Five Years

World of Warcraft often gets described as, “a job I wasn’t getting paid for.” That statement signals to Anna DiNoto – probably the most competent young clinician I’ve met – that a client’s gaming has very likely welcomed some brand of pathology. It’s also one of the more common things you’ll hear from daily raiders.

When the Dragoons kicked into high gear – seven days a week and 8-15 hours a day – things went past job. It was a life that didn’t feed me. An entirely separate existence that ran sidealong to every life I’d known, including the other games in that life. When I finally re-emerged in a (mostly) final manner, five years later, I had five years of culture to catch up on. Books, movies, games, news about the world.

That existence became everything.

The frenetic race to be first to Nefarian, the black dragon at the end of Blackwing Lair, finished in my first few weeks with the Dragoons. We didn’t win. On our server – still one of the largest – first went to a professionally-sponsored Alliance guild. Paid gamers. First was still up for grabs Horde side, but The Cold, our server’s longtime top Hordies, were working on Nef, and the Dragoons still had three bosses to figure out before we’d even lay eyes on him. Blackwing Lair was a big place; we were more interested in beating Grisly Retribution for the #2 spot, making us look welcoming to skilled defectors for the next big race.

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