Tam made a very beautiful post today about how WoW has affected his life... go read it! It also reminded me of the fact that I've been meaning to write about the impact WoW has had on my life so far, and this is as good an encouragement as any. Plus, this is going to be my 100th post on this blog, so I might as well make it something special.
My life has of course been influenced by WoW in many subtle ways like the ones Tam lists, but in my case the game has also had some much more drastic effects. For example I was a reasonably successful student when I started to play WoW three years ago. A year later I dropped out of university.
Erm... that probably sounds a lot worse than it is.
Did WoW play a role in my dropping out? Probably. I used it as an escape as I came to utterly loathe my study for a lot of different reasons, which I'm not even going to bother to list here. Let's just say that it wasn't just a case of being annoyed with having to write pointless essays (though that did factor into it). I don't know how things would have gone differently if I hadn't started to play WoW - for all I know I might have just looked for other ways of distracting myself until the mental breakdown came. I certainly didn't just start to neglect my study because I thought WoW was a more worthwhile pastime.
Either way, regardless of how much you want to blame WoW for being involved in me quitting university, you'd then have to give it an equal amount of credit for helping me get my life back in order again afterwards. Because it was at a WoW guild meetup one and a half years ago where I met the man that is now my boyfriend... and with whom I fell so deeply in love that it filled me with an urge to pull myself together again and become a better person, get a job and generally get my life back on track (which I did).
Said man also happened to live in another country, England to be precise, and about a month ago I moved to live with him. I'm very happy right now, but even so I still often find myself thinking how funny it is that I'd be living a completely different life now, probably back in my home country, if only I hadn't bought a certain computer game over three years ago. And I can only shake my head at people who use the age-old argument of "it's just a game" to try and deprive WoW of any importance - as if something being a game means that it can't have a profound impact on someone's life.
37 minutes ago