Final Thoughts on WoWPosted: December 13, 2011
Hey All. This is my 7th and final post of the semester!
Throughout my experience with WoW, I have found identity formation to be the most fascinating thing. Elements of the games such as the avatar, alignment, race, class, and profession all influence identity formation. Culture is also a contributing force to the virtual world, and I’m not the only one studying it!
This link is to Digital Culture, Play, and Identity – a book that analyzes the trends in identity in WoW, and how culture from real life translates to virtual culture. Topics include: social etiquette, economic transactions, and gender dynamics in WoW and what they mean for real life as well..
Notably, this is what I have added to WoW’s Wiki page (the WoW page on Wikipedia cannot be changed, so I elected to change WoW’s own version of Wikipedia – “WoWWiki”). Anyway, under the section of Professions, I added a note about identity (link can be found here):
Professions and Identity:
Often, professions may coincide with your interests in real life. It may be to your advantage to pick a profession which interests you in real life so that your interest in your profession in WoW stays strong. Likewise, allowing your online identity to carry over into real life through professions can be just as rewarding. However, choosing a profession that is new to you can be equally enriching as a way to explore new identities.
On the topic of identity, there was a recent issue with identity portrayal in WoW. The admins of WoW required for all players to list their “real” names, ie their human names, but this caused privacy concerns and was discontinued as a policy. I find it interesting that the curators of WoW want their players to portray their true identities, but it’s quite obvious how this could be a problem. So while on one hand I see this as a step forward for integrating virtual and real identity, on the other hand I see the privacy problems this may cause.
Thank you all for reading, and have a great winter break! Good luck on finals!