I have taken the plunge into World of Warcraft. My character is HerculesRoot, a Rogue of the Night Elf race, which is part of the Alliance. I have been online for about 10 minutes. This might be a good time to turn back.
Joel has a great new post confessing his WoW habit, and this statement in particular makes me wonder: “WoW reduces satisfaction to a formula where time spent = moral and spiritual superiority.” If I follow his thinking, he suggests this is different than the rules of the “real” world, but I don’t think so. I believe that anything, within broad moral limits, that you spend time on will bring you moral and spiritual superiority. This explains the excellence of my friend Kes Woodward’s art. If this rule is true, and I think it is, why would I be tempted to put hours and days into learning a totally created video world? Why not put that amount of time increasing my Level as a husband, as a member of my family and my community?
Well, why read novels? Why become an connoisseur of classical music? These might all take away from the “real” world in terms of hours and days. If Darlene had a meter on the time she spends reading fiction, it would no doubt rival Joel’s impressive numbers. For me, it would be simple time banging away at the computer. I feel as if I am trying to make a case for something I have already decided to do.
The simple fact is that I am fascinated by this massive creation, from the lush graphics to the sense of hundreds of thousands of people participating. I have only the most rudimentary control of my character, but already I can walk through the woods and encounter the image of another player. Who is he or she? Are they mousing through WoW three blocks away from me, or on another continent? I’ve tried chatting a couple of times but received no reply. The 200-page manual lures me today more than the quality novel I’m reading, Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry. I want to learn about Azeroth. Here’s a tidbit:
At one time in Azeroth’s past, the Horde was a force of evil, and the Alliance was a bastion of good. However, in today’s war-torn Azeroth, such black and white distinctions are gone. Both factions are simply fighting to preserve their way of life in the wake of the Chaos War.
Well, that sounds as if it had been written by someone who reads The Financial Times. I’m curious. Very curious. I want to log on again and see if the Game Master answered my question about how to save an image of HerculesRoot for the blog.
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