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How Warcraft Doesn't Have To Wreck Lives 274

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-not-all-bad dept.
robustyoungsoul writes "From the same guild leadership as the fellow who started an internet storm with his post about his experience in WoW comes a different point of view: it doesn't have to consume your life." From the article: "I got a Masters degree in policy from one of the most difficult schools in the country while at the same time playing WoW and working a part time job. I would come home from a busy day and think about how to use what I learned to make the guild work better. It was a way for me to practice what I was learning and to discover what was involved with leading people (mostly getting all the blame and no thanks, it seems :P). I've learned the lessons of clear communication, sacrifice, compassion, tough love ... and balance. I plan to use these skills in my professional life. So in short, I play the game because I get something tangible out of it."
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How Warcraft Doesn't Have To Wreck Lives

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:32AM (#16516765)
    For a new article, titled World of Warcraft May Consume Your Life, or It Also May Not, You Never Know!
    • by VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) on Friday October 20, 2006 @12:03PM (#16517293) Homepage Journal
      For a new article, titled World of Warcraft May Consume Your Life, or It Also May Not, You Never Know!
      How very neutral of you!

      Zapp Brannigan: "What makes a man turn neutral ... Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?"

      or

      Zapp Brannigan: "I hate these filthy neutrals Kif! With enemies you know where they stand but with neutrals? Who knows! It sickens me."
    • by sgant (178166)
      The first guy made the weird statement that he was in one of the oldest guilds in the games...but since the game is only 2 years old there are literally hundreds if not thousands of guilds that are just as old as many were started on day one. Since that article didn't elaborate on if he meant the guild was playing on other games, one can only assume.

      Now this guy is claiming to have a "Masters degree in policy from one of the most difficult schools in the country".

      Is there a hyperbole filter here on Slashdot
    • Go meta! (Score:3, Funny)

      by Sage Gaspar (688563)
      Commenting on addiction in World of Warcraft is not necessarily addictive, World of Warcraft commentors say.
  • Simple (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    If you don't play Warcraft, it is unlikely to wreck your life.
    • Re:Simple (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NoTheory (580275) on Friday October 20, 2006 @12:06PM (#16517353)
      Well, yes short of that, things become more complicated. The problem with this rebuttal is that it's only anecdotal. If you're a high function person who can prioritize well, and can pull themselves away from distractions to get work done, then yeah, you can dump your spare time into WoW and not be worse off for it. I'm betting that doesn't describe too many of MMO players. That's why the analogy to addiction has been made to video game usage. Not all people are the same, and some are going to be have their functionality as a person effected disproportionately from other people. And again, i'd bet that there are more people pissing away their lives on WoW than their are people who can just hop on and off (alternatively, who cares about the people who are perfectly functional on and off WoW, shouldn't we be worrying about the people pissing their lives away, since they're the ones in trouble?).
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by GodaiYuhsaku (543082)
        Wasn't the original article about WoW wrecking a persons life is only anecdotal? I can offer my own anecdotal evidence about my personal life. But both sides of these articles are a moot point unless you attempt to do an professional objective psychological study. Give some poor Psych grad student his thesis on WOW addiction.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by NoTheory (580275)
          Honestly no, it wasn't as badly anecdotal. You're right that it certainly wasn't an objective account, but at least the first essay did make reference to other people, as well as being a personal account. The references to the effects of WoW on other people were obviously shaded through the author's point of view, but at least he gave some account.
      • Re:Simple (Score:4, Informative)

        by Brushfireb (635997) * on Friday October 20, 2006 @01:08PM (#16518125)
        And again, i'd bet that there are more people pissing away their lives on WoW than their are people who can just hop on and off

        Correct. And the blizzard guys have made this so. I was one of those people who wanted to hop on or hop off. Play solo, or do small quests with small groups of friends that would only take 30 minutes, 1 hour, or max 2 hours at a time.

        But blizzard doesnt produce content like that, so a lot of the people like me, including me, stopped playing. The game is remarkably good at this type of content from levels 1-40. However, the developers seem to focus more on 20, 40, 60 man raid dungeons, and not single player quests. You cant really be functional and play WOW at high levels, unfortunately. High level WOW play requires 8 hour raids. It requires constantly running dungeons and PVP for items. And that sucks for me, but some people love it (the so called 'addicts'), and thats what they pay for.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by C0rinthian (770164)
          The upcoming expansion has 5, 10, and 25 man content. They stopped developing 40's, and there has never been 60-man content.

