Today was one of those lazy days off from work. You know what kind I mean? The sort of day that starts out with you hitting snooze and sleeping two hours later than you intended to wake up, where you end up staying in your pajamas all day long, and you spend the majority of the day procrastinating and doing nothing constructive. One of those days, see? I was remarking to my boyfriend how I didn’t really feel like raiding tonight, mostly because I didn’t really feel like focusing on anything for three hours. He misunderstood my tone and asked, “Why? Do you not want to play anymore? That’s it- just you’re done with the game, the guild, time to move on?”
Clearly, that’s not how I meant it, and long after the conversation was over, I got to wondering, why do I still play? I love this game, but admittedly, the passion’s dimming, the excitement is stagnant, and even the new content (when it isn’t recycled by adding achievements for “progression,” that is!) isn’t enough to lift me up. It’s never been leveling, and it’s never been PvP, that’s for sure. I’ve never been a lover of lore, despite my unhealthy obsession for the fantasy genre in books. So what is it? What motivates me to log in every day? Why do I still play?
Questioning my motives was leading my nowhere, so instead I tread down a different route. I began summoning all the most memorable moments I’ve had in this game, the memories that will last forever, the nostalgia that will always be apart of me.
My first most memorable moment was when I was about level 32, and leveling in Stranglethorn. That’s when I met Sean and David. I can’t remember if I found them while questing (HA! Me questing?), grinding random mobs, or running around in circles. Being the distractible daydreamer that I am, I was most likely lost and wandering around some various mountains while typing what I found to be snarky witticisms in response to the stupid people in general chat. However I met them, they were the first friends I had in this game. We did everything together. We quested, instanced, and were always in party for chatting purposes regardless of what we doing. Mostly, they just helped me run around in circles doing nothing. I blame my three months to get to 60 on all our fun. We eventually quit playing with each other when BC was released, but every time I think about the chaos we got into, I feel a hollow pang in my heart.
My second biggest memory was the first time I tanked. I joined Sean and David’s little casual guild only for it to fall apart (which, subsequently, led to their change of servers), but I made such great friends there as well. I remember one of my friends there, Sal, teaching me to tank. Now, you have to understand.. believe it or not, I actually used to be afraid of tanking. I swore up and down I never would (I didn’t even have taunt on my bars!), but after getting a lot of shit from several guilds, I decided I wanted to learn. Sal taught me by bringing level 45 me into Gnomergan with his 60 hunter. He told me to put on a shield, and then swoop, he disappeared around the corner. He ran back with a few mobs beating on him, mockingly saying, “Save me, save me!”. I’ve never been really quick to think under pressure, so I’m sure I just stood with my back to the mobs while shrieking on vent. Maybe I sundered one of the mobs, I’m not really sure. After a few more tries, I finally got the hang of it. After that, I loved tanking so much, I’ve been protection (excluding a few respecs for the raids with too many tanks) ever since. I hold such fondness for this memory, though, because if wasn’t for that, I probably would have never discovered my love of tanking.
A have a few other good stories, but those are the two memories that really stand out for me, and really help me define why I play this game. I log on everyday because my passion for tanking and the friends I hold so dear. I log on everyday to stay up all night idling in Dalaran but joking with my guild on vent. I log on everyday because I love everything about the tanking role, the good and the bad. Without these two reasons, I would have quit playing long ago. But until I quit tanking and all my friends quit playing, this game holds meaning for me.
What about all of you? This game is so vastly popular. Millions world-wide play it, and many have played it as long or longer than I have… so my question to you is: why do you still play this game? What in the World of Warcraft gives you meaning?