Is this growing up?

A few days ago, or maybe it was a few weeks ago, my guild decided to take a look at our loot system to see where we can makes some tweaks. We do, however, need to accommodate our More Focused, More Disciplined For More Kills attitude with a modern, attitude-appropriate loot system.

What happens when you bring up loot issues in a guild like mine?

That’s right.

Tumbleweed.

After about a week of poking and prodding, a few people finally spoke up and we got a bit of discussion going after last Tuesday’s raid.

I had no loot related photo, so I selected our other heated topic: the ethics of football talk. (Know that if Dralo and I agree on something, its gotta be srs bzn!)

To a group of people who don’t like to rock the boat, it was probably shocking, but I enjoyed it. The resulting dynamics were wonderful to discover. I felt like it was the first time I really got know my guildies as actual people and not just fellow raiders, and I love them all the more for it. Plus, some of them are kinda sexy when they yell. (But shhhh don’t let them know I said that! Can’t afford to be sued for sexual harassment.)

And me? The general me?

I’m playing once in awhile, still getting critted by work. I love my job, but dammit there is a lot of job. I’d estimate I do at least 2 hours of unpaid work a day, on top of my normal shift. I’ve become very fast, very efficient, but I can’t stop to think. Stop and you drown.

It’s still better than school. Don’t get me wrong. It’s WAY better than school. Those people who talk about how college is wonderful, a joke, the life? Liars or idiots.

Or people who didn’t do enough college to know what it’s really like beyond the first four undergrad years.

Ah, Nunu helping me with blog post research. Over 2 years ago. I wonder what's become of him.

I’ve always felt like college was sacrificing 10 years of my life. 10 years without significant romantic relationships (I know, I know, some students manage to have significant others while in college, but I couldn’t manage it. Us stupid people have to dedicate 100% of our energy to the books just to get by). 10 years of limited friendships. 10 years where I couldn’t start a family. 10 years of not being able to afford a car/a smartphone/the kind of food I like/having my own living space.

I love Nerzhul

You know, I get a half smile when I hear someone talk about gaming making them/their friend/their spouse/their cousin/their pet drop out of college. Gaming is what got me through school. Castle of Doctor Brain, Super Mario Brothers, Zelda, that NHL game where you can make the guys fight and Commander Keen got me through grade school. Kings Quest, Space Quest, Might and Magic and Final Fantasy got me through high school. Final Fantasy and WoW got me through college (10 whole years of it, sdsfgklsdjflsdkj).

Good ol'Conquest days

Thank goodness for gaming. And for the Final Fantasy message boards, the Red Tears, the Conquests and the Team Sports of this world.

It is worth it in the end. Even though it took forever to get where I am, and where I am is still a bit rough, I love the freedom that comes with having a secure job, and a job that is in high demand. And even beyond the job, I’m happy for the lessons I learned. I had to sacrifice a lot to get where I was, but it taught me to persevere, to live on very little, and it taught me to be patient.

I raid two nights a week. I level an alt for a couple hours sometimes. I plan on giving Star Wars a casual run. I might get Skyrim. But generally gaming is something I think about and say “…oh yes… I liked that once…” I say that about chocolate too. Gaming and sweets. The two things I’ve lost appetite for.

Nothing like the pewpews of 25 raiders

Now that I finally have somewhat a shred of control over my life, is it that I don’t need gaming anymore?

Is this growing up?

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21 Comments on “Is this growing up?”


  1. Very, very solid topic.

    I wasn’t expecting the question so much at the end. Though, I have asked myself the same at certain points.

    Is it because the way you game isn’t so constructive as what you could be doing instead? Such as learning an instrument, making new friends/relationships, taking up a sport, many things. Mean, you have a blog which is great, which utilizes your game time for something constructive. But do you want more now?

    Maybe it’s because, like many of us, gaming has become so intertwined with our lives that we take it as the norm and it isn’t something to ‘pursue’ because it’s always there and always will be.

    I’d be interested to see where you go with this, keep us updated,

    - Jamin

    • Ophelie Says:

      That is a good point. I used to game just to game, but the past couple of years, blogging and gaming were like two clock gears, each making the other move.

      I like the blogging and I’ve slowly moved away from game blogging to random life blogging, but even that I’ve discovered is difficult to maintain when my life is essentially work and sleep.

      Maybe it’s just a phase, anyway. My career is bright and shiny and I’m obsessed with paying off my loans and setting money aside to travel the world. Perhaps when the shiny wears off and the loan-paying sprint is won, I’ll relax and allow myself to have more fun.

  2. AliPally Says:

    “I’ve always felt like college was sacrificing 10 years of my life. 10 years without significant romantic relationships (I know, I know, some students manage to have significant others while in college, but I couldn’t manage it. Us stupid people have to dedicate 100% of our energy to the books just to get by). 10 years of limited friendships. 10 years where I couldn’t start a family. 10 years of …living alone.”