          BTW, I play in a high-end raiding guild, and we are quite functional with 3-hour raids, 4 times a week. Still a lot, but nothing like these mythical '8-hour 60-man' endeavors you're pulling out of your ass.
        • by Rayonic (462789)
          Lots of solo and 5-man content in the expansion, or so I hear. The PVP system revamp, in particular, seems to lend itself to hopping in and out.

          I quit WoW earlier this year, myself. I had the time to play, but I never seemed to have the uninterrupted time to play. I'm really itching for the expansion pack, though. (Plus the other improvements I may have missed.)
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by NaugaHunter (639364)

          Correct. And the blizzard guys have made this so. I was one of those people who wanted to hop on or hop off. Play solo, or do small quests with small groups of friends that would only take 30 minutes, 1 hour, or max 2 hours at a time.

          But blizzard doesnt produce content like that, so a lot of the people like me, including me, stopped playing. The game is remarkably good at this type of content from levels 1-40. However, the developers seem to focus more on 20, 40, 60 man raid dungeons, and not single play

      • by Ieshan (409693)
        First of all, the story you read last week was an anecdote, too. It's not as if last week was a published study and this is a random guy saying "nuh uh!"


        "And again, i'd bet that there are more people pissing away their lives on WoW than their are people who can just hop on and off (alternatively, who cares about the people who are perfectly functional on and off WoW, shouldn't we be worrying about the people pissing their lives away, since they're the ones in trouble?)."


        That's like asking, "shouldn't we foc
        • by NoTheory (580275)
          That's like asking, "shouldn't we focus on the problem area without worrying how much of the population they actually represent?"

          Yes and we shouldn't bother doing surgery on brain tumor victims, because they're such a small percentage of the population.

          If there are avoidable hazards, or you can engineer a system to reduce known risks, shouldn't you?

          I mean, i'd like to think that most people find it despicable when car manufacturers decide that it's cheaper simply to pay off litigants who've had famil
        • by NoTheory (580275)
          Hmm, perhaps i'm being inappropriately snarky. Obviously i think cost/benefit analyses should be taken into account when deciding what course a project or a policy should take. That said, i don't think that medicine or psychology should be controlled wholly by a tyranny of the majority. You're right that there isn't enough data to indicate how widespread or how damaging escapist behavior online is, but even hypothetically speaking, it seems silly to write off the problem, just by saying "yeah, well there
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Blackknight (25168)
        shouldn't we be worrying about the people pissing their lives away, since they're the ones in trouble?

        Nope, not my problem.

        Also, who are you to tell somebody what to do with their life? I know people that play WoW all day and some that just play an hour a night.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by NoTheory (580275)
          Nope, not my problem.

          Great, way to haul out a republican/libertiarian/conservative knee-jerk. Go you! You can meaninglessly repeat what other people have told you!

          Also, who are you to tell somebody what to do with their life?

          I'm not telling anybody how to live their lives. But, i think that people should be aware of the consequences of their behavior, and i don't think that a lot of people think through their actions, or, particularly in the case of addictive behaviors, the risk of certain behavi
    • by fbjon (692006)
      Even if you play it, it's still too simple to ruin your life. Now, Warcraft II on the other hand ...
  • Quoi? (Score:3, Funny)

    by BecomingLumberg (949374) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:34AM (#16516813)
    When did life experience become tangible?
    • by NoTheory (580275)
      The day people woke up and realized that you could "add value" to products :P

      Or maybe the day that people decided higher education was an asset towards climbing out of destitution, and misery?
      • Or maybe the day that people decided higher education was an asset towards climbing out of destitution, and misery?

        Yeah, right after it puts you through years of destitution and misery.
  • All it takes is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Broken scope (973885) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:35AM (#16516815) Homepage
    self control and the ability to tell a guild to go to hell. I have work to do.
    • Re:All it takes is (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Fozzyuw (950608) on Friday October 20, 2006 @12:01PM (#16517253)

      Indeed. The original article is "popular" or "important" because it's to introduce people to the knowledge that there is a phenominon in the game culture that can extend outside the actual game (talk about virtual reality, hehe). Not that, "gaming in moderation" can be good for you.

