Random Thoughts About Role-Playing Games

Just when you think it might be a difficult week coming up with something fun to write about, a gift from Google falls in your lap. I can’t stop myself, I must talk about this.

Last week, I blogged about search terms, and being of a curious nature, I decided to do some research on search terms and how search engines figure out which sites might be something the searcher is interested in. I searched for WordPress Search Engine Terms and landed on a couple of blogs that talked about this subject. But what I found interesting was that one of the blogs had an article about it, and the author wondered how people found his blog using the search terms they did. His blog is devoted to World of Warcraft (WoW), which is an online role-playing game.

This is interesting to me, because one of the characters in my next novel, Perigee Moon, is a gamer. Luke’s son, Ben, is addicted to gaming, and I wanted to be able to appear smart about it, like I actually knew some real hard facts, instead of sounding clueless, which, thankfully, I am. So I added it to my Favorites, under a subfolder entitled Book Research so I can learn a little about WoW.

I recently wrote a blog about romance novels, and what’s not to like about them, so I’m doing the same about WoW, which is a mindset I have never even come close to understanding.

The following is a definition of World of Warcraft from Wikipedia lifted with errors intact, i.e. “a massively multiplayer online role-playing game” (shouldn’t that be “massive”?)

World of Warcraft (WoW) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994. World of Warcraft takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth, approximately four years after the events at the conclusion of Blizzard’s previous Warcraft release, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment announced World of Warcraft on September 2, 2001. The game was released on November 23, 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise.

If I include World of Warcraft or WoW in my tags for this post, it will appear in the search results for individuals who are actually interested in this topic, and they will not appreciate what I have written here. They may even tell me what they think of me for dissing their chosen pastime and leave me nasty comments, which might make me feel bad (though I doubt it). Here is a disclaimer:

WARNING!  Anyone who wants tips and tricks for Restoration Druids is not going to learn anything here. I  appreciate your annoyance at being diverted by my thoughts on the subject. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE. But for those of you who might have an avid interest, click here to discover everything you ever wanted to know about talents, gear, spells, patch notes, tips and tricks for Restoration Druids.

What in the World of Warcraft, is a Restoration Druid anyway?

The following are the beliefs and utterances of a Baby Boomer regarding WoW:

We did not grow up in the time of texting, Twitter, Facebook and role-playing video games. Some things that are absent from the formative times in life, might never become completely comfortable pastimes to some of us. It’s like someone once said (but I can’t remember who it was), if you don’t start eating sushi in your twenties, you will never eat it. True in my case.

Here’s a quote from the author of the WoW blog, who writes this about his recent trip to the Blizzcon, (which — should you be so unfortunate as to be as uninformed as I am — is a WoW conference, named for the authors, Blizzard Entertainment):

On the downside, I met people who I would be happy to never socialize with again. It’s unfortunate too because I felt I had such a strong connection with them over Twitter.

So, let me force this information into my brain. You formed a strong connection with them on Twitter. In 140 characters or less (and the less the better, can’t forget about retweets, now can we?) I find it nearly impossible to imagine how to form any kind of connection with anyone on Twitter. Is there something I’m missing?

There are lots of ways to waste time in life. But wait. “Waste” might be the wrong word for doing things truly enjoyable, like going to the park, reading a book, watching a weepy movie. But playing role-playing video games is truly that, wasting time. What do you get out of it? Well, I’m told, you play and you get better and you get to a higher level. And my reply to that is, so what? What do you get out of that? And I’m met with blank stares, and I realize they now believe it is pointless to attempt to explain something so basic to someone so pathetically sans clue (me).

I am surrounded by little boys who play video games. If you let them, they would do it all day, every day. It is tantalizing to them, such a cool thing to do, since  their parents don’t want them to do it. Things parents want you to do are boring, like reading. Things parents don’t want you to do are cool, like video games and YouTube.

Some study came out and said that people who play video games are way better at robotic surgery than people who don’t play. The problem with this is, there is a limited number of robotic surgeons that can be supported by the population, so what are all the other ex-gamers going to do with their lives?

In my experience of late, I have come to know individuals who are pushing forty who spend their vacations playing video games. When asked, “So how was your vacation?” the reply is, “Great! I got to Level X in (insert name of super-exciting, fast-paced, mind-numbing, eardrum-splitting Cool X-Box Video Game here). Was that before or after you visited the Grand Canyon? That’s next year? Oh, okay.

Just as reading romance novels can become an addiction, so can gaming. And like any addiction, it can wreck a career or a marriage. I thought this phenomenon interesting enough to develop a character around it. Sort of a contemporary social critique.

Bottom line: I don’t get it, will never get it. So all you WoW enthusiasts who are going to write comments about how clueless I am? Save your keystrokes. I already know it.


3 thoughts on “Random Thoughts About Role-Playing Games

  1. WOW (pun intended)!! And you think you’re clueless – I’ve never even heard of WoW! Seems like I’m not missing all that much, either!

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