World Of Warcraft : Online Funeral

11 Déc

World Of Warcraft : Online Funeral

A young Korean girl was found dead after gaming for several days in a row. He was indeed addicted to some Online Game to the point of neglecting his health, hygiene and well-being. The game in this case happened to be World Of Warcraft, a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). World Of Warcraft is the most played MMORPG in the world by far especially for the high quality added frequently by the developpers, keeping the gamers always interested in the game, or for other gamers, maintaining their addiction up to date.

The game was developped by Blizzard Entertainment and is the prequel to the Warcraft series which last episode was Warcraft III : Frozen Throne ; now it is the gamer’s task online to participate in the story of Warcraft in the latest World Of Warcraft game. The game let’s gamers choose between two factions (Horde and Alliance), then they must select a race within these factions. Finally, each races has a potential of being a different class (Warrior, Hunter, Rogue, Saaman, Mage, Warlock,…). No class is specific to a race though: the choice of race is then done so that the gamer fully impersonnates the avatar in game (though some classes aren’t available to some races of course to some extent). It is the next part where the addicition truly takes place. The gamer starts on a chain of simingly unlimited quests making him travel around the HUGE map of Azeroth designed by the developpers. This is the phase called « Leveling ». This is where a feeling of nostalgia and well-being and somehow weakness of not being to the maximum level yet, will come into place in the gamer’s mind. Then eventually, the avatar will reach the maximum level. This is when the gamer truly starts to play World Of Warcraft: he then chooses often choose between two paths; either he becomes a « Player Versus Environment » (PVE) gamer or a « Player Versus Player » (PVP) gamer. In WOW it is possible to do both PVP and PVE of course, however, the gear is something you obtain with the use of marks of valor belonging respectively to one of those paths; therefor a well PVP geared avatar will not have a good gear for PVE and vice-versa. In that way a gamer needs to fully gear a character in both those aspects in order to fully experience all the possibilities his class has to offer. When obtaining this gear, may it be in PVP or PVE, the gamer gets greatly addicted to the game: the gear is a virtual reward that he may interpret with as much emphasis as a physicak reward may give to another person.

Of course gamers succeed sometimes in getting both top PVP and PVE gear and rankings, but then Blizzard always manages to bring a new patch (around every 5 to 8 months). They bring in new gear, new content, reset all rankings; of course the new gear is better than the old one so players will feel regret if dropping the game: Online Games evolve while gamers have theur avatars disconnected. It is indeed a fundamental principle of online community: World Of Warcraft is, by the way a community counting about 11 million people (having an active account). If all of those gamers were in France, they would represent about a sixth of the population.

Though I think the death of  this young girl is a tragedy (dying for her « psychological » well-being in a game) it is also a case where weak-minded people give themselves to addictions which lead to neglect of hygiene (mental and physical) and then death. Companies such as Blizzard are just doing good business by producing almost flawless games and by adding new content regularyl to keep their costumers attracted (which is work for them in the end).

Can such a game as World Of Warcraft, as beautiful as it seems to the people addicted to it, be really categorized as other Online games in the market.

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