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This post, and the forthcoming one about the Pincus lecture, are both concerning stuff that I should’ve posted last week, but with the ridiculous amounts of work I’ve had, I’m just now catching up with them.  That being said…

I’m glad we got a glimpse into WoW — there’s a lot that I didn’t know about it before, just on the very basic level of what spends most of one’s time doing in it, and I feel like Ian gave us a pretty good idea of what your average WoW devotee actually does in the game most of the time.

There were a lot of things that I liked about it — I’m impressed that they can make the graphics look that nice for such a huge world with so many people in it; it’s pretty much the anti-Second Life in that respect, probably because it’s all controlled by one entity, and people are paying that entity for access to that world, and with that price comes the expectation that things will run smoothly.  So the world is rich and pretty and complex, and the whole accumulation of abilities thing seems like that could get pretty addicting, but like Ian said, most people only ever use, say, four of their abilities.  All the “fighting against the game itself” stuff he told us was interesting too, in a sort of meta- way.  And though we didn’t get to see a raid, the idea behind it, with all the intensely planned strategy, sounded kinda cool.  In that respect, it almost seems more like a board game to me than a video game — of course, it’s much more visually stimulating than a board game, and you’re playing it on the internet with thousands of other people, but the fighting and such relies more on strategy than the usual finger-mashing dexterity that success in most video games demands.

But in the end, I felt no desire to ever try the game out.  I think the dullness of combat, like I just mentioned has something to do with that — fighting = clicking rapidly and repetitively on something.  Plus, the ‘grinding’ and all the other drudgery that you have to go through just to keep improving sounds pretty unbearable.  And lastly, I mentioned this in class, but it really bothers me that one of the, if not the driving force in the game is that masculine, typical-internet desire to brag, sling insults, fuck with people, and basically piss them off in any way you can think of, just because there’s no real life consequences — “internet assholism”, I think I called it.  It’s that sort of thing that really drives me away from, say, Halo online and that kind of thing.  And it seems like WoW contains the epitome (if not the birthplace) of that attitude.  So I’ll pass on WoW for now.

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