Notify Message
Forums
Page 1
Search
#7933126 Jun 04, 2013 at 05:54 PM
53 Posts
From playing as the various races of World of Warcraft i found the different personalities and cultures to be very fascinating. It reminded me a lot of the different lessons I learned in my cultural anthropology class in college. This doesn't exclude the other races such as moon kin and drakes. Even these sub groups carry a lot their own culture and beliefs that could be studied.
+1
#7934426 Jun 05, 2013 at 12:13 AM
Guild Officer
187 Posts
I've noticed that as well. I think it would be interesting for an Anthropology class to study the offshoots of the various races in WoW. The trolls alone would make for lively study.

Some of the artifacts of the various races could be used to study how culture and artwork interact as well. Perhaps as an addition to an art history course?

Finally, you could also consider how some of the races in the game reflect in real life. Would you consider any of the races to be depicted in a racist way? Would you consider any of them to be a truly distinct race or could they all be traced back to a real culture?

Interesting!
+1
#7937072 Jun 05, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Guides
561 Posts

I am your resident Ph.D., anthropologist so let me get in on this discussion

First, let’s talk about problems and logistics of utilizing WoW in the classroom, in my college’s case, the computers won’t support the game, I would need at least a 64GB Flash Drive for each student at a cost of at least $40 oer student, then I would need subscription fees at a cost of $15 per student per month after paying for an upgrade for each of them, finally some colleges legal departments will not sign off on the download agreement. An accounting program was able to do this with students using home computers (not sure how they paid for it or if they stayed at the “free” levels) but most students don’t’ have computers that will support WoW. If Blizzard goes to fully free play (see “Fourth” below”) that would be a big help, still doesn’t handle accessibility and legal issues.

I have had students in my cultural anthropology class present projects on several MMORPGs, including WoW, and they have concentrated on things like Focal Language, and the player’s Avatar options, not the different cultures within the game. Had more interest in it a few years ago than now.

Second, I have always though it was more fun to study the people who play the games than the interior design, people and locations within the game. I have studied Magic the Gathering Players as well as Texas Hold’em Players, players play in person and online. Interestingly, I thought the MTG players would know all about Magic and Folklore as their role is that of a Wizard controlling a battlefield of many stereotypical players, the reality was that they read the cards and play the game. The true understanding of “Mana” as an anthropologist would see it is lost on them, to them “mana” is the number of land cards you have on the battlefield to bring out a player or spell.

Third, is it a game? Or is it More than a game? Read what WoW players write in Wow Forum to answer to that question:

WoW players in response to "is it a game"

and the documentary

Second Skin on Youtube

certainly addresses that issue. When I showed the film three years ago, my cultural anthropology students mostly were fascinated, last summer they mostly laughed at how involved people had gotten in a game, and I had many more gamers in that class. Over-involvement is starting to be viewed as violating the cultural and social norms, although everyone knows someone “like that.”

Fourth, as there are more games that are similar to WoW, and are free play (the direction of the future according to this article in Forbes Magazine only last month that pointed out that Blizzard lost 14% of their subscribers in the first quarter, they can’t continue to bleed red ink.

World of Warcraft Bleeds Red Ink

Fifth, here are quite a few articles including some scholarly ones on Wow, including a published book on an anthropologist being a Elf Priest and a published thesis:

• Master’s Thesis, December, 2012 The Digital Gamer : An Anthropological Investigation of On-line Gaming Communities. This is a very interesting read and timely since it is less than six month old.


Anthropology Thesis on On-Line Gaming Commuinities

• My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft it is interesting to read the comments.

Book My Life as a Night Elf Priest on Amazon

• This is an explanation by the author of My Life as a Night Elf Priest and how her work became play

How Work as an Elf Priest became Play

• This is an other account of the publication on My Life as a Night Elf Priest

Personal Experience Life as a Night Elf Priest

• This is an account of the Neuroanthropology of Immersive Online Gaming and Cyberdependence, yes it is like stone age time, 2008.

Neuroanthropology of Immersive Online Gaming


• This is an Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft, I loved this because he talks about how anthropologists can get funded for things like this that other researchers would get turned down

Anthropologists can get funded tor anything...


• This is even older, 2007, but interestingly enough it was an Online Open Source.

Cyberanthropology in Open Source Class

In conclusion, and answering the question as to what is the potential role of anthropologists in relationship to WoW and Online Gaming . . . yeah, us anthropologists have been sticking our noses into online gaming for a long time, as we say in the west (USA) “ This isn’t our first Rodeo!” And in conclusion, you have both made good points about there are lessons (lesson plans) that can be formulated about WoW.

I think if I were doing one for my cultural anthropology class (funding/time permitting) I would want the students to explore and then choose ONE “race” “culture” or “ethnic” group to do an ethnography and spend say as much time in WoW looking at what are traditional ethnographic areas for study, and they should spend at least 20-40 hours on this project as that is what would be required on any project.

I would expect them to follow this type of direction in their study (insert Link) and define their research methods and culture. They can’t just be wandering around, for it to work for a college-level class, even first year, it would have to be as solid of research as anything else. This is a good example of what I would expect:

Ethnographic Research Methods

So that ought to keep you busy for a while, and "Yes," I just happen to have all those references close at hand. I study this a lot, maybe not formally since I am not in a publish or perish environment, it is just all research for me. Glad to share it and hope you find it interesting.
+1
#7938545 Jun 05, 2013 at 05:49 PM
53 Posts
#7934426 Leedale wrote:

I've noticed that as well. I think it would be interesting for an Anthropology class to study the offshoots of the various races in WoW. The trolls alone would make for lively study.

Some of the artifacts of the various races could be used to study how culture and artwork interact as well. Perhaps as an addition to an art history course?

Finally, you could also consider how some of the races in the game reflect in real life. Would you consider any of the races to be depicted in a racist way? Would you consider any of them to be a truly distinct race or could they all be traced back to a real culture?

Interesting!



I think that a few depict certain stereotypes in minority cultures where as the human race in the game is shown to be more Medieval in its ways and customs. However the Goblins give a stereotypical underbelly look to how some North Eastern Americans are thought as acting. I don't think its meant as an insult just a way of putting into perspective their industrial setting.
+1
#7938973 Jun 05, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Initiate
110 Posts
Back when I played WoW, I remember talking about the different races and cultures, and how these came across in the starting areas. I honestly don't remember specific examples, but some starting areas gave you a really clear idea of the culture of that race, and others were pretty bland. I haven't played since Burning Crusades, so I can't really speak how they are now.

I've looked for this in other games too, and I'll admit that I really like quests/starting areas that teach you about the culture of the people around you. I really liked some of the quests in Kingdoms of Amalur for this reason. After you played though them, you really felt like you understood a certain group of people. A lot of games just throw different races/societies at you, but don't really tell you anything about them.
+1
#9447771 Apr 30, 2014 at 12:58 AM
177 Posts
Even these sub groups carry a lot their own culture and beliefs that could be studied.

Pc Games Download

+0
Page 1