Friday Five: 5 Questions for Today's Twitter Warcraft Developers Chat
Friday Five: 5 Boomkin Good Things

What WoW Has Taught Me

Thank you Blog Azeroth for this shared topic, as suggested by Six-Inch Heals. I've been turning this over in my mind for a while now trying to figure out how to tackle it, and somehow ended up a day late. My bad. But here goes.

First and Foremost, I've Learned a Lot About People

First, the good:

  • I've seen how people can come together and really make things happen, due to a shared passion (the game)
  • I've seen people come up with creative solutions to a variety of in-game and meta-game issues
  • I've seen people put aside their RL political and socioeconomic differences and get things done together
  • I've met people from across the country (and this continent) whom I would have had almost no chance of meeting through any other means
  • I've forged casual acquaintances with some amazing people that I spoke to almost daily for years, talking not just about what I was up to in game, but also about the things that mattered to me IRL

But there has also been the bad:

  • I've had to listen to boorish political arguments set forth by those who are unaffected by the issue and thus have no stakes in them (see especially gender politics)
  • I've had what I thought were friendships that extended outside of the game crumble like sugar eggs the week after Easter
  • I've seen hard work for naught, when poor leadership has allowed bad apples to ruin the guild cart
  • I have seen some of the absolutely worst, nasty, back-stabbing behavior I've ever seen outside of daytime dramas, over pixels and in-game power

I've Learned How to Better Deal with People IRL

  • I've learned how to motivate performance long-distance
  • I've learned how to detect all manner of non-visual cues as to something being up with persons I work on projects with virtually
  • I've learned how to work towards a common goal, even when paired with people I don't personally like
  • I've learned more about what motivates achievement for a variety of folks whose situation and motivation are outside of my personal frame of reference.
  • I've gotten much experience in teamwork -- both in assembling and managing teams

I've Also Learned a Lot About Myself

  • I've learned what my deal breakers are for friendships and for collaborations
  • I'm better able to articulate my concerns with people/situations
  • I've built upon my teamwork and collaboration skills, without burning any social currency at work to do so
  • I've learned that I truly thrive and am happiest when I am in a functional, thriving collaborative team of some sort, regardless of if I am leading it, or just one of the team
People may think of World of Warcraft as just another video game, but due to the intrinsic social collaboration model it employs, it really is so much more than that. Overall, not a bad investment of time to have gotten so much more out of it than just some sparkly pixels.