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World of Warcraft Discovered By Mainstream Media: “Like Second Life, But With Orcs”

OK, it’s not THAT bad. Quite a bit actually to hit on.

Two clueless mainstream news stories, take your pick. From Slate: World of Warcraft is lame, because it’s not more like Second Life.

The most obvious thing to add is customization. The MySpace generation expects a personalized experience, yet Warcraft’s avatars come in only a few stock models. The men are brawny, the women are lithe. Although you can choose the details, you can never change your look once you’ve made your initial decision\’e2\’80\rdblquote you can’t even get a new haircut. You can’t post a profile or write a bio and, unlike in online worlds like Second Life, you can’t own land or even rent your own space. Adding personalization would reinforce the game’s raison d’\’c3\’aatre: addictiveness. Plus, giving players an ownership stake and a unique-looking character would keep them coming back for more.

The writer goes on to explain that its story and gameplay is boring, too.

New wars should break out, cities should rise and fall, and all hell should break loose at least once a month\’e2\’80\rdblquote and the players should be the ones to make it happen. After all, in a world that never changes, you can never make your mark.

Oh, if only someone would make games like that. Why has no one ever thought of this.

And then, from a Canadian newspaper: Can one find romantic fulfillment in Stormwind?

World of Warcraft is the granddaddy of online communities. On one hand, it\’e2\’80\’99s a sprawling, seamless fantasy, where you choose an avatar \’e2\’80\rdblquote a rogue, fighter, Mage \’e2\’80\rdblquote and go forth in this virtual world to hack, slash and maim your way to glory.

On the other hand, it\’e2\’80\’99s supremely social. Players band together, chatting incessantly. They hook up for virtual drinks at the inn, share a slab of wild boar meat. They dance, they have picnics in the woods, they even share a bed on occasion.

But do they love?

That\’e2\’80\’99s exactly what I aimed to find out in my social experiment.

I hope I’m not spoiling anything when I reveal: it failed.

Speaking of failing, people who insist on running World of Warcraft on Linux using a Windows emulator are getting banz0red.

And the folks who make WoWGlider (the program most often used to bot World of Warcraft) are totally getting sued, and are totally suing back. In SPACE COURT.