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World of Warcraft versus Real Life

Thursday, February 19th, 2009
Posted in Advice by Joel Gross

The last computer game that I regularly played was World of Warcraft back when I was 21. Most guys that I know of both the nerdy and non-nerdy variants have played World of Warcraft or some other MMO at some point in their lives. As a matter of fact, more than 11.5 million people are currently subscribers to World of Warcraft alone.‚  Many of my friends and coworkers still actively (but secretly) play World of Warcraft or other games like it.‚  People who are seemingly normal in other respects often have online characters that have logged thousands and thousands of hours of game time.‚  You know who you are.

The reason so many people play World of Warcraft and other games is that they are fun.‚  The game allows you to enter a new world and explore it and do things that you may think you can’t do in real life.‚  The online games have a whole social community that has organically grown up around them.‚  People also get addicted to “leveling up” there characters and acquiring in-game money and goods.

So why did I quit playing World of Warcraft and other computer/video games when I was 21?‚  I came to the realization that WoW and other games are an imitation of real life.‚  A sad imitation that leaves you unrewarded and hollow in the end.

Below is my comparison of World of Warcraft and real life:

Comparison World of Warcraft Real Life
Exploration Animated world full of creatively rendered landscapes, people, monsters and cities. Highest possible physical resolution world too large to ever fully explore in a hundred lifetimes.
Levelling Up Gain skills in areas such as blacksmithing, alchemy, engineering or fighting disciplines. No skill in any way transferable to life. Learn to play an instrument, a sport, or study engineering, programming, design or anything else you can imagine. Skills are richly rewarded in life.
Social Community Make friends with fat dudes who drink a case of Mountain Dew every day. Make friends with the hot girl down the hall and potentially lose your encrusted virginity.
Mounts Reach Level 30 and gain a mount that increases in-game movement speed. Reach Level 77 gain Epic flying Mount. Reach Level 30 and ride a Suzuki motorcycle mount. Reach level 77 to gain the Epic Flying Mount: Learjet 35.
Gold Spend 4,000 hours ganking monsters to earn 5,000 WoW gold, worth about 15 U.S. Dollar. Spend 4,000 hours earning $400,000 running your own business, gaining valuable work skills and knowledge.
Goods Buy a Dwarven Hand cannon, a purple cloak or other pixellated items. Buy a Mercedes, a tailored suit, a 57” flat-screen and get a 9 thrown in for no charge.
PvP Fight endless battles against computer programs, gaining nothing but losing nothing. Get fired from your job, get divorced or get your ass beat. WoW wins this category.
Marriage After two years of walking your character around and making friends, you can marry someone. Your honeymoon will be to go fight a digital monster. Your wife will not be a hairy fat guy named Bill who flips burgers for a living. Honeymoon may include whips, chains, detachable penis and Hawaii.

Here is a task for all of you MMORPGers out there: go into your World of Warcraft account and see how many hours you’ve played. Now take that number and figure out how many 1 hour workouts, guitar lessons or Kegel exercises you could have done in that time instead. Think about that: instead of a useless level 70 warlock, you could have ripped abs or be able to play Smells Like Teen Spirit flawlessly. Get a life. Seriously.

My hope is that perhaps I have been able to enlighten some computer game nerds out there. Helping people break free of their chains of nerdiness, religion and other forms of insanity is my way of giving back to humanity.

5 thoughts on “World of Warcraft versus Real Life

  1. Thanx a lot,mate! These reasons of quitting WoW are so much inspiring and true, that it’s way easier to reconsider spending time in that toony world. I am givving it up right away. Should have done it earlier, as I am 28 years old. But it’s never too late to give up drugs like WoW. Take care, man!

  2. Ehh i found balance between real life and playing WoW. Playing WoW with real-life friends, using voice-chat and killing people can be the most hilarious, entertaining experience video games have to offer. If you can reach a balance between both video games and real life, then what’s the problem?

  3. HEY dude thanks alot for writing this . it really re assured me . and im gunna quit wow i have level 80s and been escaping reality . but i think the real world can be an epic adventure too. thanks

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