Winning Contest Entry: Morti of Lothar

Second place in my Positive WoW Stories contest actually came down to a tie! Today’s entry comes from Morti, who came into the game kicking and screaming after being concerned it would consume too much of her time. A pretty valid fear for someone with as much on her plate as Morti, but she discovered a way to balance WoW around a full-time job and grad school while learning firsthand just how loving and supportive a virtual family could be.

This is Morti’s story:

I was one of those people who avoided MMOs like the plague. I remembered losing entire nights to Hack when I was in college (which will tell you how old I am!), and then to Warcraft and Diablo and Civ. I dreaded anything that could be even more all-consuming. But eventually some friends convinced us to try WoW and I was hooked. My little warlock couldn’t get to 60 fast enough to suit me and soon I was caught up in the mystery of raiding. When you’re trying to get a team of forty people organized and pointed in the same direction (preferably towards the boss), you get to know each other really well. You know each other’s voices and what “that tone of voice” means, and you learn to work together. But you don’t realize you’re building a family.

The summer I hit 60, my job decided I should spend more time at the home office in Florida. So I spent four or five nights a week in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere, and on the weekends I was too wiped to do much besides laundry, catch up with my sweetie, pet the cats and pay the bills. I didn’t really know many people at the home office, so I didn’t have anyone to hang out with after work. But wait, I did. No matter where I was, with a few keystrokes I could pop into Azeroth and visit with my “other” family. Even if we weren’t raiding that night, I could sit and farm and make jokes and tell stories with people who knew me and cared about me, and about whom I cared.

After that job, I went back to grad school in the evenings (while working full time). I didn’t have a lot of time to hang out with my meat-space friends, go away for the weekend, go to a game or a movie, but even if it was midnight when I finished my school work, I could always find someone to hang out with in Azeroth. It became my decompression time before bed, even if all I did was stand around Orgrimmar or Dalaran talking.

We have been through a lot together, over the years. We’ve lived through storms and floods and hurricanes. We’ve dealt with drunk tanks, server downtimes, homophobes and assorted misbehaviors. A couple of folks finished school and went on to other things. A few folks have left for other games. Last summer, we lost two players – one from heart problems and one in an accident. I remember sitting in front of my computer weeping for a day or two when our guild was torn apart by politics and infighting, but feeling triumphant when we pulled the remainder together and soldiered on. I have oohed and aahed when someone announced the birth of their long-awaited child, fussed over various life-issues (and had mine fussed-over in turn), given advice, gotten advice, and cheered those glorious moments when everything works just right and the boss lies dead on the ground in front of you.

I haven’t been able to play as much lately thanks to my current job, but I know when I log in I’ll be greeted cheerfully, included in whatever good-natured teasing or semi-serious conversation is going on and invited into the next group. If I’m lucky, I might even get into the next fan-fiction story my favorite healer is writing. There are real people behind the pixels, and they’re my family.

Thanks for sharing your story, Morti! I definitely understand the feeling of not getting to play as much as you’d like, but I’m glad you’re able to make every moment count with your WoW family!

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One Response
  1. Luann DeLuca says:

    Dear Morti of Lothar, I enjoyed your story of using WOW as a social escape and hobby, rather than it becoming your life. It is so very very easy for this to happen – I was brought into the game by my best friend, and she by her son, mother, father, bro-in-law, neice and nephew [who all played Everquest together]. Before I realized it, I had brought aboard three close friends, and five people from my apartment complex, who watched me play the game and were absolutely mesmerized by it. I then realized, alone I addicted eight people. Those eight friends, exponentially harvested their friends, and on and on. But, it was great having a ready-made group of friends and acquaintance starting out on the adventures together.
    Above, I used the word “addicted” – it was a running joke with each new friend that joined, we would congratulate each other for “addicting” another one. Fortunately, not one of our gang that started seven years ago ever needed rehab for a MMORPG. We all played quite frequently and pulled all-nighters for the first few months, but then sanity set in, and we became less fanatical about our game find and RL set in.
    Your real life sounds full and exciting and a great place to live. I, too, am an older player – 58 to be exact and retired from the government – and entered the world of WOW approx. 4 months after its original release. I love logging in, checking which guildies are on, and who on my friends list are playing. When I saw the name “Lilpeanut”, a bell went off – do you by any chance play on the Silvermoon realm?
    To close, I want to thank you for your terrific article and sharing your WOW life with everyone. I, also want to thank Heal over Time for giving you the place to share it. Elune be Praised!

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