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Posts with tag social-networking

Drama Mamas: Taking guild drama to Facebook

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Drama is as drama does.
Dear Drama Mamas,

This is something I thought you'd be interested in. WoW being a social community and Facebook being the king of social connectivity right now, I'd like to share recent activities in my guild involving Facebook.

To start from the beginning, about a year ago I quit my first guild with a large group to go form a raiding guild. The guild we left was a very large rp guild on an rp server. I was reluctant to leave the guild, as I had a lot of friends there, including the GM and it was my first guild ever. Needless to say, the way the group presented our leaving did not sit well with the gm of the guild we left. Toons were kicked, we were black listed, harassed, snubbed, etc.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Drama Mamas

New social site launches for coordinating meetups at BlizzCon

The Bronze Kettle, the long-running player blog focusing on crafting and community for WoW players, has launched a new site. Owner and former WoW Insider crafting blogger Shelbi Roach announced Looking for Group: BlizzCon.

The basic premise is one that I'm surprised no one's done before (as many great ideas are, really): LFGBlizzCon is a site for coordinating meetups and other activities during the con. Shelbi describes it as a "simplified social networking site dedicated to those of us who plan on attending BlizzCon this year. I wanted to create this site so we can all get to know each other online and then meet up at the con." To be honest, while I can see how that would work, it also seems to me it would be useful for people who already know each other as an easy-to-use, one-stop coordinator for how they plan to hang out during the convention.

Either way, it's a neat idea and good people behind it, so go give it a look-see.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, BlizzCon

Darkmoon Faire site announced to herald the Cataclysm

Blizzard today released a new website modeled after the Darkmoon Faire, presumably to herald the coming Cataclysm. You can get your fate cards read by a grizzly fortune teller and unlock content for your faction by Sharing and Liking stuff on your favorite social network. Check out the official announcement, and definitely check out the Darkmoon Faire site itself.

The ground trembles beneath your feet and sinister cultists speak of impending doom. Loved ones have gone missing and the appearance of angered elementals only adds to the confusion. What does the future hold for Azeroth's heroes? What fortune awaits within Sayge's cards? Visit the Darkmoon Faire and shed light on these mysteries.

Join the ranks of the Horde or the Alliance by taking the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm personality test. Gain insight into your destiny by answering a series of questions that probe into your inner workings and draw fortune's cards to catch a glimpse of the future.

By "Liking" and "Sharing" content on the site, taking the personality test, and submitting original images or videos to our contests, you can help unlock exclusive content for the Horde or Alliance!


Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Casualties of casual gaming

The other day over dinner, my wife and I were talking about a new game on Facebook and how easy it would be for us to game the system. My brother-in-law stopped us mid-conversation and asked, "What the hell happened to you two? You used to be hardcore raiders! Now you're talking about min-maxing a Facebook game!"

My wife and I looked sheepishly at each other and hung our heads in shame. This is what it had come to. While we're committed to playing together come Cataclysm, we had now been reduced to the most casual of casual gamers -- playing browser-based games with no real, complex story or engaging gameplay. At least, nothing as complex or engaging as the World of Warcraft. But the reality is that casual gaming is a bigger phenomenon than we can imagine. Zynga's Farmville has over 61.6 million active users -- that's almost six times WoW's 11.5 million subscriber base. Never mind that World of Warcraft is subscription-based and that not all of Farmville's players are paying customers. Forget about revenue for a moment. That's 61.6 million gamers playing one game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

15 Minutes of Fame: Psychologist and games researcher John Hopson

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

What keeps gamers hooked on their game of choice? Chances are, it's an element of the gameplay that was teased out with the help of games researcher John Hopson. The experimental psychologist and beta program head for Microsoft Game Studios examines what makes gamers do the things they do and then designs ways to keep them happily doing just that -- most recently, in titles such as Shadow Complex, Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach.

