Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Are you playing with future entrepreneurs?

Interesting article on Forbes yesterday about how playing video games have shaped or helped entrepreneurs. In the article an entrepreneur named John Hagel, who is currently co-chairman of a tech-oriented strategy center for Deloitte, starts out by talking about having hired a young employee right out of college. This employee, Stephen Gillett, ended up becoming the CIO for Starbucks and at the time was the youngest CIO in the Fortune 500.

"And Hagel thinks he knows a primary reason for his one-time employee's meteoric rise. Everything that Gillett needed to know, Hagel said, he learned while becoming a guild leader in the popular online game World of Warcraft."

Wow, that is a lot to say that Gillett's guild leading skills was the primary reason for becoming the youngest CIO in the Fortune 500. So Hagel talked about this at a conference for Wharton, one of the country's top business schools. At the Wharton Leadership Conference Hagel said:

"... that Gillett - just like other top players on the massive online multi-player game, with an estimated 8 million participants - reached out independently to build a large team of allies that solved complex problems and developed winning strategies. Guild leaders in World of Warcraft "require a high degree of influence". You have to be able to influence and persuade people - not order them to do things. Ordering people in most of these guilds doesn't get you far."

Again, just incredible to me that he is at a Wharton conference and talking about skills picked up in WoW having this kind of business impact. Now Hagel addressed World of Warcraft and its relevance for today's complicated business environment in a research project and book called The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion, where they addressed "how companies re-invent and revive themselves by moving away from secretive, proprietary shops and toward a more open, collaborative business model".

Hagel's point seems to be that American companies need "the edge," where "passionate, change-driven employees collaborate with others on innovations" to succeed in this global business environment. US companies need to get away from simply developing a proprietary product and then trying to defending that advantage and move towards creating broad networks and finding innovation at "the edge" of their businesses with improved teamwork and communication skills.

Hagel, along with his research and book colleague John Seely Brown, also addressed how WoW can promote innovation in an older January 2009 Businessweek article. They address how business executives can improve organizational performance by using WoW approaches.

I wasn't surprised to read that Hagel does have a background in gaming, having worked at Atari in his past. Back to the Forbes article, Hagel talks about the success of software company SAP:

"Hagel thinks the teamwork and communication skills that SAP software designers have been gaining are quite similar to the talents that leaders among the millions of online gamers playing World of Warcraft--people like Starbucks CIO Gillett--have also been acquiring. In addition to the leadership qualities involved with becoming the head of a guild and assembling a problem-solving team from previously independent players, World of Warcraft enthusiasts, conduct extensive after-action reviews of their performances as well as that of the leader. In addition, he said that game players typically customize their own dashboards to offer statistics and rate performance in areas they consider critical to their strategy."

I don't know if I completely agree that the skills picked up from guild leading would be a primary reason for entrepreneurial success. I definitely think you do learn about managing and leading people, resolving conflict, etc etc. But I am more inclined to think that the core of these skills were more innate in these individuals prior to playing the game, thus making it more likely that they would end up becoming guild leaders.

But regardless, I think its pretty incredible that an article like this is on Forbes with a WoW picture and tagline like "Worried that India and China will eat your lunch? Check out World Of Warcraft" as well as the fact that Hagel talked about this at Wharton.

Is our little game becoming more accepted and mainstream in society and in the business world?


Monday, June 28, 2010

A little bit of stick along with the carrot

The Left Claw has never been a hard core progression guild. We're a guild of people who turned into friends, a group that wants to do decently in terms of downing bosses and seeing what the game has to offer but at the same time is a bit more casual in our approach to raiding.

For last Thursday's raid, Jess was away on vacation or something so wasn't there to run. Knowing this ahead of time, I made the conscious decision that I was going to lead the raid a little more hard core that night. Given that we are in the summer months and with folks off and on, we aren't going to have a ton of time to raid. Thus, when we are raiding, I thought that we could tighten things up a bit more.

