My wife is a shrewd little fox. She knows just how much I love the fact that she plays the game with me so sometimes, when we have our little domestic arguments, she makes sure to cancel her WoW account just to drive home a point. Of course, it doesn't mean much since we're both paid up for the next few months, but the message is clear -- "we make up (or you see things my way) or I'm quitting the game!" Of course, we don't reconcile merely because I'll be losing my favorite playing partner, but I have to confess that it doesn't make me happy one bit.
For parents, World of Warcraft can be a useful bargaining chip for their kids with the parental controls feature. It's easy enough to control WoW time if kids aren't doing their homework, floundering in school, or simply not doing their chores. Conversely, a friend of mine gave his son a WoW subscription when he did well in school. World of Warcraft can be so much fun and addicting that it's often used as a social tool, and it's often upsetting when our friends quit playing the game. How many of us have had friends whose significant others have "allowed" them to play the game after, say, a wonderful date?
I'm not sure if it only applies to me, but because I play the game with many of my RL friends and my family, I use the lure of WoW to full effect. I once had my brother do a specific task for the promise of an upgrade to The Burning Crusade. A little before he finished what I asked him to do, I secretly upgraded his account so he could finally make his Blood Elf Priest. Kind of manipulative, I know, but we did end up having a lot of fun leveling our alts together. How about you? How much a part of your life is WoW and has it ever been used as a bargaining chip in your social life?