In my “me time” at home (that’s after I put the kids to bed, around 9:30pm or so) I often head down to the dungeon (read “basement office”) to fire up the PC and plug-in to WoW.
I’ve been playing World of Warcraft off-and-on for a few years now – it’s definitely a form of escapism, on par with my love of books, the Internet, Bones, House and movies. But it’s a bit more than that. It’s an “MMO” (Massively Multiplayer Online) game which is also a community – and for me the feedback is very much the same as I get when immersing myself in my Facebook newsfeed. And this community overlaps with RL through a dedicated “guild website,” voice chat and also connecting with those people through Facebook and sometimes RL meetings. RL = Real Life.
My wife nicknames my game time as “killing pixels” — because, if you didn’t already know or figure it out, when you play WoW you are inevitably going to be killing monsters and other bad guys. But there’s far more to it then that — you throw on your headset (headphones+microphone), log in to the Ventrilo server (for voice chat) and you are suddenly in a “room” full of other adventurers, all doing the same thing. Taking a brief escape from real life.
It’s about as close an approximation to a walk down to the corner bar as I can manage, out here in suburbia; far less expensive and I don’t have to worry about a hangover.
See you there? What digital lands do you escape to in your downtime?