World of Warcaft-As Expansive As You Can Make It.


World of Warcraft as a game needs little introduction, at its height it boasted millions of active subscribers and mainstream popularity. That peak popularity is long gone but the game continues to pull an extreme profit and continues to hold the players attention. I have personally sunk hours into this game, I meet many people who I continue to communicate with through this game even when they begin to drift away from the game. Developed by Blizzard entertainment World of Warcraft is a continuation in a series of games that originated as a top down strategy game. The tolkienesque fantasy setting gained its thematic legs through 3 main titles of Warcraft as a strategy game. However in 2004 they would release this world to the public but this time in an MMO RPG format allowing for players to interact with the world and each other in a cooperative and antagonistic fashion as was  the norm for many previous MMOs.2016-10-04


As a game World of Warcraft offers its
players an extreme amount of content to play through and progress on. Having been a running game for more than ten years the amount of things one could do is staggering. However for a player like me all the extra bits are just that extra. I continue to play for the sole community reasons. I’ve been a part of a guild(group of players) for years now and I continue to be a part of this guild because to put it simply I want to kill big monsters that require the cooperation of 19 other real people. As a game this is easy to define through Caillois “The Definition of Play and Classification of Games”

  1. Free, While I do have a obligation to my friends I am free to drop the game at any point and when it fails to be a fun experience I will exercise this.
  2. Separate, while the some people take this game into the real world and let the results affect them in real life for me it still remains a recreational activity.
  3. Uncertain, How well we do or what items I will acquire is random and this adds a sense of surprise to the experience.
  4. Unproductive, While I have gained real world wealth through the game I never went out of my way to turn this into a job.
  5. Governed by rules, this is obviously a game that is governed by preprogrammed rules.
  6. Make-Believe, While I may not exercise this aspect many people find this sort of game exciting because they can make-believe within it, I do not.


What is interesting is that people also begin to group themselves and create spaces based on that they enjoy about the game. this allows for people ranked their groups based on who kills the current bosses in the shortest amount of time. This is a news site that focused of guides for people who either need help or are focused on completing every aspect of the game. These groups form within this game as the way people interact with the structure provided differs dramatically frCaptureom group to group.

This is a little more complex especially
when we take into account all the different groups playing this game for different reasons. To start we could have the people who wish to defeat large scale group content (player versus environment) or raiders create sites, communities, and videos to not only teach but to share their experiences and victories with the community. Those who do this well and can prove it through percentile ranking consider what they do an art. Something that can be shared and held up within their community. There is also more traditional forms of art like fan art, but this exists outside of the game and so this can’t be considered as the game as art. However when it comes to comedic sketches and story based videos through Machinima that is done within the game and is also in some cases able to be relevant outside of the games community.

…it also illustrates its role as a part of critical play genealogy that has its origins in avant-garde movements. -Hjoth

The idea that this game and it’s combat system can combine to relive a classic Abbot and Costello bit “Who’s on first” is charming and funny to the average person thanks to its avant-garde style. That a futuristic video game that allow for people to play as a multitude of things, can be molded into a classic silver screen era comedic routine is not what many would expect.


With so many opportunities for World of Warcraft to reclassify it’s Game play, and provide varied amounts art the game has become and will remain a cultural cornerstone for not only the players but thoughts who have ever interacted with its many groups and artistic products.


3 thoughts on “World of Warcaft-As Expansive As You Can Make It.

  1. I really enjoyed reading your introduction on the game because it is very informative for someone who has not played it. Though I understand it is like League of Legends another MMO RPG that I can relate this game to. I could not agree more about how you related this game to be considered a form of art. I believe all video games can be considered an art because of how they are visually represented and the characters and objects within. I liked your youtube link to the WoW machinima because that is clearly an art form that we have talked about. Also using Calliois for your argument of why this is game works perfectly because it matches up with list.


  2. Your explanation of art within the game was very interesting! An art to both a game play perspective which is the art of master of class, as well as basically game art that was created by the community. From a more purely aesthetic and face value aspect I think World of Warcraft is artistic. It comes packed with many fictional yet unique and diverse cultures, as well as their takes on art perspective from those races, such as how they would build their structures. I think this is more plain when we compare to the difference between the difference of structures between the major cities of Orgrimmar and Stormwind. Both have their own kind of charm to them because of their culture. Going off from this and Benjamin’s criteria of what art is, do you think WoW is a work of art in a sense of time and space?


  3. I found your use of avant-garde very unique for WoW. You explained the game well and also set in how the community has been keeping the game alive for over a decade now! The game is old now though and it has modern copycats that are trying to improve what it set during its time. For it’s time it was advant-garde and even some time after but do you think time itself has upset that? Do you think this game will stand the test of time much later into it’s life considering it’s an online mmorpg? If the game goes offline forever, will the player’s art of setting a rank or progress in the game be remembered as art or would everyone move on? A game like PAC-MAN can be around forever and preserved in it’s entirety unlike a game that is only on servers, waiting for an eventual end.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s