Are MMO’s Worth It?

I decided that for my creative non-fiction class this semeter my topic that I would pursue would be MMO’s since I’ve never really sat down and considered the near decade I’ve spent with this genre, and this was a perfect opportunity to do that. I’ve never really written any CNF before, so this is all new to me, but I think this piece is pretty decent so I decided I’d share it with you. It’s a little short due to requirements for the course, but I think it gets pretty much everything I want to say across, just maybe with slightly less detail. Anyways, here it is — hope you like it.

Are MMO’s Worth It?

A question I have often found myself asking is whether it has been worth it to play MMO’s over the past eight years, or whether I would have been better off entirely if I had never become involved with them. There are so many ways to go about answering this question, and yet there are also many things that are intangible – simply impossible to describe, though equally as valid as anything else. Things like that rush of adrenaline the first time I went on a 40-man raid, or the first time I fought against another player, or the relationships I built. I can’t put a price on these things, but I can wonder how different my life would have been if I had been reading a book or playing baseball instead.

Back in 1999, I had no idea what to expect when I picked up Asheron’s Call. How could I? I didn’t even realize it was anything other than an ordinary PC game. I had no idea that I would pour one tenth of my life throughout the past eight years into Asheron’s Call and World of Warcraft. If someone had told me that, I would have avoided them like the plague. That said, does that change the way I feel now about these amazing games? Not really. Can I still question what could have happened had I steered that passion in another direction? Of course I can. If you consider what you could do with a year of your time, the possibilities are endless. You could either teach yourself every intricacy of Photoshop, or how to build a car, or you could simply sit on your ass watching Law and Order marathons.

So what have I gained by spending all of this time in virtual worlds? Well, there are the relationships I have formed with players, both that I still maintain, being two, and those have faded over time, which are dozens. Stemming from that is the improvement in my social skills which I think is due in no small part to these games. I’ve also improved my leadership and teamwork skills as a direct result of MMO’s. Then there are the intangibles like the sense of accomplishment, the late nights spent goofing around in an instance with friends, the discovery of a new zone, and all those other things that can’t be measured.

I consciously made a choice, and that was to devote a good part of my life to this game genre. Whether I made the best choice or not, I would have a hard time giving up those memories and the friendships to be replaced by something else, even if it was more impressive or useful or honorable. Some might think of this as nothing more than another form of entertainment, but I disagree, and hopefully will continue to do so in the years to come.



1 comment so far

  1. […] came across this post – Are <b>MMO</b>’s Worth It? – and thought it was worth sharing. I hope you find it interesting too and take the time to read […]

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