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Internet rage, dissociation, and difficult consequences

Rage, dissociation, and difficult communities
Everyone who plays World of Warcraft has encountered player rage at some point in their WoW career, it's almost part of the initiation ritual, the normal progress of the game. Some days are worse than others, some servers and regions and battlegroups are likely worse than others, some times are worse than others, but the one constant is that it's everywhere, there's no reality in which you can proceed through your entire WoW existence and not encounter one single moment of rage.

A recent article in a major UK newspaper discussed two recent and public incidents of net-based rage, and its impact on two game designers, David Vonderhaar of COD: Black Ops, and Fez developer Phil Fish. Regardless of the causes of the incidents, these guys were the subject of quite some internet unpleasantness. And yes, CoD is well known for being a less pleasant cyberspace to inhabit than many others, and Fish engaged in quite some nerd-baiting, but our own devs are far from exempt from this sort of treatment. Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street tweeted recently that it was not uncommon for him to receive death threats.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

DreamHack to feature its own WoW realm

DreamHack, the world's biggest LAN party (according to Guinness), takes place in Sweden twice a year. They've just made an announcement of interest to us WoW players: at this year's summer event (June 13-16, assuming "Juni" means what I think it means), they'll have their own WoW realm. This is something that not many events have been able to do in the past. They'll be hosting an Arena tournament at the event, with prizes to be announced in the future.

We can expect the realm to feature premades and gear and enchant vendors, like previous tournament realms. They also mention "live showing of raids;" I'm not sure we've seen realms with premade PvE play before, so that should be interesting. More information on registration is going to be released "within the next few days;" we'll keep you posted. Is anyone thinking of competing at DreamHack? Has anyone gone before?

[thanks, Raful]

Filed under: Events, News items

Breakfast Topic: Local guilds

A few weeks ago while I was browsing the official forums, I noticed an interesting guild recruitment post. Someone was recruiting for people not based on class, skill level, or preferred play style, but rather on geographic location. He was hoping to create a guild of people from Portland, Oregon.

It's an interesting idea, and one I've sort of kept in the back of my mind since I saw the post. I like to think that most of us, these days, have started to realize that there really are other, living, breathing, flesh and blood people on the other side of the keyboard. In fact, many of us have met some of these people at conventions and guild gatherings. There's also many families and friends who have decided to play WoW together.

However, building a guild from the group up to be a "local guild" seems to be a different beast altogether. You're not meeting up with each other after having been in the guild for a while, or playing for family ties. Instead, you're looking to get actual benefits, game-related or otherwise, of being in a guild of other residents of your city, state, province, or what have you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Breakfast Topics

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