      What is interesting, however, is the fact that these online games (having a virtual social and economic society) can actually be used to find the effects of 'real' world social and economic theories theories. I be interested in reading an article written about using WoW to try and munipulate market prices through supply and demand in an online economy (one which has limitless but rare materials) or other economic and social theories to see how they hold true in todays popular virtual worlds.

      How about running guilds in a communist, democratic, and socialist way and compare the differences in impact? Do online gamers have inherent social beliefs based on their real world counterpart (depending where you live), or would a person living in a real-world democracy actually favor an opposing view point?

      Cheers,
      Fozzy

  • Balance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scoser (780371) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:35AM (#16516819) Journal

    +1, Obvious.

    It's all about balance, people. I love my gaming time, but I don't give up food, sleep, work, etc. just to play my two MMORPGs (SWG and Eve Online). Maybe it's just that my games don't require 4 hour instances at the end game or maybe I just know when I'm tired, hungry, or have other commitments.

    Sometimes you just have to say "Hey guys, I'm starving/tired/going to do something else for a while, see you later."

    • Re:Balance (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:47AM (#16517031)
      I hate to say it, but we live in a society of grown up children that believe that being Mature is about the rating that is printed on the box of the videogame you play. The fact is that the problem people have with WoW is no different than the obesity epidemic (or the credit/debt problems) in North America in that most people have no ability to self regulate their input of something they desire. Personally, I believe that WoW addiction is just another sign that our society has something wrong with it that no one is paying attention to.
      • by jdray (645332)
        While I agree with you wholeheartedly, I would ask whether or not the problem is limited to North America (you really mean the U.S., right?). I don't know WoW beyond what I read about it here on Slashdot; how diverse is the population with respect to the country of residence of the players?
        • by LurkerXXX (667952)
          Why should it be limited to North America? It's a matter of self control.

          There are alcoholics in pretty much every country, and other folks who can be only social drinkers and not go overboard.

          There are folks addicted to gambling all across the world, and other folks who never gamble, or just do a bit now an then for fun.

          Being from any certain culture doesn't give automatic immunity from a lack of self control or addiction. It will mearly lower it's rate in the population if there are laws or cultural tab
        • by Vreejack (68778)
          North America is not a synonym for the USA. While he probably meant to exclude Mexico, Canadians speak adequate English and share time zones with the US. Considering its population, Canada seems to provide more than its fair share of my fellow on-line players.

          In the on-line world Canada is often thought of as another state in the North American Union, and as a home is about as interesting a piece of personal information as is being from Michigan or Ohio.

          I still have not met anyone from Mexico, however.
      • Re:Balance (Score:5, Informative)

        by sheetsda (230887) <doug,sheets&gmail,com> on Friday October 20, 2006 @12:48PM (#16517851)
        Personally, I believe that WoW addiction is just another sign that our society has something wrong with it that no one is paying attention to.

        I am someone who has recently given up WoW after being an officer one of the top raiding guilds on a maximum population server for the last year and a half (over 110 days /played and enough epic items to gear my characters 3 times over). What kept me coming back was partly the friends I made online, and partly the obligation I felt not to "let them down" by not being there when the guild needed me. I also felt like I would fall behind every time a missed a raid, as someone might pass me in DKP and then I'd have to play even more to get the loot I was after. The scarcity of loot in WoW puts players in competition with one another and drives them to play more than the other to get what they want. And if I wanted to see that brand-spanking new instance the day it came out (and what gamer doesn't love seeing cool new stuff the day it comes out?), I had to be there get geared up to take it on beforehand. The only things I see that could be seen as "faults in our society" in my case are the pressure to excel, being a team player, or hard-worker; all of which prove very much to one's advantage in other situations. WoW seems just to have taken those things and put them in a context where they drive people to self-destruction.

