I still remember the very first time I ran into a stranger that played WoW.

Cassie and I were in Barnes and Noble looking for a CD, and I just happened to be wearing a jacket with a World of Warcraft Druid bear paw pin on it.

Yes, I have been a proud Bear for many, many years. Shhh, I’m telling a story here. And yes, we were in a bookstore looking for a CD instead of buying on Amazon or doing digital downloads. Shh!

So Cassie and I are browsing the CD aisles when an attractive young lady comes over to us.
Out of nowhere she asks me, “Alliance or Horde?”
“Ummm, Alliance.”
“For the Horde, scum! What server are you on?”
“Kael’thas, a PvE server.”
“Oh, you’re a carebear!”
…..
“How oddly appropriate. Yes, I’m a carebear.”
“Oh, well I play a blank on blankety server, PvP for life, yadda…”
“Nice to meet you!”

It may not seem it, but this was a cheerful encounter. We both played WoW and that was the main thing. We were diametrically opposed in playstyle, but that didn’t matter in the rush of meeting a fellow WoWer.

I’ve been playing various computer games and role playing games all my life, and this was the first time someone approached me and opened a dialogue simply because I was wearing something displaying my current infatuation. Seeing I played WoW broke the ice for me.

Since then I’ve met any number of people in what we call the ‘real world’ that play World of Warcraft, and almost always it’s been an instant moment of “Sweet! A WoW player! What server are you on?” Whether it’s “My life for the Horde” or “Up the Alliance”, if you cut us, do we not lose HP?

It was the first time I could really pin down that I realized playing World of Warcraft was something beyond being just another gamer playing just another video game.

Just another gamer.

Labels are always sketchy, because to use a label you’re saying who someone is and all that they may think or do or be can be contained and adequately described in one word. The funny thing is how long the label lasted before gaming broke out into more accessible forms.

It turns out that everybody loves playing games, but not everybody likes all kinds of games. If you make games that appeal to different interests, you get more people playing. Huh, go figure.

World of Warcraft was a huge world full of different playstyles catering to many interests, it was easily accessible and it ran on all sorts of hardware. Easy to learn, a lifetime to master. You could play with your friends from all over the country, the ones you used to hang with locally before college and work scattered you to the four winds, or form a group with the members of your family on the three workstations in the basement.

You didn’t have to learn an esoteric new programming language to understand what was going on. The game was so new player friendly that you could play to level 60 without knowing you could train new skills, or learn professions, or that your hunters pet could learn new skills if you went to a pet trainer or tamed new pets with the more advanced skills out in the wild.

You could just log in and play.

In hindsight, it’s not surprising that people would try it and like it that never thought of themselves as a ‘gamer’, and likely still don’t.

I bet there are still people out there who have been playing WoW for years, but if you ask them if they’re a gamer, they’d say no. You hear gamer, and you think of the stereotypes. And no, you’re not living in moms basement or talking leetspeak or camping noobs, you don’t play Counterstrike, and you are a mature adult with kids. Just because you like to cast heals with your dwarven pigtails spinning has nothing to do with it. Gamer? Oh, noooooo.

It didn’t take long for World of Warcraft to go mainstream.

I remember clearly how we as players would boast of the ever-increasing numbers of WoW subscribers, then compare our numbers to the lists of country population density.

“There are 8 million WoW subscribers worldwide. Azeroth has a larger population than Switzerland, Hong Kong, Libya, Denmark, Norway or Ireland!”

Yes, yes we did talk about that, didn’t we? We felt like part of something so big, such a huge community united in our love of WoW, that is it any wonder we revered Thrall? After all, he ruled over 4 million people, and he started his life as a slave. Isn’t that something to admire?

Where I’m going with this is to wonder if those halcyon days of being one big community are long gone, or at least on the decline.

We just had a marvelous BlizzCon, a celebration of all things Blizzard. Along with taking part of the big Blizzard get together, a big part is traveling to meet friends you know from WoW, friends from your guild, friends you met through WoW Facebook pages or came to know through blogs or forums or WoW related Twitter. That would seem to indicate that yes we ARE still one big awesome community.

