Once again, I am feeling the urge to venture back into Azeroth. “What?” you may ask. Yes I am referring to World of Warcraft again. I played for a year and a half, then quit, then played again, then quit again, then played again…you get the idea. What is this hold it has on me? It’s really difficult to explain. Even though I am not playing right now, I go places and see things in real life that remind me of the game. It happens when I least expect it. My husband laughs at me when I say something like, “Oh the ceiling of this church reminds me of the Tournament of Champions arena” or “the scenerey in this movie reminds me of a raid I went on”.
So if I miss it so much, why am I not currently playing? I originally quit, because the game tends to suck up a lot of your time. Because it is mostly played in real time, you can sit down to play for a couple minutes, and in the blink of an eye, it’s after midnight. It was Spring time, and several of my online friends weren’t playing as much either (as strange as it sounds, it is a social game), so I figured it was as good a time as any to take a break. When I couldn’t fight the urge any longer, I went back. But it felt lonelier. Yes, even though I was sitting in a room by myself on a computer, in the game you are literally surrounded by people…hundreds of them; you just can’t see them. They are the players. People like me. Some people more obsessed than me. We can chat via text or voice. We can quest together. At other times, the other players can really piss you off. But still, it’s fun. There is a camaraderie of sorts. But this time the people I knew weren’t playing either. I felt alone. So I quit again.
Time went by, and once again, I just had to get on to play. There were upgrades and changes made. What I once knew was now different. I had to relearn what I had already mastered. There are so many intricacies to this game that it’s ridiculous, challenging, captivating, and finally rewarding when you master them. I went through the process again, maxed my characters’ (yes I have several) levels then found I was still feeling lonely. Where were my friends that were playing? As introverted as this game can be, I am definitely an extrovert. I need interaction. This time the interaction was lacking. The people I once played with were on hiatus as well. Those that still played, were playing less frequently for various reasons. Some changed servers for the very same reason (more interaction). I was lonely. Well, I decided it was a good time to give up the game. I quit again.
Then I got the itch again. It didn’t help that Blizzard (the maker’s of the game), offered me seven days for free to come back. How could I turn that down? It was a good seven days…good as in it reminded me of the aspects I did NOT like about the game. 1) I had to try to remember each time I returned what I was doing again. 2) Still not many people I had previously played with were on. 3) Oh so time consuming. I’m glad the week didn’t cost me anything. I played for that week, and then I was able to let go. Or so I thought.
So this past week my husband was out of town on business. I had a few busy days with friends. But then those few days I had some down time, I sat at my computer and thought about it. Do I dare sign up again? Why can’t I just quit for good without withdrawals? I busied myself with other tasks. I made it through his absence without caving in. But I still miss it. As the days continue to get shorter, and the nights grow longer, I don’t know how much longer I can hold out. I just have to keep remembering something I read: