About a month ago now, my computer's hard drive died. I installed a new hard drive and I got all my personal files off the old hard drive by myself, even though I hadn't been using a backup program, and set up the new drive. I was proud of this. It involved DOS commands, safe mode, and five-year-old installation CDs, but I probably saved about $150 off the cost of taking it to a professional. I may have never changed a car's oil, tire, or battery, but it takes some skill to do all this for just the cost of the drive.
Pride gave way to dread, though, when I went looking for my computer game CDs and was unable to find them. I'm running out of places to look.
I haven't played any computer games that much lately, but I've spent an hour or so on them now and then, and it's still been comforting to have the option. World of Warcraft in particular was a big part of my life. I stopped playing it almost two years ago now, but until then it was a more efficient pasttime than anything else, more personal than books or TV, and more social than any of my other hobbies, at least the way I did them. I was part of a guild, working together to bring down huge monsters. I attended the wedding of people in it. When I quit, T. and I were about to make some big purchases that would eat up some of our free time, so cutting out an unnecessary hobby with a time commitment and a monthly subscription fee just seemed responsible. And I was getting bored with the game at the time anyway. But since then they've made big changes to it, and we've got those purchases out of the way. As some current hobbies became boring over the past month or even longer, I've wondered now and then about WoW. I didn't act on that until I finished installing the word-processing software and iTunes and printer drivers and planned to install the game disks and couldn't find them.
I always assumed I could come back to the game, if circumstances were right, that Furryous and my other characters would always be there. Outmoded, way behind in the gear needed for competitive raiding, I'd have to relearn a lot about how to play due to changes since I left, but still, they'd be waiting for me. Or even if Blizzard deletes inactive accounts after a certain amount of time, the World itself would be. I could go fly over Stormwind, dig up a few more archaeological relics in Outland, or start trying again at anytime I felt like it.
Or so I thought.