Our best gaming lives
Those were the days of our lives
Set the scene, It's the age of World of Warcraft, expansion, Wrath of the lich king. Long after dinosaurs roamed the planet but long before we had flying cars, colonised Jupiter's moons and transferred our consciousness into digital devices so we no longer had to scroll down endless Facebook feeds. I was having the time of my life, no responsibilities all the free time I could swing a tin of Pringles and a bottle of coke at. I would wake up at the crack of noon, stick world of Warcraft on and I would usually have a few friends on, by the time the evening came around the whole team were one, we would be chatting away and doing a few dungeons, but mostly chatting. When the raid lock timers were up we would attempt the raids, then back to more chatting. These were some of the greatest moments in my gaming life, moments that to this day I can never recreate no matter how hard I try. By the time the new expansion was being released a lot of people had got bored and gone on to other things until there was only a hand full of us left, then came the literal cataclysm, the expansion and the end of the glory days for me and my in-game friends. Not one of them carried on with the next expansion, the group was well and truly disbanded. Some of my friends had kids, jobs and other responsibilities and I was going through my own thing and could no longer put in the hours I once had.
A couple of years pass and my life starts to calm down and I begging to get some more free time and decide to get back into the World of Warcraft, but it wasn't the same, three expansions had come and gone and nothing was the same, the game play was different, the graphics were different, many other changes had occurred, but I tried to get into it. The game felt the same to play, the changes after I had got used to them felt quite good. But I still couldn't get that enjoyment out of it I once had.
Soon my attention began to wander, from game to game. I started to play guild wars 2, I enjoyed it for a while and I loved how the PVP felt and the way the questing was, but it just couldn't manage to keep my attention. There was also Warhammer online, the secret world, and many other MMOs but they just couldn't keep me hooked like World of Warcraft once had, was I broken, was there something wrong with me? Why couldn't I get the same enjoyment I once had. Maybe I just didn't enjoy playing games anymore, had I got too old for games?
Then it dawned on me, there was nothing wrong with these games, I had enjoyed playing these games but something was missing.
It wasn't the game that I had been so hooked on all that time ago, it had been the group of friends I had made, the experiences we had all had, we had all grown as people together. We had started with all the free time to mess around and slowly developed adult lives throughout that expansion.
No matter how many games I played, I would never get that same experience back, I will have different experiences but a lot of the experiences I have no are out of the games I play, they are in real life.
It's not that I don't enjoy gaming anymore because I do, it's just I don't think I will ever have as good a time as I did back then in a game, and to be honest, I don't think I could handle putting that much time and effort into in-game relationships and I don't have the time to spend so many of my waking hours inside a virtual world when I have people that rely so much on me in the real world.
I hope you have had similar experiences or if you are just starting in gaming that you find you special moment in your gaming history.
If you are enjoying what you are doing then you are not wasting your time.
But on a serious note, don't let your in-game time affect your mental or physical health as I did. Remember to take some time out occasionally.