I am thrilled to have a guest post for you guys today. I was so excited when this was emailed to me that I squeed with delight for days. It is an honor to present to you some words of wisdom written by Zinn from Jinxed Thoughts instead of the usual drivel from me. Zinn is one of my favorite bloggers and I know you guys feel the same way about her, so without further ado…

I always make rude gestures at people who tell me that “WoW is just a game”. Either it is to patronize my upset feelings about something or justify some asshat behavior, I just don’t understand that argument. When people say “It’s just a game” I interpret it as what they really are trying to say is “it’s just a game so why do you care?” Why is it important to you? How can it be? To me this stems from an attitude towards games that they are somehow inferior. Thery’re not a proper way of having fun. I know plenty of people who are ashamed to tell others they spend as much time with WoW as they do, but I bet they wouldn’t be if their hobby was something else than gaming (maybe if it was stamp collecting). Watching TV for 6 hours straight is ok, but not gaming? Being upset that my favorite show was cancelled is ok, but not that my class is being completely redesigned?

To me WoW is very srs bsns (serious business for all you non-leet speakers out there). I spend alot of time in, with it and I invest alot of myself in it. I do it because I enjoy it. To me WoW is important. When I go to work or do other boring stuff, WoW is one of the things that motivates me. While sitting there, tapping my fingers, being utterly bored I think – “Ok, I have to earn money so I can afford WoW”. And ice cream. And all the other stuff that I happen to enjoy. Of course I will react when something in my fun is changed into non-fun. Just as I get annoyed when I’ve invested alot of time in a book/movie/series that ends horribly bad. Or if I knit a sweatshirt and Love goes and destroys it. Or if the blog post I just spent 2 hours writing suddenly disappears into the Twwisting Nether. Or if my favorite football (I refuse to say soccer) team looses. All of these things would make fun stuff less fun, and I’d be a brick if these things didn’t matter to me. Everyone in the world has something they enjoy to do – so how come WoW isn’t ok to invest so much into? Why isn’t it ok for me to nerdrage about people who ninja or designer choices from hell?

And then there is the other side of the coin. People who don’t seem to enjoy anything about WoW and yet they care so much about it. As with everything else in life I think we should have a healthy attitude towards WoW. So I don’t like the changes made to my class, but should I really get this upset about it? Or should I just be annoyed about it and move on. I can agree that alot of people take some things too seriously. When is something too serious and when is it just healthy commitment? If our goal is for us to have fun with something, we have to ask ourselves – is the fun really gone? Sometimes when Love whines about his class (which seems to be constantly), I just tell him to go do something else for a while. Why play something that isn’t enjoyable? Or if it really bugs him, go tell the people who actually can do something about it – the devs.

That doesn’t mean I should turn hooligan on Blizzards behinds just because I feel like they nerfed my class too much. If you take things that seriously you’re not having fun anymore, and even worse, you’re ruining the fun for everyone else (which might be the idea, but that’s not good). In a way I don’t think that is taking the matter serious at all, because then you’ve completely forgotten the original reason that you wanted to play, which hopefully isn’t because you wanted to whine about stuff. Taking something too serious is when you think it is personal. When you believe that Blizzard does something just to annoy you. When you feel like the buff to rogues stealth is just to make you twist and turn at night in anger. Arsenal didn’t lose that match because they thought it would be fun to ruin your day (I don’t cheer for Arsenal or any other football team, but it was the first name that popped into my head), and Blizzard don’t do changes to make you sad.

We should be upset when things don’t go our way. We should be angry and write heated blog posts about how Blizzard don’t seem to understand anything anymore. We should vent our feelings. But also remember that when all the fun is taken out of the thing we do, we should rather consider go do something else than ruin the fun for everyone else. Don’t turn into the kindergarten child who destroys everyone sand castles just because you don’t like to build them yourself. And don’t mock people who think their sand castles, which they have spent all that time and fun with, are serious business.

Comments on: "Guest Post: Zinn Talks About Srs Bsns" (7)

  1. Good post!

    If only the rest of the commu.. Actually, it’s those that don’t act as part of a community who ruin it for, or try to, for everyone else!

    This is quite similar to my post – http://timewastedtuesday.net/2011/03/15/the-secret-guilty-pleasure/

    Though you make some good points, that we should just stop and think rationally before we enrage with emotions.

    – Jamin

  2. […] popped up over at Elfi’s World with a guest post about gaming being srs bsns. Argh, leet speak, my eyes are burning… I meant, gaming being serious business. She’s […]

  3. Kimber said:

    It’s funny you mention some players being ashamed of their WoW playing. I’m one of those that hides it from my mother. Forty something years old and I try to hide stuff from my mother still?! Do I have issues or what? Nevermind, that’s a whole other post… Anyway, you’re so right. If something we do for fun isn’t fun anymore then why continue to do it?
    I take my WoW game time very seriously. Seriously funny that is. If I’m not cracking myself up over silly stuff that I do in game, I’m cracking up over what Elfi does in-game, or some of the crazy ass conversations in guild chat. Some of the most fun people I’ve ever had the pleasure knowing I’ve met while traipsing my ass all over Azeroth. WoW is a place where I can go to have many laughs relaxing from a long and stressful workday AND getting to hang with some really great people. So, I guess maybe it’s more than “just a game” for me. It’s like a virtual happy hour for me.

