Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Best WoW Player, or "This Reminds Me of Something..."

As a teen, I took a writing class at a fancy schmancy art school. I eventually left due to philosophical differences with my professors.

One of those days that clearly marked the difference between them and me, the female teacher told our class a story about a man who wrote 10 pages a day, even on Christmas. Even with a wife and kids.

I was horrified. The guy's poor family!

So when a guildie posted the following on the forums . . .
My hats off to this guy, though I've never heard of him before today.
I wondered . . . is the achievement worth it?

I'm all for achieving what you can, and if he honestly has that much free time, um, okay. But how is this any different from the man who writes 10 pages on Christmas? To achieve something like this, how could Little Gray not neglect everything else?

So my question isn't for Little Gray himself. He obviously has his priorities set with WoW at the top. It's for everyone else, and it's the same question I asked myself about Mr. 10 Pages.

Should we really admire this?


  1. Without knowing anything else about the guy? We can at least recognize it as an accomplishment.

    I mean, who knows? Maybe he doesn't have wife & kids. Maybe he uses the game as a social venue to play with friends & family. Maybe his wife and kids support him in the endeavor. Maybe they play together. I am personally not comfortable with criticizing the guy for spending so much time playing the game based solely on the comparison with my inability to do so.

    I do regulary spend 5-6 hours at a time playing WoW. I start when the kids head off to bed and get by on about 4 hours of sleep a night. Before WoW, I did the same with Civ IV. Before Civ IV, it was Neverwinter Nights. Before Neverwinter Nights it was Magic Online. Before Magic Online it was Rise and Rule of Ancient Empires. Before that I didn't have a computer and instead stayed up until 2am with IRL Magic cards or Role Playing Games or, geez, sometimes I'd even read.

    I've got a good friend with a similar family situation to mine. He will not start playing WoW because he knows himself. He has also played enough other computer games to know that he'd try to do the same thing I do, but he needs his 8 hours a night. Trying to fit in as much play time as he'd like would create a lot of stress at home.

    Does my friend's situation make me wrong for playing as much as I do? He's never criticized me for it, but if he were to do so, I'd resent that he was projecting his situation onto my life and assuming I should make the same choices he does.

    So why should I project my situation onto Little Gray and find fault with him for playing even more than I do?

  2. The kid is a teenager, so he doesn't have a wife and kids. He's in a guild with over 300 80's in it, and honestly I don't think he did it by himself. He won an award at a convention for it, but I just think it's kind of ridiculous. I was over my boyfriend's house when I found out about this. He started going off about how awesome it was.

    I wasn't impressed. I said "he has too much free time and possibly no life". And that's what I truly think. Sure, I play WoW for like... 6-8 hours a day, more on weekends. But that doesn't mean I don't go out. I see my friends, I go to my boyfriend's house, I excersize.

    So why should we envy someone who obviously has no life? Sure, it's fucking amazing, but I don't think that... I don't know. I just know he didn't do it alone. I'd need proof other people didn't log onto his account and help him. I'm just skeptical, but whatever. I think it's just ridiculous.

  3. How do you know Little Gray's a teenager?

  4. From the article: "It wouldn't be even remotely surprising to find out that Little Gray has spent in upwards of ten hours a day playing the game."

    If we assume that he did all of this without a second player on his account (he even got an award for it or something), it's very likely that his parents supported him financially and watched as he threw years of his life into nothing but the game. With ten or more hours a day, he wouldn't have time for a job or family even if he is an adult.

    If that isn't a problem, I don't know what is.

  5. There was a picture posted of him on MMOChampion recieving an award.


  7. > Should we really admire this?

    You blogged about him therefore you're admiring what he did. :)

    Being the first or best in something is always special. One of more than 10 million people completed all achievements. So what?

    Do you think it's more healthy or normal to participate in any sport with the goal of going to Olympics or something like that? And we admire these athletes although they completely sacrifice their RL too.

  8. > You blogged about him therefore you're admiring what he did. :)

    I'd change "admiring" to "noticing." I also blog about horrible people.

  9. Yeah, I don't necessarily admire Little Gray or the other guy, but I don't know that there's anything bad about them either.

    I don't think throwing that much of yourself into anything is really healthy, whether it be a game or work. At the same time, I don't think you can make assumptions about them and their lives based on just the info given. Little Gray MAY just be insanely good at focusing a normal amount of game time into accomplishments and is just very efficient and proactive with his time. The guy who writes ten pages a day may do it AFTER his family is all asleep. Everyone needs some time for themselves, even if you have a family, and for him maybe writing the ten pages during that alone time was as relaxing as reading, or knitting, or playing WoW.

    So ... I wouldn't say I necessarily admire these people, I don't know that there's anything to admire - I think most people have a hobby that they dedicate some time to whenever they can, and I don't think there's a "best" way to have fun. I think there are certainly harmful ways to have fun if you DO let it take over and you neglect important other aspects of your life, but we don't necessarily know that is the case with either of these examples. But nor do I think they've done anything that I necessarily admire.

    If Little Gray had dedicated all of that time to rescuing puppies or helping the homeless or something, maybe. But getting accomplishments in a video game, or writing 10 pages every day doesn't really make me go "wow, I wish I could do that!" because while I'm sure it was satisfying in some way to the people that did it, it doesn't necessarily affect the world in any special positive way that would make it "admire-worthy" to me.


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