Over the last weekend after studying for the end of the semester and doing my regularly scheduled dailies I decided to go on Open Raid’s website to see if I could join any impromptu raiding pugs.
For those who do not know, OpenRaid.org is a third-party website that host forums and chat-rooms for the purpose of connecting World of Warcraft players from different servers together for cross server battleground or raids.
Maybe it was because I was in the half-way through studying for my Political Science finals or maybe I am just plain crazy but between the Throne of the Four Winds achievement run and a Sunwell Transmog invite I had an epiphany that Open Raid is prime example of Azeroth’s globalism.For those who need to brush up on their college level Political Science classes, globalism is:
“The increasing integration of world markets for goods, services, and capital. It has also been defined as a process by which nationality becomes increasingly irrelevant in global production and consumption.” –Agricultural Trade Polices and Issues’s Definition in 2006
In the real world a fine example of Globalism is the invention of transcontinental ocean trade routes and the internet that spread goods and culture from one part of the world to the other side. When I talk about globalism in Warcraft, I am not talking about how the game has connected people from around the physical world, I am instead talking about how Warcraft players are starting to get connect with other Warcraft players from other servers.I do want to point out that Open Raid did not start the trend of Azerothian globalization it definitively a result of it and website encourages the breaking down of the Warcraft server barriers.
While political intellectuals have a difficult time agreeing on the exact moment globalism started on Earth we can identify the stages of globalism.
At the beginning of globalism’s history, each nation acted as their own island with no interaction with the other nations, just like how at the beginning of World of Warcraft’s history with their own stand-alone servers. A result of isolated civilizations the population of that area created their own economy, culture, and demographic that was different than the other nations and might be viewed as odd to outsiders.When I transferred servers the first thing that shocked me was that different prices of leather on the new server’s Auction House, I made quite a bit of gold the first few weeks of the transfer.
The first glimpse of globalism was started by the community or government to help better the group. With European nations started to fund projects, in the early 15th century, by exploring the new world by ships to find new land and to discover a new source of revenue for the state. Just like how Blizzard started to see cross server and cross faction services, at a price. Those examples of exploration and interactions outside of their boundaries started the Globalism movement and started to blur the lines of what the definition of a nation/server community.
The next stage of globalism was opening the boundaries to the public with inexpensive travel to other worlds. Commercial travels offered the average citizens to experience the different culture in a form of vacation and bringing back a bit of the foreign world to their home. The Warcraft counterpart was the introduction of Looking for Group service, the Real ID system and the Cross Realm Zone, where players can now talk to their friends on the other faction or on other servers and gave them the ability to visit each other in instances and raids.
After there was public transportation to other nations and servers, the next stage of Globalism occurs. The stage where companies and third-party groups sees a market opportunity beyond their boundaries and upon finding untapped resources fulfill a new demand that they could not reach before. The example in the real world is when a company goes international going over seas in search of a new population to sell their goods to, thus creating a new market, or to look for for a cheaper working force resource, to drive their production prices.
In Warcraft, there are third-party programs that are like Open Raid which utilize the already established communication to form a business model to connect people from around the different servers to form groups for raids and battlegrounds that they would not have been able to create in their own communities. Open Raid, and similar Warcraft services, are the player’s self made answer the community’s desire of a completely merged server population. This is similar to how Blizzard created a community, not of people from different nations, but a community of Warcraft players that covers the world.
Be MOP focuses on the Mists of Pandaria expansion of World of Warcraft with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the game’s life cycle. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays