Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Fool's Gold

It's been roughly one week since I quit WoW, that RPG-shaped albatross around my neck. True to my word, I went home that very same evening and cancelled my subscription. Unfortunately I was paid up until April so drastic action was called for. I uninstalled the entire game from my hard drive. As any WoW player will know, you're looking at several hours if not a whole day to re-install that wee beast.

Just before I uninstalled, I was faced with a small dilemma. I had accumulated an awful lot of in-game gold across my 7 toons. Who should I give it to? I had recently changed guilds and I felt kind of embarrassed about donating it to my new guild. It's hard to explain why - I guess I over-analyse things too much - but I hadn't been in the guild long enough to complete my probation, they were a really good, well-established guild and I was honored they'd let me in, so I felt a bit guilty about upping and leaving them so soon.

I also have a good friend in-game who is possibly as addicted as I used to be. She's only 16 and I kind of feel an older sister-style responsiblity towards her, so it seemed wrong to fuel her addiction by giving her all my gold. In the end I decided it really wouldn't do that much harm - she could blow it all on a rare mount, donate it to other needy players, whatever. I really need to stop being so over-analytical, don't I?

So with my gold disposed of and a very low key couple of goodbyes said, I logged out for the last time and hit uninstall, feeling strangely numb inside.

It's been a week and I haven't regretted it once. I've dreamed about WoW a few times - jumbled, confused dreams where I wake up thinking "Argh I need to gem my new trousers" and then realise that it really doesn't matter anymore. But other than that I feel great. More energy, lower stress levels...and evenings and weekends are going by so much slower you wouldn't believe!

I've started reading again. I'm reading a fantastic book called The Secret History by Donna Tartt. It's always on one of those "100 Books You Should Read Before You Die"-type lists so I figured I should give it a go. I never would have had the motivation if I hadn't quit WoW. The book has enriched me and made me think in ways that a computer game could never come within a million light years of.

I wouldn't swap this feeling for all the gold on Azeroth, Outland and Northrend put together.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The Story So Far...

My name is Mojozi and I am a World of Warcraft addict. I am a seven foot tall troll with a red mullet hairdo. Back in the day I was bedecked head-to-toe in tier 10 epics, dripping with jewels and enchants. My heals per second were to die for and I never ran out of mana. Now I'm just a washed up old shaman whose daily highlight is completing the Orgrimmar cooking daily.

If the above makes any sense at all to you then this humble blog may be of some interest. You see, after nearly two years of intense WoW addiction, I had a startling revelation yesterday. I realised that I'm putting a thousand times more energy into improving this imaginary troll than I am into improving my own self. During WotLK this was in some way slightly gratifying because I was at the top of my game and it made me feel good about myself. Cataclysm has mostly made me cross, disillusioned and stressed out, for various reasons which I may blog about at a later stage. But either way getting this sense of self-achievement from a computer game constitutes massive misplaced priorities.

I knew for a long time that playing WoW to the extent I did wasn't healthy. I first got into it when I was unemployed, and it gave me a sense of self worth, aswell as being an easy alternative to looking for work. And now that I work 12 hours days at a soulless job I detest, WoW is, again, the easy option to come home to when I'm tired and demotivated. After a while I forgot who I was. I said to myself "I can't give up WoW, WoW is what defines me, it's who I am". The first step was remembering what used to define me in my previous life. And you know what? There was actually some cool stuff there I'd forgotten about.

It's time to get my life back. Tonight when I get home from work I'm going to email Blizzard and cancel my subscription. I want to remember all the things I used to do before the game consumed me. I want to become more well-read. I want to learn some new skills. Hell, I even want to leave the house once in a while.

This blog is about how I cope over the next few weeks, months, or however long it takes to go WoW Cold Turkey.