:47 pm Monday
I tried to distract myself from playing. It actually worked quite well most of the day. Went to class, and the prof let us out early. Now there's a PC arcade across the street so the temptation to go play was very much there. But I made myself sit my ass down and do some stuff on my computer like research etc. until my lunch date with a friend. then we got massively drunk and we stayed out til like 8p.

And then I played my WoW....not sure why. Out of habit, I guess. Played Bury in Warsong, got disillusioned by "play to win at any cost" tactics like camping the GY and hiding in the wall with the flag. On the Alliance side, and Horde. I decided to leave but then got caught between [1] wanting to be sportsmanlike and [2] being able to say I've never afk'ed out of a match.

Levelled my Horde druid to 28. Hung out with the Trimmers, a sporting and likeable group of folks. Then levelled an alliance alt with guess who, Meroa. And then I signed off to fall asleep.

I've been having troubles falling asleep without WoW. My routine has been to play WoW until I'm so exhausted that I fall asleep. Obviously this is going to have to change.
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Aug. 1st, 2005 @ 08:27 pm Context
I forgot to put this earlier entry in the context of time. I started my subscription on Jan 6, 2005. For simplicity's sake we'll say I've been playing for 7 months and at 30 days a month that's 210 days.
1853 hours total divided by 210 is an average of:

8.8 Hours a Day

61.7 hours per week

for seven months

That number never really hit me until I just calculated it out. Holy shit.
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Jul. 31st, 2005 @ 09:34 pm Relative success
I went on a WoW binge last night. Played from about 4p pacific to about what...2am? I don't know, I was so tired that I went afk to rest my eyes and ended up falling asleep. Sorry to Mikaya and Tristrane, or rather their secret horde alts. Got my Horde druid to 27 though.

As a footnote to the last entry about Meroa, she turned out to be even more addicted to me. At least she turned out to be more of a dedicated addict. I bet that I have more playtime but less raid attendance than her. Point being is that she went to Molten Core so many times that she was the first mage on the server to get a full set of Arcanist.

And that's one thing that has been funny about my playtime. I spent a bunch of time online but I don't feel like I maximized it well. One of the consolations about last night was that I got to spend it with some people I genuinely like, Mika and Trist. But other times I find myself missing raids and neglecting friends. To be sure, I think I've contributed greatly to my guilds by running pickup raids to help guildmates get gear finish quests etc. But is it possible to be irresponsible ingame? Maybe I have issues with committment, haha.
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Jul. 31st, 2005 @ 09:34 pm Friends ingame
I'm being bad right now, I'm ingame.

But one great part of playing now is I get to spend some more time with Meroa. I first met her in Scarlet Monastery as "the stupid mage who outrolled me on Illusionary Rod". But the stayed with me and ran SM another 7 times so I could get my shiny rod, which I kept til level 60. We didn't talk much til 60, so probably for a month or two, but hten we started doing stuff together. She had her guild, I had mine, but she was always helpful and I tried to give to her as much as I would give to a guild member. It got to the point that when real life issues spilled over to ingame chat, I felt very comfortable telling her pretty deep stuff that I didn't tell anyone in real life, especially after I broke up with my girlfriend.

I guess that's one of the attractions of a MMORPG: the social one. For a more substance, I once again turn to Nick Yee:
There are several reasons why relationships of a platonic or romantic nature occur so frequently in MMORPGs. The anonymity and computer-mediated chat environment facilitates self-disclosure, and many players have told personal issues or secrets to online friends that they have never told their real life friends or family. The high-stress situations inherent in the game also help build trust and bonds between players very rapidly. Of course, another important reason is that the games were designed so that you have to group to achieve most goals.

But clearly one can get this kind of social relationship in real life; throughout this whole description I've compared my virtual relationship to a real life one. If I'm going to quit, where do I go from here?

The standard choice seems to be to cut off all connections with the "real world" and start anew. Granted I do have people I can talk to my issues about in real life. Except now that many of my issues are now related to WoW and being with someone who can relate to my WoW-tilted world like Meroa is immensely gratifying. I guess I really value that sense of "connection".

