I was talking with a young man the other day, and it was one of those conversations where you are looking for things to talk about. I casually mentioned I play World of Warcraft, and I thought his jaw was going to fall off. “You are NOT the sort of person I would imagine playing WoW!”
I get that a lot.
Most people imagine teenaged and young adult males playing a game like WoW. I did some research, and found out the average age of WoW players is 30 (2010). That surprised even me a little. It does appear more men play WoW than women, with varying statistics putting it in the 80% males range (give or take a few points). One of the best sites I saw for demographics was at WoW Insider. It had more interesting statistics, such as younger players prefer PvP (player versus player) and dungeons, whereas older players put more effort into their professions. Apparently men tend to prefer playing warriors, dark knights, and rogues, whereas women tend to prefer warlocks and hunters. I do enjoy hunters, but lately I’ve created more mages.
Turns out Humans are the most popular race. I tend to prefer Gnomes, myself. Different races can play different classes. I REALLY wish Gnomes could be hunters. Of course, the fighting pets would be larger than they are. 🙂
One interesting part of WoW is the gender bending. Games like this are fun, because you can explore a variety of ways of dealing with the world. Taurens tend to be very earthy (how astrological of them), Blood Elves are amazingly self-centered and elitist (I always had a difficult time playing them in their home territory; such snobs!), Draeneis are from another planet and are very New Age, Goblins are out to make a buck and speak with a New York/New Jersey accent, things like that. Another way people experiment are men playing female characters and women playing male characters (gender bending). Apparently only about 4% of the female players play male characters. I tried one once — boring. BUT, about half the female characters in the game are being played by men. Usually, older men. I suspect it is because they find it more interesting to stare at a female’s backside (when you play your character, you see them from behind). Or, the older men are more secure in who they are and feel free to experiment. Whatever, that is something to keep in mind when you interact with other characters in the game.
Originally I got into WoW because I wanted to see what my husband was spending so much time doing. I tried some of the other on-line “war” games he played, and they had no real appeal. But with WoW you can make the game what you want it to be. I tend to focus on PvE (player versus environment), so there is not that fighting with other players. (I won’t even duel.) And I can focus on the professions (which include fishing, cooking, and archeology), and on traveling through the different lands they have created. And I’m still people-watching, even if they are Night Elves, Orcs, and Trolls.
I am almost 60, I play WoW, and I’m proud of it! 🙂