It’s Tuesday again.
During the months school is “in”, my morning routine goes something like this:
- get up
- pull kids out of bed onto floor
- bathroom stuff, best left undefined
- let dog experience brief, illusory freedom, then tear away, crushing hope
- drive kids to school
- be at work earlier than everyone else in my entire industry (8am)
At this point, see, I have 90 minutes to kill before anyone else shows up. I am, for example, writing this very post during such a window.
The reason I am not playing World of Warcraft during this window is that it’s fucking Tuesday. And, on Tuesday, the goddamn servers are down while they install new software, buff the cable connections, eat nachos while laughing at their enormous power, and generally prevent me from having access to my narcotic.
This… has to stop.
Upon typing that, I realized that it is literally true. Not the “them taking their servers down on Tuesday morning to fuck with me” thing, because that’s not going to stop; I understand that. What I mean is, this whole “filling in every free 90 minutes of my life with a WoW session” thing.
I am, on the whole, philosophical about this.
Take, for example, this lovely notion. The basic idea here is that World of Warcraft is so successful that it is negatively impacting the rest of the game industry, as it’s such a huge time sink many gamers aren’t buying new games.
What does this mean to me? Well, it means a couple of things: one, it means that I’m not alone. I take solace in that, during the wee hours of the night, when I’m hunched in front of the amberglow of my monitor, imagining that I am a (female) paladin on a noble quest for more powerful magical war gear, certain that I will be returning to my family… in just a sec… just one more drop, honey…
Two, and more interestingly, it means that something is afoot. This… this whole thing… this WoW release and huge taking over of the whole world thing… seems to me like one of those events that won’t be soon forgotten, and may, in fact, have a wider impact than any of us are able to understand right now.
It reminds me, in fact, of the seminal imagination bomb that was dropped on the mind of geeks everywhere that was Dungeons & Dragons. Do you remember the world before D&D? I barely do; I had my hands full with figuring out how to walk and stuff, but my understanding is that prior to D&D gamers mostly kept themselves occupied with war simulations of varying complexity. One’s menu of choices ranged from Risk to Really Complicated Risk, which was great and everything, but it apparently left some kind of an itch unscratched, because some guy and this other guy created this thing that pretty much destroyed every geek in the known universe (and took out a goodly number of curious, open-minded friends-of-geeks as well).
Where were you when you first played D&D?
I was in the seventh grade. I remember it vividly; it was at school, I played a goddamn illusionist that someone else rolled up for me, and my “friends” were all terrible at it. I cast wall of fog, and the hill giant still killed me, and it was horrible and embarassing, and I left in utter disgust, hating those ex-friends of mine, and went out and bought the game that very day. I devoured it, over and over, in the weeks that followed. I never looked back. It was fifteen years and a full family later before I shook the roleplaying habit, and it still lingers, wanting to come back and play with me again.
(In fact, if you know anyone who’s running a good group, have them call me.)
See, and now…
Well, I’m not really one to make broad predictive statements. But let me just say this: I would not draw a breath in surprise if in fifteen years we were remembering where we were when World of Warcraft showed up and changed everything. They haven’t done anything we didn’t already kindof know could be done, and in fact have done almost nothing new. That said, it has a hold on the minds of human beings like nothing else that has come before it, and… I just wonder what the world will look like in ten years, changed by the impact of this meteoric idea system they have devised.
Damn them. Do you understand what I have just done?
I have taken my morning 90 minutes of solitude and spent it writing about their stupid fucking game, because it’s Tuesday, and their servers are down. I sure hope it’s the new patch they are putting up there.