Feed a starving child

Oh, look! For only 160 hours out of my life, I’ll do at least 19 more damage on every spell I cast. I just got two percent better.

For 160 hours?

That’s a month of full-time work.

That’s an approximate economic value of $16,000 dollars at contractor’s wages.

That’s 44 years of feeding a starving child somewhere in the world, every day of his life. (From The Sword of Courteous Debate‘s “I like gaming“, courtesy of Elf.)

I wonder about this sort of thing every time I hear someone start talking about World of Warcraft, and particularly when the discussion lasts more than about 30 seconds. That’s the sign that you’re talking to a player, not just someone that’s heard about the game and shies away from it, like me.

World of Warcraft is an amazing addiction. I’ve never hung around many hardcore gamers, and I’m certainly not much of a gamer myself, but I’ve never seen a game take people’s lives time the way this one does. This game has usurped the evenings, weekends, and classtimes of many of my peers and some of my staff/faculty acquaintances.

I tend to want to stay away from things that garner such fanaticism from people (although I feel free to exhibit fanaticism of my own, of course… Oh, shit! It’s Dr. Tran!), and I kind of wonder if they realize or care how much time is being dropped into the game. How much time they’re missing with in-the-vicintity friends and family to play.

I’ve heard a couple go into a long, pissed rant together because the couple that they usually do weekend activities with didn’t want to play World of Warcraft on a particular weekend. The other couple wanted a break from playing, apparently, to which their response is, “Yeah, they thplay a lot, but they don’t play a lot with us. I guess we’ll see if there’s a movie out that’s not too dumb and go watch it.”

My opinion of World of Warcraft aside, the above article is excellently written and worth a read, even if you don’t think World of Warcraft takes your life.


  • Bob S

    Yikes. I’ve been scared of trying the MMORPGs for the same reason as you. I’m sure they are very fun but I don’t want to have to invest that much of my life into a game to get enjoyment out of it. I also don’t like the idea of paying a monthly fee to play. It reminds me of cigarettes – “You pay us, we kill you!” (said by a charming man with slicked back hair and a twinkle in his eye).

    I find it very sad that people die because they cram into a smoky little bar and won’t stop playing when anything nature calls. I thought I was obsessive before but now I feel like a little weeny obsessor towards hiding in these beasts’ shadows.

    -Bob S

  • Guy

    I never bothered with RPGs in general for the exact reason. Luckily my short attention span on games prevents me from every messing around with them long enough to get into them.

    I used to play ordinary first person shooters in high school and I’d spend upwards of 4 hours some nights just playing them online against other people. College coursework quickly put an end to that.