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Like some beast you find at the bottom of a Chinese stair case that got beat with the ugly stick for a hundred years. Then assumes the one with the stick had to be you so he takes pleasure gnawing on you.

If you really care to hear more, check the content after the cut. Otherwise here’s this week’s list that is well already almost done.

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There is a phenomenon on the internet. Communities of thousands, millions, and more people… many of which never see one another in person. A community of none yet all. We see these things on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LiveJournal… thousands of ‘social networking’ sites. Places where we reach out into the internet and try to connect. Now I could get super philosophical about the whole thing… but this is a World of Warcraft Blog so we’ll keep things in the scope of well… Wow.

So I pose the question: What does Azeroth Mean to Me? Not only do I ask myself… but I ask you all 58someod people who have stopped by so far. I appreciate every single one of you by the way so thank you.

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All right maybe I’m a bit of a dork about a lot of things…like learning that the National Science Foundation has teamed up with Teachers and Grad Students from several universities to study social interaction in Warcraft [Read WoW.com article or Visit WowLens ] which leads to an add-on to rate your group mates. I find it rather fascinating personally. The social interaction we have in game: the cooperation, coordination, strategical planning and of course back talking (come on you know you /w someone you know in the group ‘I can’t believe this tank/healer/dps’ ) is unlike anything we do in real life on a constant basis.  Its unique because over the course of a single day of grinding dungeons you meet dozens if not hundreds of people for 30 or so minutes going from total strangers to either a cohesive team to accomplish a common goal or well… you know a fail PUG.

In school we have random groups for projects of course but we also know most of the people in our class, or by the end of a week in College we have an idea who the overachievers are, the slackers, the people who are just there for the credits and we don’t even know their names. Before the LFG tool we depended on our own server for resources for PUGs and we got to know the good the bad and the… guys we never want to see again. Now its even more of a mixed bag. It is rare to see the same people twice unless you started out with them in the first place or que up a few times with the same group.  Has this grab-bag interaction changed the way we interact with people? Has it altered our expectations and perspectives? And another question to pose: is it changing the quality of players in groups for good or ill?

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I know that a lot of people do it, get involved in it, spend hours a day, several days a week steeped in it… Truth be told it makes good conversation pieces when you run out of junk to talk about. What am I talking about? PUGs and what a gamble they are.  You never know if people being awesome or straight up jerks.

Danger Rant Ahead

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