By Colin Doberstein
As the title suggests, today’s post topic is how LOTRO has given me an excuse to not do anything more productive than kill virtual boars. Normally the guilt factor of playing a computer game instead of doing my homework allows me to stop playing and do my Chinese homework. Now that I’m in a class that assigns LOTRO as homework, however, that excuse goes out the window. Now, instead of doing my reading for Western Military History, I can say to myself: “Well, I have to play LOTRO at some point too. So why don’t I get that done now and do the boring stuff later?” The obvious problem is that when a hobbit urgently asks you to kill twenty-four wolves in the Old Forest, it just wouldn’t be right to keep him waiting. Twenty-four dead wolves later, it’s bedtime, and all my homework not in MMO form (which unsurprisingly includes every other assignment I have) will have to wait until tomorrow.
For someone who is already the paragon of inefficiency and poor time management (the virtues championed by me in the little-known seventh book of the Faerie Queene), giving them any excuse to play a video game instead of doing their other work is a recipe for many late nights. This is obviously entirely my fault, but playing LOTRO this semester has probably cost me at least ten hours of sleep, maybe more. Basically, playing a computer game for homework further exacerbates the time management issues that already plague people such as myself because we can justify spending all night playing instead of just reaching the weekly benchmarks (why would I study chemistry? I have to level up so I can go to Weathertop!). This is not so much a gaming issue as it is a laziness issue, but I had to mention it because now that we have to play Neverwinter Nights 2 in addition to LOTRO, the likelihood of me ever finding time to post here again is slim. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I only have to kill another 100 goblins before I finish my next deed. Time is wasting.
By: Dan Nockels
What happened to the sexy blog topic I had a link picked out and everything.
But fine, I digress it seems that my thoughts on why there is no sex in narrative games will have to wait till another time. For now the eternal conflict between the mmo and reality. Has playing the video games affected my life, yes. I can’t remember the number of times that I have had the door open and been playing and people have wandered up and asked mockingly about the game.
Beyond the scathing comments of the uninitiated the games we play have served as an excellent conversation piece. Late night raids on the barrow downs with my roommate (our resident Colin Doberstein) and long conversations about whether neutrality is anything but alternating good and evil actions in equal amounts. (I contend that it isn’t) In essence my point is this I have this, yes, it has taken up time which could have been spent on other things but much less than biology. And I don’t get to be a hobbit in biology.
By: Sam Fisher
Playing LOTRO has not affected my life to a great extent. The game merely fills a slot in my routine homework schedule. It is hard to play a game for fun when playing it for work already. Maybe if I had less to do it would be a more ideal game. It is fun, but one becomes much more aware of time when playing a game for homework.
LOTRO does serve as a bragging point for the seminar. I get to tell my friends that I am leveling up my elf champion and leveling out of apprentice crafting. It is a situation to be envied, as I can feel no guilt playing a game. It is a nice way to fill a slot of my homework time. The game is one reason why people are jealous of my membership in the Worlds of Wordcraft writing seminar. This is the only time game play would come up in conversation with friends. Other than that, the game has not really been mentioned or prominent in have adverse effects on my life.
by Evan Schrager
Thus far in the semester, LOTRO/NWN2 has not directly affected any area of my life. However, it did indirectly change my life because it rekindled my love for the MMO. When I play LOTRO and NWN2, I am not as involved in terms of immediacy and enjoyment as I normally am in games of this type. Final Fantasy XI has been my favorite online game for a few years now, and my desire to go back to the world of Vana d’iel could not be contained any longer. I re-activated my account, and have started to happily roam the familiar areas again.
Final Fantasy XI is a very addicting MMO, paralleling the addictiveness of games such as WoW and Star Wars: Galaxies. When I wake up, I check the auction house quickly to see if the weapons I need are available. Checking the auction house has replaced checking my facebook on a daily basis (sounds pathetic).
I spend less time on my school work because I am usually involved in something on the game that requires my full attention. I do easy written work while I’m playing, such as math or physics assignments, and focus less attention than I should on them.
I also used to go out 3-4 nights during the week because I had a lot of free time, but that free time is now committed to the games, so I stick to going out on weekends, which isn’t necessarily such a bad thing.
My friends tell me they feel like they have lost a friend, because I am usually in my room playing. In the past I would play guitar and hang out with them in their rooms. Oops! In fact, right now, two players and I are on our way to a battlefield to try and get some rare items to sell for money! How ironic…
My priorities definitely need to be set straight, because I am spending way too much time playing this game. This blog post was a real wake up call for me. But I assure you, I am not alone…thousands of people share my problem. Just gotta keep my priorities straight.
By: Amir Aschner
I’m going to go ahead and assume most of my classmates are going to whine and complain in one way that online gaming has really affected their life this semester and maybe that is true. I’ll shoot it to you straight, though. It hasn’t been that bad. Gaming almost doesn’t affect my outside life at all. I am not a huge fan of the games we are involved in this semester. I don’t hate LOTRO nor NW2 (I actually like this one but I just don’t understand all the mechanics yet) but they are not my first choice of things to do in my free time. I do the work in them and get it out of the way but then I am done until the next assignment.
In terms of schoolwork, it is schoolwork so yeah there’s a small effect there. At first I was worried when I found out what would be our weekly assignment because I thought the games would take hours and hours of my time. Fortunately, there was no reason to worry. It is easy to spread out the time I am ‘working’ so my work in other classes doesn’t get interfered with and when I want to do something social I don’t have to hesitate. Schoolwork will always come before socializing but so far I haven’t had an issue because of my gaming. As for my athletic life, there is no chance I am going to miss a practice because I’m gaming. In middle and high school I gamed a lot more than I do now. I was actually very dedicated to whatever my current game was so it did affect a lot of aspects of my life. I definitely had less time to be involved in other aspects of life and y social life suffered for it. However, I noticed what the problem was and gave up hardcore gaming for when I came to college for exactly that reason. I want to do other things besides online gaming, while I am here and there’s no way gaming is going to get in my way (summer is a different issue, though).
By: Derek S.
Online gaming this semester has really shortened my avaiable time to do other things. If we were just playing for fun it would be ok because I could log on whenever it was convenient. Instead, I feel obligated to log on instead of doing other homework in order to level up that week. It also has led my social life to be less active. There has been more than one occasion when my roommate invites me to go hang out with some friends and I can’t because im doing “homework,” a.k.a. LOTRO. It also cuts into my practice time on tuba. There have been several weeks where I have bypassed practicing to stay in and play the game. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy the game, but I just don’t feel like it’s fun when I want to be doing something else but I have to play the game in order to keep up in class.
By Justin “JCov” Covington
This semester online gaming has adversely affected my schoolwork. Or I should say, my schoolwork has adversely affected my online gaming. You see, LOTRO has become my homework. Now you think, “that’s great Justin! You can just play a game and get credit for class participation!” Wrong. I have a psychological problem with enjoying LOTRO. I view it as an assignment instead of a game. I treat each task the game gives me with a begrudging resentment. “You want me to kill one of those shady characters? Ugh…ok I guess this will get me closer to finishing this homework so I can go play Fallout 3.” Maybe there is something wrong with me. Maybe I need to check in with the psychology department for a screening. Who knows? I just cannot come to terms with the fact that although this is an assignment, it should still be enjoyed as a game. It just nags at me. It isn’t something I feel like I can just sit down and become immersed in because the immersion has been shattered for me. I do not view Middle Earth as a world where my Lore Master can hone his skills. No, I see it as a study space where I can complete my assigned tasks so that I can get an A for a class. This game has become intertwined with the ream world. I just can’t view it as a separate game world. Epic fail on my part…epic fail.