Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Message... er, Query For You, Sire

There are days when I dive into WoW whole-heartedly. I've got a mission - leveling an alt, completing quests, running a dungeon, earning points or honor or achievements or something else. I've got a goal, and I'm bent on accomplishing it.

There are other days when I log in and just run around doing fun stuff for the distraction. No goals, no objectives - I just want to kill some pixels, explore, tune out the real world and relax.

It's crunch time at work, so last night (and probably the rest of the week) are going to fall into the second category. I may log in to do dailies and run about a bit, but without any specific goal in mind, other that entertainment and relaxation.

At first glance, it seems kind of odd. "Oh, yeah - that game that I play? Yeah, I'm not doing anything with it now, really. Just kind of having fun instead of..." instead of what? Working?

Well, yeah. There's more than one type of fun, you know.

There's pointless, meandering fun. Going outside to throw the tennis ball for the dog, sitting on the porch watching the cats tussle, getting into a tickle fight with my daughters. All of those are definitely fun. Exploring Azeroth, kiting killer cinderbloom across Tol Barad, visiting the Ironforge air field or the murderous critters above Mulgore... that's the WoW equivalent.

There's focused fun. I've got something I'm going to do, and the enjoyment comes from accomplishing my goal. Writing a blog post, cleaning out the closets, mowing the grass - they're all work, really, but they're also enjoyable. There's a sense of satisfaction in getting something done, even if it's trivial. Most achievements fall into this category, I think - something you have to work at for a bit, but it's the working that makes it enjoyable.

Then there's cooperative fun. Playing a game of basketball, getting together with friends for dinner, doing something with other people... that's a whole different kind of fun. It may be pointless, it may be focused, but the presence of other people makes it a whole different situation. Queuing for a dungeon, jumping in to a BG - those are WoW activities that can either be pointless or focused, depending on your attitude.

Thinking about it, I'm amazed that there's enough in the game that regardless of what my mood is, I can find something, somewhere, in WoW that I can look at and say "Yeah... I'll have fun doing that tonight."

Well. Except for archaeology.

What is it in WoW that - no matter what you do - you just can't get excited over, under any circumstances?

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