Change Proposal/ References

Where

Online, on the Wyrmrest Accord server of World of Warcraft.

When

Weekday and weeknight evenings.

What

I will create a roleplay character on WoW and infiltrate a notoriously racist, elitist, and misogynistic guild on my server. I will then document all the things I see them doing (through chat screenshots and transcribing them) as a sort of anthropological “study” on these people.

How

I will infiltrate the guild by creating a character (a male human priest) and pretending to be a roleplayer who shares their values, and wants to join their guild. As part of their guild, I will try to be as active as I can at all their roleplaying functions, and document all I see and hear.

Why

From this, I hope to learn why exactly this guild behaves as they do, through what they say in-character and out-of-character, and create a sort of anthropological study of why these (largely) white male cis roleplayers behave in these ways. These sorts of players are common in any Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMO), but roleplaying guilds full of them are rarer, as RP guilds tend to be composed of the more accepting people among players. This is an environment that I am quite active in, and the toxic climate generated by these kinds of players is something I want to learn how to change – if I can better study how these people operate, then I can learn how to approach projects in the future for changing this climate. I would like to turn all the information that I glean into a cleanly and easily read documentation, that I can reference for future use and also release online for other artists and online activists. The first step to changing any group’s views is to understand why they think the way they do, and I want to be able to accomplish this first step – and make it available for anyone to use.

 

REFERENCES:

The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft
Angela Washko

An intervention by Angela Washko in the MMORPG World of Warcraft where she creates discussions with players on how they respond to the term “feminism” and how their online communities think of women.

dead-in-iraq
Joseph Delappe
Delappe used the US Army’s official recruiting game, “America’s Army” to make this piece. He would log in, with his username “dead-in-iraq” and would stand in place and manually type the names of all who died in action. When he was killed in game, he would not restart but continue typing names for all other players to see.

BANGED
Angela Washko

Washko interviewed Roosh V, an anti-feminist and anti-progressive author. She conducted her interview to complicate the narrative surrounding Pick Up Artists.

 

Contextual Analysis:
Physical:
1. North American Server
2. Guild: Scarlet Templars
3. World of Warcraft
4. Roleplaying Server
5. Repurposed Questing hub used as their home base
6. All characters at level-cap
7. Mostly melee fighter characters, female characters the only spellcasters
8. White tabard with a red cross on it
9. Mostly playing the paladin class
10. Also PvP players (engage in player vs. player combat)
11. All describe their characters as attractive
12. All describe their characters as powerful in combat
13. All have fancy titles and rankings
14. All show off their guild affiliation in their profiles/tabards
15. All white characters (one even plays the precursor race to humans in WoW, a 8ft tall and powerful viking-like race).

Social:
1. Mostly male characters
2. Likely mostly male players
3. Say a lot of things in latin
4. Reference the knights templar
5. Sexist jokes (e.g. Make me a sandwich)
6. Combat-oriented events
7. Showing off how manly they are
8. Flirt to try and make people uncomfortable
9. Sexist portrayals of women
10. Hostile to opposite faction
11. Hostile to other people within own faction
12. Very clique-y
13. Not very good writers
14. Strive for crusader ideal
15. Living out white supremacist fantasies

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