I believe that World of Warcraft, more commonly referred to as WoW, is a full-blown addiction that many people struggle with. For those that don’t know, WoW is an online Rpg thats popularity has grown massively in the two years since it was released. Blizzard, the creator, recently announced 5 million players worldwide, and the number continues to grow.
Now, being a hardcore, and I mean hardcore gamer, I would be the last person to admit that video games are an addiction. Games such as Super Smash Brothers: Melee offer short periods of fun, which are easy to break away from. But WoW is something different. It offers total, absolute immersion into a fantasy world. And although I have heard facts and figures for this game before, I didn’t realize the gravity of these numbers until I myself started playing. I have met players online who have spent two years on one character and still have plenty of gameplay left in them. I have realized that it would be easy to spend years playing one character. The game offers an endless number of possibilities for your character. The excitement caused by these numerous choices is tangible, and keeps players playing for weeks and weeks. Once you start playing it is easy to see why people spend so much time with it.
The main focus is to level up, or make your character stronger by doing missions and killing monsters. In the process of doing quests the player is rewarded with better equipment, which makes it easier to level up. The goal is to become the strongest player on the internet, and to be able to beat all challengers in player versus player, PvP, combat. And it only helps that leveling is just plain fun.
Having just recently started playing this game, I recognize the potential time consumption this game could have on my life. I have already opted to play it for another hour and a half rather than get some much-needed sleep. This is what makes the game potentially dangerous. The game creates a world for you to live in, and sometimes this world is just more attractive than the real world. It is easy to become so absorbed in WoW that the player forgets what time it is. In fact many of my friends are practically failing out of school, but have extremely powerful WoW characters. And Blizzard recognizes the mass appeal of their game; they are able to get away with charging players $15 a month to keep their account. Potential players should be warned that this game will dominate your life. A safe alternative would be any game in the Final Fantasy series; which all offer solidly designed RPG experiences but with much shorter play times. Current players need to recognize that WoW is not so much a game as it is an addiction. Go ahead; try to stop playing for a month.
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