Tighten what, you may ask? Well, I mean how fast we clear through to the Lich King. I don't think we have to get militant about raiding, but we could definitely speed things up a bit more. Sometimes the number of consecutive afks and brbs drives me batty. I totally understand that we need them, and some of our folks are dealing with kids. But could we be a bit more efficient with our raiding time? Oh, most definitely.

So as we were zoning in and waiting for the last couple of folks to come in, I said something like :

"We need to clear this shit faster. There will be minimal or consolidated afks tonight. NO phantom afks. There will be no break until after Saurfang, so if you need to go, go now before we start."

Sure folks gave me shit, saying they were grabbing bottles (ewww) or going to grab water before they got in trouble. Despite the joking though, I think folks appreciated it. Yeah, we had afks, but for the most part they were scheduled/announced beforehand (after completing a wing seemed to make sense). And if someone had to go afk some other time, I announced that anyone else that needs to go could go then as well. Consolidated afks! Doooo eeeeet!

Hopefully my raid leading wasn't too annoying. But I will say that we cleared to Sindragosa faster than we ever have before, and I think (or hope) folks appreciated that. We're a more casual guild that is designed more around the carrot. But I think we can bring in a little bit of stick along with the carrot.

On another note, we are still working on good old Lichie-poo as Jess likes to call him. We're at the point now where we're in Phase 3 for varying amounts of time before it all goes to hell in a hand basket. Ugh. Last night we had our best attempts yet, one that went so freakin' close it was exciting to see the progress, yet frustrating to be so close and not get it.

But for you fellow druids, I need some advice. As a tree, what do you do when you get sucked in the Frostmourne? I seem to see and read varying advice on whether healers can just heal Terenas through Soul Rip or whether they must interrupt Soul Rip. The one time I got sucked in, I tried to start out healing then switched to bear to enrage and bash for Soul Rip, but I failed at it. Should I try maiming in kitteh? Do I have to interrupt?

What do you do? Halp!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Random Thursday

Couple of random funnies to share this Thursday.

This article below really cracked me up. But its a good reminder to try to find the joy or humor in our little game, even if its the bazillionth daily you've done (do it without a tank!), or the 100th time you've done a certain boss. Musical ICC was a good time for us, I should try to come up with something else to shake things up a bit:

Pajama Forest is a really cute webcomic (archived comics here) that has WoW related comics from time to time:

In this pre-expansion slump, folks are taking breaks from the game as well as leaving guilds. It's important I think to communicate this clearly and fairly. Perhaps this breakup letter can teach us a lesson:


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What can we learn from the World Cup?

Are you guys watching the World Cup? Two weeks into it and as always, it's been exciting! I'm super super pleased since both of my teams have made it into the second round. My Korean brothers pulled it out yesterday:

Dae-han-min-guk! And the US made it a bit too close this morning, but finally scored in the 91st minute in injury time.

This means Saturday will be an all day soccer fest for me, with South Korea playing in the morning and the US in the afternoon.

I think we all know that raiding is a team effort. So just to reinforce this point, a couple of ideas on what can we learn from watching these soccer matches:

1. You're a team. No matter how many brilliant, egotistical, overpaid super stars you may have, it really doesn't matter if you can't play as a team. Team chemistry and the desire to work together makes a difference.

2. Communication. The best teams communicate with each other. Even when there are distractions (ahem vuvuzelas), you have to find an effective and constructive way to communicate throughout the mayhem.

3. Sometimes things are beyond your control. Blizzard/server glitches, idiot blind referees (ahem Kouman Coulibaly)... yeah sometimes despite your best effort, things happen beyond your control. Sometimes lady luck is on your side, sometimes it isn't.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

WoW spouses revisited

Last month Jess came out on Pretty in Plate clarifying that he is in fact a he. I think over time a number of readers on his blog, as well as mine, had come to assume he was a she. However, very astute readers of my blog may have noticed that I did slip up a number of times here and refer to Jess as a he. I've also referred to him several times here as my WoW spouse, a subject I blogged about a while back.

