I wrote a post a long time ago about the impacts that WoW has had on my life at that time. However, I have gotten a good bit older (in kid-years at least) and a great deal more mature so WoW’s impact on me has definitely changed. So thus, Beta-testing life through WoW.
I wish to start by saying that WoW has had an enormously positive impact on my life. I know there are people out there that had the game completely take over and ruin their lives, but my experience has not been anything like that at all. I’ve grown up in WoW, and it has been one of the best teacher’s I’ve ever had.
At this point in my life, I’m starting to decide what sort of person I want to be when I grow up. How I want to act and react to those around me. How I want to portray myself to others. How I want to think of myself. I’m beginning to realize just what the world is like, and its not an easy thing. I don’t know how many of you remember your teenaged years, but they can be a difficult and emotional time.
Which is why I find myself ever grateful to know about and play WoW. That might sound strange; during my most vulnerable years I want to play a video game? How does that help? But it does. WoW is the the place where I can really try out who I want to be. It’s the beta test, in a way, of my personality.
Because in Azeroth, I can be anyone I want to be. Anonymity is a powerful thing but also a chance for me to try out who ‘me’ is. How do I treat strangers? How do I treat friends? How do I make friends? I’d like to say it’s been a successful trial run thus far, since I don’t know of any enemies. But it’s so much better than school, because there are no strings attached. No history or past prejudice. How I acted years ago doesn’t affect me now. It’s a really empowering feeling, especially coming from school with it’s baggage of history.
But along with how I act, WoW has also taught be the best way to react. Dealing with trolls is one of the stickier aspects of life. This is going to sound really ridiculous, but the trolls of WoW have actually taught me a valuable life lesson. How do you deal with insults? How do you deal with arse holes? I’ve learned that you can’t always fight it, but sometimes you have to. And other times, you have to stand up for another. I’ve had some encounters with some really awful people in real life, but because of WoW I know how to come out on top.
Leadership is another thing I’ve picked up from WoW. I’ve been an officer in three guilds now, and have organized and executed dozens of events. I’ve led raids, organized people, and dealt with managerial stuff, to the point where I thing I have a good handle with what I am doing. This sort of knowledge translates superbly well into the real world. School projects become a lot easier (usually no one wants to lead, so I often step up and fill that role) and I would assume the workplace too. Because of my beta testing in WoW, I’ve learned how to lead and how to get people to follow.
The list goes on and on. Time management, how to own up for mistakes, how to ask for help (I really struggled with this). I won’t say that I’ve learned it all because I know I haven’t. But I have certainly got a lot of advice and experience under my belt. It’s made me a more mature, more confident, and more successful person. Because of WoW, I’m finding who I want to be faster that most others my age. I’m making mistakes, absolutely, but I’m doing them in an environment that will let me move past those mistakes.
However, I don’t believe that I am the only one who can change and grow because of WoW. I would bet money, that every person who plays WoW can use it to better themselves. This probably sound really hippy dippy talk, but I think this is an important idea. You get out of life what you take out of life. And I’m going to take all this WoW experience and run with it.
Because of WoW, I’m finding me.
So yeah. One soul baring article with added philosophical musings. I promise I won’t get all profound and deep all the time, but I really needed to write this and get this out there. Have a nice weekend folks and a Happy Spring Break (whenever that might be)!
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Nicely done! One of the best posts I’ve seen on how playing online games can help shape how we are in the real world. I see great things ahead for you.