The game hasn’t really changed. The number of different playstyles haven’t changed, and the way the game can attract widely diverse groups of people hasn’t changed.

What I think has changed is that being part of the “WoW Community” isn’t enough to smooth all the rough edges between our different interests, playstyles or attitudes.

I’ll give you the most recent example I can of what I’m talking about.

During the recent BlizzCon, there was a moment where a video was played showing an old interview with Corpsegrinder.

I’m not even going to talk about the situation itself, there have been plenty of blog posts and forum threads written about it, if you haven’t heard the details you can certainly find them easily enough. Grimmtooth had a really great writeup on the whole thing and his take on it, you should check it out if you haven’t yet.

My point here is, Corpsegrinder, whether you like it or not, is part of the WoW Community.

But do you consider him to be a part of YOUR WoW Community?

He is a part of the community of people that play WoW. He loves the game, at least he did at the time the interview was made, he was excited and passionate about playing WoW.

Is he part of who you think of when you think of the WoW Community? Is he one of the people you like to think of as your peers?

You don’t get to decide he just isn’t part of the community. He’s not alone, look at your average trade chat, old style Barrens chat, hardcore PvP enthusiasts, even the very simple, cut and dried, “Horde or Alliance?”

The game appeals to many diverse interests. Lots of different people play WoW. I’ve seen a lot of outrage at the interview being shown at BlizzCon without previous attention being given as to the attitudes portrayed by Corpsegrinder, and whether they would offend anyone in “the Community”.

What I haven’t seen is any acknowledgement that a large part of the actual WoW Community, at one time or another, probably would have seen the video interview and said “Hell yeah!”

Let’s be honest. I’ve seen trade chat. You’ve seen trade chat. While there are certainly awesome, responsible mature people like Gnomeaggeddon or Cynwise in battlegrounds, can you really say you haven’t run into Corpsegrinders too? Enthusiastic as hell, but also profane and dropping offensive shit into their language like ‘homo’ and ‘retard’ and you name it.

We talk about the behavior of other players we meet in pugs as though there is one commonly understood standard of what is appropriate in teams or raids. When I see a thread like the one I linked to yesterday on MMO Champion about pulling for the tank, the thing that stands out to me is that, clearly there is a large segment of the enthusiastic WoW Community who have their own ideas on whether pulling for the tank is an asshat move.

And they are just as vocal in defending their point of view.

We have known a wonderful period of time where being part of the WoW Community was the most important part. The stuff like PvE or PvP, Alliance or Horde, raider or quester or explorer or collector or achievement hunter, those things were fine detail. Conversation points. Feeling each other out once the big stuff was clear.

I wonder, how many people standing there seeing that Corpsegrinder interview, coupled with the news that Mists of Pandaria was largely about reigniting the Alliance vs Horde competition and aggression, thought that what they were seeing was a Blizzard-approved WoW Community that they didn’t connect with anymore?

I know that when I think of the community, my feeling is of the people I know in my guild, through my blog, and on Twitter that I chat with. I don’t think of an 8 million person strong community, just the names I see and know and chat with personally. I think of people in trade chat as being… well, being the outsiders. The lonely and sad. The shouts of people desperate for attention, any attention at all. They certainly aren’t part of any community I’m in. Are they?

Still, there is that thought, small though it may still be, that causes me to wonder; are we really all a part of the WoW Community, or are we beyond that now? Are we in communities formed by our mutual interests, and while WoW is part of that, we talk to our friends who like the role play, or the pet hunting, or who have similar attitudes to ours, or who love the raiding progression.

If we meet strangers who turn out to be WoW players these days, does the fact that they play WoW break the ice and make you instant friends, or do you check for trollish behavior before revealing yourself?

26 Responses to “Are you part of a single WoW Community?”
  1. Klepsacovic says:

    I’m proactive and just troll everyone I meet.

