Traveling the Multiverse

Aka Ironyca Stood in the Fire – gaming blog

Why do you play WoW? And how do you convey this to others?

Have you ever had someone pull the “say whaaat?” face when you mention you play WoW?

In light of the stigma some feel in admitting they play WoW (I wrote a post about it called: “First rule of WoW, you don’t talk about WoW” – MMO’s and stigma) I tried to cover as much as I could think of, all the reasons people might have for playing, what they get out of it, and word it in a way non-players could understand and maybe even relate to.

I was inspired by Bethany’s post where she asks for her readers advice on how to ease people into knowing that she played WoW. I thought I’d try and make a list of things to say when people question “why on earth you chose to play that game”.

Maybe you can recognize yourself somewhere?

Professor Putricide wants to see you at his "office"

  • I play as an experiment.

Players > NPC's

  • I find playing against and with other people in online games more rewarding than playing against pre-programmed robots or even watching tv.

Problem-solving and Efficient Strategies

  • WoW provides stimuli for me to make me think logically to solve different problems. I like finding out the most efficient strategies and will sometimes approach the game as a puzzle that needs solving.

Being Active by Being Challenged

  • I like being challenged, and to challenge myself, including in games where I can collaborate with others to meet an end goal. It’s sort of a hobby and keeps my mind active.

Guild Management

  • I’m into guild management and put a lot of effort into dealing with all the circumstances that arise when leading 10 or 25 people towards a common goal, while also being attentive to maintaining the social ties around being part of a guild. It’s almost like Human Resources, just the virtual world version.

Making New Friends

  • I like tying friendships in online games, it’s fun to play with a diverse group of people. Some are from different cultures and nationalities, some are much older/younger/richer/poorer than I am. And some are just like me.

Maintaining Friendships

  • I like playing with my offline friends/girlfriend/boyfriend, it’s something active and fun for us to do together. Playing together can work really well in fx a long distance relationships.

Economist in Training

  • I’m trying out my economical skills at the in game auction house, to see how rich I can get.

Being Part of the WoW story

  • I like being part of this epic story. Imagine your favourite tv series, and how exciting it is to watch the latest episode, only in my case, I am the main character.

Exploring New Fantasy Worlds

  • I like to explore this fantasy world. Think of fx the movie Avatar and how beautiful the planet Pandora was, wouldn’t you like to travel around in that world? (Watching Avatar in 3D doesn’t count)


  • I’m competitive and I like my skills to be put to the test. In WoW I can fight in the arena or the battlegrounds against other players, and I always play to win. Getting server-firsts is also on my list.

Decking out the Character

  • I like dressing my characters up. Collecting fancy, good looking clothing and accesories in order to put them together as a set, is part of the fun.

Completion and Collections

  • I’m a collector, I like finding the rare and hidden “gems” in the game but also completing achievements. The more extravagant and rare the better. What others don’t have, I want.

Roleplay and Player-driven Narratives

  • I like to roleplay in games. It’s like being part of an act, but there is no script. Instead I have to devise my characters identity, think on my feet and build a story with my fellow roleplayers.

Unconventional Gameplay

  • I like setting up events in the game. I like arranging parties and making guildmeetings that much more engaging. I’m always trying to find crazy unconventional ways to have fun in the game.

Griefing and Ganking

  • I like poking fun at people, I find it entertaining to tease and fool around with other players in the game, I laugh when others cry. Some might call me a griefer or ganker.

Must... play... WoW...

  • I am just straight out addicted.

I’m sure there’s a million reasons people play WoW or any other MMORPG for that matter. I play for several of the ones above.

Anything you would add to the list?

(Last updated 11/6-11)

7 comments on “Why do you play WoW? And how do you convey this to others?

  1. ladyerinia
    October 8, 2010

    I play WoW because I feel accepted and I have made several friends in WoW that become friends IRL.

    I play WoW because it’s engaging, and fun. I take an active role in the story and I am challenged along the way.

    I play WoW because I can.

