Monday, 23 September 2013

Turkey Talk

Sometimes I think I should retitle this blog "Life During WoW" because let's face it, I'm doing a bloody awful job of staying cold turkey. Stephen King (my idol) described one of his heroin-addicted characters as doing "cool turkey" because he was still doing heroin, just not quite as much as he used to. Well, I guess I'm doing cool turkey then. Or slightly heated up in the microwave, luke warm, likely to breed e-coli turkey. In a nutshell, I'm playing again. Quite a lot.

Blizzard have made it easier than ever to get good gear without raiding now, and it's just too tempting. It's so easy to get home from work, tired, and slump on the sofa with my laptop, tap-tapping away. I still maintain I'm not as bad as I used to be. My login sessions are pretty short these days (1 hour at a time max) and I break it up with a bit of housework, TV - I even manage to go to the occasional yoga class.

Still, I feel guilty that it's the first thing I feel like doing when I get home. The trouble is, I have a bit of an "all or nothing" personality. When I quit, I have to quit 100% otherwise I just can't feel truly free of the WoW demons.

Anybody watch "Everybody Loves Raymond"? I'm obsessed with it, I've probably seen every episode about 10 times. There's one episode where Marie, the interfering Mother, offers up some wisdom as to why one of the twin boys is refusing to go to school: "You want me to tell you what the problem is? You give them all these computer video-tronic games, and after that, school is just boring to them. It's just an old lady talking". Well, maybe she's right. If you spend your spare time destroying demons and flying above incredible landscapes on giant dragons, real life is bound to feel a little empty.

So that's where I am at the moment. Scared to completely uninstall WoW as I'm not feeling all that fulfilled by real life currently. Do you think I'm ok carrying on like this or do I need to get that luke warm turkey and drop it in the deep freeze again?

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Keeping Your Chin Up

Is it just me, or does it seem like everyone is being diagnosed with depression at the moment? Understandable with the current economic climate I suppose. I've been lucky enough to escape being stricken by the depression bug, but it does make me curious about the link between WoW and this dehabilitating illness. Are people depressed because they play WoW, or do they play WoW because they are depressed? It's an age-old chicken v. egg condundrum.

Researchers at Northwestern University, Illinois found that 21% of gamers who played Everquest II infrequently were depressed, but with those who admitted to playing "all the time" the depressed total went up to 30% (source LA Times 2009). Not a massive difference, but I think you'll agree it's significant.

My personal view is that the depression came before the gaming, and that MMORPGs provide a sense of escapism for those suffering from depression, a sense of power, of control and of achievement that may be lacking in their real life. But I'm really interested to hear other people's thoughts on this! Do you know WoW addicts (former or current) who suffer from clinical depression? Do you think the game is to blame?

When you finally come full circle with that whole "sense of achievement" thing and stop feeling rewarded by the next ding or the next piece of gear, that's when real life rewards start to regain their meaning. It's taken me a while to feel that again, but I'm really pleased with how my little fledgling homemade jewellery business is going. This is the kind of stuff I make:

If you could stop by Facebook and share a like on my page it would mean so much to get your support: 

Friday, 14 June 2013

Pandas? Why'd It Have To Be Pandas?

Trivia question for ex-WoW addicts reading: what dungeon achievement is my post title a pun on?

Anyway, a lot has happened since I last blogged. Pandaria, more so than anything else! Did anyone feel compelled to go back and level up to 90? I certainly did, and then some. Almost 5 fricking alts at level 90! What a monumental waste of time! If you're still going cold turkey (and good for you) then you might not know that the experience needed to get from 85 to 90 is like the entire Vanilla experience from 0-max level in terms of time. It's as slow as a grandaddy turtle on an escort quest.

Worse still, the quests are completely linear (I thought they were stopping that after Cata?) so you just repeat the same quests with every alt. Yet for some reason this didn't put me off. I must be deeply psychologically disturbed. Or perhaps a glutton for punishment.

Anyway, after levelling my 2 mains, 3 alts and yet another hunter from scratch, I got incredibly bored with my hunter by the time I got to Northrend. I also achieved the Loremaster title and just suddenly thought: "Loremaster! What else is there left to do?"

This time around quitting was strangely anti-climatic. I haven't even cancelled my subscription yet, I just don't feel the *need* to play any more, it's the strangest thing. I really am completely, utterly at saturation point with WoW now. Who knows, maybe in a few months when the memories have faded, I might feel like going back again. Until then, I'm trying to keep busy with making and selling jewellery (Time for a shameless plug? Not the place? Aww, ok then, maybe next time), watching films, reading, that type of thing.

Things I have discovered outside of WoW in the last year:

Seriously, how good is The Walking Dead?
Married life is pretty sweet (real life ding for me, June 2nd last year)
It's a lot more satisfying eating a real life cake that you have made than doing those damn cooking dailies hoping for the "delicious chocolate cake" recipe to drop

Thanks for reading!