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  • Writer's pictureJesse Britten

Pick Your Crusade, or Rather, Don't

Welcome to my first post on my World of Warcraft Blog series. I wanted to start off with a bit of an opinion piece about the state of things in WoW. Really, it's less the state of things and more to do with my state of mind and yours as you play the game. My ultimate goal other than attracting attention to this space and all the other works that combined make up my site I wanted to make the World of Warcraft community a better place. I had thought I might post these essays on the World of Warcraft Forums, but I tend to always get a negative reception there no matter what I do.

However, things have changed since I last played religiously back in the days of Wrath of the Lich King. Yes, I know, I'm old. but the thing is, I've had quite a remarkable personal journey over they decade since I last played. One thing that always stuck with me was from way back when I used to tank on my warrior. I leveled up in dungeons mainly and was really toxic. When I say I was toxic I mean I saw the infamous "Onyxia Wipe Animation" where the guild leader screams at his guild mates during an unfortunate attempt to down the legendary raid boss.

I think I got the wrong idea. I looked at that and thought, "Man I really want to be like him!" I was the worst. If you interacted with me back then I feel sorry for you. I took World of Warcraft more seriously than I should have. As I said, however, there was something that a friend told me that led to personal growth for me. I was yelling at someone for pulling aggro in a Scarlet Monastery Cathedral run and my friend Ost told me. I know you're right about that guy but why do you have to make it your personal crusade to berate and correct his behavior. Just get through the dungeon and have fun.

I think that really stuck with me because in that moment it changed who I was. I was still psychotic and toxic for well over a decade after that point, but the seed had been planted. There really is no reason to get mad over a video game. No matter how much time you put into it a game is just a game. The only reason I still play video games at all is because in the grand scheme of things life is meaningless, I'll never have an impact on the cosmic scale. I'm on a ball of dust orbiting a star. I might as well have fun. I used to get so anxious about playing games online with people. I was afraid of what they thought of me.

I've learned a lot and developed a lot since those days. I still have some trepidation and anxiety about things I haven't done before but my mind is at peace now. I wish I could say the same for my personal life, but I feel that World of Warcraft is helping me socialize more, albeit online, in a game, and not face to face with actual people in my community. That being said I think they community as a whole need to realize that the objective of the game is to have fun. When you're dealing with people there are all kinds of attitudes. People whole live around a large population of other people have an interesting strength, or rather is it a weakness? You se there exist people that can look at another person and say, "Well, they don't matter." In that moment to that person you being alive, breathing human being with thoughts emotion and a soul might as well not exist to them.

Oh, how I envy that sometimes, but as I asked could that not be considered a weakness too? I think there's a dichotomy here about this kind of mindset. I think that when you're dealing with people especially on the global scale that the internet has elevated social interaction to you need to learn to be more sensitive, and considerate. That is, up to a point. When a person has demonstrated that they are not capable of having a genuine interaction with you and respect you in whatever setting be it WoW or on X or some other social site. You need to learn to let go. Don't fight that battle. You don't have to. You can destroy that toxicity by simple relegating that person to the status of unimportant to you. There really is no need to stress yourself out and shorten your life by caring about a person like that.

I realize while I'm writing this that I was just such a person back then. I have schizotypal disorder. I've been fully psychotic to the point of not knowing what was real. It was bad at one point, but ten years ago my mind finally snapped and I woke up in a hospital. This started a long road of recovery that literally spanned a decade. I've come back to my old hobbies and interest with renewed vigor and patience. It really is quite liberating to finally be able to enjoy my life. I just wish I could have figured things out sooner. That's why I'm writing this. I want to tell the world that things aren't as serious as you think they are, and that goes a long way and covers a broad spectrum of topics and philosophies.

So, have fun! Do what you enjoy. I realize that some of you enjoy getting impassioned responses from people and that's fine too. How else are people going to learn to let trivial things go? I feel like we all learn eventually. Some of us learn far too late. I know I did. I took life for granted and I see it as a blessing that I learned the way I did. I feel like I can articulate my point well enough that maybe I could have an impact on some of you.

As it relates to the World of Warcraft You need to be satisfied with what you're capable of, but at the same time strive to do your best. Not just in DPS or healing numbers but as a social being living in an online environment with millions of other people. We're all competitive because that's human nature but we can also be respectful of each other. I really don't think this is as big of a problem as it used to be back in the day when toxic rage machines like myself screamed at strangers on Ventrilo and that's good. Maybe writing this was only a slight waste of my time. If it was, then that's a good thing. You could point and laugh at this post because it's irrelevant and that's fine. I think all of this still needs to be said though. Pick your battles, or at the very least, don't pick battles you don't need to. I think the community is in a really good place right now, and I haven't seen a lick of drama. Maybe everyone has moved on and grown a little as well?

I think for now it's time for me to be the "father" so to speak. I can help people grow and accept that it's part of the fun and I have the patience to let myself grow at whatever pace I deserve based on what I put into it. I'm having a lot of fun lately and I hope you are too. In the future I'll be talking mainly about what I see in the World of Warcraft and if I feel like I need to comment on it I will. I can't let the big dogs have all the fun. In fact I could probably do a decent job commenting on their takes. I wanted to write about the past few years initially because my life's developments have enabled me to really enjoy my life for the first time. Peace be with you, and my you walk with honor.

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