Sunday, February 1, 2009

Not really a surprise - but, yeah, it is.

Here it is. The surprise jacket I started right after the last one. I finished it about a week ago. I know. Also pictured below is some yarn for some wash clothes, and some Blue Sky organic cotton - I'm making the Shizknit's Confection baby shrug for a friend's kid.

Time for some honesty: I spent all of the snow days we've just had playing WoW. You have no idea how addicting this game is. It is straight heroin. I kid you not. If you have ever seen the South Park episode about WoW, then you might be able to comprehend what I am trying to relate about this game's all-encompassing life-sapping soul-raping addictive power. The game is an MMORPG. MMORPG stands for Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game. Emphasis on the massive. There are loads of people playing this game. You probably don't know any of them, because, well, they are at home, playing the game. Anyhow. You start the game as a level 1 player, and try to run, gun, fly, buy, hack, hunt, spit, shoot, heal, kill and kick as much arse as possible until you reach level 80 (separate expasion set required). Which will take an unholy amount of time.

But the game is just... I don't know how to put it. You actually create a character in this 'world' and then start living by its rules (and yes, spitting on someone in the game is as rude as in real life - save it for the enemy). You can get pets (and you have to feed them). You can get hair cuts - my character has a mohawk. You can pick your own clothing/armor. You can be a hero, or an a-hole. And believe me, there are a-holes in this game. Guys who will beg you to help them with a quest, and then once you are deep within the virtual reality bowels of this world, up to your ears in a vicious mob (aka. large group of monsters) wacked out on aggro (aka. aggressiveness), that guy will hearthstone (aka.leave), and you will die, alone. And then you have the tedious task of corpse crawling (aka. "get your ghost back to your body, try to run from monsters, get killed, repeat") until ya make it out of the dungeon. For you knitters, this is similar to frogging the cuff of a sleeve 5 times before getting it right. Frustrating, in a word.

And get this: the game has its own freakin' economy. And it works better than our real one! I mean it - everyone in the game has JOBS. And no, JOBS is not a jargon acronym - the characters actually have to work. My level 31 Night Elf Hunter is a leather worker and skinner. Because to get better stuff (armor, weapons, useful items) you need gold. Good thing there are auction houses and banks (and apothecaries, stables, blacksmiths, etc. etc.). Yeah, the characters make items, then try and sell/trade/auction the items at a premium price. You can also form guilds - which is basically large groups of players who combine their resources and abilities for mutual advantage - such as helping with quests. Not only this, because the world is so large, you are constantly running around from place to place - or, in my case, getting a bit lost and having some gnarly animal kill me. Those are the not-so-fun times.

I kinda realized, slowly, that when jargon for the game begins to include terms like "grind" and "farm" (aka. spending long hours just killing lower level creatures to earn needed gold) - its kinda become too much like real life. And this may sound insane, but that's also why the game is too much freakin' fun. When you do get a level up, and the monsters which were a pain get easier, well, that's something. Effort pays off. You play by the rules, you win (which isn't necessarily how real life works, but oh well). Technically, though, the game will never end - they will always come out with expansion packs.

Oh heck yes, I am quitting this game. At level 31 - not level 80. I have just (barely) managed to buy a mount (Nightsaber Cat, to be exact), and I'm walking away while I still have a few wafts of the euphoria of victory to savor, before I'm subjected again to the hack and grind existance which is WoW. I'm sure I will jones for it - the rush of battle, the clang of weapons - I will go into withdrawl from my own adrenaline lol. I mean, when Conan was asked, "What is best in life?" he answered, "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women." That's some mighty potent stuff.

But like others before me, I will have to rely on my yarn and sticks to beat an addiction. Um, okay, I shouldn't have made that joke. Turns out the people that comment on have/had an actual addiction problem. Insane.

Not sure how much sense it makes to beat one jargon-riddled subculture-ensconsed addiction with another, but here goes. (Don't worry - I'm already working on the Habitat which didn't get finished this week. So many terrific snow days, and I didn't knit a stitch. I just kicked myself.)

Another reason less knitting is happening: I got back in the gym. Its awesome. "Picking up heavy things and setting them back down", as Hank used to say. Tomorrow: leg day.