        All things considered, for me, WoW was one viscious self-perpetuating positive feedback loop. I'm glad I'm done "doing time".
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Frankinmerth (869698)
          These issues are by-design unfortunately. I'm not sure if its the only way for these games to make profit, but rather than make them fun and short lived PvE-wise Normal Games Do a dungeon, get the loot WoW do the dungeon, and 0.003% of the time, you get the loot This is also seen in the levelling and challenge-completion aspects of the game Normal games: defeat X and advance to the next level! WoW defeat 4000 X's and advance your faction to the next level! defeat 4000 more X's and advance to the next leve
        • Re:Balance (Score:4, Insightful)

          by egarland (120202) on Friday October 20, 2006 @03:46PM (#16520431)
          then I'd have to play even more to get the loot I was after.

          So. Don't go after that loot.

          That brand new 30" LCD is too expensive. The BMW is too expensive. Being well equpped in WoW is too expensive. People make their choices. Some people (like me) chose to play WoW a lot but not THAT much. I've been playing since soon after it came out and I'm just starting into ZG and MC. Tradeoffs will always exist. Make the choices you want to make.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Vraylle (610820)
      I just started playing WoW, pretty much in "single player mode". I enjoy games in general, and WoW is a fun escape in reasonable doses. Last night I spent an hour or so fishing and chatting with another fisherman and joking about our excessively pointy ears. It was fun, but it wasn't hard to say "It's time for bed, catch you next time."

      Fun, but I just can't see myself getting addicted to it. People on there 10 hours a day clearly aren't working full time, then coming home to cook dinner and chop firewood
      • by lymond01 (314120)
        Well, sure. I don't believe that people who already realize their real-life responsibilities are going to get addicted. It's those that put off their responsibilities in the first place, and then find this game that have the problem. As a generalization, it is very possible that one could never be without something important to do. Most people just don't stop to think about what's important. Examples:

        - Christmas Shopping
        - Writing letters to old friends
        - Tending to the house/yard/animals
        - Creating somet
      • by glsunder (241984)
        I started playing wow in open beta and my highest level character is 56. I've got young kids and have canceled WoW twice when I didn't have time or got bored. For people with kids, I've found the rogue to be the best fit. Why? Because of vanish and stealth. If you have to go afk for a bit, you can stealth. If you have to go afk right away, you can vanish move a bit and be pretty safe within a few seconds. I only group with RL friends because they understand that I might have to go AFK for 10 or 15 mi
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      SWG? It must be nice to have a whole MMORPG to yourself....
    • by fermion (181285) *
      If you read the post, you will see that the author is not only talking about balance, but also about the redeeming qualities of the game. This is, in essence, stating the additional obvious conclusion that many of us learn through simulation, and many of us appreciate the fact that games provide a safe environment to make mistakes. This, of course, assumes that the game has some level of fidelity relative to the so called RL. In fact, as games have fixed rules and tends to be fair, and RL does not and is
    • What if your starting your third attempt at (insert boss name here) and you really need a random piece of loot he drops (that you've been trying to get for MONTHS), and furthermore, the other player in your class with more dkp than you isn't here tonight. Even if you haven't eaten or slept and work is in 6 hours, do you really stop playing?
  • by everphilski (877346) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:38AM (#16516865) Journal
    from a respected school in Aerospace while holding down a full time job (often with overtime), a wife and kids and playing Everquest (occasionally WoW. My friends play, but I prefer EQ). It all comes down to self-control. The game is not the problem. It is individual people's lack of self-control and lack of priorities that cause problems.
  • WoW doesn't have near the effect on gamers that Evercrack had. WoW is just more mainstream.

    WoW is an extremely easy game marketed to the average player. Everquest was much more difficult, and required much more time. You couldn't do anything in that game without devoting 4 straight hours, usually double that if you were in a high-end guild. It puts WoW to shame.
    • by tont0r (868535)
      While its been a few months that Ive played wow, but when you are in a good guild, you end up dropping 6 hours in 1 raid instance. And I definitely (shamefully admitting) spent too many saturdays running MC from 12-4, then BWL from 6 to whenever its done.
  • Lives? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:38AM (#16516879)
    Lives need to be nerfed they are overpowered
  • Uh huh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by creimer (824291) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:41AM (#16516921) Homepage
    So in short, I play the game because I get something tangible out of it.