But now that the word is officially out on Jess and there has been some time for this shocking news to settle (heh), I feel that I can safely and freely blog about this whole notion of Jess as my WoW spouse. Let me first share the story of how I first met Jess, a story that most everyone in the guild has heard already.

I came into The Left Claw in March of 2007, brought in by our old friend Adamas. When I was brought into the guild, Jess was online and Adamas introduced me to Jess. Now here's where it gets funny. The noob in me never even considered that a guy would play a female toon. Never. So here I am meeting someone named Jessika and I got so incredibly excited with the notion of meeting another female in the game, that I went a little crazy. The whisper went a little like this:

"OMG!!! Jessika!!! It's so nice to meet you! I'm so glad to meet another female player because I am female and /squee! Let's be best friends and hold hands and skip along and talk butterflies and glitter and cupcakes and rainbows!!!"

Ok it didn't go exactly like that. But that was the gist. There was a slight pause, during which I was wondering whether this girl was thinking I was some crazy person. Then Jess responds with something like:

"Well since you've been honest with me, I have to be honest with you. I'm a guy."

I was shocked. What? A guy playing a female warrior named Jessika? /boggle. It really cracks me up today that I never even considered the possibility that a guy could play female toons. Now given that Jess is much more private than I am, I felt that this wasn't something that was for me to share with the rest of the guild.

For a long time folks like Daihiro and Adamas also had no clue and just continued with the assumption that Jess was a she. It was kind of funny and cute when Adamas would call Jess "Hon" from time to time. All was revealed of course, when Blizz implemented the in game voice feature (we didn't use vent back then).

Sometimes I wonder how Jess and I came to become WoW hubby and WoW wife. Did our stereotypical roles of male tank and female healer have anything to do with it? Did I feel more "wife-ly" healing him? Did Jess feel more "hubby-ly" protecting me from angry scary mobs? Did our personal backgrounds and personalities just somehow mesh? Was it somehow a combination of multiple factors?

I am very intrigued though with the notion of whether we would have become WoW hubby and WoW wife if the two of us had somehow chosen two dps toons as our mains. I'm not sure. How did our roles tanking/healing 5 mans and 2 manning multiple group quests affect our relationship? Hmmm.

So yes, we play the stereotypical male tank - female healer roles. But here's some insight in how it's gotten to the WoW hubby and wife relationship. The two of us probably bicker over vent a bit. I can say something or in a certain way to Jess that I would never ever say to anyone else in the guild. And even if we bicker and disagree, I don't question whether it will somehow negatively affect the relationship. It's kind of understood that we'll fight and disagree, then we'll get over it, just like any other husband and wife.

In the beginning, I think guildies wondered and perhaps worried when we were bickering. As Jess is the GM of the guild, and I am his WoW wife, the joke in the guild when we fight is for the guildies to say something like Vel once did:

"I get a little sad inside when mommy and daddy fight."

Haha. The kids get sad when mom and dad fight. :) As Jess' WoW wife, I definitely question his decisions and give him crap more than anyone else. And let's just be clear, as any wife or girlfriend is, I am always right. Always. Even when I'm wrong. And as Shat clarified for us the other night:

"You shut your mouth when you're talking to K!"

Since Jess is also our de facto raid leader, its interesting that when Jess isn't there for a raid, the responsibility is sort of placed on me. After one of these nights, Darc thanked me for leading the raid, to which I had to clarify:

"Darc, you realize that even when Jess is here, I am really the one leading things around here, right?"

Though as outspoken and argumentative as I can be, there is a part of me that does play a more supportive "wife-ly" role. (I swear! It's true!) Now Jess and I whisper back and forth a lot during raids. What is interesting is that if I think that something should be changed in terms of raid strategy, I more often that not do not say it myself on vent. I whisper Jess, who then takes my always brilliant ideas and suggestions to the raid.

Now if Jess somehow mistakenly refuses to listen to me, I may say something myself on vent. But I tend to always give Jess the opportunity to consider it and present it himself. I wondered why I did this when clearly I am not some shy wallflower who is afraid to let her views known. I asked Jess the other week what he thought. Jess thought that it was maybe some subconscious wife-ly way to kind of support WoW hubby. Hmmm. Perhaps.

