Finding that Balance

I don’t talk about my health much beyond the occasional bitching and whining about how tired I am. Which is the entire reason I don’t talk about it much: there’s not a whole lot to add to the QQ. I’ve been more emo than usual on twitter and a few comments I’ve left on other blogs have been delightfully cringe worthy. I must say, you’ve all very kind in humoring me and I really appreciate it. Say what you will about WoW players, those of you I’ve had the honour of interacting with have almost always been far too nice to me.

Anyway, since I’m sore and tired and feel like chatting about it (Light help us all), I’ll talk a bit. I’ve had crappy health since I was 16. Before that I was super athletic (but I hated team sports, so I didn’t know I was athletic) and ran around and climbed walls all the time and stuff. Then, in early January, I woke up on the floor one morning after a party and noticed that whenever I moved my head, it felt like my legs were getting electrocuted. I could even hear the buzzing. Yep, I party that hard.

Actually it was just coincidence. After spending the rest of the year getting shipped from hospital to hospital and spending thousends of dollars on MRIs (I could have gotten them done for free, but the first neurologist I ended up with was a crazy bitch- I’m not exaggerating, even other doctors roll their eyes when they hear her name- who wouldn’t let me go through the public system so I had to go private), I ended up with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Unusual for a kid my age, but then again, I’ve never been one to abide to statistical rules. I’ll be that lady getting pregnant at 70.

Before you all go “oooo poor you“, I want to point out that the extreme shyness that has plagued me my entire life has cost me more friendships, more scholarships and more opportunities, caused more arguments and has made me miss more social events and classes at school than my physical limitations ever have.

Everyone feels for the girl who has trouble walking for a few months here and there. The shy girl, however, has many memories of being forgotten at random locations during school trips as a child. If I have a desperate fear of being left out or being left behind somewhere, it’s because it happened way, like way, too often. I’m sure that many of you reading this have had similar experiences. Us shy and/or introverted people tend to slide under the radar of even the most attentive individuals.

And before you all go “oooo poor you” this time, I want to point out that I actually live a pretty good life. School is a struggle and I hate it (I like what I’m studying, it’s the concept of classrooms and stuff that doesn’t work for me) but somehow I survived and after 10 years of college, I’m finally graduating this May, on condition that this constant feeling of tiredness doesn’t make me miss too much class. I’ve had fantastic jobs. I travel all the time, going to wherever my whims take me. When my body cooperates, I’m still fairly active, I walk at least an hour a day and I’ve done dancing, cheerleading, surfing, kayaking, rock climbing, canoe camping and the list goes on. As for being a quiet person, it’s taught me to listen and to be observant, two skills that have saved my arse countless times.

Escapism: A Friend or…?

Oh yes, this is a WoW blog, so I have to plug in WoW somewhere.

It’s no secret that escapism, and MMOs in particular, is used by many to cope with the limitations life has thrown at them.

Sometimes it’s a good thing. I’ve even had one of the therapists at school send me home with a prescription of emergency WoW time. (I must have looked pretty messy that day!) I’m no expert on the manner so don’t quote me on this, but rumor has it that gaming causes some dopamine (a brain chemical) release which triggers the brain’s reward pathways. An activated reward pathway is what you feel when you do something you’re proud of, when you have an orgasm, when you eat really good food or when you do drugs. That’s the main feeling behind psychological dependence, or addiction- the terms are more or less interchangeable. No, not all of these stroke the reward pathway as intensely as others. Obviously, it’s lot easier to become addicted to meth than it is to get addicted to spaghetti.

Anyway, I know firsthand that gaming can work as a painkiller (that’s actually what I do for that time of the month cramps when my prescription meds don’t work. WoW works better for me AND doesn’t put me at risk for stomach bleeds and kidney failure!) . For anyone, it’s a distraction from the tedium of every day life. For those who, for whatever reason, can’t leave the house as often as they’d like, MMOs serve as a gentle portal to the rest of the world.

