why world of warcraft is like real life

world of warcraft, the popular mmorpg by blizzard, despite being over a year old, still has millions of subscribers. i’m still subscribed now (although i did quit for a few months). what i realized, however, is that with few exceptions, the game is highly repetitive and is usually played as a means of escape into a fantasy world (or, as some people claim, as a means of socializing).

but i discovered that WoW isn’t all that different from the real world - you can eat and drink in both - you can get sick, you can get disease… you can be well rested, or you can suffer from fatigue. if you try to swim across the ocean, you die from fatigue. rather than airplanes, we have gryphons or hippos. your deeds earn you a reputation with the cities and communities you work for - helping the community earns you a good reputation, whereas killing its people or harming them earns you a bad one.

in addition, as you “grow up,” you learn more, just like in the real world. just like in the real world, you need money to do anything useful, including, but not limited to, going from one place to the other (and, just like in the real world, you could, in theory, walk almost any distance, but you will pass through bad areas, see highway men, and it will definitely take you a long time), buying new equipment, buying food, drink, etc. just like the real world, you can also learn to utilize the gifts of God to man in nature - you can learn to be a miner or herbalist, or you can learn to skin dead animals. and, like in the real world, you can use these raw materials to make something useful - to make medicines to help people who are sick, or build a nice leather armor, or fix a broken sword as a blacksmith. you can even fish or be an amazing ‘chef de jour.’ heck, you can even be a jeweler!

like in the real world, you can make friends and add them to your friends list. you can join a group of people or a faction and call yourself part of them, just like our typical nationalism today in the form of guilds. moreover, you can can communicate with a lot of people. like in the real world, there are many languages depending on your race and origin. oh, and like the real world, there are many races, humans, elves, dwarves, and gnomes among others.

just like in the real world, there are good people and there are bad people. there are trustworthy people and there are thieves. besides the fact that you can pickpocket enemies (in a robin hood style “take from the rich give to the poor” fashion), you will also meet people who, when questing with you, will steal from you or be dishonest. and, of course, you’ll meet honest, friendly, and good people.

just like in the real world, there are spiders and other bugs. there are also bears, wolves, and tigers. there are also forests, oceans, and skies. there is a concept of day and night. there is a moon at night that shines so beautifully in the horizon. just like the real world, parts of world of warcraft are beautiful. just like the real world, there are areas with forests and areas that are mountainous and areas that are desert. just like the real world, there are a set number of continents, and travel across the is possible.

just like the real world, you can be religious in world of warcraft - i mean besides the fact that you can be a priest as a class, there are churches in many of the major cities. i have not stumbled across many mosques, although i have often found empty open homes which would be suitable to pray in. and, of course, for a muslim, the whole world is a masjid. in addition, all my characters follow the sunnah and thus have beards.

so yeah. world of warcraft is like real life. and that’s all.

_ [disclaimer: i don’t really believe this… or do i? ;)]_

update: i’ve tried again to run WoW under linux, except that this time, i was trying with a dell 2005fpw. all i can say is wow, transgaming really did an awesome job with cedega. i get pretty decent performance, even with an ati card on the 2005fpw. linux rocks!

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