29/10/2010

World of Warcraft and Real Life...

A while back someone asked this question on Twitter: “blogwriters, how many people in your real life know about your blog?” In my case that would be one… Which would be my brother. If the question would be: “How many people know that you play World of Warcraft” then the answer would be a bit higher. My parents and family know that I’m a “gamer”. At work nobody knows about my WoW addiction or my blog. At times people look at me in a strange way when I tell them that I rather spend the night before my pc and raid instead of going out and get wasted. I think that games are automatically linked to a younger crowd and a lot of people have trouble seeing or accepting otherwise.

A while ago Blacksen wrote an article about being a raidleader/officer and if people would put this “experience” on application letters for a new job or promotion. I’ve been an Officer for several months and I’m not going to say that I haven’t learned anything out of that experience. There are a lot of things that people just don’t think or care about but when you’re suppose to run a guild a lot of those subjects are yours to fix/handle and even if this is “a game”, you’re still working with real human beings, who have there own set of idea’s and opinions. So why shouldn’t you put this on a job application letter? Simple, because a lot of people (generally the older generation) don’t see “gaming” as something that an adult would care about.

GAMING IN THE MEDIA

One of the best life experiences I had was an internship in an advertising agency (not sure if I’m using the correct term). So you don’t have to tell me how the media works. In Belgium gaming is often brought up in online newspapers and how they affect the current youth. These articles are mostly backed up by some kind of study from a university or a professor in psychology. As you might guess there are both positive and negative articles and a lot of them aren’t really that accurate when it comes to real facts. This is also a reason why gaming is seen as something that provokes bad behaviour and therefore gaming gets a bad reputation. Personally I don’t see how I would want to kill are hurt another person just by playing Call of Duty, or grow a more aggressive behaviour? A lot of these articles are focusing on extreme cases that occur rarely.

HOW I FELT...

When I still went to school I felt a bit odd about this whole concept. A lot of my mates where hanging at the pub or in some kind of sports club. While I was at home, doing my dailies. I felt a bit uneasy to talk about it but after a while I accepted the fact that I’m not going to be an athlete or the biggest drunk of our town. Don’t get me wrong, I did join my mates at the pub for a beer and a laugh, but I wasn’t joining them just to feel like I was a part of their group. When I had enough I went home and I didn’t bother what they though about it. In then end we do what we do to relax so why should I do stuff that I don’t really enjoy just to please others.

I recently changed the view people have about me at work. When I heard about Cataclysm’s release I immediately spoke about it at the office so I could see if I would be able to take a few days off to play. When people asked me if I was going on a trip I just answered them and told them the truth “No, I’m going to play a new game that’s going to be in stores that week”. I had a lot of surprised looks and some people asked me why I would waste my off days to sit in front of a PC. Others reacted interested and asked questions about World of Warcraft and the people I raid with, some of them where impressed when I told them that I play with different people from all over Europe.

MY PERSONAL VIEW…

Yep, I’m a gamer! I love things with buttons like computers or gizmo’s. I enjoy working out boss tactics with my guild far more then spending my evenings drinking in some pub. I’m not an antisocial person, I go to work everyday and I work together with the people at the office as well as people from outside the office. So you can’t really say that gaming has ruined my social life but when I get home I want to spend time tweaking the blog or in game and playing with all kinds of people from around Europe.

Not everyone will accept the fact that I like this lifestyle but then again I don’t have to like his or hers? Games have thought me things that other people struggle with (my English is one of the major examples, it’s not perfect but I’m the only one at the office that would answer a phone call when an English speaking person has a question. Which is a big advantage in a multicultural country). I lot of people also come to me when they are having trouble with their computer because I’m one of the few that knows more than just the basics.

When I joined the blogging community and registered myself of several forums I quickly saw how massive this World of Warcraft community is. And how people that I never would’ve guessed are also gamers.

Bottom line: Gaming is a hobby like any other hobby; the only big difference is technology. I’m connected to the world and the world is connected to myself, I don’t think my granddad that plays cards every Saterday evening can say the same thing :)

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed myself writing it. I think RestoDude has come to a point where I can write a bit more about serious, non-Druidish topics. This topic is something I come across in every day life so... it's a good one to start with :) Thanks for reading!