But like anything, there’s got to be some sort of balance. While all of us here will swear on the Light that we’re not addicted, somewhere, out there, certain individuals lost that balance.

DENIAL is an acronym for Don’t Even kNow I Am Lying

When this fatigue wave first hit me, my thoughts immediately went to WoW. Am I playing too much? Is that why I’m exhausted?

I still don’t know for sure. I limit my gaming as much as possible to weekend evenings and raid times. I raid late at night: 10:30 pm to 1:30 am, but it’s only 3 nights a week and I nap 2 to 4 hours on most raid days. Yet, I usually (but not always) do feel better on the days after offnights. To which my reaction is OMG I COULDNT RAID ALL SUMMER I DONT WANT TO HAVE TO GIVE IT ALL UP AGAIN.

And what about the social?

There was an article in our school newspaper where the author spoke a bit about her internet addiction. Except she was addicted to news sites which is clearly more educational and socially acceptable than playing video games too much. Her criteria for addiction was “you’re late or no-showing to parties because of your online activity“. (Note, that has nothing to do with the real criteria for addiction/dependence)

Oh no! I thought in a panic. I no-show to parties more often than not! Then I consoled myself with the fact that I always show to parties held by people I genuinely enjoy spending time with. And when I do go to rare social-chore parties, I spend most of the evening hiding in the bathroom which is an embarrassing and relatively unpleasant experience, much, much less fun than playing video games.

I was feeling really relieved about that until I had my latest lecture (as in school lecture, not someone lecturing me) on addiction. The speaker, a former user in recovery, was explaining how, at the peak of her addiction, she didn’t care for a social life because the drugs did that for her. I asked my classmate if she thought that maybe WoW made me not like parties. She gave me a classic “how do you even come up with these things” looks.

A Caution about Judging Others

I don’t show many offline people my blog. And I go to great lengths to hide it from my mother. Not because I’m ashamed of my gaming, but because I love to stretch and abuse gamer stereotypes when talking about myself. Other WoW players recognize the exaggeration and distinct lack of seriousness. My mother, however, upon reading my blog, would panic and not sleep for about a week, then drag me by my ear to the nearest detox center.

I wouldn’t blame her for it: how I talk about the game just isn’t something that can be understood without some background.

But same goes for each other. Whenever a larger gaming site features an article about gamers who play a lot as a way to cope with mental or physical limitations, there’s always a debate between readers. Some say it’s great that MMOs can fill in the gaps caused by the player’s conditions, others say that such a huge amount of gaming would slow down or even prevent that person’s recovery.

Who’s right?

Either could be right, but there’s no way of knowing which. None of us know this person, none of us are this person and none of us have any idea of what they person is really experiencing. So none of us have any right to play doctor and pass judgment.

Yes, sometimes it’s a little hard. I’ll admit I once had a guildie I nicknamed Clara (from The Guild) because she played 20 hours a day and kept typing things like “my kids r so funny lol they thikn i no wat theyre saying wen they us babytak lol“. But still, not knowing her or what was going on behind the computer screen, it wasn’t right for me to make assumptions.

The Current Energy Budget

I wish I could pull off the 3 posts a week schedule I had last year. I wish I could play on the PTR and come back with armfuls of news. I wish I could play more hours outside of raid time. I was sure I’d be able to once I started school again because I finally have a lot of time to myself. Unfortunately, almost all of that time is spent asleep.

I’ve also picked up this annoying habit of being extremely long winded, so a single blog posts takes at least 4 hours to write. I have lots and lots and lots of post ideas, but I’m running low on ideas for posts that can be done in 1000 words or less. Yes, QQ moar.

Despite it all, though, I still want to blog and I still want to raid. I’m also determined to graduate this May no matter what. So I’m walking on that tightrope and I really hope that I keep my balance.