Our relationship in game is probably similar to real life spouses who play together in game. Except that I don't have the advantage of throwing something across the room at Jess when he screws up. Such a shame, such a shame.


Monday, June 21, 2010

I'll stick to my Trader Joe's snacks

I came across this article on Kotaku about Gamer Grub, a snack specifically marketed towards us gamers with tag lines like "no keyboard crumbs" and "no greasy fingers".

What cracks me up is that it is marketed as a "performance snack". They even have a specific science of gamer grub section on their website with info such as:

"Gamer Grub is a great tasting snack mix packed with select vitamins and neurotransmitters supporting fast cognitive performance. Gamer Grub is scientifically formulated to power your core gaming systems for maximum gaming performance."

Then vitamins and minerals in the snack are listed, specifically listing how they affect gamer performance such as vitamin A helping nerve impulses in the eyes and L-glutamic acid affecting nerve cell data input and output.

None of the four flavors (Pizza, PB&J, BBQ, S'mores) really appeals to me, and honestly this marketing pitch of this as a "performance snack" is a bit much to me. The whole vitamins and neurotransmitters in the snack helping your gaming by keeping you focused and quick makes me roll my eyes.

As I've previously blogged about, I'll stick to my Trader Joe's snacks, thanks. My latest kicks?

The Tofutti sounds kinda gross but its so yummy, I swear! I've come to call it frozen trickery because it really tastes like a real ice cream sandwich.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Is he a pally or a warrior?

For those of you who need a stylish way to carry your axe:


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What do tanks do again?

For a while now, I have been more likely to not do my daily heroic than do it. I just can't get myself to do those same heroics day after day. Especially when they are so easy sauce now. Now I think I've read about others doing their daily with fishing gear on or half nekkid or something to make it at least a bit of a challenge. But last week I was involved in an interesting daily run that could be another way for us to keep these daily heroics somewhat interesting.

We ran the daily without a tank. Shat, an elemental shammy served as our tank with two mages and a ret pally as dps. It was quite amusing, and a nice change of pace to be kept on my toes as the healer in this group. Huh? I actually have to pay attention in this daily? I can't just throw a hot and watch TV? It probably helped that with an ele shammy and two mages, we were super bursty. Well, we went through heroic Halls of Lightning just fine. When we were done, I asked:

"What the heck do we need tanks for again?"

Jess got his white ponytail in a little bit of a tizzy at this comment.

Anyways, last week was a slow week in raiding. We had some absences, including Jess. So when we were going through the lower spire, folks wanted to swap in some other toons. With the alts and the absences, it required yours truly to tank. Now here's the issue whenever I have to tank. I kind of know on a high level what goes on and what I'm supposed to do, but not really at the detailed level. I think what I asked before Deathwhisper was something to the effect of:

"So there's like adherents and other things, right? And when they like come back, its like really bad right? What are the other things called again?"

I also totally wiped a Blood Princes attempt because I was supposed to be on the blue balls and I wasn't very proactive at running around the room to gather all of them up. Lazy bear is lazy.

Going from healing encounters to tanking them makes them almost completely new encounters. I'm just so very used to staying out of the bad stuff and focusing on my grid boxes. I tend not to pay any attention to Jess' lectures that specify specific mobs or kill order or anything of that sort. It's different feeling so confident in healing something vs not knowing what the heck I'm doing tanking it.

All of this means that when I have to tank or quasi lead a raid, its gets sort of comical. I think we were on Sindragosa and during the middle of the encounter, I call out for someone to help take care of the orbs. Folks were like orbs? There are orbs here? I think some smart ass also called for more dps on the green ooze and the blazing skeleton. Har har guys, har har. :p


Monday, June 14, 2010

Star Wars Hello Kitty

While I have a number of posts I want to do, they require a bit of time in either researching or just actual writing. I have to be in a certain inspired mood to do those kind of posts. This past weekend was spent watching a lot of World Cup soccer. Waking up on the weekend at 5:15 am kinda made me bleary and useless for the rest of the day. Damn the time difference! And now I get to work and WTF I have stuff I have to get done.

