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Breakfast Topic: Real-life virtues in WoW


This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Is your WoW behavior radically different from how you act in real life? If it is, should it be? Is the virtual world of WoW your escape from the rigid expectations of society, the requirements to be a productive member of your community in terms of career, education and family? Is WoW your opportunity to "act out," to take out your aggressions and subliminal anger on other players you come in contact with? Or do you look at your WoW characters as extensions of self and attempt to emulate your real-life, day-to-day behavior (or possibly even improve on that behavior)?

Let's look at a few common virtues, the actions and words that support them, and then ask, "Am I doing that? Or am I deliberately doing the opposite?"
  • Respect Do you treat people in game with courtesy and consideration? Are "please" and "thank you" normal parts of your vocabulary? Most people operate on the premise that they give respect and expect it in return.
  • Responsibility Do you do what you commit to do? Are you prompt and prepared? In real life, responsibility can be a pretty tough burden. It can be interesting that some WoW players shoulder that load well, while others may fall short.
  • Cooperation Being able to work with others is important to success in WoW, just as it is in real life. Any married folks among us can certainly identify with that -- and for that matter, players with siblings will also know that working well with a brother or sister is more productive (and more fun) than the alternative. When you raid, do you do as directed? How about in BGs, where a bit of cooperation can easily be the difference between victory and defeat? In game, we have only to look to successful arena teams to see cooperation at its finest.
  • Generosity Ever help someone in RL, even if they don't ask? How about in WoW? Have you ever seen a player being overwhelmed by mobs and decided to jump in? That's a form of generosity, because you're giving freely of your time and effort with no expectation of return. Have you ever helped a player by purchasing an item to help him level a skill, even if you really didn't need that item?
  • Loyalty Generally speaking, real life rewards loyalty. We are loyal to friends, to family, to our employer, our alma mater, even to our country. Do you demonstrate that same level of loyalty in game? The best example is to consider whether you're loyal to your guild. Do you stick with the guild through the ups and downs of progression, even if the grass may seem greener elsewhere?
This short list of virtues can provide some insight into your in-game values versus your RL values. Is it okay to behave differently in an online game? Of course it is; after all, it's just a game. On the other hand, it can be argued that everything we do in life is a reflection of our inner character, and this is especially true of how we behave when we're not answerable to anyone.

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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