And so the other choice is to try to keep in contact with these folks who I met ingame. It seems like a rather dubious proposition; play game with fellow rabid gamers, form bonds over game, then try to keep relationship without said game which formed the very crux of your relationship. In addition, the very anonyminity that acts as a catalyst to ingame relationships as claimed by Yee above is a powerful disincentive to start a real life relationship. I started this journal to chat with people I knew ingame (Hint: Anonymous commenting is allowed but you can sign them in your body to just say hi) but...I fear that after the initial day of "sorry to see you go" I'll quickly lose all these relationships that I spent so many hours to keep up in game.

And rightly so. These are ingame relationships. They pretty much exist only within the context of the virtual world. And so time spent on these virtual world relationships, consequently, come at the expense of time spent on real world relationships. Is that good? Conventional rational wisdom says no but damn it feels so nice sometimes.
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Jul. 31st, 2005 @ 07:59 pm playing
I'm playing right now. I know I shouldn't, because, well that was the point of the journal. I suppose you can call it a relapse.

But while in game, everything feels alright again. Even though I know that my fleeting subscription is only til August 2 now, it's nice to soak in the same world with the same familiar names and the same guild. A sense of comfort.

I've tried to do things that were purely fun instead of superficially fun in game. Since there's no Alterac battleground open, I've resorted to Warsong. I'm grouped with some friends, which is fun, but after two matches, the novelty is starting to wear out.
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Jul. 31st, 2005 @ 04:06 pm Temptation
I woke up to the tune of 3:30p today. First thing that went through my mind was....wow. It's over. My subscription died at noon.


Well, not exactly. I quickly logged onto the forums, fully expecting it to come back with a user not valid response. But to my surprise, it logged me in.

It seems like the good folks at Blizzard have given me a complimentary two day subscription. There's no credit card info at all but my subscription refuses to die until August 2. Kind of like a paladin. While certainly there is a sense of...joy and relief that my WoW umbilical cord isn't cut off, I'm also rather worried. The temptation is here and it's strong.

What would I do?

Instantly queue AV. Hell, probably log my Horde alt to poke key people to see if AV will come up. If not, then likely log my rogue instead of my priest to avoid attention. I love people but I notice that if I log my priest I'll spend 75% of my time in tells. Then I would....gosh. What haven't I done? Oh right, I logged out my rogue in Orgrimmar. I guess I'd find random people to gank, something that has been completely outside of my personality. But hey playing a priest gives you these repressed urges ;)
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Jul. 31st, 2005 @ 07:47 am Withdrawal and Addiction
It's 7:43am, and I haven't slept. Granted I had a Venti-sized Starbucks coffee last night while trying to study but I think the main reason for this is because I've been feeling very anxious about WoW and the fact that my subscription is over in about 4 hours. I'm trying to channel these energies into something more productive--writing about them here--but clearly there's something that I'm going through internally.

Thanks to some supportive folks, I realize that I'm not alone in feeling these thoughts of anxiety, urges to play again, and general withdrawal. But it does seem like I am in the minority, according to Nick Yee.
In the same way that one could be a social drinker and not be addicted to alcohol, it is clearly the same with MMORPGs. Just because someone plays an MMORPG does not necessarily mean that they will become addicted to it. And in the same way that people can be addicted to alcohol even though not everyone who drinks is addicted, it is clear that certain individuals can be addicted to MMORPGs even though not all MMORPG players are addicted. The following charts also make clear that the amount of time spent playing is highly correlated with the likelihood of suffering withdrawal.

I guess I just have that "risk factor" in my life, being addicted to MMORPGs. And just I would think that giving a former alcoholic alcohol woudl be unwise, I wonder if I should pre-emptively stay away from MMORPGs for my own good. As one of Yee's survey respondents said:
I call myself an addict, because I share the same symptoms as someone who's addicted to smoking, or alcohol, or some other substance. I think about EQ while I'm not playing, I get stressed when I have to go 24 hrs without logging on for a fix, and I wasn't able to quit when I tried. If that's not an addiction, I don't know what is. [m, 22]

I can totally relate. Caylen, the person responsible for getting me in The Unnamed, listened to some of my addictive concerns while I was still very actively playing. He empathized and said that I needed to find a game-life balance. Obviously I was not successful at that time (about 2 months ago). Azgul, a friend of mine in BP (and a crappy tank with godly gear :P) said today "Perhaps one day you will find a balance between this game and RL." And I think they are correct in their conclusions but somehow I haven't been able to find a way of reaching said conclusion.

