Just Chillin …

"But I don't want to go among mad people …"

Feeling the MMO Pull

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It’s been pretty quiet here on the gaming front and the main reason is that I have basically stopped playing WAR.  The last day I logged into WAR was on 10/08/2008, roughly 6 days ago, not that long ago, but long enough to cancel my subscription.  I will not continue to play WAR. 

There is nothing wrong with WAR in particular and I don’t really blame WAR for my decision to stop playing it. The whole thing is really a culmination of feelings and events that came up during my World of Warcraft (WoW) days.  I stopped playing WoW roughly a month before the release of WAR. There was really no single thing in particular for my choice, but the following snippet really captures the feeling well:

… One day I was sitting there, playing some game or another, and I thought, “Why are you doing this? Are you getting any pleasure out of it? Is it fun?” and the answers were, “I don’t know…”, “No…” and “No…”.

With WoW, it was a slow progression where I would skip playing days, which then lead to weeks and finally just decided to cancel my subscription and move on. From that point on, I made a promise to myself that if I was not having fun or loathing what I was doing, then I would stop playing.

To me, one of the worst feelings I got from playing was neatly summed up by MMOCrunch:

… There is some really weird psychology going on that I wish someone would write a paper on because I can’t think of too many hobbies where the participants actively hate what they’re doing, yet feel this overwhelming compulsion to keep paying and playing. It’s weird.

The compulsion is not really that weird. This is a common feeling for people with addictions. I’ve been there before and was able to instantly recognize the feeling during some sessions of my MMO playtime.  Over time, the feeling just grew more and more intense, yet I wanted to get back into the world and just get that next fix, hit that next goal, search for that same high… only to be let down time and time again. 

I have seen what addictions have done to me and I am starting to see it’s impact on loved ones around me and it’s scary.  What’s even more scary is I have been feeling the MMO pull on me again with WoW and the latest 3.0.2 patch preparing player for the Wrath of the Lich King.  Coworkers of mine knew that I quit WoW and they know that I’ve stopped playing WAR, yet they are unsure if I will return to WoW, though some have a strong inclination that I will.

I thought about returning to WoW about a week and a half ago and decided to read some articles on WoW Insider to see what’s been happening. However, after reading a couple of sentences, I got that sick feeling to my stomach and knew it was not the right time.  However, with the recent patch and a lot of my coworkers heading back to WoW I started reading and following news again, but for some reason this time was different. I no longer felt the stomach upset and was interested to hear what they have done with hunters in the new patch as my main is a hunter.

For days, I would teeter between the decision of installing the game.  Last night, I installed WoW and the Burning Crusade expansion and reactivated my account so I could begin the patching process. However, this morning after reading the MMOCrunch article I am starting to reconsider.

During this time off from MMOs, a lot of real life events have taken place and I actual began to feel productive again. I’ve been a follower and practitioner of Getting Things Done (GTD), yet instead of checking items off my task list, I would log into an MMO.  I call myself a taiji practitioner, yet I cannot remember the last time I went through a full form.  Over time, I began feeling like I was a fraud and quite a hypocrite.

After I get home from work today, I am planning to uninstall WoW and cancel my subscription, once again… I talk quite the game but haven’t been following through.  If I seek change, then I must lead by example.


Written by antnp

October 16, 2008 at 8:04 am

Posted in video games

Tagged with ,

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