Monday, December 6, 2010

X-pac Eve

A holiday in its own right, X-pac Eve is upon us.  Fuu and I plan to be bundled up outside of the Westfield, Indiana Best Buy promptly after our raid ends (so a bit after 11pm).  I'm going to try to wear my red Alliance Lion baseball cap (if it's not too unbearably cold) that says "Fulguralis" on the back.  You probably won't be able to see the T-shirt I have as well (also with my name and realm on the front, but black), you know, due to the coat and layers.  Still, if you're in the area and want to say "hi", look for the red hat.  I was sad when no one found me at GenCon, but then again, the only person I know that plays WoW that lives sorta nearby is Abi of Kungaloosh.  Well, and one of my guild mates who I work with, but I see him every day.

In any case, we'll be in line at midnight.  One CE and one regular edition on pre-order.  I'm not sure whether we'll stay up another three hours, waiting for the midnight hour to reach the west coast.  We might just nap and wake up early to get on.  We did take the day off.  Either way, there will be Pixy Stix, Mountain Dew, and Pizza!

Speaking of taking the day off, how many of you guys are?  Is it something you're open and honest about: "Yes, I'm taking tomorrow off to play a video game?"  I'm of two minds about it. 

On one hand, I feel that its my personal day, I should take it however I want and you shouldn't judge.  Hence, personal.  Still, people, being people, will judge.  And, like it or not, video games are still not judged a viable hobby.  Yet, that's exactly what it is!  The guy who sits next to me takes entire days off to go sit in a box and shoot at deer.  Is that any less valid?  Does anyone here accuse him of being "addicted" to hunting?  No, because deer hunting is an accepted (and almost expected) hobby around where I live.  Midwestern boys are expected to have shot a rifle by the time they're 18.  Don't ask me why, I didn't make the rules.  I didn't get my first hunting experience until I was 20.  I was the same way with rollercoasters: totally late to the party.  And flying on a commercial plane.  I didn't do that for the first time until I was in college either.  Tell people those things and they look at you funny.  Kind of like how they look at you when you say you're going to take a day off to play a video game.  Or that you write novels in your spare time.  ("Like... wrote a book?  Why?"  I'm batshit crazy, that's why.) 

I get a bit riled up about it because: Hey! Accept my hobby too!  At the same time, I get it.  I may not like that society has yet to accept gaming as a valid hobby, but I get it.  It's nothing new.  If anything, it's a lot better than it has been in years past.  Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, right?  So, I don't trumpet the information.  I simply say I'm taking a personal day.  I don't elaborate.  I'm not an activist here, I don't need to march for anything.  I'm not preforming a "game-in" tomorrow as a form of peaceful protest.  It's not for them.  It's for me.

Gamers catch a bad rap.  A few bad apples have set expectations for us to be slovenly and unproductive members of society.  It doesn't matter if that's anywhere near the truth, it's a stereotype.  And there's probably a certain amount of truth to every stereotype.  It's just that the generalization doesn't appear to keep up with the changing reality.  Maybe there was a time when all gamers were unkempt and overweight, but that's simply not the case today.  What is the norm of gamer culture?  Are we steampunk?  Are we goth?  Are we nerds?  Don't we have everything from hard-bodied military types to cuddly old grandmothers (or, crotchety if you prefer)?  Parents playing with children.  Families kept together despite distance?  Is there even a "norm" anymore?

After re-reading the above... maybe I'm really of just one mind.  It certainly does evidence a clear bias: I'm a gamer and I'm not ashamed of my chosen hobby.  I will stand out in the cold for a midnight release, "just 'cuz."  I will take a day off to enjoy my hobby.  I take good care of myself, my wife, and my career just fine, thanks. 

My solution remains the same as it's always been: honesty.  I may not run around the office babbling about my midnight plans, but I'm not going to hide it if you ask me either.  So far it's served me well, and I suppose that I've been lucky.  I know a lot of people that would get canned for being so honest, and I feel for them.  I get it, though; I'm fortunate to not be in such a situation.  One should never be held accountable for something that has no affect on their work.  Whether you want to make real sandcastles, or virtual ones, it shouldn't matter.  It's a hobby.

So this X-pac Eve, wherever you are, I hope it finds you in good health and good spirits.  Those of you who can celebrate, celebrate extra hard for those who can't.  I'll certainly tip one back for the closet gamers out there.  And, don't worry, the pizza's on pre-order. 

Happy Expanding, Azeroth!


  1. I am fortunate to have a cool boss that doesn't care if I take Cata day off as long as it doesn't impact our deliverables. He actually expected that I would.

    So, naturally, I ordered the digital download (already in place). But I've seen world servers crash before, have no plans of jumping in on the new content right away, and have much to do at work (since the boss is out ALL WEEK anyway), so I'll just have a peek when I get home tomorrow.

    But do have fun as I toil away in my cubical :)

  2. The husband's taking the next two days off. Fortunately, his company is encouraging him to burn more vacation time anyway given the amount he's got stockpiled already...

  3. I'm going through the same thing at my day job. I never take time off from work so when I say I took 2 days off I have to explain "why?" and then I get "that" look from my coworkers.

    Shrug it off! Tomorrow is our time to shine!

    See you on the other side!

  4. I'm not taking the time off, though I could. Fiance even suggested I do. For some reason I don't want to. I'm probably not even going to rush home tomorrow to install the expansion.

    Guess I'm taking things slow this time.

  5. I am taking the next 2 days off. My department totally expected me too (5 other people are gamers in our group of 10). Guildies that I work with, not so much. Project deadlines impacting their availability. They were the ones who gave me the idea, in fact as that's what they did during the Wrath expansion. Group of 3 leveled up together starting the minute it dropped (and was stable).

  6. Took a week off, since there is no way I am going to miss this for the world. Good thing my boss knows what a WoW head I am. And that I gave her two months forewarning. Bills are paid, munchies are stocked, and booze a plenty!

  7. I'm actually rather optimistic that the servers will be stable, due to the Shattering having worked out so well. We'll see I guess. Generally we'll play hard for the next day or so, then settled back into casualdom. Good to see several different approaches though, thanks for the comments!

  8. I fully agree on your "it's a hobby" discourse. My wife recently started talking about it as a hobby too, also to her friends. She's now comparing it to 'well you guys spend a whole night at a stadium watching people kicking a ball - we play games instead'.
    I didn't take the day off, but I pre-ordered cata in a shop which is on my commute home. So I'm not super psyched about it, but super ready to enjoy the new content (and read about it on your blog ^^)

  9. Definitely... being an avid sports fan as well, the similarities between the two hobbies have always seemed particularly strong to me.

  10. I'm in the military so I really didn't have a choice on the matter of taking a day off. Though my wife did suggest I fake symptoms and go into sick hall. Either way I took a nap yesterday during the day and played til 4a.m. when my internet decided to crash. If I could have had the option know I would have taken it off, and I let everyone know I'd be no good today. HAHA

  11. Aww... well at least you got some play time in and thanks for the service!