Back in 2004, World of Warcraft was set to launch. This kid in my Freshman year Intro to HTML class tried pitching me, every single day, to play the game with him. He said it was going to be the greatest video game of all time.
I had never really played computer games, especially online ones—I was a console gamer, and loved my Xbox. I asked him what it was going to be like, and he made the comparison to Everquest.
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About World of Warcraft
He said that Everquest was, before World of Warcraft, “the greatest MMORPG ever made.” He said people committed their lives to it. He said your guild became your family. He said that even a decade later, people still played with the same intensity they had 10 years prior.
And then he said World of Warcraft was going to be all that and more.
I had a very hard time understanding what he meant by that. I had never played an online game. I couldn’t fathom making “friends” over the Internet. And I had never played a single console game for more than a year, maybe two. The thought of playing the same game for ten years was incomprehensible.
World of Warcraft’s 10 year anniversary was two years ago. And my account was still there, and I logged online to play for a few weeks.
It has been over 10 years now since the game came out. And still, 10+ years later, I still keep in touch with some of the people I met through that game. I still read up on new expansions. I still play the game whenever I feel the need to pop my head back in and say hello to this “alternate universe” that, in some sense, raised me.
And I’m not the only one.
People still play World of Warcraft today because, not only is it an incredible game, but the game holds emotional memories for every single one of its players.
That game was where I set some of my most demanding goals—and reached them.
That game was where I met some of my closest friends.
That game was where I learned things about myself, my work ethic, my imagination, that I have since carried with me, and will continue to carry with me for the rest of my life.
Whenever someone tries to “quit” playing World of Warcraft, it’s said that it isn’t the game they miss, but the people.
People still play today because, in many ways, to not play would mean saying goodbye to many, many friends.