I have heard many people opine that playing World of Warcraft (WoW) is evil and a waste of money and time. Having played World of Warcraft myself, I feel I must defend it slightly. To do so I will employ a comparison to Premium Television. (Premium Television = Cable, Satellite, etc.)
Let us first address the morality of World of Warcraft, since there are those that think it is evil.
WoW is all about killing and violence.
Some of the characters in WoW are very immodest in their dress.
My significant other spends too much time on WoW and never gets anything else done.
There are other concerns that people have, but these are the most popular.
Now for the comparison. Let us take the previous quotes and replace the word “WoW” with “Television”.
Television is all about killing and violence.
Some of the characters in Television are very immodest in their dress.
My significant other spends too much time on Television and never gets anything else done.
Seems to me that the morality of WoW is quite comparable to that of Television. In fact, I would say that in many ways, Television can be much more immoral than WoW ever could. Some of the content (smut, language, innuendo, violence) I have seen even on public television was much more graphic and has made me much more uncomfortable than I have ever been while playing WoW.
Then again, it really depends on what you are watching on Television. Many channels can be quite educational. I really enjoy the Discovery and other educational channels on Premium Television.
Can World of Warcraft be educational? I argue that it indeed can be very educational. Here are a few ways that I just thought of off the top of my head. I am sure there are more.
- Interaction with others
- Problem solving skills
- Hand eye coordination
- Reading skills
- Typing skills
- Project management
- Resource management
- Critical decision making skills
Let us now look at cost in the form of money. World of Warcraft costs at most $15/month to play (per person). Premium Television costs an average of $60/month (per person would be $15/month for a family of 4). Quite comparable, I should say. In fact, Premium Television could be considered much more expensive.
Now to address cost in the form of time. The amount of time someone spends playing World of Warcraft or watching Television could both vary from 1 minute to 24 hours. It really depends on the interest of the person. Both are forms of entertainment. Any given individual could spend “too much” time in front of either form of entertainment.
Why is Television more acceptable than and WoW? I would submit that the reason for this is that Television has been around much longer than WoW. WoW tends to be seen as only for a younger generation or for those that are more “computer savvy”. WoW (and other video games) is much less understood by older people or by people who are not as tech savvy or by people who do not engage in that form of entertainment. Lack of understanding (aka ignorance) can often breed unfounded fear and distrust.
It is my opinion that video games are no more of a problem than television, or any other form of entertainment.
The problem comes in the overuse of whichever form of entertainment you choose. Good judgement and moderation must be used in every situation. Entertainment can be good even educational and relaxing or at least distracting. However, if we allow our chosen form of entertainment to consume our lives to the exclusion of fulfilling our responsibilities, then it is a problem. We must practice moderation in all things. Time limits are a good thing.