Monday, October 18, 2010

Mookerwind the Night Elf

The screen goes black. The music, daunting and luminous steadily rises as I enter the World of Warcraft as Mookerwind, the night elf from Shadowglen and leave behind the all too human world. Believe it or not, I have only been playing WoW for a little over a week, still I am sure you can sense my defensive and somewhat addictive growing affiliation for WoW. I should mention the closest experience I have with MMORPGs is Mario Cart. Given my lack of experience and lack of hand eye coordination, all my avatar did was run around and explore different realms. I am embarrassed to say I only actually completed one task which included killing four young night sabers and four thistle boars.

Regardless, I spent countless hours just picking out an avatar and discovering different realms. The addictiveness, for me at least, is the continuous discovery of WoW knowledge gained, each time I played. There is a different language you have to adopt, different species to discover, new territory to find and new avatars from around the world to meet. It truly is like entering another world and I was shocked by the complexity of WoW. This accompanied by a little human competition, suspenseful music and the success of James Cameron's, Avatar, makes WoW one of the most popular MMORPG games to exist. As if that isn't enough, simply visit the WoW home page to find books, magazines, board games, support, community news and insider tips to live your WoW life to the fullest.

While WoW can be all fun and games, the reality of people becoming addicted affects more people than one would think. If you simply search online for WoW addiction support groups you can find thousands of blogs, videos, detox centers for addictive behaviors and 12 step programs encouraging addicts to give up their gaming. If you were to read one of the blogs on you might think you were reading about someone giving up drugs or alcohol. The addiction is alarmingly strong and makes me wonder whether this virtual reality, as ingenious as it may be, will create laws to prevent such addiction in the future.

Mookerwind will leave me in a few short days when my free trial is completed. I can confidently say I do not plan on purchasing WoW to begin another quest, but the journey was fun while it lasted.


  1. You make an interesting point about how addicting MMORPGs have become. Many people use media for escapism, just as some people drink or do drugs. It doesn't surprise me how many people have taken to these games as a way to escape from reality... or maybe to try and transform these spaces into their reality. It reminds me of a TrueLife episode about the game "second life" where people explained how they got the chance to become who they wanted to be through their avatars, like someone who wasn't scared to sing in public or someone whose beauty was also reflected on the outside.

    I don't see these games as a negative thing, but for some people I do see it as a way to avoid confronting reality. Because at the end of the day they are just that, games. It has become a lifestyle, a community, a way to connect... but it should be more than just a connection through a computer screen.

  2. While I have never played any MMORPG games, I know several people who do and the addicting behavior they cause. I think part about these games that is so enticing to players is that they can be someone completely different and futuristic. The escapism that these games entail is what I find to be addicting.

    I think these games are really cool and innovative, but could possibly cause some social implications. For example, hiding behind an "avatar" can make real life conversation different. While I see connecting with others online a positive thing, there are some negatives that do come along with it.