The Value of WoW

It's a sad state of affairs

It's a sad state of affairs

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.



18 Responses to “The Value of WoW”

  1. 04/01/2009 at 9:37 AM

    Blah, I’m sorry, Dueg. That sucks. 😦

    On the bright side, for me personally, I will take advantage of all your spare time to ask you a zillion questions about holypriesting. Yay?

  2. 04/01/2009 at 9:43 AM

    For me, WoW has evolved into much more than just a ‘game.’ Not only is it a great way to hang out with people I may not be able to see in person (waves at Kenichan), but it’s an outlet for everything from wanting the satisfaction of gaining something (whether be gear, exp, gold, or whatever), or if I’m really in the mood for some good RPing.
    When I started playing just a smidge over a year ago, if you told me I was going to be drawing a webcomic with a bustling community and amazing fanbase, I’d call you a liar. A filthy, filthy liar.
    As ‘Kissless’ once told me: “I had no idea it would have ever become this!”
    So, if I lost my job, WoW would stay until I was in VERY dire circumstances. Besides, I can go for a long time without eating. ^_~

  3. 04/01/2009 at 9:43 AM

    I went through the same situation at the beginning of 2008. I stayed unemployed for 8 months. WoW was my main source of life during that time. Until I met my fiance WoW did a lot for me. Kept me out of the unemployment blues as well as kept me sane when i kept getting turned down for jobs.

    Youll be back up in no time though.

  4. 4 Tigerfeet
    04/01/2009 at 9:54 AM

    You didn’t want pity, but here, have some condolences. My husband has been struggling to find work for quite a while now. We’re in a similar situation: house, cat(s), no kids, internet, WoW, etc etc. I feel your pain buddy.

    Now, if something catastrophic were to happen to my job WoW would most definitely have to go, but mostly because we don’t have anywhere else in the budget to cut. We have a TV, but we don’t subscribe to cable, we have no cell phones and our land line is on the most basic of plans and we only have THAT because it’s required for internet.

    Entertainment IS important. Before we got back into WoW we were spending a lot of money on new video games, on movies, on boxed sets of tv shows that we enjoyed. We needed to have that entertainment time where we could sit back and enjoy ourselves and forget about how bleak everything really was.

    For us, ironically, WoW was the most economical way to do this. We pay $30/month for the two of us, plus $60 for the internet and phone. We don’t have cable, or cell phones. When we lived in Chicago and had all the ‘normal’ things it was more like $30 for TV, $60 for internet, $80 for phones, plus we would go out to eat quite a bit and go see movies. We cut out the movies and the eating out, we don’t have cable because we just don’t watch it, we don’t NEED cell phones. I have a little pay as you go phone that I picked up for a song that I only use in the winter because roads here are very dangerous. Our internet doubles as entertainment and job-hunting, networking, news source, everything.

    WoW would be dropped way before the internet, but because of my wonderful guild I wouldn’t be completely cut off from them, which is awesome.

    Additionally, we’ve been in that situation where we didn’t know where our next meal would come from. I’m not going to kid it was awful. We played Guild Wars during that to get away. Still we had the internet (I couldn’t network without it) but we didn’t have that monthly subscription cost.

    I don’t usually talk to people about the value of games to me, but I believe having someplace to go or something to do to just get AWAY from reality is very very important. I acknowledge that fact, and I choose the manner in which I will get away so that I don’t find myself becoming addicted to something that might just spiral out of control.

  5. 5 Arcania
    04/01/2009 at 9:57 AM

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. For many of us our creative outlets are ways to release the stress of a long day. Despite the misfortune you are experiencing, I am glad to see your optimism in this time. I hope that you are able to keep playing WoW as I always find your attitude and humor refreshing. Best of luck finding a new job!

  6. 04/01/2009 at 9:58 AM

    When I was unemployed and dealing with the depression that came along with it, WoW was a huge help. Quite literally the only thing that got me out of bed some mornings was the thought that I had a raid to prepare for. Times were tight and I had to make some sacrafices to keep playing, but I managed it and it was well worth it.

    And I second, third and fourth the notion that the “hey, that pointy eared girl turned into a cat – cooool” gave me no indication whatsoever that it would turn into *THIS*

    But I’m glad it did!

  7. 04/01/2009 at 10:20 AM

    I’m torn between going:

    D: Good luck finding a new job, Duegy!


    Hey! Now you have more time to level your alt on my server!

    So I figure I’ll be be my usual delightfully nutty self and offer both reactions.

    WoW would be, for me, one of the last things to go because it is so much of a social outlet for me. The lack of it would just give me more time to stew and be miserable! I played WoW throughout my “Hmm, do I put gas in my car or eat?” days, and that $15 was a cheap price for my sanity.

  8. 04/01/2009 at 10:52 AM

    People that blog especially understand that WoW is way more than just a game. As you mentioned it is a creative outlet.
    I can’t really say what I would do if I lost my job. It really depends on how dire the situation was. For me I rely heavily on my husband anyway as he is the primary breadwinner. But he probably wouldn’t like me sitting at home all day playing WoW. 🙂

    It all depends on where you put your priorities, and if you decide one day that you don’t need WoW or the blog anymore to bring you joy, then you cut if off.

  9. 04/01/2009 at 12:04 PM

    WoW would be the very last thing I’d cut from the budget. I found the money my husband and I spent on entertainment dropped considerably after we started playing WoW.

    “Wanna go catch a movie?” “Nah, gotta raid tonight.”

    “Wanna go out to dinner?” “Nah, leveling my cooking.”

    “Wanna go out of town for the weekend?” “Nah, leveling my alt.”