All that, and he's a WoW player to the core. "I mostly play in the two semi-official Microsoft WoW guilds, and lately I've been a hardcore player in a casual's body," he notes. "My wife and I had our first child a few months ago, so we've both dropped raiding and have been levelling alts instead since that doesn't require a fixed schedule. So far, we're both up to 5 level 80s apiece. :)" We thought it was time to turn the tables on Hopson, a loyal reader and occasional commenter at WoW.com, and ask him for his perspectives on WoW from the inside out.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

J!NX and Steelseries giving away loot on Facebook

Steelseries and J!NX have teamed up to give away some loot over the next three weeks -- hardware from Steelseries and some outer wear from J!NX, as well as other pretty cool stuff. The contest is open to Facebook users, who will be eligible to win one of six loot packs to be given away. Two loot packs will be given away each week, and each pack consists of the following: The first week simply asks Facebook users to 'like' or become fans on both the Steelseries and J!NX Facebook pages, with two winners to be determined randomly on May 5, 2010. The second week will require Facebook users to flex their social networking muscles a little bit as contestants are asked to post a screenshot of their favorite person, place, or activity in Azeroth on the J!NX Facebook page and garner as many "likes" for their entry until May 12. The screenshot with the most "likes" will win one loot pack, while a panel of judges from J!NX and Steelseries will determine who wins the second pack.

The third week is a similar exercise in social network popularity, but contestants are asked to submit a video of an in-game dance party on the Steelseries fan page. As with the week before it, the video that ends up with the most "likes" at the end of the period, May 19, will win one loot pack. J!NX and Steelseries will select the winner of the second loot bag. If you're not averse to the whole social network experience, this promotion seems like a relatively painless way to try and score some cool swag.

Filed under: Contests

Love, raiding, and everything in between: how women are taking charge in WoW

A recent article in the UK Times has shed a rare, positive light of an undeniable facet of online gaming -- finding that special someone via an MMO. It also mentions the undeniable fact that when you get a bunch of socially awkward guys on Vent, then throw a girl or two in, it might lead to a few problems.

So, here we have it, folks -- in this new age of gaming, more and more women are picking up the controller, or sporting a mean WASD. What do the guys think?

They think it's perfectly okay.

Now, I'm not writing this to be sensationalist or to seek drama. I'm a bit of a feminist myself and having been a gamer since I was nine years old; I've seen my fair share of guys who "don't think you've got it." Or just because I have two X chromosomes I somehow can't pull some sweet DPS on a random heroic 5-man.

The times, they are a'changing. From the report:
"A Nielsen report published in 2009 found that women aged 25 and older make up the largest block of gamers in the United States, accounting for 54.6 per cent of all game play minutes in December 2008. For WoW, the male/female ratio is fairly balanced, with 428,621 women between 25 and 54 playing in December 2008 versus 675,713 men in the same age group.Another report suggests that in Britain women make up 48 per cent of total gamers who play online once a week."
It's believed that women have more fun with social gaming for the sheer fact that it's social. If you're running a 25-man, you need to be able to work together -- there's no room for ego or swinging your 'epeen' around. You need to be able to drop the macho-ism, smarten up and listen to your teammates.

Women also connect in ways when things are quiet. A thriving US guild, Got Girls, has bonded over everything from child-rearing, birthdays, relationships, and everything in between. Says member ShawnAnne Dixon:
"We celebrated a guild member's 21st birthday and a wedding recently. One of our members has a son getting ready to deploy to Iraq -- Got Girls has become a big part of her support system. We have truly become a family."
It's not always easy being a female gamer, especially in a very male-dominated gaming culture. I have heard of much less-forgiving people and guilds who make comments regarding our monthly cycles, certain body parts, personalities and the like. I think it's great that more women are playing the game -- giving some balance to the testosterone-laden playing field.

At this point, sometimes the best thing to do is to beat the guys at their own game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Facebook vs. World of Warcraft

They both have millions of users across the world. They both have made and broken friendships and relationships, and they both have raised millions if not billions of dollars for their respective companies. And chances are that they're both so popular even your grandma knows about them. Gamasutra has written an interesting post comparing both World of Warcraft and Facebook of all things, and they say that the two are more alike than you might think: both enable you to create an identity, and use that identity to interact with others, and both give you a wide variety of options to do so (in WoW, you can slay dragons together, and on Facebook, you can tag pictures or post on walls). Gamasutra wants to get to the center of where exactly the interactivity lies, and in doing so, figure out what makes Warcraft a game, and Facebook a network.

