Sunday, April 26, 2009
Another personal note here: I have decided to quit playing World of Warcraft, permanently.
For those not in the know, WoW is the most popular online role-playing game, with something over 10 million people playing as warriors, mages, shamans and death knights. I started playing in February 2006. Tuesday is my last day.
I have thought and written extensively about my WoW time. It has been cited as one of the more addictive video games out there, and I worried about it taking too much time away from more important things. I left the game for about seven months in 2007-08, but felt the urge to go back.
I'm glad I did, because the last year or so of my experience with the game has been the best. I managed to conquer nearly all the available content, slaying mighty dungeon bosses, and pimping out my characters in the best gear available.
In a front-page article I wrote about video game addiction, I quoted an expert who said that people reveled in the acclaim they got in-game, perhaps making up for deficiencies in their real lives. This was never the case with me, and I can't say as I ever played the game excessively on more than a few isolated occasion. Even during my unemployment, when I've obviously had more time on my hands, I can't say that I suddenly became a Warcraft fiend.
I decided to quit for rather mundane reasons: I'm bored with it. After more than three years, I've done pretty much everything there is to do. I want to do other things.
If you think I'm planning to stop playing video games altogether, you'd be wrong. In fact, a part of the reason I'm giving up WoW is that there are a few other games out there I want to try. Now that I have a new computer, I'm actually able to run some of these high-end games that would have left my old system curled up in a fetal ball. I've already been playing "Left 4 Dead," and would like to try "Fallout 3" and one or two others.
So I leave the game with few regrets, a whole lot of fun had, and the recognition that my Warcraft days are over.