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#6. WoW is a Lot Like Work
In World of Warcraft, like real life, you need money. WoW uses in-game gold as currency and to do the fun stuff ("raiding" and killing huge monsters) you'll need a lot of gold. And getting it isn't a whole lot more fun than working at Burger King.
You earn gold by "farming," which is the slang term for the monotonous quests players slog through each day, that generally involve killing X monsters, or collecting X items and getting gold in return. Over and over and over again. For hours.
Active players will need to do this tedious farming about two days a week, to fund the actual fun part of their game. So basically not only do you have to work a day job to pay for the game, but your character also has to have a day job to pay for his raiding.
Even stranger, enterprising gamers can make gold in a sort of commodities market that has formed in the WoW world. There is an in-game auction house where items are bought and sold between players. So you can sit there among the elves and monsters and act like you're on the floor of the stock exchange. Buy low, sell high, get rich.
There are even complex software plugins people use to track price histories and trends. There is speculation, price fluctuations, and selling panics. If you're asking why this is superior to, say, getting a similar job in real life, we suspect the answer is that in WoW you get to dress like this the whole time:
#5. WoW is Also a Lot Like Job Hunting
You know how during your first month in prison you want to find a gang to join, so somebody's got your back in case you get shanked in the yard? Well in World of Warcraft those gangs are called guilds.
Either fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, guilds have plenty of people lining up ready to sacrifice their social lives to the group. Aspiring members are so eager that they are willing to go through a ridiculously involved guild application process. So you...
1. Register on the guild forum and fill out an application like this one.
2. Guild officers then go over your application, check out your equipment and contact you if you meet their standards.
3. If you measure up, you'll be allowed to go on some raids (missions) with them as an "app", where you're allowed only limited participation. This could go on for weeks.
"And you say if I do this, you'll let me in your guild?"
4. You will go on some more raids with them as a "trial", now with limited access to forums and guild chat. Again this could last for weeks or months.
5. Finally you will be made a full "member", assuming you've not been rejected at any of the previous steps.
You might have noticed that most political offices don't have that kind of vetting process. There are even websites featuring guild application tips and applicants often spend insane amounts of time putting together biographies or even animated presentations touting their skills.
And when applicants get turned down, it gets ugly.
At this point, guild shopping might sound suspiciously like job hunting to you, but it isn't. When you apply for a job, employers not only don't mind you applying for other jobs at the same time, they expect it. In WoW, you are expected to only apply with one guild at a time. So if the months-long trail period ends in failure, you start over.
And you do it all for the privilege of wearing the guild's proud name over your head everywhere you go.
#4. Prejudice is Alive and Well in the Game World
Like in any social environment, WoW has stereotypes. Of course the players can't see your actual race, but that's okay. You choose a race and class when you start the game, and you'll be stereotyped based on that instead.
For instance, you can choose to play as a Hunter. People will promptly refer to you as a "huntard" and start speaking to you loudly and slowly. Are hunters dumber on average than any other class? It's impossible to prove that kind of thing with hard facts or statistics, but yes.
It turns out a lot of new players and/or kiddies choose hunters when they first start playing (it's an easy class for the novice) so the "Hunter=Dumbass" stereotype was born and deeply entrenched in the culture.
Another class, Rogues, have a reputation for being assholes. Again, there's a reason for this. When playing against other humans, their most effective means of attack is to sneak up on people before they're ready, kill them very quickly, and use their abilities to run away before their victim's friends can get revenge.
Thus, players have figured out that many people select Rogues specifically because they enjoy this kind of hit-and-run behavior. Again we're not saying that all rogue players are bad people, but they are.