Well, if, as L. encourages me, I am to make this an actual blog, not a glorified diary, I figure I should start taking a look at other people’s blogs.
So a quick Google search later, and I already have something interesting (for me, academically) to report. On, yes ladies and gentlemen, social norms.
First of all, a large proportion of the “WoW blogs” out there (as the search term I used) are pragmatic, newsy reports on gear updates, current patches, advice, and technical details. Raise your hand if you think WoW is boy-world….
I was interested to see, though, WoWGrrl. A bit more of a blend, this blog is still pretty oriented on general advice, but does so from what seems – so far, anyway – to be a much more social perspective. Take, for example, “The Northrend Lakes Are Overrun With Pygmy Suckerfish! Although this post is still really about advice, the description includes things like “Fishing is part of my weekly gaming experience on World of Warcraft” and goes on to talk about what to do about pygmy fish.
Other posts are about more social aspects, but few of them. There some gems, though. For example, this post is all about how to ask questions when new to a guild.
Her – and her I think i can assume, don’t you? – advice is about the norms of acceptable behaviour – the “unwritten social laws” of guilds. Mostly this is general advice that seems to apply – in her opinion – to any raiding guild. Some of the comments are also quite illuminating, and show even more clearly how norms develop in this space around guild type, size, and facilitating social interaction.
(One commenter on WoWGrrl, though, notes something that surprised me. S/he refer to “one of those mammoth 200 member anybody-can-join-just-whisper-me social and leveling guilds”. Interesting! I am still clearly somewhat of a noob, because I assumed that a “social” guild would never be “mammoth” with 200 people!)
Seems my experience in SAPS was indeed a rather specific one, and folks in different types of guilds seem to have somewhat different perceptions of the game than I do.
But overall, WoWGrrl is mostly following of the pattern of WoW blogs providing information, advice, suggestions, etc., rather than reflections or the like. She’s definitely part of the norms of the WoW community, at least as far as I can see from a few quick clicks on this Google search. But she does have a few posts like this one, much more about her participation in the overall WoW community.