    That's what I thought when I was at the university playing Magic: The Gathering [wikipedia.org] until the wee hours of the morning. I got something tangible out of it when I was kicked out of the university: a full-time resturant job. Nothing like learning about the real world between a hot cooking area and a cold walk-in cooler.
    • by vjmurphy (190266) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:47AM (#16517041) Homepage
      "Nothing like learning about the real world between a hot cooking area and a cold walk-in cooler."

      Hmm, seems like you could have tapped a couple of plains and given yourself Glacial Plating when walking by the cooking area.

      See, Magic CAN help you in real life.
      • by smbarbour (893880)
        After the university cast Armageddon, he didn't have any lands to tap.
        • by creimer (824291)
          The university found that out the hard way. The policy that was enforced when I was there was to automatically kick out anyone who had a GPA that's way below the safety zone, usually about 300 students every semester. A few years later, when it appear that ~3,000 students would be kicked out under the policy, that was too much money walking out the door and they changed it in a hurry. Armageddon, inded.
      • by creimer (824291)
        Hmm, seems like you could have tapped a couple of plains and given yourself Glacial Plating when walking by the cooking area.

        Called a sweatshirt. It kept my body temperature from the two extremes and protected my arms from getting the usual assortment metal and splatter burns.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Cahrin (1002520)
      Whether you were playing MTG or out partying until dawn, the result would have been the same. Blaming the medium upon which you devote a lot of your time for failing out of university is a scape goat. As stated many times, the medium is irrelivant; you're either the kind of person who can balance both, or you end up working at a resturant.
    • You know - in most situations - when someone is kicked out of college, or loses their job, or something else for doing too much 'X' - they would have found something else to spend that time with instead. If not Magic, it would have been something else for MOST people (not saying your specific situation). Anything in excess is a problem (games, alcohol, drugs, television, etc.).

  • by csoto (220540) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:42AM (#16516933)
    After working in IT management, I like to come home and blast several hundred rounds into people. It helps me because I can use what I learn there IRL...
  • by shirizaki (994008) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:42AM (#16516955)
    WoW doesn't wreck lives, people wreck their own lives. If you have an addictive personality and can't set prorities, then you shouldn't play WoW. I know people who play MMO's all the time who lead productive lives. If you aren't one of those people, take responsibility for your own actions instead of blaming them on what you're using.
    • "WoW doesn't wreck lives, people wreck their own lives. If you have an addictive personality and can't set prorities, then you shouldn't play"

      I agree. Which is why I wonder why people try to ban smoking and regulate drinking and gambling. If you get hooked easily, you should just stay away from drinking, smoking and gambling.
  • Agreement (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mseeger (40923) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:44AM (#16516975)
    Hi,

    i can much agree with the positive impression, but for different reasons. I have 50+ hour work life and i'm happily married. My goal in WoW is not to complete the T2 set ASAP (it is bound to happen anyway some day) or to learn management (better: herding of cats), but to recreate. It's a great tool (and just a tool) for that. No more, but no less...

    Regards, Martin

  • Motto... (Score:4, Funny)

    by CaseM (746707) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:47AM (#16517033)
    Our unofficial guild motto has always been RL > WOW, friends come first.

    Sure, but their motto on "raid day" was "WTF N00B GET UR ASS ON UR MAIN WERE RAIDING!!!11"
  • by AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:48AM (#16517061)
    . . . is to play warcraft 3 instead of world of warcraft. Or to buy a stairmaster and see/feel a difference when you level up. Not to mention when you live in a society where grinding on the stairmaster is guaranteed to increase your charisma dramatically.
    • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Friday October 20, 2006 @12:01PM (#16517255) Journal
      Meh. If you become fitness obsessed, your charisma drops again because you become an annoying bastard. I get tired of the fitness nazi's looking down on me because I don't obsess over every little aspect of my appearance/weight.

