Clean and Sober

I'm proud to report that I have been clean and sober for going on 4 months now. Of what you ask? World of Warcraft. That game got it's hooks deep into me. Prior to our trip to Gulf Shores I was spending sometimes 6 hours a night raiding, prepping for raiding, and grinding out gold. It was too much, and I was letting other things (including my health) slide. After a week of vacation with no chance for WoW, I decided it was best to just quit. There wasn't a whole lot left in the game for me to see, and it certainly wasn't worth the price of admission.

So what have I been doing with all of this new-found free time? Well, I've been hitting the treadmill for one. One of the worst aspects of WoW is that you are totally sedentary while playing. We got a treadmill about a month before our trip, and I had tried setting up WoW while on the treadmill. I could do a couple of things, but it was very difficult to type, and even more difficult to keep track of the tiny text on the screen. Now that WoW is completely shutoff, I've been much better about getting in my exercise. I try to get a minimum of three 30 minute work-outs in each week, with my goal to get in five good runs. My breathing is much better, and I've dropped 10 pounds.

Another bad habit I've dropped is drinking. It was my standard routine to mix up a scotch, vodka tonic, or gin as I sat down to play. If it was a long session I would sometimes have a second. Believe it or not, this was social drinking, as when you play WoW you are typically on a headset chatting with the other folks you are playing with. I never drank alone. Still, sedentary butt in chair plus alcohol is not a healthy combination. I still enjoy a beverage from time to time, but certainly not on the schedule I was before.

So running and not drinking account for about an hour of my night. What about the other five hours? My sleep schedule has improved a bit, though not much. I'm now getting into bed between 1am and 2am, which is a spot better than my 3am ritual before. Getting to bed at a decent time has always been a problem for me, so this isn't something I expected a huge change in. I have been able to see new and interesting games! I played through BioShock, which is outstanding. If you have a decent PC, definitely give this one a try. I also started enjoying our Wii more. The current household favorite is LEGO Indiana Jones. I spent the last couple of weeks getting pretty much every collectible in that game. There is a whole library of games that I have that I either never completed or lost interest in due to my WoW addiction.

Finally, I've gotten back into reading. I've read a number of great books throughout this year, including Spook and Agile and Iterative Development : A Manager's Guide. I'm currently reading The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I don't think I qualify as a true geek until I have read through this sci-fi favorite. I'm about half-way through the five novels, and so far it is great fun.

There is one possibility of relapse in the future. Blizzard is planning to release another expansion to Warcraft around my birthday. If the baby is up late at night and I'm doing the feeding, it will be really tempting to get back into my old habit. Maybe I need a sponsor :-p


Sam said...

So here's a thought for you:

Blizzard is right here in Irvine, so through the D&D club I've had the opportunity to know some of the people that made and are making WoW.

One of them took me to the WoW release party in Vegas because his G/F bugged out.

For him, the high point of the whole trip was when he got to spend an hour talking with the pit boss of the casino we were staying at. He was sure that based on what he learning making WoW, he could make slot machines and video poker way more addictive...

Buyer Beware.

(End of the story, my friend found out that the market for gambling machine is locked up by 2 or so manufacturers, so it would be too hard for him to break in...)

Adam said...

Blizzard has done a great job of figuring out how to get the carrot on a stick for their players. Every objective is just another 15 minutes away, and yet, you never run out of objectives!

I can definitely see the correlation to slot machines, video poker, and any other device whose goal is to keep your butt in a chair, plonking money into it.

Jade Mason