Playing the Most Addictive PC Game in the World

Tyrande Whisperwind, from World of Warcraft. (Image:  Linriel via  flickr  CC BY-ND 2.0)
Tyrande Whisperwind, from World of Warcraft. (Image: Linriel via flickr CC BY-ND 2.0)

Since the day it was released, World of Warcraft has blossomed into one of the most phenomenal role-play games in the world. Blizzard Entertainment launched its release on November 23, 2004 in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, with subsequent launches in Europe and the Asian region. It is the company’s bestselling and top award-winning game.

World of Warcraft (WoW) is a massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game located in the fantasy world of Azeroth, where players complete quests in order to “level up” their avatars, or characters. The goal is to gain powers and obtain the best weapon, armor, and accessories along the way.

 CC BY 2.0 )

World of Warcraft (WoW) is a massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game located in the fantasy world of Azeroth. (Image: cea via flickr CC BY 2.0 )

Video gaming has addictive qualities

The human brain is wired to crave instant gratification, fast pace, and unpredictability. All three are satisfied in video games. Video game addiction is growing rapidly around the globe, especially in America, the U.K., and parts of Asia (China, Korea, and Japan).

In China today, hundreds of boot camps have opened across the country in order to help teenagers overcome their web addiction. In 2011, a Chinese man died after Internet gaming for three days straight; and in 2007, a 17-year-old poured gasoline all over his classmate and lit him on fire, claiming that he had “transformed” into a Fire Mage.

Please watch this video about Internet gaming addicts in China:

An interview with former player, Xrysa Valsami

To find out more about WoW, we got in touch with a former player, 35-year-old Xrysa Valsami from Greece, who on average used to spend up to 15 hours a day sitting behind her computer tanking raids with her Warrior.

Vision Times: So Xrysa, when did you first start playing WoW?

Xrysa: About 9 years ago, almost immediately after the release of Blizzard’s 2nd expansion: The Wrath of the Lich King.

Vision Times: What’s the most addictive thing in World of Warcraft?

Xrysa: To be given a chance or a choice to be somebody, even a hero, dress yourself anyway you like, and of course, interact with people who share the same passion with you.

Vision Times: Have you lost contact with friends and family since you started gaming?

Xrysa: Any gamer that is surrounded by non-gamers is usually not being understood, so it’s very likely to seek friendships in-game. For gamers, any friend who doesn’t understand the need to raid, or PvP, with you is not a good friend. So, you will gradually make those friends and family disappear around you, so as to enjoy gaming without anyone complaining.

Xrysa's Level 100 warrior avatar "Empress".

Xrysa’s Level 100 Warrior ‘Empress.’ (Image: Screenshot from Xrysa Valsami’s WoW account.)

Vision Times: Have your feelings changed since you started playing WoW?

Xrysa: Since you choose to be treated the same way as your avatar is being treated, and you want to believe you have the same powerful skills as your avatar does… then you’re no longer your original self. I felt like I was turning arrogant, mad and developing a selfish personality by fearing that I wouldn’t be accepted or have a place to participate in other peoples’ activities.

Vision Times: When you were dealing with your daily life’s problems at the time you were gaming, how would you respond to these?

Xrysa: When you game, no daily problems exist. The problems come from the external environment when they try to call you and you view everything as an interruption. I didn’t want to answer the phone and lose time or sight from the screen. I even hated visits, ’cause they would keep me away from my PC.

Vision Times: What would you say to someone who thinks of going back to WoW, or wants to try for the first time?

Xrysa: That would be really sad, as I know firsthand what will transpire. If you have problems and try to find a shelter in WoW, then it’s a very bad idea, as people who gather in those places usually have really low moral standards. Nobody cares about no one, they even form cliques against you. If you’re a low profile person like me, I would suggest you try to see what you’re good at. Go to the gym or join a sports team. You will pay money for everything you need to do, gaming as well. Help someone, talk to someone, be someone in real life. Time waits for no one.

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