This, my dears, is a chewable toy for birds! Isn’t it soooo cute? As soon as I get paid this month, I’m going to spend a big chunk of it on this and other natural budgie toys and treats from Northern Parrots. What can I say? Other women buy shoes.
I’m a very happy hag these days, as I make my way through the last week at work before a long-anticipated one-week holiday. I’m not going anywhere this time – every year I try to spend one week at home without travelling, getting up early, rushing to the airport and all that – just me and good friends and lots of time with the cutest. This time I’ll also get some small bits fixed on my car and have a check-up at the doctor’s. And that’s it.
I don’t even care if the weather stays as beautiful as it is now. It’s over 20 degrees even here by the coast and even I am leaving my jacket at home these days, but in case it gets “Irish” again next week, I’ll just stay at home, read for days on end, or play WoW nonstop for eight hours like a proper geek.
Some people have actually asked me about my gaming post about a year ago; unfortunately it was on my old-old blog and hasn’t been preserved. Since I’m always looking to improve the public view of gaming, I thought I’d write another piece on it, just shorter and more compact, so here goes.
Yes, the stereotypical “lives in mum’s basement and doesn’t ever see the sun” a-social gamer does exist. Some people get addicted to gaming and lose their touch with the world around. That’s bad, but it’s a. not the norm and b. not the fault of the games. If someone has an addictive personality, they’ll find something to get addicted to. Used properly, games can train analytical and situational awareness skills as well as communcation and teamwork.
What I play is a massively multiplayer roleplaying game. What that means is, there is a fantasy world with different races and history and conflicts, a bit like the Middle-Earth Tolkien created in his books. Only this time, instead of just reading about it, you get to experience the adventures yourself, together with other people. The game is like an alternate reality, a real-time 24/7 world with lots of people logged into it at the any given time.
This social aspect is what interests me most. The endgame content is such that you cannot get far on your own. You have to work with others, in groups of 10 or 25 people, and really co-ordinate and practice in order to achieve the objective. If any one of these 10 or 25 people doesn’t know what they’re doing, the entire project is doomed. Then you get to try again and again, working out the kinks, working together as a group until you are successful. It’s a great feeling when we slay a momentous internet dragon after working on it for weeks – you should hear the shouts and jubilation on our voice-communication device (something akin to Skype, where we all talk to each other to co-ordinate our efforts)!
In WoW you can play different races and “classes” (like mages, druids, warriors…) and each of them has a large set of abilities which work together in an intricate way. Playing isn’t hard, but playing WELL is quite a challenge. There is a whole body of theory- and simulation-craft as well as in-depth analysis (here‘s an example) behind World of Warcraft, and it takes a lot of dedication to become really good at your class. World-class players get sponsored by large companies and are celebrities in the world of gaming.
So what fasicnates me about it? The challenge, for one – I like to strive to get better and learn, and in my opinion it beats passively watching TV any day. I also like the fantasy aspect, and of course I’m friends with my guild mates who are truly awesome people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
News From The Tribe
Cassandra posted this lovely article on Creating an Inspiration Book, with beautiful pictures. I think I need one of those – so pretty!
Linda takes inspiration from her daughter to be creative and practise self-care. Very good lessons for all of us, especially when we judge ourselves to harshly.