Well, well, well. World of Warcraft. The game I said I would never play because, well, it's not real roleplaying, is it? No. It isn't. What it is, is a very good computer game.
I never played it much for the first couple of months as it my wife was the one who loved it. It was a pretty good arrangement - get the little one off to sleep and I'd work on my writing whilst she played WoW. It worked really well, until I noticed she was having a lot of fun with it. So, I thought I'd give it a bash, as well.
Warcraft was very addictive. We played it as often as we could, joined guilds, did raids and dungeons and festivals. We got very friendly with people from all over the world and I figured I was finally getting some gaming done. I was sadly mistaken. I was playing a repetative, linear and somewhat dull computer game given depth by the illusion of interactivity. It took me several months to realise that it wasn't a pastime, it was dominating my life and that of my wife. It wasn't a pleasant realisation.
I had also started gaming with Mark, doing one-on-one Star Wars D6 games. The old buzz was back and I remembered what it was like to get truly excited about roleplaying games and I started wanting more.
During all this I was contacted by Jason - the poor bugger had broken his leg and had become bedridden for a few months and during this time he purchased and absorbed Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. 'Fancy a game?' he asked, and with that me, Mark and Paul started spending Thursday nights at Jason's house playing the new D&D.
Now, D&D 4th is a good game but it's not my kind of game. It felt too much like a boardgame and the similarities to WoW (which many people will deny but are unmistakebly there) stood out to me. Although I didn't fall in love with 4th I realised that I missed roleplaying terribly. Slowly and surely World of Warcraft's grip on me started to slip. It all came to a head later in the year and both me and my wife dropped WoW for good and swore never to go back to that kind of gaming.
I was back at the gaming table and, with new gamer Andy joining our ranks, we ran through D&D 4th and I eyed a new system for us to have a go at, a fresh game that I could run.