Take for instance WOW. And for those not familiar with the term, we are not referring to the trippy expression of wonder and amazement that is often used on the discovery of something that we didn’t expect in our wildest dreams…
In this instance I am referring to a global online virtual gaming experience called World of Warcraft. According to its Wikipedia inscription at the time of publishing this article it is “a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by Blizzard Entertainment.”
What is so trippy are the similarities between the virtual game and real life. If we consider that in real life we maintain a multitude of personalities, each with their own way of looking at the world to the extent that we change our value system according to each persona you come pretty close to the virtual gaming world.
And for those who scoff the dedicated players of this online world it may be interesting to quote that the latest exchange rate of WOW was in the region of 1000 Gold Pieces to 12 Pound. In , fact, the online gaming experience is so real that it may be better to describe the differences between WOW and reality.
In the game you cannot make any permanent mark on your environment, ie you cannot carve your name on a tree that those who come by next week can see it. Every player sees the world as it is in real time, without the influence of anyone that cannot be communicated with in real time.
This does not mean that there are many a legendry character in WOW, because word of mouth and human memory is an integral part of gameplay. But it means that you have to accept every experience as a level playing field for every character sharing your experience.
If one considers that as of January 22, 2008, World of Warcraft has surpassed 10 million subscribers worldwide, with more than 2 million subscribers in Europe, more than 2.5 million in North America, and about 5.5 million in Asia it seems as if “making our mark” on the world has lost much of its earlier appeal.
It seems as if a massive number of individuals prefer to experience a reality that is un spoilt by the human hand. In that way they can expect that the experience of their fellow player is the same as their own, two weeks later, a phenomenon that has given raise to the existence of  cheat’s that can tell you exactly what to expect, where.
In the real world this is much akin to many pop culture psychology fads such as “the Secret”, and others that advertise anything from instant wealth to instant health and happiness. And just like those cheats in WOW, the cheat’s IRL may be free, or can be bought. Except that those in WOW can also be bought with real money, while such real life “self-help programs” cannot be bought with WOW Gold Points.
It makes me think, doesn’t it?


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