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Volume 71, Issue 5, Friday, August 26, 2005

Life & Arts

Restraint toughest part of ‘War' trial

Leet Speak

Derek Lanphier

I did something this weekend I never thought I would do. 

I was at the store buying groceries for my new room on campus, and I picked up the latest issue of Computer Gaming World, mainly because it had some articles that piqued my interest. I was unaware that the evil, life destroying game World of Warcraft was included as a free 14-day trial. That's a whole fortnight, plenty of time to annihilate any connections I have to this plane of reality.

Of course this disc just had to come into my possession when I was most bored: Classes still hadn't started, and I really had nothing better to do than sit and stare at my computer screen.

So, I did what any responsible gamer who was trying to hold on to the few scraps reality still left in his mind would do: I popped the disc in, created a free account on Blizzard's (the developer) Web site, and jumped headfirst into this world of crafty war. 

It was about time to give in, actually. I had successfully resisted this tempting siren's call since the game hit the shelves. I even avoided reviewing the game for The Daily Cougar in order to prevent my inevitable addiction to it.

Although I had tried out the beta, I was somewhat skeptical and largely unimpressed when it first came out because of some major gameplay issues. Also, I can only imagine what kind of madness the game's subscribers went through when Blizzard had the overpopulation problems that caused all of the servers to crash and burn. Now add the fact that the game had somewhat of a slow immersion and learning curve to the mix, and I had plenty of reasons to deny my gaming instincts.

Fortunately for the gaming world, but unfortunately for my tetanus-infected, slowly fading social life, Blizzard's efforts have all but eradicated any problems I was concerned with. Thus, the truly great role playing game is finally shining even in my very biased and skeptical mind.

As you read this, I am about half way through my trial membership and I am wondering if in another week I will be throwing down 50 bucks for this behemoth. I'm at war with myself over committing to this immersing game. So far, I've been pretty good about budgeting my time and playing only when I have my schoolwork out of the way. 

But how long will that last? Blizzard is an incredible developer, and it's always made games of only the highest quality. But is there a point when a game is too good? 

There were reports of a man dying in Korea -- probably from the South because those Northerners are so uptight -- from power gaming Starcraft to the point that he lost too much sleep, forgot to eat and just keeled over. Yes, power gaming Starcraft -- a game that is almost a decade old.

Anyway, that's the dilemma. My free trial ends next Friday, and that's when my real trial begins as I decide to purchase that evil game or not. 

I'd like to hear from anyone on campus who might have an opinion on the subject, e-mail me at the address below. I'm sure I'm just going to get a bunch of WoW addicts telling me, "OMG! WoW r0xxz0rs my s0xxz0rs!" because, let's be honest, that's who my readers are.
 

Send comments to dcshobiz@mail.uh.edu

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