Yesterday’s post was actually written nearly two months ago, mostly because I was nearly sure that it wasn’t the whole story.
So here’s part 2, which some of you basically already guessed in it’s entirety.
Firstly, the difference between loving something and liking something is huge. They aren’t the same thing. You can love something you don’t like, you can like something you don’t love.
I like my mouse. It’s a good, capable mouse, with thumb buttons and a very nice scroll wheel with multiple settings. But I’m not emotionally attached to it any way. If a better mouse comes along, or this one breaks, there will be no tears shed, no sadness. There will simply be me playing WoW with a new mouse, the old mouse utterly forgotten.
I love my best friend. He’s a good, capable friend, with opposable thumbs and the ability to hold a conversation with multiple settings. I am emotionally attached to him. If he were to die, to lose his home, his girlfriend, his parents, I would care deeply and react very strongly. If he were to, say, contract cancer and be given two months to live, I would immediately drop everything and spend those two months with him.
Certainly, I like my best friend, but I don’t just like him.
Picture someone you care very deeply about. Now picture them drunk off their ass and throwing up. At this point, you don’t like them. Nobody likes someone who just threw up on you. But because you care for them, because you love them, you are going to help them. Maybe drag them to the washroom and stick their head in the toilet, maybe hold their hair so they don’t get puke in it.
Sure, you’ll give them bloody hell in the morning, but the fact remains that when they were at their worst, you stuck by them. If you merely liked them, you would not have rendered nearly the same level of aid, if any. Maybe drag them to the washroom and leave them there, but more out of concern for your carpet than any concern for their well-being.
The same holds true for every facet of your life. Consider the man who spends years tweaking and modifying his car. Picture Eastwood’s character from Gran Torino. There is a lot of emotion invested into the vehicle, so selling it, or even letting someone else drive it, is a big deal.
Compare that to the guy who just buys a new car, for the sole purpose of having a way to get from point A to point B. In the first example, if that car gets smashed up, the man in question will be upset, heartbroken. In the latter, the man will still be upset, but not out of any concern for the car, just out of being inconvenienced so severely.
And so it is with games, so it is with WoW.
If you merely like a game, with no real emotional attachment to it, you quit when you no longer like it. “That was fun”, you say, and you wash your hands of it and move on.
If you merely like a game, you are invested in it in the sense that you (maybe) paid some money for it, spent some time installing it, spent some time playing it. If a patch comes to the game that ruins what you considered fun, you’ll leave. Why continue playing something you don’t like, when the only reason you originally played it was because you liked it?
I play, and have played, many games I merely like. I like Team Fortress 2. It’s fun, I play it sometimes, but I don’t get riled up about patches or updates.
But WoW… WoW is different. I love WoW. I’ve created this mage character, and fought through thick and thin with it. I’ve had good and bad experiences, had hundreds of totally awesome moments and totally embarrassing moments. I’ve clocked over two thousand hours into my main character.
My attachment to WoW goes a little bit farther than merely liking the game. Sure, there are times when I don’t like the game, but deep down, I still love it. There will be times yet in the future where I become frustrated with some part of the game, where I say “Yeah this is the last straw, I’m out of here”, but deep down… I don’t mean it.
Some day, WoW’s going to come home drunk of its ass, and I’ll ask “and just where have you been?” I’ll cross my arms and put on my sternest look.
WoW will try and come up with an answer for me. “It’sh sherver mantenansh night, cha know? I had… I had… to be…”
And then WoW will vomit all over those slippers he got me for our third anniversary. And I’ll feel the rage swell within me. I’ll feel betrayed, neglected… but I still love the guy.
Of course, in the morning, I’ll give him hell.