‘It’s all for research, honest!’ – my return to Azeroth

2006 was my first visit to Azeroth. I was in my first year of university with more free time than I’d imagined; I was finally a student of Games Design; and I worked in a computer shop part-time. We stocked free 14-day trial copies of World of Warcraft, and I picked one up to see what it was like.

I played it for around seven hours in total.

Over this summer just gone, I had a lull between jobs and was toying with the idea of giving MMOs another go. A friend got me another free trial, and I logged back in. This time I actually played it for the full trial- and enjoyed it. Just not enough to pay for a subscription to keep playing.

Then I started my Masters year of uni, and settled on character design as a base for my thesis. And, of course, which type of video games give you the most character customisation? And which of these is the most popular worldwide?
You can’t argue with over 12 million subscribers around the world. This game is big. It also helped that my project supervisor is a WoW player; but is also part of The Truants guild, made up of academics and scholars who often use their in-game experience to write essays and articles about game culture. He suggested a book to help me with my research- and I wasn’t too surprised to hear it was a WoW Reader. What I am surprised by is how much I’m enjoying reading it; it was adding a whole new dimension to the game, from the type of academic-analysis point of view that I can relate to.

So I had another chat with my friend, bought myself the WoW Battle Chest (original game, Burning Crusade expansion and the Brady guides for both) and made Tessara, my Blood Elf hunter.
That was on Thursday. Today is Saturday, and Tessara is almost level 11 and has started to work on her chosen professions of Mining and Engineering. She even got accepted into a Guild this morning.

My housemates have all looked at me with some disdain for picking up ‘the dreaded soul-stealer’, and don’t seem convinced that I’m mostly doing it for research. I’ve already experienced an interesting point that, while not really relevant to my thesis, could warrant further academic perusal.

And it may be that I’m still in the ‘honeymoon period’ with the game, but I am genuinely enjoying playing it this time around. My ultimate goal? Find and speak to one of the Truants; or, even more fantastic- join them.

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~ by Tegan on October 16, 2010.

2 Responses to “‘It’s all for research, honest!’ – my return to Azeroth”

  1. I played for a summer and a bit. I have a level 80 character sitting on a server somewhere, however I quickly realised I didn’t have time with work as well so I dropped it. I’d love to be able to play but alas there aren’t enough hours in the day

  2. […] noted in a previous blog post, I’m not an MMORPG person. Most of the games I play are single-player ones that I can go […]

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