A few weeks ago Loren finally convinced me to try World of Warcraft. I had avoided it for almost a year, not because I thought it looked stupid, but because I had a gut feeling that it would consume me. I avoided other MMORPGs because they just looked dumb, but WoW was different. I knew, deep down inside, that there would be no escape once I started playing.
One of the reasons I finally agreed to play was that I missed Loren. He's in San Francisco being a hotshot physicist at Stanford, so I never get to see him. But now, thanks to the wondrous Intertron, we can own noobs together whenever we want. And thanks to Ventrilo and VoIP, we can talk to each other while we do it. The irony of it all is that since I started playing World of Warcraft, I've spent a lot more time socializing.
WoW is almost a perfect match for me. I don't have tons of free time and I don't want to spend all of my free time playing the game, but unlike other MMORPGs, I don't have to in order for it to be rewarding. When I do want to play, I can have fun playing solo or I can have even more fun playing with friends.
More importantly, though, WoW is very pretty and very complex. It's not just a nice GUI for a spreadsheet application like some other RPGs; it's actually a world that you can immerse yourself in. Not in a creepy way, but in the way you might immerse yourself in the world of a good book or movie. If all you want to do is kill monsters, you can do that, but if you want to go a little deeper, there are more layers for you to explore. I like that.
I don't know how long I'll keep enjoying the game. Maybe it'll get old in a month or two. But for the moment it's a lot of fun, and I'm kinda wishing I hadn't avoided it for so long.