Sep 302008
Authors: Brian Lancaster

Hi, my name is Brian Lancaster . and I play World of Warcraft. It’s an addiction. A terrible, terrible addiction. And I love every hotkeyed minute of it.

But, in my year or so experience with the most massively populated multiplayer online role-playing game ever created, I’ve noticed something: it’s just like real life! Ok, sure, in the real world, I don’t get to go on raids through abandoned/haunted castle towers and fight for my life in the hopes of receiving epic gear, but a lot of things are the same.

For example: The cool kids choose evil.

In the World of Warcraft, you can choose to play as the Alliance or the Horde. Technically, these are just two opposing sides, not necessarily good and evil, but most players view the Alliance as good, and the Horde as evil.

Now, I haven’t necessarily played for very long as an Alliance character (my Alliance character – or “toon”- is a level 20, and I just deleted him), but I’m going to assume that all Alliance characters are just as uncool as that one was. And, of course, since I chose to play a Horde character, that means all cool people chose to play Horde as well, correct? Correct.

Also, even though we’re all playing a game, all the players of the World of Warcraft still choose to play within their groups of friends, or make friends in the game to play with. Most players are members of “guilds,” which are just groups of people who choose to play the game together.

Not that you care, but my guild is called La Familia. They are a group of people who just want to have fun with the game, and have the same sense of humor that I do. Toilet humor and sexual innuendo are par for the course in my guild, and without them, the game wouldn’t be fun.

And yet another similarity between real life and the World of Warcraft is that, no matter which side you play for, there are certain people that everyone hates.

In the World of Warcraft, everyone hates gnomes. They seem to be the most annoying of all the character species, sort of like an insect that just won’t leave you the hell alone, no matter how many times you crit (critical hit, for the uninitiated) when you cast arcane shot.

But the most blatantly obvious link between the real world and the World of Warcraft is the undeniable quest for better stuff.

We, as a people, are always striving to get better clothes, computers, cars, jewelry and other various items, which is essentially what the entire game is about.

For example, while many young men my age are out at the stores buying the latest designer fashions or upgrading their pimp ride, I am with my guildmates in Karazhan slaying Prince Malchezaar and hoping for an epic chestpiece to drop. I really need a new chestpiece. I mean, 33 critical strike rating and 66 attack power is nice and all, but let’s be realistic: I need something better.

My point here is that, even though World of Warcraft is a game, it’s still a place where literally millions of people can come together and enjoy a pastime together, in the unassuming safety of their own homes.

It’s a great way to pass the time, have some fun and be productive. And isn’t that what the real world is really about?

Oh, and if you are also an avid player, my main toon’s name is Brede, and I play on Doomhammer. Pop in and say hello, and maybe give me some gold. I need an epic flying mount.

Brian Lancaster is a senior English major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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