One major difference is in the interface -- obviously, WoW is wrapped in a fantasy world, so that in between all of the socializing, you're also fighting the Scourge or the Burning Crusade. Facebook has games, but it doesn't have that overarching narrative. WoW also rewards group teamwork and coordination, while Facebook leaves collaboration to its own rewards. And of course the cost is another big difference: WoW is still a subscription game, while Facebook pays in other ways. But the amount of similarities between the two are pretty fascinating. And comparing the two, as Gamasutra does, really makes you think about just what interactivity means, and how two apparently very different types of interactive media aren't that far apart after all.

Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Forums

Razer giving away Nagas and WoW steins on Facebook

Peripherals manufacturer Razer has partnered with Taverncraft to give away a Razer Naga MMO gaming mouse and a Charge of the Great Dragonflights World of Warcraft stein to two lucky fans on Facebook. Those interested to participate in the contest must have a Facebook account and become a fan of the Razer page in order to submit an entry. Razer lists three simple steps in order to join:
  • Select your preferred beverage of choice while you game
  • Select your game of choice (presumably World of Warcraft)
  • Take a picture of you owning it up while holding said beverage
Deadline for submission of entries is on November 17, with a limit of one entry per person. The Charge of the Great Dragonflights stein, which debuted at BlizzCon last August, retails for $89.99 and features artwork from artist James Zhang on fine-grain stoneware with a solid pewter lid. The Razer Naga also appeared at BlizzCon and retails for $79.99. WoW.com did a full review of the 17-button mouse aimed specifically at MMOG players back in October.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Contests, Hardware

Blizzard Twitter contest winners still await prizes [Updated]

Followers of the official Warcraft Twitter will recall that Blizzard ran a contest some months back using the #Battlecry hashtag, encouraging players to tweet a message for either the Alliance or the Horde depending on the background of their Twitter page. It was a pretty cool promotion and was a great social media activity for fans, who proudly showed their World of Warcraft allegiances throughout the contest period.

An interesting post came up on Pixelated Geek the other day, however, wondering about the results of that contest and if Blizzard had ever gotten around to giving prizes to winners. Or if they'd ever gotten around to contacting the winners at all. The writer notes that he himself was a winner, having received a tweet from @Warcraft requesting for further details, an e-mail he promptly responded to. He then notes sending several more e-mails to the noted address as well as to customer service but has not yet gotten a single reply to date, nearly two and a half months after the contest ended on August 24.

The author also notes several other Twitter users who were asking the same question -- as it turns out, more than a few #Battlecry winners also hadn't received prizes nor responses from Blizzard. One follower asked, "any news for the winners of #battlecry? I haven't heard or received anything yet," while another mused, "Wondering when I will receive my prize from the #Battlecry contest." Still another asked, "has anyone got their Battlecry prize yet? I haven't received anything" just last November 6. One WoW.com reader even wrote us at the end of October confirming the same thing, that he had won but had not received any word from Blizzard, much less a prize.

Update: We have received word from one of the winners that Blizzard sent them an email confirming their prize will be sent soon.

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Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Contests

Razer and FigurePrints hold another Facebook contest


You'd better level out of those mismatched greens quick, because Razer and FigurePrints are doing that whole Facebook thing again. You actually have to be on Facebook to join since you need to write on Razer's wall and all that. I know, bummer, right? But it's a free $129 worth of three dimensional badassery -- assuming you're not wearing clown suit greens or something -- which should be tons better than playing Mafia Wars. No, really, stop sending me requests to whack somebody. That's just mean.

The figures are made through an interesting process (watch the video, it's awesome), and I wish I could get my own characters immortalized in resin powder, too. All you have to do is write on the contest page answering the question, "What World of Warcraft race/class do you play and why should your toon get the FigurePrints treatment?" The winner will be revealed in four days or so, and just like our contests over here at WoW.com, posting more than once will get you into all sorts of trouble with ninjas (or just disqualified, I think). Speaking of contests, we're still looking for some lucky readers to win those World of Warcraft headsets from Creative. So much swag being thrown around these days! Statues? Headsets? What's next, Thrall underoos? Stay tuned.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Contests

Razer and Figureprints hold contest over at Facebook


The social media convergence continues! Razer and FigurePrints have teamed up over at Facebook to hold a contest for World of Warcraft players, giving away a custom WoW FigurePrint to fans who write on their Facebook note. The contest is simple -- FigurePrints simply asks, "What WoW Race/Class do you play and why should your toon get the FigurePrints treatment?"

