World of Warcraft: 112 km squared

Did you know the whole of World of Warcraft comes out at 112 kilometres squared in real world measurement? For those interested in WoW and science, spend six minutes watching this:

World of Warcraft as stress relief?

According to Massively, research has been presented this week by Jane Barnett at Middlesex University on the impact of World of Warcraft on levels of relaxation.

The study found playing WoW actually led to higher levels of relaxation after playing in some personality types. The sample size was small – our readership at The Metaverse Journal is larger so jump in with your opinion: how do you feel after a lengthy bout of WoW?.

As mentioned before, I partake of WoW here and there and I certainly don’t get angry when playing. I’ve progressed to being a Level 49 Mage so I’ve spent a few hours playing and for me it’s certainly a fun pastime. How about you?

World of Warcraft recipes – really!

If you play World of Warcraft and have always wanted to make the dishes you eat in the game, then this site may be for you. If you don’t play WoW then have a look anyway for amusement value. Goblin Deviled Clams anyone?


The full recipe book costs $19.97US but you can sign up for an email newsletter that’ll feature some of the recipes.

Thanks to Massively for the heads-up.

A personal comparison of Second Life and World of Warcraft

I’ve been a Second Life resident for well over a year now. In November I finally took the plunge and signed up for World of Warcraft and have been grinding through the early levels. I’ve reached Level 15 as both a Dwarf Warrior and Human Mage and have reached a little below that as a Night Elf. I feel I’ve spent enough time to grasp the basics of the game and to at least partially understand its appeal. I thought it might be worth doing a short critique of both platforms as they sit in a wider virtual world context.

A disclaimer – this is probably only going to interest someone who hasn’t used both platforms. Veteran users of both will find most of the points below fairly obvious. For brevity I’ll use WoW for World or Warcraft and SL for Second Life.

Onto the critique:

1. Second Life is by far the most ‘free’. WoW by its very nature requires rigidity as far as areas you can explore at particular stages of the game. If you’re a Level 1 human mage in WoW then you won’t be exploring the Westfall area as it’s inhabitated by critters of well over Level 10. You can go there but you’ll spend your time being killed time after time or constantly running to avoid each critter. This isn’t a criticism of WoW, just a gameplay reality. Second Life in comparison only has limitations set by users – if someone owns land in Second Life and doesn’t want you to be able to access it, then you won’t. Because there are no overarching game objectives in Second Life, you’re free to explore at will.

You’ll get used to being dead in the early stages of WoW – unless you have more experienced friends willing to help while you level up

2. Both are extremely social experiences. It’s a very obvious statement but when I signed up for WoW I was actually expecting that the gameplay would interfere with the great social interaction achieved in SL. What I didn’t realise was the social fun to be had in the main cities like Stormwind and Iron Forge. Plus, groups of avatars tend to congregate pretty much anywhere for a chat, some dueling or even some dancing.

Aussies socialising in SL

3. Graphically, it’s no contest. WoW has stupendous graphics that make SL look pretty poor in comparison, even with Windlight on its way. Of course, it’s very easy for WoW to provide great graphics when the main grunt work is being done by your own computer. SL’s centralised server model makes that much more difficult – it remains one of SL’s biggest challenges but it’s also one of it’s strengths – see point 1.

Even the barren areas are damn pretty

4. ‘Safety’ is an issue for both. The media attention on Second Life in regard to ageplay, gambling and addiction. WoW has similar challanges but they’re less overt than SL. Addiction is an issue that spans across all virtual worlds and it’s one that isn’t well understood, though that is changing. SL does have its Teen Grid but it’s under-utilised and arguably under-supported by Linden Lab.

5. Fun is provided differently. I’m going to make some broad statements here. Both WoW and SL are immense fun but in very different ways. For pure gaming / questing fun, WoW wins hands down. For more whimsical, sophisticated and free-ranging amusement, SL has the upper hand. No, that doesn’t mean WoW users are unsophisticated, nor that SL users are not interested in games / quests – the fact is they are very disparate beasts. There’s also no doubt there’s a significant cohort of people who participate in both worlds and my hunch is they do so because of the different experiences they offer.

It’s all about education in Second Life

So which is ‘best’? The answer of course is neither. I need to spend more time in WoW to fully grasp its possibiities but my gut feel at this stage is I prefer the less constrained environment of SL – it’s educational opportunities alone keep me coming back day after day. But if I want some fast paced gaming, then WoW is the place to be.

I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts. Have I got it totally wrong or does your experiences match those I’ve outlined above?

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