Repost: Order

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Order

Note: I wrote this back in 2009. Ever since my summer of being anchored to the kitchen table playing World of Warcraft, the fine line between hobby and addiction has been on my mind. Enjoy! – Bryan

Hobby: an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.”

What happens when a hobby starts to consume ones waking thoughts?

In my pursuit of finding the balance between my electronic hobby and life, I have found myself walking a fine line between hobby and addiction.

Video games are not a casual hobby but a culture. At one time the video game culture was regulated to ones living room but this is no longer true. The Internet now serves to connect a gamers living room to the rest of the world. News, reviews, and varying editorial run rampant and at different levels of professionalism.

Culture: the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group.”

No longer are we, as a society, unplugged. The Internet is present in our cellphones, handheld game systems, and even local coffee shops. Not being able to unplug allows one to have constant access to the vast reaches of cyberspace. For me, this means that I have unlimited access to the gaming culture. Throughout the day I find myself reading various videogame related sites. On the outside, there is nothing wrong with this, but I have found myself treading the fine line between hobby and addiction.

As a Christian, I find that my love for videogames and video game culture are often in conflict with my spiritual life. There are times when I should be praying when instead I am thinking about the latest MMO; times when I should be reading my Bible and instead I am reading the latest video game magazine.

To fight against the tide of addiction, I have found that it is best to take a step back and remove whatever it is that is dragging me down. Balance between my hobby and life is not what I seek, but order in the my life’s priorities.

Find yourself overwhelmed by a hobby? I encourage you to take a step back and find order.

Return to War?

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Warhammer Online Logo

Warhammer Online seemed poised to be the next big “WoW Killer”. Believing the hype, I bought my copy of the game and was quickly immersed into a world constantly at war. I was hooked. The ability to effortlessly join a Scenario, unlike the time needed to simply que for Battlegrounds in World of Warcraft, was a true innovation. However, Scenarios were greatly influenced by the game world population (ie lack of players playing equaled longer que times) which eventually began to kill the game. No longer in the spotlight as a potential “WoW Killer”, Warhammer Online now has the ability to refine itself in semi-obscurity.

Recently, the Warhammer Herald (10/14) had 2 interesting bits of information regarding Warhammer Online‘s 1.3.2 patch.

1. The Apprenticeship System:

The new Apprenticeship system allows players of differing Ranks to play together, whether battling it out in RvR, or aiding your Realm’s war effort in quests and Public Quests. Just click on another player’s portrait in the group or Warband window and choose the “Make Apprentice” option, and that player will be scaled up to your Rank, no matter how much lower of a Rank they are. Check the patch notes for full details on this exciting new system.

2. New Player Guilds:

New players will automatically be placed in a ‘new player guild’, one for each Realm, to facilitate communication among those new to the game, or those who are rolling up an alt character, and to make finding a group a bit easier. The guilds are called the ‘The Forces of Order’ and the ‘The Forces of Destruction’.

First, lets talk about the Apprenticeship System. Currently in World of Warcraft, I have gotten to a point to where I am 20 levels behind a good friend that I play with. 20 levels! This ends up causing my friend to help me level while he gains zero experience points. The two of us have no problem with this arrangement but why make someone waste their game time? Final Fantasy XI already uses a “Level Sync” system that allows players of different levels to party together at a matched level. The Apprenticeship System addition to Warhammer Online is a victory dance for everyone! Now if only World of Warcraft would employ a similar system…

Moving along.

Forcing new players to automatically be placed in a “new player guild” is a stroke of genius on Mythic’s part. I would call this “forced community”. Reminds me of freshmen orientation in college. After saying goodbye to mom and dad, suddenly you are forced to “make friends” with others in an attempt at survival. Time will tell how Warhammer Online players react to this forced match up, but I think its a good thing.

Do you currently play Warhammer Online? If so, how have these changes impacted the game? Let me know in the comments below!

Order

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Order

Note: I wrote this back in 2009. Ever since my summer of being anchored to the kitchen table playing World of Warcraft, the fine line between hobby and addiction has been on my mind. Enjoy! – Bryan

Hobby: an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.”

What happens when a hobby starts to consume ones waking thoughts?

In my pursuit of finding the balance between my electronic hobby and life, I have found myself walking a fine line between hobby and addiction.

Video games are not a casual hobby but a culture. At one time the video game culture was regulated to ones living room but this is no longer true. The Internet now serves to connect a gamers living room to the rest of the world. News, reviews, and varying editorial run rampant and at different levels of professionalism.

Culture: the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group.”

No longer are we, as a society, unplugged. The Internet is present in our cellphones, handheld game systems, and even local coffee shops. Not being able to unplug allows one to have constant access to the vast reaches of cyberspace. For me, this means that I have unlimited access to the gaming culture. Throughout the day I find myself reading various videogame related sites. On the outside, there is nothing wrong with this, but I have found myself treading the fine line between hobby and addiction.

As a Christian, I find that my love for videogames and video game culture are often in conflict with my spiritual life. There are times when I should be praying when instead I am thinking about the latest MMO; times when I should be reading my Bible and instead I am reading the latest video game magazine.

To fight against the tide of addiction, I have found that it is best to take a step back and remove whatever it is that is dragging me down. Balance between my hobby and life is not what I seek, but order in the my life’s priorities.

Find yourself overwhelmed by a hobby? I encourage you to take a step back and find order.