- Anyone ever thought about what it must be like inside that Coliseum by now, with as many fights as take place every day? What a mucky, muddy, bloody mess.
- I’m still reeling from a bout with either food poisoning or the stomach flu (though fortunately I’m actually feeling much better). Not much fun, really.
- The combination of leveling speed changes with the bind on account shoulders/chestpiece is… almost disturbing, even at level 54. Annie Mae completed level 53 in less than an hour yesterday.
- I’m largely disappointed in the Crusader’s Coliseum – not because it’s easy (which it is, so far) but because the gear in it so outstrips anything that drops in Ulduar that the only reason to really go back there is that there are only a few bosses in the Coliseum, and so gearing up a raid just doing that will take too long. It’s a little frustrating.
- The option to extend raid lockouts based on the instance is quite nice, though, in that we can now do Ulduar over two weeks but let the Coliseum reset every week.
- Aely is not too far off getting her new paladin mount – the only real motivation I have right now for doing any dailies. I’ve not even started doing the “aspirant” dailies with Annorah.
- As a reminder – I have no desire to discuss any of the “leaked” changes from anywhere. I likely won’t even discuss them after Blizzard announces whatever they’re announcing at Blizzcon. It sounds really grumpy of me (but hey it’s Monday, right?) but I have too many other things going on right now that I need to spend my mental energy on to worry about that kind of thing!
So there has been some “leaked” information from “reliable sources close to the subject” running around the WoW community lately. Matticus has an excellent post on why it is that sometimes you just can’t name your source – whether that’s because they will lose their job if it gets back to them or because they’ve simply asked you not to squawk.
Heck, I follow the same guidelines here, more or less. If you email me with a question, and ask me not to mention your name and server – I won’t. You’ve asked, and your privacy as a gamer is important to me.
Of course, it’s a little different when you’re dealing with news and not Ask Anna’s Advice Column, but hey – the basic premise is the same.
That said, regardless of the ethics of preserving source confidentiality – nobody is /required/ to buy in to what is posted until it is posted with a defined source. Nor is a blogger /required/ to post that information until it can be decidedly sourced.
Now, I know that things are different for those folks that actually try to break the news. I don’t (and that’s no surprise to those of you that’ve stuck with me for… what, nearly a year and a half now? eesh…) and so I don’t run into this problem very often. If the Warcraft Head Developer were to email me this week and say “Anna, in the next expansion, Paladins are going to have summonable angel pets as their form of raid healing, but you’re not allowed to use my name or credentials at this time” I’d do a tiny little happydance… and shut up about it. It’s not my blog’s business to break news.
However – it /is/ the business of other sites to break news.
And if they so choose, they have – like every other journalistic source – the right to publish news with unnamed sources. It’s a standard practice in journalism.
I, as Jane Peon the Site Visitor, have a different right. And it’s a right I exercise on major world news sources, gaming news sources, craft news sources, and whatever other sites I frequent. And that is what I call the Right of Disbelief.
The Right of Disbelief doesn’t entitle me to bash, hate on, flame, or otherwise be an asshat to the person that posted the potentially un-believable subject matter. What it entitles me to is simply this – I can choose to say “that’s nice, and I’ll wait to form an opinion on the subject until we have a qualified source close to the subject that’s willing to pony up the accountability for this”.
Well it’s simple. If the Blizzard lead developer sends me that email about Angel Aoe Pets, and then sometime between now and whatever the heck the next expansion is the entire Dev team shoots that developer down, and the plan changes to giving Paladins little cherub babies as mana regen instead… nobody’s ass is on the line… except mine. My choosing to report on that (with an anonymous source) only gets MY ass grilled if it’s wrong.
However, if that same developer allows me the privilege of using their name and title, THEIR ass is now on the line as well. This is why in the early stages of these “releases”, an accredited source is very rare.
And so, I maintain my Right of Disbelief for many many things about WoW. I don’t freak out about early, leaked Patch Notes, or pre-Blizzcon special “mined” releases. I’ll believe it when I see it. When, as Matt’s E1-E5 rating would suggest, I have at least an E4, if not an E5 rating on the source.
That doesn’t make a site that is willing to publish E1 information any less valid. It simply means they’re willing to take the grilling if the source data falls through – a risk I (and my tiny little insignificant website) am not willing to take just yet.