So until I get the time and mood to work on some real posts (hopefully later this week), I shall leave you with the awesomeness and cuteness of Star Wars Hello Kitty. Don't mess with Hello Kitty!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Murlocs are real! And they're Australian!

I was catching up on a number of the random sites and blogs I read, and came across this article. Now remember a while back when I shared the save the murlocs PSA?

Well, get ready for this guys... murlocs are real!

Let's compare that pic to our familiar murlocs:

These handfish are bottom-dwelling marine fish found in the coastal waters of southern Australia and Tasmania. They prefer to walk rather than swim, by using their modified pectoral fins to move around on the sea floor. A couple more pics:

I mean come on, you just put a sword in one fin/hand and throw in a good old fashioned Aaaaarghbbrgl!!!!!, and tell me, do you not see this:

Seriously, who knew murlocs were Australian?!?! Do you think they eat vegemite? Hmmm.... I ask all the Australian bloggers to investigate.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fighting about salad and dirty pally spells

I think I've mentioned before that our guild has a very low drama quotient. Because we don't have typical guild drama, we have to find drama where we can. Thus, the latest topic for us to fight about has been yes, salad.

This came up because I was raving on vent about the best salad in the whole entire world:

That is CPK's Moroccan chicken salad. It is moroccan-spiced chicken with roasted butternut squash, dates, avocado, toasted almonds, beets, chopped egg, carrots, dried cranberries, and red bell peppers all tossed in a champagne vinaigrette. I can't even express to you how much I love it. I could seriously probably eat it every day.

Now Shmoo, Nkm, and Sam had strong reactions to this, saying that salads should not have fruit or nuts or weird things in it. To which Jess and I countered with examples of other amazing salads like spinach with strawberries and pecans or a salad with pears, gorgonzola, and walnuts. Yum! They weren't convinced though.

Now Shmoopsypoo has gotten it in his head somehow that he is the expert on all things salad. Now I know that salad is his favorite food, and he eats it all the time, but I question whether this makes him the expert. I told them I'm going to strap them down and make them eat a salad with fruit and nuts on it at Clawcon.

Moving on from salad... we have a friend Thormaine who runs with us from time to time. He's a ret pally and just does crazy crazy dps. We were running something and Thor had just done his typical crazy dps on a boss and Sam, who was tanking at the time, commented on Thor's crazy dps with something to the effect of:

"You just divine storm-ed all over that boss' face!"

Um. Hmmm. I think that when Sam plays his pally now, he runs around screaming "Divine storm all over your face! Divine storm all over your face!" Let me just tell you that whenever my inscriptionist now makes glyphs of divine storm, I feel dirty.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Squish burn and updating arena gear

Look at what I got this week!

To quote our disc priest Heidilux, I say "Booyah!" Heid and Shat are good on educating us on Ohio street talk, with Heid throwing in a "way laid" after coming back from an afk, while Shat referred to something at "teice". I'm still not sure what they mean though. Hmmm.

Anyways, in terms of arena this season, I pretty much stopped doing 2v2 and 3v3 months ago, in favor of 5v5. As our first full season in 5v5, a 1500 rating was a goal that I wanted us to reach. I'm not exactly sure if I thought we'd make it, but here we are sitting as a team at 1565. Heck, let's see if we can push to 1700!

I'm not sure though how much more time we have. Season 8 started on February 2 and if the recent history of seasons running 18-20 weeks holds true, we are close to the end of the season. We are currently in week 18, so I am guessing Season 8 will come to a close by the end of this month. I am also optimistic that we will get the
Challenger achievement for being in the top 10-35% of 5v5 teams within our Emberstorm battlegroup.

Now I know that we are far from some top 2000+ rated 5v5 team, but one thing that is interesting about our team is that we have sorta brought the players, not the classes. What do I mean by this, well we have quite the unique team makeup. The 8 toons that are rotated in are resto druid, ret pally, two disc priests, shadow priest, elemental shammy, and two frost mages.