Point being: do I have an addictive personality or have I just pursued addictive courses of action in the past. Is this something that is just part of my personality or is there a realistic possibility of change?
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Jul. 31st, 2005 @ 05:47 am What is Game Addiction?
What is Game Addiction anyways? To some, the definition is akin to pornography: "I know it when I see it." But since I realize I have a problem, it seems prudent to define game addiction in a more concise manner.

Here's one take:
Symptoms of game addiction include falling behind in school and work and basically deferring everything else in your life so you can play, she said. Compulsive playing tends to mask underlying problems such as depression, anger and low self-esteem, said Orzack, who said she was once hooked on computer solitaire. -Wired

I can see that in me.
*Falling behind in school? Check. I basically failed my classes this Spring term at college to play WoW.

*Deferring everything else in your life so you can play? Check. I had a girlfriend before WoW for about 2 years. When I really got into WoW after January I often chose playing over seeing her. She didn't like it. We broke up. During the most intense times, I would forget to eat at normal times, delay taking a shower, and isolate myself from the rest of the world. It was bad.

*Masking underlying problems? That seems fairly reasonable. However I don't really dare to self-diagnose myself with "depression, anger, and low self-esteem." I mean I see elements of such, but a true analysis of such is probably best left to a professional :)

And another take on why we play video games:
I think a lot of people play games because 1) they're bored and 2) they hate their lives and want to escape. Try to have a fun, happy life with lots of activities and friends and stuff. -Reuben

*Bored? Sure.

*Do I hate my life? Well.....not really. But I sure do like the escape factor. Why? What am I escaping? I think I have a lot of anxiety in my life about what I'm going to do with myself. I worry immensely over how what I do in college will affect my possibilities of graduate school, getting a job, hating said job, having a mid-life crisis, and saving the world and doing good things about it somewhere in between. And since I completely disagree with the way that the US Government is going via President Bush, I feel a good deal of depression in that sense as to the direction of our country.
I think I am stressing too much and as a result feel the need for some kind of relief. Or escape, if you prefer.

*"Try to have a fun, happy life with lots of activities and friends and stuff": Duh? I think we're all striving for a fun and happy life. Hell, you can use that sentence to describe my life in WoW. The dungeons were fun until the 50th time doing them. As a priest, I got asked to zillions of activities with others. I made "friends" with other people ingame, some of which I still have a ton of respect for.
I don't know, maybe it's because I'm unsatisfied with the friends I have in real life. I have had trouble finding someone I can really connect with intellectually and emotionally. I think it's because I'm kind of a weird guy. Most males are just not that sensitive and finding another guy like that is unusual, I suppose. To exacerbate the problem, I had become dependent on my ex-girlfriend for emotional support and intellectual interest. When we broke up, I didn't really have much left in the vacuum. Under non-gaming circumstances, I would simply suffer for a bit and (I suppose) make new friends and/or strengthen existing relationships. But instead I simply substituted the game in...argh.
I suppose I'm also dissatisfied with my activities in real life. But this is easier than the friend part. I've been consciously working on it. Last week I rode my bike about 14 miles up and downhill. It sure was killer at the time but I'm proud I did it. I'm planning some kind of camping trip locally and hope to go shooting with an old high school buddy and got an informal golf lesson from another old friend. Walked the Balboa pier today, I enjoy the class I'm taking *immensely* and got some quality studying done at the library.

My point being that I'm not sure *why* I have this natural pull towards video games. Perhaps it is just a character flaw, being pre-disposed to computer game addiction. If so, that's bad because then rationally I should keep myself faaar away from this gaming habit I get so much joy out of...sigh
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Jul. 31st, 2005 @ 05:25 am Opportunity Costs
Why do we play WoW? (adopted from J. Stark)

Is it for the people we play alongside with? If so why not spend time with real friends in real life? What makes the people or the structure of the relationship in WoW more rewarding? I suspect that a real life relationship will ultimately be more rewarding.

