Addiction is a weighted word. It elicits images of young men wasted away to nothing, slumped over in dark alleys. It makes people think of Requiem for a Dream, of broken dreams and promises, of pain and suffering. Because of this, folks give a lot of funny looks if it's suggested someone is addicted to something unconventional. You need look no further than David Duchovny's sex addiction scandal to realize that the general public has a fairly limited perception of addiction.
I'm addicted to World of Warcraft, and it's not the first time. An alcoholic might refer to it as a relapse, I don't know what I call it.
Back in mid February, I received a tweet from our very own Chris Linendoll, checking to see if I was alright. You see, I hadn't written anything for KGB is a long while, not since an entry about Dark Souls weeks earlier, and I hadn't really contacted Chris, or Rock, or Pat, or anyone else at KGB about it, either. I assured him I was fine and he would have an article in a few days. For the sake of full disclosure, I never started that article, Chris, and even now I don't think I ever had the intention to do so. Chris made the offhanded joke that he just wanted to make sure I wasn't urinating in bottles.
In Azeroth, on the Mug'Thol server of the US set of realms, I am Keplix, a level 85 Goblin Death Knight, an Ambassador of the Horde. I have an item level of 388, and I have two maxed professions (Herbalism and Skinning). I am a Grand Master Fisherman, and I have won the Stranglethorn Vale Fishing Contest twice. I have 4 out of the 5 pieces of Tier 13 armor. I have helped Azeroth recuperate from the Cataclysm left in Deathwing's wake, I have staved off Illidan and the Burning Legion from destroying the Outlands. I have traveled to Northrend and put an end to the Lich King's plot to rule everyone in death. I've prevented the return of Ragnaros in the Firelands, and have completed the Molten Front. I have valiantly defended Wyrmrest and have slain Deathwing. Eight times.
|This is from an Alt. I don't have the heart to share Keplix's /played|
Two days ago, 6 out of 8 bosses into Heroic Dragon Soul, with my Guild counting on me to continue on, I made the conscious decision to pee in a Snapple bottle.
I love the game, absolutely. Even when it makes me miserable, and I miss job interviews, and my significant other threatens to leave me, and I almost completely disappear from both my real life and virtual circles of friends (an especially large shout out to my friends at DFC for their understanding and support), I want to play more. I'm still missing a complete set of Heroic Tier 13, I am not yet a Grand Master of Cooking or First Aid, and I probably have 25 hours of effort to max my Archeology. I also only have 183 achievements out of nearly 2,000. There are hundreds of pets and mounts and other vanity items to acquire, and the Guild (Ah Yeah Gurrl, represent) needs me to continue out progression. And, even when I accomplish even a fraction of this, there's another expansion just around the bend, and I couldn't be more excited. Somehow, this virtual bullshit feels vital and important to me.
I want to say that I came to some sort of realization, that I learned an important lesson about myself, that I have discovered what life really means and how valuable it is. I want to say I've tried to rekindle friendships, my relationship, my employment, but I've done none of these things. Instead, I've run dungeons, I've become a virtual character with everything that I seem to have sacrificed in reality, and it makes me sad. I miss writing, I miss friends, and most of all, I miss being Daniel Smith, not Keplix.
I'm not sure how to end this, considering it's not the usual humorous tone I take, and I'm not even sure it's close to being over. I'm sorry to the folks at KGB who I may have let down, to the readers who might have been waiting for something a little more light-hearted, and to the various people in my personal life who may disappointed by the actions I have taken the previous few months.
Dan is a casual spaceman and a hopeless addict. You can follow him on Twitter here.