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Monday, 7 January 2013

Breakfast Topic Thoughts

This morning WoW Insiders Breakfast Topic (by Michael Gray) was 'Do you talk about WoW at work?' and I thought this was a really interesting topic and deserved a mini-blog.

Personally I think Michael poses a very good question. He is completely right when he says that "being a geek isn't quite the mark of shame it once was". But I don't think that necessarily makes it easy for everyone to come-out of the gaming closet.

I've never hidden that I'm a geek. I have always been open about my obsession with Star Wars, in particular, and my collection of memorabilia. For those that knew me, my progression to playing WoW was somewhat natural and almost a given thing. I don't think anyone was shocked or confussed and so I was completely open.

For those that I have subsequently met or got to know it's a little different. I started playing properly at the beginning of my Master's degree. I knew a few people very well (having studied at undergraduate level with them) but the majority were new faces. Whilst I never shouted about my virtual gaming life, I never lied if someone asked me if I played WoW or any other games. I even managed to recruit someone from my Master's who is still playing now.

More recently I have been volunteering at a (degree related) institute, within their data team (whom I am due to start a temporary contract with shortly). Working within a data team, as I'm sure you can imagine, is quite a computer based job and the staff are all a little geeky. It also turns out that one guy plays WoW and I have spoken to him in some depth about WoW etc.


  1. This is an interesting topic! I would definately talk about WoW to anyone, but my boyfriend is completely different. If we were out with friends he would definately change the conversation if it even strayed anywhere near WoW.

    1. It really is a great question. It's very interesting how different people act socially about WoW. My boyfriend, like yours, would rather not talk about it - unless he's with the right circle of friends.

  2. This is actually one of the reasons I've resolved to chase a computer-related career.

    At the moment I really can't talk about WoW at work. In fact, I mentioned my faffing about with website coding over the years the other day and got some flack for that. I expect that sort of thing when I mention WoW because it has such a bad rep, but something creative like website creation? It was pretty surprising.

    Being able to talk about, or at least mention, as major a hobby as WoW without fear of any negative retorts seems like a pretty core part of that workspace being a comfortable place to be. Even if people don't understand the hobby, it shouldn't be that hard to accept that other people enjoy it.

    1. Hmm I agree - website creation (whilst beyond my techy abilities & no doubt many peoples abilities) shouldn't be shunned. It's an impressive skill to have, if you ask me!
      And yes - everyone should be able to talk about their hobbies. It's weird how some people see 'mainstream' hobbies (i.e sports) to be more acceptable than gaming. I think that in a lot of cases people don't understand the concept of WoW, its virtual world, what it involves (i.e. leadership, team work) and if they did then maybe they'd accept it more.

    2. Yeah, I think a lack of understanding is probably at the heart of it. It seems like MMO news only hits the mainstream when someone dies from exhaustion after a marathon session, or a journalist decides to write a piece on ERP. Not exactly the most constructive representation!

    3. Definately! People dying from exhaustion is one of the media's favourite things to advertise MMO's.

      This has got me thinking about the 'Race to World First (2011) WoW Documentary'. Don't know if you've seen it. I'll post a blog about it tonight (with a link to it). But it touches on the social aspects of WoW and is generally very interesting :)