I think I've mentioned before that its not uncommon for us to run with 3 healers, myself and two disc priests. Having two mana burns at your disposal is amazing. Heck when Nikolai is with us on his shadow priest, we have 3! And yes, our team is squishier than most, and we don't have a ton of CC at our disposal. But somehow we've made it work with the classes that we brought to the table.

You know how people have nicknames for team compositions, like Beast cleave? Well, we have affectionately called our composition Squish burn. Because we are squishy, but we have the mana burn! Fear the burn! Anyways, so my pvp gear is now rated higher than my pve gear. And can I just say going into a regular battleground as a tree with arena gear on makes me feel very OP. :)

In terms of resilience, I've chosen to sit right around 1200 resilience. The cap I hear is currently 1415, but I don't know if there really is a need to get that high. Perhaps if you are constantly the first one targeted? Anyways, with 1200 resilience, I have chosen to equip a pve ring and trinket to up my spell power so I can keep people up against bursty teams.

Now as some of my team members get their ratings up and are able to get rating required pieces, I have to look up what they are able to get every single time. So for them, and for any of you wanting to update your pvp gear, here's a list. I'll list the gear category for each section, but will only specifically link the resto druid piece here, because um hello, where are we?

I. Pieces that require only honor or marks (aka, farm honor and go pick these up you lazy ass!):

1. Wrathful Gladiator's Cloak with 52,200 honor - Wrathful Gladiator's Cloak of Deliverance

2. Wrathful Gladiator's Pendant with 52,200 honor - Wrathful Gladiator's Pendant of Deliverance

3. Wrathful Gladiator's Band for 52,200 honor - Wrathful Gladiator's Band of Dominance

4. Wrathful Gladiator's Armwraps for 43,400 honor - Wrathful Gladiator's Armwraps of Salvation

5. Medallion of the Alliance for 68,200 honor - Medallion of the Alliance

6. Titan Forged Spaulders for 40 Wintergrasp marks - Titan-Forged Spaulders of Salvation

II. Pieces that require rating

1. At 1300 rating: Wrathful Gladiator's Belt for 68,200 honor - Wrathful Gladiator's Belt of Salvation

2. At 1400 rating: Wrathful Gladiator's Boots for 68,200 honor - Wrathful Gladiator's Boots of Salvation

3. At 1400 rating: Wrathful Gladiator's Gloves for 1430 arena points - Wrathful Gladiator's Kodohide Gloves

4. At 1500 rating: Wrathful Gladiator's Legguards for 2370 arena points - Wrathful Gladiator's Kodohide Legguards

5. At 1600 rating: Wrathful Gladiator's Robes for 2370 arena points - Wrathful Gladiator's Kodohide Robes

6. At 1800 rating: Arena weapons

7. At 1950 rating: Wrathful Gladiator's Helm for 2370 arena points - Wrathful Gladiator's Kodohide Helm

8. At 2000 rating: Wrathful Gladiator's Spaulders for 1930 arena points - Wrathful Gladiator's Kodohide Spaulders

I am hoping that I pick up enough arena points to get the Wrathful legguards upgrade next week. And don't forget that you can pick up the level 251 Relentless pieces for your class set until you achieve the ratings and arena points to pick up the Wrathful pieces. The Relentless helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, and legguards range from requiring 8000-13200 honor along with 440 to 770 arena points.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Christian guilds

I was curious about religion within this little game of ours and while doing some research I came across some interesting stuff that will probably be a future post in and of itself. But I got a little sidetracked by coming across what has to be a the Onion type satire site. First was this site from a while back about using WoW for evangelism. A second related site outlines the rules of certain Christian guild called Convert or Die.

When I first looked at Convert of Die's guild rules, I alternatively laughed and choked on my coffee a little. I am copying it fully here, so you can get the complete flavor.