    Basically $30 a month (for me and hubby) covers all our entertainment needs. Pretty economical if you ask me.

    As for your job, I really am sorry to hear about that. I am losing my job at the end of this month and my thoughts run along the same line as yours. It sucks, but I’ll find something else and … in the mean time … moar time for WoW!

  10. 10 Chawa
    04/01/2009 at 12:21 PM

    “We don’t have any children or other dependents except our spoiled rotten cat” = bwahahahhaha

    I agree with all of the above about the entertainment value of wow. It’s so much cheaper than going to the movies, these days! And you are the star!

    I lost my job in November and thought the same thing as you – more time for Wow. However, I managed to prove myself wrong and spent my entire days job searching, writting up cover letters and tweaking the resume. My wow time increased slightly but that’s about it.

  11. 04/01/2009 at 3:04 PM

    I was unemployed for six months a couple of years ago and I don’t know how I would have made it through without WoW. There is only so much job searching you can do in a day!

    Good luck on your search Dueg!

  12. 04/01/2009 at 5:47 PM

    Sorry to hear it either way. Good luck with the next phase of your life.

  13. 13 Ariene
    04/01/2009 at 7:12 PM

    I always lurk around in this blog, but now I feel impelled to actually respond! 🙂 Let me first preface this by saying that I’m a very casual gamer — probably 2-3 hours per night, 3-4 nights per week.

    That said, I actually uninstalled WoW a few days ago due to being unemployed, trying to study for the LSAT, and with a little third part to familial pressure. Do any of you know that sidelong glance — often used by well-meaning family members — which with one look silently expresses, “Shouldn’t you be spending your time studying your butt off/looking for jobs — even in the evening — and not be wasting time on a game that won’t advance your future one iota?”

    I thought that maybe that silent judgment has merit. If I could just channel the energy I spend on WoW to my studies, wouldn’t I concentrate that much better? Well, now I’m not so sure.

    For despite not having the WoW lure in the background, I find that I’m missing that “something” to release stress, and to transport me away at the end of the day. Although I tell myself that I should have motivation to do well in my studies for the sheer sake of my future, and for the sheer sake of my studies, I find that not being able to look forward to those few hours of enjoying the “here and now” at the end of the day is simply.. well.. sad.

    That said, I’m reinstalling WoW right now. WoW is only 3rd or 4th on my list of “preferred activities,” but unlike my very busy, but loving boyfriend, and equally busy and loving friends, WoW is there whenever, and wherever I need to be entertained.

    I’m sorry for the essay/rant! Sometimes it’s difficult being surrounded by loving non-gamer friends and family who nevertheless find it hard to understand why I play games as an adult, and label those games as a nefarious distraction that will train-wreck your goals (the, “You can do so much better with your time” argument, anyone?”).

    So after 8927304820423 words, I answer your question. 🙂 WoW is never essential to my life, just as my beloved books aren’t essential to my life. However, the feelings, the freedom, and the sense of optimism, life, and endless possibilities and imagination than transport you, and indeed, transform you, is essential. For happiness for me must not only be a future goal, but a current presence, and if WoW is the current vehicle to provide that, then so be it.

  14. 14 syrana
    04/01/2009 at 9:21 PM


    Sideshow and I actually talked about when would we make the decision to cut WoW, if the finances warranted it. We did find plenty of other things that could get cut first, but mostly because it’s a great deal as far as entertainment goes, for us.

  15. 15 Chibikeni
    04/01/2009 at 9:41 PM

    To me, WoW had brought ups and downs to what I’ve faced. From being in a group of people I’ve only met a few in real life, getting to know a whole lot of people *ie you, Cadistra, Anea and more* (via Twitter and WoW-related blogs), faced drama issues, juggling time between reality and this escape while working…Things just keep pinging one another like a chain reaction in billiards, depends which ball ends up in which pocket.

    As multitude of choices are given to us, we hope for a right one. In the meantime, expand your contacts see if there’s openings they heard of in their own networks. I pray a little flock of luck goes on your way, Dueg. /salute.

  16. 04/03/2009 at 12:58 AM

    I’ve been where you are, and I’m probably not all too far from it again, but I keep putting my fingers in my ears and making loud noises so…yeah.

    WoW is more then a game. Sure, the raiding and achievements and all of that are fun – but the part that makes it really special is the networking. It reminds me of the oldschool AOL chatrooms that got me through high school with most of my sanity intact – lots of people with a shared interest who grow to care about things outside the game.

    I know the raid leader has a wife and that they play together. I know that our resident boomkin was born in Poland and can sing the theme from Darkwing Duck in Polish. I know I can crack up the vast majority of a raid with a well timed “Ma nah ma nah!”

    Most of all, I know that when work or other aspects of my life make me want to scream, cry, pull my hair out, etc … I can turn away from it all and enter this beautiful little world that Blizzard has created for us.

    It’s an escape, and that’s a wonderful thing to have.

  17. 17 Pugnacious Priest
    04/15/2009 at 6:25 PM

    I’m sorry to hear. Hope you find something soon.
    I purchased my own flat in the last few months and one of the things i had to consider was the worst case senario of losing my job, While i could also play more wow while eating up my retrenchment money, I think its a dangerous mentality – wow is a time sucker. sure when i’m on holidays I will play more wow, but I think motivation may suffer if you have a continous entertainment fall back. So I would probably need to freeze my account not from not being able to afford the fees, but that i may become trapped – they say the best thing to do is stay active, try and do some courses upskill, volunteer, work on small projects all the while scanning the job market. If you knew you could wake up – and be occupied untill bed with the simple flick of a button why would you want to do anything else . I’ve seen friends pick cigarettes over food when they were broke and i hope that wow never has to come to that.

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