Sunday, 15 February 2015

Geek - Thankful February - For the Love of Statistics!

  I was musing, as I walked around my Garrison in World of Warcraft, being hailed as a Commander and hero of the Horde, just what I (my character) had done to get there.  There's a fun feature that allows you to see, since they started tracking it a few years back, just how many things you've killed while you've been playing.  There's also lots of other statistics, including how many times you've drowned or killed certain bosses.  I thought it'd be fun to see just what it takes to be a Commander of a Horde Garrison in Draenor.  It turns out all of my favoured characters are very, very bad people...

Everyone Loves Statistical Analysis!

Zoom in, Teraphíth is camera shy!
This is what my level 100 Paladin character has done in her life.

She has been a Paladin for 79 days and 5 hours or a total of 1,901 hours
She has killed 181,199 non-player characters

She has killed 1,809 player characters
She has killed approximately 96 things an hour

In real world terms, in 80 days, my character has killed the entire population of Salt Lake City, or Hammersmith & Fulham in London.

Varana; probably shouldn't be allowed to control demons
My Warlock:

Has been a Warlock for 54 days and 10 hours or a total of 1,306 hours
Has killed 83,115 non-player characters and 5,076 player characters
Has killed around 68 things an hour

In real world terms, in 2 months she's killed the population of a decent sized city in Texas, or Hastings in South England.

Mayiir; I miss Arcane Blast looking this beautiful
My Mage:

Has been a Mage for 135 days and 17 hours or a total of 3,257 hours
Has killed 66,254 non-player characters and 11,096 player characters
Has killed approximately 24 things an hour

This one has wiped out Brentwood, Essex.  But it's taken her four and a half months.

I don't know which is worse, my super swift killer Paladin, or my Mage who seems to take way more time to get what is essentially the same job done.

Why was I Musing?

  Of course this is all make believe. The 300,000+ things that have been "killed" in World of Warcraft to help level up and give my characters shiny gear aren't real and certainly aren't being killed.  However, growing up I watched a show called Reboot.  And more recently I watched the Christmas special of Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror.  Both gave a twist to the idea of killing things within video games.  Reboot depicted a world inside every computer.  When you play a game, the population take the place of everything in it.  So, in effect, if you were to kill something in a game, you may very well be killing off a member of your own little Reboot city.  A bit like Tron.  Black Mirror made it worse with the idea of Cookies.  Cookies are exact replicas of a real person's personality, captured inside a computer.  In fact, on creation, they believe they are the real person.  They're then broken down and conditioned to control the mundane tasks of their real life originator, like a virtual PA.  The Cookies that fail to be conditioned are sometimes donated to the gaming industry to become non-player characters for real life people to fight against.  In other words, when you play one of those games, you were killing something that believes it is real and alive.  It may not be alive in the biological sense, but of course, if something believes it is real, it could be considered to be alive, there's always the moral dilemma.

  I know this is also all make believe.  Reboot was a kids tv show and Black Mirror is always expertly written to make you think about morality in an ultra modern, technologically based setting.  But I can't help wondering; over 300,000 little creatures killed in the World of Warcraft by my mouse clicks.  What if Reboot and Black Mirror weren't so wrong?

  Either way, my main characters in Warcraft really are bad people.  And I'm considered a "casual"! I dread to think just how murderous some people's characters have been!

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