Andy Choe

1. Of course as an avid player of DotA I use the forums in order to communicate and relay my opinions on particular topics with other players. The forums are particularly helpful because not only do they ease my need for a medium of interaction for this niche hobby but also provides insight and information on new things such as improvements, updates, and trends within the game. Also the forums are a place where one can find friendship and companionship in a game where the community is not known as the friendliest, especially for beginner players. All in all, the forums for DotA are definitely a necessity for the community of players in order to express themselves as well as find interaction within the game, outside of the game itself.

2. Within a discourse community there is a common set of goals that the community as a whole seeks to achieve. Although the personal goals and desires of an individual within this community might differ, there is still a common ground between the people. The same is true for DotA. DotA players get a bad reputation, well all gamers get a bad reputation, because of the perspective that society has upon video gamers. Most people believe that gamers are slackers, unmotivated, undedicated to reality, and lost in the addiction of a video game, however if one is to not play the game they will never understand the motivations to play the game. For DotA players however there are two mains goals: to get better to play with higher level competition and to ease the stress of the “real world”. This is evidently seen through the Match Making system implanted within DotA, where players will never stay in one position in terms of facing challenging competitions. Also the continuous growing population for a game still in beta, proves the allure of the game.

3. If there was no means of communication throughout the game as well as a community outside of the game, DotA will be a completely different thing. The whole concept within DotA that differentiates itself from other games is the necessity for communication. Since DotA is a game that is played by five players rather than by yourself, communication is the difference between a victory or a defeat. Particularly, in-game voice and text chats within the game make the crucial communication factor easier. Valve, the main company that owns DotA, has placed this function in for a definite reason, which is different from the original DotA 1 from warcraft three which didn’t have such functions. As stated before as well, the forums are a necessity because without the utilization of the forums, the skill level of DotA as well as the population within DotA will immensely decrease. With this being stated, the game of DotA will become a repetitive cycle of competition as well as skill level, something that Valve has intentionally tried to avoid.

4. Unfortunately, just as there is segregation, mocking, and marginalization within the real world, the same applies to the gaming world. The DotA community, as I have said before, is not particularly known for their cheerful, easy tempered, and accepting arms. In fact it is actually the opposite, and throughout the in-game as well as the forums, “flaming”, which is mockery and intentional harassment of an individual, is prevalent and sometimes even encouraged. There is a descent between the older, more experienced and skillful players and the newer players. This same descent is seen by the casual players who only wish to play the game for the temporary enjoyment of it and the players that are competitive and wish to become the best player in the community. Most insiders are those who use the forums, have higher post counts in these forums, who are more vocal within the game and who are the ones usually flaming the newer players. Comparatively the outsiders are clearly visible by the exact opposite traits of the insiders of the game.

5. I am most definitely an insider. I spend about twenty-two to twenty-four hours a week on the game. I do not seek to play this game for fun anymore as many times I’ve declined party requests from my in real life friends to play with more skilled people that I don’t even know in real life. Also I frequently keep up to date with forums as well as trends and updates as well as with the “meta-game” which is the phrase for current competitive professional trends. Just like how the game of basketball has shifted from center focused to guard focused, the game of DotA evolves.

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