How About Person to Person Interaction?

Mr. Bear Butt brought up a topic the other day, about player interactions.  Specifically who is responsible for moderating them?  Blizzard?  Other Players?  I don’t think there is a right answer that satisfies all facets of the issue, but hop on over and give it a read.  It is incredibly thoughtful and insightful, as is the norm with BBB.

While reading the article a thought popped into my head – who is responsible – or better yet, IS there a person/entity that has the right to moderate the way we gamers play?  It is a slight sidestep to BBB’s topic, but relevant none the less.  Let me explain.

Here in So. Cal. there are several well-to-do and well-known universities.  UCLA, SDSU, USC, Etc..  But there is another, if not widely known to the rest of the country.  It is famous here in CA for being the best college for teachers – CSUN (Cal State University Northridge).  Any teacher who is anyone went there, at least for the last few semesters if only to get their diploma.

During the orientation to CSUN, you get to see, and learn about, a lot of stuff on the campus.  They have a wonderful performing arts center.  Their science facility is brand new, and second to only 2 colleges in the state.  Their 3 story library is bigger than most city blocks (it was featured in the newest Star Trek movie, as the headquarters of Starfleet).  But you also learn, in one of their great lecture halls that ALL on campus wi-fi (which is paid for, as a fee, in your tuition you pay) has all WoW servers blocked.

And I would be OK with that, if it were for a reason like “we can’t have WoW going on in classrooms, while other students are trying to learn,” or better yet “Gaming would kill the bandwidth, and thus, the entire network would be brought to its knees.”  (not true by the way, WoW is relatively low in consumption of bandwidth)  No, their reasoning was not any of those.  And I quote, “If you play WoW during your time here, you will flunk out of our school.”

The reasoning was simply that of moderation – they didn’t want you to play WoW on the school network, even though you paid for its use, because they didn’t think you could handle it.  Mom?  Dad?  When did you become school administrators?

Morally, do they have the right to try to control the use (playing of) WoW?  I am sure they know that students just go home and hit up the nearest pug raid.  The answer is absolutely not.  Does ANYONE have that right? (outside of minors, of course, their parents absolutely have the right)  I still think no.  Freedoms, though not explicitly stated, are still freedoms.

Legally (and I defer to those who are a bit more up on legalese than me), they probably have a claim.  Something about it being their network and they can do as they damned well please?  Not sure.  But we all know that morality, and legality, do not go hand in hand sometimes.

What they are doing is propagating the negative stereotype of the WoW gamer.  The “I have no life, I raid 12 hours a day, and have no control over my surroundings” type of player.  I will just say this – I held down a FULL TIME job while attending school, and almost always had 15-18 units (of which at least 10 were science classes and the corresponding labs).  I would get up at 4AM and go to bed at midnight 4 days a week.  I still played WoW, if not on campus.  I didn’t raid, but I still played.  And I was able to maintain a very high GPA (not quite perfect, but still).

I wonder how long it will be before WoW players, and gamers in general, are going to start standing up for themselves, be it through legal recourse, or just plain speaking our minds…

One Response to “How About Person to Person Interaction?”
  1. Nymesis says:

    My wife tried sayin something similar. She said that she didn’t care that I played video games, but not WoW. When pressed as to why, she said that she thought it was a stupid game and that she didn’t understand why I liked it. So, being the good husband I am, I did what any husband would do. I took WoW off the credit card, told her I cancelled the account and went to the local Gamestop and bought my prepaid time cards. I guess I told her.

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