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Jillian & Kevin....

 


 

Cover Page/Thesis

Purpose: The purpose of our definitional argument is to provide an entertaining, two sided commentary delving into and discussing various aspects of the game World of Warcraft (WoW).

 

Target audience: Because of the subject the target audience is mainly gamers familiar with World of Warcraft and other massive multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG) like it. I would also like to target readers who are not familiar with this area and give them a player's point of view of it.

 

Thesis Statement: This project will offer its audience two different and unique perspectives of WoW. While containing individual opinions and humorous commentary, this project will also explain different aspects of the games for those readers who may not be familiar with them.

 

What I learned...: While compiling and writing for this draft I learned more about WoW in general and how differently people think about one particular subject – WoW, for instance. This was the fist time I've partnered with someone on a project. It was great bouncing ideas off each other and being able to share our thoughts on something we both enjoyed. It made for a great draft.

 

What I Liked Best: I love this whole draft. It began as an ongoing conversation between Kevin and I about WoW. We discussed the game's many facets, giving our opinions on each. It was challenging but enjoyable piecing together our conversation and turning it into a format that can be read and understood by anyone. It was great blending the ideas and thoughts of two people with research and background information in order to create a creative look into the world of WoW.

 

Feedback: I received a lot of different feedback and advice during our peer editing session. I appreciated all of it. Many people advised that I make the perspectives (mine and Kevin's) more clearly presented. With that came the idea of turning this draft into somewhat of an interactive-type format. I look forward to expanding this draft with that idea as the basis.

 

Final Draft: I think I would like to hear the most feedback on the presentation of the project. We're aiming on a project that speaks to our entire audience, not just gamers. I want the final to be 'everyone friendly'.

 

 

First Draft-

 

Reflections on World of Warcraft

On November 23, 2004 Blizzard entertainment released the massive multi player online role playing game, or MMORPG. It was the tenth anniversary of their Warcraft franchise. Since then two expansions on the game – Burning Crusade and, most recently, Wrath of the Lich King – have been released and over 11.5 million monthly subscribers have entered the World of Warcraft. WOW, as it is most often called, is currently the most popular MMORPG, holding the Guinness world record for most popular MMORPG¹. As of April 2008 WOW was in control of an estimated 62% of the MMOG (massive multi player online game) market².

Having personally been immersed into the World of Warcraft I have a special connection – though special may not truly be the right word. Recently, I met a very intelligent person, Kevin, who also plays WOW. We began to go back and forth sharing our thoughts, feelings, and opinions on WOW. What started as a casual conversation evolved into a kind of commentary stemming from the points of view of two gamers with a lot to say.

 

World of Warcraft. Boy, if ever three words could evoke more feelings of anxiety for me. WOW was like an entity, a culture really, I was immersed in for, oh.. like 3 years. I made it out alive about six months ago. Somehow, though, I realized I'd never actually distance myself from WOW.

Blizzard really had it right, you know, with the name for their epic RPG. It truly is a world. One with its own races, form of currency, rules, laws, infrastructure... I sometimes wondered how people can lose themselves for hours in it. Having personally done it once or twice...okay, jeez, a few more times than that, I've come to think of playing WOW as a vicarious, digital undertaking. And if you try to argue that you, as a human in irl (wow speak), play detached as merely a player, you're kidding yourself and fooling no one. Once you've played WOW for an extended period of time your character becomes an extension of yourself. You begin to talk about it in 1st person and the separation between you and your character becomes less evident. And eventually, as I've been present for, the World of Warcraft and the real world are the same, perhaps on different planes, if you want to think like that. Whattya say?