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36 Comments on “Finding that Balance”

  1. Poneria Says:

    I’ve given up explaining to people that as an introvert I need alone time to “recharge,” whereas my more extroverted friends “recharge” “on the go,” as I might call it, since they recharge by being around and interacting with other people. I’ve given up explaining because people just seem to continue try turning me into an extrovert, instead of just respecting me for me and letting me be me.

    Even in WoW I require being alone most of the time. I’ll go out of my way to avoid people in the same area on the same quest just so I don’t have to go through the embarrassment of explaining why I don’t want to be in a group with people despite it being friendly and more efficient to mow down mobs with.

    “I’ve also picked up this annoying habit of being extremely long winded, so a single blog posts takes at least 4 hours to write. I have lots and lots and lots of post ideas, but I’m running low on ideas for posts that can be done in 1000 words or less.”
    ^ Sorry if I sneezed on you and you caught my bug. =P

    • Ophelie Says:

      I really only have the problem of people trying to “fix” me with my mom. Whenever I was home in the summers, she kept inviting people over for me to talk to after work. It would royally piss me off: I spent ALL DAY talking to people, why the heck would I want to talk MORE people when I’m home?

      I actually wish my friends/acquaintances would push me a little more. Whenever I don’t want to do something or start crying, they’re all “oh you should go home if you’re not having fun” instead of reassuring me or helping me join in. I usually do warm up with a little encouragement.

      I’m the same as you in WoW. When I’m not raiding, I’m usually playing by myself and I’m loving it. I’ll group with people for quests on occasion, but I hate the feeling of obligation that comes with it. I love being able to set my own pace. I’m also notorious for alt tabbing out, so when I don’t answer tells, no one takes it personal. And one thing I really, really love about my guild is that none of us are overly social. We play well together when we’re raiding, but outside of raids, conversations are pretty minimal. A handful of us spend a lot of time together in the same vent channel, but we can go hours with no one saying a word. It’s really nice, to just be able to be myself in game and have everyone understand.

  2. Jen Says:

    “Then I consoled myself with the fact that I always show to parties held by people I genuinely enjoy spending time with.”

    I went through the same “OMG WoW is killing my social life phase!” until some (real) friends asked me to go out. I ditched the raid in no time and I had a blast. When I visit with my guildies I have no problem chatting, drinking, joking, and I don’t remember any awkward pauses.

    For me, the truth was that I didn’t want to go out with the people that were inviting me. My coworkers annoy me, so it’s not WoW, it’s my dislike of them. I’d rather be home sleeping that spend more hours than necessary with them.

    (And about your guildie? I was having similar thoughts regarding someone, until I actually met them and realized that, even though they were logged in the game all weekend, they actually spent a lot of time away from the computer and with the kid.)

    • Ophelie Says:

      The problem with my (good) irl friends is that, well, there aren’t many of them (I get along well with most people, but there are very few people I truly enjoy being around, and over the years, most have graduated and moved away or gotten a girlfriend and no longer have time for me) and they’re all as busy as I am. I often wonder if WoW keeps me from meeting new people and replenishing my circle of friends.

      I have a blast whenever I meet up with guildies too- which is why I’m not the slightest bit worried about Blizzcon- but that’s one of the signs of addiction, that you have trouble associating with people from the outside, so that kind of worries me. Especially when I think that some of my happiest Friday/Saturday nights in the past year have involved me drinking wine at home and sitting on vent with guildies, just joking around.

      About my old guildie, yeah, there was a pretty strong chance she would just afk more often than not, you never know what’s going on behind the computer screen. She was annoying for other reasons, though, and was a pretty bad player, so I was happy when she finally left ^_^.

      • Brangwen Says:

        “I often wonder if WoW keeps me from meeting new people and replenishing my circle of friends. ”

        Don’t devalue the relationships you have online. They require just as much effort to maintain as a “RL” one does. Friendships are friendships, no matter the medium of interaction.

