onsdag den 18. november 2009

My story - The Beginning

Sounds top brass when you write it like that. Been a while since I posted (shame on me), but life keeps me bussy and inspiration is a must. Anyway I figured it's about time I started to pull my own story out of the chest, since that's what you're here for, is it not? Anyways, as all "good stories" should begin, lets begin with the beginning and a little introduction!

Today I don't play World of Warcraft anymore and I've 'recovered' fairly well from my so called wow-psychosis. It havn't been easy though, and as sad as it is, I still really can't get myself to delete my two last figures. Perhaps it's just as well, considered that I can easily say I've spend at least over 300 days straight, of my life, playing WoW.

I've replaced my riding animals and little pets in game with a real horse and a cat; the endless hours of fighting against monsters, have been brought to live through figure boardgames with friends, and the time I spend on roleplay in the World of Warcraft, is now spend on real life human beings, and ocassionally some good six hours of roleplaying once a month.

I have been one of the lucky ones, who discovered just how many friends I actually did - and still do - have outside the World of Warcraft (even though I neglected them for almost 2 years) and that the real life is so much better than anything a fictional world could ever offer me. I am amazed that they did hold on to me, in spite of everything. And sometimes I shamefully forget to thank them for their support; it meant everything to me and my 'recovery'.

First time I was introduced to the World of Warcraft was through a friend, who lend me his account/subscription. Actually I think I started playing it after I came home from boarding school but I'm not completely sure. It's long ago now.

Anyhow, I think it was around end 2005 I made my first character on my friends account, and made contact with the game for real. At first I just played it ocassionally in the evenings, since I've always had a lot of other interests; like roleplaying games and figure games, even archery and horseback riding. Mostly socialising have been one of my strong sides and as mentioned above, I've always had a great bunch of friends. I found the game a bit borring in the start, so I played seldomly. I've played some other computergames as well, so I wont deny that they interest me at some point, but they had never been as consuming as World of Warcraft became.

My first figure was called Silverleaf, and early on in the game I met another player. He was from Finland, male - and two years older than me. Further on I'll refer to him as Rossy. We spoke a lot, and began to meet up in game evening after evening, to play together and talk.
The talking was the part of it I enjoyed the most; and too soon this guy, I had never seen a picture of or met, woke some misplaced feeling of attraction in me. When I think back, this was what made me return to the World of Warcraft more often; not only was it easier to talk in letters, but I also found that it did not require very much of me at first.
At this time in my life, I had a very nice boyfriend. We were together almost two years, all in all, but at the time I 'met' WoW, there were some difficulties due to him having to join the army. Actually I think they had been there quite a while before, the spark just wasn't there as it used to be. We only saw once every second week, and on hollidays.
In the start I spend the time with my boyfriend when he was finally there, but then one weekend he decided to buy World of Warcraft as well. We were supposed to play together, but embarrasing enough, I spend all my time with Rossy. Surprisingly enough it was only a matter of time, before my boyfriend got hooked on WoW as well and made his own friends. As he had a lot of sparetime he advanced quicklier than me, so it became natural that I couldn't do the same things as him. Today, I belive this was also one of the things that split us up.
When they released a new update to the game in 2006, I bought my own account/subscription and made a new character; again, one where I didn't have the possibility to play together with my boyfriend. I kept to Silverleaf though before, for the single reason that Rossy was on the server. At this time I think I had already drawn Rossy deeply into my life, and we had exchanged pictures and phonennumbers. I even gave him my address. And soon we had also planned that he should come and visit me. I remember on one side it exited me, but on the other it gave me this wierd feeling in my stomac - like something were really really wrong. Perhaps becuase I had not told this to my boyfriend and I knew my mother would never agree to let him stay.
You might ask yourself how I could even think of inludgeing another person I didn't know a shit about to be frank, so totally and completely in my life. He could be anyone, some sicko or worse, but I honestly felt I knew him very well. We had, afterall, been sitting up talking for hours and hours (both on phone and cam) for almost 4 months and inside my head, I had created a picture of him, based on what I knew and - what I wanted, I think. The guy went very far for me, I have to say. Actually, he wanted to come and visit me so much, that he convinced his own mum to give him the plane ticket to Denmark, as a christmas present. It was the plan that he would visit the 16th of December, 2006.
And when we were in the end of November, there were about two weeks untill this stranger arrived in the Airport and took the train to my hometown. And I still had not told my mum - or my boyfriend - about this arrangement. I remember that the guilt almost ate me up, and that I was very confused and fustrated, since NOTHING seemed to fit. First and foremost, I was about to decieve my boyfriend through 2 years, for someone I had never met. I was willing at some point, to break up all we had had, for the small chance that I liked this Rossy.
It seems completely insane to me when I look back today, and a complete lack of all common sense and dignity. And it frightens me, how much I was willing to give for this person from World of Warcraft, but I had convinced myself that this Rossy REALLY was something special; I werw sure of it!
How the visit went, I'll save for the next time. But I can assure you it was a real mess, and didn't get better with time. Up for next weeks (hopefully) subject, is the parential question, posted in the "NoobZ! What is World of Warcraft anyway?" thread.
We all know that parents never know what theyre talking about and that they always just want to make things bad for you. Furthermore they don't understand anything, and you have to eksplain the most simple things to them a hundred times before they get it, right?
You'll be amazed how wise parents become over time, when you grow up.