I guess I could be considered a unique in that case, that fact that when I play WoW, I just saw it as a vacation from the tedium of reality, after all where else could you go around killing giant spiders and other creatures of the fantastic? Although I have heard of and actually have known people that have completely lost themselves in that world of fantasy, I have had the opportunity to play with a few characters, or "toons" as they are called that have let the game take over their lives. (I mean , come on, when the game it self starts it has a little blurb which states "Take all things in moderation, including World of Warcraft.", how many games have actual warnings on them saying don't play me constantly?) and it is a little unnerving when a player says that he has been up for twenty four hours plus playing because he is trying to level.

Admittedly, I too have gotten lost in the gossamer world ob the other side of the computer screen, but never spoken about my character in the first person outside of the realm. But then again, I never got lost in it for anytime over a few hours, and I don't go through DT's if I don't play for a while. I do have people, or at least "toons" that I guess I could consider friends, but if I ever saw that person IRL, I don't think that I would even recognize them, even from their speech patterns. But as I said before... to me it has always been a vacation from the real world and a chance to cause mayhem without the ramifications of somebody wearing a police uniform, knocking on my door, and asking why the hell was I in the middle of the road, swinging a sword, screaming, "Have at thee!" at the top of my lungs.

I hope no one gets the wrong impression from me. I don't believe that everyone who plays this game will get sucked in and their lives will forever revolve around it. I personally never had a problem differentiating the two. I just mean that sometimes it's so great to take the game into the real word and, well make a RPG in irl. For instance, when my friends and I go to Islands of Adventure, we joke while on the Dueling Dragons, saying we'll go on the fire coaster and take on Onyxia. It's quite amusing.

As far as the success of WOW is concerned, I do agree with you when you said that it is a world unto itself. Blizzard had it smack on when they came up with this game, yes I know that the basic framework was there with games like Everquest and the like, but Blizzard took the whole genre through the roof, I can not think of any other games that has spawned as many secondary companies that do nothing but sell gold, power level (albeit illegally), and actually sell characters. You can actually go on Ebay and buy high level characters, and they are not cheap. This game an entity in its own right. There has been two upgrades since the original came out and each one had its line of people waiting, at midnight to buy it. I wasn't in that big of a hurry, (yes, I still play) i didn't buy the newest one until almost a month had past since it came out. I just got tired of being killed by all of the newest character class.

I completely agree with your elaboration on Blizzard's success. They have embraced RPG's with a finesse and perfection that will be envied by others in the industry for years to come. Blizzard itself is a massive entity all its own, raking in over 1 billion in revenue and housing over 2,500 employees³. So, of course, they have had practice in the game department, what with Starcraft and that other game whose name is escaping me due to the fact that there is a child behind me crying for her mother. And with that my thoughts are forced to stand-down. I will be back soon.

I'm back, but not for long. Friday is two job day. So, where was I? Oh, right. Something about Blizzard and their ingenuity with RPG's. That 'other game' I couldn't think of was Diablo BTW. Back to WOW though. Though the game, which BTW is the biggest RPG, and probably game, ever, there is sooo much more to it than just playing. It almost takes schooling to master it. The attention to details and facts is astonishing. For instance, there are books, no not just guides, but books based off of WOW lore. It gives you histories and character development and explanations for understanding the game you play. I tried reading one once. I think it was about the history of Theramore and its alliance with some horde. Unfortunately, I never finished it, but just the fact that there are books is awesome. It's great because kids who play the game can also satisfy their parents and/or teachers by reading while at the same time staying connected to the game.

Although we can go on for a very long time about the overwhelming success of WoW in the business world, we can not begin to overlook the relationship dynamics that surface in the game. The anonymity of the whole game lets the players act as they would in their own fantasies. After all, that is exactly what WoW is, a fantasy. You can act in any fashion that you want, even taking on the opposite sex or a different race. As for the books, that is something that has been done since the time of RPG games that used books, paper, and dice. Dungeons and Dragons had a whole series of books that described the life and times of the heroes that lived in the world of Greyhawk. Forgotten Realms was the series and they still can be found in the bookstores today. Hell, even D&D has evolved with the times, becoming more involved and intricate. The number of books has also grown, it started with three basic ones, the Dungeon Master Guide, Player’s handbook, and the Monster Manual. These gave each player what they needed to play, but then the game evolved into a multiple book, multiple chart and just plain confusing. But, even though D&D was a RPG, it did not and does not hold a candle to the community of WoW.

