/dance /dance Revolution (WoW)


MMOG players are a resourceful lot. As I've mentioned before, MMOGs are essentially giant sandboxes for people to play in. And, as with any sandbox, people have stories about the events that have happened to them in game. Some of the most interesting stories I hear from players are what I call "immigration stories".

Every character has a starting location specific to his/her race. For instance, all Humans start in Northshire Abbey, all Dwarfs and Gnomes start in Anvilmar, and Night Elves start in Dolanar. All four of these races are part of an Alliance, and as such, can travel freely without fear of getting attacked by city guards. Dolanar however, is on a separate continent separated by an ocean. Recently they've added a boat as a system of transit, but before, the only method of long distance travel was through griffons and hippogriffs, and thar required in game money. To travel on foot through the distance would take several hours, and would also involve travelling through extremely high level areas, and so long distance travel was generally not done on foot.

One of the common problems was quite often, you had a group of people who wanted to play together separated by vast distances, without any money for the griffon ride. The players did however have their starter equipment, which if you sold all of it, would be just enough to make the voyage. So players sold their belongings to make a new starting area their home. They arrived there without any money, and usually without any equipment in a foreign land. Sometimes they were unable to get started, and some of these players turned to begging as a way of regaining some cash, and others turned to dancing.

Yes, dancing.

Each MMOG has a set of animated emotes which characters can perform. /sit for instance, is the command to make your character sit down. /lay makes your character lay down on the floor. /dance makes your character dance. How the character dances is entirely dependent on the game developer and their sense of humor. Sometimes the animation is the Macarena, sometimes it's the Two-Step or the Fox Trot, it simply depends on the animator.

Unlike Star Wars Galaxies, where "Entertainer" is a character class and has a gameplay function, the dancer in most MMOGs are a result of emergence -- people discovered that if they took their animated characters, stripped them down so that they were simply wearing their underwear and made them /dance, some people would give them money. This was not something designers had intended, but rather human behavior that the game players latched onto.

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