søndag den 8. november 2009

'N00bz!'- What is World of Warcraft anyway?

This post is basic facts about the game; for those who wish to learn about it, and/or havn't been filled in already: realtives and it's alike. I also found it to be useful to create a foundation for later purposes, and have exsperienced that exactly this particulair question, is the most common one among them all.

Should You, after reading it, by any means sit with the urge to utter: "Wtf is she talking about!?" or feel that there might still be something left in the dark; please, do add questions in the comment section, and I will answer.

- What is World of Warcraft?

World of Warcraft (also known as WoW) is an online computergame, also known as a 'MMoRPG' (Massive Multi Online Role Playing Game); meaning that it allows players from all around world to interact with each other online, as long as they have connection to the internet and posesses a form of the game.

- Does it cost anything to play?

Yes. You pay a monthly fee for a subscription. Payment is available in the following ways:
- One-Month subscription by VISA/Electron-Visa/JCB/Mastercard/American Express.
- 60 Days prepaid Gamecard. (Can be purchased by anyone, in any store that sell music or computer/console games)
It is possible at ANY time, to cancel a subscription.

- What does a 'subscription' offer?

A subscription gives the player a personal account, that allows the player to create several fictional figures, who they can control/play in the World of Warcraft. A player can have additional accounts/subscriptions.

With a WoW-Subscription comes a personal Username and a Password, allowing only the owner of the account to access it. You can always access ANY World of Warcraft account, if you possess the Username and Password for it.

A subscription also allows the player to join chatboards and communities related to the game, where they can talk with other players and disguss subjects of interest.

- How many do actually play that game?

World of Warcraft have around 11.5 million players. According to the last research results I've been able to find (http://www.massively.com/2008/01/22/world-of-warcraft-hits-10-million-players/ ) in Europe alone, we have 2 million active players. Asia tops with 5.5 million.

This makes World of Warcraft the biggest online game in history.

- What is the game about and what do you do in it?

The game is about making your character stronger, by defeating various creatures and solve quests in the World of Warcraft. When you solve quests you get better to do several things and you get new gear/clothing, that makes your character more powerfull. Some creatures are stronger than others, and require that you have other people/characters to help you defeat them.

Most commonly you join a community(also called a Guild) in the World of Warcraft, where there are other people you can turn to, when you need help in the game. This is the social aspect of the game, and it functions like a chatboard. You can communicate with EVERY single person in the game, by the different chat functions World of Warcraft offers. You can also communicate with persons that is not in the same community as you.

The chat functions also offer the oppurtunity to Roleplay, which means it allow you to describe what your character feels or do, while interacting with other characters. You can conversate excatly as you would, should you meet someone on the walkingstreet downtown.

- Why do/can people keep playing?

Because World of Warcraft never ends. There will always be new content, as long as the game creators keeps sending out new parts of the game, and as long as people keep playing and paying.
When you close a 'normal' computer/console game, the game stops untill you chose to continue it. When you have played long enough, you have archived all there is to archive and the game is completed. You cannot complete World of Warcraft. As an online game, it differs to normal games in that way, that when you close the game, it continues. This leaves people with the need to come back, becuase they have to keep up with the others playing the game, so they wont fall behind.

To archieve EVERYTHING there is to archive in World of Warcaft, is nearly impossible. It requires an almost ridicolous amount of time, but none the less I have, personally, exsperienced people who have been very near.

-"Why do people keep playing?"

I'd like to discuss and vent my more personal thoughts on this part of the main question. My personal reason for always returning to the game, was the social aspect of it. I also returned, to improve my character and to join the others on new quests to become more powerfull and aquire new gear, but that became a minor after a while.

I made friends within the game, whom I had only known from the other side of a computerscreen, as pixels and text. But none the less I counted them as my friends; and at a time, they came to mean more to me and fill more than the people from the real world. And that is one of the things that the day today, frightens me the most.

