Canadians have long been known for their creativity but British Columbia's Matt Low has created his very own world.
Those of you who know me, realize I became a huge World of Warcraft fan when my son introduced me to the game a few years ago. I don't get much time to play my level 80 undead priest anymore but I stay connected and informed through Matt's, World of Matticus.
World of Matticus focuses on all healing classes and offers an encyclopedia of information for healers. There's also many informative articles on guild relations, raid strategies and more. He supplements his content with that from three other authors, together the four of them offer well rounded healing advice for several classes.
Through chatting with Matt via Twitter, I discovered he is managing his site while studying criminology and living in Burnaby, British Columbia (B.C.). I was curious about how a future criminologist had the time and energy to manage his quality site so, I asked him.
Pat: Can you please describe World of Matticus?
Matt: Itâ€™s a World of Warcraft gaming that covers raiding (an activity within the game involving large groups of people that tackle and defeat bad guys), healing, and leadership.
Pat: What prompted you to create this site?
Matt: There was a distinct lack of Warcrafts that covered those topics extensively. I loved writing. Iâ€™ve done it all throughout high school and I also managed my schoolâ€™s website so I had a lot of experience generating and publishing content often.
Pat: What are your future plans for it?
Matt: A podcast is potentially on the horizon but that takes a lot of time and effort to get involved in and start up. That wonâ€™t be around for a long time.
Pat: What has been the largest benefit to you from your affiliation with this site?
Matt: Quite possibly itâ€™s been the community and the friends that Iâ€™ve met along the way.
Pat: What has been your biggest challenge?
Matt: Coming up with fresh and unique material on a near daily basis. Itâ€™s a lot more difficult then it seems.
Pat: Do you write for any others?
Matt: I'm a regular columnist for WoW Insider. I do a couple of pieces for them weekly (as their resident go to healing guy).
Pat: How you manage to run such an awesome, write for WoW Insider and still meet the demands of being a full time student?
Matt: School is always going to be a tough challenge for me especially since I'm in my third year. It is not easy by any stretch and I'm not a straight A guy by any means. I undergo periods where I'll do really crappy in some classes and really well in others. My inconsistency is my consistency.
I recognized that early on and made a public appeal for help because I knew there were other players and writers who were willing to share their knowledge and their love for this game with other people.
University's really hard and I often get side tracked sometimes. Sometimes I lose sense of what's important or prioritize the wrong things. And with the team of writers helping me, I can afford to ease off the gas pedal a little bit.
Pat: You know what would be another interesting conversation? Your views about crime in Canada vs. other countries and why Canada is perceived as having more or less crime than elsewhere.
Matt: I've actually discussed about this a lot during class and Canadian crime was something I had to write a paper on a few semesters ago. When comparing American crime rates to Canadian crime rates, the biggest indicator is gun control. Although I guess you can say that isn't always true. I believe it is actually Finland (or it might be Sweden) that has something like 3 guns per person in the population and they have almost zero crime. So that's an example that would shoot that down. But definitely the American right to bear arms is a factor for high crime rates along with the population size. Vancouver is no stranger to crime either. We're struggling with our own vices like gangs and drugs.
Pat: What you see in your personal future?
Matt: My personal future is very much in the air right now. I'm pursuing a degree in Criminology. I don't think I'm cut out for law enforcement (policing) but there are other aspects that I'm interested in. There's no way I can handle the grind of law school. But perhaps a crime analyst might be appealing. I honestly don't know.
Willging continue to be a part of the future? I don't know. I hope so. I'd like it to be. But I know there's going to be a day where it's time to put the pen down.
Pat: How many hours a week do you spend playing WoW and participating in Raids and leadership activities?
Matt:I have a strict raiding schedule where we allocate no more than 12 hours a week raiding (4 days, 3 hours a day). With the current content in game, we usually shave it down to 6 to 7 hours a week of raiding. Add another hour after every raid for post raid reviews and feedback. That's the stage where we all basically sit in a channel and break down what happened, what worked, what didn't work. No different than a hockey team going over tape against certain opponents. If there's a way we can handle a certain activity better, smoother, or faster, we'll talk it out. If there's any problems affecting performance, we'll talk it out and see if it can be addressed. I do expect a level of performance from players and if they do not reach that benchmark, then I won't hesitate to sit them for someone else.
Pat: How many hours a week do you spend writing about Warcraft or managing your?
Matt: A lot. You'd probably have some idea. A normal week would have me easily log around 60 hours with related activities. These would be things like managing comments, thinking of post ideas, writing them out, spinning ideas with myging colleagues, or just interacting with other people. I have to be extremely efficient and creative with how I do it. I'll usually write down notes when I'm on the bus heading to school. If I'm in class and something occurs to me, I'll toss it into my Macbook and file it away for later. It's not uncommon for me to be having lunch with a burger in one hand and a pen in the other on my clipboard. Some nights where I have a deadline I won't even sleep until 230 in the morning until I at least have a draft all typed and written up. If you want to be good at something, you have to dedicate yourself to it. That applies to anything. It looks easy but it's nothing but pure hard work.
Pat: What is the attraction to WoW that has driven you to make it such a large part of your life?
Matt: I've made a lot of friends online. It started with a core group of us in B.C. that played shooters like Counterstrike and Halo and then it evolved into other games like Warcraft 3, Guild Wars, and now World of Warcraft. It's not so much the game that's a huge part of my life. It's mostly my friends and this is one of the activities that we can all take part in together that's not limited to things like distance. It could be worse. I could be in the back alley smoking or doing drugs. Anyway, with the, a source of income has sprung up for me that involves me writing about things that I like.
Pat: You live in my favorite part of Canada. Vancouver is my favorite city because I love the friendliness of the people set within a spectacular view of the city against the mountains and ocean. Where is your favorite Canadian place and why?
Matt: Niagara Falls near Toronto. Iâ€™ve only ever been there once. Itâ€™s like a big, giant shower. Very cool to see up close. Everyone who has the chance to take a tour around the falls should do it.
I can't do an article on a World of Warcraft related topic without taking the time to say how much I appreciate the online friendships I've developed over the years. I'm very blessed to have spent a great deal of accumulated time chatting with my favourite conversationalists Horata, Moul, and Shak. I'm part of a great guild called "Live Free Die Horde" on the Thunderhorn server, where the guild leader Stabicus' has always kept the focus on fun and family. Thanks for allowing me to remain a member, even though my participation is nonexistent these days. <3 Raz