        • Ophelie Says:

          Very true, but at the same time, you can’t go for coffee, restaurants, the pub, movies with people who live across the continent. And online friends can’t bring you chicken soup when you’re sick.

          I’ve met some awesome people online, but there are just some things that require flesh and blood. I’m not an overly social person (online or offline) so I don’t really ever get lonely, I just wonder what constitutes “healthy”.

          • Brangwen Says:

            Healthy is whatever you feel comfortable with, and means that you are a functioning contributing member of society 🙂

            That you can support yourself, are physically healthy and you are happy with your life. It’s a very subjective idea, that question of “healthy”

      • Echo Says:

        “I often wonder if WoW keeps me from meeting new people and replenishing my circle of friends.”

        This. I’ve made friends online who I occasionally meet up with. But they’re internet people and the fact is it’s so much easier to maintain an online relationship. You can keep an e-friend at arms length, you can decide when you want to speak to them etc. With an RL friend there’s no such divide.

        I’m not saying people can’t have rewarding and super special bffs in WOW I just think it’s more healthy to have an anchor outside of the game.

        • Ophelie Says:

          Haha, well, it’s not like I have NO FRIENDS outside of game. It just seems like these days, it would be nice to have more. Going to movies and restaurants by yourself is kinda shitty. Whenever I do that, I get all these strangers trying to make conversations with me. (Which wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t old enough to be my dad.)

          But at the same time, knowing that I’m moving away in a few months also keeps me from getting attached to new people.

  3. Sephrenia Says:

    Hugs. I too have MS. I am 45. I was officially diagnosed 3 years ago, but they believe that I have ‘had it’ since I was 25 or so. In those 20 odd years of not knowing that I had it, I didn’t have any bad attacks. I got tired a fair bit, I ached from time to time, but I just thought it was my lot in life. Now I recognise these things I can take action and help myself. I recently starting working again. Full time, from home. I take 15 minute breaks every so often, lie down and regenerate. Or I log in WOW and do a daily. Depends on how I feel but the release helps me carry on.

    I would recommend the following book. It is a bit scary, but I am a true believer of the power of positive thinking. My hands are not as numb now that I do some thought reinforcement of messages getting through.

    I absolutely REFUSE to be beaten by this disease. Good luck to you beating and controlling yours – by what ever means works best for YOU.

    Oh – food allergy stuff helped me a lot too. Gosh I could talk for hours about this – please contact me if you want to talk to someone who has the disease AND plays a healer in WOW 🙂

    All the best, Seph xxx

    • Ophelie Says:


      It’s great to “meet” another blogger with MS. I wonder how many of us there are. I know of another, but not sure if she’s open about it within the WoW community or not. I believe she heals as well :).

      I’ve been pretty lucky with the illness. My symptom onset was completely textbook (other than my age), so the hardest part of getting a diagnosis was just finding a neurologist who wasn’t a raving lunatic. Since then I’ve had a few flare ups, but they’ve mostly only involved sensory issues. I actually sort of like that I have hardly any feeling left in my feet- it means I can walk for hours and not be bothered by blisters. And sometimes it can be funny, like the month where I couldn’t tell where my legs were. Every night as I went to bed, I had to physically make sure they weren’t hanging off the side. I got a good laugh from it each time and it makes for a great story.

      The fatigue is the only symptom that’s really crippling. And I don’t even know if the fatigue is the MS or just how I’m built. It did start around the same time as my other symptoms, but I tend to live a crazy life, so it’s hard to tell. Same goes for the emotional liability. I cry or laugh hysterically all the time (I mean it, I’d say I cry on average 3 times a day and I’m not even sad) but I’ve always been someone who reacts very physically to things, so I can’t tell if it’s the disease or my personality. The fact that I got my first major flare ups as a kid makes it hard for me to know what my personality would have been like without MS.

