January 19, 2006

What E'er Your Part Is What You Art? [huh?]

Edward Castronova is a college professor and serious student of virtual worlds. On the gamer group blog Terra Nova, Castronova expounded his theory that choosing to play evil characters--such as the orcs and trolls and such who make up The Horde in World of Warcraft [no, I don't know exactly what that means, but with a little imagination and the 20-hr director's cut of LOTR, I think I get the drift]--has some unconscious/unacknowledged real world moral implications. As one datapoint, he cites an undead character he was dealt which frightened his 3-year-old son. Says one commenter:

...it's ridiculous to argue that the gut reactions of 3-year-olds are a good way of measuring good and evil. I imagine most 3-year-olds find tarantulas pretty frightening; does that make them evil? Maybe one of the appealing things about Horde is that it belies the identification of "pretty" and "good".
Judging by the average wordcount of each comment that followed, gamers are dying to talk about the deep importance of their in-game activities; set the TiVo and put the kid to bed if you plan on getting through this thread in one sitting.

The Horde Is Evil [terranova via robotwisdom]
Hm. Now that I think about it, this song from "Avenue Q" is being performed by World of Warcraft characters. [google video]

3 Comments

IMHO, it's ridiculous to argue that a 3-year old should even be watching these games, or that their parent, outside of naptime, should be playing with the Horde instead of with their kid. Unless their kid and his/her Avatars, imaginary friends, Rescue Heroes, and actual, snotty-nosed pre-school playmates are in fact the 'Horde' in question.

Amen. Who lets their 3 year old run about with no supervision while they play computer games??? and letting him/her watch one seems really just setting yourself up for the kid to have nightmares.

As this 36 year old finds tarantulas frightening...yes, yes it does make them evil.

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