This subject has been discussed a lot on the intarwebs lately (WoW Insider and WoWcast, too mention a couple), so I thought I’d have a go at it. How WoW becomes a big part of a lot of players lives and how others look (down) at this somewhat bizarre way of spending your free time.
There seems to be two kinds of people. The ones who play WoW and the ones who hate it. This might be true for a lot of things, but there seems to be a common disliking for the game. And I’m trying to wrap my head around exactly why. I guess a lot of things that is as popular as WoW have the same effect on people. Football (soccer for you Americans) for instance has some incredibly devoted supporters, to the degree of lunacy. On the other hand you got the people who sees football supporters as bunch of brainless twats who worship other brainless twats who gets paid way to much for running around kicking a ball. It seems if you have a devoted audience you’re likely to have an equally devoted group of people who hate what others love.
“Can’t you just pause it?”. If I had a gold for every time I got that question I’d be cruising the streets of Dalaran on a Mechanohog. A lot of people, even those my own age, seem unable to grasp the concept of 25 people coming together at a set time and date to play a video game. Miraculously I managed to explain and make my parents understand this concept, at least to a degree. So whenever I’m back home and someone asks me for this or that, they actually understand when I say “10 more minutes, just need to finish this.”. Judging by the amount of “brb, mum says I have to eat” I see when pug’ing instances, I think I should feel privileged.
This brings me to another point. Choosing between RL and the game. To most people, even s0me of those who play, the answer is given. Before you make up your mind picture this. You’ve signed up for Ulduar 10-man a week before. You’ve been in the same guild for months, if not years and talk to people on Vent on almost a daily basis. On this particular run, which you know people have spent hours preparing for, you know that there are only 10 sign ups. If you don’t show, it’s a no go. Then a friends calls you two hours before the raid and asks if you want to come to a party, come over, watch a movie or anything else? What do you do? I have to admit I have told friends no, or tried asking if they got time later. My problem with it all is that I don’t want to tell those who don’t play why it’s a bad time. Because I know they wouldn’t understand.
In the end I think you can conclude that if you plan to raid end game actively it will change your RL priorities. A lot of people find this thought disturbing. After all, it’s just a game. Isn’t it?