The biggest game phenom in 20+ years: World of Warcraft [update 1]

Today's New York Times examines the success of World of Warcraft from a global perspective, concluding that "World of Warcraft has become the first truly global video-game hit since Pac-Man in the early 1980's."

In addition to the new angle, this piece provides a nice benchmark for mainstream media coverage of MMOGs. Just a few years ago, media were wont to "report" on the gameplay habits of Everquest and Asheron's Call players with a sensational "watch these people ruin their lives playing games!" tone that just wasn't fair. Often, introversion, depression, and suicidal tendencies were ascribed to people who choose to play games for hours at a time. The Times's coverage is much more balanced, finally allowing an eloquent gamer (Jason Pinsky) the opportunity to defend his hobby:

"I play this game six nights a week from 8 p.m. to midnight.... most people watch TV at least that much, and television is a totally mindless experience."


[Update 1: fixed a clumsy headline and formatting in body of post.]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.