  4. To the extent you mentioned, WoW is serious business. Just the same as if your favorite TV show is canceled and it upsets you, something happens in game and it upsets you. There is nothing wrong with that.

    I remember when the bar I used to frequent raised the price of beer 50 cents per bottle. Sure it was not a lot but I was pissed. I’ve been coming here for 5 years how dare you raise the price on me. I just paid more however, I understand that the business has bills it needs to pay.

    Same sort of thing in WoW for me in a different sense. I hated having my Hunter changed to focus but I rolled with it and now I like it. Sure there are still some things I hate like not being able to do some serious burn if need be because focus is limited but being able to go at the same peak performance for an hour if need be makes up for it some. Surely in soloing it does. I complained about it but I moved on.

    The “it’s just a game” line however burns me each time I hear it. Usually from someone that is a horrible player. Sure, it is just a game but do you want to play a game you can not beat because someone else is making it impossible for you? Would you buy a hamburger at a restaurant that you where not able to eat because there was a vegetarian sitting behind you? I do not want someone else ruining things for me, game or not. I don’t care if it is just a game, what someone else does should not impact my ability to play the game or eat a hamburger. So take it serious or get the hell out of my dungeon/raid/whatever.

    I complain a lot about WoW, after all I am the grumpy elf, you have to work with your strengths right? But with that said I still play it because in the end for as much as I hate about it I still have thing I like. It is just a game and as long as there is something in the game that brings me joy I will continue to play it.

  5. Bristal said:

    “It’s just a game” is often an excuse to be an asshat. I don’t care if I’m playing checkers with you, if you do or say something stupid that pisses me off you’re going to hear about. Anything worth doing, even a game, is certainly worth taking “seriously”.

    However, there should be boundaries in how you treat the people you are playing your serious game with. If you are taking your game overly seriously because you’re in a bad mood about something else, that’s a problem. I didn’t queue in a random to help you feel better about yourself. Not playing the game as seriously as you is OK also, as long as their casual approach doesn’t intentionally cause a wipe.

    “Being upset” about something in WoW is fine. Taking it out on other players who are playing more casually is not.

  6. I agree with the post and with much of what the commentators say. Balance to me is the key. There are times the Dev teams will annoy the hell out of you. Especially if your favorite class took a nerf batting. I won’t say that MMO’s in general are “just” a game. Point in fact, MMO’s are designed to keep your attention, therefor become a hobby. BUT, I caution that balance must come to play as well. Even the most well developed MMO’s arent going to satisfy you everytime. They evolve based upon feedback both from players and investors that keep Dev teams employed. Balance should also come into daily life as well as virtual life. Have additional things you like to do when things get frustrating to the point of nerd rage (of which I have felt at least a couple of times…or more).

  7. Anonymous said:

    You should be upset when they change your toon in an undesirable way, but whining about it is useless. You have to take some sort of action like cancelling your account or giving serious feedback. The problem in our society is that money talks. As long as you are willing to continue to pay for undesirable content, they (Blizzard) will continue to not care.

    As for saying “it’s just a game”, while you may go to work to play WoW, many of us go to work to pay the bills first and then play WoW/Rift/LotRO/DDO/. And no offense, but that is when the public at large doesn’t take this seriously as a hobby. I’m sure you pay bills with your money as well on items other than a subscription, but when that is what you name first then it starts the whole “nerd rage” and ” guy living in his parent’s basement” comparisons. I’m not saying that to be mean, I’m saying it because I have a LOT of friends who don’t play MMO’s and I can see in some cases how they have formed their opinion.

    I agree that MMO’s are a hobby for many of us, but I only use the “it’s just a game” argument when people start making their hobby a religion. They want to hear no negative criticism about their game of choice and they don’t want to hear people talk about other MMO’s they may enjoy. They think their MMO is the bestisest evah! Well, my other hobby is knitting. If you told me that my favorite yarn was total crap (Malibrigo for example), I would think you were insane for caring that much about what yarn I choose. It is just yarn in the end, even if I enjoy knitting with it, it’s not really worth arguing about to me. I’m not going to try to convince you that Malibrigo is the best either. If you don’t buy any, then there is more Malibrigo for me!

    And that is what I think of all the Rift vs. WoW arguing for that matter as well. Yes, you want higher subscription numbers for an MMO you enjoy, but to argue about which is the bestist is silly. We are all going to have a different opinion based on which entertains us the most. Lots of people like the moved Titanic… I hated it. See?

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