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my life as a night elf priest

Nardi & Dewey; Social Bonds and Perception of Work

While reading through My life as a Night Elf Priest I found a lot of the features in World of Warcraft interesting, mainly the guild aspect of the game and the social interaction that it provided to the players.  This goes into details about the game that other writers had not dealt with, taking the other side of the argument of working “alone together”(McGonigal, Chap. 5).  These guilds were truly an experience of working together and although each of the players was technically alone in their own houses they were definitely together in the spirit of the game.  This shows a more communal concept to this game that so far in our readings we haven’t spent too much time recognizing.  Nardi talks about the different types of groups and how many of these guilds communicate outside of the game using WoW forums as well as knowing each other through other activities.   We would consider these avid gamers as shut-ins who are missing out on life spending so much time on their computer but how many people can say that they have friends that they talk to multiple times a week in Australia and parts of Europe?  With the camaraderie that is associated with some of the guilds people are given this exact chance to get to know and be more than just co-gamers.  As many people speculate that the best friendships evolve from common interests making these guilds a potential source of friendships.  Nardi actually included in chapter three a story where a woman met her husband while playing and even though they were located in different areas.  This has even found a place in popular culture in the TV series “How I met Your Mother” where Ted tells his friends that he met a girl online but it is not until the end of the episode that you find out it was actually in WoW.

Guild she also mentions there are more serious guilds that are formed that are not so much for making connections and having fun but for the sole purpose of performance.  These guilds are decribed later in part 2 of her book where the idea of work and play are explored.  There is testimonial of two players who were part of a guild that required their members to attend every day from 7pm-12 everyday which the player described as feeling “like work”.  This combined with her example from “Tom Sawyer” shows the lack of definition in the classification of work.  Where Dewey thought work was a labor with a sole reward of wage these players amend that thought to be an event that someone is forced into.  I guess that work is subject to perspective and comes in many forms.

Why would anyone join these serious guilds if it can be viewed as work?  Does this style of guild see a large turnaround because of these strict rules?

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Discussion

One thought on “Nardi & Dewey; Social Bonds and Perception of Work

  1. I also found Nardi’s descriptions of guilds interesting, as it’s pretty amazing to think about how individuals from across the world can come together through this medium, disregarding boundaries of everyday society in order to obtain a communal goal. While some guilds stress performance which turns into a work-like act, as you stated in Nardi’s reference, I agree with your sentiment that work comes in many forms and varies from person to person, but in terms of video games, it seems these players accept work in order to benefit in the game at a later point, whether to receive praise from others in the game or work up to a certain point to prepare for a raid, as seen in Nardi’s section on “farming”.

    Posted by bgwhipple | June 9, 2013, 7:21 pm

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