Geek Out with your Chic Out

A little over a decade ago I was an avid World of Warcraft player. If you don’t know what World of Warcraft, or WoW, is, it’s what’s known in the Geekdom as a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, or MMORPG for short. So, WoW is an MMORPG. Got it? No? Ok, let’s slow it down…

First, what is a role playing game? No, it has nothing to do with the French maid costume you bought for that one time…oh, never mind… A role playing game is what it sounds like. You are given, or create, a role, like an actor, and you portray your character throughout a game. Remember back in the 80s when the world was freaking out over a game called Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)? You know, you heard that your neighbor’s cousin’s sister’s son was playing D&D with some shady friends and that probably meant that he was into devil worship and possibly sacrificed small animals or babies to Lucifer or something like that. This was a real thing that people worried about. Don’t laugh. Your parents were probably going through your room looking for evidence of dungeony-dragony stuff. If you were even born yet. And if you were the right age then.

Well, anyway, Dungeons & Dragons is a role playing game. It’s also a storytelling game, and today that type of storytelling has become an art form. The role playing games of yon were digitalized and given a world-wide platform on the Interwebs. World of Warcraft wasn’t the first, but to me, it still is one of the best MMORPGs. The game allows you to create a character of a new race with a specific skill set that you decide on to help you advance in the online world in which you choose a side, Alliance or Horde (aka good and evil). But in order to really be successful, you can’t do it alone. You must interact with real online people. There is a chat function in the game so you can speak with others and introduce yourself and get information, etc. You make friends and form alliances. Most often you will never meet these friends IRL (in real life, old folk), but you will continue to learn more about each other in-game and possibly out in other forums. Social media interaction does not replace social in-person interaction for most people, but for those of us who tend to lean toward the introvert side of the personality spectrum, it’s sometimes better.

So here I sit, a divorced 30-something mother of two, with a full career and busy life (that includes naps, so ok, whatever) and I am contemplating renewing my long-lapsed subscription to WoW. Because I enjoyed the escape and also the camaraderie built with others. It was easy to weed out the teenagers playing and those of us who were older with families of our own somehow gravitated toward one another in the online realms. I’m not sure how, but it was probably easy based on the more mature level of communication seen and received in the game.

I don’t know if it will be as easy today, or even as much fun as I remember, but it’s something that I know I used to love and I let it go, as many of us so often do with the things we love. But now I’m rocking a new MacBook (it’s “rose gold” – aka, pink – so a very chic machine) with the optimum specs for the game and the latest expansion, WoW: Legion, has received pretty good reviews. I’m not going to dive back in right away. I’ll probably actually wait until summer to start my new WoW adventure, but then I hope I allow myself to continue it as a pastime. Everyone deserves to geek out when they want to. And, who knows? Maybe eventually I’ll meet other geeks in real life and go old-school tabletop, a la Critical Role. (If you don’t know Geek & Sundry’s Critical Role and you claim Geek Status, you just lost a few points…at least for the gamers. Vote actors running D&D campaigns and filming it all in each campaign’s 3-5 hour glory – it’s a thing of beauty that few understand. But with 89 episodes under their belt, I’d say that it has been a successful venture, at least to Critters like myself. I may be biased.)

Am I the only one with super geek passions? Science fiction, gaming, Cons, fandoms…I have so many things to get excited about and know I’ reached full Geek when I honestly don’t care if anyone understands why or not. What’s your passion? Are you a Geek or a muggle? (Muggle passions are cool, too. I crochet, bro.) Whatever it is, I hope it makes you smile and gives you something to look forward to at least every once in a while. Because, fellow human, you deserve it.

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