(EDIT: Read the post before this before reading this.)
What exactly does this mean anyhow?
I said the last post would be the last post before bed, but I got curious about that "time" and the idea of "better use" ... so I tallied up my logged time across all the characters on my account.
Keep in mind that my playing time is probably somewhere around average:
111 days, plus change.
That's days, as in 24 hours increments of time.
Multiply by 24 to calculate hours played, and you get 2,664 hours.
Two thousand, six hundred and sixty-four hours. At a computer. Killing electronic demons in a fantasy land called Azeroth with other people using voice-chat software to help us communicate.
Since World of Warcraft was released right before Thanksgiving, 2004, I'm going to estimate the total amount of time to have passed since then to be roughly 790 days. (Two years from Thanksgiving '04 to Thanksgiving '06, then 30 days for November to December and another thirty for December to January, so 365+365+30+30 = 790 days) This equals 18,960 hours, of which 2,664 were spent playing WoW.
2664/18960 = 0.1405, so I've spent 14% of the last 2 years playing a game.
I mean, at least I'm not on the streets dealing drugs or in the lab working on my PhD thesis, you know? Gotta keep it in perspective.
So - can I put this time to better use? I'm not sure - man is nothing if not naturally lazy and averse to work. But I do know that my productivity at work and at home goes up when I don't play. I also know that I've turned down at least one date because I was too busy with scheduled raids (for those who aren't WoW-addicts, a "raid" is a massive 40-man activity in World of Warcraft... some fights require 40 people to work together to take down bosses - miss too many of them and you'll get kicked out of your guild). Scary how the priorities get altered, huh?
***As a parting thought, I'll humbly submit to the reader that, in fact, there have been two distinct periods of time where I have stopped playing WoW... so if I were to try to be more accurate in determining a "WoW density" quantification, those 2664 hours of playtime were really compressed into less than 1.5 years (not 2 years and 2 months)... or maybe even a little bit tighter. I wouldn't be surprised if my total amount of playtime (adjusted to take into account only the time passing during those periods when I'm actively subscribing to play the game) inflated to near 20-25% of total time during those periods. That's a quarter of my existence.***