First – Thank you to everyone that has participated in the gender discussions. It’s been a really insightful bit of reading (and I’m sorry I was mostly afk for all of it, I’ll be going back to several comments in a later post I think – fantastic stuff there) and nearly everyone was civil and thoughtful. You guys are awesome.
Second (and less awesome) is that I’m… more or less jobless at the moment. I’m still waiting on the last bit of info about it, but I’m full time in the job search now. It’s not a horrible situation, but it will put a kink in things.
Third – I’m having a bit of technical difficulty with a few parts of the site lately. Apologies! I’m working on figuring out why random things are disappearing when the code for them is still intact and unchanged. Hopefully I’ll have things back to normal later today – fortunately the actual site function and layout aren’t affected!
So I occasionally get to talk to fun people about RP because I write this blog. Some of them also write blogs too, which is double awesome. Yesterday was one of those occasions, and I was talking to Badger, who mentioned that he was finally getting to where he felt comfortable RPing female characters. (Badger apologizes for the technical difficulties on his site right now, but I wanted to provide a link anyway!)
If you check out my character list, you’ll notice that all of them are female.
I am, in fact, female, in real life (OMG A GIRL ON THE INTERNET). And though I have several male characters rattling around in my head, I’ve never been able to RP one convincingly enough for my own satisfaction. This is, of course, my own personal failing, but it did start off an interesting conversation.
You see, at this point, Badger replied:
“It’s odd, isn’t it, that playing something like a Troll or a Night Elf is second nature, but playing a Generic Dude is hard”
He’s right, of course – it can be hard for some of us to RP as members of the opposite sex (though fortunately not all of us have this trouble!). But it got me to thinking.
And I think what makes this hard is that “gender” is a preconceived idea that exists outside of game.
Whether or not “gender” is correct, biological, chosen, culturally shaped, or whatever, gender exists in the real world. Night Elves, however, do not.
Night Elven culture is defined only by a loose set of history and ideas we call “Lore” and which can change at any time. Even the human cultures, in game, are mishmashes of real cultures and fictional ideas, things we can “assume” with little trouble. It’s easy to pretend to be a Troll, because there are only a very few things that define what a “Troll” is – and those things are very flexible. Lore is, after all, a set of guidelines and frameworks within which we create our characters – and those guidelines can change any time, given the whims of one Chris Metzen and the lore team.
Real life gender may still only be a culturally defined set of guidelines (and I say culturally defined since gender stereotypes change radically across the world stage) – but they’re things we deal with on an every day basis. And we are, in a sense, programmed to have those identities and expectations (and, unfortunately, to look poorly upon those who don’t comply with our pre-existing gender ideas).
If you look at the backlash received by people that do not fit into the gender they appear to have, or do not fit into any easily identified gender at all, you can see where this problem lies. Our culture – particularly in the “Western World” expects male humans to fit into one pattern and female humans to fit into another. In the absence of defined gender roles in game, we then transport those assumptions wholecloth (more or less) into Azeroth – along with all of the nastiness that comes when our preconceived ideas are challenged or questioned.
And of course, this doesn’t even begin to look at the gender equality, patriarchal monarchies, magic ruled societies, and how “gender” ends up getting expressed as a game mechanic.
So why is it that one is easier than the other (at least for me)? What makes assuming one thing less hard than assuming another?
It comes down to playing pretend.
Night elves, Dwarves, Trolls, Orcs – they are pretend. Fiction. Imaginary ideas of cultures in which we can all play imagination together, and even if those imaginary ideas are similar to other imaginary ideas in other stories and games, they’re still in the realm of pretend. I can take on the role of a Troll, and fit it into a character concept, because what I make “Troll” out to be is just as right (as long as it’s within the framework) as anything else.
Gender, on the other hand, is something that comes from outside of game, so it comes with a lot of excess “baggage” – baggage that, for me, makes it more difficult to be satisfied with RPing male characters than I can be with the various female characters I’m already working on.
So what about you guys – do you RP across the so-called gender lines? Pick one and stick to it? And what about playing a female to male or male to female gender swap using the Blizzard account modification transmogrifier?
An old story, reposted here as I’m shaking the mothballs off Ankona and needed an easy way to show people a little bit about the (batshit) things she gets up to. Enjoy, and don’t be too creeped out!
It really …
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