Thursday, August 6, 2009

Symptoms include...

Welcome, gentle reader. Whether you meant to or not you have stumbled onto something far from a unique snowflake. It's a WoW blog. Nothing special, right? It's hard to move around any portion of the interwebs without tripping over them left and right, toes being stubbed in the process. When it comes to World of Warcraft, anyone who's made the long jaunt to 80 has invested enough time and effort to feel justified in calling themselves an expert. The result is so many blogs heaping mountains of gathered wisdom that it's exceedingly difficult to discern why any new ones need to exist. If there was a niche to fill it was filled long ago.

Yet, here we are, another WoW blog. If that's all it was, I couldn't even dare to dream of saying anything unique about WoW that hasn't already been said in a thousand other places. Smarter people with resources and time far outstripping mine have done a fine job making sure I could never break any new ground that way. (Un)Fortunately for me, this is more than a WoW blog. It's also a Psychology blog.

Why I put the little "un" in brackets up there is because I'm not actually a Psychologist. I'm only a lowly peon of a Psychology undergraduate. That literally means I know nothing about Psychology. I am, however, practiced in trying to think like a Psychologist. What that means is that I enjoy seeing little patterns in human behavior and relating it to what little I think I've been learning in class. Now, what happens when you take someone like that and give them two years of experience in all aspects of World of Warcraft? Low and behold, you realize that human beings play this game. Human beings who behave largely like human beings should.

This last fact is often what makes people pull out their hair in massive knotted chunks when attempting to navigate WoW. Most people just grit their teeth, buy a tupee and move on with their lives. I, however, want to understand things just a little better. I want to know exactly what is going on in the minds behind those collection of pixels we scream at when they one shot us in Stranglethorn, or ninja that Betrayer, or post [Anal] jokes in barrens chat.

I believe I'm not alone in this.

And so thus I have started a blog where I will, hopefully once a week, go through the exercise of relating a random interesting Psychological topic to the World in which so many of us spend our lives. I will do this while attempting to start what will likely be the semester that determines the rest of my career. Wish me luck in this.

World of Warcraft for me is more than just a game. As I have spent several hundred hours traversing and clicking and macroing my way through its terrain it has taken on a life of its own. Integrating my own life with this new one has presented interesting challenges in terms of happiness and productivity. Someone might take a look at what this game does to people and call it a disease: something that needs to be protected against at all costs. I don't really blame some people for feeling this way. My response to them is that they just don't understand.

If WoW is a disease, then it's one that puts me in the shoes of a hero, acting within a system that allows me to be a force for good within its digital confines. It allows me to meet dozens of new people and act in conjunction with them for that good. Better yet, it allows me opportunities for insight into human nature both online and off. Call it a disease or a plague or a syndrome if you like, but it's one that millions would prefer not to do without.

Let the syndrome spread.


  1. Awww. Kyza's all grown up and writing a blog! Although, I think it might mean more to me if I played WoW. Nonetheless, have fun! (And post more to Jeanette's blog! Rawr!)