A structured conversation on gaming and MMO’s
Podcaster Stuart Tracte and web designer Josh Wolff share a unique history: though both only recently met IRL, both have logged thousands of hours – literally hundreds of days – inside World of Warcraft, the world’s most successful MMO.
Gaming, historically relegated to social realms populated by computer geeks and creative nerds, is now undeniably mainstream. The critical and financial success of social games like the recently released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim further validate the medium.
Speculation on the alleged addictive nature of MMOs has been a persistent media narrative for years, and the games are undoubtedly designed to be sticky. World of Warcraft, published by Blizzard Entertainment, currently claims north of ten million subscribers, each paying a 15-dollar-per-month fee. Blizzard, in an effort to sell the idea of community and address allegations of MMO addiction recently funded The Raid, a documentary that chronicles the lives of a Guild (a group), in-game and extra-game. The 2010 documentary Gamers, while short and simplistic, does a good job of breaking down the mechanics and culture of MMOs.
Stwo, Wolff, and I (with a special cameo by @JoshSternberg) discuss the history of console and PC games before jumping in to a lengthy discussion about the mechanics of WoW. We wrap the conversation with a few deeply personal stories of their individual time spent in-game.