Blizzard hammered their flag in the new world – The World of Warcraft in the fourth quarter of 2004. Like the Beatles to rock, like Charlie Chaplin to comedy, World of Warcraft defined The MMORPG phenomenon. Destroying all PC game sales records and locking millions in front of monitors in homes and in Internet cafés worldwide.

But what makes World of Warcraft so successful? – Similar to how Fast food products exploit our primitive lust for high calorie foods. World of Warcraft exploits the the human psyches constant hunger for gratification, by overindulging the players with real feelings of success through minimal effort.

By continuously overindulging players with a fake sense of achievement, WoW becomes more than a game. It becomes a platform for real achievement through almost no real effort. With achievement being a direct stimulus of happiness, WoW becomes much more addictive than the average video game.

A lot of players will prioritise WoW over almost everything else. The gamer will begin to unconsciously shut off from the outside world and potentially ruin real life connections, such as friends, family, and social activities. It’s a pity, but it seems to be a reoccurring sad tale of the forlorn gaming addicted WoW player. Nothing else can offer the same pure and easily attainable gratification that WoW will always happily allot. As long as you’re paying, of course.

In my opinion, WoW is not a game. The lack of real gameplay and story deny it the status of a video game. For that reason I believe, that put in specific peoples hands, World of Warcraft is an extremely exploitive tool, weaved specially to keep the player tied to the screen while Blizzard dips into your wallet every month.

Horror stories have surfaced involving fully grown adults effected by the Warcraft plague. One sad incident in 2005 climaxed in the death of a 4-year old child.

Most gamers tend to disregard the media uproar over WoW. Why should we care what the mainstream publications have to say on video game matters? Wasn’t Fox news, one of the biggest news organizations in the world, the publication that condemned Mass Effect due to its “explicit sex scene” which was nothing more than a bit of side boob and blankets?

I challenge you to look at the devastating effect this game can cause. WoW poses a real threat to  future generations of gamers and gives gaming a bad name in general.

Hopefully you’ll think twice the next time someone tells you – “its just a game.”

  1. Sam Miele says:

    And when I say “Destroy” I don’t mean you spontaneously combust or anything dramatic. I’m just commenting towards the many people we see working in dead end jobs in which WoW is a deciding factor.

    I know several people who have been seriously addicted to this game; One of which has been booted out of university and two others are full-time at Dominos Pizza. So if you take “Destroy” literally, yes WoW does basically destroy some lives.

  2. Sam Miele says:

    P.S: Paul – I urge you to reconsider “How is WoW more of a time sink” when normal games are roughly 10-12 hours? And WoW is…oh wait, endless…

  3. Sam Miele says:

    Okay everyone, sorry for the late reply.

    In responce to Paul – You even said so youself, and I agree that it only effects a minority – but even a small percentage of that 11 million people can cause a serious problem.

    In responce to Rich – The damage WoW causes is usually not international news, I was mainly speaking about more common things: Failed exams, social isolation etc.. I know this from both first hand experience and from friends. I just used that death as an example of an extreme case. Please feel free to check other sources of how WoW addiction can be the main cause in underachieving. And yes, Wow is one of many MMO’s, but it is definitely the most popular. I’m not exactly going to name every one now, am i?

  4. Daniel Beckett says:

    To say that WoW is some hugely dangerous game which destroys people’s lives is unfair. But to say that the level of addiction it causes for many people is not higher than other games is just being ignorant.

    It took me about two minutes to gather a bunch of different examples of how people started to prioritise WoW over everything else in their lives.

    http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=5103071948&sid=1

    http://ihatewow.tribe.net/thread/2741b3d5-23a4-42af-8006-363cbc864060

    http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1273/999728557_f1ba7ca5d7_o.jpg

    http://domatlarge.blogspot.com/2008/08/warcraft-destroyed-my-life-love-or.html

    http://www.43things.com/things/view/29930/hurt-whoever-made-world-of-warcraft

    http://www.askapadwe.com/81/are-a-lot-of-people-really-addicted-to-world-of-warcraft/

    The amount of these stories is incredible and each one follows a similar pattern.