      Everything is about priorities. If WoW is enjoyable, do it! But even enjoyable things should be done in moderation. It's possible to find a quality raiding guild that doesn't require you to run three nights a week...May take a little while, but that's the way it goes. Takes just as long to get in a hardcore raiding guild, with the whole interview/trial period bs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rehtonAesoohC (954490)
      That's not true... Muscle size does not increase one's charisma. Your statement should have been something along the lines of:

      "...where grinding on the stairmaster is guaranteed to dramatically increase your potential for having women approach you if you keep your mouth shut."
      • oh right, a slight miscalculation. It's the extra money made from getting a raise for being more attractive because of the stairmaster use that attracts the subset of the female population that I was thinking of when I made the error.
  • naysayer (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:51AM (#16517117)
    I see this as more of a "I'm not a loser!"/"I didn't waste my time!" reaction, and a defense written only for himself. It's obvious he's just offended by the public opinion which was stirred and strengthened that WoW players lack a strong social/outside life.

    And it's true. You cannot have as strong of a social/outside life when you play a video game for 8 hours a day, unless you live on a planet that has 32 hour days.

    If I didn't see it ruin so many people personally, I wouldn't feel so strongly about it. No one said it wuld automatically make you do bad in school. If you have little to no social life, you have plenty of room for your schoolwork and WoW.
    He's simply in denial.
  • by CharAznable (702598) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:57AM (#16517205)
    I hear WoW is a lot better than Evercrack in this respect, but a problem I find is that the things that are considered top achievements in WoW are not doable without insane amounts of mindless, repetitive activites. For instance, you want High Warlord or Grand Marshall, you have to PVP 14 hours a day for 6 months. The expansion is supposed to alleviate some of these issues, but I'd still say that you'll enjoy WoW a lot more if you don't feel the urge to top everybody else's achievements. There's a lot of people with no life out there, and if you want to top them, you'll have to give up your life too.
    • Wow started off easy and has gotten harder and more EQ like.

      With each release EQ has become easier and more Wow like.

      EQ was always about when you could log on more than about your skill (if you could log on at 3pm and get all the rare spawns/gear before the rest of the world got home, you win!). But the last vestages of skill probably left about 2 years ago. It had a serious increase in wimpiness/friendliness. The old EQ was *cruel* and *hard*. You screw up, you lose ALL your gear that took hundreds of
    • How do you kill that which has no life?

      Sorry, I had to!!

      But seriously, its true. They show this in the southpark episode. The only way to compete with the uber-griefer was to become even bigger losers than he was! It is completely possible to just not care about being the most-uber and just play the game to have fun. I play about 5 hours a week. I am not level 60, and wont be for a while, but it doesnt matter because I get to enjoy some wow with my life, not have it BE my life.

      That is what I like about
  • Saying that there is always two sides to every story is simplistic. There are shades of gr[e|a]y in everything.

    WoW makes has numerous things to make it an addictive game. And the guy does express something important here. He never beat a game in his life. For everyone else who usually finishes what they start the whole game is a time sink and certainly one with such a vague and moving forward objective that it hurts.

    http://www.wowdetox.com/ helps a lot of people out.
  • This article gets a '!life' tag from me.

    I've seen stupid things to complain about, fight against. But.. "WoW ruins lives!11!" "WoW doesn't ruin lives!" articles.. come on. Too much of anything obviously has repercussions.

    I fear the upcoming dupe.
  • There is an option to turn on tips for loading screens, and one of those tips says:

    "Remember to do all things in moderation. (Including World of Warcraft!)"
  • by 26reverse (305980) on Friday October 20, 2006 @12:31PM (#16517651)
    WoW presents a very specific problem, beyond the typical problems of "self control" and "moderation". If it were that simple, then yes, turn off the computer and do something else. However, the ability to level quickly is both blessing and curse - and that's (what I see as) the core issue.

    First, WoW is beautiful. Yes, it's cartoonish, but it's got character and depth. I, for one, just like seeing new things, exploring new places. There comes a point within WoW that you can't do anything new unless you get to the end game content. All of which requires heavy guild involvement... to the point mentioned in the first article. Strat can be beautiful, and I regret never seeing Naxx (and only once getting into AQ). But unless I was willing to devote myself heart and soul to a guild - I was relegated to pick-up groups for the "lesser" instances... and forget ever seeing AQ40 or Molten Core. Once you reach these points, starting over isn't an option. You've seen it, you've done it. And no matter how you've convinced yourself that you're not grinding levels in Loch Modan, starting over only offers an extreme amount of drudgery. (Switching from Alliance to Horde only delays the inevitable)

    Second, WoW is just to easy to level up. Too many times you hear about people getting to 60 without a clue of what to do next. You get this consistent endorphin rush every time you "ding". And that's great. It helps keep you moving forward through some of the dull spots (think levels 37-40). But once you've hit 60 you've invested a huge amount of time in a character... whether that's hours upon hours a day for a couple months, or a relaxed pace over a year. It feels like you're abandoning your alter ego to just quit playing. You want to push forward, but you can't. Hence, you've got to run after epic loot and instances.

