Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Obama and World of Warcraft

By on November 11, 2008

Where were you when?  It’s a question I asked my readers and my classes the day after the election, and you know what answer I heard the most often?  Ironforge.

It’s true. Many of my students were online, playing WOW at the time the announcement was made.  

Now, don’t shake your head and tsk.  I mean, let’s face it, Obama is the president for the 21st century. He (or an aide) even had a Twitter account.  So I guess it shouldn’t surprise any of us that there is a huge population online at any given time.

So while we’ve all read headlines from around the world, many of us missed what happened in the 75th most populous country in the world… World of Warcraft.  There was a great metaphor going on at the time of the announcement that the majority of the world missed.  

While Chicago celebrated and Phoenix heaved a great sigh of disappointment, my student, Nicky, described the following:  

(The following names have been changed to protect the innocent)

So there I was as my dwarven Paladin, Frathnyr, in the middle of the ginormous siege of War-Gulf somethin’somethin’.  The Horde and the Alliance were all in full swing: the Undead, Tauren, Elves, and Gnomes had been fighting in multiple time zones and more than one hemisphere.  The dialogue box on the side was flying with the threats and trash-talk.  

Then, in the corner of the screen:

Widowmkr7: Obama won!

It was, like, this whole community moment.  And then it was as if everyone all over the battlefield, Horde and Alliance, stopped fighting and typed Dance (return).  There were jigs, funky chickens, and mashed potatoes all over the place.  


So, in other words, while most of the world read about what happened across the world, my students and millions of others were actually interacting with people all over the world who all, for one minute, dropped their differences and danced.
















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