Hey, One of my favorite parts of WOW is the online community. With millions of people playing at any given time, the WOW is never a dull moment and chats are always a buzz with everything and nothing at the same time. It's fantastic. Crap, work beckons, I'll elaborate more soon.

OK, I'm back, I got a little time to play WoW for a bit, and when I logged on? My character was kicked out of the guild for not playing. This goes to prove that some people do take that game too far. This is a game but it does seem that there are many out there that get so involved that it usurps their life from the real world and kinda' traps them in the alluring world of WoW. I can see the attraction, you be be anyone or almost anything you like, you can do stuff that you definitely could never do in the real world,(see paragraph above for enticing but highly illegal example).

I like your use of the term 'usurp', it fits. For some WOW overtakes their sense of reality, putting them in a world where they can be whoever or whatever they want. It gives socially awkward people irl the chance to be leaders, warriors, the elite. It provides an escape, if you will, from the real world. I sometimes wonder if that is why some players, like crazy guild leaders lol, are so hardcore. It's like they're trying so hard to stay in control or power in WOW because it's not an option for them out of game. I mean, really, who doesn't want to be a bad-ass warrior with a freaking huge sword leading a whole mess of people into battle? (that's just an example, I, for one, prefer casters lol).

One of the most interesting thing about WoW is, at least in my opinion is the fact that there isn’t a set Good vs. Evil. It is basically an “Us vs. Them” mentality. Alliance vs. Horde. Although there is, by just the naming, a preconceived notion of good and evil gives each faction an “air”. The interesting part being that each side has a reason for viewing the other as evil. The horde view the alliance as an overbearing slaving faction, while the alliance view the horde as an evil, violent, and domineering faction. Which is true? That is one thing that will never be fully understood, at least by me.

You bring up another excellent aspect of the World of Warcraft: The politics. The terms factions, races, classes, and guilds have actual purposes in the game. Your whole game play- where you play, with whom, etc.- is different whether you're alliance or horde. Each faction then has their own 'leaders' 'strongholds' and specific territories. There are even neutral territories where the two factions come and go at the same time. On a more 'player' level guilds can kind of make or brake your gaming experience. When I played I had the good fortune of being part of a guild lead by and filled with people I knew in real life. Most were very good friends of mine. At the beginning of my playing my boyfriend and I played together in this guild. A good guild doesn't mean most of the players know each other though. I just mean it helped. For players who take WOW really seriously, having the right people in your guild means more raid success, arena success, and the like. Guild leaders and class officers get really elitest when it comes to choosing the people to raid. It's all very political. I will also say, knowing guildies irl can be negative as well. Many a time I've seen arguments break out because someone less geared was selected for a raid or something like that, simply because the guild leader or decision-maker wanted them there. Even more hardcore guilds, like yours apparently, will remove you for inactivity, ineptness, or merely because they want to.

Yes, like you said, for a video game WoW is full of politics, especially in the guilds. In the guilds you have ranks and depending on the guild master (hereafter to be called GM for simplicity's sake) one can sit in the bottom of the guild for a long time before moving up the ladder. It really doesn't matter because ranking doesn't have any perks besides maybe the ability to get into the guild bank. I always found it funny that a toon can put something into the bank with very little problem but may need an officer of the guild to get anything out.

About my ex guild, the funny part about it was that they kicked out on of the two characters I had that were part of the guild, but left the other simply because I was concentrating on leveling it up more than the other. No big loss, any toon that was high enough to help me was usually busy in another part of the world and could get there, so even tho my character had a tabard, I can’t think of a time where I actually had someone of my guild assist me. I was basically a solo player.

