I’ll just come out and say it: I’ve fallen out of love with World of War­craft. It was bound to hap­pen at some point. Things change, ex­pan­sions shake things up, and it’s just lost its ap­peal. It’s now slower than ever; I’m sure that’s fine for some folk, but the com­plex­ity and flu­id­ity of the game­play was what kept me com­ing back.

The rea­son it’s such a big deal for me is that without that game, it’s un­likely I’d be here. From graphic de­sign skills I de­vel­oped while work­ing on cus­tom UIs that saved my de­gree, to lead­er­ship abil­i­ties gen­er­ated through raid lead­ing, to touch typ­ing, sys­tem tweak­ing, and over­clock­ing to get a higher frame rate, it’s been a piv­otal part of my tech­no­log­i­cal jour­ney.

It’s also been a mas­sive time sink. I dread to think how many hours I’ve spent on it. And al­though I still play games, the amount of time I spend on them is frac­tional in com­par­i­son. So, what have I been do­ing with all this ex­tra time? Learn­ing another lan­guage. Nor­we­gian, in fact, or Bok­mål to be more pre­cise, us­ing a nifty lit­tle web­site called Duolingo. In­stead of spend­ing hours play­ing games, I’m try­ing to do some­thing more pro­duc­tive, and as I’m part Nor­we­gian, I fig­ured it’d be a good crack to learn the lan­guage. It’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence, yet the way Duolingo’s set up makes it feel like a game, and as a com­ple­tion­ist, it’s ab­so­lutely ap­peal­ing to me.

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