      I haven’t heard of a connection between food allergies and MS. I’ll take a look into it. I know I had to stop drinking coffee because it was destroying my throat and causing nasty GI upset, but I didn’t think it could have been connected to my MS.

      • Brangwen Says:

        I assume you are talking about me 🙂 Most people I interact with in WoW know, it just isn’t really relevant to my blog to mention it.

        Hi, I’m Brangwen and I have MS too.

        Fatigue has rapidly turned into my worst symptom as well (within the last year). There is a very tangiable difference between being lazy, not sleeping enough, and the fatigue you get with MS.

        I used to be an athlete, a shotputter to be exact, training 3-4 hours a day, 7 days a weeks. Serious Stuff. I know I am not lazy, I know I can be hyper fit and strong. I had to quit because the MS fatigue was impacting my ability to train regularly. So yeah, the fatigue I got from training was very different to this bone aching fatigue I get from MS.

        It’s like my limbs are lined with lead or I am wading through treacle.

        But MS is one of the main reasons I play WoW. I can interact with people without having to go out of my house when I am feeling too tired, either physically or emotonally. And yeah, I pike on social activities and play WoW, but usually I am not going out because of the MS, not because of the WoW. 🙂

        • Ophelie Says:

          I do find my regular fatigue to feel…less natural? than tiredness due to having slept less the night before, but I’ve had MS for all of my adult life and half of my teens, so I don’t know anything different. To me it feels like that groggy drowsiness of the first second in the morning, when the alarm goes off. Only the feeling persists for the entire day.

          Usually the REALLY bad fatigue hits me at times where it’s sort of normal for me to be tired and overwhelmed, like finals or after a move/starting a new job. This phase was the first time it’s happened for no apparent reason.

          But I’m always somewhat tired. I can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t tired. I just don’t know if it’s me or if everyone is like that and just doesn’t complain about it.

          • Brangwen Says:

            Believe me, being tired all the time is not normal 🙂 The tiredness I felt after diagnosis is really not how I used to feel when I was in my late teens, before I got MS.

            Stress brings on any kind of relapse, and fatigue is certainly a relapse!

            There are some good drugs available in the US/Canada that can help. Don’t know if you know about them, ping me offline if you want more information.

            You know you can always bend my ear anytime you need it!

  4. Berry Says:

    And the MS people come out of the woodwork. 🙂 Me too.

    About raiding and how you feel afterward… I had a long talk with my neurologist. Avoiding activities that use a lot of energy is actually counter-productive in the long term. I have to exercise to keep myself in shape if I want to still be walking in 20 years, even though it exhausts me now.

    Giving up social interactions leads to depression, which in turn leads to worsening symptoms. Think of raiding as exercise for your social muscles.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thanks for commenting! It’s so awesome to “meet” others with the same problem!

      Definitely agree about the exercising. I’m sort of lucky that I was really young when I was diagnosed and was in good shape at the time (I had an after school/weekend job as a ski instructor to small children so I was basically muscle and bones) so it hasn’t been too hard to keep up. No matter how exhausted I am, I always do the 30 minute walk to school and the 30 minute walk back (I might take a bus if the weather is horrible, but it doesn’t happen too often, generally I just bring a change of clothes). And I love to move, so during good phases I’m always out rollerblading or biking or climbing mountains or doing yoga.

      I watch my weight really carefully too. Not because I care about what I look like, but because I can’t imagine having to lug around 50+ extra pounds (I can barely LIFT 50 pounds!) and I definitely don’t want diabetes/high blood pressure/cardiovascular disease to juggle on top of my already crappy health.

      I do get a lot of social exercise from WoW, but that’s what worries me. My guildies are awesome, but there are things that require a physical presence. Although, I have been forcing myself: I’ve been eating lunch with classmates at least twice a week and doing something non-school related outside the house once a week.

    • Brangwen Says:

      Depends on the person. I feel it is about balance. You have to find the balance between keeping fit, and resting and recouping. It is about knowing your limits and what you want to do with your life right now and balancing that with what might happen in the future.

