This first post of the new year deals with something that blew up on my submarine over a year ago, and really went mainstream late last year - World of Warcraft, the self-proclaimed number one online game. This massively multiplayer online role playing game, or MMORPG, is just over three years old now; at work, I hear more conversation about this game than any other topic not directly related to work. Despite being inundated with the words "raid," "crit," "spec," "level seventy," and the name of every class, race, and instance dungeon in the game for over a year, at no point have I ever seriously considered taking up World of Warcraft. In fact, on August 30, I called it the "devil's handiwork du jour."
Originally, I spurned WoW because it seemed to be a Memphis thing; just about everyone on the boat was playing it, and thus I wanted to distance myself from it to reduce the interaction with my co-workers. At that time, I liked them (as a group) a lot less than I do now. Don't get me wrong, many of them still rub me the wrong way quite often. But I'm no longer totally resolved to sequester myself from them. That said, if I were to start playing, I'd almost be obliged to join with my co-workers, which would likely constrain my potential enjoyment of the game. An equally large reason for refusing to play WoW is the large and relatively fixed time commitment the game requires. I've never had a particularly long attention span, and it seems that span has shortened during the last few years. I don't go to the movie theater too often; my last trip there was about two months ago to see "American Gangster." Conversely, I've already paused multiple times in the course of this one entry. The entry I posted on Monday about the Boston road trip last March was three days in the making. That's why I tend to gravitate toward NES and SNES emulation, and reading random things on the Internet (which, unlike WoW, expands the range of my knowledge); I can pause one, switch to something completely different, go on to a third thing, and then return to what I was originally doing. It seems to me like once you start one of these "guild runs," you're locked in for however long it takes. And lastly, it makes no sense to me to pay an additional fifteen or so American dollars per month on a diversion, when I've already got plenty of them available to me at no cost.
Mr. T can have his night elf mohawk; Shatner can hurl his bolts of lightning; and I hope Mini-Me has fun perfecting his mastery of the arcane. I'll stay on the sidelines of the World of Warcraft.