So, I’ve noticed a particular phenomena that I think is pretty humorous and speaks for itself.
My ring, middle, and index finger on my left hand always rest on the letters WAD on the keyboard.
Seeing my fingers rest on their usual spot every single time I begin using my trusty old Mac, I recalled a distant part of my life, a very huge part of it, when I used to play WoW, or World of Warcraft.
For those of you who do not know, WoW is a heavily addictive, massive multiplayer online role-playing game (mmorpg) that legit revolutionized the world of video games starting from the early 2000s and still going strong to this day (with many more expansion packs). It legit invented the abbreviated words and phrases we use today: brb, afk, omw, lmao, rofl, fail, camping, trolling, you name it.
When I was growing up, my sister would usually shut herself inside our shared room and study all day, while my brother played video games all day. After school, I usually went straight home and straight into my brother’s room where I watched him play WWE, Kontra, Halo, Shinobi, DotA, Street Fighter, many other games, and WoW. Now, he usually let me play games like Halo with him, but one day in 5th grade he asked me if I wanted to try WoW. Why not? Nothing else to do, so I hopped on his chair and started to play what would be an addictive, heavily investing game that would become a safe place from a lot of my adolescence.
Now, I am not saying that my childhood was abusive, heavily psychologically tormenting, or bad, but I was a child growing up in a family with a lot of problems. Never having enough money, sharing a cramped 2-bedroom apartment with 5 people, a sick father, a mom who worked all day and came back home stressed, and not having a lot of friends (apart from having no relationships with any extended family), I grew up sort of lonely and lacked a lot of confidence.
And that’s the state that led me to playing World of Warcraft on and off for 8 years of my life.
I devoted so much of my life into that game, and now when I look back, I totally understand why my mom would yell at me, threaten me, and scold me terribly to stop playing, but I also understand why I loved that video game so much. Because that video game was always there for me.
It’s not difficult to see why us first generation immigrants fear intimacy so much. A lot of us were devoid of it growing up! The hardest working generation, our parents, sought opportunity and welfare for their children, and spoiled them with indulgence and prosperity they could never enjoy, but left them bare of the attention and intimacy that was so much more necessary.
And so that is why I speak on behalf of World of Warcraft and its overall positive influence on my life growing up. Yes, I did play for twelve hours a day sometimes. Yes, I spent $15 a month paying for the subscription fees. Yes, I disobeyed my mother and played behind her back. Yes, I probably wasted countless hours and playing time on that game instead of doing something “productive.”
But that game saved me. It really did. When my mom couldn’t give me the attention I so desperately wanted, I had access to millions of players online I could talk to. Even if the intimacy wasn’t too great, due to it being a video game about monsters and quests, and being online; it was still better than what I had.
When life got pretty rough, and hospitals and nurses indulged my thoughts, I ran away to the virtual online world and really stayed free from those encroaching thoughts.
I appreciate WoW a lot. Those past 8 years were years of building my character, building resistance, resilience, and an appreciation for the World of People All Struggling Through Their Own Crap But Finding Unity With Others Who Felt The Same.
When the situation around me started looking better, and God saw that my character was ready to be brought to the next step, He lifted me up out of that temporary pain-reliever world, turned me around, and set me on my feet so I could live with Him as my permanent pain-reliever.
And so now, I don’t use my W key to go forward, but by my new found confidence in Christ.
Sometimes God takes us through our bad moments without us even realizing His hand orchestrating our lives. Huh. How bout dah.
Thank you Blizzard!!!
p.s. Now just in case my sister reads this, I want to clarify that yes, my father adored me and gave me lots and lots of love. It was my fault to not realize that for the longest time.