I didn't spent too much time in-game tonight. Of course, I logged into Khree to redo her talent points post 3.0.3 and to farm a wee bit. K- and I did an AB (oh shit! We can enter AV! /bail from a /fail AB and winwinwin 40-9 in AV) but then Election Night hoopla took over and we logged for the night.
Trade channel is always the realm of the ridiculous and the rtard. But the election has truly brought out the most horrific and neanderthal of the trade-channel trolls. On a RP (ok, RP-PVP) server, do we really need to hear your shouts to "Vote for Change. Vote for Obama" or "Keep America Safe. Vote for McCain"? But the slogans were, sadly, the innocuous. The trade channel on Maelstrom, at least, quickly dissolved into assertions that Obama is a terrorist or that he is bound to be assassinated. It's the latter that has bothered me the most. This country has a long history of lynching of "uppity" Black men, and I'll admit that I did find K- and my trek's to the Scarlet Monastery when powerleveling a little upsetting with the corpses swinging from trees. Perhaps I'm too sensitive to these sort of images, but that's what I do: I analyze culture, its symbolism, its practices and performances.
This evening someone commented that they hoped that Obama became President so they could "see a real live assassination." I was doing the log-into-all-my-alts-and-check-my-Auction-House-sales, but even if I'd been on one of my toons, I so rarely participate in trade channel, I'm not sure I would've admonished (or reported) the person. But this is, perhaps, what I would have said:
"You should be ashamed of yourself. You should be ashamed of yourself because here you sit in a virtual world, battling virtual monsters, gaining virtual honor and wealth and reputation, but you have the gall to call for the real death of a real person "live" on your TV. Hell, you probably have a TV in the same room as your computer, so you needn't leave your virtual world and its complete safety in order to witness a real death.
"I have never seen a President die "live." I was born almost ten years after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Although I come from a family of Republicans, all of them spoke of JFK's assassination as one of the most prominent memories of their lives. While they never bought into the ideology of his Democratic presidency, they did subscribe to the promise of Camelot: the hopefulness and idealism of a better America, a perfect America — shattered by bullets that splattered a young President's brains across his young wife's dress.
"I have seen America-in-crisis. I remember watching the day's events unfold on September 11, 2001. But again, the deaths I witnessed were mediated by TV. People died. But they were numbers, statistics, images on my television. I was touched, stunned, moved, hurt, affected — but it all felt a bit unreal.
"I have witnessed someone die though. And I can tell you, without any doubt, it is horrific. I can only think that someone craving and calling for another person's violent demise has never lost a loved one."
We spend a lot of time killing and dieing in MMORPGs. Sure, it costs us a few gold and some time to run back to our bodies — but in the end, these are just pixels. We should never forget that, outside of Azeroth, our flesh and energy does not regenerate over time, and there is no Spirit Healer to bring us back — armor damage or no.
There is a tip on the log-in screen of WoW that encourages us to enjoy the game in moderation but to remember to "go outside." I would say that, even on the cusp of great battles and more prosperity in-game, that we should never neglect the battles that must be waged "outside."