The winner will be announced in five days (well, four now... time's running down, tick-tock!) and they remind everyone to answer only once. Fans who submit multiple entries will be disqualified. Exactly what role Razer, a company that makes gaming peripherals, has in this contest aside from promoting it on their Facebook page, I have no idea. But if you've been looking to immortalize your character but didn't have the spare $129 lying around, here's your chance! At any rate, if you don't win, you might want to console yourself with a cute, little FigurePet.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Contests

Blizzard announces official YouTube channel


To go along with their recently created Twitter accounts, Blizzard has now started up an official YouTube channel as well. Right now, the channel just contains animations and cinematics that we've mostly seen before (not that we mind watching that Burning Crusade cinematic for the umpteenth time), but we presume that in the future, we might see newly released videos, including possibly interviews with Blizzard staff, and maybe even some (gasp!) gameplay videos as well.

Whoever's in charge of social media over at Blizzard has really been working it lately -- we can't wait to see their Last.fm account (Most Played: the artists formerly known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain) or their OkCupid account (Adam Holisky & Alex Ziebart would be at least 87% friends with Ghostcrawler, no question). Definitely fun to see Blizzard, historically a very closed-door company, opening up a little bit to the various outlets where they can correspond with fans.

Filed under: Machinima, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade

Achieved shares your achievements on Facebook

While we were all wildin' out at BlizzCon last week, reader Peter G. sent us a little note about a Facebook app he's been working on called Achieved that will take your achievements and insert them into your various Facebook feeds however you like. If you want to go the whole nine yards and have your wall plastered with a story whenever you ding an achievement, you can do that, or if you just want to leave it as a small box on your profile page, you can do that as well. The app allows you to leave your actual character name out of the post (if for some reason you're not comfortable with sharing it with all your friends), and there's even a paid option: if you can throw in at least $.99 Canadian, the app will update straight from the Armory without any help from you to refresh (normally, I guess, you've got to log in to Facebook to get updates).

I like the app's minimalism more than anything else -- it doesn't show character information or any flashy graphics, just updates people on what you're doing with achievements. The app has a really active changelog, too (Peter is working hard on updating it pretty often, it seems), so if you have a request, you can always throw it in the pot and you might even get it granted. It's not quite as comprehensive as some of the other WoW Facebook apps out there, but if you want a quick way of showing Facebook friends what you're up to in game without excessively spamming them on every little ding or gear upgrade, give it a look for sure.

Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

WoWPals helps you find more friends in Azeroth

WoWPals.net is a brand new social networking site targeted at you WoW players that just got a nice bit of coverage over on VentureBeat's GamesBeat site. Social networking is taking off just as much as World of Warcraft lately, and so there's a whole slew of companies trying to step up and become the de facto social service for gamers, from GamerDNA and Rupture to wowtwitter and even our own little enterprise. WoWPals isn't too different -- it's run by a few gamers based in Israel, and is currently in alpha, and hoping for a beta by the end of the year. You register to the site with your first character, and after a short wait for an activation email, you can jump in and find friends by guild or server, or punch in your location and search around that way. Once you're friends, there's not much more to do but chat and message each other, but what more do you need, really?

Personally, I think WoW already covers the bases of a social network (though in the past I've said I would like to have the option to see more about players than the characters, and these sites can certainly fill that need), so all of these end up being either extraneous -- do I really need another Twitter just for my characters? -- or just plain unnecessary: maybe I don't want my friends to know exactly what I did in game last night.

So no, I personally haven't been sold on any of these sites yet (though I do like reading through the player blogs here on WoW.com, and I'm not just saying that because I work here). I'm active ingame, and I'm active on various social networks, and keeping the two separate is fine by me. But if you are looking for even more ways to find new friends in World of Warcraft, maybe you can meet some new pals with WoWPals, too.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends

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