  2. Sparky says:

    I’ll be honest, I’ve never considered myself as part of the WoW community, even before I quit (which I did after that Blizzcon debacle). I saw myself as lurking around the fringes or occupying small islands (like my guild, which was heavily policed for hate speech so everyone could have fun not just straight, white men) because, as a gay man, I was more than aware of the vast amount of homophobia in the game and among the players. I never felt part of the nebulous “wow community” because, minor things like factions and pvper/pvers aside (waaay minor and waay aside) I’ve never been particularly welcome. I turned trade and general off, I didn’t pug, I didn’t go to BGs and stayed within the guild as much as possible.

    What broke me to stop trying to carve these little islands out of WoW was not Blizzard’s tolerance of the homophobia – but with Blizzcon their outright endorsement of it. To which the camel was broken and I resented giving money to a company that didn’t see any problem with this kind of thing. Bad enough that so damn many of the players thought bigotry and slurs were funsies, without the company itself placing the stamp of approval on it

    So WoW community? I don’t know, I never really experienced it, it was never really there for me.

    • Pradzha says:

      It was pretty sad to read this. FWIW, from my first “real” raiding guild to my current friendly little inclusive guild that I’ve done a lot to help build, I’ve been in nothing but supportive enclaves. To say nothing of the taint set of guilds on Proudmoore!

    • Riegnman says:

      Wow! It may be time that you stop worrying about what idiots think. Any time that you put a huge group of people together and offer them anonymity, there are going to be those that embrace that anonymity to express themselves in their truest forms; and, make no mistake, I don’t think that anonymity corrupts. I think that anonymity allows people to express corruption that is already present.
      Anyway, to live your life and base your enjoyment of . . . a thing, anything, on how others around you behave is a terrible burden to place upon yourself. I am a straight, white, gainfully employed WoW player who happens to be a Christian and there is still plenty in trade to offend me.
      I can understand you taking a stand on what Blizzard appears to support by way of omission or by way of direct support, but to let a bunch of d-bags in trade dictate what you will or will not enjoy?

      Take your life back!

  3. Neil says:

    I think most common interests can serve as an icebreaker. If I see someone wearing WoW apparel, it’s a little easier for me to strike up conversation with them – but the same goes for people wearing University of Michigan (where I went to college) apparel, or Zynga (where I work) apparel. That doesn’t mean I’m going to like these people, or have anything in common outside of that one link. I’m sure I have common interests with tons of people who, like Corpsegrinder, are complete douchnozzles.

  4. Vidyala says:

    The funny thing is (and this was a great post, by the way) that things like Corpsegrinder or any of that don’t change my attitude towards RL people I meet who play WoW at all. There’s an instant connection there. Voss and I spent an hour once talking to a guy we met in a menswear store. We had absolutely nothing (in-game) in common with this guy. He was Horde, we’re die hard Alliance. He played on a PvP server and loved to PvP all the time, going on raids to Stormwind, battlegrounds, out in the world, whatever. We’re PvE players that are all about the raiding. But like you said, if you cut us, do we not bleed HP? We still have a lot of common ground and touchstones and it was great to meet him.

    Do I worry about “Corpsegrinder”-esque behaviour when I meet someone IRL who also plays WoW? Not at all. You’re innocent until proven guilty, in my estimation. Would I pursue a deeper friendship with someone I just met randomly? Probably not, and if I did, I think it’d be pretty evident quickly whether they were a trade-chat troll type, or someone I could see myself being great friends with. Unfortunately any time you get a large number of people together doing anything, there are always going to be people you won’t like. I’ve heard of people at Blizzcon whose enjoyment of the costume contest was ruined by misogynistic commentary happening behind them (about the relative sexiness of the women in the contest, their size, and etc). It can be an uncomfortable thing to share a fandom with folks you really wouldn’t associate with (or want to be associated with) but I think there’s probably enough room for all of us. I’d say that the vast majority of people I’ve met via WoW have been excellent and I’m happy to know them. We even went to a few coffee meet-ups locally here. Also turns out that a few bloggers live in our city and we’ve struck up a real-life friendship, which is awesome.

