Monday, March 17, 2008

I Killed a Cougar, and I Felt No Remorse.

Damn you, World of Warcraft! I told myself that I would play it from 10am -12pm today, and I ended up starting at 9:30 and playing until 1:30. I had a lot to do today: I had a book review and a blog to write, some research to do, and a computer lab to manage. But instead, I just couldn’t stop myself from killing little beasts alongside the road. Ugh. . .I have been told that WoW is addictive, but I did not think it would appeal to my insatiable desire to acquire fake money and weapons.

Okay, I’ll back up a little and share my whole experience before I start venting about by weird fetishes and lack of time management.

I initially chose to be a member of the Undead because they looked freakin’ cool. But, for my first tour of the World of Warcraft, I wanted to have friends to share my experience and help me out. So, I abandoned my aspirations to be a wicked awesome zombie killer and I became a Tauren: the Native-American, large teddy bears with horns-type characters. I prompt hung out with Chris, Rachel and Jerry.

Initially, it was fun hanging out with the group for a little while. Yet, the “Playstation-gamer” in me wanted to go off on my own and do individual tasks. The social aspect was a little frustrating at first—I really just wanted to call Chris on the phone and ask him what I should do. Once I figured out how to text, I kept just wanting to talk to Chris because I just wanted to learn how to talk, joke, dance, fight, jump, etc. Basically, I just wanted to know how to maneuver my character to be able to play the game.

I was not that interested in socializing. When people wanted to socialize or duel, I just ignored them or declined. Once, I got help from another guy to kill the head of the razorbacks; but that was the extent of my social interaction with people in the game. I was all about the task-oriented game. Because of this, I found a few aspects of the game to be frustrating. First, I am all about fast-paced action fighting. It seemed like it took forever for me to kill plainstriders and boars. I am used to games like God of War where I press a whole bunch of buttons and my arms become nuclear warheads to kill everyone on sight. It irritated me that it took me five minutes to kill things, especially when it was part of my current task.

Second, I hated having to stride slowly across fields. Although the view of the plains and surrounding mountains were depicted in beautiful hi-def graphics, I couldn’t stand lumbering for minutes on minutes to get to my task.

I guess I am impatient with the game and I am not sure exactly why. Is it because I just wanted to earn my gold star and leave? Is it because I wasn’t excited playing a Tauren? Am I just not a social gamer? Regardless, I am sure that there are people like me that just want to do their thing and get their prizes. That is probably where much of the addiction comes from: there is always a new level and a new achievement. However, my anti-social behavior is something I want to address in class. If someone like me, who doesn’t care much about interacting with people, treats the game as more of a goal achieving experience as opposed to a social experience, is the pedagogical significance of the game still relevant?

Ugh. . .I think I am going to go back and play the game. . .stupid addictive game. Nothing says St. Patrick’s Day like Beer and mystical creatures. Maybe I’ll go play some rockband tonight to offset the fantasy buzz.

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