      That said, I cant say enough that if you can stay fit and can exercise, do it! From personal experience, I can say that it is amazing and really helps with all aspects of your life, from depression to energy levels to self confidence in every day tasks.

      Which reminds me, it is time for me to get back on the treadmill and wii fit this week.

  5. Viktory Says:

    Fantastic post. As I was reading this, it took me a few minutes to think back to last winter when I first met you and didn’t realize that the shy healer in our guild was none-other than the Bossy Pally herself. Such a dichotomy; guess we know which way the pendulum has swung now!

    I’d equate the social topic like this. You’re a kid with an invitation to two birthday parties on the same day, but can only go to one. You either pick the kid you’ve known longer, spend more time with, think will have a better magician at their party, etc. It’s human nature to go with whatever option seems the most beneficial. It’s “addiction” to keep doing something you know you don’t want to do.

    I’m certain that there are people in my guild who believe I sign out of raid or show up late more than I should, but I don’t feel guilty taking nights off when I know there’s an activity that I’d rather do, or that means more to me. (Especially the ones where I can combine giving to charity and imbibing adult beverages!)

    Everything in moderation…including moderation.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Taking nights off is totally healthy (and I worry about those who never take time off), raid planners just like to know a few days ahead of time who’s not going to be around a certain night.

      You make a good point about “keep doing something you know you don’t want to do”. I really love raiding. I can live without it, I did all summer, but it’s the hobby I spend all day looking forward to. It’s a little rougher when I’m tired, I get cranky and snappy and don’t play as well, but even after all these years, I’m still crazy about raiding.

      I remember finding out that you read my blog and didn’t realize we were guildies! Was probably the most flattering moment of my blogging career. I was still a budding blogger, so until then, I supposed that all my readers were people who knew me personally and read my blog out of feeling of obligation.

      I’m still very shy in guild, believe it or not. I do well in small groups, especially with people like you who reach out to me, but as soon as there’s 5 or more people in the channel, I clam right up. One thing I love about Conquest, though, is that everyone is totally accepting of my selective mutism. I can spend an entire evening not saying a word in vent and I still feel accepted. It’s pretty awesome.

  6. Brangwen Says:

    *Hi five*
    PwMS unite!

    There are a lot of us out there in WoW land, because WoW and MMOs are great for helping find social interaction and mental stimulation when we physically are unable to find things another way. Personally, if I am having a bad day (HA like yesterday), I prefer to play computer games than watch TV!

    I totally owned those internet dragons yesterday, but the kitchen wasn’t very clean, nor did I see my friends like I planned or sit in the sun. *sigh* MS is random like that.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Oh yeah, video games > TV any day!

      Though, I find that sometimes even WoW is too draining. There are lots of times where I try to play but can’t even physically manage rep grinding. Or lots of raids where the frustration just gets too much. But I’m so determined when I raid that unless the healing lead explicitly tells me to sit out, I’ll bear through it and try to not to pick fights or let it show in my performance. (An advantage of playing the same role and same class year after year after year is that auto pilot is decently easy to pull off.)

      • Brangwen Says:

        oh yeah, I hear you there. Sometimes I just curl up with a good book, or make my partner take me out somewhere if I am feeling miserable.

        I tend to not raid when I am too bad, but I will sit in dalaran and talk in gchat while playing guitar or reading the internet. I sometimes need to know that I am not alone.

  7. Rhii Says:

    Hi Ophelie!

    I am another person who has bad fatigue problems (mine stem from sleep disorders… did we talk about this on Twitter?) and I really enjoyed your post. It’s nice to know that I am not the only person who worries about the balance in my life while at the same time appreciating WoW for the positives it has.

