I installed the AllPlayed addon in WoW yesterday, to get a better overview of all my alts. Although that isn't really a goal of mine, it turned out I'm already one third of the way to the gold cap, I think I need to waste some more money. :) But what struck me more was the realization that I had now /played WoW for over 200 days of online time, 5,000 hours in the game.
That was probably something which I should have mentioned more in my Dragon Age comparative review with World of Warcraft: Even with playing several origins you'll finish Dragon Age in 50 hours, and most people will leave it at this and not play it through again, at least not immediately. It is hard to imagine a single-player game which would entertain you for 5,000 hours.
As a consequence, good MMORPGs are also cheaper than single-player games. Over the years I spent less than $1,000 on WoW, for the game, expansions, and monthly fees. Thus I spent less than $0.20 per hour of World of Warcraft. I would need to play Dragon Age Origins for over 250 hours to get the same value out of it. And DA:O is still a relatively long game, other games are much shorter for the same money.
5,000 hours in business terms is 3 man-years. So if I had played WoW *instead* of working, I would have wasted 3 years of my life, and 3 annual salaries. But fortunately that is not the case, I played those 5,000 hours after work, and on weekends, and didn't even pull all-nighters or similar stunts which would have affected my work performance. Thus I consider those 5,000 hours well spent on something that relaxes me. If I hadn't played WoW, I would have played more other games, watched more TV, and read more, not worked more or earned more money.