Moving with the Crowd

First of all, I’m offically very sick of World of Warcraft… although, this is not an indication that I’ll stop my subscription and stop playing, because for the most part I literally can’t.

MMORPGs are strange monsters. They are, under a thin veil, called games, but there’s so much more behind it that makes it tick. There’s economics. There’s politics. There’s friendships and dramas. You have to “get a job”, “earn your keep”. Essentially, it’s a second life complete with its own set of pleasures and problems.

Early in the game, this is not apparent… you level up at your own pace, often alone, and there’s a sense of progress no matter what the hell you do. Screw around? Sure. Explore new area for he heck of it? Sure? Lead an army to attack the enemy’s capital city for no reason and nothing to gain? Sure!

Then the “End Game” monster creeps up on you. You join a guild. Now you have to share 5 hours of your life a night with 39 other people, and pray to god that all of them show up and in their best behavior, because all the contribution you give wouldn’t matter jack in the big bad raiding machine.

When you’re off from raiding, you’re expected to earn your keep. That means endless hours killing the same mobs over and over. I even worked out this circle where I can just run round and round like a monster juicer, turning virtual pixels into virtual currency – all this to keep your armor repaired and potions stocked up.

And unlike any other single or multi-player games, you can’t stop. The world continues to move, with or without you. If you stop playing, it becomes harder and harder to catch up, until at some point you’re so far behind that you feel like you’re trying to move forward in the game in balls and chains, and there’s blood coming out of those shackles and you keep moving, moving, because you have to, because you don’t want to fall behind.

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