    I know I have mentioned worries like that in front of non-gaming people (my mother for one, a counselor for two) and gotten looked at like I was a two-headed alien. But I’m certain I wouldn’t get the same response from them if I spent the same amount of time watching TV. I’d probably get comments on it being unhealthy, and I’m sure my life could be healthier. But I’m definitely healthier spending my bad days doing something social than isolating myself with a book or in front of the television like I used to before I started playing games.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Hi Rhii!

      We did indeed talk about it on twitter. Also your comment on Wugan’s blog was a big inspiration for this post :).

      I actually vehemently hide my worries about WoW from everyone offline. I’ve spent so much time proving that my playing is healthy that I’m not going to ruin it by asking for external opinions.

      I think a little bit of balance is good everywhere. Reading is very stimulating intellectually (and there is a certain social element since you are connecting to the writer/characters) and a basic knowledge of TV gives some conversation topics around other people. I found that when I suddenly stopped watching TV, I was immediately excluded from most IRL conversations.

  8. KimboSlice Says:

    Great Ill probably feel bad now when I yell at you

  9. Oestrus Says:

    Now see, I’m the loud mouthed outsider who would consistently drag the quiet girl into activities and conversations – so you wouldn’t be the one left out around me, at all!

    I think it’s incredibly brave that you are coming forward with this (not that you have really hid it, but you know). I think too often the Internet and gaming gets a bad rap for all the negativity behind it (like the forum trolls, the creepy stalkers, addictions, etc.). But it can also be a great place to really find people like yourself and to network and communicate and be a positive escape you can get lost in.


    • Ophelie Says:

      You wouldn’t happened to be going to Blizzcon by any chance? I would love to meet you!

      A lot of people complain about the internet being a horrible place and I HAVE seen a respectable number of horrible things on the internet, but the vast majority of my experiences have been great. I’ve actually had WAAAAAAY more creepy stalkers IRL than online! (I guess I stick out in a crowd more in person than I do on the internet.)

      The networking aspect of the internet is pretty fantastic. When you live in a low population area, it’s very hard to find people with similar experiences. But when you hop online, suddenly it’s easy to find others to relate to.

  10. Rebecca Says:

    Great post. I too have a (chronic) medical condition, which isn’t MS but one of the side effects can be fatigue/extra tiredness. I’m also prone to a lil’ bit of shyness on occasion 😉

    But I think so long as one finds a balance, WoW is a great activity. It can help fulfill so many needs from relaxation, to social, to challenge and achievement – and I think that’s true for anyone. Shame gaming’s stigmatized, really.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thank you 🙂

      I can’t imagine you shy! But then again, shyness isn’t something that always shows (I’ve actually had people say they didn’t believe *I* was shy, seriously.)

      The stigma about gaming does sadden me. Not just the “everyone who games is a wierdo with no social skills/addict”, but also the “gamers are nasty, rude, racist, sexist” stigma. The more I associate with other gamers, the less differences I see between us and the rest of the world- people from all walks of life, all mentalities and varying levels of empathy and social skills.

  11. Hi! This is shopshopshop, from Runeforge Gossip. You may or may not remember me. Just stopping by to say that your blog is still awesome and also that I might start blogging again soon.

    Good to see this place is still going strong. 🙂

    • Ophelie Says:

      OF COURSE I remember you! You helped me a lot when I was first shyly coming out of the blogging closet. I really appreciate it.

      I also remember a post you made about hyperlinking. Ever since then, every time I put a link in my posts, I think of you.

      Thanks for the compliment and I’m looking forward to seeing you back around the WoW community!

  12. Bristal Says:

    This game and its community continue to surprise and delight me. So much reality hiding in that virtual reality.

    Thanks for the awesome post and for sharing the connection some of you seemed to have made up there.

  13. *vlad* Says:

    I think MMOs are a great way to socialise for shy people and those who don’t feel they fit in or are uncomfortable in groups.

    As with anything though, doing one activity and only one activity is not good for you. If you mix things up, you are more likely to have a happier life.

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