Tuesday, 18 May 2010


Now that my SAN shaman has reached 80, I'm starting the process of gearing up for higher level content via heroics. This means a typical wait time of about 15-25 minutes, depending on whether I queue as a healer or DPS. I'm no Sharicasami, so the instant groups that come with tanking aren't an option, even if the dungeon finder allowed me to queue as one.

So that leaves me with an unpredictable amount of dead time while waiting for a group, which raises the question: what to do with that time?

There are only so many dailies that you can endure without wanting to gouge your own eyes out with a spoon, but there are plenty of small tasks I should be getting round to at home. The trouble is this: my computer is tucked away in the spare room, so if my group pops up while I'm loading the dishwasher, I'm not going to know. Yesterday I had what I thought was a bright idea: wouldn't it be great if I had some kind of pager that let me know when the queue is up so that I could go back to the game?

On second thoughts, though, I'm not sure that's such a great plan. There's a danger of ending up in this blurred reality, where we're half in a virtual world and half in the real one. The various remote access options (such as the Armory app for the iPhone) already do this to an extent and the proposed enhancements to allow remote auction house access go still further. Add to that the possibility of remote access via services such as Gaikai and we're starting to enter a world where we're neither fully playing the game nor taking a break from it. We've already seen this sort of thing happen in the world of work, where mobile phones and remote email access mean that many people are never fully disconnected from their employment.

My concern is that WOW (or other games for that matter) may cease to be a form of entertainment that you immerse yourself in, but just be part of this blurred world, which is neither fully real nor fully virtual. I'm really not sure about this new blurality. It's easy to see the benefits in terms of convenience, but I worry that we'll start to enter a world where we're never fully paying attention to where we are. Maybe the transition to cyberspace isn't going to be an abrupt Matrix-like jump, it'll just happen 1% at a time.

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