I work in social media so naturally almost all of my coworkers are on Twitter. Yesterday morning I happened to discover through a Tweet that one of my female coworkers is a level 65 priest in World of Warcraft. This comes after discovering last week that another female coworker of mine used to play WoW several years back in college. Later that day, one more female came forward saying she played World of Warcraft too.
Other coworkers would chuckle or scoff at the mere mention of World of Warcraft, but to be known as a female World of Warcraft player? Totally unheard of and borderline unacceptable! The general response was, “I would never have thought of you all as World of Warcraft players.”
I pondered this.
I read somewhere that 85% of MMO players are male, leaving a sad population of 15% female players so of course it comes as a surprise that we not only encounter 1, not 2, but 3 in my workplace. So if World of Warcraft players are generally known as geeky, male social misfits, what does everyone expect female World of Warcraft players to be like?
The sad truth is the general population tends to judge people that play World of Warcraft. They see it as an unnecessary time suck, a marriage or relationship killer, and something that only nerds and geeks participate in. And although there are certain personalities that are prone to taking MMOs to the level of out-of-control addiction, a majority of players are relatively normal and actually have lives out of game. In fact, non-gamers really only hear about the tragic or sensational stories that come out of MMOs. They don’t hear about the “normal” stuff that happens.
For one thing, it has all the elements that most competitive sports require: critical thinking skills, some basic math and statistics skills, and even basic computer hardware troubleshooting skills (although not a competitive sports requirement, but a big plus nonetheless).
In addition to that, it also teaches teamwork, sportsmanship, tolerance and acceptance, and even loyalty (to a certain extent).
So if being a geek means I acquire all of that? Then yeah, call me a geek.
And if you’ve ever wondered what a female World of Warcraft player looks like in real life, she can look like this:
Although other times, she likes to be known as this:
Doesn’t she have a cute outfit? 🙂