I don't write about World of Warcraft very often. I was surprised to find that it has actually been mentioned (if sometimes only in passing) 14 times before now but, considering how much I play, it's quite an overlooked part of my life as far as the blog is concerned.

While we play as a family as a way of doing things together I also spend a significant amount of time playing alone. The world of Azeroth is like a second home, as familiar as the real one, maybe even more so, but infinitely more predictable.

This virtual world becomes somewhere to hide, to escape, to not have to think about things and avoid real world problems. Playing the game is a default fallback activity. My wife says that my solo play - grinding through the basics of the game, doing the same world quests day in day out - is like an autistic behaviour. She's probably right.

I won't deny, it is absolutely a coping mechanism, a little bit of consistency in an ever changing tumultuous world, bolstered by rewards for completing each little task slowly building towards something larger.

But I think there is another side to it: while playing the game can be an act of avoidance it is also a retreat to a safe space using the repetitive gameplay as a means to clear the mind, maybe even a form of meditation. I don't have to think about what I'm doing, just drop into an automatous state and let muscle memory (if you want to call it that) take over.

Some might see it as time wasted, perhaps it is considering the amount I play, but I would rather that and be able to spend half an hour away from my thoughts than constantly fretting over them.

  1. V_ says: #
    it is a wonder it is still around. So long ago that I played it. Never managed to max out the levels of my char. But still, connect a lot of beautiful memory walking around its mystic landscape with my wife.
  2. Colin Walker says: #
    It's still best in class in my opinion but it's crazy to think I've been playing (on and off, mostly on) for 14 years.
  3. V_ says: #
    which side are you playing? Aliance or Horde? I only ever played a mage as Alicance.
  4. Colin Walker says: #
    Usually, and currently, Alliance although we have race changed to Horde a couple of times and I still have a Horde character - I like seeing both sides of the story. My main has always been Paladin and I switch between tank and DPS.
  5. strandlines says: #
    I somehow never got into WoW, and didn’t realise it is still going. I used to play Ultima Online back in the late ‘90’s. Isometric top-down and text speech. I did go back and resurrect my char a few years after I finished but the vibe had changed a lot. Good times.
  6. Colin Walker says: #
    It's never too late, and with character levelling completely changing in the next expansion it'll be a good time to start ;)
  7. strandlines says: #
    it would be an enjoyable rabbit hole down which to go - approach with caution 😃 But what a great idea that you play as a family!

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