I’ve never been much of a video gamer. I preferred reading books to almost everything else, and in more recent years, very fond of reading blogs and articles online. Imagine my surprise to realize that I would actually like playing any games at all, much less one of the games that has the most taboo and shaming attached to it.
Josh bought me League of Legends before Thanksgiving break my senior year of college. To my surprise, I enjoyed playing it. Before Christmas break, he convinced me to try World of Warcraft.
“We’ll do Refer a Friend, you’ll get one month free, which doesn’t matter because I’ll pay for your account, and if you don’t like it we can just cancel it. Don’t knock it till you try it.” (Not exact words, but pretty close.)
So I sighed, and said okay, and we started Westley and Buttercup, a worgen warrior and warlock combo.
Today, I’ve been playing without lapsing my account for about two years. I have a herd of toons (cough, cough, *gnomes*) am an officer in my amazing guild that has some of the coolest people I’ve met in my life, and even raid on a regular basis.
For awhile, it was hard not really having anyone I could talk to about it. The subject of World of Warcraft is so taboo, starting from the stereotype that all WoW players live in their mom’s basement, addicted to the game, never showering, eating junk food, etc. *rolls eyes*
So here’s me saying, “You know what? I play World of Warcraft. And I defy the stereotype. And here’s why you shouldn’t be afraid of the stereotype if you’ve ever wanted to pick it up.”
So here’s my five reasons why I play World of Warcraft.
Reason #1: The story and lore is amazing.
WoW has a gigantic universe. It started with Warcraft I-III, a real-time strategy game, and the massive multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft came from the same universe and storyline. There is a main storyline, but then each race has its own storylines, some classes have their own storylines, each faction and group of people has its own storyline to delve into, and it’s just mind-blowing, and incredibly extensive. I’ve made an effort to read as much of the lore and storyline as I possibly can, and I still haven’t even scratched the surface. I’ve read a few of the books, and the writers that write the WoW books tend to be decent writers and do justice to the storylines. Even if you never wanted to play the game, the books are good for anyone who enjoys reading the fantasy genre.
Reason #2: The music appeals to my music-nerd side.
I played in concert band/wind ensemble from 5th grade all the way until my senior year of college. If I had more time, I probably still would play in the community band in my town. The music in WoW…I would have LOVED to play it in wind ensemble or concert band at any point in my life. Most of it doesn’t have any words, which makes it excellent to just listen to if I need to focus, or even just to fall asleep to at night. I’ve also snagged the Diablo III soundtrack (also from Blizzard Entertainment) and I actually have a Blizzard Entertainment playlist on my iPhone. It comes in handy. I tend to keep the music turned up above everything else when I’m playing. Most recently, the newest raid that came out has amazing music. I don’t mind wiping ten times in one night if I can keep listening to the music in the raid.
Reason #3: It’s a social game, you can meet people from all over. I also happen to have the best guild of all time.
It took about six months before we landed in the right guild. The original guild I joined when I started playing had some issues with the guild leader, and everyone quit playing except for Josh and I. We decided to roll on a role-playing server (Wyrmrest Accord) on a whim with our friend Ryan, creating three gnomes named Stabbystabz (a gnome subtlety rogue), Minnieheals (gnome discipline priest) and Tinyjewels (gnome frost mage).
We thought it’d be funny to level with PVP on an RP server. Little did we know we’d find Darkwind. The people I’ve met in this guild I can honestly consider my friends, especially my fellow officers. Everyone genuinely cares about each other, wants to help each other, and enjoys downing content together. We’re a laid back group, live by the motto that “real life comes first”, and are not by any means a hardcore guild. We just like playing the game together, there’s no one else we’d rather play with than our fellow Darkwindians.
Reason #4: I’ve gained new skills. What? You can learn things from playing video games?
I have learned better strategies, better quick decision-making and critical thinking, learning how to work better in a group (I HATED working in groups in college, it’s a wonder I can even raid), learning more leadership skills, and oddly enough, getting a better sense of direction. I even get to practice my photography with screenshots in-game.
Reason #5: Well, it’s FUN.
All of these reasons I’ve mentioned before are what put together what makes the game fun for me. I enjoy vanquishing evil with a group of people, especially on a character that if they existed in real life would probably come to my knees. I like reading the quests and enjoying the storyline. I like vanquishing stress by punching things in the face for a while. I like extending my brain and my skill set.
And finally…you there? You who might have once thought they might want to try this game, and didn’t want to for fear of embarrassment or ridicule? Pick it up if you want to try it out. Don’t regret trying something you might enjoy immensely because of what other people think. Try it out. You never know what you’ll get out of it that you never expected.