Unfortunately, yesterday was a bit of somber day in the Dueg household. Due to an unexpected fiscal loss at the marketing firm I was working at, my job got put on the chopping block and I was let go. It’s a scary situation, to be sure, and one I am not relishing, but I am nothing if not wholly awesome and am fairly confident I will once more be gainfully employed soon. But while I was speaking with my boss and he was saying he was sorry and if things improved then they’d call me back and all that blah blah they usually say when letting you go, a thought struck me.
Well, at least I’ll have more time to play WoW.
To tell you the truth, that idea both thrilled and scared me at the same time and got me to thinking. In this sort of situation, where does WoW stand in the group of possible sacrifices that might have to be made? It’s a game, certainly, but anyone who’s ever heavily played an MMO knows that it’s not just a game. It can be a social tool or even a support system in tough times, allowing someone to escape, if only momentarily, from a world that may not seem as rosy as it once was. But what’s the value of that?
For myself personally, that question might be skewed in favor of it being more valuable. I spend a sizable chunk of my time dedicated to the game even when I’m not playing. I use it as a creative outlet in the form of this blog and the silly pics I make or find on the net to help me express my ideas and topics. For me, WoW is a hobby as well as a game.
However, there are also those who are just in it for the entertainment value of logging on, running a few instances, maybe do a cooking or jewelcrafting daily, then logging off. For them, is it just a form of entertainment worth 15 bucks a month like some sort of expensive magazine subscription? Of course that question is going to probably have about 11 million different answers, but the point is singular, there is a value to WoW and it’s different for everyone.
Then there’s the psychological aspect of it. Humans (and Blood Elves) are nothing if not creatures of habit, and enjoy security. Avoiding the whole issue of addiction and whatnot, there’s also the idea that once you become used to doing the same thing in and out every day, week, month even to year, it’s not so easy to just dump that and forget about it, regardless of your current situation. It becomes like a security blanket, warm and welcoming in times of strife and something that keeps you more optimistic and fresh than you’d be without it.
But is it worth it? In a time when money might start to slow down and that 15 bucks a month might mean the difference between a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk and not eating for a couple of days, where do the priorities lie? The obvious and easy answer is going to be the food since you can’t play WoW if you’ve starved to death, but some people don’t see it that way. For some, the game trumps all and they will move heaven and earth so they can log in one more time. But these sort of people have problems with prioritizing, because though it’s not just a game, it is a game.
For my situation, there is no change in the present tense. Mrs Dueg still has her job and we’re getting government assistance in readjusting our mortgage loan (go Obama) while looking to cut back in other areas. We don’t have any children or other dependents except our spoiled rotten cat, so our expenses can be somewhat less complicated compared to other families faced with this situation. We decided the internet is too valuable of a job search tool to place that on the sacrifice pile just yet and since I have internet access for the time being, I’m going to try to keep WoW going so I can still have this creative outlet to help boost my spirits in these rough times. But you better believe that I’m also pragmatic and completely willing to cut this aspect of my life if it comes between me and my mortgage payments.
So what is the value of WoW to you? Obviously, if you’re here, spending part of your day just reading about it when some of you should be working (don’t worry, Dueg still loves you), then there’s more than just the base value of having a regular game ready for you when you come home. But how much more? Would you save it for the very last of sacrifices, logging in up until the day your internet connection is cut off from lack of payment? Or will it be the first thing to go as thoughts and worries of keeping a roof over your head and food on your table come first and foremost right away?
On a final note, this post is not meant to be a pity party or anything like that. I don’t want to see a bunch of posts of people saying “oh my god, I’m so sorry” or “hang in there” or all that jazz. Though I’d greatly appreciate your well wishes, and trust me when I say that I truly would, I’d also appreciate a sense of normalcy in my life which means continuing to make daily posts and reading the fantastic comments you leave here. Also, this is NOT an April Fool’s joke, I had considered making a post for today saying I lost my job and would be quitting WoW about a week ago, but thought it better not to tempt fate. Apparently that bitch can read minds.