    I’m not really sure where I’m going with this, except that I like to THINK that the good outnumber the bad – and while that’s probably not true, it’s still true enough in my smaller circles that I’m willing to acknowledge some of the less palatable behaviours (while still hoping we can all be civil). Maybe that’s naive, I don’t know!

  5. Mhorgrim says:

    For me actually yes,
    Many of my students when I was an instructor were WoW gamers. Getting them out of their shells and showing them that a hardened old veteran could also be a gaming geek let them move forward and not feel ostricized. Also met several military WoW gamers. Mostly PvP, mostly horde. Most thought I had to be a Forsaken warlock lol. I thought this was funny when I showed them I was mostly alliance and usually hunter. Point is, yes at least in the military community I have seen a lot of WoW players and it breaks the ice.

  6. obscurefox says:

    The first time I met someone who played WoW in the real world was at a birthday party my daughter was at, I was wearing a horde shirt and the dad there played alliance, we joked about whether we were flagged or not, then declared reality a pve server and chatted for the rest of the party, it was nice. That same year I went to Gen Con and met some of my guild mates and it was fun, I felt like part of something. I was also hugged by a girl who plays an undead priest at the state fair that was kinda scary, she was very excited to see another female WoW player. A few weeks ago I went to a grocery store and a guy who saw my alliance shirt (I play both sides) was a bit rude and that wasn’t so nice (obviously he was a trade toll sort or something).
    In general I don’t feel like I’m part of a community anymore, I have no guild, my friends have all quit and I mostly solo, PuG or play with my son. Every guild I have been in of late I have had to leave because of homophobic, sexist or racist language( I should know better then to accept random invites.). I am often aware of how different I am or feel from much of the WoW community, but I do love reading the blogs of players and I sometimes meet nice folks in battlegrounds and PuGs, just never from my servers. I still have fun and like the game so *shrug* , but in real life I am sorta more cautious although it’s not like I will talk to a stranger first .

  7. Kobay says:

    Being a bit shy/quiet in real life, discovering someone who plays the game is still a good icebreaker. And my wife and I have made some friends through the game who remain friends even if our days of playing together are behind us.

    But 11 million people…that’s just too big to be a single community. It far exceeds the limit of the monkeysphere. (Google monkeysphere if you don’t know the reference. Good reading.) When pitted against the outside world, we appear to be a single unit. But within our borders, all the differences emerge.

    Having said that, I’ve considered you one of my WoW brethren since the first time I looked online for Bear Tanking advice. Even if you are Alliance. :-P

  8. Chloe says:

    Fun story…

    One day over the summer, I had an extremely long and tough quote to formulate for a prospect. It had about 100 servers of all different types that needed subbing from our inventory. Turns out I subbed a majority wrong and our operations department (who double checks things) took one look at it and sent it down to our tech support guys. They looked at it and gave me a phone call, asking me to come downstairs and chat with their guys.

    So, I ventured downstairs actually thinking, “Hmm, I wonder if any of these guys maybe play computer games?” After sitting down with one of our techs, chatting about servers, my gaze wandered over to his snazzy tablet, upon which was listed: FIRELANDS RAID 17:00.

    I immediately pointed this out, mentioned I, too would be in Firelands. We both played healers-he a druid and me a shammy/priest. We spent at least 30 minutes discusing our guilds, friends, favorite classes, items, raids, and instances. It was glorious. We were on the same faction but different servers (he is actually on Kael’Thas).

    So yes, I love meeting people IRL who also play WoW. It’s very fun and gives you an immediate in with them.

    These days we still go to lunch together and never run out of things to talk about. He’s one of my best work friends and also my connection to his department which has ended up adding more connections between sales and support. All in all, I’m very glad for that horrifically long quote because it gave me one of my favorite friends :-)

  9. Tesh says:

    I work in the game industry. It’s hard not to find someone who plays WoW or who has played WoW or who has strong opinions about it in one form or another. It does provide a nice shorthand, though. When we worked on a tactical game, all the lead designer had to say was that it used a trinity combat model and we all understood exactly what he was getting at. If nothing else, WoW’s social and game world penetration has changed the language, and that’s an interesting and useful phenomena.

