World of Warcraft: Addiction or Benefit?

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World of Warcraft: Addiction or Benefit?
Massively multiplayer online-role playing games, also known as MMORPGs, have gained popularity since they were first released to the public in 1999. Thousands, even millions, of people across the world play these games online every day; some individuals play them so much that some professionals have started to wonder whether or not the people playing these games have developed a new type of addiction. This topic has become very controversial; while some people agree wholeheartedly that it has become an addiction that interferes with players ' social lives, schooling, and jobs, others argue that the obsession with an MMORPG has positive psychological and social impacts.
One of these MMORPGs is called World of Warcraft, also known as WoW by both its fans and critics. First released to North America in 2004, WoW currently holds the Guinness World Record for the world 's “most popular subscription-based Massively Multiplayer Online Role Player (sic) Game” with “a total of over 12 million subscribers” (Most). In this game, players choose a character out of thirteen races that are divided into two factions – the Alliance and the Horde. The Human, Dwarf, Gnome, Night Elf, Draenei, and Worgen races make up the Alliance, whereas the Orc, Troll, Undead, Tauren, Blood Elf, and Goblin races are a part of the Horde; Pandaren can choose to be on either side. Players then choose a class such as a Mage, Warlock, Priest, Rogue, Druid, Hunter, Shaman, Warrior, Paladin, Death Knight, or Monk and can then customize their avatar to their liking (World). Once a player has created their character, they are thrown into a medieval setting; avatars adventure through different lands filled with castles, forests, dragons, and other monsters, collecting treasure called “loot” along the way (Nardi). Players start at level 1 and can advance to level 90 in a process called “leveling” by completing quests, or mini-games, that give them gold,



Cited: Griffiths, Mark. “Online Video Gaming: What Should Educational Psychologists Know?” Educational Psychology in Practice. Springer: March, 2010. PDF file. 24 Feb. 2013. “Most Popular Subscription-Based Massively Multiplayer Online Role Player Game (MMORPG).” GuinnessWorldRecords.com. Guinness World Records, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2013. Nardi, Bonnie A. My Life As A Night Elf Priest:An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft. The University of Michigan Press: 2010. 8-26. PDF file. 23 Feb. 2013. Poisso, Lisa. “Guild Helps Anxiety-Ridden Players Get By With A Little Help From Their Friends.” WoWInsider. WoWInsider, 19, July 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. “Profession.” WoWWiki. Wikia, 22 Dec. 2012. Web. 23 Feb. 2013. “World of Warcraft.” WoWpedia. Wikia, 20 Dec. 2012. Web. 23 Feb. 2013.

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