by Jonathan B Perry
Guys, do you spend hours and hours and hours playing World of Warcraft? Does this affect how much you see other humans? Especially female humans? A few of my friends play lots of it. They do little else. Of course, it is possible to meet people and develop relationships through playing WoW. Sort of. Weirdly, this actually happened to some of my friends who ended up meeting a player from across the country.
Four or five of my friends are completely devoted to World of Warcraft. It consumes much of their free time, several hours a day, in fact, and I just can’t be around them when they‘re playing. You might say they’re addicted to WoW. When I was younger, maybe in middle school, I could spend hours playing games like Lazarian and Caverns of Kafka on an old Commodore 64 (I just really dated myself, didn’t I?), maybe a little Pac Man or Joust at the arcade, but I was never this obsessed. And again, I was in middle school. These guys totally zone into World of Warcraft, sometimes forgoing employment as most waking hours are spent dressing their female characters in sexy outfits (virtual dolls), trading weapons (virtual baseball cards), and buying magic shovels and harps (virtual eBay, which itself is a virtual flea market). When I visit them, they’re glued to their computer screens, completely engrossed while their characters run amok, wielding their axes across verdant countrysides full of well-dressed buxom female ogres and giant mushrooms.
One social component to this game is that your player’s character can talk to another player’s character in that second life sort of way. It just so happens that my four friends befriended another player who was attending college somewhere like Ohio or Michigan or Indiana. Incredibly, they talked him into coming to visit them in Nebraska and the guy actually flew out and stayed one extended weekend. It was one of the weirdest concepts I’ve ever encountered. Now, my friends were very attentive, showing him around town, entertaining him, feeding him, taking him to see the local schools. They even took the time to play WoW at once when all five of them were in the same house. What a tender, enriching 36 hours that must have been. This is close to how I envision successful online dating to be. Kind of. With fewer people. No other guys. (There is actually a WoW related dating site called World of Datecraft. No, really. There’s even been a sighting of a couple who met through WoW & fell in love. Hope games eternal.)