    …outside of work, though, my family and friends think I’m insane or incompetent. (They don’t understand 95% of my blogging, for example.) That I have some modicum of talent and intelligence, but fritter away my life in the game industry is one of those “black sheep family taboos” that just doesn’t get talked about. I have two gamer friends (conveniently brothers), though… and to them, I’m weird in the other direction. I’m the only one of us who has a wife and kids, college degree and my own home.

    …so yeah, I don’t really fit into any community, with the possible exception of the blogging/game design community. Even here, though, I’m an oddball.

    I like it that way.

    I’ll tell you what, though, I operate differently in each monkeysphere circle. Not that I have split personalities, more that I can’t talk to my sister about aggro and tanking, and the gamer blogosphere doesn’t like my politics or religion. The philosophy around RealID and the idea that you just let everything all hang out doesn’t see the reality of life. Sure, WoW makes for useful communication shorthand at work, but it’s only a shared lingo in certain situations. Those touchstones won’t work everywhere, and will be active detriments sometimes.

    …I think that’s true of any interest, really.

    So no, I don’t identify myself as part of any WoW-associated group (save bloggers, perhaps), but I maintain familiarity with the game because it’s a significant part of gamer culture. I like doing fan art for the game because the Blizzard artists have created a great playground. I like looking into the design of the game, looking for gold nuggets of awesomeness. It’s even fun to play… but it’s not my community, not really. It’s a place I visit, not somewhere that I have roots.

  10. Qwicksylver says:

    I will say that I first off don’t agree with the kind of things said by Corpsegrinder and Blizz letting something like that be played at a company endoresd convention. The need to offer a sincere apology and do something to make it right. I don’t know what that woud be, I am not gay and not part of the community that was offended but I have tons of gay friends and hate hearing people toss around words like F#g as much as people tossing around words like N@gger. And for blizz to just play it off like they did is terrible.

    As far as the community itself is involved, yes there is a WoW Community. And yes we are all apart of it. I personally feel there is more good in wow than bad. Yes there are trollers in trade chat that say stupid stuff constantly but we dont have read it if we dont want to. When people withdraw themselves from the community completly well then all the ass hat win. To be honest I think everyone is just letting the them win to begin with. If it was me and I am just saying “IF”. I would fight and stand up for myself. If I was gay and saw gay bashing in Trade Chat I would pop and shut them all down with my “Vicious Rhetoric” and even if it did no good then at least in the end I could say well I stood up to them. I personally like going after trolls and shutting them up.

    On the same note i feel this applies to the whole Alliance vs Horde thing. When people try to bash Alliance it seems Alliance people just take and go “oh dont say that”

    I tend to feel that Aggresive natured people tend to go Horde because of the fierce looking avatars. People who play alliance tend to be Role Players who are looking for adventure, While horde players are more competive and want to be the best in the world. I have played both sides and personally like both. I started alliance then went horde, now I play about 50/50 both.

    I think when People go “Alliance Suck!” or “Alliance are #$Y!” I want to see Alliance people be like “Well Horde Suck more!” even if it is childish it still proves the point that you are just as loyal to your faction as they are to theres. Who knows perhaps the thing is Horde are proud to call them selves horde and alliance act ashamed, that could even be this whole horde aggresivness comes from.

    When I played WC3 i was proud to say I played humans and used a swarm of gryphons to win my battles most people couldnt beat my strategy, so normally i would play Alliance when I started. I was proud to claim alliance.

