Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why WoW?

In the midst of an article about the success of World of Warcraft, the Analyst over at MaximumPC posed a question today that caught my interest.

Why do you still play WoW?

With all the frustrations, personality conflicts, and technical difficulties I've experienced over the past three years, why do I still play WoW? It's a timely question because several of my friends and guildmates have made the decision to stop playing. Even Marnas and her husband are quitting the game because of real life concerns. So why, after 40 months of subscription fees, have I never made the same decision?

Here are a few of my reasons.

1. The Story.
I love to read. I own so many books that helping me move is a horrible experience--even moreso than helping most other people move. I read mostly fiction, and I don't mind re-reading a good book.

I also love movies. I can find merit in almost any movie (the only genre I dislike is horror because I can't help jumping). So it seems natural that the text (whether or not you read all of the quests) and the graphics that combine to tell the stories in the game draw me in. It's like being inside a book and a movie at the same time. Paying $15 a month is way cheaper than buying all the books and dvds I'd need to fill up the same amount of time.

2. The Challenge.
I'm quietly competitive. I don't need everyone else to know I'm good as long as I (and a few others) do. WoW has built in goals that keep me moving forward; there's always something else to strive for. I'll never "win." Even though that can occasionally be frustrating, I love that I can always find something to do. I always feel like I should be doing something to make my characters better or help someone else.

3. The People.
I'm a fairly social person, but I live alone and have absolutely no desire for a roommate who doesn't spring for a diamond ring first. I've managed to end up in a town that is scary after dark (not that I was much of a bar or club person anyway) and I mostly only know people from work. When you recognize people at the grocery store and know that that probably means they've spent some time in jail, you learn to keep to yourself.

Plus, I like geeks. And through WoW I've made some realy good friends. Friends that have helped me through panic attacks from a thousand miles away. Friends that will offer me a couch or an air mattress whenever I'm passing through. And friends that will make a vacation way more fun just by showing up.

The commentators over at MaximumPC point out that these things are not exclusive to WoW, and they're right. If Marnas had pushed for me to play another game, I probably wouldn't have a blog about Blizzard's baby. If I hadn't moved out of state and ended up living in a small town with big city crime, I might not play as much. If I liked getting papercuts or having glue stuck to my fingers, I'd be a scrapbooker. None of those if's change what is. And, for the moment, I'm ok with what is. So I'll continue to play WoW and plan vacations with my friends from far off places. Because even when we try to drown a Waverunner or get blisters on our feet, we're still having fun.

xeno Orlando 2006:
xeno Texas 2007:
xeno Toronto 2008:
The Dead Waverunner:


  1. I still play WoW 70% because of the people (a select few that I enjoy playing with/talking to), 25% because I still actually enjoy the game to an extent, and 5% because it's what I've been doing for the last 4 years - and I'm not sure what I would do if I wasn't playing it....

  2. Side note - I can't wait to be in the next picture =)