You probably read articles on our website because you like MMOs. As a matter of fact, I’d be willing to bet that you play them regularly. You might even have read something on this site today related to one of your favorite MMOs. I’m here to tell you that there are other things you could be doing with your spare time. As great as MMOs can be - and they can be really, really awesome - there are other things worth enjoying as well.
This might seem like a weird thing to read on a website called MMORPG.com, but hear me out. All good things should be enjoyed with a degree of moderation and while I love having the occasional game binge just as much as the next gamer, it’s not a sustainable lifestyle. All of you reading this probably aren’t binge gamers, but I bet a lot of you are. This is a list of reasons why maybe you shouldn’t play that MMO right now - do something else instead, because you can!
5) They Can Be Addicting
You’ve heard the stories. Guy plays game for too long, gets addicted, forgets to eat, forgets to sleep, dies. That’s an extreme circumstance, but it does happen. My personal experiences with game addiction are a bit more nuanced than that, though. One of my brothers has always been a huge gamer - he got me into MMOs when I was younger with by introducing me to EverQuest - and he eventually moved on to World of Warcraft, as many people did.
Well, he got really, really into WoW and it nearly cost him his marriage. If you’re in your teens or 20s and you don’t have a whole lot of commitments, it’s really simple to fall into a bad habit of gaming too much. You might skip class from time to time, call in sick to work, or neglect other responsibilities. That’s a slippery slope though, so be careful.
4) Single Player Games are Fun Too
It can be really tough to get yourself to quit playing an MMO once you get into it, but there are other games out there too. Grand and sweeping RPGs like Dragon Age and The Witcher 3 offer the same level of depth and immersion that you’d usually find in an MMO. The Elder Scrolls and Fallout offer unprecedented levels of interaction. Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic are sci-fi epics with no rivals. There are tons and tons of games to pick from.
Beyond how large and engrossing those games can be, the benefits go a bit further than that too. For starters, you can, you know, pause a single player game. That means you don’t have to sit at the screen for hours on end during a raid, you can stop and take a break any time you want. And don’t worry about pissing off any of your guild mates - you’re flying solo!
3) MMO Gamers are Assholes
There are lots of assholes playing MMOs. A lot. Chances are that you’ve also been an asshole at some point too. We all get impatient and tired of dealing with annoying people though, so it can be easier to just take a step back every now and then.
Besides, you deal with enough assholes in real life anyway. After that rude guy that bumped into you on the street without apologizing, the woman that cut you off at that intersection, and your friend acting like a little kid and getting mad at you for no reason, just take a break from interacting with real people. People are mean online. Don’t let those keyboard warriors bring you down: just do something else.
2) The Grind Sucks
Grinding sucks. Every MMO that has ever been made or ever will be made has a gratuitous amount of grinding in it. The unfortunate thing is that the definition of grinding has expanded so much over the years that anytime someone has to invest more than a handful of minutes doing something, it’s immediately labeled as a monotonous grind.
Well, hate to break it to you, but grinding exists for everything in life. If you want to pay off your student loans, that’s a huge grind. If you want to save up for that down payment on your dream home then that’s a big grind too. Getting a degree is a grind and so is losing weight for beach season. Everything worth having takes time to achieve - MMOs are no different, so there’s no need to overwhelm your life with more grinding for glory.
1) Real Life Has Better Graphics
Stop reading this on your phone, tablet, PC, chromebook, Mac, or whatever it is that you’re using to read this right now and go outside. No, really. Stop. If you’re reading this, then you’re not following directions and you’re just being one of those real-life assholes I talked about before. But if you insist, I’ll elaborate a little bit on that.
The real world is full of beauty and wonder for your to discover. You can smell flowers and feel the breeze of the wind. You can taste wonderful foods and hear the chirping of actual birds. Some MMOs have great soundtracks and really nice visuals that help you escape into a fantastical fictional world, but nothing will ever quite top the real thing. Ultimately the best reason to unplug from your digital avatar is to just simply enjoy life itself. Take a break and explore the world around you.
Hopefully this doesn’t come off as too patronizing. As I explained it’s totally expected and normal to binge on an MMO every now and then. Maybe you’re in a huge raid with a solid group or you’re super close to finally getting that Legendary you’ve been working towards and you want to just buckle down and bang out the last few hours before crashing. I get it. But when that becomes an every few days thing or when you start to neglect other areas of your life, it might be time for a change.
MMOs are great and I love them, but there are so many other amazing things you could do instead. Maybe you should not play that MMO right now.