    That made me cry. Such a sad thing to say.

    As regards your work – 2 hours of unpaid work a day? Please, think about that. Would your boss pay you to stay at home for 2 hours a day? Whether you like your work or not, you should still be paid for what you do.
    Life is to be enjoyed, and while we have to work to live, don’t let work be all your life is. Don’t miss out on the other aspects of your life.

    • Ophelie Says:

      I actually meant 10 years of not affording living alone. 10 years of having to have roommates, of not getting my own space. I absolutely love living alone. But I see where it leads to confusion, I’ll fix the wording ^_^

      As for the 2 hours of unpaid work – thing is, people need their medications. Our nursing home needs their supplies. My paperwork needs to get done. The place needs to be tidied, otherwise we’ll never find anything. Not getting all this done can lead to mistakes, legal issues and in worst case scenarios, deaths.

      During my work hours, it’s hectic. I’ve never had a lunch break, not even during a 12 hour shift. I’m lucky when I can go to the bathroom. Usually I’m dancing by the time I can step away.

      But the work has to be done. We’re only allowed a certain number of pharmacist hours, and with our staff shortage (we’re short two technicians), there’s no time to do it during our regular work hours and head office won’t pay us extra.

  3. Saif Says:

    Maybe.

    It has certainly happened to a lot of my RL friends who’ve moved on from table-top RPGs to other things as they grew older, got jobs and stuff.

    I’m one of the few hold outs, I think I’ll be gaming, whether pen-n-paper table-top stuff, or video-games, most of my life. I think it’s an evolution thing that happens to a lot of people, it could also be a time to try other stuff and see if it stirs your interest in the same way and then return later.

    That happened with my wife – she was into gaming in high-school, but after college she gave it up, only to come back to it, about ten-years after graduating.

    You seem like you’re open to change and that’s awesome and exciting! Good luck! :-)

    • Ophelie Says:

      I think you raise a good point about coming and going. I do tend to be a phase person. I don’t think I’ll ever completely walk away from gaming (I did, after all, write this point while alt-tabbed out in WoW, hehe), but I was surprised to notice that my enthusiasm has been missing since graduation.

  4. Jonathan Says:

    Is this growing up?

    It’s one step on the path.

  5. Stubborn Says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I didn’t go to school for 10 years, only 4 full time, but I still felt a lot of what you mentioned: the abstract nature of the time there, that it was cut out, that the ending was really the starting point for everything else.

    I liked that you mentioned how much better it is to be an adult than a “kid,” and by kid I don’t mean age but just someone under the control and schedule of outside forces. I tell my kids (students) all the time that I remember how much it sucked to be a kid and that all the griping and complaining adults do it madness. Being an adult is great; sure there’s more responsibility and greater periods of stress from time to time, but being a kid, having your life planned out and controlled by people who know you, but not necessarily the true YOU, is terrible. It goes far for kids who are miserable kids to hear this instead of the constant talk about how kids have it easy and it’s their best years blahblahblah. Terrible.

    Anyway, I don’t think that’s what growing up is. I think growing up is learning to balance all your obligations and desires in a way that’s workable, and if you have a busy job that’s keeping you… uh… busy, then it makes sense that the gaming would begin to be reduced. You’re simply making a cost/benefit analysis about playing versus getting your work done, and you’re getting your work done. You’re satisfied by it (so it seems), so you don’t need games to do that for you any more.

    It’ll come and go in waves. Sometimes I read a lot, sometimes I write a lot, sometimes I just laze around and watch (I’m not a very social person, as you can see). You’ll do what you feel you need to when you must and what you want to when you can.

    Anyway, that’s a long-winded post from someone who’s probably not much older than you are anyway and thus isn’t really any more qualified to answer the question. Great post (:

    • Ophelie Says:

      I totally agree and I loved your comment.

      What you say about being a kid is something I’ve felt as well. I’ve never understood those who say they miss it. I found that childhood was a waiting period, where I waited to finally be a person and do what I want to do. I also worried far more as a kid because I didn’t understand the world enough and I didn’t have the resources to deal with things. As an adult, I have way more control over my life. And even from a happiness perspective – as a kid, every little obstacle and letdown was the end of the world. I was angry and sad soooo much as a kid. I’ve found that over the years I’ve become way more detached and patient, which in turn has made me a much happier person.

  6. Xsinthis Says:

    Odd question, but where are you initially from? Because you say you’re from Alberta yet you talk about university like an American :P

    (sorry if you’ve mentioned this before, just started reading your blog recently)

    • Ophelie Says:

      Hahaha I just spend too much time on the internet. I can talk about uni like a brit too ^_^. I’m born a Québecoise. I did do one semester in the US at Humboldt State University though, and a lot of my friends are american, so I tone my language to what they would relate to. The rest of my school life was in Québec city, Sherbrooke (Québec) and St. John’s, Newfoundland.