1. We do not accept Warlocks as members. The Warlock class delights in dark magic and utilizes demons, and satanic runes for assistance. In addition, if you zoom in really close, you can see fireballs coming from between their legs. Playing a Warlock is a bad testimony and could open your heart to Satanic influences.

2. We are currently not accepting Gnomes as members. Gnomes are a very small "human-like" race. Although some find them to be cute, there is a perversion that lurks beneath their seemingly innocent eyes. We found after hours of playing them, there is a glitch where if you stand next to a female, and accidentally hit your mouse wheel, you can see right up her skirt. Until the smarty-pants game coders at Blizzard fix this glitch, we will not be allowing Gnomes in our guild.

3. We do not participate in any raid that takes over 30 minutes. Long raids are a waste of precious time that is better spent PM'ing and broadcasting the message of Jesus Christ - crucified, buried and resurrected to unsaved Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and other players who are going to hell. Jesus says He will come like a thief in the night, at an hour we least expect - the current situation in the Middle East leads us to believe that His return is VERY close at hand, so sharing the Gospel message is our primary and immediate goal in playing World of Warcraft.

4. We do not play Horde characters. Horde are usually older people and/or Blizzard developers and are not as open to hearing the Gospel of Christ. Horde are also unclean, animal-like characters. Just ask yourself, What Race Would Jesus Play? Human! of course! We understand it can be argued that Jesus would also play "undead," but we're not allowing that, until they clean up their appearance.

5. Men play male characters and women play female characters. If we find you are playing a female character and you are a male in real life - you will be booted from the guild immediately. If you wonder why, then we suggest you crack open your Bible and stop acting so gay!

6. All bind-on-equip items are to be sent to guild leader, Billy Houston. He will place them in the auction house to earn more gold or sell them to IGE so we can buy more gold for higher level equipment. Wearing high level equipment is sometimes necessary to earn the respect of other non-Christian players and usually makes them take you more seriously when you present them with the message of Christ. Whenever you have more than 100 Gold on you, send 90 of it to Billy for the Guild Bank.

7. We meet in Booty Bay under the docks for Bible Study and Prayer services every Sunday afternoon at 2PM CST and Wednesday evenings at 8PM CST. These meetings are mandatory. Get on VENT! We will have a keynote speaker from our church on Vent preaching during each meeting. The meetings last from 1-2 hours depending on how many prayer requests we have at the end of the service.

8. We are an English speaking guild. If you also speak Mexican, or foreign you are welcome to join - but you need to sound your words out in English when you are on Vent so that they are clear and understandable.

Then I read it a little more closely, and saw that this supposed guild was on the "Gaping Orifice" server and the fact that they say the guild was formed on 6/6/06. I then realized that this has to be some satire/joke.

Though I wonder how many folks saw this and thought that it was real? I wondered how real Christian guilds feel about it... whether they feel it put their guilds in a bad light. Anyways, this got me curious about real Christian guilds, which I think I had previously heard from somewhere that they existed.

Myself, I was born and raised Catholic, though as I've gotten older I've become less of a structured Catholic and incorporated aspects of Taoism and Buddhism into my beliefs. My reaction to Christian guilds is probably a bit similar to my reaction to religion and evangelism in real life. You do your thing, I'll do my thing, and as long as you don't step into my personal space by trying to convert me, I'm good.

From my searches, I found a number of Christian guilds. It seems that the majority of these guilds just want to play the game while fostering a Christian community, but are open to non-Christians as well. I found that a number of these guilds, like The Fish and Bread Trick specifically mention respecting the beliefs and opinions of others.

I found it interesting that the Christian Expeditionary Force specifically answers whether they allow warlock and death knight toons in their Christian guild (answer is yes). It reminded me of the satire rule above about not allowing warlocks.

