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Fighting heroic hegemony with ennui: The remarkable everyday in World of Warcraft
Published in Intellect
Volume: 7
Issue: 2
Pages: 169 - 181
This article explores the predominance of mundane everyday tasks within the World of Warcraft (WoW) gamespace to emphasize the importance of the quotidian within this purported heroic environment. The importance of what is understood to be ordinary-everyday-tasks in accomplishing heroic quests, I argue, challenges popular and scholarly perceptions of WoW, as a gendered gaming space based in heroic time and presumably inhabited by skilled male technocrats. I illustrate that the WoW game-environment, in offering players the option of in-game progression not only through slaying dragons but also by picking herbs and sewing clothes makes a definite rupture in the idea of heroic temporality, which is traditionally understood as masculine while the everyday is essentialized as feminine. Without gendering any task as either feminine or masculine I assert that heroic identity in WoW is extensively influenced by everyday ennui, to the extent that maintenance of heroic status quo often means a regular engagement with the quotidian. By allowing for the possibility of gameplay in multiple temporal modes WoW challenges social constructions of heroic time as masculine and everyday time as feminine. In doing so these multiple temporalities open out possibilities for perceiving the WoW landscape as ideal for resisting hegemonies of masculinized heroism and the creation and sustenance of alternative modes of agency.
About the journal
JournalJournal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds
Open AccessNo