Guest Post: Who Leads Your Raids?
I've been sending emails back and forth with
for a little while now, and he's expressed a desire to do a little WoW-related sociological research. Specifically, he's wondering whether there is a gender bias between raid leaders, as compared to the normal WoW-playing population.
So what do you think, readers? Take a moment to join us for a little highbrow discussion, and let's see if we can't do a little scientific inquiry!
Join us after the break!
The world of Azeroth is a complex and interesting social environment. With so many levels of communication and interaction available to us as players, trying to untangle the complex web of relationships is a difficult task. Across the servers, almost every race and religion is represented in some way, from country based guilds to ones with a particular ideology, such as science based alchemy, or a skeptical WoW guild. This poses interesting sociological questions. How exactly is the population of warcraft distributed both amongst the servers and within them, in terms of guilds and lines of communication? For instance, it's readily recognised that there are more male gamers than female playing WoW(although statistics report to a much lesser degree than commonly believed) yet there is no real data on how the hierarchies of WoW are established. It's reasonable to assume that there will be a higher proportion of say, Swedish people in Swedish guilds, and skeptics in a skeptical guild, but when stripped away from discerning recruitment criteria, do guilds really represent the systems which they govern by?
The question that intrigues me most is how Warcraft represents and reflects the real world, especially politically. Whilst there is no central political body governing how things work, many guilds, especially raiding guilds, are established in a variety of governmental models, from democracy to a totalitarian dictatorship. These models present interesting questions. Do guilds accurately reflect the world at large? Is the percentage of men and women in the upper echelons of power similar or equal to external governments or is there a difference, some dissonant factor presenting an abnormal ratio.
Finding an answer to this is a little difficult. How do you define power structures in an environment with untold variations on a theme? Guilds come in all shapes and sizes, but they do have a common theme, most guilds raid. Most raids have a leader. That leader can come in all shapes and sizes, the guild master, an officer or just one of the members. Sometimes it's not as clear cut as that and there just isn't one particular person or the responsibility might be shared. Ultimately, however, the clearest way of looking at ratios of men and women in positions of power is to look at the ratios of men and women as raid leaders.
I don't know whether guilds accurately mirror the real world, and it would be a gargantuan task to compile the research required to find out. Considering all the potential factors makes my mind boggle...and excites that part of my brain that does embarrassing happy dances over sociology research.
To that end I ask you my fellow wowheadians,
who leads your raids?
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