A tip of the hat to our friend BBB, who interviewed my awesome guild leader Featherwisp for today's Shifting Perspectives column at WoW Insider. The topic was the aforementioned Annarchy-sponsored flightform flashmob on Dark Iron, and if you ever wondered what would happen if Alfred Hitchcock met World of Warcraft a la The Birds, you owe it to yourself to read this piece.
Okay, okay, or you could just ask the undead rogue BBB interviewed about his experience being stared down by several dozen unblinking birds. "MOONFIRE MOONFIRE MOONFIRE x30, I die," does pretty much sum it up.
In other news, for work today I'm summarizing some articles from this month's Harvard Business Review, when I come across this surprisingly accurate picture of the leadership challenges of MMORPG raiding:
True, leading 25 guild members in a six-hour raid on Illidan the Betrayer’s temple fortress is hardly the same as running a complex global organization. For starters, the stakes are just a bit higher in business. But don’t dismiss online games as mere play. The best ones differ from traditional video games as much as universities do from one-room schoolhouses. In fact, these enterprises are actually sprawling online communities in which thousands of players collaborate with and compete against one another in real time within a visually three-dimensional virtual world—one that persists and evolves even while a player is away.Maybe I should go back for an MBA. Apparently I'm uncannily prepared.
The organizational and strategic challenges facing players who serve as game leaders are familiar ones: recruiting, assessing, motivating, rewarding, and retaining talented and culturally diverse team members; identifying and capitalizing on the organization’s competitive advantage; analyzing multiple streams of constantly changing and often incomplete data in order to make quick decisions that have wide-ranging and sometimes long-lasting effects. But these management challenges are heightened in online games because an organization must be built and sustained with a volunteer workforce in a fluid and digitally mediated environment.