I have seen more than a few times, some poor guy or girl getting flamed in chat for one reason or another. Evidently, cyber bullying exists even in the fantasy realms of WoW. But the one thing is...If someone is really bothering you, you can actually do something about it, either duel the idiots or just simply change realms, granted that costs a few $$$ but not having to put up with idiots is priceless in my humble opinion. The dynamics of the game’s chat is an amazing thing in itself. I knew of a few people who had either a boyfriend or girlfriend that was strictly an online thing. They never really saw each other IRL but only saw each other’s toons. (Pardon my interruption into your thought but,Oh my god I knew people like that! A girl I worked with met her fiancée on WOW. They were the couple who only related in game, though I'm sure phone calls were involved as well. I just wanted to throw that in there- continue...) I personally hope that they have spoken on the phone because I would be extremely pisses if the person I thought was a girl online turned out to be some 40-something geek playing in his parent’s basement. (I however, play in my own home office and Although I do have a female character, I DO NOT pander to the idea to even attempt to walk down that slippery and ICKY path. And I have never thought about even trying to “pick up” an online “friend” with my luck it would be that guy that I just mentioned or worse, some teen punk looking for cheap thrills.

The funny thing about my playing WoW is that a good number of the students that I teach play and thought it was “very cool” that one of their teachers plays this same game. Lucky for them, we aren’t in the same realm, actually it is lucky for me, ‘cos they would probably wipe the floor with me. Then I would NEVER hear the end of it in class. That would not be a good thing (interrupting again- I can only imagine how funny it would be losing a duel to one of your students, Haha! Carry on...) However, I will always claim student teacher relationship at that point.. claiming something along the lines of, "Sorry, I can't duel you because since I am your teacher, I have to maintain an aire of professionalism and I don't want you mad at me when I demolish you." Even though, let's be honest. They would kick my butt.

 

The footnotes denote information found on wikipedia.com

 

rough draft of full dialog

I have added about 375 more words to the draft including explanations. Check it out and let me know.

 

Final Written Draft-

 

To Be a Fly on the Digital Wall...

 

On November 23, 2004 Blizzard entertainment released the massive multi player online role playing game, or MMORPG, World of Warcraft. It was the tenth anniversary of their Warcraft franchise. Since then two expansions on the game – Burning Crusade and, most recently, Wrath of the Lich King – have been released and over 11.5 million monthly subscribers have entered the World of Warcraft. WoW, as it is most often called, is currently the most popular MMORPG, holding the Guinness world record for most popular MMORPG¹. As of April 2008 WoW was in control of an estimated 62% of the MMOG (massive multi player online game) market².

Having personally been immersed into the World of Warcraft I have a special connection – though special may not truly be the right word. Recently, I came across a very intelligent person, Kevin, who also plays WoW. We began to go back and forth sharing our thoughts, feelings, and opinions on the game. It started as a casual conversation and evolved into a kind of commentary, stemming from the points of view of two gamers with a lot to say. What follows is our conversation in all of its glory. Kevin and I invite you to step into the world of WoW as we see it. Don't worry, we start at the beginning, and explain ourselves every step of the way. If you see an unfamiliar word accompanied by an asterisk that means it will be explained following that paragraph. We want everyone, gamers and non-gamers alike, to be apart of the culture Kevin and I enjoy so much.

 

 

Jillian: Ahhh, World of Warcraft. Boy, if ever three words could evoke more feelings of anxiety for me. WOW was like an entity, a culture really that I was immersed in for, oh.. like 3 years. I made it out alive about six months ago. Somehow, though, I realized I'd never actually distance myself from WoW. Blizzard really had it right, you know, with the name for their epic RPG* ('role playing game'). It truly is a world. One with its own races, form of currency, rules, laws, infrastructure... I sometimes wondered how people can lose themselves for hours in it. Having personally done it once or twice...okay, jeez, a few more times than that, I've come to think of playing WoW as a vicarious, digital undertaking. And if you try to argue that you, as a human irl (game speak for 'in real life'), play detached as merely a player, you're kidding yourself and fooling no one. Once you've played WoW for an extended period of time your character becomes an extension of yourself. You begin to talk about it in 1st person and the separation between you and your character becomes less evident. And eventually, as I've been present for, the World of Warcraft and the real world are the same, perhaps on different planes, if you want to think like that. Whattya say?

