Fighting Off the Gloom
I’ve felt a bit gloomy lately. It could just be the weather — it snowed last weekend and the ground is coated with gray slush. The bitter hint of cold in the air reminds me that the long Minnesota winter has begun to set in. I can look forward to the grey skies, biting cold, and darkness.
Or it could just be my job. I’ve been in my current position almost 6 months — long enough for the apathy to creep in. I’m constantly reminded that being a programmer is nothing like I imagined. I’m not designing elegant code and engaging in stimulating discussions about the best way to do X, or using cool new technologies. Instead, I’m wading my way through a poorly written POS and trying to make sense of financial data that doesn’t match up with some user’s report. There are good days… but I haven’t had one lately. I find myself leaving every day with a headache and a sense that everything I do is futile.
When I arrive home from a long day at work and a 45+ minute commute through bad traffic, I’m completely burnt out. I would love to come home and clean, to work on my hobbies, to check things off my to-do list — but I rarely find the motivation.
I’m not saying any of this to just to complate or incite pity. I know, I really don’t have it that rough. I have a job, no kids, etc. I’m just explaining this to get to my point which is: that playing WOW is one of the few things that I feel like doing when I get home. It energizes me, inspires me, and helps me blow off steam. These past few weeks, I’ve seldom logged into the game. My desire to play is waning. I’m sure this is contributing to my gloomy mood.
This brings me to my realization of the day— WOW has held my interest consistantly for longer than anything else. I tend to get bored easily. I throw myself into a project with a fervor, and then after a short period of time, get completely burnt out and frustrated with it. I rarely finish anything. For the past 2 1/2 years, WOW has been a consistant part of my life. I daydreamed about it at work, and planned out my next goal in-game. It has excited me, motivated me, and given me something to look forward to. It’s actually hard to believe that a game could hold my attention for so long. Why is WOW so different?
The magic that WOW holds for me is hard to pin down. I love so many aspects of the game, from the lore, to the art style, to the interaction with people. I love how vast and seemingly endless the game is. It’s not something that I can ever “finish”. Add all of that to a solid, polished product with interesting mechanics and quests, and apparently you have a recipe for something that works very well for me.
There is something incredibly frustrating about the short time before a new expansion or patch launch. It’s not really that there is nothing left to do in the game — it’s more that so many of the things I would like to do will be somehow better or different if i just wait.
Some people have gone on to other games to get their fix. I’ve learned by now that other MMOs just can’t capture me in the same way — I keep comparing them to WOW. I also just don’t have the heart to start over — I have such an investment in WOW. I should be finishing up Dragon Age, or one of the countless other single-player RPGs that I’ve left untouched, but somehow I can’t get into it. WOW has become a habit… and without it, I feel rather lost.
Just over two weeks left until the launch. In the meantime I am trying to focus on other things — trying to summon up some motivation to get back into drawing, to edit my photos from Europe, and to finish my theme design and blog relaunch. I’m trying… but most of the time I just find myself watching TV.
I can only hope that these next two weeks pass by quickly. I need Cataclysm to come out and save me from being so emo.