Today, I often ask myself the question: "How could people I've never met or spend time with for real, come to mean so much to me, that I chose them over the 'real ones' in my life? Why did I come 'home', eveing after evening, to 'meet' them and hear how they were and what happened in their lives? (In danger of sounding prejudiced, a disturbing few of them actually had a life beside World of Warcraft.)"

I don't know for sure. But I do think that the reason for them having such a big impact on my daily life, was becuase after a while, I spend more time playing that game, than I did on my hobbies and interests. I never visited my friends, read books, went to parties, played Warmachine, Roleplay etc., and due to that, those online people became my new social circle. It is very common that as humans we seek to belong somewhere, so in a way you could say it was a logic and 'natural process'. At least, it makes sense to me.

All in all my answer to the question -based on personal exsperience- is, that people keep returning to the World of Warcraft, mainly becuase of the other people there, but also because of the new content the game offers.

- But the game must become borring at some point?!

It most certainly does, and some do stop playing it after a while. The game is highly repetitive. But no matter how sad it must be, I often saw that people always returned after a while. The most common reasoning was that they 'missed the persons in game' or that they 'just wanted to see what the new content had to offer'. My personal opinion is, that they simply couldn't let go.

There is something about that game, that as no other game seen up until now, sucks you in and refuse to let you out again.

- Is there anything you can do as realtives to a player, to prevent the game coming so far as it did for you and seemingly others?

My dear mother asked me this question a few days ago, and that will be the second-next (Self-made word. Gotta' love it!) subject at "Confessions of a WoW-Addict". A part of my own history will follow wednesday. Stay tuned!





onsdag den 4. november 2009

Reflections

Hello out there, and welcome to my try of making a blog, about my addiction to the game World of Warcraft.

Have you lost your friends, your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend - maybe your job, your 'real life'? Do you spend around 6 to 14 hours or maybe more, a day, taking care of your relationship with your computer, raiding dungeons and collectiong new 'epix lewt', while getting pale and overweight, with blood strained eyes? Do you go angry to bed often, becuase you failed your raid roll? Do you cry over the loss of your 'in-game' mate/lover, or get exited by spending hours on fictional emoting, stating the sexual needs, desires and habbits of your fictional character? Do you take the troubles of the guild with you, laying sleepless in bed bacause of a dickhead spoiling the fun from the other side of a screen, more than 3000 miles away from you, while simultaneously rejecting the calls from the 'outside world', filling your phone; becuase you simply don't have the energy to pick up? Then you might - or already have - consider(ed) if there could be a problem somewhere; maybe, you're addicted to the World of Warcraft too?

For a starter, yes, I know the blog title is quite cliché, and actually there is existing another blog, named the same. I would like to point out, that these two blogs are considerably different.
Also, it seems that the word "Confessions" has become a trend lately - or maybe always have been. Say "Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009 - movie) ", "Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress - A girls guide to the Dungeons&Dragons game (2007 - litterature)" (- which by the way is a hillarious, easy-to-read manual to those who wish to understand the freakyness of Roleplaying Games, seen from the perspective of a Sex and The City - like woman),"Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002 - movie)", "Confessions of a Car Salesman (Updated 2009 - journalistic)", "Confessions (1974,1975, 1976, 1977 - novel based movie series)"... Insert more Google and Wikipedia results, if you wish. Anyway, point proven! But - it didn't shatter my determination on naming my blog in the 'Confession Style' anyhow.

The idea came to me this evening, quite spontanious, while I was attending a lecture, held by a former user of the drug Extacy. Quite a risky contrast, some might say, but actually I found many similarities to my own addiction, in the story she told. This blog will be featuring not only my own history, but hopefully also refelctions, facts about addictions in general, displays of my characters, their histories and it's alike. But most of all it will be a place, where I will share my thoughts on the subject of Wow-addiction, and what it contains. For others to laugh of, to think about, to hate, to love, to relate to; so they know, they are not alone. (-actually this site: www.wowdetox.com already offers a smililiar, anonymous service, should it be of interest. Quite entertaining, and sad)

To return to my inspiration, I will start by reciting the lecturist's way of explaining, how the drugs affected her: "We all have this wall, inside our heads. This big, massive wall that seperates reality from fantasy. But slowly, while I took the drugs, even when it was only 12 times all in all, there came cracks in this wall. And slowly they grew bigger, untill one day the wall was gone. There were nothing left to seperate reality from fantasy."

This is exactly how I experienced my life, while playing - and living - in the World of Warcraft; how I exsprienced My addiction. And that is, as stated earlier, what I will write about. This is what I will share with the real world - of course you are more than welcome to 'join in', should you live in the other one.


~ Sincerely ~