8 comments:

  1. I work with guildies so we all know our levels of addiction. I am also taking time off when Cataclysm comes out! It's still hard for my parents to grasp 'that game you play'. Ah well. :)

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  2. I am taking almost 2 weeks off of work for Cataclysm. My office mates know about my hobby, but most of my co-workers outside of my office do not. It's not something that I openly advertise in my industry, but I usually don't deny it as my hobby either :)

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  3. I've had a very similar conversation at work where I teach high schoolers. Several of the students are either Raid Leaders or Guild Officers and when asked if they would feel comfortable using their experience managing (although I have heard it described as cajoling, nagging and hearding cats) aspects of their guild in a job interview to illustrate some of their skills they were confused as to why until I pointed out that for young people starting out often their skills will be developed in team environments such as sport and things such as 'Footy Captain' are often used as CV fillers.

    It is amazing, given how common gaming is that people still seem to view it as staring fixedly at a monitor until you want to kill someone in real life, neglect your family and loose all ability to maintain 'normal' communication skills.

    Enjoy your week off :) I'm a tad jealous.

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  4. most of my close friends, and an increasing amount of guildys know I have a blog. Their interest in it varies - and thats ok. Its also a very public place people know I can be contactable, so I can't fall off the face of the earth as easy as I would like to sometimes.

    I've mananged in real life, and found it nothing like managing as an officer, probably because I felt that the management structure was not suited to real people management. eg giving most of the officer positions to people who have been there the longest - not the ones that will help Manage, I found these types of officers difficult to work with.

    But as for a lifestyle, I need a balance between real and gaming, sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't - but it depends on the pub. Good beer, cheap steak, and great company is an awesome night out :) stuck up snobs that need to sit down because their heels are killing me.. not fun. Would rather be gaming.

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  5. A few of my close friends who don't game know my blog, but I haven't really told anyone outside of the game about it. Although IMO it's a good exercise in writing and gives me some creative fun doing posts, screenshots, and designing the site, the content may not be something considered as valuable by those outside the game. My guildies know my blog, though I don't think too many of them visit it, but hopefully on occasions they'll plug it for me :P

    The stereotypes around WoW are particularly interesting for me to compare with the reality of it in-game. My closest friends IRL don't game at all, and they have the pretty standard view of 'it's nerdy/time waste/odd' etc and don't know the depth to it. Similarly I think my family don't understand it too well. The best explanation of it I think is probably that it's a hobby on par with other activities people do, whether it be a sport, gardening, pub-crawling, or whatever. I think some of the views of (at least WoW and similar MMO games) are that it's very isolationist and that you're just sitting in front of the computer, when there's actually a ton more going on that just that and that there's such a large social aspect to it. I expect that's what I'll be explaining to family when I'm hopping on to play while visiting them during the holidays! :P

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  6. This is an article that I could relate to completely. Being a WoW player in India has its disadvantages. The general populace is prejudiced against gaming, and as it is the world over, most see it as a juvenile pass-time.
    I find it extremely hard to explain to people the passion I have for WoW( or gaming for that matter). If I am asked about gaming, I normally just say its a hobby I like to pursue in my free time. That seems to satisfy most people, but many find that to be THE reason I do not have a GF/SO/etc. And when I tell them I have friends I play with who live in the US/Australia/Europe, I am met with incredulous looks and comments about "real friends" v/s online ones. Coming form people who spend 5 hours a day on facebook and twitter, it hardly bothers me.
    Reading your article has renewed in me the hope that I am indeed not alone here, and it is our passion for our hobby that keeps us going(among other things ofc).
    Thank you. It was a wonderful read.

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  7. Yay for gaming! One of the reasons I love WoW is that I get to play with people from all over Europe... and one of the things I hate is the existence of FR and ES servers, since those are the two languages I'd like to practice (I play on an EN server). I know several people who bettered their English by playing WoW, and I can now understand way more accents than I could a few years ago. (Still working on Scottish... our new guildie might as well be speaking Chinese as far as I'm concerned.)

    My RL friends are used to it by now I guess... but then again, my internet friendships have proved to be more lasting than the ones started in RL. I keep in touch with a handful of people from high school and I see them twice a year... but I went drinking last weekend with friends I met on a forum about 8 years ago. We still talk and I play WoW with a couple of them.

    Zahraah said that for him/her being a guild officer doesn't feel like managing people at work. It feels very similar to me - and I dislike both of them in an equal manner. I'm very lucky that my co-GL is a very good manager (she used to do it in RL too) and that at my job I'm in a low-profile position. What WoW *has* taught me is that I shouldn't go for a management position - if I find it hard in a game, with my nice and reasonable guildies, doing it for work would be baaad. I guess that's an useful lesson too...

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  8. Hey Beruthial, i guess your co-worker is just too old. WOW Cataclysm is the famous online video game today.

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