Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Month At War (plus tax advice)

A few weeks ago a friend introduced me to the online game, World of Warcraft. I thought (because of the title) that this was some sort of battle game where all I did was run around shooting things with guns. It didn't sound very appealing so I never tried it. I grew up watching my brother play intense single-shooter style games and grew bored quick. I'm not a gamer and no respectable gamer would count me among those ranks. But I have fallen in love with WoW. It's just so much fun!

What I like about it is the stories. I am a lover of stories. WoW is mostly a sequence of stories, and it is your job to explore this mythical universe online finding what happens next. You decide what kind of character you are, and what your role in the game will be. And then you enter this super easy beginner level where you get your feet wet. As you progress (and trust me, it's easy) you start to collect more of the story, and interact with other players. WoW is not just you and a game, it is you and thousands of other people playing together. I've chatted with accountants from Ohio, dog trainers in Missouri, and a teacher from Ireland all while trading cheese for wine or waiting to take on a group game of capture the flag.

I created a werewolf character and put her into the world of Gilneas. As a lover of dark fairytales it was like being transported to the keep of the Brother's Grimm. I run around as a wolf gal amongst old German townhouses and riding horse carts through the night to get to the next chapter of the story. I am amazed at how rich, involved, and fun it has become. If anyone of you are just curious, I totally suggest making a worsen character like I did and stepping into Gilneas. Then sit back and enjoy the ride!

I know what you are thinking. It's too addictive or time consuming. Well, it could be I guess. But for me it's gotten me inspired to do even more in my real life. It was creating that character you see above, an archer, that got me outside practicing archery every day in real life. It was my chubby little Panda character that I watched kicking and punching on screen that gave me the gumption to enroll back into TKD classes. Watching these imaginary characters train, ride horses, be in stories…well, it just inspires and excites my real life adventures. It has me writing Birchthorn again, and I dropped five pounds and rediscovered my spinning hook kick. 14 seasons of the Biggest Loser couldn't do that. A month of being a werewolf in a make believe world could.

And while the game itself is fun, I was able to join a small group of players (called a guild), thanks to the friend who introduced me to the game. It's a group of real-life friends from the northeast. At night when the chores are done here and the house quiet,instead of watching a movie I can log onto a voice chat room and the game, and spend the night talking with new friends from all over the US. Not chatting, not texting, but actually talking! I have a little microphone and me and these six other people are talking like we're all in the same room. (Think conference call, but less horrid.) My guild gets together a lot in real life as well, and since a few of us live in the Veryork area, I look forward to meeting them if I can.

So I suggest, and I mean this whole-heartedly, downloading the free trial and giving it a whirl. You use your mouse and keyboard and it doesn't take long to figure out how it all works. It's free to try, so if you don't like it, you have nothing to lose. If you do like it then you have to pay a monthly fee of 15 bucks, but for me it's worth it. Hell, just the other night a member of my guild saved me about $600 in tax advice and I got amazing new music suggestions from another. It's a way to connect, to be creative, to feel a little thrill of accomplishment, and unwind. You can call it geeky, it is, but it's also a damn hoot.

Hoot hoot hoot.


Blogger Sim said...

WoW can definitely be a great game. As an avid Gloom player too, I can't help but chime in here (I've never commented before)... A game we've discovered and love is Arkham Horror. Have you heard of it? Unlike Gloom, there are *a lot* of rules, but it's wonderfully immersive. It takes an afternoon to play which can be a benefit or drawback depending on what else you have to do that day, but wow is it a great time! Both story and action wise. It's co-op so it's a great chance to play side by side with friends fighting against a monster. Just thought you might be interested. Cheers, and thanks for the great book and blog.

January 23, 2013 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Sim said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 23, 2013 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger greendria said...

Your blog is my version of "WOW". Love it!

January 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger Stephen Andrew said...

hehe. I haven't played, but I do work a lot from home and can see how a forced distraction would be a great thing. Sometimes when one works from home, the boundaries are blurred and work stress never really melts away. Keep playing! Maybe I'll try it sometime.

January 23, 2013 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

It's very fun and very addictive. I had to quit so I could get my real life back. Not going to lie, sometimes I miss it.

January 23, 2013 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Fernleaf said...

Jenna, you've managed to compile all the good parts of WoW into another beautiful post, glad that you're enjoying the game so much :)

January 23, 2013 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger ican said...

Thanks but no thanks, too much to do irl!

January 23, 2013 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Michele Couture said...

It's so great to hear that you are enjoying playing the way I think is the most fun. I have been playing Wow since the beginning and really love the stories and the worlds that have been created. It's a fun Winter distraction when things are a bit slower. =)

January 24, 2013 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Trish said...

Is it coincidence that you posted this? I don't believe in coincidences so let me say that this post really touched me in a bizarre way.

My daughter passed away a year and a half ago unexpectedly. She was my only child. She was a HUGE WoW player. I would go in her room and talk to her and she would say "not now mom, I'm in the middle of a battle" I would smile, kiss her on the head and walk out to leave her with her fight. She had many WoW friends and when she passed away many expressed condolences to me via facebook, commented about her passing on her youtube tutorials about WoW etc...

Lately I've been really wanting to play it. WoW was her world, she loved it. She was very passionate about it and whenever I think about it I feel like when she passed her spirit went into the world of WoW. To me even though it is "pretend" enough people love it to make it a reality in the ether/spiritual realm. Does this sound kooky?

I've been fighting my craving to play because I am not sure if it's because I am a desperate grieving mom looking for her daughter or because I just love fantasy as much as she did and want that to be a connection, something we share even if she isn't physically here to share it with me. I am conflicted about WoW but I really really want to start playing, I just don't want it to be for the wrong reasons...

I also hear and know first hand through my late daughter that it's quite addictive. I managed to not get addicted to anything during my grieving process so I believe I am strong but this is so connected to could go either way.

I'm rambling! I apologize. I am so glad you found WoW :) Maybe I will show up there soon too.

January 24, 2013 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Paul Molnar said...

I had always avoided WOW because I have always leaned toward single player CRPGs (Computer Role-Playing Games) but I decided to give it a go after you mentioned it. I've hit the level cap for the starter game (lvl 20) after less than a week and I'm seriously considering upgrading myself. I'm impressed with the game but as of yet I haven't gotten into the "social" part of the game. I'm hoping to do so at some point soon.

January 24, 2013 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Paul if you decide to join into the game, then let me know. we can start a guild or you can "friend" me like some other readers have and we chat and such.

January 24, 2013 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Paul Molnar said...


I'd like that. It will probably be a little bit yet but I will friend you when I get set up.

January 24, 2013 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger ysmeine said...

I tried WoW on your recommendation. It didn't go well. My son appreciates the free trial though. I think I lasted less than 5 minutes, I had no idea what I was doing, someone shook their fist at me and I ended passing the keyboard to my son to get me out of it screaming escape, escape, escape. Obviously, I'm just not a gamer. I need more tutes and less live people.

January 31, 2013 at 6:52 PM  
Blogger ysmeine said...

I tried WoW on your recommendation. It didn't go well. My son appreciates the free trial though. I think I lasted less than 5 minutes, I had no idea what I was doing, someone shook their fist at me and I ended passing the keyboard to my son to get me out of it screaming escape, escape, escape. Obviously, I'm just not a gamer. I need more tutes and less live people.

January 31, 2013 at 6:54 PM  

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