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Interview with Anthony Rosner: Ex-World of Warcraft addict to awesome film maker.

Check it guys!

This is a sick and honest video on World of Warcraft addiction, by a ex-addict himself.

Update: So have you guys seen the video? It’s awesome. It gives a deep look on World of Warcraft and how it affects the lives in front of the computer screen.

Meet Anthony Rosner…. and Sevrin. 

The maker and creator of this film, Anthony Rosner was Sevrin, a Blood Elf Paladin who well, was pretty damn awesome in the World of Warcraft.

Sevrin was the leader of a highly-respected guild, was exhalted pretty much everywhere and had a spectral tiger.

Anthony was a hardcore World of Warcraft player who had many epic adventures in both the game and in his life. Imagine:

-Falling for a girl he met online, only to get dumped later.

-Playing everyday into the early hours for two years.

-Spending more than a thousand on in-game items.

-Doing badly in school.

-And he trumped it all to get over his addiction to be the film maker he is today.

Here’s my interview with him. Be inspired by what many would call a nerd. If you feel like jumping to that conclusion, check out this sick interview first, and reflect.

Peace!

1. Hey Anthony! First off, tell us when you started playing World of Warcraft.

Hey Alden,! I started playing World of Warcraft in 2005, for me it was just a game like any other game I played up until that point.

2. Why did you start playing World of Warcraft?

I was going through some personal things during high school (it was about girls and friends) which caused me to hate the environment there so I used to sign out of school after I registered in the morning and then walk home, I guess you could have called me quite depressed about my life at that time. I felt alone in the world and I wasn’t happy about how things were going.

When I was at home I had nothing to do so I would re-subscribe to Warcraft. I made a little Blood Elf Paladin called Sevrin. I had no idea at the time what this would cause for me in the long run. I started playing and levelling Sevrin up.

I set up my own guild, the QT Yacht Club and I treated it like a full-time job. I organised raids, maintained the website, dealt with recruitment and led raids myself. It was a lot of hard work to keep the guild running smoothly.

3. What was it about World of Warcraft you liked so much?

I liked several different aspects of the game. The social community I think is what stands the game apart from games like Skyrim. In the guild, we worked together as a team. We spoke all the time, even into the early hours of the morning. For me I felt these were my real friends and I told a couple of them that I appreciated our friendship a lot more than I did for my real friends at that time.
In the game itself, it’s so huge and there is so much to do and explore. The storylines in the game were very engaging so much so at times I felt like my character was part of the world. But I think the main thing is that the game didn’t end as I said in my film there were new expansions all the time and new raids and challenges being added to make the game more exciting and give a new raid to conquer so I would always know about what was coming next in the game.

4. How did World of Warcraft affect your social life?

For starters, my grades in school were suffering.

I never saw my real friends. I was gaining weight and became really lazy as I was slumped over my computer.The scary part was that I wasn’t aware of what I was doing by spending all my time on the game.I did literally wake up and play all day until the early hours in the morning and then go to sleep. This happened for about 2 years, until somehow miraculously I ended up in university. 

Even then, I got phone calls all the time from my officers in the guild for some decision-making. I remember one occasion I was at the very first house party where all the students were getting to meet each other for the first time and the officer phoned me to ask about a whole bunch of players who applied to the guild.

5. What was the turning point which made you decide to quit Word of Warcraft?

I hit a breaking point about 6 months later when I looked at my subscription history and noticed that I started playing on Valentines day which made me think it was kind of cliché or a metaphor for my love life.
Also my university grades were terrible. I scrapped a pass on some projects and failed a lot of essays and some I didn’t even bother doing. I started feeling really depressed about it and I hated how my university life was going.

Here I was in university, finally able to live my dream of becoming a film director and I was throwing it away. Recognising the issue, I decided to contact the course leader and find out my options. It turned out I had to redo all of my essays from the first year in the space of 3 weeks otherwise I would fail and wouldn’t be allowed back or I would have to retake the first year if I decided not to do the essays.

I felt like I had to save my future and I uninstalled Warcraft and focused on my work.

6. How did you feel when the lady friend you met online left you for someone else?

I was fine at first, but then I started thinking about the real time we had spent together in London. I hadn’t been with a girl properly before so she meant quite a lot to me, and for the better part she seemed to feel the same… or so I thought.

But when I found out she met someone else, my heart sank, but I was surprised how easily I took it.

Then I felt terrible. I was actually flying out to Norway to see her the week after I heard about it and I nearly cancelled my trip. However she encouraged me to still go over and visit my other friends there. But when I was there in Norway I didn’t really know what to do. I met her a few times but we might as well have been total strangers as we didn’t talk at all. I don’t know if it was her ignoring me or me not picking up the courage to talk to her but it didn’t really sit with me very well.

When I came home I felt really bad still. I did all sorts of stuff in the game such as delete my character and I leaving my guild a few time (I joined the guild and got my character back within hours) it was mainly because I saw her in the game all the time and I couldn’t do anything which hurt me quite a lot.

7. You spent a good part of your life playing World of Warcraft, managing a guild, made up excuses to raid and even spent a lot of real money just to buy in-game items.

Did people call you names like nerd, or someone with no life?

You see this is the thing: I didn’t tell anyone about how much I played and I rarely mentioned it to people. My parents and real friends knew I played a “little” but had no idea of the extent that I was really playing. I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought it.

I really did make up those excuses like, “I need to go to a funeral” cause it sounded more believable and le3s silly to me than saying “I want to play Warcraft tonight”.

So really people didn’t know. I think I had a reputation of being a bit of a geek as I have always loved gaming, films and technology, but it was never used in a way to hurt my feelings or anything.

