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5 reasons expectant parents love playing WoW

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So, you're a dedicated gamer who loves playing games. Then you get the fantastic news that you're expecting your own fresh little bundle of proto-gamer joy. Once you get over the heart-wrenching fear that your offspring will grow up to loathe video games and fantasy, you come to the equally heart-pounding realization that your gaming lifestyle is about to change. It's hard to raid when you're breastfeeding, changing diapers, and otherwise providing the love and adoration each child deserves.

I'm here to shout that World of Warcraft is still a fantastic game for expectant parents, even if some of the activities won't be so easy once you're actually a parent. I'll cop that right away: Raiding is going to be tough. Competitive PvP is going to be tough. It's hard to balance time commitments, and those time constraints don't wait for the birth.

What makes WoW awesome is that those two things (raiding and PvP) are just part of the game. The whole world of Azeroth is there for you. These are the top five reasons WoW excels as a game for expectant parents.

5. It's always there, even for those 3 a.m. wake-up calls.

Without going into the wide world of medical knowledge this blogger just isn't qualified to talk about, I think we can all agree that a woman's body changes during pregnancy. One of the fun side effects of those changes can be surprise wake-up calls. You get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and no power on Earth is going to get you back to sleep.

What do you do? Productivity probably isn't on the menu; after all, you're tired and prone to mistakes. You don't want to wake the rest of the family so you can enjoy a round of midnight vacuuming. But guess who's also awake in the middle of the night, ready to keep you company? That's right: the untold legions of Azeroth, all desperate to get impaled on your shining blade.

Not only does WoW run 24/7, there are some key advantages to playing it with a unique schedule. You won't have to fight to get your turn at a rare spawn, you'll have no competition for those gathering nodes, and plenty of people will be looking for just one more player in the middle of the night.

4. Grinds serve as some decent meditation.

Expectant parents shoulder huge amounts of additional stress. It's just the nature of the beast. You get worried about what your life will be like in the future, the health of the baby, the health of the mother, and much more. While it doesn't compare to actually having the baby in hand, you still get 40 weeks of sheer stress to keep you company until it arrives.

That's why I reach for some good, old-fashioned reputation and gold grinds. I'm not even talking about dailies or such. I just walk out into the wilderness somewhere ... and start killing stuff. Grab the cash and cloth, ignore the rest. I can spend hours just killing random mobs and chilling out.

It's incredibly cathartic. The rhythm sets your mind at ease, and you get lost in the simple rhythm of killing critter after critter. I highly recommend it for anyone, but especially for parents who want to take a load off for an hour or two.

Image3. No need to rush; the game gets easier.

The game is built so that slow, inevitable mudflation renders previous content easier. If you can't kill something right now, don't stress about it. Go get some gear, level up, and then come back around to lay some parental vengeance on that ne'er-do-well.

Why is this an advantage to parents? Because if we get stumped on a video game, we probably won't have huge amounts of time to redo it. Plenty of gamer moms and gamer dads are super-skilled at games; that's not my point. It's that we just don't always have the amount of time to invest all at once. If a game is impossibly difficult, we'd as likely to walk away as keep playing. Our focus is the baby, not the game.

That's why WoW is awesome. If I only play a few hours a week (which is a pretty big if in my case, granted), then I'm not keeping pace with cutting-edge content. I'm in no rush. The tools are available for me to later go back and take a crack at whatever challenge was holding me up. At no point in the game do I go, "Damn, I should probably restart from the beginning."

2. Raid Finder, thou art my friend.

A big part of new parenting is a total rewrite to your schedule. It's hard to make commitments when a bit of sickness can wipe all of your evening plans. Other MMOs have raids and such, but WoW has a huge advantage for the parents: the Raid Finder.

As a new parent, I can't commit to a multi-night raiding schedule. Hell, I can't commit to a single-night raiding schedule. This isn't a skill or gear issue; I just don't know when a bout of parentitis is going to drag me away.

But I do want to raid, and I do sometimes have a few hours in a row to burn. Since I can't commit to a raiding guild, there's probably not a raid sitting around waiting for my schedule to free up. But I can press that Raid Finder button and go kill internet dragons with the best of them.

The Raid Finder was going to be my #1 reason WoW is awesome for new players, but ...

1. The world is huge and full of spectacular people.

WoW is a huge game. Reputation grinds, crafting, exploring, achievements ... the facets of gameplay are so myriad that I wasn't even tempted to list them here. No sooner would I say "grinding gold is awesome for parents" than I'd realize I needed to equally say "So is underwater murloc weaving" or whatever. But there's a lot to do, and it's all at your own pace.

More importantly, it's full of awesome fellow WoW players. For every bad PUG story you hear, there are a dozen people helping each other out and being mind-blowingly cool. When you're shouldering the fears and stress of being a new parent, your fellow WoW players can reinforce your faith in humanity. Just give them a chance to do so.

Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from how to control your character and camera angles when you're just starting out, to learning how to tank, getting up to speed for heroics and even how to win Tol Barad.

Filed under: WoW Rookie

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