    I have been ridiculed, teased, and laughed at because I play WoW, and you know what? I don’t care! I don’t feel the need to go to clubs and bars and get drunk. I’d rather stay at home and enjoy a quiet night of raiding and comraderie (sic) and actually feel like I’ve accomplished something.

  2. Tabathine
    October 15, 2010

    This was my reply to Beth’s blog, but I think it is better suited at your site which I found through Beths site.

    I play because I like the interacting with people that I grow to be close friends with without ever leaving my home. I am naturally a home body, and so MMORPG’s are perfect for me. BTW, up until that ironyca’s post, I had only a slight idea what that stood for. And WoW is my first real game, although I have played Sims and own a seldom used wii.
    I never talk about playing WoW with my family, as we just get in a huge fight, them not understanding that you can build friendships online and it not be totally creepy. A RL friend introduced me to the game, and though we don’t really play together in-game, it’s fun to talk about outside of Azaroth. And a /wave from a friend while running through Dal always puts a smile on my face.
    As for telling people I play WoW: I don’t. I will approach someone if I know they play, and I don’t hide the fact that I play, but idk, it just seems like it has to much of a stigma to it. Which is sad. And it doesn’t help that my pre WoW friends don’t ‘approve’ that I play. Really, we need to start a campaign that shows how many of us ‘normal’ people play WoW, or is a gamer in general. I bet the world would be surprised.

  3. ironyca
    October 15, 2010

    I think gamers are becoming more accepted, especially if you include people who play browser based games etc (including farmville), into the definition of what makes a gamer.
    If we broaden this definition, the average gamer is something like a 30+ female. Almost the opposite of what we think of as real gamers… 17 year old boys. Of course the two segments play different games (mostly), but we all unite under the gamer banner if we think in a broad enough sense, and I think this movement is evolving.

  4. Vaneeesa Blaylock
    October 17, 2010

    WoW (so to speak) the 3rd photo from the top with all the peeps in a semi-circle — how do you do that???

    I’d definitely like to do a performance artwork in WoW sometime – IDK there were ways to do things like that – did they just take the pose? Or can you position avatars?

    PS: my Blue Mars trip report will be up… uh… any month now!

  5. ironyca
    October 17, 2010

    The third picture has to be the one with the whitehaired nightelf in the middle. The people standing around him are npc’s. I think you have those in Second Life as well, in WoW they are everywhere.
    The ones in that picture are the prisoners held in the Stockades under Stormwind (the human capital). They can be killed and will fight back. Since you can’t really control npc’s, they are very hard to work with, and you have to find alternative ways to manipulate them.

    Npc’s though are interesting in terms of artificial intelligence, which is exactly what they are.

    I have found something that could be called a performance act in WoW, which I thought was excellent:
    In short, the link takes you to a blog post about a lot of druids “re-enacting” Hitchcocks “The Birds” . The druid class, which can (at a high level) transform into birds, as the picture shows, are all real players.

  6. Pingback: This is Unconventional Gameplay at it’s best! – “Premade of Doom” | Read Between The Lines

  7. Anonymous
    June 28, 2014

    I like to play wow because it’s fun, even though I have mostly played the game “solo” doing the pug route where and whenever I could. I liked to help others cause their reactions of joy give me joy to. And I love being a blood elf Hunter; beast master and engineer. Being able to tame the beasts no one else can and having the coolest toys in Azeroth is just so much fun. I also love to explore the world looking for little goodies and easter eggs hidden around the world. Two of my favorite areas even now are Blackrock mountain and Karazhan just because I joined during burning crusade and as a mostly “solo” player I didn’t get to do all that content until I was much higher level and could just defeat it on my own, accept Karazhan the chess game still needs a few people to beat, which isn’t really how it was supposed to be experienced but I loved it all the same. And one of my favorite hidden eggs I found before flying mounts came to all of Azeroth, I managed to jump up the mountains a good ways west of Ogrimmar and found a hut full of bags stuffed with “green leaves” and a huge smoking pipe as big as your character that sticks all the way out the door of the hut. Thought that was pretty funny. =D

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This entry was posted on October 8, 2010 by in Opinion and Discussion and tagged , , , , .


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