Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Patrick (Chapter 4)

Posted by Randolph Carter on May 14, 2009

MMO community connection:

 How I WoW | Frenchspin

Chapter 4: Preferences

At your peak, how much time per week would you say you spent gaming? How about now?

Wow, errr… I think it’s safe to say it goes in cycles. Sometimes I’ll barely play for weeks at a time, and sometimes I’ll be completely obsessed and spend all my free time on the computer (and I have a lot of free time). Right now I’m still reeling from the awesomeness that patch 3.1 brought, so I’m in a “high activity” period. I’d say upwards of 25-30 hours a week.

When during the week are your regular play times?

Any time is play time!

Generally speaking, are you more of a social creature in MMOs (grouping to quest, joining guilds, etc.) or something of a lone wolf?

Lone wolf I guess. I enjoy grouping also of course, but I’m mostly a solo player.

Have you made any lasting friendships through your MMO experience? Please explain.

I guess I haven’t really. Do podcasting friendships count? I’ve made some pretty good friends in the podcasting community but I don’t suppose that’s a valid answer. Regarding the in game stuff, I think it has to do with me being so solo-oriented. Even my guild is just a small part of my gaming experience, so I haven’t really formed lasting bonds with anyone in the game.

I have however reinforced bonds with very good friends that I’ve been playing with. The memories from the game have just added to our already long common history, and I’m sure we’ll bore our grandchildren with stories from Azeroth just as much as stories from wild parties and trips to foreign lands that actually exist.

Before logging into a game, do you already have a course of action planned out in your head, or do you just sort of do whatever you feel like once in game?

I usually have a pretty good idea of what I want to do at a specific time, but once I get in I might get distracted.

When playing MMOs do you tend to just play one at a time or do you take more of the smorgasbord approach?

I’m obsessive I guess, so one is all that I can handle while also playing the “other” game. You know, the one laymen call “real life”? Yeah, that one takes quite a lot of time also. So annoying.

Do you tend to supplement your MMO gaming with other PC, console or tabletop games?

I try to keep myself informed, and I do have an Xbox. I will play a major release when it comes out, if only to know what the fuss is all about. I feel it’s sort of my duty to know about other things too, even if I have to force myself a little bit sometimes. Kind of like a cooking enthousiast needs to try different kinds of food, even if he has one favorite. Not doing so would be close minded or illiterate. Am I making any sense?

Are you something of an altoholic?

Well, I have several mains, but I don’t think I’m an altoholic. I do usually play my main character until he’s reached the level cap.

Do you find yourself multitasking while gaming (perhaps watching TV, talking on the phone, out of game instant messaging, playing another game, or even listening to a podcast)?

Duh, podcasts!

Do you find yourself having much MMO discussion off-line, perhaps with friends or family?

Wow (or MMOs in general I guess) have a tendency to cannibalize the conversation when you’re with people who also play. So we sometimes have to make a conscious effort to not talk about it, especially when there are people who don’t play around.

So with friends, yes, definitely. Family, not so much. They don’t play.

Have you ever felt that you game too much? If so, how did you cope with that?

Haha, only all the time! I cope by thinking hard about whether or not there is something I would rather do but am not doing because I feel like I have an “obligation” to play. If there is something else, I force myself to stop and go do it. If there isn’t, then I understand that this is what I want to do with my time and I’m ok with it.

Since you started playing MMOs, have you ever taken a break from the genre? If so, please explain.

I take regular breaks, but they’re not scheduled or really voluntary. Every few months I get sick with the game and basically stop playing for a few weeks. This usually happens when I log in and realize I’m doing it out of habit and not really because I want to. I just leave the game alone until I actually feel like playing again.

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