Okay . . . I have not completely given up World of Warcraft. I still play, primarily on two servers (Alliance). Have gotten into the habit of playing my characters in rotation, and when they are not out questing they are resting in Stormwind. I choose to have them there because of the daily cooking and fishing quests; it means they can still improve those skills, and gain experience points while resting. (Rested characters get 200% of available experience points when they make a kill.)
Spending more time in a capital city means I get to read a lot of Trade chat. There are several channels that run in the chat box: General and Local Defense (for the city you are in), and Looking for a Group, Guild Recruitment, and Trade (spans all the capital cities). Some people use the channel that fits what they want to say, but most people use Trade for everything. Trade chat is where you sell things, buy things, and ask for profession or questing advice. It is also where people just talk . . . about everything.
People chat about how bad the group was they just did a raid with. About how hungry they are. About how stoned they are. About how good a fighter/healer/whatever a certain player is, or is not. Sometimes they talk about dates, or ask advice about what they should do in the “real world.” There used to be a lot of political talk on the Alliance servers . . . I always hate that, because it is not going to change anyone’s opinion one way or the other. There are running jokes about Chuck Norris (how tough he is). Unfortunately there are also running jokes involving the word “anal,” where they link the word to some achievement or whatever. Occasionally there are murloc jokes; murlocs are fishmen that make a very annoying sound. My favorite murloc jokes are the ones where you involve them in a movie title, such as “The Magnificent Murlocs.” [Hmmm . . . not as funny when taken out of context.] There are cool people, okay people, and jerks out in everyday life and on WoW. There are jerks who use foul language, and make very politically incorrect statements, and some who do it just to get a rise out of people. There is a mature language filter you can use that turns cuss words into things like *##^&@?, but people always find a way around it.
Usually I play WoW in the evenings and on weekends. But some mornings I get up early enough to have disposable time, and I play a little WoW. Am noticing a difference in Trade chat between evenings and mornings. Evenings you get more of the younger players, and they tend to be the ones using foul language and making anal jokes. Sometimes they get called on it, and sometimes it is a futile effort. But the morning crowd seems more mature (whatever their age may be). Recently a guy was complaining about being kicked out of a guild for using the word “fag,” and at least a dozen players came back defending the guild and writing about how using that kind of language invites trouble anyway. This morning there was some great conversation going about Boadicea (a Celtic queen who led a successful fight against the Romans, until she was killed) and about Cleopatra. It was so interesting, my oatmeal almost burned. 🙂 Trade chat in the mornings is different, and makes me wish I didn’t have to be at work at 8 a.m. on weekdays. [Well, among other reasons.] 🙂