My Gaming Relationship Status

My home gaming experience:

My parents got stuck with the most difficult of all children. Despite their mild mannered respectful personalities, my were those parents who were always being called by the school for some reason or the next. While I am not sure what their guiding philosophy for me would have been had my brothers been more docile, I was quickly marked as the “easy child” and my parents had a unique way of raising me. They never put any pressure on me to do my homework or to go to sleep early, as long as I did what I had to do I had my freedom. Except when it came to gaming. I started playing WOW when I was in 7th grade and it was probably the worst thing that ever happened to me. I would play and play for hours on end. Socially I still never missed a beat, and I always did enough work to get a B+/A- but never pushed my self. Homework was done as fast as possible so I could get to the computer. When my parents tried to get me to stop I would argue with them time and again “I am doing fine, I have friends and good grades, nothing is out of control” but it was. I was just absorbed and making excuses for myself. My parents tried making me quit, but I would get so angry and upset, and I never got like that, that that they would be weak and I would soon get it back. I finally quit in 11th grade when I woke up and realized that I wanted to get into a good college. I played other games but nothing saps away all of your time like WOW does.  I went back and dabbled in it for a few months after I got into college but quickly felt badly about it and dumped it for good. I am happy to not be addicted going into college.

The problem with the previous paragraph is that it makes it seem as if WOW was all bad, believe me it wasn’t. I had a million good moments and nights I spent smiling behind my keyboard. They are regrettable now, but in the time it was all great fun. One of the funniest bonding experiences I have or maybe ever will have is that one time I went over to a friends house and saw WOW on his computer and asked him whether or not he plays. He told me he used to and quit and I lied and said the same thing. A few months later, after a party I had a bunch of buddies over, and because I had known them for almost a year (this was the end of freshmen year) I decided to let them in on the fact that I had been playing WOW all along. After showing off my character, my gear etc… My friend said “move over”. I gave him the chair and he logged onto a character, also of top level but with all of the gear that takes WEEEEEKS to get. The highest level everything. He started playing PVP and he was the rogue I always wanted to be. My other friend there also logged onto his lesser account. We had all been playing wow secretly for over a year. We then made a guild, arena teams the works and played multiple games together for the rest of high school including League of Legends, Halo and Heroes of Newerth. We no longer hid our gaming and everyone in the school knew about it. It was much better like that.

A sadder ending story is that of my cousin. My cousin was a gamer, and I introduced him to WOW because I thought it would be good for both us if we played together. It destroyed him. He got better than me in under 5 months and his grades slipped drastically. He was lying to his parents that he was working when he actually playing wow almost every day and into the wee hours of the night. When he got to college and raw brain power could not make him pass, he failed out and then went on a study abroad program and failed that to. He worked in McDonalds for 5 months and is trying to study abroad again. We will see how that works out. I watch his account to make sure he doesn’t play now, because he lies even to me, but it seems he has replaced it with other games. I am not sure if he will ever break his addictive habit and it is hard having to be the one to watch out for him rather than watch him play.

All in all, my parents were right in trying to stop me, my friends awesome for being like me in such a strange way, and my cousin… ruined. It has been a part of my social life with my friends, and part of my alone time at home. It has stressed the relationship between me and my parents, and made a different one of me and my cousin.  It has definitely impacted my life.

– Kinetix


LOVE-HATE Relationship With English 115F

In attempt to veer away from another rant about how technology is out to ruin my life, I would like to announce that World of Wordcraft English 115F has impacted my life whether I like it or not.

In a meeting with my scholarship advisor Dean Dever at the beginning of this year, she asked me what was one of my favorite classes so far. I tried to describe to her my love-hate relationship with my writing seminar class. I explained how I have always had a passion for writing and that when reading the course catalogue, 115F was one of the few English based courses that appealed to me. As hard as it may be to believe, English 115F was my FIRST choice. I was determined to prove to people that I did not need to know anything about gaming in order to be successful in the class but I was also terrified when I found out we discussed in CIRCLES! Who would have thought that a seminar class would sit in a circle?!

This love for writing but discomfort for having to speak out loud about a topic I am so unfamiliar with, and having to feel 32 eyeballs stare me down in the process, has been such a challenge for me. And now it turns out that even my writing is not that great either because I am not able to follow a certain format when I structure my sentences. I make “careless mistakes” in my writing when really that is just my style of writing. It does not fit a certain format because I do not want it to, not because I am sloppy.

Nonetheless, I still make it class as often as I can, I do the reading, I write the blogs…but there is still something missing. I have no motivation to speak up in class because I am so intimidated by everyone else’s insightful thoughts I feel as if mine are not worthy. That feeling of knowing you are the slacker, or loser in the group just hurts my spirits even more. I am like the last kid to get picked on the dodge ball team because I am too small or weak. The class itself is not a snoozefest but everyday I try to go in with a positive attitude to participate, I come out with my head down because I once again did not accomplish my goal. And then I go on like a 15-minute rant about whatever it was we were talking about in class to Tyler as we walk to our next class together. And he just thinks I am crazy for not being able to say everything I just said IN CLASS.

I did not come to Vanderbilt to be a failure or the weakest link in all my classes. And though the gaming itself has not been a distraction to me since I am also usually the last one to even get my technology working, the class itself has affected other parts of my life. It makes me question my talents and whether or not I belong here. It makes me wonder if I was ever good enough in the first place to come to a school like Vanderbilt. It has made me think that maybe I do not want to major in English after all. It is unfortunate that this class would have such a negative affect on me but it is simply the truth. Though I may be good at hiding it, no matter what grade I end up with at the end of this course I will still be proud of myself.

Proud for not withdrawing from the course or switching out into something easier. Proud for continuing to go to class despite how much I felt it would be pointless and that nobody would notice anyway. Proud that even though I have this love-hate relationship with a course as a first semester freshman, I am not going to give up.