      • Awryt Says:

        Humboldt State!?! No way! I grew up in Eureka and love that part of California.

        For the record, not all Americans talk about college the same way either. In California we talked about units, but in Texas they talk about hours and mean the same thing.

        When I was young it was a choice between gaming, reading, watching TV, or playing outside. In college there seemed to be so much less free time with work and school. The high point of my gaming was after marriage and before kids as something my husband and I did together on the weekends. We were heavily into Diablo 2 when our son was born. Gaming is still something we do together and now include our kids in, but like you, the balance, reasons, goals, and time commitment have changed over time. Now a lot more of my drive to play is about the people and social aspect since it’s hard to find time for that when you have kids. Now we can game with our friends after the kids are in bed and no one has to get a babysitter. :)

        In that sense I think the perspective you gain and the choices you make with your time do show “growing up”, but continuing to play shows that we all want to hold on to some of that youthful fun. ;)

        • Ophelie Says:

          I love Eureka! I still have a few friends that I met there that I’m still in touch with. I need to go back and visit soon, I miss the redwoods!

          I actually had to stop and thing about how us Canadians talk about college. We talk about credits. From what I remember, even at my French uni we talked about credits, even though we didn’t really make our own schedules.

          I’m still a long way from kids (and marriage for that matter). But I find that when I do get free time, my choices are “go do something new and exciting! Or play the same game I’ve been playing for 6 years.”

  7. Bearsome Says:

    Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I guess it’s only fair that I comment at least once. And this one really hit home so I just had to.

    I also went to college for 10 years (though it was on and off) before graduating and I think anyone who thinks college (or any school prior for that matter) is better than adult working life is crazy. Taking classes and having home work and tests really, really suck, especially home work and tests part.

    I’ve been gaming ever since I could remember, and similar to you, I don’t find myself as attached to games anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll probably never quit gaming, even when I’m a senior. But, I don’t have the passion (read: obsession) for it like I used to. For example, good ol’ Starcraft was a BIG part of my problems in college. I spent countless days and nights trying to master it. But, Starcraft 2? I bought the game and beat the regular campaign basically out of obligation. It couldn’t hold my interest even in the least.

    Probably a part of the reason is that my favorite genres have changed as I grew older as well. I no longer have twitchy reflexes and prefer a game with a good story than extremely challenging game play. But, I think the biggest reason is that, at this point in my life, no matter what game I play, I feel like “been there, done that.”

    Does all of this just mean that I got gaming out of my system? Or has gaming become such a constant in my life that it lost its significance? Gaming brought me much joy (and consequences) over the years and I’ll never quit it. But, as you put it, I guess maybe I grew up, just a little.

    Thank you for this great post and many others you’ve written. I’ve always enjoyed reading them. Good luck with your career and gaming and just don’t forget that even grown-ups need to have fun. =)

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thank you so much for your comment!

      My genres have actually stayed pretty similar over the years, but then I’ve never been very big on reflex-type games. I can’t say I had bad reflexes, I just never gave those games a try. The closest I came were platform games, and those were more muscle memory based than anything else. I *can* notice my learning slowing down and my reflexes being less sharp in WoW. I cringe and hope that it’s due to the more relaxed form of raiding my guild does and not due to getting older… (I’m not even 30 yet, I can’t possibly be loosing it, right? Right?)

  8. Oestrus Says:

    I hesitate to use the phrase “growing up,” because to me it indicates that you were immature, or childish, or that you needed to grow up. I don’t think any of those things apply to you.

    I would just say that your needs are changing and what you needed to get by in life or to make things easier to deal with may not be what you need right now. It doesn’t mean that you will never enjoy such things again, but that you may not be enjoying them right now.

    You’re fabulous. Don’t ever forget that.

    *hug*

    • Ophelie Says:

      Aww *hugs*

      I used “growing up” in a bit of a poetic form. Used literally, I agree that it would be a little weird considering that I’m coming up to 30. In some cultures, I’m old enough to be a grandma!

  9. Anslym Says:

    That one line about college…..

    AMEN!!!!!!

    -Anslym

    • Ophelie Says:

      Hehehe. Aren’t you just finishing up your first semester? You’re still at the place where college is supposed to be fun! Make sure you get the most out of your first year, otherwise you’re in for a looooong, loooong degree.


  10. I enjoyed reading this and finding out I wasn’t alone. I’m 35 and I wonder what will happen in 5 years. Will 20something gamers want to read a gaming blog by a 40 year old? /shudder …..I’m scared….:)

    • Ophelie Says:

      Being in her forties never stopped Larisa from being one of the WoW community’s most well loved bloggers! I believe Spinks is also over 40, and still very popular (and very interesting). I think that as long as you have something to say, they will come!


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