Changing the World… of Warcraft? O.o

10 11 2010

Console gaming is something I consider a hobby of mine, and something I grew up enjoying, with my very first Nintendo Entertainment system. Online gaming, however, is something I’ve only experienced for just over two years. My game of choice? World of Warcraft. Since trying WoW for the very first time in the spring of 2008, I’ve developed an interest in the psychology of online gaming, or MMO gaming. Why do people play MMO games? What do they get out of it other than what the game has to offer? Why do people choose to stereotype those who play MMO games as the typical “South Park WoW” gamers?

When I started playing, I didn’t know anybody in my circle of friends who played, so my initial experience was a bit lonely, and not so fun. Eventually, I would run into a few players who helped me get the hang of the game. I guess you could say I was ‘initiated’ into WoW. Since starting out as a pretty average player, I’ve met some pretty amazing people through the game, and even started my very own Guild that’s been around for a solid two years on our server. In those two years, I’ve not only talked to members of my guild using Ventrilo chat services, but I’ve traveled around the country to meet and hang out with them as well. I will say that while playing WoW has been a lot of fun, I’m usually more excited to play when I know these great people are playing as well. I’ve started to use WoW as a way to keep in touch with these people, rather than just playing a game I enjoy playing. Although, I will say, if you’re not having fun playing a game, why play at all… right?

This post comes in response to a comment that was made to me from someone who recently made the same negative stereotypes in regards to my time playing WoW. Someone who personally knows me, as a friend, and refuses to understand that sometimes there are very real people behind the ‘screen’, and that a game doesn’t define a person. It just doesn’t make sense to make such a huge assumption without taking the time to experience it for yourself, which is on of the reasons why I’m so interested in the Psychology behind the players and the observers of MMO gaming, in all facets.

If someone feels passionate enough to attack someone about something so trivial, you’d think they could redirect that passion to… I don’t know… change the world or something…

Speaking of changing the world…

So enlighten me, fellow MMO players, why do you play? Does your personality carry over into how you play your game of choice? Do you allow your ‘out of game’ emotions carry over into your game of choice? Do you often help other players? Do you often ‘grief’ other players?




One response

12 11 2010

First of all, so glad you’re posting again! Secondly, I totally agree. For me, the game is…well sure, it’s fun. But mostly, it’s all about the people. I play WoW to play with good people. My WoW community (specifically the guild, plus some other non-guildie friends) have seen me through happy times and sad times, and have often provided an outlet for emotions I don’t want to show/can’t show/am not ready to show to the people in my “real life” circle. Maybe that’s why I’ve never gotten into console gaming: there isn’t that social aspect. I think that goes directly against the antisocial “gamer” stereotype, if someone plays a game in order to connect MORE with others. I know it’s not why everyone plays, but it’s why I do.

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