Buddy, can you spare a time?

The biggest elf of all makes us cry…

Well, the last few hours of my stay-cation are dwindling faster than tips to cocktail waitresses after a long losing streak. I can feel the usual stress I feel on Sunday nights, but it’s multiplied ten-fold. I tried so desperately to just “not think about anything,” but as with all of our jobs, rarely is there one that is in a ‘box.’ Even when I was a waitress I used to dream of customers in my living room, waiting for me to bring them food…more food…

I cannot express to you, my gentle readers, how much I completely understand JD’s post, Error 404. I get it. I get it on an emotional, philosophical, and dare I say, visceral level.

The thing is, I came to play WoW at a valley in my life projects. I was waiting for the results of a long-term professional project, and not only did WoW suck me in, but it, like tire treadles, would not let me back out. I have many personality flaws or positives, depending on the point of view, but one is I finish things. Some have called me a pit-bull, but I finish…what was I saying? Just kidding. I do. I am a check-box, merit badge, fill-in-the-blank, get the diploma, super-gold-star finisher.

And I was warned, time and again: this game is never finished. 

The other day, talking about the release of Diablo III, cross-dressing rogue mentioned that it can be finished. I am still puzzled over my internal response, which was something like, “Then why play?”

Danger, danger! Fundamental personality shift! Paging Dr. Freud! Come to the mental ward, Dr. Jung!

So–what is my point? Am I going cold-turkey? Or do I need to set some arbitrary perimeters so that when I am in Azeroth, I get that sense of enjoyment and enchantment again, because brother, except for my buddies, I am not feeling it.

But that was the problem all along, because when I look out my inner-window to what is going on in the real world, it’s pretty daunting and is also – never finished. I am not talking about those who bring me joy, or the humans in my real life who mean everything to me, I’m talking about my own selfish core—the things that bring us happiness. My work used to, very much so. I affected every one around me, I lifted spirits, brought smiles, and creative flow.

But for now, right now, my mojo is dried up.

Now, one thing I have been grumbling about for a while are the things in Azeroth that are simply overly-repetitive. Those are the things that have sucked my mojo dry. And I think about JD – he is being a responsible father and husband, and still trying to maintain a foothold in his creative life. This is huge, and important. This weekend one of my favorite former guildmates is marrying the girl of his dreams. He’s been playing for years. Tome used the tagline of being out of the demographic, but you know what, Blizz? I think YOU are out of the demographic in some ways.

There. I said it. Now the RNGs will rain toads and locusts down on me, dammit!

At the risk of having to go out and put some lamb’s blood on the inn’s door, hear me out. I have alts. They are fun. I have heirlooms, I have all kinds of fun with them. As I have leveled different alts, I have found that I enjoy learning about their unique gifts, and yes, personalities, too. What I don’t like is the endless profession grinding, or the sloth-wrangling. I’m not sure what is to be done about it, really. Just something. But instead, I feel that Blizzard is pandering (sorry) to a younger audience, not an aging one. And perhaps from a business model that is best. Yes, actually it is. I thank heavens I got most of my big life projects behind me before I started this little hobby, though. The kids who started playing years ago are starting to get married, start families, or finish their educations, travel, and take on the real world. I just believe, and maybe naively, there should be room to pop into Azeroth, feel a sense of “fun” and then pop out again without it all being such a chore.

So– what’s next? I’m not sure. I am really not. But I’ll go for a walk right now, and think about it.

And what I need to do tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. And I am grateful for those days.

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