Is it for the items? You realize that after you get your blue set, the purples come out. Then more uber purples come out. Then you know the oranges will come out, and well...you see the point. Just like [Carrot on a Stick], the loot pursuit will NEVER end.

Certainly it's not to make real money. I have over 5,000g sitting in Bury's account.
preliminary estimates would say that's worth $500. At the same time, consider the amount of money I could have made (assuming $5/hr after tax etc) at the most basic job:

1428 hours = 59 days, 12 hours, 13 mins played on Bury, my priest

425 hours = 17 days, 17 hours, 50 mins played on Bancroft, my rogue

Holy shit, that's 1,853 hours I've put into this game

pay rate $5/hr $10/hr $20/hr
1853 hours $9,265 $18,530 $37,060

No wonder I feel like I have something invested in this game.

So...the only reason left to play the game is "fun". And I have a difficult time seeing how running the same instances over and over and "farming" for loot is going to be fun.
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Jul. 31st, 2005 @ 02:25 am Nothing to do
So it's 2:26a, and the Horde seem to have gone to sleep. No Warsong. Nothing to do. Just chatting.

But without chatting, without feeling like I can relate to personalities like Tiergan or Barnabus at the moment, what would the game be like? I briefly pondered playing a friend's lvel 60 priest on a pvp server so that I could help out his guild in MC and also try AV more regularly. But then I realized that while the mechanics would be the same, the graphics would be similar, the core of the game would be different. It would feel so foreign, and vacuous, kind of like making love to a girl that you don't have any feelings for..pleasurable yes, fulfilling no
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Jul. 31st, 2005 @ 02:00 am Alterac Valley
After I cancelled my subscription a week ago, I started to put my WoW world into persepective as I prepared to leave. I reflected as to how I spent most of my time playing. I attended my share of 4+ hour Molten Core raids, but I spent a significant amount of time just loitering in Ironforge, my attention turning from enchanting request to business opportunity. Gosh, I think I spent over 100 hours in IF, trading.

And I reflected on what all this meant now. I was struck by how...fleeting possessions in the game were. I had tons of gold, epic items, and significant raiding accomplishments. And so within the context of the game, I was successful. And when I was ingame, it felt great to feel successful. But once I turned the game off....so did the pride of these "material achivements" in game.

I think I got myself into a mini rat race ingame, focusing on "career" (read: guild raids) and "money" and it became the game to me. And with the benefit of looking at the game from an outside perspective I concluded that it really means little.

And so I sought to have fun, whatever that meant. I helped some friends who wanted to go on instance runs. That's okay and good and all but running Stratholme the 50th time is not quite my cup of tea. I held out hope for the last piece of the game I haven't explored: Alterac Valley.

Every day that I could, I logged on to queue Alterac Valley. Only to miss it each time....
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Jul. 31st, 2005 @ 01:12 am Quitting

I'm writing this journal to chronicle my attempt to quit World of Warcraft. I loved the game and still very much do. I anticipate that I will go through a ton of withdrawal and already have since trying to swear it off a week ago. Once my subscription expires tomorrow, my ability to relapse into playing will be severely retarded and I personally fear a ton of anxiety will result.

They say that writing about your experiences helps you think about them, so here I am :)

I will likely write a shit-ton about WoW mechanics and the ingame politics of Argent Dawn. And undoubtedly some of my thoughts will wander over to real life and my luck (and lack thereof) reconstructing my life and finding happiness without WoW.

This is somewhat complicated by the fact that I applied to Blizzard Entertainment to be a Night Shift Game Tester for World of Warcraft. If I get a response and offer back, this might change the dynamics of my so-called break from WoW.

I have about 11 hours left on my subscription. I stopped resisting and I'm going to try to get some WoW in before my subscription ends. It was supposed to end today but apparently I got a day's credit because of Blizzard server troubles. I know I shouldn't play but but....sigh.

Yeah, I do have a problem.
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Jul. 1st, 2005 @ 12:00 pm Counter code

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