Falling of the Warcraft Bandwagon

exhausted junky/computer thief
photo credit: kouk

As if I didn’t have enough projects on my plate, I started playing [amazon_link id=”B000H96C9M” target=”_blank” ]World of Warcraft[/amazon_link] again. I know, I really thought I was done forever, but a certain dangerously addicted roommate, and an innovative idea from Markco of Just My Two Copper fame (or as I like to think of him, my pusher), have gotten me hooked again. I suppose it was only a matter of time, really. I’m an addict by nature, and you can only swing the cake in front of the fat kid so long before he grabs it and runs.

I’m going to do it right this time.

In the past, I had very little going on in my life, and it left me an empty, shallow man very much on the path to becoming one of those guys that has to be lifted by a crane out the side of his house because he’s too big to fit through doors. I played World of Warcraft because I was desperate for some kind of social interaction, but also extremely terrified to go out in public where there were people. After all, the only thing I’ve ever really been afraid of is massive crowds of 5-6 people, well that and candirus. While that is still true, after all crowds of people can easily turn into crowds of zombies, I’ve begun going out into the world and enjoying it thanks to some really good friends.

Work before Play

I’ve been pushing myself pretty hard with working a full time job, holding down a pretty heavy writing schedule, exercise and diet. It all adds up and really weighs pretty heavily on your mind. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up on something. I refuse to do that. I have a system where I reward myself for doing things. It defeats the point of loosing weight if I reward myself the way I used to, with delicious and horribly unhealthy food, like fried chicken. I decided, now that I’m playing WoW again, and its once again enjoyable for me, that I will reward myself by playing WoW. That means no WoW if I haven’t done my writing or worked out yet that night.

The big appeal here is how mindless and easy WoW really has become, especially now that I’m a fully trained Pavlov’s dog, ready to push keys when things light up so I can get my reward of purple pixels. There aren’t many things that I can do that just let me turn off my brain and go for a while. Most nights I can’t even turn off my brain long enough to sleep, and I find myself waking up several times through the night with my mind running back to the same train of thought over and over again. It can be quiet exhausting, and its nice to have a veg out activity to really let the brain get some rest. The downside, though, is I’m not sure how long it will hold my interest with nothing new really happening ever. Time will tell, I suppose.

Cutting back on some other unhealthy habits.

There are a lot of things that I do that I know are unhealthy and costly for me. I find that when I distract my mind and let myself veg out in front of a computer, I do them less.  It’s probably not the healthiest way to break the bad habits, and I wouldn’t consider them broken, so much as taking the edge off. For my food and tobacco addictions, WoW is like my methadone or something. I smoke less and graze less when I’m playing than when I’m doing something like watching TV or even just sitting at the computer chatting on twitter and scarring myself permanently by exploring the deep seedy underbelly of 4-chan that is the /b boards.

Markco’s Affiliate coaching program

Pretty much the feather that broke the proverbial camel’s back was Markco’s announcement of his new coaching program at 20kleveling.com. The basic idea is for some players to list what they are awesome at, and other players to pay them with real world money to help them get better at that thing. I really enjoy the idea, and I often think of Marko as a bit of a visionary in e-marketing. Unfortunately for me, I’ve been out of WoW for so long that I’m not really all that good at anything anymore, so I haven’t listed myself as a coach. I’m thinking about signing up to do research for people though. I’m pretty good at that.

Eternal Vigilance

If you are a WoW player, and something tells me the vast majority of you are, you know how addicting it can be. I don’t want to fall back into any bad habits, so for now I’m playing on a trial run. I figured I would give WoW 1 month to prove that it’s worth continuing to play, and to prove that I’m not going to just slough off everything I’ve worked hard to build to just play all the time. One of the best benefits of actually having goals in life, is that you tend to protect them. If I think I’m falling away from achieving what I want to achieve, WoW is gone out the window.