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02 October 2014 @ 11:25 am
World of Fun Boredomcraft  
The latest episode of the Crate and Crowbar podcast talked a bit about a concept that they call "fun boredom," where you're performing actions that are objectively boring, and you know that they're boring, but the repetitive and mindless nature is part of the appeal. It's the gaming equivalent of watching a movie you've seen a dozen times before, I suppose.

When I listened to that, I thought back to my days of playing World of Warcraft and how many of my fond memories of the game are bound up in that kind of activity. My WoW character has The Insane title. I got him a Frostsaber back in vanilla. I got Argent Dawn to Exalted in vanilla by grinding this old RPG.net thread that demonstrates my obsession with achievements, though.

My point is that I spent a ton of time doing incredibly repetitive grinding, but right now those are the moments I remember the most fondly. My main memories are of raiding Karazhan and Ulduar, and nearly everything that's not that is of flying circuits through Terokkar Forest herbing and looking for Fel Lotuses, which used to sell for 200g to raiding guilds that needed them for flasks, or of flying circuits through Storm Peaks looking for the Time-Lost Proto-Drake, which I eventually got after a month or so of looking, or of killing thousands of pirates south of Ratchet so the Steamwheedle Cartel wouldn't kill me on sight, or killing undead near the cauldrons in the Western Plaguelands, or any number of other minor annoyances. Other than the people I played with, those are the things I think of most fondly.

I honestly think that the streamlining of the game and lack of those things is one of the bits that pushed me away (well, I had also played almost daily for six years at that point, which is more than enough time for any one game). I didn't need to get herbs anymore, since I could buy herbs, turn them into glyphs, and sell them at a profit, which made me a lot of gold but wasn't nearly as fun as flying through zones reading Guild chat and occasionally clicking around the internet. Mix that with me no longer caring about the story after the Lich King died and that's probably why I quit WoW.

I still do that kind of thing in other games, though. My Oblivion game is ~240 hours in, but I still take the time to teleport to the Imperial City and run around the market district from store to store, selling all my loot, because I find it satisfying. It's my version of trash TV, I suppose.

Now I'm reading old WoW RPG.net threads and soaking in the nostalgia.

Edit: I found the original thread about the founding of the Pig and Whistle Society! It's here for anyone interested.
 
 
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