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Farmers and Warcraft players in the US of A

Mike Schramm

This blog post is careening around the blogsphere at large, and it probably behooves us to mention it here on WoW Insider, considering the points it makes about WoW players. It's a variation on the red state/blue state argument, in that it points out that there are actually more Warcraft players in the United States today than there are professional farmers. And so, says the piece, when someone, be they politician or pundit or newscaster, says that "the real America" is rural farmland where people are more likely to be milking cows than running Karazhan, they're wrong.

There are a few problems with this argument, of course, one of which is admitted to in the article: farming and World of Warcraft-playing are hardly mutually exclusive. Just because you read blogs and play MMOs doesn't mean you're not a person who wakes up in the morning and gets your eggs out from under chickens. The other issue is that if you're going to start fighting nostalgia, you're going to lose. Every generation looks at the future (or in this case, the rapidly approaching present) and compares it unfavorably to the past. I've always thought it amazing that someday we will have someone in the White House who knows how to get 30 extra lives in Contra, and that person will probably look at the new holo-vid-games that come out in 2016 and say "when we were young, we played with buttons and thumbsticks!"

But back to the issue at hand: it's true-- America is becoming a technological, urban country, and whether you like it or not (politics completely aside, because I know how much you guys like those on this gaming blog), it's a fact that a person on the street is more likely to know what day Brewfest starts rather than when the summer solstice hits. Sure, we're not seeing the latest class changes on the evening news, but we are seeing Warcraft selling trucks, and whether newscasters and politicians are recognizing it or not, the MMO culture is becoming more and more massive every day.

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