World of Warcraft: A 12-Step Program


Everyone says World of Warcraft is addictive. On the one hand, it's hard to imagine a video game being classified in the same way as a physical substance like alcohol. On the other hand, it's obvious Blizzard can make addictive games, because we were playing Diablo 2 right up until we switched to World of Warcraft. And on the other other hand, hey, we've now got a third mutated hand, and hopefully that will give us +2 strength, and then we can equip the...

Okay, it's addictive. Maybe we can combat it the same way people combat alcohol addiction. Guildmaster, please give us the standard 12-step program so we can examine it.

#1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.

Well, our unmanageable lives were sort of why we started playing WoW in the first place. Maybe if all bosses and girlfriends had exclamation points over their heads when they had something useful to say, you could get a concise, one-paragraph quest when they wanted something, and safely ignore them the rest of the time. That would be awesome. And hey, we're powerful over alcohol; we're too busy to head out to the bar because we're playing World of Warcraft.

#2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Absolutely true. It's called the Crystal Restore, it binds on pickup, and it restores 670 damage over 15 seconds. That's the best restoration... Oh, you didn't mean just recovering damage points on some game, you mean how to deal with what is a very serious disease. Then yes, that power is a level 14 priest, who can simply cast Cure Disease on you. Sanity restored, no problem.

#3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

If by "God" you mean "Guildmaster," then yes. The Guildmaster is in charge of our will and lives, directs us on our raids and determines whether our time is spent in vain or in glory. All hail to the Guildmaster. Amen.

#4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

We do this every few minutes. If there's one thing World of Warcraft addicts are good at, it's searching inventory. And generally it's fearless, because even if we're a few gold short and don't have the fabric to make into the gloves we need, we can go out and hunt more. There's a world full of creatures waiting to drop things for us. And as soon as we pick something up, it's time for another fearless search of our inventory.

#5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Look, we're sorry about aggro'ing all those dragons, okay? Yes, we screwed up a little bit and our little party had to restart the raid. We're not as bad as Leroy Jenkins, but we admit here before the Guildmaster, ourselves, and our guildmates, we went aggro a bit too early and didn't have the buffs set up to back it up.

#6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Our character definitely has some defects, and we're ready to have them removed. The low hit points are somewhat of a problem, especially when combined with the lack of damage resistance.

#7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Dear Guildmaster, please give us all Thick Obsidian Breastplates so that we may deflect the damage we receive from our enemies, and thereby fight a more worthy battle in your eyes. Amen.

#8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

37 Abominations, 126 Bandits, 54 Cannibal Ghouls, 38 Daggerspine Raiders... this may take a while. Actually, it'd probably be a lot faster to make a list of the people we haven't harmed. Especially if you count causing accidental death as harming, because that would cover all the people in that party...

#9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Well, all the mobs can't really have amends made to them, and making amends to anyone else would injure our guild... injuring the guild is bad. Perhaps we'll just make a direct amends to our Guildmaster. Donating gold for guild use generally covers any wrongdoing, just like donating to the church and saying Hail Marys is a quick way to be forgiven for sinning against the rest of the world.

#10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

We assure you, inventory will continue to be taken very personally. And that time we thought we had healing potions and didn't, we were very quick to admit it. Well, insofar as you can call, "Dammit, thought we had a few healing potions left! Now we're screwed!" an admission.

#11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out.

Prayer and meditation are very important. Meditation recharges your mana, which you'll need if you're going to cast the big prayers. And we sure hope we've got the power to carry that out, because if there aren't any prayers of healing being granted, then this party is not going to last very long.

#12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Behold, heed our message and learn these principles we have resolved to practice: Believe in the Crystal Restore and Cure Disease. Be guided by your Guildmaster. Search your inventory fearlessly. Acquire Thick Obsidian Breastplates. And if you are going to use lots of prayers, don't forget to learn meditation.

Another addiction conquered by the magic of 12-step programs. Let's drink to our success! But do it quickly, because we've got a Molten Core raid coming up.

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