One of my favourite things is finding out the geeky or nerdy things my friends like to do. I think it’s great to hear about what other people are really passionate about, especially when it’s something I like too! This is a guest post by my friend and fellow blogger Ar from Actual Ar (actualar.co.uk).
I’ve got a confession to make. I’m a computer game addict. Not just any computer game addict, a World Of Warcraft addict. Allow me to tell you why…
I used to be someone who laughed openly at the idea of computer game geekery. Actually, that’s not strictly true – there was one particular brand of said geekery that always use to baffle and amuse me in equal measure; the World of Warcraft players.
For those of you not in the know, World of Warcraft (or WoW as it’s often referred to) is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game that you play through a PC. Sounds nerdy, right? I thought so too. In fact, for years I would give my friends’ boyfriends a hard time for taking entire nights out of their weekly schedule to sit and ‘go raiding’.
And then I tried it.
Let me tell you, dear reader, in the grand encyclopaedia of gaming addiction, WoW is both the gateway drug and the hardcore habit. I was hooked instantly. Unlike the somewhat strange ‘role-playing’ title, WoW’s real draw is the immersive world it sucks you into. From the moment you start playing, you’re a new character in a new life, on another planet, and it’s just ridiculously fun.
I started playing while I was pregnant and at home without much to do with my time. A friend of mine managed to convince my sceptical self to have a go at it, and as he walked me through the basics I realised that suddenly I was really enjoying myself. Didn’t dare tell anyone else that though.
Soon, as I started to make progress through the higher levels of the game, I got invited to go on a ‘raid’ with some of the other members of my guild (which is basically your little tribe of nerds that your character affiliates themselves with. Think Starks and Lannisters, but with gnomes and undead creatures). Raiding is where you all get together one night to take on a special challenge zone, and believe me, you’re going to need three things if you’re serious about giving this side of WoW a go:
- A partner who isn’t going to divorce you any time soon
- Somewhere quiet so you can join in with the victory cries without waking your kids (and/or ending up on the end of a divorce petition…see above)
As soon as I had my daughter things had to ease up a bit on the raiding side of things, but that’s not to say that WoW isn’t my guilty pleasure of choice, far from it. I ask full forgiveness for my judgemental attitude towards this game in my past life, as it’s brought me a lot of positive things since I began playing back in 2011 or so. World of Warcraft has the ability to transport you away from your real life for a while – for me that was really helpful at a time when I was having difficulty with some health issues. It also immerses you in a fully-rounded storytelling experience that leaves you excited to play again and provides opportunities to collaborate with others in a real-time world of gameplay.
Plus, it looks bloody beautiful. It’s not something I shout about, but I really rate WoW as being one of my ultimate forms of stress and anxiety relief. It may be geeky, and it may not be something that everyone understands, but that’s what a dirty little secret is all about; something that makes me happy, even if it is a bit unconventional for a woman in her 30’s.
If you’d like to give it a go, there’s a starter version of the game that you can download which lets you play in the world up until level 20. That way you’ll get a feel for it and decide whether or not you’re secretly just like me – an absolute, all-consuming WoW addict.