  5. Rich says:

    First of all, this article is poorly written and horrendously misinformed.

    Second, a glaring contradiction is made when the author suggests that WoW provides an abundance of “feelings of success through minimal effort” while the very next sentence states the complete opposite. Which is it? Or is the author simply railing against WoW for railing’s sake?

    Third, as someone else pointed out, how is this different than any other video game ever that people obsess over or, for that matter, any other of the plethora of MMO’s that came well before WoW?

    Fourth, pertaining to the fourth paragraph, which is a gross generalization. I highly recommend the author seek additional sources if they wish to be taken seriously on this matter. Making assumptions about “a lot of players” is no way to make a convincing argument. College English 101.

    Fifth, and this is the only point in this article where I agree ever so slightly with the author. WoW is not a game. Well, it isn’t like other games. It’s an MMO, and that usually means it’s broader in terms of not only players, but playing area, things to do, places to see, and so on. It’s more of a hobby. MMOs usually are for a lot of people who play them and for those individuals, the game does provide a real sense of accomplishment. Also keep in mind that the only reason Blizzard would be siphoning money from anyone’s wallet, is because credit/debit card information was voluntarily provided in the first place. And to suggest that it isn’t money well spent, consider that WoW or MMOs in general are cheaper than most hobbies out there.

    Sixth, the final paragraphs turn this article into a sensationalist piece of dribble. People, parents especially, who neglect their responsibilities because of a game, are at fault here not the game and probably shouldn’t be parents in the first place. The author manages to find one very extreme example to support their argument. How many cases like the one posted do we hear about? A handful since WoW’s release? Compared to the 11 million people playing the game? If WoW is such a pandemic as the author suggests, wouldn’t we be hearing more about this kind of thing? Wouldn’t WoW be killing more and more people?

  6. Joey says:

    Paul has a point when he says that all video games can be a waste of time. But WoW, and most other MMO’s, have something that, lets say, console games don’t. That thing being the constant feed of the addiction. If Oblivion (one of my favorite games of all time) came out with regular content updates which gave me more of what I wanted – exploration, progression, etc., I would still be playing the game today. That’s exactly what WoW does. It constantly gives the player more of what they want, which keeps them playing. In that respect, I think WoW is MUCH more of a time sink than any other video game, especially ones with a story that has an ending, just because the game itself is ever evolving and ever improving.

    However, it’s a good thing Blizzard has this endless source of revenue pouring in from WoW. It allows them to make their other games perfect, or close to it. AKA Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3.

  7. by shit, I mean WoW

  8. I like the Seacrest out, epic ending. You do have a valid point there, I can`t speak for the game because I have never played it. I just know a crap load of people that live their lives on that shit.

  9. Paul says:

    Dumb article is dumb.
    Been reading this same shit for years now, and it’s always the same regurgitated faulty logic.

    How is WoW any more of a ‘time sink’ than any other video game? You constantly hear this from people who spend the same amount of time in front of a computer or on a video game console as if their use of time is any more effective than an individual playing WoW.

    You can cite particular cases where individuals (yes, a minority – one; or a small group of people if you’re having trouble keeping up) have let the game consume them and in turn have done some stupid things, much like the article you linked to. I do hope you understand that is not the general populous of the game, though. Especially with the changes to it over the last 5 years. You can pick-up and play it as much as any console game and still fulfill your so-called lust for gratification.

    Take a moment to climb down off your high horse and realize – it IS just a game. Just like the games you play. It is the individual who defines their experience with the game, whether it’s ultimately is seen in a positive or negative light.

    Seacrest out.

  10. I’ve never tried it and probably never will. I know a lot of people that play it though, and that is basically all they do with their time, play WoW.

  11. Daniel Beckett says:

    I tried WoW for about two months and didn’t like it all that much. It seemed incredibly repetitive to me. I don’t know how so many people get hooked on it.

    I agree with your outlook for the most part, a 4-month-old child dying because the parents are playing an online game is stupid to say the least.

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