World of Warcraft vs Premium Television

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.

8 thoughts on “World of Warcraft vs Premium Television”

  1. Oh hey look. It’s me replying first again.

    One interesting thing about both TV and WoW (or most video games) is you can get out of it pretty much whatever you want.

    As for violence, WoW is one of the more tame games I have played. The graphics are very fantasy oriented and there is no realistic blood or gore.

    I think TV is generally worse, in that it involves little to no interaction, while most video games at least require some thought or choices and tend to not lend themselves well to lots of unhealthy snacking.

    Most important, video games don’t bombard you with the evil that is commercials.

  2. I’ve seen lives ruined by WOW, but only damaged by TV. WOW is faaaaar more addicting. TV dulls the senses, but WOW distorts reality.

    They are both bad, but WOW is much worse.

    Comparing WOW and TV is like comparing Heroin to Pot. Its easy to say they are both negative, but in the end one is going to do much more harm.

  3. I agree with you on this one Jonathan. WoW isn’t that bad. Thank you for posting something like this!

  4. Bryce, I can see your point of view. WoW can definitely be more addicting. However, just like anything that is addicting, it really comes down to choice and accountability. Television, WoW, Heroin, Pot, Money, Hammers, Guns, et cetera are neither innately good nor bad. They are just objects, or tools. They all can be used for good or bad. Saying that WoW is bad displaces the responsibility of the people that use it.

    If a someone ruins their life because they play WoW all day, it is their choice. Every addiction begins with a choice. Nobody forces anyone else to become addicted to anything (unless someone else stabs them in the arm with some heroin). Once someone makes the choice to do something that will cause them to become addicted, their choice is taken from them by the addictive behavior and overcoming that becomes exponentially more difficult, yet it can be done.

    Addiction to WoW (or anything else) comes from a personal choice to use it too much. It is not the fault of the game nor of them game makers. If the game was not exciting and enticing then it would not sell.

    The victim mentality is to put all the blame on other people and things. The victim mentality is in fact bad. There is nothing good that comes from the victim mentality. The opposite of the victim mentality is the hero mentality. A hero is someone who takes responsibility for their actions. They recognize a problem and instead of blaming the results on something or something, they find the cause of the problem and fix it. Affixing blame is never positively effective. Addressing the cause and affecting change is much more positively effective.

    WoW is not bad. Choosing to misuse it is bad.

  5. I don’t watch much TV or play WoW, but I must say I’ll be glad for the day when WoW can be tivoed! 🙂 My sister-in-law and her husband play, and for a while there it really goofed with the schedules. “Sorry, can’t make it to this family dinner — we’ve got a raid!” hee hee

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