Hey everyone! I was looking at links on Buzzfeed specifically geared towards World of Warcraft in relation to this week’s class and video. I could not resist sharing this video with you, as it shows two communities emerging online as one. This video shows characters in the game World of Warcraft coming together to celebrate gay pride. The video was published in June which is gay pride month, and of course the players in the game virtually participated in the celebrations. According to the Buzzfeed site it was the games 5th annual gay pride in the game. This type of virtual community creates a new type of public sphere within the game where the players are coercing together to support LGBT rights. The players in the game gather synchronously to role play their virtual themselves as proud marchers. The new age of “virtual community” allows new mediums and ways of people to come together to discuss social inequalities. Nancy Baym’s five qualities found in both online groups and many definitions of community resonates with this example of the gay pride parade in World of Warcraft, the five qualities are: space, shared practice, shared resources and support, shared identities and interpersonal relationships (84). These five qualities are evident in the game World of Warcraft and the social determinism that stems from playing the game.
– Jessica McNamee