8.Care to shed some light on this stereotype that people who play WOW are nothing but a bunch of nerds with no life? 

I think that stereotype can be said of many people who play games in general, but Warcraft does seem to crop up the most. I think it is because in the media images are portrayed of that little kid in the dark by his computer with his mum coming up to him and saying “Timmy, your dinner is ready?” and then having the kid shrug his mum off and wanting to keep playing.
This is why I wanted to avoid that in my own film and tell the story slightly differently and show what is going on behind the screen because to a lot of players it is a vast and exciting world, not just a pane of glass. My case with this game is common with a lot of people.
However there are more people who do manage their time better and play in moderation. In my own case I felt that running the guild was like a full time job and I treated it akin to a workaholic by managing everyone, making sure all the players are ready for raids and just keep it running like clockwork which is something a lot of guild masters experience.
I think gamers want to get away from that negative image and show that gamers are just normal people with lives, there is a great documentary called Race to World First which gives a great insight into raiding and the lives behind.

9. Did you meet cool and interesting people in WOW?

I had some great friends in Warcraft from all over the world including Europe and America. I still keep in contact with some of them and talk to a few daily. In February I met up with one of my mates from WoW and we went to see Skrillex together and just generally had a great time.

Most of the people I met were just normal people with the same sort of issues that people have but this game brought us all together so we had that same common interest which made us all have a great time together in the guild.

10. Why do you think people get addicted to WOW or online games?

It’s a tricky one, I think it is a combination of things. I don’t think games are the causes of intense addiction such as my case where I had all my real life issues and I was using Warcraft to get away from the real world, which ironically ended up becoming my real world.

But the games themselves do have systems in place to keep you playing such as you always know what new content to the game is coming next. The game literally never ends which is what people enjoy.

However I wouldn’t blame the games for getting people addicted, I think it comes down to managing your time effectively.

11. What steps did you take exactly to make sure you never got back to playing WOW so much?

Well, the first thing I did was to uninstall Warcraft whilst I focused on getting my essays done. Once that was out of the way I decided I don’t want to be in a guild that raided as I didn’t want to be in the situation where I was a commitment to the game.

Other players and I slowly drifted away from the game over time. I kept playing for a bit as I wanted to play the expansion, but as far as my addicting phase was, it was over and in the end I just decided to stop playing altogether.

It was a long process over the period of about a year. I also focussed on my goals in life. I wanted to lose weight and most importantly I wanted a career making films so I wanted to prioritise those goals above spending time in the game.

I came to the realisation that the game doesn’t end and being the best in the game or doing something first, whilst an achievement in the game… has no impact in your real life.

12. Lastly, tell us something encouraging for people who are currently addicted to online games and what they can do to get out of it.

Work out what your goals in life are and find what you really want to do. I believe anyone can do anything if they really want it enough and if gaming is getting in the way of that then well, it is time to stop. You also have to be realistic and sensible. Realise it won’t happen overnight.

You can’t just cut gaming out of your life. I think it works better to slow down the process and just cut back from the game slowly and eventually it won’t mean much to be playing it any more.

Then once you get to the point where you are steam rolling towards your goals as part of your routine, then naturally games can be played as part of any healthy lifestyle in the same ways you might watch TV or movies or listen to music.

Do you want more honest-as-fuck stories like this?

11 comments

  1. Mike - July 19, 2012 10:00 pm

    I used to play WoW. Not that much, but still too much. I’m glad I quit.

    Reply
    • alden - July 20, 2012 7:25 am

      That’s great man. Why did you quit? I used to play too, but not hardcore. I never been on a raid.

      Reply
  2. Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca - July 20, 2012 9:36 pm

    This is so awesome.

    I’ve had a lot of game-experience and gamer friends, and there’s a stigma attached to it.

    It’s silly though, because games teach incredible decision-making and logic-processing and reaction time. Big MMORPGs also teach group dynamics and inter-relating.

    Many companies use games + simulations to make learning fun, and way more effective.

    As games become more immersive, like interactive movies, they may become our main form of entertainment, surpassing movies.

    We have eSports, with games like League Of Legends being a digital parallel to real sports.

    Anything can be carried to an ‘unhealthy’ extreme, but it’s individual, and there’s no need to judge. It’s not the medium’s fault that people abuse it.

    If Anthony didn’t take this path, would he be the awesome filmmaker he is today?

    Great, eye-opening article and a fresh angle on games.

    There’s a few great TED Talks on gaming as well.

    Rock on and ryze up!

    Reply
    • alden - July 22, 2012 1:49 pm

      Yo man!

      I know right. I always felt games, MMOs especially can teach many skills and values.

      The stereotype and stigma are just stupid. We might as well call people who exercise and play sports brainless.

      Peace!

      Reply
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  4. gregg - July 27, 2012 11:11 am

    Used to play WOW with my crew. Me, Loki, Matt and a bunch others. We would stay up 3 days straight just to raid, level up and shit. It’s crazy man the hold these things have on you plus the addition of the social aspect of the game. I think it’s a lot easier to go overboard on these things when your circle is doing it too. It’s nuts! We stopped breaking for a bit back then too just to get epic and legendary items.

    Reply
    • alden - July 28, 2012 7:58 am

      Haha crazy man. But I think it must be fun to play with your friends together in the same place. Pretty chill.

      Reply
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  6. Erik - January 23, 2013 2:43 pm

    Nice interview!
    I have just written and published an article about Anthony’s film “IRL-In Real Life” and also mentioned this interview.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • alden - January 24, 2013 4:48 am

      Thanks man! How to Quit Wow eh? Awesome!

      Great game, but I guess some get too obsessed. I had fun while I was in there.

      Reply
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