 

 

 

Lost yet? Well, allow me, your gaming lexicon, if you will, to interrupt these two every now and then and explain some things. If you require no explanations (smarty pants) then take a few moments to...umm... enjoy the scenery? You're in a cubicle? Well, then just, sit tight while I talk...

So, when the letters RPG are used in the midst of today’s political environment one might think of the Rocket Propelled Grenade. However, if someone were to use one of those indoors it could very well put a damper into one’s day by really messing up those nice hardwood floor tiles you put in last summer. RPG in this case stands for Role Playing Game. These came into prominence with those of us in the geek world with Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) back in the early eighties. These games that were governed by books and pure imagination have been, in large, mainly replaced by computers and a realm that has been generated by the computer programmers of Blizzard, the makers of WoW.

 

Kevin: I guess I could be considered a unique in that case, that fact that when I play WoW, I just saw it as a vacation from the tedium of reality, after all where else could you go around killing giant spiders and other creatures of the fantastic? Although I have heard of and actually have known people that have completely lost themselves in that world of fantasy, I have had the opportunity to play with a few characters, or "toons"* as they are called that have let the game take over their lives. (I mean , come on, when the game it self starts it has a little blurb which states "Take all things in moderation, including World of Warcraft.", how many games have actual warnings on them saying don't play me constantly?) And it is a little unnerving when a player says that he has been up for twenty four hours plus playing because he is trying to level.

 

 

Pardon the interruption. Your lexicon here with a brief description of the term 'toon'. Your toon is your character. Kind of like a digital you. Let me explain that a little better. You see, a toon, also referred to as characters or avatars, has basic scores such as hit points (life points, if you will) which tell how much damage you can take, and the basic characteristics, strength, intelligence, wisdom, dexterity and armor etc. All these are given a number and the higher the number the better. These toons are the instruments by which you, the player, live the adventure of WoW and other MMORPG's …

 

Kevin (still): I do agree with you when you said that it is a world unto itself. Blizzard had it smack on when they came up with this game, yes I know that the basic framework was there with games like Everquest and the like, but Blizzard took the whole genre through the roof, I can not think of any other games that has spawned as many secondary companies that do nothing but sell gold, power level (albeit illegally), and actually sell characters. You can actually go on Ebay and buy high level characters, and they are not cheap. This game an entity in its own right. There has been two upgrades since the original came out and each one had its line of people waiting, at midnight to buy it. I wasn't in that big of a hurry, (yes, I still play) I didn't buy the newest one until almost a month had past since it came out. I just got tired of being killed by all of the newest character class.

 

Many facets of the game carry over into the real world. As Kevin pointed out there are those that make money (yes, that's real world currency) selling things that are normally meant to be earned in the game (i.e. gold- the WoW currency). People even go so far as to level a character or toon and proceed to sell it to the highest bidder. This is a very lucrative but potentially consequential endeavor. When Blizzard discovers such actions they will usually close or cancel the original account and even ban the person from WoW altogether.

The upgrades, or expansions Kevin mentioned are crucial to the game. They give the play more locales to play in and more options to play with. When these expansions are released, like Kevin said, people line up, like clockwork, at Midnight to get their copy. And when they do the hardcore players are known to play for days straight, for the expansions allow your character to gain 10 extra levels.

 

Kevin(apparently he's got a lot to say): Admittedly, I too have gotten lost in the gossamer world on the other side of the computer screen, but never spoken about my character in the first person outside of the realm. But then again, I never got lost in it for anytime over a few hours, and I don't go through DT's (or withdrawals) if I don't play for a while. I do have people, or at least "toons" that I guess I could consider friends, but if I ever saw that person IRL, I don't think that I would even recognize them, even from their speech patterns.

