World of Warcraft has subscribers of all ages, worldwide playing on-line daily for hours and hours. But what’s it about and is there a sinister side?
World of Warcraft or ‘WoW’ is a mythological fantasy role playing game that is played online and can continue indefinitely as it has no end. An Internet subscription fee is required to enable access to the game and all of it’s features. The World of Warcraft phenomenon began on 23rd November 2004. It was the fourth installment of Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft series.
It is total fantasy. It is a ‘massively multi-player on-line role-playing game’ (MMORPG) therefore players can team up and form ‘guilds’ with people from anywhere in the world. Your avatar will have specific roles such as being a warrior who protects, a priest who heals or a mage who can inflict magical damage on others. When you die or are killed there are various methods to come back to life.
World of Warcraft holds a Guinness World Record as the most popular MMORPG in 2010. Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft had a total of over 12 million subscribers around the world. It has captured the imagination of both sexes. Women play alongside partners and spouses and families play together.
A growing sector of the market is in South East Asia. In fact people in China are being paid to game. According to the BBC News website there are businesses turning over $10 million annually. They collect and create virtual items that can be sold on later. Most of their customers are in the West. This is no doubt having a positive effect on the Chinese economy!
World of Warcraft Addiction
Many people are getting totally hooked to this amazingly elaborate and violent game. Trawl on-line forums and you will find large numbers of people admitting to being addicted to this game. They play continuously for hours and hours. Apart from it being a fantastical world, WoW also has real life elements such as banks, auction houses and mailboxes. Raiders seem to enjoy the depth in which they can develop their characters. Avatars can gain many new skills and become extremely powerful. Some play for 24 hours straight.
People have met new friends and even partners through WoW. The sypmtoms of the ‘hooked’ are not wanting to talk about anything else, the inability to function in normal life such as at work or school. There are recorded cases of extra long continuous play triggering bouts of epilepsy. If you think you are addicted to WoW and want to quit, try taking the following steps. You can find additional advice on the’ Wowaholics Anonymous’ website.
- Admit to yourself and tell others that you are addicted and that your life has become unmanageable.
- Talk to and read about others who have quit.
- Get a friend or member of your family to change your passwords or login details. Make sure to tell them to change it to something impossible to remember and that they should not write it down.
- Try to repair old relationships that may have been damaged during the time you were raiding continuously.
- Find physical activities you can do that will make you smile and at the same time benefit your body.
- Enjoy and make the most of the rest of your life!
Whilst WoW is breaking records, assisting family fun and helping big business in China, people need to be aware that it can be highly addictive and can take over your life. If you do take up this hobby do so with caution!