    And Third... friends. I've made a lot of friends in-game. We've been through a lot together (all of us utterly refusing to ever step foot in Gnomeregan again). And many of them (especially the married couples that both play) want to continue forward. Once again, you're relegated to the outside... shoved off unless you want to grind for Cenarion rep in Silithus.

    All three of these led to my WoW burnout. I was bumped from my "elite" guild because I didn't want to spend 20 hours a week on top of job and social life. Getting put back in the "feeder" guild, while it sounds fine, just felt awful. My friends had all moved on, and I was shoved aside and forgotten (much like the original article). Eventually, I've found another server (too many familiar faces on the old one) and a nice, casual guild. But then again... the first guild started out nice and casual as well... /sigh
  • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Friday October 20, 2006 @12:36PM (#16517723)
    Absolutely MMOs are designed to be addictive. That's the whole point of subscription based games, to draw in players and keep them interested in the game. What MMO player doesn't look forward to hitting that next level, acquiring new gear, or exploring some new region? Character building certainly is an alluring gameplay element. I feel the lure whenever I try a MMO.

    That said, however, I certainly don't think Blizzard or any other developer is responsible for anyone who gets addictive. These companies want players subscribed for a couple of years, but I doubt it's anyone's intention that they have players addicted to these games like they were drugs.

    It's easy for someone to say they can stop playing whenever they want. There are also people who think playing games 40 hours a week is casual gaming. The point is that for someone who has become truly addicted they've lost all self-control. They can't stop. They feel agitated when they're not playing; the game is constantly on their mind. What they need is help, in one form or another.

    Regardless of the nature of the addiction, it ultimately is that player's fault. They made the decision to install the game and start playing. The fact that they lost themselves to the game is ultimately their own fault.

    My concern is that there are lawyers out there already licking their chops. It's only a matter of time before we start seeing lawsuits against these developers.

    Much like the lawsuits against the tobacco companies. In at least the past 20 years we've known smoking is bad. Even if these people didn't know when they started, they must have learned since then. Why didn't they find a way to stop? The company may have been questionable to selling such a product, but ultimately it's the consumer's fault. I mean, using the rationale for suing those companies we might as well sue all automakers for enabling us to put ourselves in harm's way.

    The question here isn't whether games like WoW are addictive, because they clearly are. It's whether people are going to be mature and responsible enough to acknowledge their own fault in all this. Unfortunately, as history has shown in this culture of the victim, too many people are going blame everyone but themselves.

    And just wait until gaming reaches a point where it's photo-realistic, approaching something like the realism of the holodeck. We haven't seen anything yet.
    • by Vreejack (68778)
      WoW is excellently designed to be addictive. I offer the example of resource gathering. One can learn where to look for resources, but the appearance is random. In psychology this is known to reinforce a behavior (looking for resources) that will last for a long time before extinguishing even if the stimulus (the appearance of resources) is removed.

      I understand that slot machines operate on similar principles. I have often thought that video games might serve as an effective way to transfer gambling add
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Whenever I hear a call for 'personal responsibility,' it always sounds to me like a call to abandon social responsibility. Unless you're proposing a sweeping eugenics program to remove anyone lacking ironclad self-control from the gene pool, we're always going to have a certain fraction of the population which will be unable to regulate their use of habit-forming things. People are not all going to be mature and responsible, whether we're talking about regulating their own behavior or accepting responsibi
  • Taught me a lot really fast.

    It was like life at triple speed.

    I learned how to recognize users a lot better.

    I learned a lot about logistics.

    I learned things that help me in my daily job as a project lead.

    I was a natural leader before- but doing the guild bit was trial by fire.

