You may have heard of the massively multiplayer online game “World of Warcraft” or WoW for short. WoW is basically an online world where players can choose a character, and adventure through the world, fighting monsters and completing quests. It has a similar game style to other RPGs, but it is vastly more complicated and intricate.
The game-play possibilities are so endless that if you don’t have strong will power, you could find yourself spending hours upon hours honing your herbalist skills, etc.In fact, doctors estimate that over 40% of players are addicted to the game.
I signed back onto my account yesterday after a couple months of not playing it. I was immediately sucked into the game, and when I finally looked at the clock, three hours had passed! Yes, WoW can be THIS addicting. However, even with this entire negative aura around it, WoW is just like any other game. It is there to let off some steam, kill some time, and have fun. If used in moderation, WoW can serve the same purpose as other entertainment such as television. Here are 10 tips to help you moderate your WoW or other games, so that it does not cut into your real life. Let’s face it, you can’t be superGTD-productive man around the clock. If you watch TV, movies, or read feeds like Digg or Reddit, you are killing time. A little bit of this is almost a necessity.
- Limit your daily usage. Don’t let yourself spend more time playing that you allot. (e.g. 1-2 hours)
- Set a timer. Place it right in front of your computer, so you know how much time you have left to play.
- Replace other timewasters such as TV or feeds. Spending 2 hours a day doesn’t have to be wasting any extra time if you are replacing 1 hour of TV, 30 min of games, and 30 min of feeds.
- Play with a friend, so you have to sync schedules. Even though you can get tons of friends online in the game, try to play mainly with a real friend. Not only is it more fun this way, but you can limit each other to avoid spending too much time in the game.
- Install the game on a separate, less accessible computer. Don’t put it on your laptop where you do all your work, because it will become too distracting. Personally I have a work laptop, and a family desktop which has all the games, movies, and other entertainment.
- Turn it off at important times of year such as exams. I know a friend who has completely mastered will power, plays the game less than 30 minutes a day, and stops multiple times a year for exams, vacations, etc.
- Don’t play when you could be doing ANYTHING else. If you could be at the bar, a friends cottage, or the running club, choose any activity over your game. Remember, it is not supposed to affect your life. Don’t become one of those guys who skips his family’s birthday parties to raid with friends.
- Play early in the morning, or late at night. Depending on what type of person you are, you may benefit from playing early, before your regular day to get your fix of WoW. Or you might like to wait until 8pm to wind down from the day. Either way, make sure it is outside of your regular day, so you aren’t tempted.
- Don’t buy a new computer, or let the game put you in a bad financial situation. Not only is the game expensive ($40 + $15/month), but you can spend endless amounts of money on new graphics cards or hardware, guides, gold, etc. Don’t let WoW affect you financially. Hopefully you can spare $15 a month. If not, cut down on your TV channels, etc., stuff that WoW could replace.
- If you are having WoW dreams, you are addicted, stop. If you can’t, and I know many people who can’t, handle something this addictive, then just quit. It’s that simple.
Note: Don’t worry, I haven’t gone completely game zombie on you guys. I am managing it fine using the tips above, and I have found that I watch zero TV now, and read much less feeds. I actually think I might be spending less time overall. I just wanted to write this after hearing and experiencing the addictiveness of the game from other people.
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