Monday, April 20, 2015

Nostalgia and Addiction - a Warcraft Story

I bought a filing cabinet today because I am an adult. After setting up the hanging folders and putting all my important papers into a heap, I went through and ended up finding things from many years ago.

I'll figure this out

One thing in particular I found was a creative writing assignment I had in high school. I threw it away hastily in embarrassment, but not before looking through it.

In it, I had to write 6 separate pieces in an assortment of types of poetry and/or prose. Two of the six had been directly influenced by World of Warcraft and one of them was loosely influenced, with an additional drawing I had included for the final several page story.

I had this creative writing class in 2006-07 and graduated in 07. TBC came out about six months before I graduated from school (and on said release date, I lied and said school was cancelled so I could play, which was accepted without question for some reason), though I was in high school throughout all of Vanilla, and it almost caused me to be in high school longer than necessary.

During the period of time where I was playing in high school, I could hardly concentrate on anything that wasn't WoW, and it constantly leaked into my classwork. I guess I shouldn't say leaked, it was more...

yeah, like this

Separate from this particular previously mentioned assignment, I recall an assignment I had written where I transformed the approach of a raid group into Nefarian's throne room into a poem. I had included Nefarian's last line right before combat, "Let the games begin!" which my teacher decided detracted from the poem and needed to be changed or removed. Hrmph, like he knows.

Long story short, I was obsessed. I believe that you can become mentally addicted to things that are not naturally addictive, and World of Warcraft is partially, if not fully, responsible for that belief. For the amount of time I had played WoW that I was still in school, I played as constantly as possible and experienced physical withdrawal symptoms while at school. I went to sleep in my clothes so that I wouldn't have to get ready in the morning and I could wake up and play before I went to the bus stop, leaving at the last possible second and if I didn't miss it entirely, I would approach the bus as it was leaving and my driver would stop for me.

ahh, fu-

I didn't do any homework at home - I did what I could before classes started, during lunch, during other classes, and on the bus. When my mom asked me if I had done my homework, I always said yes, and it was usually a lie.

She enforced a bed time until I graduated from school, and I'm not surprised considering I never would have gone to sleep on my own - which was proven once I did graduate and no longer had a bed time. I was not allowed to have a computer in my room and I'm fairly certain my mom never slept, or old computers are just way too loud, because she would consistently hear if I woke up, making trying to sneak out and play pointless. I opted instead to wake up as early as possible.

My first raiding experience was in an Australian guild, before the oceanic servers were released. I woke up at 3AM on Saturday and Sunday morning to raid MC, and played all day. I barely ate and during this period of my life I was a steady 107lbs.

The only reason I even attended school and attempted to succeed was the knowledge that if I failed to get all of the necessary credits, I would be unable to reach the Valhalla - when I would graduate from school and I could just play WoW.

Now, this all sounds kind of bad I guess. I'm not interested into going into deep details about my early life, but suffice to say that this all consuming Warcraft addiction was probably the least horrible thing I could have ended up dealing with.

I bombed my last couple years of high school, opted out of my graduation ceremony, and spent the next few years after school as a freeloader avoiding all human contact with no plans to ever move out of my attic.

But today I bought a filing cabinet. So I guess everything worked out.

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