    Sorry for Ranting

    Who knows I could just be a moron talking out of my ass *shrugs*

  11. E says:

    I had a nice, long eloquent response all written up – and then Chrome decided it needed to freeze and I lost it. Bah. My fault for typing in the box and not a separate application, but I digress…

    I understand (and expect) that there will always be trolls in trades, random groups, etc. I’m even willing to overlook the “yo momma” jokes and the linking abilities/achievements so it makes a lewd sentence stuff. But when people start throwing out bigoted words, then I’m reporting them, without hesitation. A previous conversation with a GM has made it clear that you don’t even have to do a full “report” – just report them for spamming, and that’s enough to get their conversations reviewed.

    With regards to local communities – there could be, but I’m not aware of anyone locally who plays, beyond the people I met briefly at the WoTLK midnight sale at the local Best Buy. And even with them, I’ve long since forgotten what server they play on, or what side. They were simply people who shared my addiction, and were also willing to stand outside in the blistering cold to feed that addiction.

    I rarely advertise that I game – not that I expect to be degraded for it necessarily – but I do think depending on the industry one works in, that they will encounter some duress. Now, if I get into the IT field (where I’m currently back in school for), I think that would be a different story.

    Hmm. Looks like I managed another long winded response. Go me.

  12. […] that sense of being a single community still ring true? In the era of the Corpsegrinder debacle, is playing the same game still enough to hold us together ? –“The game appeals to many diverse interests. Lots of different people play WoW. I’ve seen […]

  13. Faeldray says:

    I remember standing in line outside a local EB Games the night Wrath was released. You’d think that with living in a small city and not knowing anyone local who played WoW, I’d be chatting up left and right. Instead I stood for 45 minutes in the snow and rain listening to some guy loudly go on about how WoW had “saved his life” because he had been playing it instead of getting busted in a drug deal with his friends and going to jail. And oh, he didn’t actually clean up after that, he was still a drug dealer.

    The moment made me realized that I had absolutely nothing in common with him beyond playing the same game and being stuck in that line. There are far too many people and too many personalities within WoW for there to be a cohesive community. Hell, I grew up in a town of 300 people and I have little to nothing in common with the people who lived there other than proximity. My WoW “community” is my guild and my friends, the people who know me and I know them. Trade chat is turned off and sometimes even General chat is too.

    There’s been a few times where someone figured out that I play WoW and it lead to some brief conversations…and then nothing. There’s too much diversity and divisions (different servers, different play styles, even different factions) to be able to make friends with someone just because they’re a WoW player. I mean, we can’t even make nice in the WoW blogging “community”, how are we going to do it within millions of people?

  14. Mishaweha says:

    Me and my husband have got WoW credit cards, and it can break the ice. Some people stare at it funny, and usually we get a ‘like the card’ sentiment from some people (who either play or know about WoW), but not much more than that. On a few occasions, people will say that their spouse plays, or mention what server they play on and which faction. In those cases we nod and say “For the horde” like good little Hordies, but usually the transaction finishes before we say much more.

    I still think that there is a general WoW community, though. The knowledge that people out there enjoying the same game. But usually the chance encounters while out and about don’t get into too much detail, and usually don’t mean you’ll be rolling toons on their server any time soon.

  15. Tsudrats says:

    There is a point every year when the youngest of my students connect rumour with reality and register that yes, the person standing in front of them plays WoW. The girls get this somewhat jaundiced view in their eye placing me into a similar category as the boys they share classes with (i.e. a bit odd and somewhat unfathomable) while the boys want to know what server (I gather to ensure themselves that not only are we not the same server but also not the same battle group and thus no chance of meeting in game … that would be too weird). Playing WoW provides lots of encounters outside of the game … but am I a part of THE WoW Community … well only so much as I’m a member of the community of my real country (It’s only twice the size of the ‘WoW community’). I’m not connected to everyone in real life that I share a nationality with, I don’t like or approve of a lot of the attitudes of my fellow citizens and I also value highly the people who I do count as friends in the real world. The size of the wow population means that although we are all connected by common association, we will choose to not be part of some players games.

    At least in game we can right click and ignore. How cool would that be in real life. … right click someone’s head and select ignore …. now that would be nice.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Ahhh, but you are supposed to feel a member of your larger geographical community! Patriotism, my country right or wrong, etc.

