Most of the raidy type things in WoW require the coordination of a group of 10-20 people. Some are bigger. Now, anyone who's done group coordination in real life will know that getting that many people to turn up on time with their coats and hankies and having gone to the loo first, is a full time job.
So these Geeks of Extreme Aloneness and Independence were suddenly needing to do this. And then they'd have to run off in more-or-less formation, and work together as a unit to kill Big Impressive Monsters using Yet-To-Be-Developed Strategies.
These strategies involved some fairly complex thinking, teamwork, cooperation, self-restraint (SOMEONE PLEASE STOP THAT DAMN MAGE DRAWING ALL THE AGGRO BECAUSE IF HE DIES WE ALL DIE OK EVERYONE STOP SHOOTING NOW AND PUT YOUR UNDIES ON YOUR HEAD I SWEAR IT'LL WORK THE MONSTER WILL LAUGH AND FALL DOWN THEN THE LOCK CAN SUMMON THE DEMON WHO WILL KISS IT THEN TWO ONLY TWO OF THE PALLIES CAN CONSECRATE THIS BIT OF GROUND SO THAT THE SQUISHIES CAN STAND THERE AND SHOOT FLAMING BALLS AT THE MONSTER WHILE THE REST OF US HEAL THE WARRIOR OR TURN THINGS INTO SHEEP)
Seriously, my first large scale raid was just like that.
So there's communication and team playing and sacrificing one's own desires (SHOOT FLAMING BALLS!) for the good of the team (BE A SHEEP-BOT FOR THE WHOLE RAID!). And there's discussion, and cooperation, and sharing of responsibility, and modifying one's own behaviour in accordance with what everyone else is doing.
Things unfamiliar to the Unreal Tournament Heroes Commandoes gamer geeks of a few years ago. And, your ability to do this is really important to your getting asked along to more raids, and therefore advancement in the game.
Which is not really news. But it leads to a question, probably more aimed at oldskool gamer geeks, or folks wot like postulating -
Do you think that the advent of MMORPGs has changed the face of gamer geekery? Have gamer geeks had to become more urbane? Has your local geek come out of his basement, started washing and talking to people?
Or, is it simply that MMORPGs have a wider appeal, so more-social-less-geeky type people play them? And does that in itself affect the sociology of geekery?
And has the 'I Am A God' aspect of gaming become secondary to the 'We Are All In This Together' aspect?* And is it all some kind of huge conspiracy?
* This is someone else's PhD, mmk (except for maybe the last bit)? I would have trouble relating that one back to recreational substances. Also, I promise not to bombard you with any more gaming stuff today.