Life Lessons in World of Warcraft

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“If I can pick it up, I need it.”  -Ancient RPG Proverb.

Fantasy realms are like heroin to me. Middle-Earth, Aincrad, Azeroth, whatever blend. I’ll buy if you’re selling, man. I’m addicted.

I enjoy the escapism of fantasy, but I mostly appreciate the imaginative improbability of it all.

Game’s like World of Warcraft fuel my creativity and vastly improve the world-building in my writing. And sites like DeviantArt and Pinterest, filled with concept designs of said fantasy worlds, consume a lot of my time.

Are video games bad for me? Honestly, I’d say only when I’m so hellbent on completing a mission it carries me into the early hours of the morning. But lack of sleep now and then is a fair price to pay for the benefits that come with gaming. I credit my strategy skills, foresight and perseverance to the pastime.

In fact, World of Warcraft might be a game based on fantasy, but you’d be surprised what real life lessons we can learn in Azeroth:

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Stuck in Fight or Flight mode?

I do a lot of research on mental illness. By that, I mean I google the shit out it; Particularly anxiety, as I struggle with it personally. One thing inevitably crops up in the articles that I read: Fight or Flight -The natural instinct that kept our ancestors alive.

But, how does this relate to Anxiety?…

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We may live in a world where we no longer need to spend our days fending off man-hungry beasts or killing for our food (hello Veganism), but this doesn’t mean we’ve suddenly lost our primal instincts along the way. Psychologically, we still have that fight or flight reaction within us and in some people, it surfaces daily manifested as Anxiety. I am one of those people.

When this happens, the everyday stresses and uncomfortable situations we experience in our lives get mistakenly interpreted as ‘life-threatening’. Which means our bodies become perpetually cautious.

In some instances, our brain recognises unpleasant situations and automatically goes into an overly cautious mode, even if you don’t find the situation uncomfortable. I sometimes experience this when I talk to someone face to face; I tend to blush a lot, despite feeling confident. I often look back and remember times when I have had awkward conversations and embarrassed myself, these thoughts created fears; I seem to expect the worst in every similar situation. Other examples of this could be getting overwhelmed in crowded places or the way you feel before an interview: Trembling hands, racing heart, dry mouth etc… These are warnings from your body to err on the side of caution in preparation for impending danger.

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