CAHSS and Effect

Random Encounter #12: How (Not) to Leave a Game

In most of my life, I’m Julialicia Case, and I teach creative writing, literature, and game writing at UWGB. In another version of my life, though, I’m a moonkin in World of Warcraft (WoW), an online multiplayer role-playing game with (until recently) a huge player base. As a moonkin, I’m an owlbeast with antlers and feathers, and I spend a great deal of time calling upon the moon and the sun, making the stars fall upon my enemies in dangerous storms. I love this moonkin version of myself. It’s weird and comical, and in a world packed with overtly sexualized female avatars, its androgyny makes it difficult to parse. It’s physically imposing without taking itself too seriously, and if I could be a moonkin in the everyday world, I would be one. Instead, I am a cis-ish female player in a highly social game, one that requires frequent teamwork and voice communication with other players (often strangers). Further, I’m sure you’ve seen news of the lawsuit recently brought against Activision Blizzard, the company responsible for WoW, which alleges a hostile and unsafe work environment for women, queer folk, and people of color.

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