Gamers Anonymous

This week Blizzard revealed they were implementing a new system whereby in the future posting on the Official WoW forums would show the battlenet account holders name and not a character’s name from the player’s portfolio. This has followed the RealID friends system which was implemented in the last patch.

Much wailing, gnashing of teeth and threats to cancel everything from accounts to Christmas and Blizzard have changed their collective minds and decided it’s not such a good idea to have people posting under their real names. It was mana from heaven to Bloggers and various worded the pros and cons far better than I ever could. The most interesting find I managed was this one. My first thought on this is one less gnome in WoW can only be classed as progress and hopefully others would follow suit. But there is more to this case than meets the eye… (even if the eyes are standing at waist-height to a normal character….)

The real thing for me here is the claims of persecution at work for being a WoW gamer.  In particular these caught my eye:

“Now when I am sick I either need to go to work, or provide a doctors certificate (even though that is not the company policy), because as a known WoW player it is assumed that I at at home playing WoW.

When I work from home (as my role permits) I am required to provide an detailed timeline of my activities (unlike other non-WoW (or declared WoW) players.”

This spawned a debate at the Noisy Rogue. I don’t know what the laws are like in Australia but in the UK no company could get away treating two employees in the same role differently – providing the performance level is the same. Any that tried could easily be taken to an Industrial Tribunal and duly slapped down with a sizable payment going to the claimant on the basis of such behaviour being Constructive Dismissal. That suggests there may be more to the gnome’s situation than first meets the eye, but that’s just speculation.

What also came out of this was a whole bunch of people saying they would not admit to being a gamer if applying for a job or if  already in a job they would be keeping their nasty little gaming habit secret from their boss or co-workers so it couldn’t be used against them.

Its confession time: I’m a gamer and have been playing wow for years. My boss knows, the guys I work with know. I don’t advertise it but if someone asks what I was doing at the weekend and the answer is playing WoW then that’s what I tell them. I’d be shocked if it made a difference to how I was treated at work, and to be honest I’ve never seen any evidence to suggest it has caused me problems at work. I can accept there are people who don’t see the attraction to playing computer games, but then I don’t see the attraction to nightclubs with dance music or going hill walking which some of my colleagues do. I don’t think less of them for their hobbies so why would they think less of me for mine? I’ve always found in the workplace you get judged more by your performance than anything else.

In my job I manage a team of about 12 people. If one doesn’t show on a Monday because he went to the pub the previous day after the football and now has ‘food poisoning’, then I’m pissed off. Not because he went to the pub, but because he can’t perform his duties the following day as a result. The reason doesn’t matter, just the problems that it causes that the rest of the team and I have to pick up because s/he is too hungover to work. If some one arrives late on a regular basis and is too tired to work properly because they have stayed up late raiding then I don’t have a problem with them raiding, but I do have a problem with them not being able to do what they are paid to the following day. It would be completely wrong in this last example for the raider to claim he was getting a hard time at work because he was a gamer,  s/he is getting a hard time due to poor performance.

I’m really curious to find out what other people think on this subject. Are you a closet gamer, who keeps their gaming hidden from those you work with? Why, what do you think will happen if you admit it? If you are putting in a good performance at work do you believe this will be overshadowed simply by being a gamer? I’d welcome any opinions on this one.

PS. The final score on the gnome is he has resubscribed due to Blizzard backing down on the RealID thing.  Just when we thought we had got rid of one of the critters too.

Published in: on July 10, 2010 at 13:14  Leave a Comment  

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