We all have them to some extent. We use them to distract ourselves from real life, or to simply pass the time. Some are casual, some obsessive, and some become our daily jobs if we're so lucky. That's right, I'm talking about our hobbies.
Chances are that if you're reading this blog right now, we have a common hobby: World of Warcraft. That, or you know me in real life and are nosy enough to come look at my blog. It's probably pretty safe to say that WoW is one of the more, if not most, popular online hobby...at least in the gaming world. It's quite the amazing online community in itself, there's no debate about that. In game it supports the casual player, the hardcore raiding maniac, the role player, the tear-your-face-off PvPer, the problem solver, the leader, the follower, the team player, the lone wolf, the collector, the spender, the buyer, the...well, you get the picture. No matter your play style chances are pretty good that you'll find something that you can have fun with.
Just outside of the game though there exists even more hobbies, all just based off this one little online game. You have song writers, singers, movie makers, in-game photographers (as I like to refer to those of us who are screen shot shutter bugs), blog writers, number crunchers, painters (all art mediums really...paint, digital, pencil, charcoal, whatever), sculptors, and of course there's the millions of people who simply support those who I just mentioned.
Okay, so World of Warcraft not only provides entertainment through a variety of play styles in game, creative stimulation for a large variety of artists, but it also revolves around a huge social community. While I'm a huge fan of both the game play and of the inspiration that WoW gives, I must say that it's the social community itself that keeps me coming back to this game. In my neck of the woods, the only way to really meet new people is either through work, or at a bar. Well, I'm out of the former, and really not into the latter, so WoW for me personally has been quite the social outlet. It's honestly made it possible for me to meet and become friends with people who I may have completely looked over had I met them in real life.
WoW has such a terrible stigma with the general non-gaming public. It's viewed as addictive and unhealthy. While to an extent this may be true...yes, it is addictive, what hobby isn't addictive though? Some people work out a ton, some drink, some build hundreds of bird houses. Perhaps it is unhealthy, at least to those who never bother to leave their computer chair, who never bother to shower, or live primarily on hot pockets...but for those who embrace this game while actually taking care of themselves, I think WoW has some very positive things to share with the world of online gaming, whether that was its original intent or not.
I love World of Warcraft. It's my current favorite hobby. I'll take my nerdy online friends over your obsession with building bird houses and bar trolling any day ^_^