MMORPG Stereotypes, Etiquette, and Twitter
While I had an oh so impartial and childish comment war with a reader last night, I started thinking about stereotypes and etiquette in MMORPGs.
The obvious pitfalls to a chat only system is the lack of emotion that can be evoked through pitch, connotation, context, etc…
Voice chatting has alleviated this somewhat but most people still use the in-game chat windows for communication.
Recently Champions Online added Twitter to their in game chat interface.
I remember when Twitter first started. I was still writing about Internet Technologies and Web 2.0 Startups when Twitter “blew up” the net.
Of course this was years before the mainstream world got wind of Twitter, which only caused another explosion as even more people fell in love with sending live little shouts of what they are up to, at any given time.
We Fly Spitfires has a nice article about Twitter in an MMORPG where I commented that I thought the only “good” use I could think of for it would be as an announcer to give play by plays. It would be like the Twitter version of listening to a ball game on the radio.
But after last night I started thinking about how Twitter could cause two very different cultures to intermingle.
MMORPGs have some negative stereotypes within the community as well as viewed by people outside the community.
Simply exposing social butterflies or predominantly non-techies, who use Twitter, to a window inside the world of MMORPGs could possibly cause big ramifications.
How will we see these ramifications? I don’t clearly know, but the fact that a system like Twitter being introduced into an MMORPG opens the doors for many possibilities of new social changes online and off. The doors could be flung wide open for people to start “behaving” for fear of who they rant at in-game Twittering what they said. Workers playing during office hours may have to stop or be more careful, if they know colleagues and bosses use Twitter and could be informed that they are playing during work.
These are only a couple things that could lead to bigger social waves within an MMORPG that allows such a large social platform like Twitter.
It will be interesting to see if Twitter changes social structures or if perhaps no one really cares and nothing happens.