The New Weight Loss MMO
I remember when I first read this article back in May. I was on standby for work, which kept me away from home for two weeks. I stayed with my father out in the country, which kept me close to work, but with barely enough internet juice to get a signal for my iPhone. This article popped up on Klout, and since I couldn’t do much of anything else I read it.
It really motivated me. I mean really motivated me.
One of the apps mentioned in the article (the Zombie, Run app) was too big to stream on my phone. I had to either plug my phone into a computer or download it via wifi. Well there was no computer to be had at my Dad’s place (my father is not what you’d call computer savvy). Option B consisted of me driving one town over and hanging out in their mall (a building with three stores in it counts as a mall, right?) for 45 minutes, just to leach their wifi to download the app.
I’ve always tried to watch what I put in my body, and made it to the gym on a fairly regular basis. But I started following most of the steps of this “MMO” and I’ve lost twenty pounds in about a month and a half, without going to the gym. More importantly, I’ve had fun doing it. It’s Min/Maxing in real life!
The article was originally posted over on Polygon in April 2014. The author, Frank Caron (@FrankyCaron), is clearly one smart and nerdy dude. Check out the link for the actual article (with pictures and data and such), or peep out the straight-up text version below. Hell, do both. Get crazy!
Why I Quit World of Warcraft
(Editor’s Note — I felt I should post something regarding my absence. I could have just let the blog disappear, fade away, but I really enjoyed writing for it. I still enjoy blogging, I just do it over HERE now. But since World of Warcraft was a part of my life for so long, I felt I should give it proper closure. It’s not you, WoW, it’s me.)
See the thing is, I think I quit playing WoW long before I quit playing WoW.
I’m sure many people were (or are currently) the same way. You log in, pick your toon of choice, and do your chores. Chores can be anything you do on a housekeeping level, game-wise. For me, I would log in to my AH toon and check the mailbox. I’d gather up the gold from any sales, bundle up whatever didn’t sell, and repost it. After that, I’d bop over to my main and plant crops, then maybe run some dailies. That was it. That was my daily play sessions.
But WoW is a MMORPG. It’s flexible for different playstyles, but if you’re not personally interacting with other people you end up going through the motions, much like I did. I was a Lone Wolf player for 99% of my online gaming history. I was in guilds, I’d chat occasionally, but for the most part I just logged in and did my own thing.
Two things happened that really finished my WoW desires. The first happened when Blizzcon 2013 was announced. I was lucky enough to attend the past two Blizzcons, but the timing of them were horrible for my academic schedule. I was going to Trades School during both of those Blizzcons, and it turned out that school started the Monday after Blizzcon, two years in a row. To make matters worse, school was also a 6-8 hour drive from home.
The Sunday after Blizzcon was a nightmare for me. I would check out of my hotel at around 4am, catch a shuttle to the airport to catch my flight, get off the plane a few sleepless hours later, drive home, pack my stuff, drive another eight hours to get to the place I was staying at, unpack for the second time that day, and get ready for classes the following morning.
It was totally worth it because I got to experience something amazing with some very cool people.
This year, not only did I not have to go to school, but Blizzcon fell on my scheduled days off. No rushing to catch a flight on Sunday. I could casually fly back to my igloo the following Monday if I wanted to, giving me more time to hang out with folks from the community. It was as if Fate was finally throwing me a bone after two years of cutting my Blizzcon experience short.
Then I didn’t get a ticket. I didn’t even get the opportunity to try and buy one.
Instead of throwing me a bone, Fate dangled a carrot in front of me and yanked it away before I could take a bite, then kicked me in the balls for good measure. Twice.
Getting kicked in the balls, even metaphorically, really sucked the WoW mojo out of me. I’d kept up with the community, tried to get involved, because I felt I had people I could connect with at Blizzcon. When I realized that I wasn’t going to Blizzcon, my already dwindling motivation for playing WoW sank right to the bottom of the toilet. There would be no personal interaction. No handshakes and smiles. No conversations. No faces to go with the voices.
Then something else happened to take up my time.
WoW had always been something I would do to kill time when I had it. Instead of watching TV or surfing the Internet, I’d play WoW. I was a single guy who didn’t have much else going on, so I had plenty of “disposable time”.
Then I met a lady and my life went from World of Warcraft to World of Wowcraft.
The RL game became much more fun to play, as it tends to be when you’re grouped with the right person. In the past six months, we’ve travelled from Canada to Las Vegas twice (raiding for phat loots at the roulette table… she got the purple drops, mine were grey, stupid RNG). We’ve seen sharks and dolphins, white tigers and lions, and even a polar bear (OMG rare spawns). We’ve even checked out one of the oldest but well designed zones in the RL game, the Grand Canyon (the designers did a great job at making a giant ditch look epic). I’ve never had so much fun grouping up in my life, and when you’re in a good party where everyone clicks, you never want it to stop. That tends to pull time from things a little lower on the priority scale.
I have pretty much dropped off the WoW grid. I don’t follow WoW podcasts anymore, or check out the various sites. I have no idea what patches are dropping, or what class changes have been happening. I still keep in touch with folks on Twitter, but unless things change I’ve found another game to take up my time. That used to be WoW. Now, it’s RL, and I don’t miss the virtual reality world all that much.
I never say never. But for now I’ll say… for now.
The 5 Esses in World of Warcraft
I happened to be browsing the corporate website at work, looking for the futile hope of a better job, when I saw an article entitled “5S to tidy the mess”.
Well the 5S sounded like some kind of chemical spill to me. Also, rhyming. So double amused, I clicked on the link. Instantly I was slapped across the face with the wet fish of disappointment.
There was no disaster. No chemical spill, or spill of any kind. Instead, there was a picture of a very clean warehouse. The 5S that was referred to was the name of a workplace organization method that used a list of five Japanese words: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. In English, the words are sorting, set in order, systematic cleaning, standardizing, and sustaining.
Once my eyes glazed over, I began to think about World of Warcraft. Technically I began thinking about stabbing someone in the neck, but I could only do that legally in World of Warcraft. Once my eyes began to refocus, I looked at the picture of that clean warehouse and wished my character’s bank could be that clean and tidy.
That brought me right around. If I could use Howling Blast IRL, how many walls would it destroy? Also, how could I use the 5S system in World of Warcraft?
The answers were six, and just like this.