But, as I said before... to me it has always been a vacation from the real world and a chance to cause mayhem without the ramifications of somebody wearing a police uniform, knocking on my door, and asking why the hell I in the middle of the road, swinging a sword, screaming, "Have at thee!" at the top of my lungs.

 

Jillian: I hope no one gets the wrong impression from me. I don't believe that everyone who plays this game will get sucked in and their lives will forever revolve around it. I personally never had a problem differentiating the two. I just mean that sometimes it's so great to take the game into the real word and, well, make an RPG irl. Take my friends and I, for instance. When we used to go to Islands of Adventure, we would joke while in the queue for the Dueling Dragons roller coaster, saying we'll go on the fire coaster and take on Onyxia. It's quite amusing.

 

Throughout the game there what are called 'instances' or raids. These require players to form groups to battle NPC's, or non-player controlled characters, that would be to difficult to fight alone. The goal of the instance is to take out the NPC's and make your way to the Boss. Onyxia is one of these bosses. She is a dragon one would encounter in Onyxia's lair. Hence, Jillian and her friends, while in a similar real life environment, reenact their toons taking her on.

 

Jillian(once again): I completely agree with your elaboration on Blizzard's success. They have embraced RPG's with a finesse and perfection that will be envied by others in the industry for years to come. Of course, they have had practice in the game department, what with Starcraft and that other game whose name is escaping me due to the fact that there is a child behind me crying for her mother. And, with that, my thoughts are forced to stand-down. I will be back soon.

 

Jillian (post interruption...): I'm back, but not for long. Friday is two job day. So, where was I? Oh, right. Something about Blizzard and their ingenuity with RPG's. That 'other game' I couldn't think of was Diablo btw ('by the way'). Back to WoW though. Though the game, which btw is the biggest RPG, and probably game, ever, there is so much more to it than just playing. It almost takes schooling to master it. The attention to details and facts is astonishing. For instance, there are books, no not just guides, but books based off of WoW lore. It gives you histories and character development and explanations for understanding the game you play. I tried reading one once. I think it was about the history of Theramore (a city in WoW) and its alliance with some horde. Unfortunately, I never finished it, but just the fact that there are books is awesome. It's great because kids who play the game can also satisfy their parents and/or teachers by reading while at the same time staying connected to the game.

 

Kevin: As for the books, that is something that has been done since the time of RPG games that used books, paper, and dice. Dungeons and Dragons (also referred to as D&D) had a whole series of books that described the life and times of the heroes that lived in the world of Greyhawk. Forgotten Realms was the series and they still can be found in the bookstores today. Hell, even D&D has evolved with the times, becoming more involved and intricate. The number of books has also grown; it started with three basic ones, the Dungeon Master Guide, Player’s handbook, and the Monster Manual. These gave each player what they needed to play, but then the game evolved into a multiple book, multiple charts and just plain confusing. But, even though D&D was a RPG, it did not and does not hold a candle to the community of WoW.

Although we can go on for a very long time about the overwhelming success of WoW in the business world, we can not begin to overlook the relationship dynamics that surface in the game. The anonymity of the whole game lets the players act as they would in their own fantasies. After all, that is exactly what WoW is, a fantasy. You can act in any fashion that you want, even taking on the opposite sex or a different race.

 

Jillian: One of my favorite parts of WoW is the online community. With millions of people playing at any given time, the WoW is never a dull moment and chats are always abuzz with everything and nothing at the same time. It's fantastic. Crap, work beckons. Until next time.

