What WoW Has Taught Me

Thank you Blog Azeroth for this shared topic, as suggested by Six-Inch Heals. I've been turning this over in my mind for a while now trying to figure out how to tackle it, and somehow ended up a day late. My bad. But here goes.

First and Foremost, I've Learned a Lot About People

First, the good:

  • I've seen how people can come together and really make things happen, due to a shared passion (the game)
  • I've seen people come up with creative solutions to a variety of in-game and meta-game issues
  • I've seen people put aside their RL political and socioeconomic differences and get things done together
  • I've met people from across the country (and this continent) whom I would have had almost no chance of meeting through any other means
  • I've forged casual acquaintances with some amazing people that I spoke to almost daily for years, talking not just about what I was up to in game, but also about the things that mattered to me IRL

But there has also been the bad:

  • I've had to listen to boorish political arguments set forth by those who are unaffected by the issue and thus have no stakes in them (see especially gender politics)
  • I've had what I thought were friendships that extended outside of the game crumble like sugar eggs the week after Easter
  • I've seen hard work for naught, when poor leadership has allowed bad apples to ruin the guild cart
  • I have seen some of the absolutely worst, nasty, back-stabbing behavior I've ever seen outside of daytime dramas, over pixels and in-game power

I've Learned How to Better Deal with People IRL

  • I've learned how to motivate performance long-distance
  • I've learned how to detect all manner of non-visual cues as to something being up with persons I work on projects with virtually
  • I've learned how to work towards a common goal, even when paired with people I don't personally like
  • I've learned more about what motivates achievement for a variety of folks whose situation and motivation are outside of my personal frame of reference.
  • I've gotten much experience in teamwork — both in assembling and managing teams

I've Also Learned a Lot About Myself

  • I've learned what my deal breakers are for friendships and for collaborations
  • I'm better able to articulate my concerns with people/situations
  • I've built upon my teamwork and collaboration skills, without burning any social currency at work to do so
  • I've learned that I truly thrive and am happiest when I am in a functional, thriving collaborative team of some sort, regardless of if I am leading it, or just one of the team

People may think of World of Warcraft as just another video game, but due to the intrinsic social collaboration model it employs, it really is so much more than that. Overall, not a bad investment of time to have gotten so much more out of it than just some sparkly pixels.

5 thoughts on “What WoW Has Taught Me”

  1. I enjoyed this post, I can definitely relate to many of these including seeing people who I once considered friends pull some backstabbing in game.
    Why people want to cause drama is beyond me

  2. I’m with you on the drama issue — maybe they can’t afford cable tv and this is how they amuse themselves? It is interesting that 99% of the drama in the game that I have seen has come from the same handful of people. They must thrive on it.

  3. I have seen point 3 in the bad happening in my long time guild. To such a point where all the members of my old guild I merged with the mains guild become so disenchanted with our current guild start asking me if we can all go back to the original guild (if that makes sense???).
    I have seen guild raids disintegrate through the bad apples start screaming at other guild members because of bad raid organisation. Having 12 melee dps on KT in naxx25 is not a good option especially when half the raid goes down from K’Ts ice block, leading to the aforementioned screaming match.
    I have seen the guildmaster become so enraptured with 25man raids and gear scores that he would rather pug half an ICC25 run than try and get a guild 10man run happening. So what if we dont get as good gear in 10man, we would get further than we do in the pugged 25man runs.
    The schist in the current guild between a lot of my old guild members and a few of the current guild members with the way that the current guild is being run has seen a lot of us working on leveling up and gearing up alts and just ignoring our mains to such a level where we are currently 4/12 in ICC 10 and having an absolute ball.
    We have new members in the old guild as well as the original members and a few refugees from the current guild.
    We still have toons in our mains guild, but we dont raid with them as much these days.

  4. It’s good that you and your friends in the guild have found a way to band together and have fun, despite your leadership issues. I think in cataclysm, lots of small teams like yours will find a great niche, now that 10 and 25-man raiding will reap the same rewards.

  5. Yeah, it’s a lot more fun that watching raids disintegrate because of the internal tensions of the guild.
    There are a couple of old friends I need to get involved with the original guild and then we will be most happy.

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