Interesting post today at Terra Nova, Shifting Social Tides. I’ve been fascinated by online/offline, virtual persona/real life interaction. Most of my life is lived online, outside of the horses and work: I communicate with my family and friends back home via email and blogs, I met my husband online, I’ve met very close friends online that I’ve never met in “real” life.
Warcraft fascinates me specifically because of the high degree of immersion: it feels real much of the time. People hold meetings in game, they hold pagan religious ceremonies and funerals for friends. I had to laugh at myself recently during one of the Darkmoon Faires; Phil and I had played the games at the faire together, and then later I saw it with another character. For a split second I thought “Oh, good – she hasn’t had a chance to see it yet” and then I had to laugh. It’s a real world to me much of the time, and I identify with my online personas.
I, too, have encouraged workmates and friends to enter the WOW universe…because it’s a world that is important to me, and I’d like to interact with them in that world. There hasn’t been another game that has had that sense of immersion, or reality, for me before.
Another interesting thing that I read recently was First Loves, on WOW Insider. My first character was/is Ravven, my warlock. I love locks, but I admit that, had I not put so much work into her, I would have dropped her by now. I really hate the way she looks; I have no idea what I was thinking when I gave her white-blonde hair and big googly eyes. And so I’m kind of stuck with a Britney Spears-lookalike warlock. :(