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Breakfast Topic: Learn something new every day

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

I learned a pretty important life lesson from playing WoW. Now, I am well aware that this statement makes me sound like a loon, like someone claiming his whole life underwent a reversal after reading The Secret and now everything is so much better and wonderful. I'm not saying WoW did that for me. But it has taught me something about time management and design goals, by way of dailies.

Specifically, dailies have shown me that if you devote a certain predetermined amount of time each day to the completion of carefully detailed and prioritized tasks, you will reap benefits and rewards over a finite and moderate time period, with better benefits and rewards over a longer time period. People who are good at time management and at prioritizing, and who do not have a tendency to procrastinate, are probably thinking, "Duh." But some of us poor slobs out there do have problems managing time and imagining the benefits that can come from consistently devoting time to specific activities, especially when those benefits won't materialize for a long time.

Personally, this really hit home for me the past few months as I was planning my wedding. I wanted to do most of the stuff myself, because there was no way I could afford someone to do things for me. I wanted to make my own centerpieces, guest favors, cake topper, wall decorations, thank-you cards, invitations, paper picture frames for souvenirs, bridesmaid's hair pieces and so on. I read enough wedding blogs to scare myself into thinking that making everything was going to result in a time management nightmare. So early on, I set out to prioritize and schedule my daily tasks -- just like planning out Sons of Hodir rep, accumulating Champion's Seals to collect all the pets or running through quest chains on the way to Loremaster. I allocated one to two hours every night in order to complete a set amount of work and determined the best way to space out all the tasks over the following months. I got everything I wanted to get done with two weeks to spare. Days before the wedding, I was stressing out because I had nothing to stress out over.

Some will find it silly that it took WoW dailies to get me to organize myself, but it really is just a very good time management model. What have you learned from playing this game? Leadership skills, perhaps? Diplomacy? How to be a politician, or a socializer, or a mediator? Or (dare I ask), an instigator?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: When your gaming gets emotionally charged

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

It was going to be a regular Tuesday night for me: Get home from work, have dinner, lounge around on the couch with my hubby before bed. I didn't even really want to log into WoW that night, but I logged in just out of habit. Once there I thought, "Ah, I'll just queue a random and get my two frosts; hopefully it's a quick run." And then, almost half-heartedly, just because I had to find something to do during the 20-minute DPS wait, I hopped on a flight path to my favorite fishing ground, the lake next to Camp Winterhoof.

Exactly four casts later, I'm whooping at the top of my lungs like I had just won a million dollars. I hadn't just won a million dollars -- I just happened to fish up the Dark Herring, an achievement that had been evading me for the better part of a year. I look over at my spouse, eager to share the fantastic news. I can't blame him, the poor guy is looking at me like I just lost my mind. ... At which point I more or less simmered down, got a grip and proceeded to my dungeon. I was still ecstatic, mind you. Days later, I was still ecstatic. I would be sitting on the couch with my hubby, calmly watching TV, and all of a sudden I'd burst out giggling, "Can you believe I caught that fish? I can't believe I caught that fish! Heehee."

If that's not having an emotional stake in this game, I don't know what is.

Another example: I had only been playing WoW for a few weeks, after my spouse finally got me to try out the game. I was only level 20 or so, questing in Ashenvale, when I got a random group invite -- my first ever. I figure, "Why not? He wants help on the same quest I'm doing; it can only go faster." Being new to the game, I hadn't quite grasped the concept of rez sickness ... Two minutes and five mobs later, my new-found friend and I were both dead. Two seconds after that, my new-found friend dropped group without saying anything (probably for the best, given the choice words he could have had for me if he'd wanted). I was devastated. I felt like I had let this person down. I started bawling -- tears, sobs, the whole bit. I turned to my hubby for comfort and he immediately burst out laughing. (OK, right now I'm laughing, too, but at the time it was very distressing.)

My point is, I often find myself emotionally invested in this game. And while my husband can laugh and raise eyebrows and roll his eyes, he's felt it too; he rerolled on a PvE server two weeks after Wrath of the Lich King came out because leveling in a PvP environment was stressing him out too much.

How about it, fellow gamers? When has this game had you jumping for joy, crying in sadness, seething with anger or wringing your hands in desperation?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!



Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts