‘World of Warcraft’
‘p0wnz’ all other games
Posted March 2, 2007

Online role playing games are becoming more popular among gamers straying away from expensive game consoles.

Games like “World of Warcraft” and “Second Life” provide their audience, not only a break from expensive console games, but an online world where gamers can chat with each other as they complete quests and level up.

For some, “World of Warcraft” isn’t just a game – it is their world. “World of Warcraft” has become a phenomena of popular role playing games despite its $15 monthly fee.

“I started [playing] in May 2006,” said sophomore sociology major Chase Paddock.

Paddock noticed that he was paying $60 for Xbox games but that the small fee for “World of Warcraft” seemed like a bargain. “I only pay $15 a month and that’s the only game I play.”

Paddock got interested in the game while dorming at UC Santa Cruz.
Everyone on his floor was playing “World of Warcraft.”

“It only takes a week to learn everything,” Paddock said. “Most of the people who play are addicted. It’s like a habit to break like drinking or smoking. I know of people who play like 10 hours.”

What’s the attraction? It might be the social interaction without actually interacting with people. Others, like Paddock, may get suckered into the game.

It doesn’t even have to be fun; it’s about creating status and the quest to be ranked number one. That’s what makes someone cool online.

By day you’re taking 17 units at a local university and by night you’re a level 70 Elf Druid.

“They’re not interested, they’re addicted,” said Jesur Habek, freshman biology major. “You can do so many things, it just gets addicting. It really has everything from any RPG and it’s easy to do, you can do so much stuff. And since it’s an RPG, your character moves up each level through experience and missions.”

South Park parodied the game in the episode “Make Love, not ‘Warcraft.’”
The episode satirized the addiction to move up levels.

Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman play for weeks trying to move up 50 levels. All of them eating junk food, drinking Rockstar energy drinks to stay awake and not stopping to use the bathroom. As a result they become obese and unsociable with horrible acne and a lack of motivation while trying to defend themselves against a player who has reached the maximum level.

“It’s exactly like that,” Paddock said. “[For] some people there’s no life outside Warcraft. I never wanted to become like that, just play when I’m bored.”

Game Crazy employee Cameron Bosley believes it is the fact that gamers can interact with people from around the world that is the attraction.

“Personally, I wouldn’t want to play it, it just looks stupid,” Bosley said.

“I haven’t played for two months,” Habek said. “They were Christmas presents, they came as prepaid cards.”

Once the cards were used up, Habek decided he wasn’t going to fall into the addiction like many others around the world have.

“Some people play for 10 hours straight, that’s just ridiculous,” Habek said. “It’s a nice way to spend an hour or two as a break from homework, but some people go to the excess and play way too much. It’s unhealthy.”

“Everything you would want to do possible in real life is available through these games,” said Habek.

Because of his busy schedule as a biology major, Habek has given up videogames.

Paddock was banned from the game because of inappropriate language.

“The whole game is connected to one chat room,” Paddock said. “I didn’t like what was happening. I voiced my opinion one way and got banned.”
Paddock was a level 66 human rogue.

“Humans are part of the alliance faction and rogue. They’re basically like a ninja,” Paddock said.

“I could get my account reinstated but I’m done,” Paddock said. “It’s a good stopping point. Don’t start playing. I’m not going to play the game anymore.”

Alexandra Lozano may be contacted at alozano@ulv.edu.

Winter showers bring spring fashions

'World of Warcraft' 'pownz' all other games

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