Cultural realities in World of Warcraft
As far as massive multi-player online role playing games (MMORPGs) are concerned, World of Warcraft is considered by many to be the ultimate in it’s particular genre. The game consists of a massive virtual space in which players are able to create an avatar, level up, learn skills and become essentially whatever they want to be - within the games' limits of course. World of Warcraft (from here on referred to as WoW) is an incredibly popular case study among game theorists for the many social observations it allows. By drawing on my own experiences and various readings on social gaming, I intend to
venture into the vast and ever-expanding WoW universe to attempt to understand the gamer culture created by the Blizzard behemoth and how this culture mimics real world culture in various ways.
There is a lot that can be said about WoW and why it has become the most popular MMO in the world to date. What we must ﬁrst consider when analysing any game is that the most commonly identiﬁed gaming discourse is that of entertainment. Games, as it is widely agreed upon, are there to provide ‘fun’ and entertain their audiences, but for many the consensus is that while games should and often do these things well, games are still looked at as an incredible waste of time. World of Warcraft has however transformed the notion that a game is just for entertainment and instead has created a gamer culture like
no other game before it.
Entering the World
Avatar creation is an important part of any gamers process when starting a new game. The avatar is a representation of the player and so must reﬂect some part of who they wish to be in the game world. As WoW draws on it’s predecessor games (Warcraft 1-3), it is only natural for them to include the races used in the lore of these games. Players must beware, for there are certain races and classes that will immediately land the player an unfavourable stereotype within the community. One of...