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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

World of Warcraft : New Stories

Blizzard just released a new player story. "Having Fun" shares the real story of a mother and her son playing WoW together. A great read! With all the negative stories about how WoW can affect kids, it's great to hear a positive one!

Having Fun
Febrower, Korialstrasz
Back in beta, my husband rolled a gnome mage and had a grand old time trouncing around Azeroth. He decided not to continue playing so the copy we preordered became mine. I rolled a gnome rogue on another realm, played for a time, and rolled a gnome mage for giggles, and to rub in his face that I could level faster than he could.

About this time, our son (then seven and a half) was struggling in school with reading and making bad decisions. He was constantly in trouble for doing things that resulted from bad choices. One of his favorite activities had become watching my gnomes vanquish foes and commit various acts of mischief. He then asked if he could make a character, just to try. I decided, why not? No harm.

He sat at the computer and created a human warrior with blond hair and a childlike expression. He looked around the room and saw a poster from the second Lord of the Rings movie and a bottle of Febreeze. Febrower was born. He watched the opening sequence with rapture and became very excited as the camera panned over the Northshire Abbey and there stood his new valiant hero.

He approached the quest giver and, with painful tedium, read the quest instructions out loud. Off he went, killing all manner of everything until his quest was complete and he turned it in. He continued on his path toward greatness...or so he saw it, slowly gaining levels. What he didn't realize was he was also gaining speed and accuracy in his reading abilities. He was gaining social skills that will serve him the rest of his life.

In addition, this has helped with motivating him to actually do his homework, which used to be a major battle. That is, he isn't allowed to play until his homework is done and his room is clean. He also doesn't get into trouble at school like he once did, because he knows if he does, playing World of Warcraft is out of the question.

Febrower now stands proudly at level 46, the product of a year and a half's occasional play. His favorite things to do in game include dispatching all critters...and I do mean ALL, dancing in the cities, helping lower-level players, and going into battlegrounds. OK, yes, when he goes in them he goofs off now and then, but once in a while he does participate in the battle and actually lends good assistance to the team.

So, if you see a 46 warrior riding naked on his horse in Arathi Basin, or doing his own thing in Warsong Gulch, don't get mad, because you can't phase him. Instead, realize this little guy has become an excellent student and a happy kid, and is doing what the game was designed for: having fun!