Carriers of the Cross outlines an interesting way to think about resolving conflicts within the guild and refuting an officer's decision:

1. The guild officer has final authority.
2. Pray that God will humble your heart and the heart of the guild officer for quick resolution to the situation without causing a rift among the guild.
3. If you can be polite about it, whisper your complaint to the officer that you have a disagreement with, and try to resolve it there WITHOUT arguing. If you cannot do this without arguing, contact the officer later, after you have cooled down. Continual arguing with a guild officer will result in probationary measures being taken.
4. If the officer is not listening to you or the problem is not being resolved, you may go above that person to the next person in the Chain of Command.
5. Repeat the same process until either your issue is resolved or you work your way up to the guild leader who will resolve the issue, either for or against you. The guild leader's word is the final word.
6. The guild leader will consult with the other leaders that can be reached within a decent amount of time before making the final decision.
7. Spreading your complaint in the open chat or in private with other members who do not need to know (gossip) will not be tolerated and can lead to an immediate kick from the guild.

What gets me about this is less the praying bit, and more around the extreme authoritarian feeling. Their leaders are not messing around! I found that in addressing guild conflict a number of Christian guilds quoted scripture, which was an interesting way to think about things.

By His Stripes outlines some specific rules for their Christian guild around PvP:

The guidelines we set on members for PvP come as a matter of respect to the other players in the game. Remember that your actions not only reflect upon you, but upon the guild as a whole.
1. No corpse camping: If you kill someone, move on and don't sit and camp their corpse waiting for them to come back. This is disrespectful to the person to whom you are doing it and reflects poorly upon the guild. This includes both world PVP and Battlegrounds.
2. No killing the flight master: If you are participating in world PvP, do not kill flight masters in a town. This does not just affect high level players, but affects all players of the opposing faction in the area. While it can be argued that this is a part of the game, we do not approve of this type of behavior in the game due to the impact it has upon so many.
3. No killing lowbies: If you are level 80 and see a level 30 run by that happens to be flagged for PvP, do not kill them. There is no honor to be gained in killing someone who can not even be considered a challenge to you and thus it can only be perceived as being mean and disrespectful.

Geez, if only more guilds and players followed these rules!

The Narrow Path elaborates on to be expected rules around language and profanity by specifying that our favorite terms like WTF, OMG, and OMFG are not allowed. They also specify not calling other players noobs and they will not allow immoral behavior like dancing naked on mailboxes.

All in all, I found it pretty interesting. Most of these Christian guilds are pretty open to accepting members of other faiths, and are not looking to evangelize within the game. They generally seem to all have rules of respecting other people's faiths and beliefs and are just looking to play this game within a more wholesome or Christian community, which I completely respect.

I think though that I would fail the language/profanity rule pretty hard...


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Playing WoW can help you escape a moose!

From Next Nature, a 12-year-old Norwegian boy saved himself and his sister from a moose attack by using skills he picked up playing WoW. When Hans and his sister trespassed moose territory and the moose attacked them,

"Hans knew the first thing he had to do was ‘taunt’ and provoke the animal so that it would leave his sister alone and she could run to safety. ‘Taunting’ is a move one uses in World of Warcraft to get monsters off of the less-well-armored team members".

"Once Hans was a target, he remembered another skill he had picked up at level 30 in ‘World of Warcraft’ – he feigned death. The moose lost interest in the inanimate boy and wandered off into the woods".

Brilliant Hans, brilliant!

This happened back in 2007, so its a bit old. The original article here, for those of you who can read Norwegian.


Eye of Providence symbolism in Dalaran

I actually ended up taking enough classes at Carolina for an art history minor during my undergrad years, and for a while I actually considered combining it with a chemistry major to go into art restoration and conservation. So I do have a personal interest in history, art, and symbolism.

Thus, I found some stuff around the use of illuminati and masonic symbolism in WoW and thus the claim that WoW is evil and occult or something like that. One of the symbols often mentioned is the eye of providence, or the all seeing eye, often interpreted as representing the eye of God watching over humankind.

The Eye of Providence actually has a longer history, with imagery of an eye going back to Egypt's Eye of Horus and within Buddhism as well. So yeah, I am not of the mindset that all this symbolism equates to some Illuminati conspiracy theory or occult activity or whatever. But once it was pointed out to me, I ran around Dalaran to check out all the eye symbolism: