WoW & Philosophy

Granted, the first thing I think about when I think of “World of Warcraft” isn’t Philosophy. It’s most likely “LEROY JENKINS!”

But I digress.

For years I have said that there is more to MMOs than partying with a group of Paladins or Orcs and smiting rabbits across the lands of Azeroth or Vana’diel, or even Eorzea.

Of course there is more to it. I never started comparing in-game actions to the work of Immanuel Kant or tried to figure out if stealing a drop from a mob was right or wrong because the item didn’t actually exist.

The people who wrote this book, did however. If you like MMOs in general, this is a book you will enjoy. The editors could have totally made a book called “MMORPGs And Philosophy” but by sticking to one game, this book creates a fuller experience. A chapter on WoW and then one on EverQuest, followed by The Matrix Online would just read like a “Oh, in this game we have x, but in this other game we have y” book.

I have always felt that MMORPGs were little micocosms of people, a small integrated unit where people and cultures who may never meet in real life come together anyway and find a way to live… and try not to let the rabbits kill them.

Many people who know me or read this site know that one of my favorite fields of study in MMOs is the economy. Eli Kosminsky has a totally awesome essay on the intricacies of the economy of World of Warcraft.

The other chapters all delve into pure philosophical territory. There are issues at play that mirror things that happen in real life such as protests and temporary suspensions (what is prison if not a temporary suspension from life?) that take place in WoW and other games.

While disguised as a book about WoW, this book can be applied to almost any MMORPG, or to real life itself. Of course, not all of it can be applied to real life, after all, how often do you go to the auction house to sell that sword you no longer need?

Official link to the book’s site


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