Funny, just before I read this blog post, I was thinking about how I didn’t really have time for WoW.
I’ve never gotten to 60, so I don’t know how addictive the end game is. But is it really all raiding? I don’t think I’d be able to devote 12+ hours on weekends for raids. 3-4 hours maybe, but 12 hours? Well, my brother just hit 60 recently, so I suppose I should ask him after a few weeks what it’s like.
But then again, I’m the sort of person that likes multitasking, the thought of spending 12 or more hours in a day doing the same thing sends a shiver up my spine. So I doubt I’m ever really in any danger of getting addicted in that way.
One could argue that it’s a person’s own responsibility to make sure he doesn’t become overly addicted to any one thing, MMORPGs included. One would think that a person who allows himself to become addicted to MMOs would have just been addicted to something else had the MMO not existed. But MMORPGs are still a strange new thing to our society, one that we haven’t yet been taught how to handle, one that does not yet have those society-set levels that define how much is too much. And one cannot deny that the ability to interact with people from all over the world with an avatar of your own choosing would seem like a powerful opportunity for growth.
But the worst pressures in the game supposedly come from other players. After reading the article, I’m not even sure I want to be involved in raiding (although I suppose it depends on what other end-game content is available), as a raiding guild can probably exert a lot on peer pressure for one to commit more time to the ever-addictive game.
This phenomenon doesn’t really exist only for MMORPGs though, it’s just a lot easier because of the social factor involved. It can happen with offline games as well, especially open-ended ones. I once knew someone who brought her home computer to the lab at school for the sole purpose of being able to play The Sims while at the lab. And whenever I dropped by the Lab, there she was, happily clicking away to earn her Simoleans. MMOs like WoW are infinitely more deep than The Sims because of the interaction
with other players and the constantly improving game content.
After all is said, Blizzard has made one hell of game, one that provides a virtual escape for many people. I suppose one should just be careful that it adds something to your life instead of taking away.