    These days.. I play about 6 hours a week tho. It's a game and I have RL stuff that is fun to do. It was a glorious period from 1999 to 2001 tho.
  • HORACE PORTER

    American general and diplomat

    (1837 - 1921)

    How did a guy that died 85 years ago know about WoW?

    What a difficult concept.
  • The same people that can't exercise self-control with gambling, alcohol, prescription drugs, sex, smoking, illegal drugs, internet usage, eating, or one of a whole host of other problems, can just as easily become addicted to video games.
    • The same people that can't exercise self-control with gambling, alcohol, prescription drugs, sex, smoking, illegal drugs, internet usage, eating, or one of a whole host of other problems, can just as easily become addicted to video games.

      A lot of the things you mentioned are physically addictive though. There is a substantative difference between activities that just require control and things that will actually make your body feel differently if you don't have them. I know the difference because I'm a s

  • When the general population has greater access to high end 3d cards.
    All of this has already happened w/ EverCrack, more than 4 years ago
    We knew of all the problems back then, no one cared

    EverCrack Addiction: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/05/28/earlysho w/living/caught/main510302.shtml [cbsnews.com]

    http://pc.ign.com/articles/356/356673p1.html [ign.com]
  • I thought this was about WoW, not Ultima.
  • Most people do not play WoW the way this guy plays it. He sees it as organization a team of people, statistics, and a learning experience. He's a leader, but he is by far the minority. Not everyone in WoW can be a leader, and I would say very few people are trying to mentally make the most of playing the game.

    What is up with people saying that they've made so many "friends" in WoW? Look, if you meet up with someone in RL that you met in WoW in and you get along, that's more of a friend. Talking t
  • When they start having people with masters degrees in policy running guilds in a GAME I think it is time to go back to playing Minesweeper.
  • I see a lot of 'self-control, get some' posts. I don't think that's the key issue though. When you get to the end game, it's about peer pressure, not self-control.

    Whether imagined or real, people often feel pressure to be there for their guild, to help out their friends, and generally participate in the social group that has been formed. It's a very basic human trait, and I would say much more difficult to deal with or just switch off. I actually suspect most people, if they were playing WoW or whatever sol
  • If you didn't play WoW constantly you would not have called what you learned "tangible". :)
  • by greyfeld (521548) on Friday October 20, 2006 @02:31PM (#16519351) Journal
    I was the first of my friends to start playing EQ. I got them all hooked. So 6 years later where are we. I still play, although I quit for a year, but now occaisionally game with my 13 year old (who is not allowed on without me btw). Most of the others still play occaisionally and others have left entirely, come back and left again. Of the seven friends I started playing EQ, one is still serously hooked.

    I went over to visit him the other day. I must say that I was totally grossed out. He owns his own house, but could no longer open the front door. I had to come in the back through the kitchen. There were dirty dishes piled all over and he didn't even have a clean glass to offer me a drink. There was trash piled everywhere and a little path through the rest of his house. He had two office rolling chairs to sit in. Everything else was covered with trash. He was sleeping on the floor and there were dirty clothes strewn everywhere.

    When I went to use the bathroom, there were dozens of empty toilet paper rolls strewn around the floor. When I lifted the lid on the toilet to take a leak, there was a huge turd plugging the drain. I tried to lift the plunger next to the toilet out of it's bucket, but it was stuck to the bucket. I was just thoroughly disgusted. I stayed for a little while longer. On my way out, I told him that he needed to unplug, go buy some trash bags and throw this crap away. He blushed and said he knew. I said yeah, but obviously he wasn't doing anything about it and somebody needed to say something. I doubt I got through to him, but don't know if I can go back.

    For every 6 out of 7 MMORPG players that are leading productive, healthly lives, there are those ones that have lost total control of their lives. They have forgotten about the real world and let everything go. They need serious help! I just don't know who is going to give it to them. I don't know if I can help or would just be wasting my time going back to him. I've tried to help others before and get them cleaned up and the next time you go back they're just as bad or worse. How do you help a friend in dire need of a reality check?

  • by thue (121682) on Friday October 20, 2006 @03:34PM (#16520297) Homepage
    I don't play WoW myself, but I liked the South Park episode:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBBbM2iFQ1g [youtube.com]

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