 

Kevin: The most interesting thing about WoW is, at least in my opinion, is the fact that there isn’t a set Good vs. Evil. It is basically an “Us vs. Them” mentality. Alliance vs. Horde. Although there is, by just the naming, a preconceived notion of good and evil gives each faction an “air”. The interesting part being that each side has a reason for viewing the other as evil. The horde view the alliance as an overbearing slaving faction, while the alliance view the horde as an evil, violent, and domineering faction. Which is true? That is one thing that will never be fully understood, at least by me.

Kevin (a little later on...): OK, I'm back. I got a little time to play WoW for a bit, and when I logged on? My character was kicked out of the guild for not playing. This goes to prove that some people do take that game too far. This is a game but it does seem that there are many out there that get so involved that it usurps their life from the real world and kind of' traps them in the alluring world of WoW. I can see the attraction, you be anyone or almost anything you like, you can do stuff that you definitely could never do in the real world,(see paragraph above for enticing but highly illegal example).

 

I think, before these two go any further, that a quick course in WoW culture is necessary. We'll start broad and work our way to the finer points. Kevin mentioned the Alliance and Horde. These are the two factions of the game. Jillian will talk more about that when I'm done. There is always some argument over which is better or whatnot. In all honesty it is a matter of opinion. After the factions come guilds. The guilds are just as the word implies; groups of people working together towards a common goal. These guilds are on both sides of the war, the Alliance and the Horde, and can be made up of friends, total strangers, or both. In these guilds are leaders, or guild masters, class officers (classes are like warriors and warlocks, for example), and then the other guild members. Players in guild are sometimes referred to as guildies. These aspects of WoW often mirror real world politics, though the degree will vary. With that said, what these two are saying might make a little more sense.

 

Jillian: You bring up another excellent aspect of the World of Warcraft: The politics. The terms factions, races, classes, and guilds have actual purposes in the game. Your whole game play- where you play, with whom, etc.- is different whether you're alliance or horde. Each faction then has their own 'leaders' 'strongholds' and specific territories. There are even neutral territories where the two factions come and go at the same time. On a more 'player' level guilds can kind of make or break your gaming experience. When I played I had the good fortune of being part of a guild lead by and filled with people I knew in real life. Most were very good friends of mine. At the beginning of my playing my boyfriend and I played together in this guild. A good guild doesn't mean most of the players know each other though. I just mean it helped. For players who take WoW really seriously, having the right people in your guild means more raid success, arena success, and the like. Guild leaders and class officers get really elitist when it comes to choosing the people to raid. It's all very political. I will also say, knowing guildies irl can be negative as well. Many a time I've seen arguments break out because someone less geared was selected for a raid or something like that, simply because the guild leader or decision-maker wanted them there. Even more hardcore guilds, like yours apparently, will remove you for inactivity, ineptness, or merely because they want to.

Switching ideas for a moment, I like your earlier use of the term 'usurp', it fits. For some WoW overtakes their sense of reality, putting them in a world where they can be whoever or whatever they want. It gives socially awkward people irl the chance to be leaders, warriors, the elite. It provides an escape, if you will, from the real world. I sometimes wonder if that is why some players, like crazy guild leaders lol, are so hardcore. It's like they're trying so hard to stay in control or power in WoW because it's not an option for them out of game. I mean, really, who doesn't want to be a bad-ass warrior with a freaking huge sword leading a whole mess of people into battle? (That’s just an example, I, for one, prefer casters lol).

 

A caster, just so you know, are classes that rely mostly on magic or spells to fight and operate. These would be shamans, warlocks, paladins, etc. Other classes, such as warriors and hunters, use actual weapons to fight. However, all classes can utilize both casting and physical force at one time or another.

 

Kevin: For a video game WoW is full of politics, especially in the guilds. In the guilds you have ranks and depending on the guild master (hereafter to be called GM for simplicity's sake) one can sit in the bottom of the guild for a long time before moving up the ladder. It really doesn't matter because ranking doesn't have any perks besides maybe the ability to get into the guild bank. I always found it funny that a toon can put something into the bank with very little problem but may need an officer of the guild to get anything out.

