Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Screenshots of life.

In the spirit of Spring I did some cleaning in game this week. My friends list updated, my ignore list ignored and last night I cleaned up my World of Warcraft screenshots folder. (While you are playing the game, at any time you may push the [print screen] button on your keyboard and a picture of your screen is automatically saved in a folder in your World of Warcraft folder. This folder is titled “screenshots”.)

I had pictures of pillows on a bed in an inn in Dalaran, flowers on a ledge, ceiling detail, the picture at the top of this blog (Ulduar) and many, many shots of my character flying off into the sunset. /laugh.

Just as some of my screenshots took some time and thought to get them to come out “just right” it also took some thought before I deleted them. My character’s life is just like rl (real life) in that there are things that happen that will never happen again for her. The day she turned 80, the day she got 11,000 damage per second in a 5-man raid, the day someone whispered something really nice to her. (In World of Warcraft, people can whisper to you and it shows up on your screen in the chat box.)

I had screenshots of heartfelt conversations with other characters that were telling me how they felt about this or that in the guild, or how they dealt with something in their real life. I kept the majority of those. I had some screen shots showing a couple of acquaintances telling me how stupid I was in my rps. I deleted those. I don’t need the reminder of the bad times. I kept those screen shots initially as a defense if anyone else tried to grief me about the same subject. They are gone now, as are the tears and hard feelings.

Thinking of all this makes me wish someone were taking “screenshots” of me as I sit at my computer laughing at silly chat or being totally immersed in a dungeon. Reminders of how much fun I’ve had with this newfangled kind of game. I know there will come a day when I am no longer able to raid with my friends and will only be able to slowly make my way around Azeroth picking flowers, standing on my corner in Stormwind or Orgrimar looking wistfully around for someone who will stop long enough to role play just a bit about nothing much -- the weather or the prices in the auction house.

Being an older person gives a different perspective of what it takes to be able to raid. My fingers hurt sometimes. They don’t move as quickly as they used to – All the fish oil in the world won’t make my hands young again. My eyes lose the cursor more often. I wipe my glasses and get a larger monitor, but I still wish I could make my cursor a vivid hue of color so I can find it again. I wish I could reach up and touch my monitor with my finger and have the cursor center to my touch. That would be very good. I would target the enemy with my finger - /point /say “Okay you oogly damned scourge, time to pull up yur panties and get serious.”

Please don’t tell me to get a life. I have a life. This IS what I want to do right now. Playing this game isn’t any worse than sitting for hours watching soap operas or other non-interactive shows on the television. I choose my entertainment to be World of Warcraft. I at least get to have a part in the drama. It is very entertaining. It uses more of my senses than television. It tugs my heart like a good movie, it makes my heart race like an action film.
Cleaning out my screenshots file was necessary, to make room for memories of new in-game experiences. AND I AM READY!


  1. What a beautiful, touching post. I don't wear glasses. But I know exactly the feeling of frustration at the muscle reflexes that aren't quite as quick and nifty as you'd wish. The body that doesn't quite obey you. The burning desire to be on par with any other raider, no matter what.

    I suck at taking screenshots though. I definitely should take more. I guess my blog is something of a screenshot colletion, a help for my memory when the game is gone.

  2. I have to agree with Larísa, lovely post. I had this very same thought so many times for a long time now; how wonderful it would be if by some ingenius method, you could 'extract' and save screenshots of your life, reviewing any of your memories whenever you please (surprisingly, I think snapshots of my canine animal friends and companions from the past 15 or so years would take up.. like half the space)
    Oh and as Larísa says, age matters not.

    PS. Don't delete any of your SS's if you can help it, I keep all of mine and it's great to review them sometimes, even 3-4 years after I took them. A friend I know never ever deletes his, and he has now hoarded some 8 gigabytes of pics :o

  3. @ Larisa - I am honored that you read my post. Thank you for the words of encouragement. /hug

    @ tankforlife - I wish I hadn’t already done the “housecleaning” I didn’t realize my system had enough room to keep my screenshots. But I asked and woot!!! I don’t have to delete anymore. Thank you for reading and commenting. /hug