Recreational Social Gaming for Beginners

Here's a thing: I barely watch any TV any more. And since we picked up a BT Vision box, that TV I do watch I record and watch at my own convenience.

Now, I wish I could claim that I used the time I reclaimed that way in working for world peace or the betterment of mankind. But I don't. On the whole, I use it playing World of Warcraft. And there's a reason I find this online game so very compelling – levels of interactivity.

TV is essentially a passive experience. You watch what someone else has produced. And while it can be a communal experience, you normally have to be in the same room as the people you're watching TV with. In WoW, the same restrictions do not apply. You're interacting with the content. It's designed so that you have to do stuff to get the most enjoyment out of it. You are the protagonist. And, more than that, you're online with thousands of other people at the same time, often working together to achieve the objectives within the game. And I've managed to stack things such that most of the people I play with are my real life friends. Indeed 90% of the guys on the stag night last weekend were also my guildmates in WoW, including the groom. (The bride's a player, too…)

That combination of the social and the interactive is what makes the game very compelling – and all but the best TV rather insipid by comparison.

Don't believe me? OK: ask Ozzy:

Ozzy Osbourne World of Warcraft Commercial TV Ad

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  1. yucca

    Recreational and Social are indeed the two ingredients that set WoW apart from so many games of 4 or 5 years ago.  If you think about it, they saw the need to appeal to the casual (or first time) computer gamer before Nintendo legitimized the concept with the Wii and the core Wii games at that console’s release.  The recreational aspect of WoW brought in the critical mass of players needed to really make the social part work.  Ultimately, it has been the social part of the game that has kept things going for so many WoW players – especially for those who are playing the game with their real life friends. 


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