VoIP in Warcraft
I’m sure that you’ve all read the accounts of the in-game voice chat that Blizzard is planning. Some people like it, some people hate it (if they ever roll it out to general channels, we’re ALL going to hate it), but it does raise some interesting points. Lag may be an issue, and as a female gamer I’m not looking forward to using it in PUGs.
The interesting issue, for me, is that of the effect on virtual personas. Online, ingame, you can be anyone you want. You can be someone in complete opposition to who you are in real life, which is probably a good thing for people who are put in pigeonholes based on physical appearance, sex, etc. Once you introduce rl elements to your virtual world, however, you lose a lot of the freedom you have to be who and what you want to be.
We’ve all seen it in the “post what you look like in rl” posts on the forums. No matter how well you know the people in question, no matter how long you’ve played with them, it always changes your perception of them. The buff, bearded main tank is actually a 14-year-old emo boi. In our guild, one of the female members posted a very pretty, very blonde pic…and before you know it, she was dating one of the officers who made sure she was in the Kara “A Team”. lol… There’s also one person who I refuse to see as anything except my mental picture of him as a burly dwarf with a big, black beard, because it so perfectly fits his very deep voice over TeamSpeak. Once you see a picture, they’re forever pigeonholed based upon their physical appearance.
And what does this do for roleplaying servers? Online personas there can be quite involved, very complex, and in direct opposition to their rl owners.
I use TS in raids because it’s the most efficient way to play, and that’s what raiding is all about. Efficiency, everyone working well together, success with a minimum of problems. But for the rest? I like being something else, someone else when I play. I would feel quite silly doing a faux-Jamaican accent for my troll, for example. She would lose her unique personality.
What do you think? Do you inhabit your character’s personas when you play, or are you always you? What do you think about always using voice in game?