I’ve been clean for nearly a year now. After a life-crushing addiction that spanned the majority of my university studies, I managed to break free, to step back, put my hands up and say “You know what, Blizzard? We’ve had some good times, but this is where we have to part ways. It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s just that, you know, I haven’t really left the house in a few weeks. I think… no, I know, there used to be life outside. I used to do things. I used to go outdoors, I used to talk to people about things other than ‘phat loots’ and class imbalances. I’m pretty sure I used to go to lectures.” At which point, the big B simply looked at me with a smug, all-knowing expression that simply said “Whatever. You’ll be back.”
I didn’t go back, though. I rode it out. There were tough times, I can’t lie about that. Lulls in the game industry where I had nothing else to play, when the WoW box sat there on my shelf taunting me. Like many other recovering addicts, I pulled through. Finally, I’m proud to say, I shook the addiction.
Then something terrible happened. There was an advert, you see. I normally just drown them out, but this one was different. It had Bill Shatner in it, wearing some kind of robe. He was talking about his Shaman. “Please Bill, no!” I cried, shielding my face from the horror that my television was subjecting me to. Once it was over, I emerged from my den of cushions, confused, scared and feeling a distinct sense of betrayal. Captain Kirk had just told me to come back to WoW. That isn’t cool, Bill. I would have expected this kind of betrayal from Mark Hamill – the man genuinely has nothing better to do – but YOU, Bill? Why would you turn your back on us like that?
Anyway, once the melodrama subsided, I went about my daily life and tried to forget what had just happened. Then there was a booming voice from my television. I know this voice. It’s a voice that has guided me through many dark days. I look up with dawning terror at the sight of Mr T… performing the voice over for his WoW character. Telling me about the adventures he is having. “Come back, Chris,” he says to me “everything’s cool. We can party in Orgrimmar together. All you have to do is pop that disk back in. Just let go. We miss you.”
What in the name of God are Blizzard thinking? This kind of behaviour is simply unacceptable. How many recovering addicts are out there, right now, feeling their resolve slip away as Mr T’s commanding, rough voice tells them “Log in, Foo’! Your guild is missing a priest!”.
This is not right. The world just became a darker place. A darker place where I’m not allowed to watch television any more.