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Posts with tag wikipedia

Jante Law and player psychology

Larisa over at the Pink Pigtail Inn has been posting some really interesting things about psychology and the World of Warcraft lately. The other week she wrapped up a little survey (along with the folks at Dreambound) about personalities of players and how they correspond to the roles they play in game, and this week she's got a little analysis up about something called the Jante Law, developed by a Norwegian author for a novel back in the 1930s. You can read the whole idea on her page or over on Wikipedia, but basically it all boils down to one "rule" for overseeing each individual member of a community: "Don't think that you are more special than us."

She applies the law to the WoW community at large, and says that without knowing it, comment trolls and those who attack people who differentiate themselves on the forums (including the folks who caused Ghostcrawler to rethink his role there) are following this law, and attacking those who stick their neck out as different. Personally, I don't know that the "haters" in the community give it that much thought -- most of the time when they do attack others, they do it to try and build themselves up rather than enforce any community standard ("You've won 1,000 AV matches? Big deal, I win in there all the time.").

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

FCC Comissioner: World of Warcraft causes college dropouts

Oh boy. Deborah Tate is an FCC Commissioner (and will be for another three years at least -- she was appointed for another five year term in 2007), and claimed in a speech about telecom policy and regulation last week that "one of the top reasons for college drop-outs in the U.S. is online gaming addiction -- such as World of Warcraft -- which is played by 11 million individuals worldwide."

Never mind that World of Warcraft, is a game, not an addiction, and never mind that most of those 11 million people play it and are completely healthy socially and financially, and never mind even that any evidence you'd find that World of Warcraft causes dropouts is anecdotal at best. Can you really blame a game for someone making the choice to leave college? We, as you might have guessed, think not.

And there's more: Tate's Wikipedia page says that not only has she spoken out strongly in favor of DRM, and not only has she taken talking points directly from Clear Channel in trying to work on the Sirus/XM merger (a government official speaking the words of a corporation, that's just what we need), but she has also blamed television for childhood obesity. Nice one. One more reason why we are thrilled to see that we may finally get some folks in the FCC who actually know what they're talking about when it comes to online gaming.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, News items

The ups and downs of contributing to WoWWiki

Besides news here at WoW Insider, one of my favorite places on the web is over at WoWWiki. The site is a virtual treasure trove of World of Warcraft lore, class information, formulas, and strategies. Back in October the site passed 45,000 articles, and today it stands around 53,000 articles. That's A LOT of content, much more then anyone could possibly hope to read.

Where does all this come from?

The way community wiki's work (wikis like WoWWiki and Wikipedia) is that everyone who reads them can effectively edit anything in them. If you're looking at the strategy for Zul'Jin and see something that's not right, or that needs to be added, you can do it right on the spot. Of course you have to sign up for an account and make sure what you're putting in is correct, but that takes all of five minutes. User submitted content is critical to the success of a wiki, and WoWWiki is (as I'm sure most of our readers would agree) one of the most successful game wikis out there.

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Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff, Lore, Bosses, Guides

Shifting Perspectives: The human druids

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them, brought to you by Dan O'Halloran and David Bowers.

Druids weren't always night elves and tauren, you know. Well, in World of Warcraft they were, but centuries before the first snowflakes started to form in the clouds of Blizzard's creative minds, the authentic human druids actually walked around casting regrowth, shapeshifting, and spamming moonfire.

Or did they? How much of the class that we know and love in WoW is actually based on the real life druids of old? How did the word "druid" come to refer to our fantasy fighters rather than some ancient wise men in robes?

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Filed under: Human, Druid, Lore, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Blizz Prez Mike Morhaime, #4 on PC World's Most Important People on the Web

As you might imagine, we here at WoW Insider love World of Warcraft. It's the greatest thing to come along since at least Diablo. Blizzard is a great company, and when it comes to computer gaming, you could solidly make the argument that nobody does it better than they do.

But when PC World announced their "Most Important People on the Web" list today, I was surprised to see, right there in between the inventor of Bittorrent and Jimbo Wales of Wikipedia, Mike Morhaime, President of Blizzard Entertainment as the 4th Most Important Person on the Internet (a big jump up from a previous list). PC World cites WoW's huge player base and Blizzard's profits of $1.5 billion a year (not to mention all the money floating around WoW's black market services), but does the president of a videogame company really deserve to be two slots down from Steve Jobs, in between the man who basically created an anonymous peer-to-peer sharing system and the man who's developing the definitive online collection of knowledge?

Call me cynical, but I say no. WoW may have influence over a lot of people, but Blizzard is using that influence to nerf druids and tweak raid bosses, not affect the Internet population. Then again, the guy did appear in animated form on South Park, and Jimbo Wales has never done that. We should all know by now that these lists are just a cheap way of encouraging discussion (and attention), but Morhaime's inclusion on the list means that WoW's ascent into our culture isn't done yet.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

WoW terminology explained

If the city's Trade and LookingForGroup channels go past you in a blur of indecipherable acronyms, this glossary might help. Part of Wikipedia -- and thus publicly editable if you disagree with a particular word, or want to add one -- it covers a lot of the WoW-specific terminology that crops up.

It can be hard to simply ask "What on earth is UBRS" in chat, so it's useful to have somewhere to go when those inevitable moments of confusion do happen.

Filed under: Tips

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