The World of Warcraft’s Gone Mad

Posted on July 31, 2009. Filed under: Misc. Geekery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

((Before I get into the article, I will NOT be playing GTA IV. I tried. I failed. Immediately. Mario recommends Halo 1. Any ideas for a beginner such as myself? Please nothing cutesy. Had enough of that.))

Here’s a little entertainment for you during this post. The title’s a play on the title of the awesome collaboration between Handsome Boy Modeling School and Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, “The World’s Gone Mad”:

I came across this article a few days ago, Addiction Therapists Signing Up to World of Warcraft.

The funny thing is for most of high school, I wanted to become a therapist (people always came to me with their problems because I’m trustworthy or some shit, so why not legitimately make some money off of it? Oh, and help people. Right). Mario becomes addicted to games easily and focuses intensely (he’s currently driven to finish off Fallout 3). He’s even been knocking around the idea of joining WoW again after he finishes building his computer.

Never thought I’d actually say this, but THANK GOD WE ARE POOR BASTARDS.

But who needs WoW, when Star Wars: The Old Republic will be out next year? And that’s when Princess Daisy and I both become MMO widows.

So the deal with the article is therapists are actually JOINING MMORPGs, observing patients, and administering therapy in their patient’s addictive environment. Tricky business, especially if the therapists may become addicted themselves, then all hell breaks loose and there are suddenly no more boars to slaughter, so no more backdoors to level up, pussies!

But probably going (NSFW, duh) Clockwork Orange on all their asses would be best for WoW addicts. (God, I love that soundtrack. Ludwig Van)

The program sounds both simple and convoluted at the same time (as all sciencey things invariably do). Therapists join the game, create avatars, play the game, and all that jazz. They also recruit what they call “peer mentors” from those who do indeed play WoW, but are somehow miraculously NOT addicted –Isn’t it usually a cycle where you play 16-hour days for weeks, then just get burnt out and not play for several months to get another job to support yourself –that is until you pick up the latest expansion pack and then quit your job and resubscribe? I thought with WoW, you’re either an obsessed current player, or else an obsessed player on furlough.

Here’s what makes me itchy, though: Therapists are crossing their fingers that Blizzard Entertainment will give them discounted rates, or else all together WAIVE the fees because it’s–OH NOES!–pricey.

But that’s the cost of business, right? It would be written off as a business expense come tax time. I don’t know how it is in the UK, but in the US therapists get paid around $200-something an hour, and that’s a middle-of-the-road therapist, so why the hell can’t they pay the $19.99 for the game disk, and the $29.99 and $39.99 for the expansion packs ONCE upfront, then the 15 bucks per month to subscribe? Really? And I would hope that the people they would be treating on WoW would be paying them through their insurance and co-pays for their in-game therapy.

Technically, they are being PAID to play.

As an aside, I recognize that the $200 therapist fee does not go straight into the therapist’s pocket. It goes towards their receptionists, rent, bills, etc as well, but it’s all in the cost of business, and with WoW, there’s A LOT of business to be found. So I say the cost of playing WoW is far outweighed by the business that would be generated in their practice through WoW.

How CAN you get cheaper than 15 bucks a month on such an immense game as WoW? That’s $180 a year, granted, but they’ll make that one year’s subscription all back in ONE HOUR. At least their addicts aren’t hooked on something like cocaine. Then their immersion therapy would be a hell of a lot more expensive, and you could NEVER get a discount on that shit, even the stuff cut with baby laxatives. …Not that I know, but I could imagine. Then again, one of the therapists in the article is quoted saying that WoW is “more addictive than crack cocaine.” Would HE know?

And, let me guess, those “peer mentors” aren’t paid, but are “volunteers”. Am I right? Every time I’ve ever worked with the title “peer mentor”, it’s been on a voluntary basis, and the fact that I improved another person’s life was my payment. No indication one way or another in the article, but I think I can be safe in my assumption, or perhaps their only compensation would be a free month depending on the number of hours they put into peer mentoring, and a liter of Mountain Dew with a long crazy straw.

What. The. F##K? Maybe I should become a therapist so I can exploit WoW users and even Blizzard themselves.

Let’s say Blizzard does indeed give a discount (or even waives their fees) in an effort to cure gaming addiction. Does this mean therapists and even doctors can now count on Jack Daniels to help foot the bill at the Betty Ford Clinic, or maybe Big Tobacco can pay for Grandpa Jim’s double-lung transplant? But all the while the patient and their insurance still pay, so they get paid TWICE.

So Blizzard would be literally PAYING to lose customers because those unfortunate souls got a well-intentioned but misfired therapy that the patient is ALSO paying for that cures them of wanting that specific addiction, rather than treating what DRIVES them to addiction. Once their WoW addiction is supposedly cured, the poor sods will find an addiction elsewhere because many people are hardwired to just be addicted to something; anything. And then they have to pay for more therapy.

I was at first intrigued and even in support of this online therapy idea, but now after reading the article and seeing all the WTFs involved… Let me say, I am amazed I have defended WoW. Holy hell.

I’ll take The Rapist for $400, Alex.



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