How much time are you willing to give?

What is our school aged population doing with their time?

     Over the last decade, there has been an astounding boom in online gaming.  People of all ages, races, genders and nationalities crowd the web to cast spells, fight dragons and dabble in the most dangerous game.  One of the most popular game types is that of the Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). 

     At the top the MMORPG world is a game supported by everyone from Mr. T to the infamous Chuck Norris; World of Warcraft, commonly known as WoW, has a peak of 12 million active subscribers.  WoW like any other MMORPG is built on a back story that supports the origin of the world that players inhabit.  Each player has an almost unlimited amount of options as to what to do with his time.  He might spend time trying to make his character stronger, increase his wealth, complete quests following the story line or simply chat with friends online among other things.  The underlying problem behind this game and others like it is time.


     Whether the player is spending hours upon hours a day for months trying to level up a character or just sitting and talking with friends, one has to question at some point what the purpose of the game is, what the player gains from it, and what is given up to spend that time online.  Players often argue that time spent in-game is more beneficial than watching TV, but how often does homework go uncompleted and trash not get taken out to the game's expense?  Although playing an MMORPG would be pretty tough without being  able to read, something must be said for the lack of real-life social interaction and exercise.  Also, fatalities rarely occur from people taking stimulants to stay up watching TV for days as is documented with some overly competitive gamers.  Could the benefits from paying to game every month possibly outweigh the losses?


     So the question has to be posed; What makes a good MMORPG player?  Is the answer simply time? Granted, some time has to be given to become competent at nearly anything as the adage says, "Practice makes perfect," but at what point does this hobby become a bigger part of a person's life than his real life?  Where does the joy of developing a skill come into play when you simply click to attack some mythical creature for hours on end?


     What would life have been like for each of those players if they never started playing?  What will life be like when they do stop playing? How will they feel when they look at the time they spent?  What will they have to show for it?


     How much time are you willing to give?

WoW Crowded

How much time was spent here?

Standing in WoWCredit: Stefan ThoolenCredit: Stefan Thoolen