A Retort of Sorts
So since I have not posted in a while I decided to post this in response to the latest Muckbeast blog Raiding Provides a False, Deceptive Sense of Real Accomplishment.
What is not real about the accomplishment of getting along with 24 other people to beat a game that takes skill, practice, time, and hard work? Sure it’s just pixels, and poker cards are just paper, and racing cars just metal, and surfboards are foam and plexiglass floating on water. Why should accomplishing a physical task on a PC involving pixels be any different then standing the bottle straight up on the plywood at the carnival?
Raiding for me is something competitive I can still do. I get joy from doing a variety of things like surfing, working on my car, restoring old video games, mixing music, taking the kids to Disney, fixing a problem at work… but there is nothing competitive about it. WOW works as a way to still have some lively competition both between players and between groups of players through raiding, PvP, and I suppose now accomplishments in the expansion.
I find WOW to be a nice diversion and hobby (theorycrafting, blogging) that involves a social aspect unlike other video games. WOW exercises not only the fingers but in some cases the mind and maybe for some social skills.
I know a lot of parents that play the game to increase their circle of friends and to have other adults to talk to and do things with when they can’t get out of the house because of kids or other responsibilities.
Bottom line, WOW is not this psychological RL killer you make it out to be no more so than anything else you could take or do to an extreme. In the right doses it is as harmless as a Bridge game with the neighbors but just like anything else it can become an addiction and other things are sacrificed for the sake of playing it. I remember in college before the internet existed playing spades with friends to all hours of the night did this to me… thank god the internet as we know it didn’t exist back then… I would have been too immature to handle it I think.
Raiding is what it is, a test of will, skill, and social understanding. So is PvP. And yes, just like any video game before it, winning the game is a huge accomplishment like saving Penny from Evil Commander Borf, flipping the score on Pac-Man, beating a friend at Tetris… if you like playing video games you get a sense of accomplishment from beating the game or a friend… from improving your skill… I liked beating my Dad at pong, it was a nice change from the tennis thrashing he would give me.
Sure, if raiding is all anyone cares about in life there could be an issue, but the people that blog about WOW specifically are only going to write about that accomplishment. I blog about WOW and I do it to flex my poor writing skills, my creative and analytical thinking, and to help others that want to get better at the game. I post other places about the wave I rode last week, the Karate Champ I restored to mint condition, the mix I made that played at the club last night, or the Forced Induction I finally got tuned correctly on my car. Are WOW bloggers going to gush… maybe. Is it a huge deal to get beat Archimonde, Vash, Kael, ETC… sure it is, endgame raiding is hard… it’s challenging… much harder than learning patterns for Pac Man and involves 25 good players not 1. Heck, you can even win some pretty large sums of money playing Arena now if you are good enough.
I don’t disagree with your thoughts Muckbeast, I just disagree with how many people have WOW as their only method of self actualization, I am pretty sure it is fewer than you think. Especially if you link it to endgame raiding which I hear is done by less than 10% of the WOW population.
Currently the only tracked game success is Arena rankings and Guild progression. I suck at Arena, I am good at Raiding. If you don’t endgame raid it doesn’t mean you “suck”, it just means you have not mastered (beat) part of the game.
I used to “suck” in Jr. High cause I couldn’t play basketball. Now kids come to school and maybe they “suck” cause they have not finished Kara. Same shit different day. Now what is more likely, for the kid that thinks you “suck” to give you some WOW tips and maybe invite you to a raid or that same friend to genetically enhance you, run you, etc so you can keep up on the basketball court? You can’t change someone with 5 thumbs… but they might get better at raiding… LOL
People find their niche, for some it might be raiding. Maybe WOW is doing more good in this world than harm?
P.S. Don’t let my wife read this, WOW is evil. LOL