Online games: geeky or sociable?

Okay confession: I am am a WoW player. For those of you unaware of what I’m taking about here’s a brief explanation:

World of Warcraft (aka WoW) is a MMORPG, for those of you going ‘what?!’ that means it’s a massive multiplayer online role-playing game, simples. Okay so this game has over 10 million players world wide so it’s pretty popular, there are even some celebrity names associated with the game that you may or may not be surprised to hear. Jonathan Ross (and his wife!) are both players, as is Mr T (a night elf) and Verne Troyer aka Mini-me (a mage). The action film star Vin Disel has been said to dabble in a bit of the online WoW craze and actor Ben Affleck has also admitted to playing. Now the only thing these names have in common is that they are all MEN.

So where does this leave me? I got into the game just over a year ago so I’m no hard core player (a N00b you’ll find is the correct term) but its darn addictive. You create and control a player character represented by a fully rendered avatar in an immensely huge game world. Take a look at these screen shots and you’ll see just a glimpse of some of the beautiful in-game landscapes and settings.

world of warcraft girl gaming

To many talk of WoW will lead to raised eyebrows, a snort of laughter, maybe a judgmental look that says ‘you have no life’ and ultimately the word ‘geek’ will be floating around whether voiced or thought. But as an active member of such an online community, and yes community, I feel the need to fight our corner. Before I began to play I had an uninformed and negative view of the game. Such controversy has surrounded games like WoW. Do you have to sacrifice your life in order to enjoy playing online? Are you a certain type of person if you play these games? Well I can’t speak for everyone but I certainly have a life outside of WoW.

Many people incorrectly assume that online gaming is something that appeals only to teenage boys but according to recent surveys they only make up a mere 25% of the WoW demographic. Not too surprisingly 84% are male players and 16% female, the average age of a WoW player also being 28. (askbobrankin.com) Now for a start I’m 20, and I’m pretty sure I am female πŸ˜› so that immediately puts me in the minority. As for lifestyle I study communication and media, I enjoy clubbing, drinking, socialising, reading, movies and fashion and beauty. Attributes which, while maybe not fitting of a stereotypical WoW player, certainly prove that the WoW community is diverse.

In game you are provided with the opportunity to join a ‘guild’ an online society of players who can play together, help one-another and chat about your character, experiences or about anything at all. Yes, WoW can be a social outlet as well as an engaging and complex online game.

The WoW player can range from the very dedicated, who enjoys training to push their character to be the best they can, to the casual player (like me) who enjoys the social and interactive side. I’ve always enjoyed gaming and luckily as a girl you avoid getting much stick for this. My true love will always remain with Link and the various legend of Zelda games, and I have many fond memories of riding Epona into the sunset. Well, for now I am happy gearing up my blood elf hunter so that she kicks some ass in the BG’s πŸ˜‰ Twilight’s hammer (for you wowbies) character name Sydney.

Shameless celebrity pet owners

If any of you saw ‘Fern Cotton meets Paris Hilton’ (or whatever it was called) you would have seen Paris’s so called ‘dog house’. For those of you that didn’t have a look below and weep.

Okay I find this wrong on so many levels.

For starters this pink-infused doggie mansion cost Mz Hilton a whoping $325,000. Now for us brits thats about Β£200,000. Or in other words one hell of a lot of money. Most people wouldn’t even come close to earning a measly quarter of that in a whole year! Let alone even comprehend the need for dogs to have this much spent on them. Surely an extravagance such as this could be surely be spared and the money go to something worthwhile? There’s splashing out and then there is stupidly splashing out (not to mention the fact that this was openly splashed over Paris’s Twitter page talk about modesty and humility? but I guess those are terms lost on most celebrity figures.)

A 'selection' of Paris's pooches showing off their creepy attire

Secondly doesn’t a dog just want to be a dog? you know, chase their tails, chew on a stick, play some fetch, try to sneak onto the sofa when no one is looking, sniff doggie bums all day? you get the picture. But seriously, It makes you wonder how much time and attention the dogs of celebrities really receive. A dog is for life not to shove in a glorified doll’s house and dress up in skirts and twinkly pink things. It really riles me how they have become a fashion accessory for the rich and I know, I know this is a common debate/rant etc but I was having a browse on the old internet and it really got to me how these owners use their dogs as toys.

Paris Hilton’s creepy little dog villa houses her her 17 chihuahuas and one Pomeranian. We get the lifestyle of someone like Paris Hilton shoved in our faces everyday and it doesn’t really appear to be one with a lot of free time, free time to be giving her 18 dogs the attention they deserve. More disgustingly Paris has been known to get rid of her expensive little pets when they no longer ‘excite her’ treating them as disposable. PETA issued a statement to her highness just before Christmas telling her to stop collecting dogs like trendy souvenirs. Ouch. You can read more here.

Now I better stop before I get a little over-passionate and rant away for another two hours. Hopefully celebrities will realise that dressing up their miniature dogs will not make them look trendy only cruel and tasteless. As for me I’ll stick to a good old boarder collie any day πŸ™‚