I have seen more than a few times, some poor guy or girl getting flamed in chat for one reason or another. Evidently, cyber-bullying exists even in the fantasy realms of WoW. But the one thing is...If someone is really bothering you, you can actually do something about it, either duel the idiots or just simply change realms, granted that costs a few $$$ but not having to put up with idiots is priceless in my humble opinion. The dynamics of the game’s chat is an amazing thing in itself. I knew of a few people who had either a boyfriend or girlfriend that was strictly an online thing. They never really saw each other IRL but only saw each other’s toons. I personally hope that they have spoken on the phone because I would be extremely pissed if the person I thought was a girl online turned out to be some 40-something geek playing in his parent’s basement. (I however, play in my own home office and although I do have a female character, I DO NOT pander to the idea to even attempt to walk down that slippery and ICKY path. And I have never thought about even trying to “pick up” an online “friend” with my luck it would be that guy that I just mentioned or worse, some teen punk looking for cheap thrills.

 

Jillian: Oh my god, I knew people like that! A girl I worked with met her fiancée on WoW. They were the couple who only related in game, though I'm sure phone calls were involved as well. I just wanted to throw that in there.

 

Kevin: About my ex guild, the funny part about it was that they kicked out one of the two characters I had that were part of the guild, but left the other simply because I was concentrating on leveling it up more than the other. No big loss, any toon that was high enough to help me was usually busy in another part of the world and couldn’t get there to help me, so even though my character had a tabard, I can’t think of a time where I actually had someone of my guild assist me. I was basically a solo player.

 

Kevin: The funny thing about my playing WoW is that a good number of the students that I teach play and thought it was “very cool” that one of their teachers plays the same game. Lucky for them, we aren’t in the same realm, actually it is lucky for me, because they would probably wipe the floor with me. Then I would NEVER hear the end of it in class. That would not be a good thing. I will always claim student teacher relationship at that point. Claiming something along the lines of, "Sorry, I can't duel you because since I am your teacher, I have to maintain an air of professionalism and I don't want you mad at me when I demolish you." Even though, let's be honest.. They would kick my butt.

 

Realm? Duel? Is that Greek?! Not so much. Because there are so many players WoW divides its world into what are called realms. This is just a fancy term that is a way of differentiating where in the digital world your character lives, if you will. To put it in a better perspective if you play in the realm Magtheridon and your friend plays in the Exodar realm then the two of cannot play together. A duel is a mini battle, of sorts. Characters of the same faction- that is, Alliance or Horde- can test their mettle against one of their own in a contest of skill and strength. In this contest it is a fight not quite to the death, just until one of the participant’s lives is almost gone. It is usually followed by lighthearted (and sometimes not so lighthearted) banter between the participants.

 

Jillian: And, I can only imagine how funny it would be losing a duel to one of your students. Ha-ha!

 

Without my help you might not have been able to laugh at Jillian's last comment like everyone else around you did.

 

Though it seems as though these two have covered what must seem like a world of topics, they have barely skimmed the surface of the World of Warcraft. This game, with its over 11 million players and counting, is a complete digital universe, one that can offer its players an exciting reprieve from the monotony of the real world. If you are one of the many worldwide WoW players I do hope that what Kevin and Jillian have discussed today is true to form and possible opened your mind to the game in ways you'd never given thought to. If you have not joined the masses to play WoW yet, then I hope that our bird's eye view on Jillian and Kevin, and my bit of expertise, has enticed you to try it out. With our two gamers leaving their discussion for the real world it has come time for me, your always helpful gaming lexicon to bid you adieu. Here's to Jillian and Kevin and to all the gamers of the world!

 

 

The footnotes denote information found on wikipedia.com

 

 

 

 

Peer Reviews

 

This is Michele's review :)

 

David's Reviews

 

Dylan A. Review

 

 

Link to Jillian's Wiki

 

Come see mine!

 

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