Monday, 10 January 2011

WoW vs. Call of Duty

If you came here for a crazy video of an orc warrior throwing axes at a WWII soldier, I am deeply sorry. This is just one of my little reflections on the game(s), and on social interactions.


Have you noticed how it’s cool to play CoD but deeply stupid and sexual life-threatening to play WoW? I mean that’s what everyone seems to agree with. It seems strange. After all they are just two different kinds of games. If I were to make an argument for one of them being “better”, it would probably be WoW. I mean, it requires social skills, reflection, preparation, and (and that’s one of my favourite aspects) it has a fascinating universe. Creating the lore is a huge part of the design process. There’s little details everywhere, a huge world that has been created from beginning to end for this (these? we should include the original Warcrafts) game.


Wait… what if this was the problem?


See, everyone knows about, and can relate to, World War II, and wars in general. It’s easy, that’s why it is called a world war. In Call of Duty, you have real people fighting in real places, for real historic reasons (“real” is used lightly here, but you get the point). World of Warcraft is so much more difficult to understand: dragons, orcs, elves… There are some humans, but half of them turn into werewolves, and there are no vampires to fight them. The rest is fantasy creatures. I know almost everyone has seen Lord of the Rings, and most people enjoyed it, but that’s as far as it goes, and anything that did not look human was evil and in most cases severely retarded.


That’s it… People instinctively dislike what they don’t know. So yes, Call of Duty is and will remain more socially acceptable, because the game’s world makes sense to everyone. Is there anything we can do about it? I don’t think so. There is some hope though. If the World of Warcraft movie works (and by that I mean, worldwide success, not just the 12 million players)... Inject our favourite imaginary world into “mainstream” culture, and suddenly (if I’m right) people will understand why such a game could be appealing.

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