      And no, I am totally not going to start a topic on whether the concept of patriotism through allegiance based on geographical borders is dead.

      • Tsudrats says:

        You can feel patriotic without necessarily being particularly connected to the larger geographic (digital or physical) community :) just as we all are fairly loyal to WoW (and are expected to maintain loyalty or else the brand collapses just as a nation will struggle without nationalistic identity) and yet most gamers will have little or not impact on us. The larger the population the less sense of connection there will be between all members, thus I’d expect the strongest sense of community between guilds that are based on real world physical connections, with a weaker sense of community as you move from general guild to servers, factions and the whole game. How you define the boundaries of your community in each case will depend on the context :)

        and haha :) I’m not touching the whole geographical borders in the real world debate either.

  16. This whole discussion reminded me of one particular moment in time.

    Back when I was in the final year of school, by chance, I overheard a conversation between a group of lower years. Listening in, I heard ‘But warriors are so overpowered’ or something along those lines. Of course, I remained tuned in. ‘Oh, look, I’m a paladin BUBBLE HEARTH’. After that I just walked over, without even thinking, and said ‘World of Warcraft?’. They all froze, as though they were talking in a another language and I could understand.

    From then on, I’ve had a fair share of encounters with those that do play.

    Interesting post.

    – Jamin (New Subscriber!)

  17. Paul says:

    In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Cat’s Cradle, the fictional religion of Bokononism had the notion of a granfalloon: a group of people who outwardly choose or claim to have a shared identity or purpose, but whose mutual association is actually meaningless.

    The WoW community is a granfalloon.

  18. Navimie says:

    Great post BBB had to link it as a fave for the week. I think wow breaks the ice in most cases, though if I heard someone trashing horde I probably wouldn’t go join a conversation.

  19. […] fellow, no doubt his moniker of choice indicating his civility and kindness, caught in a recording embodying an attitude we might see as somewhat less than tolerant and neighborly, fracturing the WoW….  The reaction has predictably been… […]

  20. Opal says:

    I wear name shirts, mainly baby tees. I have Horde, and a few FPS games too. I mainly wear them at the gym. Boy, does that tend to blow the stereotypes that some have of gamers. Quite a few can’t believe that I game because I’m in shape (amateur fitness competitor) and female. /sighs
    Admittedly my first love is FPS, but I love WoW too. I’ve met a lot of friends through WoW. I’m also a member of a local WoW guild. We have tons of out of game activities throughout the year.

  21. Berry says:

    What you describe here is the same phenomenon you have when you are in a foreign country and you meet someone from your own country… you connect instantly because you speak the same language, but mostly that may be the only thing you have in common. What I will always find distracting is that many people you meet this way think of you as a “friend” and that is just not true.
    There are people who are rude and immature on Alliance side and on Horde side. To say that only immature players play Alliance is never further from the truth today than it was in the beginning of WoW. Even though I was an only-Horde player for a long long time and loathed Alliance with a passion, I have played Alliance and got to know a bunch of nice players on both sides… it doesn’t really matter if you are Alliance or Horde and the question about it, is just a joke in my eyes… Alliance or Horde? It’s like you ask someone what he likes more – White or Brown Chocolate…
    I have played through great stories on both factions, have met my partner through WoW, but being part of a worldwide community was never part of my own WoW experience. Maybe this is because I’m German and we are never (or should never be) part of a big community ;) . Maybe it is also because of the language barrier but I found playing on English-speaking servers to be nerve wrecking, people were so very rude there – but maybe that was just bad luck.
    But I don’t have a problem with the video you linked, his view on things I don’t share, I wouldn’t even stay and listen to the crap he says… but Blizzard playing that at BlizzCon? I would ask if the panel this was in was for mature viewers only. Or had a disclaimer of the kind before it was shown, if not and I would be a parent with a minor at the con, oh I would give them hell. It’s just not the place to show this uncensored. Not really.

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