Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WoW Life Balance

In the corporate landscape an oft thrown about phrase is 'Work Life Balance' which is a buzz phrase (rather than word I guess) for talking about providing a working culture that values and supports the achievement of balancing work responsibilities with other responsibilities in life. In my somewhat cynical experience this most often refers to flexibility for people with children since this seems to be the most quantifiable and valued alternative responsibility from work. I guess I am being a bit cyncial since carers leave, annual leave and sick leave are also part of the work life balance equasion, as well as, in some industries, rostered days off. Note: I'm talking from an Australian perspective here, I have no idea how this breaks down in other countries.

Regardless, what I want to talk about in today's post is WoW Life Balance. There's definitely a need for it and in my opinion by balancing your WoW life with other activities in 'RL' you will derive more enjoyment from the game itself. I remember being a kid and getting denied the constant diet of lollies and chocolate that I craved and thinking that when I grew up I'd eat them all the time. The thing is though, if you have something you love all the time it begins to pall. Maybe not straight away but eventually you'll never want to see it again. Case in point: A long time ago in a galaxy far far away I used to work in a biscuit factory baking and packing biscuits. Really yummy ones. At least until I ate so many of them that I got to the point of never wanting one to pass my lips again. I still see them for sale in cafe's today and shudder.

I think MMOs are just like those yummy biscuits. You play all the time and the fun aspect is slowly leeched away resulting in burn out. Having said that, by other peoples standards I probably play WoW a lot. Definitely my non-gaming friends think my amount of game time is weird. I would argue however that they may very possibly spend the same amount of time slouched in front of the TV. It's a value thing, it's a subjective thing. Gaming a lot is seen in quite a negative light by general society I guess whereas the amount of TV people watch is not seen in the same way. The thing to consider is that 50 or whatever years ago when TV first hit the scene I'm sure spending a lot of time watching it was viewed unfavourably as compared to... to... whatever people did before then... um... sing-alongs round the piano maybe? I personally would much rather actively choose what I do rather than put up with whatever trash is on TV. In my view, TV is a passive activity, gaming is not. It's also not really a social activity whereas I'd argue MMO gaming definitely is.

So how much WoW is too much? I don't think I'm qualified to really answer that question. I play almost every week night and every weekend. I raid 3 instances a week plus Arena, BGs and farming. I think it comes down to the question: what are you forgoing to play WoW.

Last night I didn't play though, I caught up with a friend I haven't seen in a little while and spent the evening hanging out with her. Subsequently I'm really looking forward to the Kara run tonight.
My Dad always said it and it's true - moderation in everything.


1 comment:

TyphoonAndrew said...

I just posted about this type of thing too, but was more ranty.

http://typhoonandrew.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/what-do-you-value-in-the-game/